Friday, December 20, 2013

Vienna day 3: reliving St. Stephen's Dom

I think most of you know my stance on babies. Though this position has slightly changed over the years (the past year especially, as my biological clock has started to tell me that babies are an excellent idea, though luckily the clock has not started its inevitable ticking which makes so many women so goal-oriented...), in general I still find myself uncomfortable around babies. Instead of finding them annoying though, I find myself scared that I will somehow accidentally harm them. I don't want to hold anyone's babies because I don't know how. I figure once I hold my own I'll just practice until I get it right. Until then I don't want to accidentally mess it up with someone else's kid. That's the kind of guilt I do not need to live with.

The baby I met on Monday morning, however, was the closest I've come to potentially wanting to, which is saying quite a bit. His name is Paul and he is the son of German K's friend, Yulia. An adorable baby with the quietest and calmest of temperaments. I can only hope that any children I have are similar to him. Curious about the world, expressive, but quietly inspired, rather than raging and angry, demanding and anxious.

We met Yulia for brunch at the Welt Cafe (World Cafe) and proceeded to have a wonderful several hour brunch talking about various things. Everyone enjoyed Paul's quiet nature and I think amongst the group of women there, we all silently wondered when we would be in the same position in the future. Everyone was relatively the same age (minus our host's mother, who joined us late and then had to leave us early because of other plans, and had obviously already had children), and none of us are seeing anyone special. Yet we were all happy to be in the presence of little Paul and his surprisingly relaxed mother and soak in the goodness of what could potentially be in the future.

Needless to say the only things I've decided from this encounter are:
  • I do definitely want children in the future, should I be fortunate enough to have the opportunity (I already knew this, but this solidified that decision even more).
  • I want to be a marsupial mom, versus a stroller mom (carrying your kid with you, especially in front, versus having a pram or a stroller, which just seem clunky and annoying, especially on public transit).
  • I want to be a calm mom who transmits that energy to her kid, rather than a stressed mom. I know this is going to be harder than it sounds, but I will try as hard as I can.
That's enough about baby talk though. I'm sure if and when I come to that bridge, I'll cross it and it'll be what it is. Many decisions will be made with the help of my partner, I'm sure.

We all walked to St. Stephen's Cathedral after brunch and that's where our friends left us to continue on our sightseeing and exploration of Vienna, having real lives to attend to, rather than just holiday fun.

We stepped into St. Stephen's, and suddenly I was whisked back to two years ago when I was here last. I remember it vividly:

My girlfriend, Shanti, and I had come to St. Stephen's because I was fulfilling my mission of seeing the most famous and beautiful cathedral of the city. I was leaving the next day to go to Brno, having had a terrible time already and wanting to stay as short a time as possible. I was supposed to stay for four days; I only stayed for two. It was cold and raining outside, which was unusual for the summer but that entire summer ended up being cold and overcast. We were happy to be inside away from the wind and rain. We walked around the gorgeous cathedral in silence and awe of the Gothic architecture, its grace and majesty. I thought about decisions I was going to have to make in my life soon, needing to leave my job in San Diego. I was on the edge of a precipice and unsure about what would happen next. I bought one of the most beautiful rosaries in my current collection. We left soon after to have a disappointing lunch at Nordsea across the plaza.

This time I was with German K and Hong Kong P, which was comforting. The quote about returning to a place misleading; I was glad to have the comfort of two good friends, rather than be alone to face what was not the most positive of memories. Hong Kong P commented that it was more beautiful on the inside than she had imagined, though also smaller. We walked around in silence and I contemplated how much my life had changed from the last time I was there, and yet how similar.


Within two months of my being there last, I took the job to go to Helsinki. I whisked myself away from country and comfort and set off on what is now my current world traveler status. I have never regretted my decision but the path has not been easy. I have had so many excellent adventures that I can't even remember them all (which is why I am happy that people pushed me to make this blog, it serves so many purposes). And yet my company is once again at a point of transition. Fortunately this time I am not at a precipice, not knowing what I am going to do next as I am part of the move, rather than being forced out of it, but it is still the familiar feeling of uncertainty. I feel more in control this time though, having clear desires on where I want to go next - grad school for the next several years, stability, love. Now it's just a question of how these situations will play out and how I can plan appropriately for them.

So I bought a second rosary from St. Stephen's. This one to symbolize that I came here again, under different circumstances, and to hope for the future. If there can be this much change after two years, I can do just as much change in the next two years.


After my purchase we left to have some desserts and coffee, then went for the longest dinner ever at a restaurant that was recommended to us the night before. Then ended the night at a sky bar.

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