But when I woke up, I felt out of place. There was no Didi or Marissa on either side of me. I was practically ready to put on the pants and coat I've been wearing for the past 2-3 weeks. Everyone out in the world I live in speaks English, making communication both easier and harder at the same time. For heaven's sake...I'm typing this on my own laptop.
And while I'm thankful for these blessings, I can't help but think of how complicated they make life. With my car and computer come responsibilities...
Rehearsals to go to.
Lessons to attend.
Errands to run.
I was so used to just enjoying the company of those around me; excited to see new places and share these wonderful experiences. Eating and drinking new things. The thrill of seeing some of the best musical groups in the world. It just felt like a perfectly natural of a thing to do.
And now I'm sitting here, with tears in my eyes, wondering how I'm gonna go back to normal. And there's a little voice inside my head....
There is no going back to normal, Maura.
I would not be who I am and who I'm going to be without this trips. Things change you, and this trip was definitely a giant game changer. I not only came home to the people I love, but discovered a multitude of places, people, and music to love. And I left them.
So I'm reeling a bit. I will remember everyone and every experience I had on this trip. I will leave you all with this one memory.
After a long 2-hour concert by the Szymanowski Quartet, Marissa and I were ready to depart and make for the hotel (and our beds...). The Viennese crowds, however, are quite fond of their encores. So after a beautiful Dvorak quartet, we dreaded any encore pieces. But the Quartet came back, and after Andrej Bielow announced what we couldn't understand (in German with a thick Polish accent...), the Quartet played this song. After it was done, Dr. Powell looked at me, both with tears in our eyes, and said "Wow."
This video of the Quartet doesn't even do it justice to seeing it in the Mozartsaal in Vienna. There is no recording or words to describe it.
I love you all. Thank you for this experience, and thank you for your friendship. Thank you for coming home with me, so I can have a little piece of Europe with me. Don't you dare lose touch. (You too, Eva!)