In case you hadn’t heard, Oktoberfest has been in full swing since I made Munich home three weeks ago. As much as I’d like to think the city threw me a three-week welcome party, Oktoberfest was originally a wedding celebration that has since turned into something akin to Germany’s Largest State Fair.
Oktoberfest celebrations began bright and early on opening day…which meant that we waited in a rainy line for about 2 hours before declaring it a wash and getting lunch (breakfast?) elsewhere. Fear not, the Weisn was graced with our presence many a time after that, and for the sake of any future employment I hope to have, suffice it to say that the cultural experience that is Oktoberfest was fully embraced.
Aside from Oktoberfest, October 3rd was Tag der Deutschen Einheit, or German Reunification Day. That’s right, y’all: at 23, I am older than the Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Bavaria was chosen to host the rotating Tag der Deutschen Einheit festivities this year, so I found myself on a crowded street on Wednesday evening watching a light show and fireworks celebrating 22 years of a united Germany.
Other than that, my life lately has been terribly uneventful, and all of this unstructured time is making me more than a little restless. I’m getting incredibly sick of living in a residential area instead of the actual city, German university classes don’t start for another week at least, and my job doesn’t have desk space for me until November. I know, I know, #firstworldproblems, whatever.
I like having goals, working towards those goals, and doing work that makes me feel like me. For as long as I can remember, that type of work has always entailed some sort of museum. I don’t miss my work life in DC in the slightest, but I miss the motivation behind that work–that if I could get through those crappy few months, I would be free to do the type of work that I really loved. On Tuesday, I spent some time in the Alte Pinakothek surrounded by my favorite type of art, and I didn’t feel like my favorite version of me when I was there.
I’ve also been reading a lot of articles (see aforementioned surplus of free time on my hands) about the futility of pursuing a career in the arts, so I’m sure that has something to do with the amount of phrases like “history major alternate career”, “why did I major in history?”, “history and/or art career that pays bills with minimal amount of financial-related stress”, “what do i do with my life after i got a history degree”, “why am i not happy”, and “what is the meaning of life” that now show up in my recently-searched bar on Google.
Side note: Google does not know what the meaning of life is, just in case you were wondering.
This last week was the first time since I was 17 that I considered anything but a museum/history/arts career, and it made me feel like a failure. I walked around Munich for a good two hours in near-tears thinking about all the work I’ve put into developing some semblance of a career, all the times I’ve picked up my whole life and moved it across the country and/or the world, all the times I’ve laughed off questions about my career choice with, “It’s okay, I don’t care about money”, and how I have never before considered that maybe there just isn’t a place for me in that world, no matter how much I want there to be.
Thankfully, there are a lot of ice cream shops and plenty of bike paths in this city that will help me gain some perspective and get over myself…and work should start soon.