Due to the fact that my sleeping pattern is messed up I am sitting in the kitchen at an ungodly time reminiscing about the past 3 months since I moved to Berlin. Thinking about what actually happened and changed in my life since then I’m slowly coming to the realization that against my own expectations I am already able to cross off a few of my little goals for 2014. And by little I mean low-threshold goals, because in times when I wasn’t able to wait in a cash line to buy my own groceries I couldn’t think of much beyond everyday’s trivial struggles. Imagining to pack my belongings and leave the city that held nothing but shady recollections and a lack of perspective seemed quite impossible at that time.
I was stuck badly. Struggling with my psychological and physical health I found myself lost and helpless, seeking to find balance again without any idea how to do that. Not that I was merely in pain, I actually became the pain. I gradually identified with my unfortunate position. Terrorizied by fear like I was, I chose to stick with what felt familiar and provided a false stability. Things became so intense and drastic that I was no longer in a position to negotiate. I had to move and for several reasons I chose to move physically first. I moved to Berlin.
Since my arrival I cut myself some bangs, read lots of books, began journaling, started swimming, went to doctors, visited social events on my own, took a train journey. I’m acquiring new work experiences in a field I am not familiar with. I’m learning a lot about nutrition and cooking as I am adjusting my diet due to some intolerances and an irritable stomach. And I am riding my old shabby lilac bike everywhere.
But yet, I am struggling with anxieties on a daily basis. Having more resources to choose from, at least some days I am doing better.
Through journaling and reading I am learning a lot of new things. Layer by layer I am going through the struggle at my own pace. I am surprised by what I find underneath what often feels like the last layer. It can be difficult to maintain an attitude of acceptance and trust through this whole process. The new, the unknown, that comes with change upsets me, feels unrelated yet. Though I’m desperate for change, most of the time I cannot adjust very well.
What I find particularly helpful are the bits and pieces others share on the internet. Through my own process of change I begin to understand why sharing can be so important and sometimes helpful to others. Unfortunately this blog was left behind and kept quite neutral in a way that reflected my own inability to be open. So this is what I’d like to start here: a practice in sincerity, a training in sharing.
“Sometimes you’re 23 and standing in the kitchen of your house making breakfast and brewing coffee and listening to music that for some reason is really getting to your heart. You’re just standing there thinking about going to work and picking up your dry cleaning. And also more exciting things like books you’re reading and trips you plan on taking and relationships that are springing into existence. Or fading from your memory, which is far less exciting. And suddenly you just don’t feel at home in your skin or in your house and you just want home but “Mom’s” probably wouldn’t feel like home anymore either. There used to be the comfort of a number in your phone and ears that listened everyday and arms that were never for anyone else. But just to calm you down when you started feeling trapped in a five-minute period where nostalgia is too much and thoughts of this person you are feel foreign. When you realize that you’ll never be this young again but this is the first time you’ve ever been this old. When you can’t remember how you got from sixteen to here and all the same feel like sixteen is just as much of a stranger to you now. The song is over. The coffee’s done. You’re going to breathe in and out. You’re going to be fine in about five minutes.”
— Kalyn R. Livernois, The Winter Of The Air
"We may be happy enough with little if little is what we have come to expect, and we may be miserable with much when we have been taught to desire everything."
– Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety
„Er hat Folgendes geschrieben: ‚Der unreife Mensch kennzeichnet sich dadurch aus, dass er edel für eine Sache sterben will, der reife dadurch, dass er bescheiden für eine leben will.‘ Er beugte sich herüber und reichte mir den Zettel. Ich las ihn gleich, nachdem er ihn mir gegeben hatte, dann dankte ich ihm und so und steckte ihn ein. Es war nett von ihm, sich diese ganze Mühe zu machen. Wirklich. Die Sache war bloß, mir war nicht besonders danach, mich zu konzentrieren. Mann, ich war auf einmal so verdammt müde.“
– J. D. Salinger, Der Fänger im Roggen
Die Mechanismen in groben Zügen: