I’m in a kind of “get stuff done”/”keep going”/”survival” mode right now, so the creative writing urge has taken a back burner.
Since my last post, I:
- Found an apartment in Hamburg (before and after pics will be a 2018 highlight). It is an altbau (pre WWII) flat. So it’s old. I can hear my neighbors. I can hear the floor creak. But I love the charm. It’s in Eimsbüttel, the neighborhood I wanted to be in – in between the very wealthy area of Eppendorf, and the very liberal, punk area of Sternschanze – where they held the riots during the G20.)
Eppendorf Christmas lights
- Took the train back to Frankfurt, and made my debut drive back on the autobahn (yes, the flow of traffic is 150km/hr)
Hamburg train station
solo wine drinking on the train
- Had 2 very long weeks getting broken in at my new job (and I am so ready for all that’s to come next year)
selfie at the office Christmas party
- Sold or gave away countless household items, meeting many good people along the way
- Hosted my brother for Christmas shenanigans (including ice skating at the Hamburg Eisarena and checking out the local food and beverage establishments)
Enjoying the Italian place downstairs!
- Joined a gym
- Visited 4 different Christmas markets in Hamburg (there is seriously one on every corner)
- Made 2 visits to Ikea – one of which, it was actually open (2 days after Christmas, everything is still closed here). That aside, I just have to say the more I think of what Ikea has done, the more it makes sense: great prices for furniture that fits in small apartments, for people who probably move a lot. I gave away my dresser from Ikea that I made in 2003 after I graduated college. And I sold my 2 Ikea closets for €100 – the same price as my couch. Gone are the days of expensive furniture…
- Moved out of my Airbnb (but met some really great people, and can’t wait to hang out again! PS – this is a dinner party – I shared a flat with 2 great German girls. I did not live in a hostel)
- Went back to Frankfurt again (today I met my movers and turned in my keys, ready to unload tomorrow and finally have everything in one place)
the anticipation is palpable
I go through my day thinking of how I want to share all my experiences with friends and family in America.
I reminisce about my move to Frankfurt.
And while it seems like this time should be easier, I probably underestimated the toll that a move takes.
Especially during the holidays.
Going through my blog posts from the past, I realized I used the tag “adapting” a lot. And I find it just as fitting now.
The cultural adaptation is so much less.
But the mental strain of a move and adapting to new settings is still there.
And, isn’t that why I chose this?
I think of Patanjali’s yoga sutra that I wrote my paper on: experiences are meant to teach us.
I stood in my apartment in Frankfurt today, after the movers had moved my few belongings.
I realized that with every move, I need a moment to be alone with the old place to reflect on all the experiences.
I swept the dust and looked back on the dinner parties, the people who I had welcomed into my place, the nights I came home and felt sad, the nights I came home and ate döner kebap (yes, the first year was a bit of a weight gain), all of the lazy, rainy Sundays, all of the 5:30am yoga sessions. All of the immense growth.
And after all my things were gone, I had a huge, empty apartment – or as I like to call it – a yoga studio.
So it only felt right to do one last sequence.
And I will need time with the new place.
I’m full of optimism and uncertainty and plans.
I used the 4 hour train back to Hamburg to catch up on my change of address, bills, and all the other annoying government paperwork that takes twice as long because it’s in German.
The movers come tomorrow to unload my things.
And I am sure that just as I was in Santa Monica, and in Frankfurt, I will be so happy to sleep in my own bed.