It’s a year today since I moved to Berlin, and I suppose it’s the time to look back and compare my life then with my life now, my expectations with where I would be today with the reality.
A year ago, about now, I was sitting in Alexander Platz eating breakfast, waiting for my my mum to arrive. I had left Ali that morning: he had driven me to the airport after allowing me to stay with him one last time before I left. Breakup sex = a painful but irresistible mistake. I cried for hours and hours. After he left and drove away, doubtless relieved to the hilt that I would be far enough away that he could get on with his life, I just felt so lost and hopeless. I was convinced I would hate Berlin, I would never meet anybody else, I would be alone and probably have topped myself in no time.
I remember, after the flight, which passed in a blur of sobbing, I got on the train to get from the airport into down and these buskers got on, doing “Tequila”. They’re a common sight to me now, but at the time it felt incredibly surreal, so I tried to call Ali to share it with him. Of course he didn’t pick up – we had broken up and I hadn’t completely grasped it.
I got off the train in Alex with my ridiculously heavy bags and went to the nearest restaurant I could find and ordered a New York Breakfast, with eggs, bacon, maple syrup, coffee: the works. I got out my laptop, tweeted, blogged, checked Facebook and startled myself with how well I was suddenly coping.
Welcome to Being In Shock.
When mum arrived we took a taxi to her hotel to put down our bags and freshen up, and that was it. I dissolved. What the hell was I thinking, moving to this country where I knew nobody and nothing, how would I cope, how would I make a new life…
But I did cope, and I did make a new life.
I didn’t always cope well: I drank more than I should, I slept with more people that I should, I got down, I got meds, I got confused and lonely, but finally I got on my feet.
I’ve made some amazing friends here, and my job is better than anything I could have found in the UK.
I’m learning that language slowly, but with very little effort.
I met a great guy, and although no relationship is perfect or easy I love him, we have a home together and I’m hopeful that we have a future as well.
I have a kitten and next week I will have two.
I am finally getting fit again and thinking about my health and my wellbeing.
This time last year I genuinely thought I’d be dead by now, but here I am and my life is in better shape than I could ever have hoped.
So, where do I think I will be this time next year?
If life so far has shown me anything, it’s that I am not very good at foretelling the future, but I’ll try. I expect to have spent the year in Berlin, with Rob, Mika and Kittycat 2. I expect to have completed a 2nd year at my current job, but probably have decided to move on somewhere different at the end of that year. I’m interested in moving to San Francisco, so possibly I will be preparing to do that. I expect to be at least 5kilos lighter and have found a hobby that I am enjoying and I expect that I will still be hard to please, prone to negativity and doom and gloom, butI hope to be fundamentally happier year on year.
Let’s wait and see…
Happy Berliniversary Me.