Two years ago this week I was finishing up my summer in Berlin. My mom and sister would be arriving shortly and my German class was ending. It feels strange to me that I’ve already been in Berlin longer than I was last time, that first summer seems to have crystallized in my memory as my summer in Berlin. I feel like I haven’t done nearly as much in the time I’ve had, which is odd since I remember feeling then like four weeks was an incredibly long amount of time, while now I can’t help but recognize how quickly four or fourteen weeks actually goes. I’m wondering if as the summer goes on, and as I’ve spent two and then three times as long in this city this time around, if I’ll appreciate this summer on it’s own instead of as a repeat of the first one.
But anyway, the week. My last summer in Berlin was full of revelations, and this summer is shaping up to have some as well, albeit in a more subdued fashion this far. Let’s get into it.
For the longest time I’ve been living my life in a way so that I will become the adult I want to be. Activities involved in this plan have ranged from starting Yoga to listening to Opera, and I’ve been pretty happy with it. But I sort of gradually realized this week that this whole idea is predicated on me not being an adult, and I don’t feel like I’m not an adult anymore. It’s true that I’m a student which in common thought simply means a period of protracted adolescence, and it’s true that I have zero financial anything outside of my parents, but that doesn’t necessarily make me not an adult. For the last year I have been managing a budget, sometimes poorly and sometimes quite well, and I’ve also been balancing friends and classes and my time and been doing a pretty good job at it with almost zero oversight. And now for the first time I’m truly living independently, and cooking for myself and balancing all the work that goes into that with everything else. And it’s going fine. And so it was when I went to the grocery store after Yoga with a specific meal plan in mind and came home with only one extra treat, that I realized I don’t have to aim to be a specific type of adult anymore, I can just be that adult.
The other thing that I noticed this week is about e-mail. Besides realizing just how few emails I get a day during the summer (like 1-3) which I had forgotten since I wasn’t checking my email at all last summer, thereby reminding me just how stupid anxiety is. (The anxiety itself, not having anxiety). I also realized that that Pavlovian dread response I had developed about email notifications was gone. I turn the wifi on my phone off at night so I’m not woken up by dumb Facebook notifications or whatever. When I turn it back on in the morning there’s usually an email, some Facebook pings, whatever. On Friday I was checking Instagram when the morning email came in and made that noise. I thought it’s probably one Pinterest notification and I rolled my eyes. I didn’t feel any dread or panic or fear about that email. And it was just some Pinterest garbage. But it felt like a little victory.
In terms of actual quantifiable events that happened? Not too many of those, just one really, a date. I debated writing about it honestly since my mother reads this blog and everything, but if I learned anything this past year it’s that telling the truth is almost always better and that the adult that I am being is honest. So.
On Tuesday (?) I was walking to Friedrichstraße Bahnhof when this guy said excuse me and got my attention. For a second I thought he was begging for change but he actually said something more along the lines of ‘excuse me but I couldn’t not say hello to you’ and so we talked for a minute (all this in German mind you), but we were going in separate directions so we exchanged contact information. And so we had a date on Friday. And it was nice (and mostly in English) he’s German, and doing his Masters in biophysics, and he studies Ebola, and I like him. And we’ll definitely be seeing each other again.
And that was my week, next week I have to leave Germany briefly for visa reasons, and I think my next skype conversation with my mother is going to be really fun*. And I really am going to write more this week I swear, so until then, have an excellent week!