LanguagesPerspectivesTravel

Finding Home

posted by Charlemagne June 13, 2016 0 comments
wanderlust

Heimweh or Fernweh?

Wanderlust and why I just can’t seem to find where home is

 [Photo courtesy of EBM Photography: thanks Emma!]

This week my neighbour has been calling round more often for help. She has onset of Alzheimer’s. I do my best to help where I can and love helping others but over this last year she is becoming more and more dependent on me to be home and this has triggered that angst of commitment that lurks deep down and hidden and consequently has stirred a few panicky feelings. I don’t tend to stick around in one place for too long. I’ve moved nine times in the last twelve years and I can see numerous more moves on the cards in front of me. Call me a nomad. Call me a commitment phobe. Call me what you will. But simply, I’m afraid of getting tied down to the wrong place, even the wrong person.

I don’t know where the right place is yet but I know this isn’t it and I need to keep moving. And this fear stops me from building relationships with people, getting in too deep and building a life in that place. Catch 22 right? How do I expect to find home if I don’t commit to making it one? I hear ya.

This fear of settling in the wrong place affects all areas of my life even my job and career as I panic and don’t want to commit to long term contracts. I want to do that eventually, one day. I want to be part of a community, get involved in the local events, have kids and experience what I imagine is a sense of belonging somewhere. To slow down, feel rooted and say this is it. A place I can call home. But trying to find that place is the hardest part and until then, I wriggle away from commitment and getting too involved in people’s lives because I know at some point I will be packing up my suitcase, moving on and breaking their hearts in the search of finding my place in the world. To those of you I’ve already said goodbye to, I’m sorry.

Heimweh: The German word for homesickness. Missing home. Nostalgia.

Fernweh: The German word for Wanderlust which is another German word for travel bug. That desire or craving to travel.

If we look closely at these words we’ll see that they are compound nouns. In that typical German fashion they are practical and literal. The word Heim literally means ‘home’ and weh is ‘pain, woe, grief or hurt’. The word Fernweh means ‘faraway’ and ‘pain’. In either case, whether missing home or longing to travel, there’s pain involved. Maybe Germans like pain; it’s a running theme in classic German literature or they are just being very literal. Direct, tell it as it is, right?

I can certainly relate to the pain in both cases.

Many people love to go on holiday and see new places, experience cultures and travel around. I do too. But I think most appreciate home when they return. They are relieved and happy to get back to ‘normality’.

Contentment within their own four walls. In their own home countries.

But what if you don’t know where home is? What if, when you walk through the front door, you just feel like you’re in a transient place? A dwelling but it’s not home. I’ve never felt that, “ahh it’s good to be home, put the kettle on love” feeling. What is ‘home’? Is it a place? A person? Being content with your life and who you are? All I know is that I have Heimweh when I think of my family and friends in the UK but Fernweh is what pushes me on and won’t let me settle just yet. I have both simultaenously. I’m neither here nor there but somewhere stuck in between. And I’m still searching for that sense of belonging somewhere. Does the “belonging somewhere” relate to the Heimweh or Fernweh?

 

Fernweh: Desire to travel or in my case, perhaps run away?

 

My secondary school was a bit like Harry Potter. It wasn’t a boarding school but we had different houses with complimentary uniforms. I was in Bignor House. The yellow one. Within each house you had different year groups and within those year groups you had different tutor groups. And up until you could choose your GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) subjects you were pretty much stuck with your tutor group class for 3-5 years attending every class together. Generally my House, Bignor, was known by the other houses as “Bignor Boffins or Bignor Bastards” whichever your preference. Crap at sports but not too shabby at the academic stuff. We also had sub-groups within the tutor groups and I was shoved into the ‘boffin’ group there. I’m not really clever; I got a mixed bag of grades but I love learning and wanted to be at the top of my class. I was motivated and strived to be the best I could be so didn’t mind the ‘boffin’ label in my tutor group nor the House stereotype. I wasn’t the smoking behind the bike sheds and making out with boys type. We all wore some kind of label: from boffin, geek, tart, chav, player, waste of space, troublemaker, you name it. We had our labels, fit into these groups and we pretty much donned those robes playing those characters until we left school. I had friends but I never really connected to my peers. My teachers, as amazing as they were, used to tell me that I was smart and had potential to be someone but if I didn’t get to Uni then I would most likely end up pregnant, living on benefits and never leave Littlehampton. Take a look around you, they said. This could be your future or you could be someone. (Thanks for homing in on my fear and exploiting that! Also explains why I never had a boyfriend until I was 17!)

I’m a snobby Rustington girl not a common Littlehamptonite. 😉 (Said with love really 😉 )I hated my surroundings. I hated the people. I hated the vulgar, crude girls in my class. I hated that they were judgmental (I also hated that I judged them!) and I hated that I was bullied. I just wasn’t happy. Where I come from, most people marry locals, have kids and live and work in the area and never leave. Then their kids do the same and the cycle continues. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone is related to someone; everyone has some kind of step or half brother / sister / third cousin once removed etc. it was kind of incestuous. So you had to be careful about talking about people. People did normal jobs and led normal lives. Routine and dull, at least to my teenage mindset. I couldn’t think of anything worse back then and it just seemed that their lives were mapped out already for them and if I wasn’t careful, that was my future too.

The blue prints were in front of me.

I’ve always been ambitious and I wanted more. I’m rebellious and hate being told what to do so I decided I was going to tear up the blueprints and go my own way.

Life at home wasn’t all rosy either. Like any family there were dramas and fights but in our family it seemed relentless. We could have given Eastenders a run for its money and I think we’d have had better ratings! I never really witnessed love at home or the love I wanted to see and this was a very influential part of my stern desire to get away. I told myself as a teenager that I never ever wanted the relationship my parents had. I think I even screamed that at my mother once. I argued with my dad a lot. I argued with my mum. I was frustrated and upset and I just couldn’t wait to leave for Uni. My teenage years were stormy. I felt I didn’t fit in. I wanted freedom to discover who I was, not what others wanted me to be. I was the black sheep of the family. I felt that I wasn’t understood nor did I feel a connection other than blood line to my family. Nothing really in common. We were just different mentally. Dysfunctional. Or I was. I didn’t really know who I was or wanted to be. I hadn’t grown into my name or found myself. Our love was mostly shown in sarcastic put downs, jibes and insults. We rarely hugged and when we did it was awkward. Touching was more in the form of punching or slapping each other and communication? Crying or screaming at each other spitting out hurtful insults and words of pure vile hatred, bitterness and jealousy. Motivation and encouragement consisted of fear and reminding you of what you wouldn’t achieve if you didn’t push forward and try to be better. That list of regrets and things you wouldn’t have in life rather than the potential of what you could do, achieve or become was what pushed you.

Of course, we did have wonderful moments too. Those times of respite were heavenly and gave me hope that things would change and be better.

While I do enjoy some banter and love a bit of sarcasm, constant criticism and laughter at another’s expense really takes its toll on you and after a lot of extreme ups and downs over a long period of time, you just want to get off the rollercoaster. I felt I couldn’t be myself, always had to guard the true Charlie inside for fear I would be rejected and not loved, be ready for being made fun of, always ready to defend myself with sarcasm and insults to throw back. I hated the person I was around them. I was different and seemed to change when around them. I also was scared of failing and being ridiculed. I’m the oldest so everyone was looking at me as the role model to get it right or I’d be the next target to laugh at if I didn’t. And you’d be reminded of your failures for years and years to come.

Vulnerability. I hate it.

And maybe they didn’t think this. Maybe it was all in my head. But we never communicated. No one talked about feelings. We never had proper conversations about anything. Mum would tell us she loved us but we rarely told each other “I love you” and I think my Dad struggled to get it out just a handful of times. Mum and dad never really communicated so how were we supposed to learn the art of communication let alone how to make relationships work? (I later learned this from many psychology and relationship books and just talking with people. Learn by doing. Practice makes it easier.)

I longed so intensely, perhaps desperately, to go far away to somewhere where there was less drama, where people were more positive and loving and life was quieter and calmer. I longed to compare other cultures and find out about the people in other countries. I wanted to see amazing things and experience life and push my boundaries. I wanted to find a place where school friends didn’t bitch behind your backs and where people just got along and had a conversation that didn’t involve local trashy gossip. Where people could just be honest, say what they felt and thought without fear of judgment or rejection. Where couples loved each other and demonstrated that love in front of their children teaching them about respecting each other. In my teenage mind, this wasn’t in Britain and I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t like the people. I started to resent everything British. Absurd as it may seem, this was my logical teenage mind.

I hated watching the news seeing the same football hooligans starting fights. It’s just a stupid game for Pete’s sake! I hated the stupid TV shows. How, in my mind, people wasted their time watching these shows not achieving anything and how they got so passionate about something completely fictional! Rather than admire their passion I looked at them with disgust. How were they comfortable with just going down the local pub for a few drinks after work every day (!) and chatting about life in Britain generally? What about saving the world from global warming or finding a cure for cancer?

Oh wait, I’m the workaholic here.

I hated the British weather. I hated British food. Didn’t like Northern England and all the ugly industrial cities. (I’m a southern gal so for me anything north of London is Northern England. 😛 ) Didn’t like the rubbish layers of a hundred sheets, quilts and blankets on the bed. (I was so relieved to finally get a duvet! So European!) I hated tea with milk. I hated British men; they made lousy boyfriends. I hated all the British people abusing the social welfare system and drinking their dole money down the pub every night while others worked hard and paid their taxes. I hated even little things like the fact UK houses have 2 taps (faucets) and you either freeze your hands off or scold them to wash them. I hated British plumbing in all the old houses … ugh leaky taps. I hated the floral wallpapers and all the old carpets and I hated how small and gloomy houses were with tiny pokey windows accompanied by creeky staircases. You couldn’t swing a cat in them. I hated all the porcelain ornaments that lined every surface in every room collecting dust. Ugh clutter everywhere! I love light, airy spaces! I hated townhouses and terraced houses. I hated the British accents where they dropped their T’s and H’s, hated (and still do hate!) the Geordie accents, and yet I hated the snobby posh accents too. I hated the stiff upper lip mentality. The ‘don’t talk about your feelings’ attitude. That cold, reserved exterior. That conservative, prudish nature.   I hated how bloody pessimistic the Brits are and how they always slam the Americans for being dumb, touchy feely with emotions and somewhat cult like with their love of flag and country. (I actually fucking love that! They feel proud and know where home is!) I hated how Brits would complain and moan but when push came to shove they back away and are too scared or irritatingly and falsely polite to say what they think or feel.

It was any excuse I could think of just to fuel and add weight to my arguments to get away and convince myself being in England wasn’t for me. I loved my childhood but that was long gone and my teenage years were hell and things had changed.

I really didn’t feel patriotic. I wasn’t proud to be British. I didn’t even know what that meant. I felt I didn’t really have an identity or something I could believe in. I couldn’t connect to the people or the country.

That’s what I want; a connection and feeling I belong somewhere.

I always felt that there was this enormous world out there to explore and staying in the town I grew up in wasn’t a big enough life for me. I wanted more. I wanted adventure. And I sure as hell didn’t want to be a teen mum on benefits. This fear is what drove me. If ever I felt I was struggling and wanted to give up, I’d just need to look back to my “Bignor Boffin” school days and there was my next burst of motivation to keep going. Is that Wanderlust or just running away?

And while a part of me appreciates all that Britishness and I do have a fondness for British culture, I am quite happy living abroad, just popping in from time to time for a little top up and to see friends and family but I still haven’t found home yet. So far, all I know is it isn’t in the UK. I’ve tried the UK for 26 years but honestly, the memories and upheavals have left a sour taste. I’ve been living in Germany since 2011, however, I don’t think my home is here either. At least not in Chemnitz.

I was talking to my sister the other day and she mentioned she seems to run away from problems instead of dealing with them head on. It got me thinking. I might be like that too in part. Well, we are related. There are many situations where I have just left. I hate confrontations. But I’m not one for giving up or leaving business unfinished. If it’s not working after the millionth time, then I’ll begrudgingly accept defeat and quit. And I’ll feel shitty, like I failed and I’ll be as grumpy as a bear with a sore head about it but I can swallow my pride and I will admit I’m wrong when I need to.

My close friends and family always tell me to come home when things get tough. At school. At uni. Moving to Germany. My marriage. I’ve heard it a lot and it happens in nearly every conversation with my mum. To give up, admit defeat and come home. To them it’s the easier solution. Just come home. Give up. It’s obviously not working for me in Germany so I should just come home. (They judge success by the material things you have or by career success or by relationship steps (first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage) not by what you have achieved or overcome to get where you are.) But then what? What happens if I come home? They don’t ask me what I actually want in life or what my goals are.

Come home. They miss me.

I miss them too but I like my own space and I’ll admit, I like being away from all the drama. I don’t feel I fit in in the UK so why would I go back there? I don’t like to fail. I don’t like to give up. I’m a stubborn moo with a need to prove to myself and everyone I can do things alone. But I need a plan. I don’t help my own case by moaning to them when things get tough so what do I expect? They don’t know the situation and are worried about me. And when I am not sure what to do, well it gives them the impression I haven’t got a clue where I’m going and what I want and they just think I need to come home and figure myself out. They’re partly right. But coming ‘home’ isn’t the right answer. Figuring myself out and being a responsible adult, is.

And it’s also taught me that it’s important to tell people about the good things that are happening in your life so they don’t always just hear the negative and worry. Also, don’t tell them everything nor all the little worries and insecurities. And if you want support, well you need to ask them for that because they are not mind readers and think saying “come home” is what you want to hear.

What I want to hear goes something like this:

“I’ll support you and am here for you if you need me. You can do it. You can do anything you put your mind to. Stop whining, put on your grown up pants, suck it up and just get on and do it. Okay.”

To friends and family – the next time I moan, please tell me this OK, thanks! 😉

I’m at a crossroads in my life right now.

I’m searching for something. Searching for a place I feel is ‘home’. Some may think I’m running away from things, others may think I am running towards something that doesn’t exist. Some may think I’m just indecisive, afraid of commitment and not very confident. You might think I’m afraid of failure and just don’t want to accept going back to the UK. My brother thinks I’m having an early midlife crisis at 31.

Regardless of what you think, it’s just me on my journey, figuring out life and discovering what I want. I’m currently in transition. I’m moving, trying things and seeing where I end up. I’m also transforming. I’m changing. Hell, everything is up in the fucking air. Total chaos and unstable. But it’s also an exciting time right now. I’m learning who I am and the girl hidden deep within is starting to trust herself, like herself and come out of the shadows.

Life is a journey, not a destination, right? I hate ‘What if’s’ and want to explore and try everything knowing that when I do finally settle, I know I exhausted all my options and found the place meant for me. Is that crazy? Is that the heart of a nomad or am I just avoiding making a decision and committing?

And yes. Heimweh and Fernweh are painful.

As is transformation. It’s uprooting all the crap buried deep down, confronting inner demons that you created yourself and challenging yourself to be courageous, reveal the lies you’ve been telling yourself and pushing your boundaries beyond all things imaginable. It’s taking huge leaps of faith risking everything without knowing what’s on the other side.

And I hate that I inflict pain on others too in all my moving, exploring and self discovery.

Heimweh: Homesickness and the guilt of leaving

 

I miss home sometimes. But after three days of being home I miss being abroad. I get frustrated. Am I just spoiled? Probably. First world luxury problems.

I never went traveling like others in their gap years did. Especially not to fun, exotic countries. I kind of regret that and wish I’d seen more countries so I could compare more. I just moved abroad committing to one country. Maybe I am not necessarily a commitment phobe after all but maybe I don’t always make the best decisions either. However, at that time, Germany was the next stepping stone and I couldn’t see further into my future than that. I needed to take that step. Germany wasn’t a place I saw myself living in long term. I was lost and searching for something and I hoped Germany would give me answers. Well, it has, so God answered that prayer. It just took me 10 years to hear Him.

Did I mention I am stubborn? 😛

And that I talk too much?

It was a real bumpy ride coming here. I’d left one kind of hell to jump into another but really it wasn’t the countries. The hell was my own mind. It was my psychology. It followed me around and it took me a long time to realize that. It was difficult, complicated, financially crippling but what did I expect? An easy ride? Kind of. Like running away and starting afresh in another country would be easy and life would just miraculously fall into place and offer you good things. Wake up. The image you have in your head will not materialize without hard graft.

Naïve, young, foolish.

Germany took a lot of getting used to. Despite having studied German since I was 13 years old and that I visited Germany every year since 1998, I still wasn’t prepared for living here. You really don’t know someone until you live with them: the same goes for countries, my friends.

Germans are pedantic; nay flipping anal about every ‘Stempel’ and ‘Unterschrift’ on every document and their seemingly cold exteriors with weird humour are a little off putting at times but underneath they aren’t so bad. You get used to them after a while 😉 and I’ve made some good friends. Small things annoyed me in the beginning; the shops don’t open Sundays or bank holidays, they have sparkling water mostly not still and everything is pork, Wurst and sauerkraut and the only flavoured crisps you can get are salted or paprika. They love cash more than cards and yes, you’ll get tuts and eye-rolling when you use your debit card for paying for anything less than 10 EUR. They are opinionated and HATE being wrong, their customer service sucks majorly and they lack tact but they are astute and intelligent and technology really is their thing! Anyways, a post about Germans is for another time but in short, it was tough and often frustrating accepting German ways. It challenged me to critically ask myself, “what do I actually want? What do I expect from Germany? Why am I here if I don’t want to accept their culture?” Those are good questions for any migrant in a foreign country.

As I said in my previous post about moving abroad, relationships are going to be affected, not only with the people you leave behind but also the relationship you have with yourself. However the guilt of leaving everyone behind to selfishly live your life can torment you. The pain and guilt of missing out on birthdays, weddings, important life events, births, deaths, being there for friends, duty and responsibilities to family etc. is real and you carry it with you every day. You lose touch with friends, you move on, they move on and correspondence becomes less frequent. You start to feel more alone and on tough days you just think, hell, maybe I should just go back and give up.

What I found out though is that I don’t really miss the UK, the life there, the infrastructure, how things work and run. I mostly miss the people; namely my friends and family but over the years I have observed that my mentality and perspectives contrast theirs. I feel like I don’t really connect to my friends anymore or have the same opinions. I don’t want to be judgmental about my family but I feel my views are more open minded, more liberal and more, dare I say, European or American than British. My brother said to me once that he failed to understand why I don’t feel like the UK is home. He said I was born there, grew up there, I have a British passport and my family are there. He is right but I just don’t connect somehow to the identity. I just feel different.

I feel Heimweh but it’s not for the UK. It’s for connecting to a community or an identity, a sense of belonging. Sharing common values, ethos and ethics, the same mentality. I believe in freedom, truth, justice, development, knowledge, love and living life positively and helping others. I want to find people that believe in those things too. I’m starving for that connection to people that think the way I do. To have those things in common and for people to actually get me. To understand and be on the same wavelength for once where I don’t have to explain and defend myself all the time or feel like I’m from another time period or planet. I want to be a part of something good and make positive changes in the world. Make a difference. I want to believe in something and fight for that and feel connected. I want to be in a community where we share those values and strive together to make things great for others, where people give and take, share and love one another. Where people aren’t afraid to stand up and fight for what they believe in. Where people can take different opinions and accept different cultures and where things can be worked out with communication and common goals. Where people can say what they think without worrying about stupid political correctness and bullshit laws. Where people can take sarcasm and jokes without being offended. Where people hold themselves accountable to their actions and accept the consequences of their decisions. Where justice and good replaces evil and corruption. Where people have integrity, are honest and respect others. I want to see peace, love and kindness more. I want to hug and be hugged and not worry it is some kind of inappropriate behavior or sexual harassment. I want to be able to unplug more from technology and actually have a long in-depth conversation face to face with someone. People have become zombies, glued to their phones and it’s just damn right rude not to make eye contact and listen to the person talking to you. The younger generation tend to give one word answers or grunts and no one seems to just talk anymore. No time. Gotta work or check out the latest social media memes. Does that place I’m looking for exist? Is there a community other than the nunnery like that? (FYI I would break every rule being a nun so that’s just not an option! I’d be spending the rest of my life saying hail Marys and repenting! haha).

I’ve seen and experienced glimpses of those things, that mentality, those common values in some of my American military friends, especially US Marines and fellow Soldiers’ Angels. I haven’t really had much to do with America or the American military until I came to Germany and got involved with Soldiers’ Angels and quite frankly, it’s pretty damn cool, refreshing and gives me hope. Maybe there is a group of people who think and feel and stand for the same values as I do. Maybe that community, that ‘family’ with those ethics and morals I seek is why I applied three times to be a linguist for the British Navy at 22 years old (was turned down every time due to medical reasons. Blind in one eye from birth.)? Well anyways, that is my Heimweh. That connection is what I miss and that is my kind of ‘home’. Can you really call it Heimweh when you’ve never experienced that in life? Can you really miss something you’ve never had before?

I’m in limbo and I’ve been abroad too long. Friendships aren’t the same anymore back home. I’m not one for going backwards in life. I go forwards. I move on and up and figure out the next stepping stone. Maybe there is too much choice? Maybe traveling and moving abroad these days has become too easy which actually is a bad thing? Maybe we are overwhelmed and keep seeing what other people are doing, what other things are out there and maybe we compare too much and get too many overdressed ideas in our heads. We like to compete too much. Always wanting better or bigger things than our neighbours or wanting an ‘easier’ life. Maybe it lures us to thinking, “the grass is greener on the other side” and in fact makes us more unsure and insecure of where we’re supposed to be royally setting us up for disappointment. Because really, every country has its pros and cons, problems and flaws, issues and crappy politics as well as all the good stuff, lifestyle, fashion, social life etc. It’s the same in every country and people really do have the same general complaints about the same kind of things as people back home do. People really are the same deep down under all the stereotypes and nationalities. We’re all similar beings with similar interests, goals and lives. We all want to just have a good life, have our health, have lots of sex and babies and be happy. Once you start to discover the world you’ll realize you’re spoiled for choice, a lot of places are the same and maybe just growing up in a small community, marrying a local and raising kids there and doing a mundane job actually is better? As I get older, as I try to find my place in the world, I start to think of Littlehampton and all the things I hated. And while I don’t want to live there, those things I once hated with such furious passion; a stable job, local community, friends, financial security and being tied to a house, actually are things I am looking for.

Perhaps ‘home’ isn’t a place nor a person but a connection. That sense of I belong here. I am wanted. I am loved. I am needed. Content with your life and with who you are as a person.

Maybe ignorance is bliss. Maybe reading too much or wanting to learn and know everything isn’t good and maybe, maybe I really shouldn’t think about all this so damn much.

 

The commitment phobe: why I’m afraid to settle

 

I guess I’m not a complete commitment phobe. I mean I’ve lived in Germany for the last 5 years and been married for 4 years to the guy I’ve been with for 9 years having had a 3 year long distance relationship with him. But deep down I know I never fully committed. Like Britain in the EU, I had one foot in, one foot out. Ready to jump ship if I got in too deep. I never really gave 100% if I am honest. I always held back, never gave my heart fully and I was never really sure about anything. I guess I was afraid of failing, of making a mistake and wasting time. But to be honest, isn’t that really what I have done? Why should I be surprised that things didn’t really work out for me in the beginning and why I am not happy here now? I never committed wholeheartedly so what did I expect? I wasn’t sure of what I wanted in life, didn’t know where I was heading and I was a girl with a lot of issues to sort out and confront. (It’s OK, you can say it, I was a messed up cookie, a lost soul) By not giving 100% and committing I did waste time. I did make mistakes and while I don’t think I failed I certainly found many ways that were not working for me and had I realized that earlier maybe I’d have found ‘home’ by now? But maybe I needed to go through all this to learn. A lot of people are not happy in life because they don’t know what they truly want. They moan their lives are crap but when you ask them, “what is it that you want?” and ask them how they think they could achieve it, they just retort back that they’d need to win the lottery and somehow the conversation fizzles out. How can you expect to find happiness, find the things you want in life if you don’t know what they are nor if you make active, realistic plans and steps to getting there or dare to go outside your comfort zones and risk failing?

I somehow knew Chemnitz wasn’t for me all along but I was too scared to admit that to people. It seems almost like admitting I failed for the words to cross my lips but really, I’ve just crossed off another thing on the list that isn’t working for me so I can move on to the next thing without shame. I never got into relationships too seriously, I avoided going out with friends too much in case they got attached. I hate upsetting people. I hate disappointing them. So rather than giving 100%, I gave them a little and held back so it would make it easier for me to leave and cut ties when the time came. But I’m the one feeling lonely and disconnected. I only have myself to blame. I will still feel guilty, sad and cry when I move again but they won’t see those tears. Sometimes it is easier to play the cool, distant card cashing in on my Britishness. But when my elderly neighbour calls round and hugs me for helping her, when she kisses me on the cheek and expresses that she loves me and thinks I’m a smashing girl, those little things start to chisel away at the protective barrier I created and pulls at my heart strings. I’m getting attached. It gets harder and harder the longer you stay in one place. I’ve lived in this apartment for 3 years now. It’s the longest time I’ve lived in one place since I was living at home as a teenager and quite frankly that scares me. I feel it’s time to move again. Time to pack up the little belongings I have and look for my next place and work on my future. And this goodbye will be a little bit more painful than the last.

I haven’t found home yet because until now I didn’t know what I wanted. I haven’t been going in the right direction. I have been taking detours and half heartedly trying things but I seem to have been just going around in circles without a goal. Now I am back on track, I have a sense of direction, a goal, a purpose. I am motivated, engaged and my confidence is back. I am more sure. And I’m committed and driving forwards 100% in everything I do and am seeing success for the first time. I am finding out who I am and I’ve decided to allow myself to be vulnerable, show people my true colours and follow my heart not my head this time. By following my heart and doing what I feel passionate about I know it will lead me somewhere. And maybe that somewhere will be a place I can call home and that gives me hope, is exciting and I can’t wait to see where I end up in the next few years.

 

German Vocab:

Heimweh: homesickness. Missing home. Nostalgia.

Fernweh: Wanderlust. Travel bug. The desire to travel.

Wandern: to hike, migrate, wander or roam

Lust: desire, pleasure or wish

Heim: home

Fern: distant or far away

Weh: pain, woe, grief or hurt

 

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love charlemagne

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