I thought I felt at home in Berlin months ago. But I had no idea what I was talking about. I mean, I had a routine, my German was still awful but enough to get by in most daily interactions. I felt okay. I felt settled. I’ve been here a SIXTEEN MONTHS already for pity’s sake.
But then I got sick. Not seriously sick, just sick enough to have to really think about my life and habits. And that’s when I realised that I was really living like I was on an extended vacation. Living like I didn’t need to get back into the kinds of cooking, eating, exercising and living routines I had in the States. Living like pizza, currywurst, cakes and beer on a frequent rotation was just A-OK. Living like staying out until 5am was acceptable on more than one weekend a year.
Lunch out and dinner delivery is not a sustainable lifestyle. I had to grow up and stop hating my galley kitchen. I had to put in shelves and organize and make room to cook. And I had to COOK. So I did. I started with making huge vats of bone broth every week to fix my stomach issues. (see, “but then I got sick”) And then I started making dinners. And lunches. And my kitchen felt okay.
Having no lamps on half of the ceiling bulbs is not a design choice. It’s letting something that’s a pain in the ass beat you. I mean, I only got some cool paper lamps from the local hippie store, but I don’t have bare bulbs anymore. And now the light felt okay.
IKEA furniture sucks. Yeah it’s affordable, but it’s IKEA. I still have mostly IKEA furniture, but I also have pillows. And plants. And blankets. And artwork. And a little table I negotiated for. In GERMAN. It’s cozy now.
I lugged boxes and boxes of yarn, needles and looms to Berlin. And I hadn’t touched them. Maybe once or twice half hearted attempts to start a new project or finish an old one. But I wasn’t in the mood. Once I felt more comfortable at home, I suddenly wanted to start sitting and working on projects for hours. Because you need to get comfortable to work like that. At least I do.
My home feels like HOME and now I feel settled. But am I really? Is there more to come? I look forward to finding out.