It really seems that so much of my move to Berlin has been bittersweet – don’t you just love it when life throws oxymorons your way?!
I was on a complete high when I landed a week ago, but as I’ve started to come down from my high, reality has set in and it’s sometimes made me wobbly. I think…stupidly…in my mind I thought I’d arrive here and everything would be awesome. But you’d think that at the age of 28, I’d kind of know that life doesn’t always work that way – especially when you have a few OCD tendencies sprinkled with anxiety.
The reality is that I’m really missing my parents and my friends. Another oxymoron I had to deal with back in South Africa is that I prayed and prayed and prayed for friends for so long, and only within the last few months of me living there, did I get them – go figure.
I think everyone would tell me that it will take a while to adjust to a new country (and on top of that I still have to get through a wedding and all its stress and logistics), but part of me is a little disappointed…in myself. I kind of think I’m supposed to somehow be ‘stronger’ and ‘better’ at all of this.
What I’m hoping will happen though is that in a few weeks’ time (or months?), I’ll be a little more of well-adjusted Carmen and a little less of freaking-out Carmen.
So, I made it!! I made it to Berlin!
Last Monday I received ‘The Call’ from the German Consulate to say that my Reunification Visa had been approved and I was free to move to Berlin 🙂 This was the best news I’d received in a while and my heart skipped a few beats. I was so happy that I had to ask the official on the other end of the telephone line what day it was! 😀 I decided not to tell Mani, because I wanted to just arrive in Berlin and surprise him.
But I must admit, between getting the news and getting to Berlin, some days were tough. Over the last few months I’d met some amaaaaazing people and started to form such wonderful friendships – and now I found myself having to say good-bye. As if saying toodledoo to friends wasn’t bad enough, I had to say good-bye to my family as well. And I just couldn’t help but thinking I’m just a simple South African girl – what do I know about moving to Europe and living it up in Berlin of all places…nevermind stepping into the role of being a wife!? Admittedly, there were a few times when I thought, ‘Can you do this’ – but that’s where God is so clever (actually…He’salways clever!)…He placed people in my life – friends and family alike – who supported me and spurred me on – people who gave me the necessary nudges in the right direction whenever I seemed to veer off my path 🙂
So after flying from Cape Town to Turkey, Turkey to Berlin, and not sleeping for about 40 hours…I’m finally placed my feet firmly on German soil. I surprised Mani at work (which in itself should be left for another post) and then made my way home. And as I walked to the U-Bahn, I passed some old buildings I remembered, and my heart seemed to feel a little lighter. Then, as I entered the U-Bahn and smelt its familiar smell, I couldn’t help but smile to myself and think, ‘You’re home’ 🙂 This is very reassuring for someone who’s left all she’s ever known 9,622.83 km’s behind…
And what better way to spend my first full day in Berlin than by doing some shopping for my apartment at IKEA! We don’t get IKEA in South Africa, so when I stepped into the store, I was so excited that I must have looked like a complete fool – wide eyes and mouth hanging open 😀 In fact, I was so excited that I accidentally dropped my jacket and didn’t notice until the announcement came over the loudspeaker. And well done to me for understanding the announcement was about MY jacket, because it was in German obviously 🙂
So that’s that…I’m in Germany, and now the next few chapters begin. Scary but exciting times!