All the bags were backed. All the goodbyes were said. All “I’ll miss you”s were laid in front of us.
All the tears were poured out. All the bear hugs were coming to an end. All the anxiety of the unknown was huddled up.
And there was so much yet to fear, and so much yet to learn, to hope, and to never forget.
Oh how I wish I could turn around the clock and experience it all over again.
All the sensational roadtrips, the never ending midnight strolls, the karaoke chanting, the always full coffee mugs, the unexpected love stories and so honest, deep and forever meaningful friendships. And maybe most importantly all the in betweens.
Life has been extraordinary. And so did my last class end on zoom while clicking the button “leave meeting” and swallowing down my tears. Three years of endless studying, group works, papers, gossip on the terrasse, commuting, reading, stress, friendships, (hopeless) love, amazing parties and pure joy ended with one simple click.
Because we’ve been waiting, hoping, thinking about this moment for so long, it deserves it’s celebration, it’s extravaganza, it’s bliss. This won’t make up for all the missed hugs, dances, handshakes, last conversations with the professors, speeches, or even goodbye kisses but it’s something the class of ’20 truly deserves; it’s graduation letter. so here is mine
Congratulations, you made it all the way to the end and finished your bachelor’s degree! These past three years we’ve seen you grow and learn so much. You were able to dive deep into classes you loved so much, such as Journalism, Ethical Business, intercultural Communications and Online Marketing. Of course there were also classes that were difficult for you, group projects that left you awake during nights and got you into fights with friends. But those made you stronger, and let you learn how to speak up for yourself and where to draw the line of “not my business”. You’ll need those skills in the future in jobs and friendships.
Your exchange semester allowed you to expand your horizon, make life lasting memories and life long friends. Sources tell us, it was even your favorite semester, where you learnt and experienced the most. We’re happy we’re able to connect you with the Canadian University. May you never forget those months.
What now you might think and worry. But you’ll figure it out. Take your time and see how far you’ve already come. We’re so proud of you and are sure whatever you chose, you’ll be great at. And just know, you’re always welcome to come back to our or any other university and continue your research and broaden your horizon even more.
Thank you for being a part of our class of 2020, where you’ll always belong.
And now he comes. Out of the blue. Kind, charming and good hearted. Musician, writer, traveler. Texting me, wanting to see me.
I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out or if we’ll ever see each other again. If he’s actually that nice in person or rather awkward. I’m excited and scared. Hopeful and nervous. Not sure if we should really do the 36 questions that lead to love. Not sure if it’s the right idea for a first date.
Foreign city, foreign human, foreign experience. All that’s left to be familiar with is my own body, voice and smile. There’re hundreds of things that could go wrong. Crazy. Nearly everything speaks against going there. But still I’m in the train and with every second passing I’m closer to him.
Oh wonder in my ears, as if they would sing along to the rhythm of my beating heart. Thinking about what could come out of this. The possibilities are endless. Yet I’m trying to keep my expectations low. I’ve learnt that, it’s better that way.
And then I’m there and it feels like time has come to a halt. Like everything goes in slow motion. And it’s just us and the blue blue skies.
As said in my last entry “there’s still a life to live and a story to write”, I dedicate this post to things I’m pre-happy about. Things I’ll be able to do once quarantine & self-isolation is over.
dancing bare feet in warm sand, slightly tipsy and utterly happy
crying from laughing way too hard with my three best friends during brunch waking up in a new city, Taipei, St.Petersburg, Venice, whatever it may be eating cinnamon buns covered in icing sugar while drinking timms coffee diving during sunset dancing until the sky gets violet and our voices husky playing board games in a hostel with new found friends cycling along the river and singing on the top of my lungs moving in to my first own flat & decorating the whole place beautifully walking around a bookstore for hours with a steaming chai latte in my hand looking someone deeply in the eyes and tell them how much I love them getting lost in a city, walking whichever street looks interesting open air movies by the lake spending a summer night outside, listening to the sounds of crickets camping in the mountains & singing around a bonfire farmers market in zurich on saturday mornings elderflower sparkling wine on a friday night all dressed up at bricks paella party aka my favorite party all year writing stories in cafés all over the world- and maybe even publishing something hugging my grandma going to a (open air!!) concert and singing & dancing along to my favorite artists all night hiking around the alps along side of my best friend (with cheese & crisps as a picnic) falling head over heels for someone, experiencing the kind of love people are endlessly looking for traveling around vietnam on the back of a motorcycle & eating delicious phô
Life is worth living. And it’s worth waiting for. Being pre-happy for. You’ll see.
I’m balancing between extremes,
there’re hours sometimes even days when I feel so privileged to be healthy and have access to food, education, books, movies and phone & video calls with friends.
But then I feel so angry and frustrated, so trapped and so alone. So scared and so lost.
But the sun is still shining, there’re still endless breathtaking books to read, delicious food to eat, lovers to love, deep and meaningful conversations to have, knowledge to absorb. There’s still a life to live and a story to write. Which makes it all worth it, somehow.
Don’t get me wrong I am happy to be around my family and friends, to sleep in my own bed and eat my favorite meals. But I realized that that’s not enough anymore for me.
Not after I tasted the air of freedom. Not after I got a glimpse of how life could be. Not after I got a sip of adventure. Not after I got a glance at love.
So, here I am. Going through everyday. Taking notes in classes. Working for my startup. Talking to people. Sitting in the train. Texting strangers. Knowing that there’s a void I can’t seem to fill. A missing piece in my life that’s been taken away from me.
It feels like a heartbreak. As if I stepped back in time before I went on this trip. I can’t believe that I was happy with that. But I guess it’s easier to live without knowing what it could be like, than to know.
So what now? That’s always the big question. I’ll try to find joy in the small things, such as a great playlist, an insightful book, a deep & meaningful conversation, a yummy meal, a sunny day, a delicious coffee, a lovely message, a great weekend trip, a good laugh with a friend. And besides all of that I will plan my next adventure.
Funnily I nearly forgot this years and my second anniversary of my blog. And I see a pattern here, this happened a few times in my life already. The first year is very special and I know dates so clear and remember them months in advance. But as time continues and life happens I forget them. Which is totally normal and no problem. But I just think it’s interesting how some things can be so important to you for a while and suddenly you forget about them and it just becomes a distant memory.
This reminds me of a book I recently read. Unfortunately I forgot the title, but it talked about the saying “this too shall pass” and how everything, the good and the bad is finite. And how that is beautiful and sad at the same time. But it for sure makes you value things more and maybe helps you through dark times, because you know too that they will be over one day.
I’m sorry this post is all over the place. But as always my writing is a mirror of my thoughts. I just got back from a six months long trip around north- and central america and jetlag and confusion are still a big part of my daily routines. Nevertheless I really wanted to recap this past year on my blog and celebrate this tiny anniversary.
So what did happened in the past year? I once again for sure let writing help me through some tough times and captured so how saying goodbye can be difficult and how I’m scared how fast time is passing by. Once again I also wrote about dating or not dating and how that makes me feel like. My favorite post was the phone call and feels like coming home for different reasons. First of all (like with most things) I’m happy I captured my experiences and how I felt during those times. Even when experiences are difficult or maybe sad it’s important to not change them. It’s important to not be bitter about them and really capture the true feelings I had in those moments, even when they aren’t there anymore while writing it. Secondly, I’m happy how both of those posts turned out- I love rereading them even though both memories make me a bit sad as well.
Additionally, I was also brave enough to tell more people about my blog and even for a short period put it on my instagram. maybe I’ll do that again some day. For now I’ll try to acclimatise to my own country and hometown. maybe I’ll even write about that. As I said in my last post all I really want for my next year is to be happy and have good people around me and of course as always capture my life through written words.
I’m sitting in a vibrant hostel on my last day of traveling after six months on being on the road. And I can truly and truthfully say that I’ve had enough for a while. I am fully looking forward to being back at home. At least for a few months…
Until my next adventure I’ll try to enjoy my new memories & learn from these past six months. Once again I learned what and what doesn’t fit in a backpack, even so that I wrote down some tips about packing and traveling in general for my future self and other fellow travelers:
Don’t bring too big bottles of shampoo and other necessities with you. You can restock EVERYTHING, believe me.
Always take the nicer looking hostel, it’s worth the extra 5 dollars.
Talk as much as you can to the nice people and don’t be afraid to re-approach them at breakfast or in the common area – once nice- (mostly) always nice.
Bring all the medicine with you – your 40 degrees fever self in a way to hot hostel room will take everything.
No one wants to wear jeans while traveling- just leave them at home.
Stay hydrated and put on sun blocker every day- never underestimate the power of the sun (that’s true for most of asia, australia & latin america and any other place in the summer).
Always carry at least some cash with you (at best in the currency of the country, otherwise dollars will do).
Document your trip in a diary- it takes 10 minutes of your day / or of some of your days, but you’ll be infinitely thankful for those stories.
Protect your heart (aka you might get your heart broken).
Don’t cling to things you’ll have to carry around months with you- throw away as much as possible during your trip.
There’re endless more tips, maybe I’ll write them down in a part II or maybe there’re for you to figure out yourself.
Wherever you are in the world, Even if your at home. I hope you’re happy and you’re learning new and important things. I hope you have people around you that are kind and interesting. And I hope you don’t wish to be somewhere else, at least not constantly. Stay curious.
Dancing through icy & blurry nights,
hiking around snowy forests telling each other stories from our childhoods,
overlooking streets while drinking steaming coffee & studying on the 5th floor,
walking through big cities with frozen fingers and oversized clothes.
Thrift Shopping, strolling around farmers markets & shopping centers.
Always with hungry eyes, hearts and stomachs.
Taking ridiculous pictures that got lost in each others phones and we’ll stumble upon in a few months.
You’re my honeybees,
we’re connected by heart, memory and sisterhood,
now we’re flying out to new honeycombs,
but this few months will stay with us forever.
It’s our honey, the result of our time together,
so incredibly sweet, rare and precious.
As most days I sit in the library and gaze at the seconds going by on my watch. 10 days, 17 hours, 6 minutes and 6 seconds left. 5, 4, 3, 2,1…
I’m scared of leaving everything behind. All these new friendships, hobbies, traditions, habits, memberships. Saying goodbye to my favorite study place, shopping place. To the new person I’ve become here. What if I leave her behind?
What if there’s not enough time to go to all the events. Try all the food and talk about our deepest secrets? What if we never get to hold each other and say what we really mean. What if time runs out to actually contribute something. Actually do something that has meaning and will change something somehow?
Why is everything going by so fast, every conversation, project, walk, trip. Every sunny day, snowy walk, rainy storm. Will time ever slow down? Let us enjoy what we have?
How can one cope with the feeling of time running out? Feeling like time runs through their fingers. With no possibility to stop that.
Marina Keegan said it beautifully in “The Opposite of Loneliness”:
“This scares me. More than finding the right job or city or spouse – I’m scared of losing this web we’re in. This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness. This feeling I feel right now.”