When I was considering the decision to come to Berlin, two thoughts stayed in the forefront of my mind, so much so that it felt like they were rooted in the very center of my forehead, blocking my view. I knew that the only way to get things right again was to smack these thoughts out so I could walk straight and see clearly. First of these was an intense need to reestablish myself as myself. The second was that I needed to find an excuse to write. The moment the Berlin opportunity blurred into focus, I knew it was exactly what I needed to smack me back to life.
I spent the night before my twenty-fourth birthday seeing a band I like a lot but honestly may not remember ten years from now. That concert was my first here in Berlin – six weeks after I landed. The moment I saw that they were making a stop here, I bought a ticket and planned on going solo, partly because six weeks is a long, long, long time for a Nashville girl to go without seeing a show and partly because I thought it would be nice to spend time around people who knew all the lyrics to an album I knew all the lyrics to too. I don’t know if it was the music or the people I met or the fact that I get majorly sentimental every time I officially get a little older, but I walked out into the cold air later that night feeling totally righted. So much clearer. Centered. Even after the beer.
Every year on our birthdays, my mom makes a show out of my and my brother's “last night as an XX-year-old” or our “first meal as a XX-year-old” which always strikes me first as cheesy, and immediately after as sweet and thoughtful and so profoundly motherly it usually (surprise!) makes me cry. So, mama, if you’re listening, my first official act as a 24-year-old was writing this on the notes app on my phone on the train ride home that night. I think this is what they call progress.