Nostalgia is one of my favorite pastimes. Whenever I have brain space to myself, my mind usually wanders into what I was doing a year ago, when the weather was the same. I hear a forgotten song and go back to the moment I first heard it, who played it for me, where we were. When I’m in a new place, nostalgia is my anchor, a reminder that I have infinite experiences and people to be grateful for. In springtime, I’m especially nostalgic because, like the rest of the living world, it’s the perfect time to shed all the old parts you’re made of.
Starting new is a tough concept for me – I am fiercely loyal to the people and places I love. I have always thought that any problem can be fixed by enough hard work or optimism or a shift in perspective. I can count all of the things I’ve quit on one hand, and can’t even begin making a list of things I’ve persisted through to the point of exhaustion. I like it when things work. It’s easier that way.
This time last year, I finally came to terms with my first real heartbreak – a slow burn of a failure whose charred remains are still smoking. I’m independent to a fault, but when I commit to anything, I continue to believe in its goodness until it breaks me. Even when everything good has long since dried up. This time last year, I began spiraling into someone I could no longer recognize. I was living in my hometown – a place I love with a proud vengeance, but an immeasurably tough place to be when things aren't going well. I felt like there was a magnifying glass on my failure. An emphasis on what I fucked up. By the Fourth of July I decided to commit to change.
I decided to seek out infinite possibility and it was waiting for me the second I opened my eyes to it. It took me one week to find a job abroad and two days to sign the contract. I booked a plane ticket almost immediately. I decided I was comfortable draining the savings account I’d religiously built up over the years. Best of all, I didn’t have to ask anyone for help. Miraculously, moving to Berlin was byfar the easiest decision I’ve ever made. When I stepped off the plane, I felt awake for the first time in months. I was surrounded by an abundance of space, something I hadn’t seen in the two years I’d been in Nashville. Jetlagged and dry eyed, I heard a steady mantra: “you are here, you are here, you are here.”
For now I’m thrilled to be wandering in the total unknown. My feet always hurt because I walk everywhere. My head is wrapped up in conjugations and new letters I can’t pronounce. My heart feels four years younger. I don’t have an end date or an idea of what’s next, but I do have a new perspective and for the first time in a long time, I know it can fix anything wrong.