I can’t quite form a cohesive thought or description of what being back in Europe feels like. To put plainly: it feels good. I have literally been here for minutes, but instantly it feels reminiscent of one year ago. The familiarity of this airport and its smelly cigarette smokers and the blast of cool air that greets you as you leave baggage claim and enter the airport shopping center/bahn station. I feel like I am myself a year ago, but stronger. So many fears that I faced one year ago caused me to cower, and today I feel ready to embrace certain challenges. So much has changed in a year. My confidence in my social life, research, relationships, and identity have solidified (with some work still left to do). National Geographic’s September Issue discusses addiction and the disease that causes people to repeat behaviors that they know are bad for them. In a way, I feel addicted to challenge and change. I absolutely panic during change and inevitably become depressed during some challenges, yet I pursue it again and again. Germany has been a milestone and insignia of challenge in my life. Being here (well, almost here) makes me feel a sense of pride. I absolutely love this country. It destroyed me a year ago, but that adds value. Now that I am here, I don’t want to leave. I want to face myself again. I want to feel so alone that I am forced to enjoy my own company. I want to read books t convince my mind that it is someone else. I want to fail again and again so that I have to succeed.
Today my mind is in Germany, lasting an entire day without letting one word leave my lips. I am talking and talking and talking to myself, but there is no one receiving. I am walking and walking and walking with myself, and there is no one beside me. I am lonely, but I am whole. The train is my vessel to the city and to the outside world. Forty minutes on my bike to get there. Always passing the same farm, but never in the same way. One day there is wheat, the next daisies. I wonder about where daisies have bloomed back home. I wonder where home is. I wonder where I am. I wonder if I will ever need anyone ever again. I am lonely, but I am whole. Today I have said words but spoken to no one. I keep having the feeling as though I am about to leave.
Somewhere else isn't here. Someone else isn't me. The books on my shelf are crooked, missing items. They'd stand upright if they were all here.