It only took me four years to finally feel at home in Munich. Yesterday we took a break from work and went over to the “Summer Sundowner” kick-off at the Goldene Bar. The weather was perfect, people were smiling, the city was peaceful and the smell of barbecue filled the landscape. As we sat and listened to the sounds of DJ Kitt Bang over a glass of Weißweinschorle and talked about a project we are currently working on I thought: this is it. This is what I’ve always wanted for my 30’s.
When I was a kid, my parents thought I was the next best thing to sliced bread and nurtured my creative impulses to become an artist someday. I was very loved as a child and had a happy childhood. Then I became a teenager and during the prosperous Clinton-era we were taught that we were special. That we had to be original and our originality as human beings would take us places. I felt loved by my teachers and peers, for the most part. So I grew up with a false sense of the world around me because I really believed that I would be rewarded someday just for being me. Then I finished college and went out into the world, this in my twenties, and slowly found out that the world’s socio-economic structure didn’t have a place for everyone and most importantly — nobody gave a shit about me. That’s when I hit a phase of despair, felt very insecure and lost and struggled to redefine that distorted perception I had of myself and consequently my place in the larger scheme of life as a social whole. I was sure I’d get there someday and I was hoping it would be in my 30’s.
That someday was yesterday. For a split second I could actually measure the peace inside. A sense of constructing life without it always having to be filled with insecurity or an ongoing inner struggle. I finally felt a sense of place and control I had never felt before. A sense of control that oddly enough actually means letting go. Letting go of expectations, in the most profound way, and just doing the work. Not only in a professional sense, but in every aspect of life from family to friends to work to romantic relationships to yourself. Nothing comes for granted. You have to be willing to work for it.
I looked up at the blazing sun, even at 8pm because it’s Europe, that’s why I fell in love with European Summers and wanted to come back to Europe someday, and smiled. Summer comes filled with hope as does the new phase of inner peace in a seemingly crazy outer world.
As everything in life, every new achievement comes at the end of a long process of development… of maturing… of growth… of a lot of sleepless nights wondering what is the meaning of all of it or will I ever get there. Growth will always be painful, it’s part of the deal, but it’s those moments when you finally find yourself enjoying the ride and, in my case, also enjoying your new hometown you realize: it was worthwhile.
photo © juliana lima dehne 2014 / munich