Being out here in France, with the sun shining and the only audible sound being the flow of the nearby river and the birds singing, I have to admit, I've struggled with the thought of returning to a cold and industrial Berlin. Sometimes distance makes your heart grow fonder and sometimes, it forms a gap that seemingly knows no bounds. For me, there is a lot tied up in Berlin. Since I first flew to the city back in May, I have spent five months somewhat struggling to forge a life for myself there. Settling in, finding routine, falling in love. Only now, in all honesty, I feel as though I'm getting cold feet.
It's that age old adage of be careful what you wish for. Living out of a suitcase has been a combination of freeing and distressing, in equal measure. At some points I have embraced it and other times, I have cried in anguished longing, just for a place to call my own. However, sat thinking about it, knowing how close I am to perhaps being in a state of settlement, I can't help but feel the panic setting in. Whilst I have no doubt that I would relish having my own space and being in my own environment, there is a part of me that worries that I will rapidly begin to feel like a trapped bird, encased within a cage of my own reckless creation.
It's an odd and difficult balance to attempt to find, that of both freedom and security. I believe that for the most part, I truly have come to feel secure within myself. I have finally found that home I so desired, deep within myself. A feeling of which I have spent the past year painfully attempting to achieve, so in retrospect, perhaps I've actually managed to grow more than I thought.
I don't think this concern is a case of indecisiveness anymore, I think it's more so about the feeling of freedom. I had a conversation with the Rabbi a while ago, in regards to relationships and the importance of finding the balance between our needs and our desires, our commitment and our freedom. I've always thought of myself as a burning fire. When people tried to contain me within the confines of a 'relationship', they always ended up getting burnt. I couldn't handle the feeling of being penned in. When I did eventually commit myself to a relationship, it ended with me feeling as though I'd been entirely extinguished. After more than two years together, when it ended, I felt as though I'd been left in a pile of ashes. In some ways, this is what I worry about with settling in Berlin, or in fact, anywhere.
Traveling has fanned my flames and whilst I accept that I can't realistically live out of a suitcase forever, I equally couldn't bare to go back to the type of structured life that I had before, either. I mean, I've gone from one extreme to the other; a comforted life at 'home', that I perpetually dreamt of escaping, to a life that is completely without root or attachment. My challenge now, is to find the balance between the two, because, I really do need my freedom in order to feel happy and content, however, I also need to be able to balance that roaming heart, with the ability to commit to something, somewhere, or someone, without falling into the feeling of being trapped. So maybe I'll settle in Berlin, or maybe I'll end up somewhere else, but I will settle, in my own way. I guess for now, I'm just continuing to see where the breeze carries me.
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