On not drowning

Since the last time I wrote, a lot has changed in my life, but I’m not sure that the changes have settled into me yet. They will soon though, because I’m moving to Berlin in seven days. Every time that I go to Berlin, I leave it fundamentally different in some way: simultaneously more sure of myself, and more relaxed about the things which remain unsure. “Oh that hole in the fabric of my being? Someone will be along to patch it up in good time, don’t let it distract you. I’m the kind of girl who drinks her whisky neat, thank you very much, and all in all I’ve got my shit together.”

The decision to move now was struck about three weeks ago, sitting in a London pub and wanting fervently to be Away, despite so much still tying me to Here. Since then, I’ve found a flat in a fairly okay part of town with a unicorn of a human being*, landed a couple of contracts with translation agencies which I hope will allow me to become one of those disgustingly self-satisfied people who “do what they love”, and spent my time saying goodbye to England. There’s plenty I’ll miss but I’m ready to go, and who knows, I might be back next year for a masters so I’m really not feeling all too sentimental.

As for life in Berlin, I’ve not planned much. I’ve actually put planning, usually one of my go-to pastimes, on temporary hold because it’s not going to be much use in the near future. Sure, I’m anticipating night-time bike-rides, tipsy ice-skating, Berlin bureaucracy, Christmas markets, dancing, strange people and delicious food… but I have no real plans other than earning enough money to make rent and starting to apply for masters.

It’s been a funny two months since I got back from holiday in (you guessed it) Berlin, actually quite hard ones most of the time – although that’s not to say there weren’t long moments of happiness, love and hilarity, and intermittent swells of calm. Not for the first time in my life, I decided to stick up my middle finger to that heavy drowning feeling and began resolutely paddling for shore. It was hard, as it always is, and I’m still a little way off, but there’s sand not far beneath my feet and I can hear the waves breaking on the beach.

Now I will liberate us all from this relatively strained maritime metaphor, but not before I wish you a lot of strength for swimming and calm seas all around!

*EML is one-of-a-kind and iridescent, could use her glittery horn to gore anyone who wrongs her and dances along the fine line between chaos and control with disarming poise.

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