I am typing this from my little Berlin apartment while keeping an eye on the time – at 2:30pm I shall be checking out of this place and I still need to pack (it’s currently 11am – I figure I have enough time to launch everything into my suitcase and do a quick run around with the Hoover!). Yes, a month in Berlin has come, been and gone. I don’t leave town until Saturday, but I am moving on from this cosy little abode that I’ve called my own for the last four weeks.
You may or may not have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet on the blog since I’ve been here. It’s not that I haven’t got anything to talk about – to the contrary, Berlin has been all I’ve wished for and more in terms of inspiration and fascinating things to see and do (seriously, if you haven’t been yet, you must visit). But truth be told, I got a lot more than I bargained for since I’ve been here, and it’s made me reassess a lot of things about my life and where I’m heading.
The process of ‘figuring things out’ after any life-changing event can be long and complicated, I’ve found (or maybe that’s just me?). Over the last few months, I’ve made plans, plotted exciting trips and tried to reroute my life onto a path that makes the most sense to me. I’ve gone from saying that long-term travel isn’t for me right now, to deciding I wanted to spend a month in Berlin to further mull things over. And all the while I’ve been very honest about all of these ideas and changes here on the blog.
Being in Berlin has been a total game-changer, though.
I read once that sometimes we need complete silence in order to really ‘hear’ ourselves think and I never truly understood that statement until now. Although I’ve made friends in Berlin and have also been fortunate enough to have some of my closest friends come and visit me, I’ve spent a great deal of time on my own. I’ve meditated, read books, walked for hours and practised yoga. On some days, I haven’t spoken to anyone but the Syrian guy from the shop in which I buy my water. It’s been both challenging and, at the same time, exactly what I needed.
It’s through this silence that I’ve really started to see what it is I both need and want from my life in equal measure. It’s taken time but I finally feel that I’ve figured it all out.
I’ve been guilty in the past of having knee-jerk reactions to things. I’ve quit jobs, sent messages to friends that I’ve instantly regretted, left countries – the list is endless. When certain events unfolded last year, though, I decided that nothing I’d do would be a knee-jerk reaction; I listened to myself, and what I needed was to sit with what was happening and wait for the storm to really pass before I decided what my next, more permanent step would be.
As I look back now I realise that it was a wise move.
Now, what has all of this got to do with why things are quiet on the blog? Well, I’m very open about my thought process and my plans on here, and I love being able to share my journey with you all. But for the first time since I started blogging I realised, I didn’t want to share my half-baked ideas. I want to keep them to myself and allow them to grow into something, first. All the thinking and meditating and writing that I’ve been doing here have made me take stock of my life and what my next step should be. But I didn’t want to do my usual knee-jerk reaction thing and write a post on what my thoughts were and what I was planning.
I wanted to keep something back for myself, for once. So I did.
The funny part is, I’ve never been surer that the next steps that I’m going to take are the best ones for me right now. But I won’t be sharing them until there’s something official to share – I’m learning to keep a certain percentage back for myself and myself alone. And while it feels odd, I know it’s what I need to do.
So why the complete silence? Well, I just didn’t feel like blogging and it took me a while to realise that the reason why was because I really didn’t want to share my thoughts at that time. I decided, though, that it’s completely okay to be honest about it – and that’s what I’m now doing. I guess I needed that space to be alone with my thoughts without putting anything ‘out there.’
But now, I’m back!
I will be returning home to the UK for a few weeks starting from Saturday, so expect all my Berlin-related posts to come through then. And, hopefully, in the coming weeks as things start to materialise I’ll be able to write about my next big move and where it will be taking me.
For now, though, one thing I can share with you is that Berlin is the perfect place in which to get inspired in. My time here has been both challenging and beautiful, and I can see why so many creative dreamers are drawn to the place. I can really see why it’s the perfect city in which to undergo a transformation – David Bowie did it here, after all.
For me, however, it’s had a different effect. It’s been the place in which I finally returned to myself.
And it feels good.