So it has been one year since I step foot on German soil to make this side of the equator my home. It has been a significant year and I have learned a lot. In the last couple of days as Facebook started reminding me of my posts the first couple of days I have been very reflective.
What has changed?
How has this move impacted my life?
It feels like half of forever since I stepped onto German soil, but yet it feels like yesterday, and so much has changed.
The most overwhelming feeling I have is one of being grateful. Grateful for my family that supported me throughout this journey. Grateful that I could bum at my best friends while looking for my first flat, that while she was dealing with packing for her own move across Germany. Grateful for a company that gave this crazy South African German the opportunity to work here.
And that was only the start…
I found a charming flat, in a building over 100 years old, and my own Freddy-Kruger-Basement where my washing machine resides. My first Ikea furniture, and the experience putting a piece of furniture together!
I am grateful for the first friendships that I formed here, that still endures, for previous friends that found their way also to Cologne and the reconnection.
Sophie arrived, after months of separation, she settled in so fast and is doing so well. I am immensely proud of my little companion.
My books and earthly possessions finally got here, having travelled across the world, then halfway across Europe. Nothing was missing, nothing broke…
I started dancing… and with the waltzing, cha-cha, samba and yes even Tango – I made more friends.
I am grateful that life took its course and carried on – me with it, and I have been enjoying the ride. Even the tedious German bureaucracy became an adventure!
More recently I experienced a huge personal loss, something you know will happen somewhere along the line but can never really prepare for. For being so far away, it made it incredibly difficult. Not being able to say goodbye to a loved one… it is difficult to explain.
Through the grief and flying to South Africa for the Funeral I had one realisation; Germany has become my home, and I am happy here.
That is the most I could have asked as a start of my journey here, because that is after all what it is, only but the start. Only but the bittersweet start.