Wednesday, April 27, 2016
I checked in for my flight today. I am leaving Glasgow. For Germany.
Taken out of its real context this would be when at the "Goodbye Deutschland" TV show the sad trombone sets in and then a dramatic melody starts playing in the background to indicate drama and failure.
Well - not so much. The music that is soundtracking my departure from Scotland sounds way more like this:
For all German readers: Click here for Warner Music Germany to watch the video.
And no, I'm not homesick or in any other type of trouble. I'm just leaving Glasgow for three days to travel with the one and only Biffy Clyro to ... Münster. It's so immensely considerate of them to play this one-off-out-of-the-blue gig in Germany in exactly the city where my family lives (and I used to live many years) and to choose the weekend when my niece has her 3rd birthday, too. Thanks guys, well done!
All excitement aside (and I am very very very excited because new songs and all that) I thought about leaving Glasgow and how that feels when I typed my passport data into the airline booking system. That is one of the most usual things for me to do as traveling is part of my nature and routine, but it felt different because now I am equally excited about going away as I am about coming back and that is surely new to me.
I also realized that my last blog post was a lot "and then I did this and then I did that" but not much about my emotional state - besides marking the points of my biggest desperation when I was emotionally hitting ground during the packing process.
Now the first month in Glasgow comes to an end and I am trying to figure out how I feel. I had very good days, normal days and also a few not so good days just like everyone has. Everything - all the small things of daily life - still feel very new but get slowly more and more normal and I like it.
Last week though the weather was really nice and and after work I hopped on a train to watch the sunset over Arran - something I always wanted to do after seeing it a couple of times from the train or bus. I know that for everyone who grew up here it is completely normal to be close to the sea but for me it is not. For me it is almost surreal and going to the beach just BECAUSE I CAN was amazing. I love it so much.
There are also a few more things that I love: being close to people I like a lot, the gorgeous flat I scored, the fab gigs I already went to in the short time I am here, walks around the Botanic Gardens and the River Kelvin, being just a few minutes away from a pretty decent record shop, very fast broadband, fresh nan bread and unlimited access to Irn Bru. And the sky. The sky is simply amazing especially in the evenings.
So today when checking in for that flight I came to the conclusion that I am happy. Small word, big deal. It is not like "Bring the Champagne" type of happy, but a general change of vibe and it changed in a very good way. That might wear off one day, maybe it won't - at least not totally. We will see ... for now I take it as it is and it feels like I did the right thing.
Lots of people in the last few months / weeks said something like "You are really brave" or "That's a courageous thing to do." I can tell you that right now it does not feel like this (anymore). I am sitting on my sofa wrapped in my fave blanket eating nachos with guacamole and typing this blog post. It definitely does not need any courage for that at all. It is obviously just half the story though because I definitely had severe doubts and panic attacks along the way and was everything but fearless.
In hindsight that was another round of proof that what is in our head is usually way more scary than most of real life (there are exceptions - I went through some of them and I wish that to no one). The scenarios our brain can come up with when it does not know what happens next can be very, very frightening. Uncertainty and fear are evil twins.
I think that the point is not to become more courageous or fearless but to take your own fears seriously and resolve them as good as you can (I did a lot of that in the last few months in Germany) and then ... move past it. That costs a lot of energy, but there is no other way to initiate change. And there is no progress or improvement without change.
I will finish with some lines from a letter my friend, the wonderful German-Croatian author Marica Bodrožić, sent me a few days ago. It is a bit sad that I need to translate her stunningly beautiful German into my clumsy English but I'll give my best as her words might encourage the one or the other to make a decision along the way:
"Only very few can do that (following a new life path / initiate change), instead most people are holding on to the old things, to the old patterns around them and when then all the old disappears (And it has to. It is its job to do so) they still cling to it and that brings misfortune, grief, loneliness and forlornness."
And nobody wants that, right?