6.1.10

First Term Over

Today marks four years since I boarded that plane to start a new life in Germany. I can't help feeling a little nostalgic about that girl with the butterflies in her stomach, love in her heart, a curious mix of joy and sadness in her head and absolutely no clue what she was about to get herself into. The only thing I knew for sure then was that life was about to change in ways I could not predict.

On Monday, I paid a visit to the Place that Shall Not Be Named. Perhaps there, during my two hour wait to register my new address and try to track down my lohnsteuerkarte, which had not arrived last year in my complicated moving and mail forwarding scheme, I could see just how far I have come. I was not stressed. I was not sweating. I was not in tears. I was just patiently waiting, knowing what I needed to do and knowing how to manage the discussion in German so long as we could speak slowly. It all worked beautifully and I left with a proud smile on my face.

The last four years have been an amazing experience and I would do it all again, oh yeah I would. Despite the ups and downs, the fun, the pain, the losses and the gains, and how it has fundamentally changed me as a person, I would not change taking that plunge. Someday I hope I can articulate why I have loved this experience and continue to love living in Munich so much. For now it remains difficult to explain in any simple way, especially to those who have not been through something similar.

I have a hope too, one that I was reminded of in the last days of so many mixed feelings. I am tentive after being burned again. I am looking for stability and roots after years of wandering. At the same time, I hope I never become afraid to take a leap of faith and to explore the world, myself and most importantly the others in my life. For I have found that to love may mean to lose, to move forward may mean having to leave something behind and to gain something worthwhile means throwing yourself out there and taking real risks.

Now I am looking for a balance between all these things that make me tick. Here's to whatever comes next!

Posted from Queretaro

4 comments:

aimee said...

beautiful post...congrats on your four year anniversary.

now if only you could make my decision for me about whether or not to leave DC...

Megan said...

Bravo! and keep leaping... ;-)

Michelle said...

Thanks ladies! And Aimee, move! There, done. ;-)

CanadianSwiss said...

No risk, no fun, right? ;) Congrats Michelle!