Hallooooooo. It's been a minute, I know. In case you missed it... I moved to Berlin. Germany. An entirely different country/planet(?) than my home, Chicago; a move which required more brainpower and positive energy than I've previously acknowledged on the internet. Both the getting here and the being here have been emotional and scary in a way I've never before experienced, which is how I know I'm pushing myself in the right direction. I'm very quickly learning more about who I am as a person and a partner, and I've indulged my insecurities with a LOT of tears. I've also, however, been managing to take care of myself and remain mostly kind, open, inspired and responsible for whatever situation I'm in. Mostly. Like 20/80.
I took the month of February to get settled into this Berlinergroove with Dylan and our Berlinerhund Arlen... so getting our visas set up (which requires a longterm address), securing an apartment (which -- Catch 22 alert -- sort of requires a visa), meeting friends/professional contacts/potential collaborators, getting lost on a daily basis, etc. This setup would have proved impossible if I had not also put forth significant effort into carving out my own personal Berlinergroove, so I've been exploring different yoga studios, seeking out plant-based feasts all over town, and generally walking miles every day to explore my self-care options in this new place. Next month, then, will be all about developing a personal practice with my findings so I can start to feel at home in my body, in Berlin, in the Universe.
The good on this front: Berlin is hella vegan. There are entirely plant-based grocery stores, and every restaurant has planty options. Several restaurants in Kreuzberg serve up some variation of my perennial favorite meal: a mountain of vegetables atop hummus. Hamshuka, a.k.a. hummus mixed into shakshuka with a friend egg on top, is a thing here (a crazy delicious thing). Dogs are allowed in dining establishments, and organic, vegan, superfood-y groceries are inexpensive and plentiful. Furthermore, there is yoga absolutely everywhere.* Also, I'm here with the person I love most in this world, and while it's not ideal to expect my partner to fill in for the entirety of my interpersonal network longterm... we're patient with each other, we're having a lot of (romantic! European!) fun, and I can't imagine making this kind of shift with anyone else.
The challenging and new: We have minimal cooking equipment and even less kitchen space. Beer is cheaper than water and we're almost always in the mood to celebrate... or if I'm not in the mood to celebrate, I'm almost certainly still in the mood for a bottle of wine. About that aforementioned yoga*: I've come to understand that a lot of European yoga is more about resting than active exercise... which is beautiful, but I'm still in the midst of training my achievement-oriented self to appreciate an hour spent in what I would have previously considered a nap. For real, though! The yogis wear sweaters in class! Ummm the world does not stop so I can work through my various emotional traumas (a post for another time), and last but most omnipresent on the list of challenges: I'm still learning German. Word to the wise, abwärshund is down dog.
This enormous transition, coupled with the fact that I haven't had a consistent work schedule since July, has left me in pretty dire need of routine. I'm a capricorn, after all, and while I need to establish structure for myself, I still need that earthy architecture to feel at home. As such, I'm planning to ground myself with a writing practice and an at-home yoga and meditation practice in March. I bought some sage. I ordered some blue algae from Australia and some highly Instagrammable handmade ceramics from an artist on Mariannenstraße. It's on, bitches.
That's all from me for now! Oh, and if you're not subscribed to my newsletter, gimme your address below for love notes and updates from Deutschland!