.When in Doubt, Rent a Pedal Boat – It is Fun.

I am writing this from the kitchen table. It is 9am, around 25 degrees celsius and looks like we are in for yet another classic summer day. Note that I am not complaining. I enjoy the summer. I enjoy the change. I enjoy Germany. The weather is similar to what I would be experiencing in Canada. I have been in Germany for two weeks now, and it’s taken that long to feel like I can settle in. That’s nothing good or bad. I needed this time to continue to map out my next steps. Because I grew up here and have been home many times throughout the years, I assumed I would be able to quickly settle into a routine of writing, going for long walks, working out, cooking, meeting all my friends but it turned out that it is not as simple as I wanted it to be.

Within two weeks of being here, I reconnected with someone I met many years ago and our first conversation quickly opened my eyes and shifted one of my priorities. At the same time, it only took one trip to the grocery store and bakery for me to be faced with the truth: Food tastes so much better here and is a lot cheaper. I feel healthier and more comfortable already.

Before I left Germany many years ago, I had coffee with an old friend. When we said goodbye, she hugged me and whispered, “you know you are going to come back changed, right?” This hit me hard, and at that moment it felt like the most honest thing someone had ever said to me. I nodded, and one month later after, I confirmed that she was right. But it is also true that I changed even before I left but I just didn’t know it, until I returned to somewhere I had been before and saw it with new eyes. You know this feeling when you return home from a two-week vacation? Well, try years. I left Germany in 2005 and never regretted the experience of traveling the world.

Anyway, I still have not dug deep enough into those new thoughts and feelings yet to make more sense of them or figure out what is next for me but writing all this down makes me feel good and at ease. The last three years in Canada were good at first, then really bad, then good again but I know I had to leave. There was nothing left for me even though I wish things would have been different. There are days when I wake up and I want to go back because I miss my “family”, friends and all those beautiful experiences and memories. But I know it would not be good at this point in my life. I need to take a different route this time. More adventures to come. Ha!

I compiled a list of 30 thoughts that I would like to share from my first 14 days away.

  1. Sometimes meeting someone one time is good enough. I should leave the memory at that.
  2. I can change a lot in two weeks.
  3. My values can change a lot, too.
  4. The people I can sit in silence with, or quietly read books together with, are special. It is strange how being silent with someone can actually be more memorable than forcing my way through a conversation.
  5. It feels weird when people say they really miss me and don’t talk to me for days. Cannot be that bad then.
  6. It also feels weird that a very close friend won’t read my book or blog.
  7. When I meet someone unexpectantly whom I haven’t seen in ages, it is awesome to make plans and meet the next day.
  8. If I don’t ask, the answer is always no.
  9. There are those who understand and those who never will. I don’t try to force the latter. It is okay if only a few people really understand. It is a gift to have even one.
  10. I don’t owe anyone an interaction.
  11. Being a beginner sucks most of the time until I am no longer a beginner. When I start to see the early signs of my efforts paying off, I am glad I tried something new.
  12. Teaching my son, watching him grow up and adapting to new situations is awesome.
  13. Being self-aware is exhausting sometimes but it is also a gift for myself and everyone who comes into my life.
  14. I love to show my son things I enjoyed as a child when I grew up here.
  15. I now move at the pace that feels natural to me.
  16. I treat everyone I meet like an old friend.
  17. Rejection is not about me. Even if it seems like it is, it is really not.
  18. A breakup or divorce is not the worst thing I have been through. I have survived worse.
  19. The kindest thing I can do is to let someone go on their own journey, even if it does not include me.
  20. I love to tell people what positive impact they have had on me.
  21. I learned that it is important to put myself in someone else’s shoes.
  22. I live according to my values and won’t tolerate bullshit anymore!
  23. If someone would ask me to go on an adventure, I would not ask too many questions. I would say yes, pack (my son), and go.
  24. The state of my space is the state of my mind.
  25. Decluttering is just a tool. I needed to dig up the root(s) cause, so it wouldn’t keep spreading and I have to clean the mess again.
  26. Nothing matters more than the health of myself and my loved ones.
  27. When it comes to big and tough decisions, I take my ego out of the equation and ask myself what I should do.
  28. When in doubt, I rent a pedal boat with my son. It is so much fun.
  29. When in doubt, I go for a long run. Fresh air clears my mind.
  30. Things will always work out in the end. And if they don’t, it is not the end.

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