Six months ago, I moved. Moved away from from the city I lived in all of my life. Moved to a new city, in a new country, with new people I didn’t know.
I am not even attempting to capture everything that has happened and everything that I have learned in those six moths. For most of the things I am probably not even aware of them yet myself. But one big thing I can begin to talk about: I live here now.
This might sound like something very obvious since I moved here, singed a rental contract, registered with the municipality, opened a bank account and am enrolled at the university … here. But on a less technical and more emotional level it is by no means this easy. It is not even really true to say „I live here now.“, at least not everyday. There are days when I want to leave. Days when I miss my old city and everything that is still there. Days when I want to go somewhere else completely. But there are more and more days when I feel like I actually live here. There was no distinct event which caused this feeling. It is a process. And it is definitely not finished, if it ever will be. However, in the past few weeks I noticed an accumulation of small things that make me say „I live here now.“.
Two weeks ago, one of my best friends came to visit me. I went to pick her up at the train station, showed her around the city and eventually, after three lovely days, brought her back to the train station and I stayed here. Already when I was on my way to pick her up, I had a special feeling. Living here felt really real. She was visiting me and even though she is clearly still a very important part of my life, there are many more things now that are also part of my life but not at all of her’s. That was new. When showing her the places I like and where I get delicious, cheap food I once again realized that I actually have lived here for quite some time even though it sometimes feels like only a couple of weeks ago that I came here. On my way back from the train station it again really hit me that I did not go with her because I live here now – and it felt nice.
There are more, maybe really small things that I have noticed. I am not as dependent on google maps anymore. I know the opening hours of the grocery stores that are close by. My social network is growing. I am doing normal free time things on my weekends. I am having more and more things in my life that are not university-related. And I am being annoyed by some things here. In short: life is feeling pretty normal and that’s a good thing.
To be honest, there are still days on which I am struggling. I did not think I would miss so many things. And I did not think it would take me six months to (begin to) feel like I live here now. But that’s how it is. Distance creates a new perspective and adopting to changes takes time. It is sometimes difficult and exhausting but it is also a way to grow, to get to know yourself and an opportunity for so many great things.
I am thankful for the ways my life has led me so far and I am excited about what is yet to come. And hey… I live here now.