Dear 23-year-old Me ... (To the Best Year of My Life: Happy 24th Birthday To Me)

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Dear 23-year-old Me,

I know you love recaps. Monthly recaps, yearly recaps, recaps after birthdays. You just love to look back, to reminisce, to see, what you have achieved and what not, what have happened. So, what has happened the past 365 days

The good thing about hitting rock bottom? It can only get better

Actually we have to move a bit more back in time, to get all the context. Therefore let's start in April/May 2017. 22-year-old you. Oh girl I know, you don't wanna think about that time at all. Everything sucked. Uni, work, your personal life. Your worries regarding your future grew into anxieties. It was a really dark place. But you somehow managed to crawl out of that hole. You were brave enough to cut ties with that toxic person, you figured uni and work out. Travelled to Seoul, Hong Kong and Macau that summer, even though you didn't enjoy it too much. Unfortunately fell back into your old pattern for a bit, made a very risky move but realised, that feelings change, people don't. Your feelings had changed. And that was a good sign, a freaking good sign.

Well my heart, you know what came around then. August. Barcelona. You enjoyed the Erasmus life for a bit (hello parties, hello new people, hello alcohol, hello reckless decisions), but realised it does not really suit your lifestyle. So you travelled. A lot. With acquaintances, with friends, sola. You just could not stay at only one spot, after you have tasted the vagabond life. You enjoyed the sun. The mild Spanish winter (you will miss that so much). Vino blanco, cafe con leche de avena, sangría, tapas. You went to galleries and museums to look at art, you enjoyed quality time with your sister and best friends, you wandered around the city, you danced to very bad music in questionable clubs (ok, that was not on the list), you went to the beach. Oh yes, the beach. Barceloneta, Bogatell, Nova Icària, Castelldefels. Eran tus mejores amigas.

Seriously, Catalunya's capital saved you. Do you remember the very first day? Right after you stepped out of the plane, you instantly felt at peace. Not happy, not overwhelmed, not excited. Peaceful. I still cannot tell you why or how, I mean, you had been in Barcelona the year before. The Barcelonan vibe, I guess.

Lucky Number 23

So, fast forward, October 2017. Your 23rd birthday wasn't anything special, but you were happy. And then the real fun started. To sum it up very quickly: Crazy and awkward, but also unbelievably lovely dates, getting to know new people and new places, spontaneous nights, eating incredible food and having awesome drinks, old and new friends, a lot of drunk vino nights, partying and having fun, travelling all over the peninsula. You really have a lot of funny stories to tell now, don't you?

But everything has to come to an end and honestly you were kind of relieved. Barcelona was great, one of the best decisions ever actually, but after a while you just felt stuck. You wanted to move forward, to achieve something again, to get work done. Finally. Your motivation was back. And yes, you were also scared that you involved yourself emotionally too much again. You haven't even imagined in your dreams that that was possible. For real, you went with other intentions to Spain. But one person somehow helped you through your returning relapseswithout even realising it or doing anything against them actively. So you better left before everything got too complicated.

So, February 2018. Your undergraduate thesis creeped its way onto your desk and reminded you of your responsibilities again. You spent a lot of time at the library, it was frustrating sometimes. But in between all that you found time to travelBelgium, Milan, Amsterdam. You went out a lot, went to concerts (Majid Jordan, dvsn, Lauv, EDEN), met your friends, had reunions, a lot of food dates, you kissed a gay guy (I know, I know ...). Notice anything? The Berlin, that you had hated so before, was gone. Sometimes you waited for that moment to come, but it never did. It was all in your head after all.

The Summer of Your Life

And then May came by. May was a month full of opposites. You started a new job. You almost spent 24/7 at the library. In between, you had a memorable, fun weekend in Berlin with good company. And then: Bachelor deadline. So many hours, sweat and sleepless nights compiled to 66 pages. Congrats, it was over! You're a bachelorette now! So where better to celebrate than in Barcelona?

Primavera Sound 2018 will be forever one of your greatest memories. The weekend in Berlin had already been a major highlightbut that trip to Barcelona. Really unforgettable. I am glad you enjoyed it so much, enjoyed it every second. Because you knew right from the beginning, that every moment could be the last. Those memories are precious. Don't put them aside and forget them, but also don't get dragged down by them. 'cause like everything, those also had to come to an end. It was like waking up from a dream.

Oh summer. You surely had many highs. You knew that it would be your last summer in Berlin. So let's have the time of your life!

In June: Primavera, as already mentioned, the acceptance to the Master programme in Amsterdam, the offer for the traineeship in Hamburg, Aylin's lovely wedding, the funny world cup match Korea vs Germany. July was simply a constant party. The heat was hitting Germany hard, something was up every weekend, something called for your attention and attendance. In August, your baby sister turned 22 years old, Aleks turned 24, Giraffe Anja celebrated her farewell party, you hit your 20-country-mark. Portugal was incredible. Sun, food, culture, the coast. An awesome vacation to close that summer of your life.

But you weren't prepared for the mental, for the emotional side effects. Unresolved issues stirred up. Huge ones, which hit you damn hard. It was the best decision to set your priorities straight, clear your head and to get as much distraction as you could get. But nevertheless: Sleepless nights, no appetite and emotional confusion followed you until August. You only saw one solution: To come totally clear. To find closureBut still. Even though you tried so much to distract your mind, those emotions cannot be erased that easily. A heartbreak like that cannot be healed that easy. Same same shit but different every summer. Remember: "Our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once. And before you know it, your heart’s worn out. And as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now, there’s sorrow, pain. Don’t kill it, and with it the joy you’ve felt." (Call Me By Your Name, 2017).

Even though you suffered that much emotionally, it really was a great summer. It was a lot. It was a f*cking lot. And I know that you are more than grateful for everything. For every laughter, for every tear, for every confession that has been made, for every word of yours that has been listened to and  has been accepted. For every person that stayed, for every person that left.

A new city, a new chapter

At end of August you were very anticipated for autumn. And life threw more highlights into your way. Beginning of September your move to Hamburg came along. Lollapalooza Festival was very fun. Tokyo was ... different than expected but enjoyable. Your trip home to Seoul was unbelievably healing and kept you busy with new tasks. You slowly realised that the new season will completely change your life, again. New city, new job, new people. New chapter. And there we are. October. Your favourite month, the month where you reset your life to 0 and start over. Congratulations baby, you made it.

In conclusion? It was awesome. It was f*cking incredible. And it won't stop here. On Monday you will travel to a new, foreign country, your best friend will visit you in Seoul next weekend and you will celebrate with your friends in Berlin in two weeks. Even though it will also mean farewell. But you know, every end is a new beginning.

The Best Year of My Life ?

Honestly speaking this posting is a much reduced text of the first versions. But some things you keep better to yourself. And you have to hear it: You are a freaking idealist. In fact you called your 23-year-old-life the best year of your life in the first version. But was it really? It was for sure above average, it had definitely major highlights. But it wasn't perfect of course. It never can be flawless. Something will always get into your way. You will fail, you will get disappointed, you will make mistakes. You won't always succeed, you won't always get what you want. You will get hurt, you will hurt, your heart will get broken again, if you let it. 

You turned 24 today, (almost) mid 20s. Don't stop pursuing your next best year. Nobody knows how the year will turn out. Maybe it's going to be mind blowingly awesome, maybe it's going to be a complete sh*t show. But don't stop trying. Everything will fall into its place. Everything will be fine.

So, happy f*cking 24th birthday to you, to me.

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1 % Love

  1. wie schön der post ist. mega emotional! mir kommen sogar die tränen, aber ich bin froh, dass du alles durchgestanden hast. <3


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