Cities are like lovers. One lover you fall so deeply in love with, that when you leave, you forget the heartbreak and the turbulent days and only remember the joy. And no matter how far you travel, you are always pulled back to this place of happiness and heartbreak. And always, it is the place that anchors you to the most important people and memories of your life.

Then there is the lover that will ambush you so imperceptibly, that by the time you discover you are in love, it is to late to put your guard up. You get seduced by the soft light and the big expanse of the sky, the weight on your shoulders that are no longer there. You discover yourself in a new way of being. You discover that you can breath easier and the sharp edges disappear. No longer are you haunted by places and reminders of many lives lived. Everything is brand new and clear like a new morning on a crisp autumn day. Even dusk hold no more terrors of nightmares passed. You can slip into the streets like a clean slate. Everywhere is new beauty and new wonder to explore. The best is the reinvention of the self. You can be anybody you want to be. You can try out new personas and slip it on like a costume and try it on for size. Or quite frankly, you can slip into your pure self without even a thought of what anybody might think of this ‘other’ you. Who will care or judge? Nobody has a blue print of who you were before from where you came from. What people see ‘is’. What you present, they except. Furthermore, you carry yourself differently, with more ease and simplicity that people are drawn to. They take a second look and find your sense of peace appealing. Some might even call it grace.

This is the allure of a brand new place, but more specifically, a place called Berlin. A place of total acceptance of the oddball, the eccentric, the nerd the punk and the ordinary Joe or plain Jane. I have not realized until I left, how much we are restrained in our daily living where nurture overrule nature. The idea that we have to dress a certain way, behave and talk in a certain way to fit in.

After months of loosing all my layers like peeling an onion to get to the hart of. who I really am, I started to really like this me that emerged. I felt softer, easier in my skin. The light is also so much more kinder and I don’t know if it is an optical illusion but I look and feel beautiful. I feel authentically more me. No one size fits all uniform to wear to fit in. The night terrors are miles away. Old hurts blurred by distance. And so are my own trespasses forgiven by the lack of reminders around every corner.

But alas, then it is time to return to. my anchor, my place of birth and my history. I did not know it would be so hard. I felt disoriented as my feet hit terra firma. Make no error, my hart nearly burst on seeing the people I love again! And at that moment of seeing. them, I remembered just how much I missed them! But life has walked on in my absence and I find myself out of step with some of the people I said goodbye to 3 months ago. I feel lost. After a couple of weeks I seems to find my equilibrium but not quite my place in the society that I left behind. I wonder if I will ever get it back. This is a strange island I find myself stranded on. I am here but not quite.

I am looking forward to returning to Berlin, it will always be bitter sweet as I will have to leave the people I love most in the world behind again. But they will survive and so will I.

“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation” ~ Rumi xxx

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