No Home Like a Place

I have never been a fan of doing anything I’m not good at.

Up until now I didn’t believe the adage that people create their own problems. I have one of those Type A personalities that strives in adversity and loves a good challenge. I am not sure if it is wise to rock the boat during smooth sailing, but I can believe that “life’s best lessons are learned at the worst times.”

It is no wonder then that I am the happiest I have ever been or at least that I have been in a very long time. Despite what some would call abject destitution, there really is nowhere to go but up. I’m lying restlessly in the bed that I made.

The opportunities for me here in Berlin are greater than I ever thought possible. After feeling my way around a few reputable networks, I know that a good amount of tenacity and creativity could take me very far. I am becoming more adept in selling myself. What I once thought was a curse of having so many genre avenues has proved to be an auspicious part of my artistic arsenal; there is no more reason to limit myself. The best part is, with all these stories that are starting to sound the same, the struggle is part of the adventure, and ambition is rewarded well here.

Many believe in me without knowing me for very long. There are some that are now familiar with my work but they see the passion oozing out of me to do what I love and what I’m good at. I have made some great connections here and what I know will be life-long friends. Everyone knows someone I “just have to meet” and because this renaissance is so vibrant here, I am never far from another chance to find a suitable platform for my work.

I came across a tremendous opportunity to have my own dance studio here to use for classes or developing my own work. It is a ridiculously low price considering the economic climate and I’d be a fool to pass it up. It is not far from serendipity, this venture, and if I was a little less hooked on logic, I’d say that I am very “lucky”. I know that if I take this on, it has great potential and could be a solid start to establishing myself here in fair Berlin.

The biggest challenge right now is of course money. Part of me wants to return back to Philadelphia and get a grip on saving enough to start over here with ample resources now that I know the potential. The second biggest challenge is my obtaining an artist freelance work permit. With the looming expiration date of my tourist visa, this is something that is haunting me day and night. I have heard varying stories of the ways people have gone about getting their permits and it always seems to work out. Though I am fine with all the paperwork I have to produce and the procedure, it is a struggle getting help for some technical issues because there is a widespread fear of German bureaucracy here which has led to me not being able to register a valid address, the first step in the process. Because I don’t have my own rental contract, I can’t apply for my permit.

All the specifics aside, I don’t want to leave Berlin and I wouldn’t mind finding refuge somewhere else in Europe if things don’t come together here. I am still dealing with some issues back home and it would be nice if I could travel back and forth.

I miss Philly so hard. Though I am emotionally plagued by the current sociopolitical discourse in the USA, I miss those technical comforts of home i.e. health insurance, an apartment and a steady paycheck. Naturally I miss my friends even though we were pretty spread out in the first place, but being in the same country is much different than being all the way over here in Germany.

I never took Philly for granted. The local color is blinding, I miss how gritty it is. I miss the food. How I long for the smell of grease truck food and wet trash…and ass. Walking the streets of Berlin I never see dirty diapers or empty drug baggies or chicken bones or random pieces of hair weave laying on the ground. These were a few of my favorite things. The small town city aspect had its pros and cons. It was nice to go out and always run into someone you know or that you knew of. The architecture, the annoying tourists, the bike rides, the martinis, the burgers, The Special, the beards, the tattoos, the parks, the drunken dancing, the strangers telling you how they feel about everything. It really is a great place to be and I’d be hard pressed to find any regret for coming back home.

I lived on the east coast my entire life. It has been nice to make a big leap somewhere else and discover so many things about myself and a different culture. There is no rat race here, and it has its benefits and pitfalls. No matter the horror stories and the uncertainty, there is a laid back love of life here that I have not found anywhere else in the world. Without pretention, this city really welcomes its friends, and in every neighborhood there is a reason to celebrate. It is so easy and fashionable here. As much as I don’t want to leave it up to fate, I know that no matter where I end up, Berlin will have a very special place in my heart.


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