I am pretty sure I must have nomads in my family tree and ancestry. Now technically, if one goes back long enough, we all have. However, sometimes I feel a more urgent need to switch scenery. I don’t necessarily believe character traits are “in our blood”. Of course, there are genetics, but I really dislike the idea that behaviour is supposedly somehow predetermined. I guess it’s the age-old debate of nature vs nurture.
And yet, I have this quirk that after a (surprisingly consistent) period, I tend to get fed up with the town or city I live in. Taking Frankfurt out of the equation (I wanted to leave THAT place ever since I was twelve or so), every place I lived got weirdly sour and stale after around five to six years.
Greifswald? I had a great time there. University life, relentless partying, loads of friends. I definitely had a lot of fun there, and still mostly have positive associations with the small town in the country’s north-east. In fairness, Greifswald was likely never the place where I settle. After all, it is only about the size of my hometown, and apart from a thriving student culture, it did not offer all that much to make a life there. Another issue that cannot be skipped over is that I messed up studying there. Most people like to put distance between them and their failures. Whatever it was. By the end of my time there, I just wanted to run.
Next stop: Münster. Well, Münster still has a place in my heart as a place that could’ve become home. It has a decent-sized population. There was always something to do offering more variety than Frankfurt and Greifswald combined. I spent seven years there and, for a while, honestly thought I’d stay. And yet, by around year six, it bored me. I had the feeling that I had seen every nook and cranny of town. There also was this hitch with the ‘indigenous’ population I never seemed to get over with. To this day, the best explanation I can come up with is that people there were just too Catholic. It sounds weird as I do not care much about religion. Still, somehow there was an ever-so-slight difference in mentality that bugged me. Paired with me not really getting my feet on the ground careerwise, it was eerily easy to let go of the place. Despite fond memories, I remember that I just wanted to run by the end of my time there.
I remember people telling me that Berlin likely would not change much in my fortune unless I change my ways. I am humble enough to admit they were not wrong. I came here in my early thirties, and in my head was this idea of leading the life of my twenties here. Unfortunately, you cannot be 27 forever. I found myself enjoying staples of that life less and less. Ultimately, I arrived in Berlin too late. Sure, I went to clubs, bars, gigs. Yet, people do grow old; they change. However, Berlin opened my eyes to a lot of things still. It showed me loads of ways of living, I do not want to pursuit. Berlin taught me lessons, and I have decided to be thankful for that. They are part of my biography now, and I am willing to own them.
Here’s the important bit, though.
I am fed up with it. I feel like I have seen everything here that is to be seen. Of course, that is horse-shit, given that one cannot ever fully grasp a city the size of Berlin. But something in my brain wants to move on. Not greener pastures, just newer ones.
I want to run.