Now and then there’s a straw that breaks the camel’s back or something that takes the wind from your sails. Whatever awful cliché you want to use sometimes we all feel a bit shit. And that’s ok.
I’m not going to offer any useful help or ‘tips’ or ‘tricks’ so sorry about that 😂 but instead I just want to be honest about the bright side of feeling shit abroad. There’s a few reasons why the last month has been really tricky but i’m not here to talk about those today, instead let’s chat about how shit happens and how we’ll still pick ourselves up.
Now don’t get me wrong, I want this to be a really positive space where anyone reading can come and have a giggle about something stupid I did that week or a new place I discovered but it would be wrong of me to pretend it’s all laughs and Instagram pictures when actually sometimes I just want to be cuddled up with my family and friends. I only realised I was completely settled in here when I started feeling low. Berlin had become so normal to me that I had started to allow myself to feel crap. Weirdly comforting right?! 🤔
There are positives in this I promise. 1. Knowing that it’s not normal to feel on top of the world all the time. 2. Voicing your concerns or feelings is IMPORTANT and 3. It is possible to help yourself feel better. Now before we really kick this party off there really is one thing I should point out this is NOT homesickness! I think it’s so easy to just pass off these feelings as missing home, but I can promise you I do not need the rainy north of England in my life right now.
What is tricky is knowing that everyone has their own stuff going on. It’s not as easy as popping down the road for a brew and unfortunately this means a lot of the things I would usually rely on other people to make me feel better about, I have to make myself feel better about alone. Because of this, sometimes being abroad can make me feel like there’s another hurdle I have to overcome and this is extra tiring but it also means I have gotten to know myself pretty well and learn to be independent in a different way.
People aren’t always free for that Facetime call you’re desperate for and the some of the people I used to spend every day with I haven’t talked to properly in months. I don’t even think this is anyone’s fault in particular, it’s just one of those things and you learn to deal with it. I’m more independent than i’ve ever been and sometimes it can be really tricky but in truth it’s also been really helpful. As Nietzsche and Kelly Clarkson said, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’.
Don’t get me wrong, i’m really grateful for the friends and support network I have here but it is different to the one at home and I have had to learn new ways to deal with unexpected things that have popped up along the way.
Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the fact i’m mildly freaking out that I have less than 6 weeks left in Berlin but whatever it is I think it’s really important to stress that although my Year Abroad isn’t always easy, I have found positives in feeling low and have learnt a lot. Maybe not right at the time, but reflecting over the past 4 months I can definitely see a difference in myself.