First Day Homeless

reflection biketrip

Location: Berlin

Officially I’ve been unemployed for one week. Because I was still in my apartment, still working (small project generating sales reports for bräugier), still leading my normal life, it didn’t really feel like anything had changed.

Yesterday evening I handed over my keys to my apartment, put my bags on my bike, and became homeless.

(I’m staying two nights with Lukas, but officially, I have no place of my own)

It was weird handing over my keys. It’s still officially my apartment; I can come back any time. But as the moment approached there was a little voice asking if I was sure I wanted to leave.

“Do you really think,” it said," that you’ll find anything out there that you can’t here? You’re not particularly happy, but you’re also not particularly unhappy, There’s a very good chance being alone in a country where you don’t speak the language, or know anyone, trying to camp for three weeks (did I mention alone?) will make you more unhappy."

“That’s a very good point, little voice”, I said as I handed over my keys. But being “just happy enough” is not how I want to lead my life. Giving in to fear and doubt, having my life be dictated by a copasetic mediocrity, is something I have dealt with before, am dealing with now, and will deal with when it inevitably reappears in my life.

Handing over my keys felt much more momentous then it actually was. I’ll be back, I’ll live there again, I’m not leaving my friends (permanently), I’m not leaving Europe. But it still was a symbolic closing of a chapter in Berlin. There was a tremendous build-up. What started as a mostly idle challenge to myself turned into training, studying a language, learning about a machine I knew nothing about, and taking responsibility for everything (cf. “alone”).

Change and growth are hard. And they are uncomfortable. And that little voice is always there, offering an easy excuse to return to safety, avoid potential failure, and the perceived shame resulting fomr it. Having continued before and failed, having continued and succeeded, having given in to the little voice for the first twenty years of my life, I know I will continue to push.

The little voice never goes away. It never gets quieter. Until you’re there. When the moment comes that you’ve prepared for, the voice goes silent. What’s left is you and the work for that moment.

In the moment you can no longer be deterred. The voice is silent. You, a better you, is there.