California Dreaming…

..on such a winter’s day.

While the campus is covered in snow, I am getting started on my plans for life after graduation- grad school…in SAN FRANCISCO!
Jupp, that’s right, I am going back to the US for at least 12 months to study Marketing like a boss! As said before, I have had a lot of funding to figure out but finally had a fundamental monetary…breakthrough a week ago. What was more of a vague hope before has now turned into an actual plan and I can begin to actually get excited for September. In 7 months, I will get to know the West Coast by living in the city at the bay.

Never having been there, I picture San Francisco as a city with an established surfing culture, a VERY laid-back lifestyle, ENORMOUS living costs (yeah, great…) and an utterly health-obsessed population. I also heard of the fog that creeps into the city, sudden temperature changes, the neighborhoods that define who you are and the bad transportation in California in general. In Germany, there is a song that says (loosely translated): “I have never been to New York, I have never been to Hawaii, never been to San Francisco in my ripped jeans”. San Francisco- I keep repeating it over and over again in my head hoping that it helps me create a feel for the city…which is complete rubbish of course, how can you get a feel for something you have never seen in reality? I am open and excited for what it has to offer and I can’t wait to be back in the US. Being able to smile at people, greet waitresses with a “Hi, how u doin today?”, have all my favorite fast food chains and soulfood products within reach, 24/7 stores, stars and stripes… you get my point!

12 months. Will be the longest I have ever been gone from home. I wont have the money to go home over christmas and, as of now, I barely am able to picture how this year is gonna go. Jessi, who has become like a sister for me over last summer, will stay in Europe, Judith, who has put planning the future on hold for now, and I will need to redeem ourselves to long-distance-roommates once again and I will leave almost everything behind that is familiar and beloved. I know, thats what growing up means. I know, thats what following your dreams entails. You sacrifice things on the path to happiness. In the end, it will all work out. And if it doesnt work out, it’s not the end. Also, there is still a lot of time until then, time that will be spend working, researching (did someone say bachelor thesis?!), studying and planning. Making sure to make the most of the time I have left here and try to enjoy it enough so that, in a year from now, I wont look back and say “Oh, if only I had gone out more. If only I had put more effort into this. If only I had been smarter back then”.

I should also mention the change in my relationship status that has been made by me. After a lot of talking, thinking and being brutally honest to each other my (ex)boyfriend and I are back together. There are only so many people in the world, that you can give a list of all your flaws (literally) and that reply with a list of exactly why these flaws are special effects in their eyes that don’t change you being perfect for them. My fear of him not accepting me the way I am, my panic about not seeing this working out for too long but my failure in communicating these thoughts had led to a pretty abrupt end and then winter break came and for a month I tried talking myself into this breakup being for the better. I refused to listen to him trying to talk it out, I resisted his arguments for as long as I could, I was pushing him away for no apparent reason because I just did not believe in us being the perfect fit anymore. But eventually, his reasoning got me.I pondered a lot these past two months. 70 years ago, couples were assigned. You had little choice in whom to marry and divorces were social suicide. But few couples in their 80s regret having gotten married. Maybe our approach to relationships has changed? With movies and pictures, blogs and media promoting romantic stories of the perfect couple, the bar for finding love-meant-to-be is set pretty high. Yes, maybe him and I differ on certain attitudes, world views and behaviors. But we also have a whole bunch of things that we love doing together, things that connect us and make us comfortable around each other especially because we know the other person’s weaknesses, fears, struggles and flaws. Yes, relationships mean work, constant work and adjusting and balancing and meeting halfway but so does life and we arent giving up on that so easily either now, do we? So, I came to realize that I had to get rid of all these socially influenced ideas about a relationship and find my own ones. That’s what I’m doing right now and it makes me happy. Since he is gonna go to the same school, we are very much looking forward to an adventurous year in the States and I am excited for what exactly that will mean.

Bottom line- stay tuned. More stories of the crazy German exploring the Land of Liberty are yet to come! That will probably entail failed surf attempts, weird youtube videos, traveling diaries, rants about late-night study sessions, accent adaption and so on 😉