This time I'm writing on the road. I'm returning home after visiting my older daughter and her family in Bavaria. Covid related I didn't see her and my grandkids for almost 2 years. As they are in Kindergarten/School-starter-age, that is a very long time. We barely know each other, which makes me really sad.
That is the price I have to pay for my decision to move to Berlin, 7 years ago. That aint easy, and it's tough to say , but it was a choice without an alternative for me.
At this time, I was at a point of my life that felt like a dead end. I recovered from my first burn out, and began to re-organize and adjust my life to a better way of living for me.
Pretty soon I decided that staying where I was wasn't an option – for several reasons. First I didn't want to move that far away from my family, as I knew there would be grandchildren sooner or later, which I always was looking forward to.
From the rest of my family I didn't have much support in any way, so I didn´t consider them at all. But my older daughter was a totally different thing. We have been very close for a long time and I really didn't want to leave her behind.
On the other hand, she had met the man she's now married to and had a really busy social life. So I knew she wouldn't be alone.
And I really had to go. I never really fit into this very conservative environment with it´s strict moral and behavior codex. Cardigans don't suit me very much, and Ì´i'm definitely not the type for a blonde Bob-haircut, which was seen as „the appropriate hairstyle for a woman 45 +”.
Coming out of therapy I started to write and paint and let my underdeveloped artistic wings grow and unfold. That wouldn't work there either. I couldn´t return to my former job for a bunch of reasons, and finding something else in my position was impossible.
So to move was a logical step for me. First I wanted to stay closer, but it didn't feel right. For different reasons, the decision was Berlin in the end.
Needless to say, nobody from my family and social circle understood this decision. Berlin was worse than another planet for them.
But I didn't regret it for a single second. When I made the decision, I knew about the price. I knew my daughter hates Berlin and will hardly ever come to visit me. Also was I aware that this will also include potential grandkids, to come. Don´t get me wrong, it wasn't easy. I miss her, I miss them. But I had to make this step to survive. To get in a better or even great mental shape. And it worked.
It only took me a couple of weeks to feel at home. Here you live in almost absolute freedom. You can do what you want, wear what you want, as long as you don´t bother other people. I must admit, seeing people in the office, wearing onesies or their pj was something even I had to get used to. Having a business-meeting with people lying on the floor in a yoga-pose is a thing, too. I experienced a lot of things like that, especially working in start-ups, and I loved it. They gave me chances, even though I´ve been around 50 at this time and had no real experience in that business. But I could put in a lot of knowledge I gained before and that gave my self-confidence a major push.
Of course, it's not all rainbows and unicorns. This kind of freedom comes with distance. You get to know people easily, but it's much harder to build real friendships above the job. People flow in and out of your life. Another price I have to pay. Being a loner definitely helped me deal with it.
Most of the time there are only terminated contracts for a year or less. You can try a lot, get a job easier, but you barely can settle down. Another price to pay for the freedom to live the life I chose.
But for me the rewards are worth it. I could work in areas I never thought, I would get a chance. I learned a lot about my professional abilities and about myself.
I'm much more confident to try new things, to jump instead of stepping out of my comfort zone. Failure isn't a thing anymore, it's about the experience, the learning. and, most important, I started to go public with my creations and art and got a lot of appreciation for it. Much more than I could ever imagine.
The last 3 years have been a spiritual journey for me. Now I know and embrace that the Universe, God, the Spirit (however you personally call it or what you believe in) is about balance. To get something new, to become someone new, you first have to release something. You need to make a place for it. To get something you desire, you have to become it. To get there was a learning process, and not always easy. Dealing with the fear of loss for a very long time, letting go is hard for me. It still is. And you never really know what you get instead. But I surrender.
I established my own rituals, how to tell the Universe, what I want or need and let go. Trusting the process pays off for me. It works.
What I didn´t mention is that my younger daughter lived and still lives in Berlin. We hadn't been that close before, but fortunately that changed. Now she has a son herself and Elias is my best buddy. That doesn't substitute my other grandkids, of course. But on the other hand, it kind of does.
And I accept that you pay a price for everything. Most of the time the reward is much more valuable. Sometimes it isn´t, but that's how life works. In this case there might be a karmic reason for that. But that's another story for another day.
See you next month !
Lilac (left) Blue Sky (right)
My Happy Place
You may reach Ellen at : email@example.com on Instagram: ellenberlin1
Bio: Ellen Hofrath-Stovall was born in 1965
She is living in Berlin/Germany
2 Daughters, 3 grandchildren
Painting since 2012, self-educated
several exhibitions in cafes and restaurants
Reproduction of all or any part of material of Ellen Hofrath©, including previous posts, without the express written permission from Planet Starz, Inc. is strictly forbidden.
**Note from Natalie: Ellen is someone I discovered on Instagram and immediately we became friends. I thought what a nice addition to the ezine this would be to have a column for her.
Enjoy her work every month here at Mystic Living Today**
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