I’m making good progress on my goals so far this fall. I’m all checked-up and immunized, seeing the eye doctor, got enrolled for my German course, checked out the Greek course, (but decided the pain of poorly accented Greek in a very far away location was not worth it to me just now). The flat is clean, if not exactly tidy, got guests penciled in the calender, my senior courses are progressing nicely with fleshed-out goals and materials and my schedule with the Greek school is to my liking. I’m enrolled in a water gymnastic course for January, made an appointment today with a much cheaper than anticipated accountant and will even be able to receive a German driver’s licence, that will never expire. The bf got hired on in the company he’s been applying to for ages, even if it’s temporary, it’s still a good chance.
So yes, things are good. Better than I deserve. Still lots of room for improvement, but I’m getting things done. Still gotta make decisions and plans for the master’s program this fall, but I think it’ll be in Baden-Württemberg for sure. I am so over Bayern. But no pressure September was busy getting things set-up for this school year. In the winter I’ll make plans for next year.
You know the one thing that’s missing from my life, at least in terms of what has always been in my life, is a busy social life. And I’m surprised a bit. I always took it upon myself to be the organizer, or at least the most enthusiastic participant. I had an over-developed curious, flirty, teasing personality, which served me well as a bartender and waitress. I loved big groups and lots of activity and staying out all night. I always scoffed at the girls that were glued to their boyfriends as being unimaginative and insecure. I don’t think I envied them for a second.
I’m hesitant to say that that has come back to bite me in recent years. A lot of people have given me a lot of grief for finally finding someone I’m crazy about. It would seem from what I’ve learned since coming back to where I had my fantastic year abroad, that my actions were not always interpreted to my satisfaction. I was 20, I went from not really ever being sure that someone was really into me, (went through the most trying part of my high school without any close girlfriends to guide me) to suddenly being irresistible just because of the ridiculous accent I was desperate to be rid of.
Of course it was great! Why would I have jumped into a relationship and missed out on all that fun? I unconsciously played whatever role they wanted in teasing and laughing, just to be liked, because it was so much fun to feel attractive. I was too naive to realize what I was doing, but I didn’t make any promises to guys I felt were too enamored.
And later I guess people at the time thought I was too full of myself, and that I didn’t think any boy was good enough for me. Far from it really. I just didn’t find any one boy interesting enough to make me want to stop the banter between all these fantastic new accents. Everything was mind-blowingly different to everything I’d ever known. Even though it was super-hard adjusting at times I think that was probably the most well-lived, carpe diem year of my life, from living on my own, to languages, to new cultures and of course food and drink.
Maybe I was trying to re-live that in London. It didn’t work that way of course. And now, as I said, I’m not bothered to go out running around with strangers. What shocks me the most though, is the fact that I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me one little bit!
I work, I hang out with the bf, I cook, I clean, I read, I travel, and I work on my languages. If I’m really lucky, I squeeze in a workout. I call and write me friends and family. I keep meaning to go to this English speaking Stammtisch to make some English speaking friends here, but I’m afraid I’ll just find a rehash of the expat experience with every newcomer.
I have no interest in casually going out, or wasting anymore time on people who will lose touch with me at the first opportunity. I’ve been thinking back on my life recently and have realized that I have spent so much of the precious time I have been given in my life, trying to make people happy that in all likelihood, I will neither see again, nor exchange any communication whatsoever. I have wasted hours thinking of other people, hosting other people, writing other people, going out with other people, only to realize we might not have ever really been friends. I have thought so often, that I had really good friends, only to find out after I move that they just aren’t bothered with invitations and letters like I am. And not 10 years later either, but almost immediately after.
I had a chat with my good friend recently. She was really upset about how things had changed after uni and I said yeah, I hate it too, but I try not to take it personally. I don’t think it’s personal. But I’m glad I got rid of my oversized-facebook. Some people you were meant to fall out of touch with.
It doesn’t stop me from regretting all that wasted time though. If I had applied myself to my grades as passionately as I applied myself to friendships, I would be better off, and certainly speaking much better German and Greek.
I feel like now I just want to invest in myself. I don’t trust people as much as I used to. I’ve been caught off guard by girls who had hidden their jealousy and I wrote it off as me being mistaken, only to really get the rug pulled out from under me later. One Greek girl (nearly 30) told her mother enough lies that she found me a square full of football fans and starting shrieking at me in public as my bf and his friend defended me and asked why her daughter didn’t do this herself if she felt this way.
My bf isn’t the most perfect guy in the world, and I definitely don’t want to turn into the couples I see everywhere in Germany that need to get each other’s permission to go out with their friends, that are so wrapped up in each other, that they lose their separate personalities.
(Tangent about über German coupledom: I had one German student a few years ago who I thought was really cool until she mentioned that she’d never have children cause she couldn’t imagine sharing her husband with anyone. I was like wow, what fairytale drug have you been smoking? Nobody is that perfect that you can’t share him with someone else. And you’ve got a really twisted idea of love if you think it will be diminished by a child, but hey I guess at least she understands her own jealous weakness and doesn’t subject a child to it.)
I’ve come to a realization though that my bf is more than enough to make me happy. I like his company just as well as going out with a big group. It’s the same to me now, with less effort with my continuous working hours. Also I realize that a clean apartment will make me happier during the week than going out on the weekend. I have good friends, they just don’t live nearby. In fact I devote all my holidays during the year to meeting up with them wherever they may be. And were they here, I would meet up gladly and often.
Chalk it up to feeling tired and old and disillusioned. I’m tired of repeating this losing touch scenario. I’d rather just spend more time on the people that know how to be there for me. At least in my life I have 100 some kids who cherish, or at least amused by and benefit from the attention I can spare them and also 60 odd seniors who could do with another granddaughter-like figure to shower affection on. These, my family, my bf, and my close friends are more than enough right now for this reformed little expat heartbreaker.