I like to think that the evolution of Germany for me over the past three years, is like a microcosm of my human experience. What started as an antagonistic place that I tolerated (at best) in order to be with my daughter, has become a place of recovery. It’s a strange place to get clean, but that’s what it’s become for me: I eat well, work out regularly, write, and meditate. And that’s only the time that I don’t spend with my daughter.
When I first started coming here, I would leave as a husk of a person. I was mentally and physically demolished, and it took weeks to readjust when I got home. Now, I leave feeling better than when I arrived. There are some tangible differences in the present: buying a place instead of staying in hotels, joining a gym, and reliable Wi-Fi. And then there’s an element of necessary adaptation from my side.
It doesn’t change the fact that the people are still high-strung. I’m barely able to operate on a daily basis without being told what I’m doing wrong (as if to drive this point home, within an hour of getting to Germany yesterday, my brother and I were being lectured for not properly using the plastic dividers in the supermarket checkout line). Despite the locals best attempts at making it stressful, it’s become more funny than draining.
I don’t know what Muenster will be to me in the coming years. If you total up the sprints, I’ll spend a meaningful amount of my life there. And I’m starting to see how that’s not a terrible thing.