For quite a while now, and for the first time since I left Germany, I have been feeling homesick. And I have this voice in me that says, “I want to go home. Please, can I go home now?”
It’s a complicated feeling to respond to. Home is a complicated place. I’m still trying to keep a healthy distance from my family, trying to not be pulled back into old dynamics of emotional manipulation. And that’s easier to do from a geographical distance. If I lived in Germany, I would have to say much more clearly, “Yes, I want to see you”, or, “No, I don’t. Please don’t come”, to my parents, my family. And none of us is very good at handling that. There is still a part of me that would rather move even further away from them to be safe. So, no, I don’t think that “home” means them, at least not as a main concern.
I wonder if it means Germany at all, or if this is about settling down properly, having my own place, having work that suits me more, having a stable relationship, making a home somewhere for myself.
The Community I belong to here is home, too, and has been for a long time now. But even though it is a bit like family sometimes, it is not a family. And belonging therefore has its limitations, and is mixed in with employment and constant change that is not up to me to decide about. It is a community, a meeting place. It’s not the same as having my own home. And if I have, I don’t want it to be in this city.
I still need city life to not be bored out of my mind, but it can be smaller than this one, less stressful, less driven, and less of a money machine. And I know a few places that might suit me in Germany. I have friends there in quite a few cities to not be starting out completely on my own. It feels like it would make more sense than starting somewhere else here. Why would I do that? I don’t belong here. And it’s funny I say that. For once, it’s not my head talking.
And then there’s the question about work. And what I would love to do most is be at university again. So why not do that. PhD, research, teaching. I think now I’d be able to do it. Bit of a challenge, of course it would be. Still, I think now that it’s actually possible, I think I could do it.
I don’t know what the answer is in terms of vocation and church and all that. I don’t have it. So if the question returns, and it’s likely that it will, there might be new answers then, in a different place, with different resources. I don’t know. So I stick with what I do know. And try to do what I love, and try to figure things out with the few bits I’m sure about, and go from there.
I find Germany quite often mind-blowingly boring, too slow and narrow-minded, unfunny and rather out of date. In short, incredibly frustrating. But I’m told there are places that don’t fit that description… And I could give it that chance.
It is a bit exciting to think about this. And that’s already a win.