Today is the seventh anniversary of me moving to Germany.
I really never thought I would be here this long.
I first came for a PhD. After a year, when my boss and I had developed the kind of relationship which could only be significantly improved by a large weapon of some kind, I left that position and the near alcoholism it induced, and found a new one in a different city and a different field. That one was fun. Three years to the day to finish the PhD. I met the first great love of my life, and then the second great love of my life. I lost weight, looked good, felt confident. I visited Italy, France, England, Denmark, the US, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain. I learnt German. Then a short-term contract in Frankfurt - a great experience, nice workplace, difficult to be away from DrH. He proposed, I moved back to Berlin, we got married. We honeymooned in Egypt. I turned down a position at Berkeley, took one in Hamburg. Moved there and began the long distance relationship eight weeks after the wedding. It started wonderfully, the job was fun, my boss and I developed a great relationship, I made new friends there. Then homesickness, disillusionment with my career choice, uncertainty, loss of direction. Most evenings were full of tears, weekends of fights. So I changed. I moved again, to Heidelberg, for another short-term contract to leave the lab and learn a new field entirely. It was good, they wanted me to stay a while longer, but my marriage wouldn´t have survived that and I returned. With a deal. A deal that I had a years grace to follow my other interests, my other plans, with full support from DrH. And I wouldn´t force him to give up the job, city, country he loves and follow me home. Yet.
So that´s where I am. Playing, dabbling, expanding, learning, trying something new. If it doesn´t work - well I tried.
I´m happier now than I´ve been in two years.
And no matter what I whinge and gripe, Berlin is an amazing place to live.