This morning, after a lovely evening last night, I got up a little later than I have been this week (7:30am…sleeping in!) and wandered into the shower. I followed my morning routine of setting up the coffee and letting it brew while I take the dogs out on our morning walk. We have been back from the States a little over a week and it finally feels like I am back in some sort of routine.
When we got back, full of the morning crisp air, my partner was waking up and getting ready to come out and sip coffee with me. We greeted one another and she told me her plan for the day was to take our husky to the dog park in a bit for a little while to allow me to just be in our place for a little while. When she said this, I realized what she had heard me say the night before in which I was struggling with my tiredness from the week and feeling as though I hadn’t had any space or time to myself really this week.
This has been a struggle of mine as an expat in this space. I went from sharing a larger apartment with someone who also worked outside of the home and having my own office at another location and the solitude of my car as I drove from place to place to sharing a flat with my amazing partner but who works from home, no office space, and public transport to jobs and school full of people. I have woken up to the fact recently that no space is mine and I have no place in which I can just be…me…just me, only me and with my stuff surrounding me to ground me. This is no one’s fault and I am not dissatisfied with my life but I have realized that I yearn for this space every once in a while. Everyone should have a room of their own as we have learned. Everyone needs a corner, a room, a space where there is nothing but themselves.
And Ana heard me start to struggle again with this since we have been back and found a way to allow me to have a few hours of all mine. In that moment of announcing this plan, I felt seen and heard.
I felt seen. As part of the expat life, and after being in Portland and feeling seen and heard in that space, and then returning to Berlin where I felt I lost my footing again, I realize that this is a major part of the expat life. How do get to be seen? How are we known? And when we aren’t, what does that do to our beings? Everyone deserves to be seen. They deserve to be recognized for who they are and how amazing they are in their gifts and this has been an interesting struggle because I feel much more seen in Portland than I do here. I feel seen there for what I feel I was created to be while here that feels more like background noise. I blend into the thousands here…due to language, work, learning about life, travel, etc. And I wouldn’t trade how I am emerging and yet it almost makes it harder to return to this space when I feel so seen in the other.
How do I want to be seen? What happens when I can’t be seen the way I would like to be? What does that mean for my creative process in the meantime and how my core reacts to the surroundings?
I haven’t found the answers and I am sure we continue to emerge but in the meantime, let us try to see one another as we yearn to be seen.