In My Own Little Corner

When you were growing up, did you ever feel that you were extraordinary? I did! I thought I was really something special and maybe I still do. Besides those (irrational…?) feelings that Imagemaybe I could fly and join the X-Men, or have telekinesis; although there are still times when I look at something across the room and try to move it with my mind because it there is one thing that Charmed, X-Men (oh how I love X-Men can you tell?), Star Wars, and Dan Brown’s latest novel tell me, it’s that people have a substantial amount of power in their minds. Just ask Yoda. But I digress. 

After getting over those never-gonna-happen ideas (or are they?), I moved on to the I’m-going-to-change the world ideologies. That’s when you’re in your preteen-mid teen years and you think yeah, it’s good to be altruistic and care about turtles in the jungles that get crushed by falling trees. Of course, I bypassed part of that, I just wanted everyone to learn the amazing value of literacy and why reading for pleasure is so much more important than reading for tests. That failed, and I blame it on those too many tests. Then you get to college and you forget to care about the rest of the world; your life is centered around your ability to wake up before the sun, study your ginormous butt off, go to class (in my case, labs which lasted all day but to be fair they were like Chocolate & Sugar Artistry so it was quite nice on the surface), eat at some point, work, make friends?, and Imagesleep again. Then grad school came along and I was some puffed up punk, thinking I was pretty smart and started to fall in love with the idea of changing the world again. I got my first full time job outside of school in New York City, and I successfully did that for almost two years! I was proud of myself, and I was starting to find my way in life, slowly but surely. 

And then I fell in love, moved to Germany, got treated nastily by a bunch of preschool teachers, and realized my own insignificance. I can’t move that glass of water across the room no more than I can make lasting friendships or have a successful, meaningful career over here. I’m in a hopeless rut; I try to communicate, make plans, make friends, but I keep falling flat on my face. Leaving this apartment and my own little corner (Cinderella, because I’m dramatic), is getting more and more difficult. I’ve lost my way, and although our apartment is sparkly and nice, I don’t feel an ounce of success. I didn’t make this, you know what I mean? 

So I’m doing yoga, writing, trying to make our little abode a home, but all the while I have this niggling feeling that there is a world out there that I could be embracing, succeeding in, changing with my extraordinariness(<– not entirely sure if that’s a word…), and I can’t do any of it because I’m here in Germany the land of rules and I didn’t get a rulebook.   


8 thoughts on “In My Own Little Corner

  1. Do you have any local expat hangouts, like Irish bars? Sometimes it’s better to just stick with people whose social rules you can understand for a while!

  2. 1. where?
    2. you are not the only one: my husband, US, is just shaking his head over ‘rules’, I try to remember from my childhood here; now I have lived uproad for almost 20 years and I just wonder…
    breathe, relax, and see it as you would be on vacation…maybe it helps!

    1. I’m in Nürnberg, where are you? The honeymoon and vacation period feel over to me, you know what I mean? I’ve got to establish myself here.

  3. Dear Ellie, it is not fair to say that the bunch of preschool teachers were mean to you because I m sure they must have tried to make you feel welcome. Which I am sure they did. Don’t get me wrong here but maybe your attitude towards this country and its people is too negative and thus the reason for you feeling that everybody and everything is against you. I’ve been living in Germany for five years now also working with a bunch of preschool teachers and haven’t experienced anything like that. What helped me was to integrate and to learn the language which is difficult I know and being willing to accept that you are in this beautiful country. Please do me a favor stop being mean and negative and opinionated about the country you live in as a guest and its people. If you don’t stop you will never be happy doesn’t matter which country you live in.

    1. I appreciate your comment, and the time you took to write it. First, although you mention having a great experience working in a preschool in Germany, this is not the case for everyone. That is a gross generalization that would be incorrect to make in any case whether I was an expat or not. Some people like the jobs they get, feel welcomed, feel cared for. This was not my experience, however, I wouldn’t go so far to say that ALL preschool teaching experiences in Germany would be and are the same.

      I have been negative in recent posts because I’m adapting and had negative experiences in doing so…. that isn’t to say that I am wholly unhappy here or that I don’t respect the people or the country that I am, as you say, a guest in. I’m not being forced into staying here, I’m explaining my feelings, which one does in a blog where they can express themselves about being an expat.

      Some people adjust easily, love their new atmosphere while for some people, me along with many other expats, find difficulties in embracing a new culture and country. Not because of the culture or the country, but because it’s new to us and it is actually pretty tough. I’m happy that you had an easier time of it and feel compelled to criticize me on how I write and/or handle it. I appreciate opinions and comments, of course. However, if what I discuss and feel and express are upsetting to you, please don’t read it. Writing is a freedom for me, it allows me to articulate the things I don’t always know how to say aloud. And I like to share that with my friends and family back home, and in the process, relate to others who have, or are having, similar experiences to me. Once you write what you’re truly afraid of, or angry about, it becomes lesser and in doing so, helps you get over your feelings and conquer your own negativity.

      Thanks again.

  4. Beautifully said ^, Ellie. I haven’t known you long but I know enough that although you have good and bad days living abroad, you are not a negative person and are appreciative towards the country and its people. Writing is, indeed, a cathartic form of expression that should be taken for what it is; journaling. Having a blog means that your journal is open to the public and just being brave enough to be truthful about how you feel is an accomplishment most don’t have the nerve for.
    As you know, I love Germany (Nurnberg in particular), and look forward to the day when we can connect over Brats und Bier so that we may share and compare our different experiences to learn and grow from each other. Here’s to the Human Experience! Prost!

    1. I really look forward to meeting you and hanging out!!! And thank you so much for your kind words. They mean a lot to me, thanks!!!

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