November 10, 2014

The golden Twenties

Hey there!

How have you been? I am having the best time in Germany. Before I moved out years ago I took certain things for granted, there was always food in the fridge, my mom usually cooked for me, and so on. Probably I am not the only one who realizes now how lucky we were with our parents who  did everything they could for us. Every time I visit my parents, fresh bread is waiting for me in the morning, a homemade meal and dinner sits on the table everyday... I can't complain.

Today's post is a shout-out to the 20ies. If there is a period that will have a big influence on the rest of our lives, it's now. Most people will finish their education in the 20ies, many live in several cities in a short time, start their first job, make career decisions, maybe find a stable partner, maybe marry and even start a family. The 20ies are a time of transitions, they are exciting, with many opportunities waiting for you. And they can be pretty scary too. It's a time to work hard and play hard. I did both, my life has been a whirlwind in the last 7 years and I am actually looking forward to having a more stable life in some years. Were you ready for the decisions you had to make? I often felt that the responsibility weighed upon me.

I can see in the stats that more than 50% of my readers are from the US, and I know that over there it is really important to go to college immediately after high school, graduate in time and so on. In Europe we are not as strict with these things. At least in Germany and most Scandinavian countries from what I heard. When we graduate from High school in Germany we are 19 approx. and most of my former classmates went abroad, travelled etc. for some years. I started going to University when I was 21! I know this is when people in the US GRADUATE from University! haha. Anyways, I never regretted the time I took back then. I had the best 2 years jobbing, travelling, seeing my friends and family, walking and hiking with my dog and so on.

I started College in a City at the other end of Germany. Aren't University memories the best? Making new friends, feeding the brain, partying , all-nighters before exams, barbecues, and 3 months holidays every year. Sigh.
After the second year, everybody from my course went to study abroad. I had always wanted to live in Barcelona for some time and I managed to get one of the 2 places my University's exchange programme offered in BCN. I have always lived in smaller cities, so I was excited to explore big city life.

 Looking back, I should have made a bigger effort. But Barcelona just overwhelmed be. I went out 5 nights each week, spent my days at the beach when I could, never slept and only visited the classes I considered worth it. I met a million international students, lived as the only girl with 3 Italian boys, dated a bunch of guys and 1 month after my arrival, I met my fiance on the dance floor. Of course, it took us one year to officially start dating. After 1 year I was supposed to go back to Germany, but decided to finish my degree in Spain and give my new relationship a chance. Little did I know that 3 years later I would still be here.

Life got serious when most of my international friends left and I had to find a job. Spain is one of the countries with the highest unemployment rate in the European Union while Germany on the other hand had a pretty great economy in the last years. Of course, my boyfriend was my only motivation to stay. I am glad to say that it was a good decision for us, but work wise it was not the smartest move. Talk about setting priorities! 4 years later I speak another language, have a master, and some solid work experience, but the next challenge lays right ahead! I miss Germany more every day and want to move back for some time. This makes sense for me, but also in a professional point of view. Right now sadly there is no future in Spain and we can't wait forever for better times to come. Alberto is trying to learn German right now. I want to realign my career, as I don't see myself working in finance/logistic for the rest of my life. Even in Germany it is not easy to find a job in something you have no experience in, and for a person who is not fluent in German. We are going to marry next year and we'll want to have children one day. Right now I am excited to see what the future brings us, but at the same time pretty damn scared that my crazy ideas won't work out.
For all of you who have the same struggle I wanted to quote the great JFK:

"There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction."

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