I have two trips I want to share – one from the end of February, and one from just a week and a half ago, but in light of what’s going on right now in the world I think I will save those and write a post about “real” life. Before all this corona stuff I was wanting to write a little life update anyway, but I just continued to have travel posts (wow, rough life) and never got around to posting a feelings and emotions post.
So grab a cuppa coffee, and let’s chat about the nitty gritty.
This past winter hit me harder than I anticipated it would. We all struggle a bit more during the winter months, but I think being in a place where I don’t have family, and only have a couple friends to lean on made it harder for me. January marked one year of living in Germany, and while the time flew fast, it also moved like molasses at the same time.
I think it goes hand in hand with me loosening my diet (and gaining 15 pounds) causing some extra loneliness and more isolation, mixed with the dark months and less movement. I still traveled once a month, but even the travel felt wrong. I know I am not alone in the winter blues, I am just hoping I can shake them soon.
In September I made a goal to eat more food, move my body less, and free my mind a bit in an attempt to correct a five year struggle with hypothalamic amenorrhea. In layman’s terms that means I didn’t have a period for five years. I was determined to balance my hormones and get my period back, and in December it came back.
Eating what I wanted was OK at first, but I’ve been feeling really unwell for a while now. Food allergies are food allergies despite the motive for eating more freely.
I’m stoked that I have had a consistent period for five months now, but I need to find a better way to accomplish this. I knew I was playing with fire by being extra loose with my diet, but my body can only handle so much. Food aside, I think ultimately it’s time for me to move on from working in a fast paced, high stress environment.
My body just doesn’t like this type of work, nor does my mind.
Due to the corona virus the hotel I work at has officially shut down for a month, but I anticipate it will be closed longer than a month. I also anticipate going back to the states soon, and at first this saddened me, but I feel ready. I can’t seem to shake this funk I am in and I think my body is telling me it’s burned out, and it’s time for a rest.
With spring just around the corner, the weather in Bavaria has been amazing. It bounces between sun and clouds, but the sun has been dominating lately. I’ve been trying to get outside more and ride my bike, especially because I don’t know how much longer I have to enjoy these amazing bike paths.
Sometimes getting on my bike and zoning out for a few hours is the medicine I need for the day.
I’m still working (minimal hours) doing tasks that can be done with a closed resort. Thankfully my parents taught me the power of saving money and I am in no way hurting for funds, but I am finding myself with a lot more free time. Free time is ok, but when it’s paired with social distancing it becomes harder.
Even for an introvert like me.
It’s an odd reality for me, I thrive being alone, but the rules and restrictions that come with this pandemic (rightfully so) have me craving human connections more than normal. I’m really trying to sit with the discomfort that is coming during this time instead of masking it with food. I’ve been having counseling sessions with the U.S. chaplain that works nearby, and they have been so helpful for me.
Of course, biking always helps too.
My bike was likely one of the best purchases I made while living in Germany, it quickly became my best friend and opened so many doors for me while I was “home” in Garmisch. I don’t run anymore, and while I still hike it doesn’t happen as much. Biking has been a lower impact way for me to still move my body without causing a Sjogren’s flare up.
The flare ups still happen, but far less often from this kind of movement.
At the end of the day, I am feeling weird. I know a big change is coming and that’s hard for me to deal with. The last year of living this lifestyle has been nothing short of life changing, and soon I will leave the only people who understand what I’ve been through. I deal with this often, because most people don’t pick up their lives and move so nomadically like I do, but just because I am used to it doesn’t make it any easier.
On the flip side I am excited to start traveling the right way again. Never will I ever travel like I have the last year. I regret nothing, but the quickness and fast turn around of the travels I have done were too much. Being on a trip, and stressing about planning another trip is just ridiculous. There is such a thing as “too much” even with traveling.
With that said, I am obviously not traveling right now with corona running rampant all over the world. I am literally taking one day at a time, enjoying the area I live at the base of the alps, and trying to find small pockets of peace throughout each day. I feel really empty right now, more so after the world started to shut down, but this is part of life.
We can’t have the highs without the lows.
I miss my family more than I thought I would, and I am wanting to go home. I feel like I am in a catch 22 because I want to go, but I also don’t want to travel overseas. I literally feel stuck, and while I know I am safe where I am I worry about something happening to my family. I’ve not experienced this type of emptiness in regards to my family since I was young, and I’m not sure how to process my emotions.
For now, I have my Garmisch family to lean on. From 6ft away. 🙂
ON A LIGHTER and completely unrelated note, at the end of February I went out after dark and the world didn’t stop turning. It was time for Fasching in Germany, and this year I decided to go out and dance with the locals. I even drank some gin. Who am I? You can read more about the Fasching history here.
Along with the celebration, people dress up similar to Halloween. My roommate MaryBeth and I went to the thrift store two days before the event, found two hats, and went as Balto and Pikachu. I think my new calling is to be a professional face painter.
Thankful for these humans in these weird, unknown times. This late night celebration made me feel like I felt when I was in my early 20’s. I felt free, and I realized I can and should do what I can to keep my body healthy, but I cannot live in a bubble. Sometimes we have to let our hair down (maybe a bad analogy for my hair…) and live life.
We never know when the life as we know it will drastically change.
My sessions with the chaplain are challenging me to tell people how I feel…really. This will be a continuous work in progress for me, but this blog has always been a safe space for me to spill my heart. Thank you to those who have continued to read my rambles, writing truly is cathartic for me and when people read what I have to say I feel heard…really.
I know everyone is struggling from this limbo we’re in right now, but it helps to know I’m not alone. For now, I am still in Germany and don’t know when I will be coming home. One day, one hour, one minute at a time.
Q: How are you…really?
29 thoughts on “How Are You…Really?”
Oh odd. I sent you an email before reading this.
Our circumstances may be strange but they are temporary. I am starting to get a little stir crazy but like you I have my bike to reset my mind and body. Prapanca stay away from me! And you!
I got your email, and I just assumed it was in response to this post!! TOO funny. I appreciated the email, and I appreciate your comments! Thank you friend.
Thank you, Brit. Be careful, stay well!
Thank you, Papa. YOU be careful too. Stay away from crowds!!
I’m OK. I still have a job, My family is healthy. But trips I have planned for the summer are most likely cancelled and it feels weird to be sad about it but I am. I think we need to learn it’s OK to “mourn” things that aren’t happening now because of the state of the world. But it still feels a little wrong or “first world problems.”
Thank you for this comment, it’s helpful! I think you’re right when you say “it’s OK to mourn things that aren’t happening.” Even if it feels a little like a first world problem, it’s OK to feel sad.
I’m sorry about your upcoming travels, when this is all over I hope you get to visit wherever you were planning to visit! As a travel addict, I completely understand the sadness that comes with a cancelled trip.
I’m in lockdown so can’t ride my bike other than on the home trainer. I’m riding it outside on the terrace which is better than not at all.
That sounds like a lovely balance! I would likely do that even if not on lockdown. We are also on lockdown, but are able to exercise outdoors if alone. Crazy times.
Our state governor is just barely holding ou TV on declaring a shelter st home situation. Trying to keep businesses & small businesses afloat as we all try to “flatten” the curve for a health-care system already overwhelmed. We help & support as we can, and know that life, or our perception of it, is changing (hopefully for good–thinking gratitude).
As an introverted retiree, most of my small world feels like business as usual. But the tense anticipation of being told I can’t urban hike when I want, where I want, is irksome. Yeah, I’m whining, but it’s part of the human condition, like the mistake that is woven into every Turkish rug.
Stay well, Brittany! As Groucho Marx once said “Beyond the alps there are more alps… and the Lord alps those who alps themsalves!”
We’ve been on lockdown for about a week now, only a handful of stores for food are open still. I’m thankful I can still go outside and hike (alone) but it’s the being forced to stay alone part that feels weird, even for me.
Thank you for that quote, I love it.
It is a weird moment in time…..limbo in isolation and uncertainty of the change that will occur …,but the one thing You must hold on to is…..The sun will come up tomorrow and the clock will keep moving forward and Your friends will Always be there for You ❤️
Life may get altered going forward but change is a certainty and we must embrace the experience , feeling Blessed and Grateful.
Stay safe and Be Well , just a text away 🙋
Love you to the moon and back. Thank you for being part of the glue that holds me together right now.
I loved reading an update on how you’re doing! As always, I love your honesty. I know what you mean about being an introvert and enjoying alone time, but suddenly it’s a requirement and it feels forced and hard and lonely. I keep reminding myself that this won’t last forever. We will move forward!
I lol’d about what you said about the analogy of letting your hair down… you’re hilarious!
It’s always when we feel forced! With food, with being around people, with school, the human brain is such a complex place. Thank you for your sweet comment. ❤️
It was fun to read this after a long time. I have not written on my own blog but pop in now and then to catch some. I enjoyed your reflections and hearing your insights and care for yourself. I know it is not the point, but you look beautiful in your photos. My family is well and teleworking from the family home in the Washington, DC, area. Stay well! You got this!
Thank you for these kind words. Writing is my escape when I don’t know how to handle my feelings! Sending love and safety to you and your family.
Brittany… I got goosebumps up and down my body by the time I finished reading your post. Any time that happens… Well, as strange as it sounds, I’ve realized it’s a sign of alignment, that whatever thoughts are going through my head are precisely and exactly aligned with what the Universe has planned for me. It doesn’t always mean what’s in store in easy, but it seems to mean that whatever direction I’m facing is right. If that makes sense.
So….. All of this rambling is to say that I get the sense that you’re on the brink of something big, something pivotal, something life-changing — and in the best sort of way. It seems like we often have to go through really rough, hard, or trying times before we’re able to look up, see the light, and realize that the Universe has been trying to get our attention and show us the way out all along.
I know that probably doesn’t help with this exact moment in time, where you’re experiencing loneliness and uncertainty, especially due to the current events going on… But I’m sending you SO much peace and love, and I hope you keep taking things one moment and one breath at a time. You WILL get through this — and your life WILL be so incredibly beautiful on the other side of it. ❤️
Amy, your comment brought a wave of peace over my heart. I feel like I’ve been in this cycle of darkness with pops of light for so long and I am SO ready for a big change. The difference this time is that I have no way to escape the discomfort I’m feeling. Yea, I can ride my bike or eat a cookie, but this is different.
With that said I think and hope you’re right! I know this isn’t forever and I have to just keep walking through this to come out of it. I’m very blessed where I am (still have a job, have healthcare, have shelter and food) I just miss my mom! 😂😂
Thank you for your continued friendship, you are such a special person. ❤️
Awww I’m SO grateful for you and your friendship too, Brittany!! Even though we’ve never met in person, I still feel like I know you so well and like we’re really good friends. You’re such an incredible and beautiful soul! ❤️
When reading your post, I definitely got the sense that this season of discomfort might feel different. But sometimes… Feeling like there’s no way to escape is actually the best thing. We all go through periods of darkness in our lives where we feel like we’re trying to wade through a murky swamp or walk through quicksand. It can feel so hard, scary, or painful…
But as much as we’d like to stay on the outside and not have to experience going directly through them, that’s often not actually possible. When we stand on the outside, we do just that — stand in place and stay stuck. It’s only by going directly through those tough experiences and seasons that we get to the other side and become who we’re truly meant to be.
And when we feel like there’s no way to escape the discomfort of going through the swamp or quicksand… That’s usually a sign that we’re actually ready, strong enough, and capable of successfully making it through to the other side without sinking or drowning. Even when our minds tell us otherwise. 😉
So keep walking, sweet friend! I KNOW you can do this and get through this!!! 🙏🏻 And I hope you get to see your mom and give her the biggest hug soon. That reunion with her is going to be SO wonderful!! ❤️
The planes do not fly between Germany (or any part of Europe for that matter) and the US. And there will be none for a while. This been said, even if you are ready to come home, you can’t. I do not know when I will see my husband next time in the real-life, not on the screen. (That is also about how am I :))
We had a group leave last Friday, and another group scheduled to leave this Friday. We shall see if they’re able to. We also have military planes available, however I don’t know for how long. I think that’s why I feel like I want to leave, because of the fact I feel stuck.
I just have to remind myself this isn’t forever! Hang in there, and chat with your husband as often as you can.
I hope you will be able to get out – if you will, we have some hope :). All the best 🙂 🙂
Another group left here yesterday, and they plan to send ANOTHER next week. So flights are still leaving, but definitely less often.
Thank you for sharing that. It can not have been easy. Life gives us many difficulties but you set a great example of how they can lead us to new horizons.
I do not know what it is like to have health challenges but you do not mince words and I find you to be incredibly brave and inspiring.
I am…..OK. I’m healthy but exhausted. I’m a nurse and an Infection Preventionist and though I’m not taking care of Covid-19 patients on a day to day basis, I am dealing with the chaos and confusion all day everyday. I’m struggling with my management team at work making decisions that don’t align with national and local public health guidelines.
I’m also struggling with some guilt I think. I am a skilled nurse with years of experience and I could be of service in the community or the country… I’m doing good work it just…rankles. But the job has rankled some for a bit now.
Thanks for asking and for sharing your positivity. I pray you make it back safely, however long it may take.
Thank you for all that you do in the medical field, even if you’re not directly working with Covid-19 patients…your work and reliability is a support for the entire hospital. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be.
Take care of yourself, and don’t beat yourself up for the guilt. Your feelings are completely justified.
Thanks for sharing your cathartic review. That is so important to do this often, to reflect, count your blessings, and enjoy each day God has given.
Blessings are abundant, even in times of darkness!
I’m doing ok. I’ve been better, I’ve been worse. Good read like always. I like your personal posts just as much as your travel posts. Hope all is well with you. Hang in there and take it one day at a time. Weird times we’re in. Stay positive.
Thank you!! Hang in there yourself. We’re all in this together.