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?