For those unaware, this week I’m staying with a friend in Germany. Actually, I say this week, but I actually turned up two weeks ago and haven’t left yet. If he wants rid of me, then he’s being very polite about it. That said, I’m convinced his day job might mean he has certain ‘connections’, so there’s always a chance I could simply disappear unexpectedly. And I don’t mean back to England.
Funnily enough, my coming out here in the first place was because I needed to do exactly that - disappear. I’ve weirdly spent the last year, maybe more, a little bit disillusioned with London. Recently though, I started to think that maybe Samuel Johnson had a point, and I was actually bored of life in general.
For various reasons the last couple of years have been quite tough. I took a dream job that turned out to be a nightmare, quit said job to go freelance (which has brought highs and lows in equal measure) and bought a flat which - while I now love unconditionally - hasn’t half kicked my ass with various issues. I blamed all this for my writer’s block of the last year, and felt sure that when I escaped to Deutschland I’d be able to write away to my heart’s content. It didn’t happen though. After my friend sloped off to work every morning, I found myself sitting staring at a (very familiar) blank screen on my laptop. Turns out, writing woes are not specific to geographical location.
The other night we were lying in bed and my friend (ok, so he’s a very friendly friend) asked me what I wanted. He meant in terms of what I was hoping to take away from my trip here, but it was hard to answer, for I didn’t really know… I just knew that I had felt like I needed a change, and thought hiding out with him would be a fun way to find that.
It all sounds very deep - reminiscent of Greta Garbo and how she ‘wanted to be alone’ - but lo’ and behold, in this case running away seems to have done the trick. I can’t go into too much detail right now (i’s to dot, t’s left to cross and all that - not to mention that it’s so much more fun to be vague and mysterious) but after I was finally confronted with the Big question, I made an even bigger decision - one that is going to change my life in exactly the way that I need. Ok so this last point sounds like I’m being a tad dramatic, but for once it’s justified - I promise.
Since I made this decision I’ve found myself skipping along the street, humming away and flicking my hair with happiness. I’ve been in a huge rut the last year or so - and I’m not the kind of person who takes kindly to that. I like to be excited by things and, drama queen tendencies aside, I’m the friend who’s typically known for being happy and ditzy, not grumpy and irritable, as I feel I’ve been the last few months. Turns out my mother is right - I’m actually much prettier when I smile.
One way or the other Germany really has given me what I needed. I’ve been here long enough that I’m starting to miss certain things in London. I miss my beautiful flat, even though it once tried to kill me with carbon monoxide poisoning. I miss the girlfriends that I’ve known for years, yet have distanced myself from of late - suddenly I can’t wait for one of our infamous bottomless brunches. And of course I miss my boys, three guys back home who are my best friends in the world.
Thing is, I’m a guy’s girl. At school I was the tomboy, and as an adult I’m not much different. My guy mates know everything there is to know about me; it’s them I’ve told my woes to the last few months, and they’ve always managed to make me laugh regardless. Incidentally, all three know of my new life plan, and only one seems to think I might need my head reading. (For the record, he has promised to support me unreservedly once I’ve been grilled re my thought process over copious amounts of wine.)
I’m hoping that my (very friendly) German-based host becomes a similar presence in my life. Sure, I’ve mentioned the fact I’ve been in his bed this trip, so clearly he’s currently on a different playing field to the above referenced three musketeers (it turns out geographical location at least makes some things a little easier). But sexual escapades aside, I appreciate him giving me the chance to stage my Great Escape.
He didn’t have to, for in truth he hasn’t had it easy with regards to getting to know the real me. To elaborate, we met at a point when I was pretty much at my worst re this lack of contentment; cue heightened insecurities and complexes in abundance. But maybe that’s turning around now. It won’t happen overnight, but given he’s so far managed to handle me in various testy situations, I think he might be a keeper on the friend front.
As for his bed, that’s complicated. After all, this is my Great Escape, so a girl has to keep her options open. Who knows when a German Steve McQueen will pop up just around the corner. At the end of the day this is my life. Shit tends to happen - and things are finally looking up.