I’d like to belatedly take a moment on this blog to mark my officially having passed the one-year point here in Berlin! I arrived here on September 8th, 2011 very early in the morning to a warm apartment where a sleepy Sarah and Molly were getting breakfast ready. The next few days were a blur of tourism, introductions, long words in German, and see-sawing feelings. I remember thinking with bleak desperation on my first evening that I had been here in Germany for 12 hours and, oh god, my first day wasn’t even over yet, and if this one day was never going to end, how long were the other 364 going to take? Clearly time was never going to move forward and cooperate with me and I was going to be homesick and lost and in limbo forever. Of course, the thing about time is that it always does move forward, and it’s done its job so well that I can’t even believe that it has been 365 days and then some since I arrived here. In that time, I’ve met wonderful people, developed both professional and personal relationships, learned a lot about myself and about the Jewish community in Berlin, developed skills and questions about early childhood and family center work, traveled, eaten a lot, and, on the whole, have not been looking back nearly as much as I thought I would be on my first day.
In fact, what I wish for myself for my second year in Berlin, for my 24th year of life, for the year 5773, is to look ahead enough to be able to take advantage of any opportunities which may present themselves. This may mean impromptu opportunities to travel, or the opportunity to learn a new professional skill, or the opportunity to add a new aspect to my job or to the ways in which I am involved in the community. Time moves so fast that I’m worried that soon it will be September 2013 and I won’t have done even a quarter of the things that I wanted to do this year! So my goal is to try to keep apace of my goals, to try to keep up with my aspirations and ideas, and to recognize a good opportunity when it turns up.
Below, a picture taken just a little while ago, on my birthday, on top of the rotating restaurant at the top of the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz, where I had coffee and cake with Anja and Flora. It was a wonderful birthday surprise and a truly beautiful way to see the city I’ve been living in for a year, from above and in panorama.