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Ben Leander Willgruber, MSc.
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Returning to an Unknown Home

A wild summer is coming to an end and so is my time in Berlin. Before I go home, I wanna reflect on everything that happened and what awaits me back at home. 

Puzzling my Life Apart and Back Together

In Corona quarantine, I was so fucking bored. I used the time to build my business but everything I was looking forward to seemed to fall apart: Summer plans, vacations, parties and festivals. It was back then that I decided to come back to Berlin for the summer. I gave myself two mental tasks for the summer: Reflect and process everything that happened on the one hand and fill myself up with as much wonderful as experiences as possible on the other.

I’ve had lots of fun here, went to legal and illegal raves, tried lots of foodie fod, went shopping, met my Berlin friends I dearly love and missed, went to lots of museums and art galleries, went Karaoke singing, saw the incredible movie Palm Springs as part of the Fantasy Film Fest and even went to a fortune teller!

Family Vacation weekend in Breslau

 

Laying Low

The cold season is definitely going to be more relaxed. There are many things I am looking forward too, mostly reuniting with my friends and family. I am also going to start as a teacher for a design class at a local educational institute, which is a dream I have had for many years now. What I am most afraid of is feeling isolated after having spent the past two years either with my boyfriend or my many, many roommates. 

In Corona times I realized that I am a very social person, even though I used to think of myself as more of a lone wolf. I really struggle a lot when I have to be on my own for a long time. I have been getting better at this but I remember from last time being single that it will take some time getting used to this new situation.

Remembering the time my flatmate and I rented Lime scooters for 24 hrs and drove around the city

 

Unkown Home

I worry about the unknown that is about to come. I have many questions and little answers, just like many of us do in these strange times. Last time I came home from Berlin after spending a long time here, I fell into a dark hole and struggled to get myself out of there for weeks. I try to remind myself that Berlin in the winter is not gonna be as special as in the summer, especially in Corona times, but still, I am going to miss the big city air. Mostly though, I will miss the people that make this such a special city to me. The same people who have been asking me to move here for the past years and the past months in particular.

I actually wanted to move to Berlin this year but that plan was corrupted by Corona. Maybe this is a good thing though. I have so much at home, mostly my friends, my family and my clients. Even though I have a love/hate-relationship with Graz I would also really miss it. I just wish it had some of the things I appreciate so much about Berlin, mostly the feeling that everyone is welcome no matter who you are. On my last day in Graz, I was called a faggott (‘Schwuchtel’) by four different people and I was ready to leave without looking back. Graz makes it really easy to leave the city and that might even be one of the best attributes a city can have. I just wish it were as easy to leave Berlin.

 

Ben Leander

Compulsive nonconformist who left the 9-to-5 world after studying psychology and has since then devoted himself to design and writing on a freelance basis. Has at least four different kinds of chips at home at any given time.

Comments

  • Avatar
    8. October 2020
    reply

    I felt that way about Tokyo after living there six months and return for a month about a year later. Now, it’s been nearly 20 years since I was there and I don’t think I’d want to go back because the relationships have all evaporated over time and distance and the only thing left would be the places, most of which I’m sure are gone. The only time I formed deeper relationships was when I was in rehab, another tough place to leave. But, be grateful as many in this world never have this kind of experience and if you moved there, that specialness would fade in time.

    Looking at the city below, I almost expect to see Charlie and Willy Wonka flying over the town. It looks just like the city at the end of the Gene Wilder movie version.

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