Down in the valley of the W curve.

The last week or so has been an over-caffeinated, sleep-deprived blur of travel and friends and long working hours. I feel like the guy in Fight Club before the the craziness of fight club takes over. I'm by no means an insomniac but sleep and I have never been great friends; we battle each other every night and every morning. Consequently I feel like sanity is leaking out of my bones as everything gets harder and faster and more difficult to understand. I stumble over my German, speak too much English, work too late and somehow find it completely impossible to go to bed before midnight.

I feel completely overwhelmed by the speed of time. My trip to Paris went by in a flash and my birthday went without me really noticing. Outwardly I am flying (almost literally) around the place, making friends, reading books, watching theatre, visiting new places, but inwardly I'm standing still. Inside I stand and observe and am unable to participate. I can't connect with things, I can't cry, I can't sleep, but I can drink coffee and splutter a few German phrases to get by. I feel like a rusty linguistic machine that's seen better days and needs a bit of tender loving care. 

The question on my mind has been HOW to get myself out of this rut and I think the answer is pretty simple: space. I haven't made any time for myself recently and just sitting down to write this blog feels like the most indulgent thing I've done all week. Sometimes we need to give in and let ourselves fold like letters into paper envelopes and just hide and rest.

 I feel like I'm in a transition period, I'm learning so much about how I work, what makes me feel alive, what makes me angry, I'm questioning old habits and beliefs and disciplines, I'm examining old relationships and role models, I'm appreciating home and studying and friends, I'm realising that all I want to do in life is sing, drink coffee, write and see the world and that not doing these things will make me rot away into a bitter old soul. 

Living alone and abroad is hard. It's an adventure, but it's hard. You have yourself and your language  ability and your passport and perhaps a bit of money, but everything else you have to make for yourself. Friends and community take time, you make dozens and dozens of mistakes, you feel like you're in a world of constant misunderstandings and there is never a moment when you don't feel completely and utterly vulnerable. Slowly the newspapers will start to make sense, the radio will no longer be jibberish and conversations with friends will start to flow like fine wine, but every so often the loneliness of your nomad identity will creep up and bite you and you'll find yourself in the valley of the W curve. Just don't stay there, find a way up that slope to the peak and take a look at the fine life you live. 

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