Just got back from 8 days in London and Berlin, which proved to be some ample life-contemplating time. And yes, the above photo is of the Berlin wall--well, a section that has been kept and turned into continuous art where Berliners can add layers and layers of graffiti (this is also an outdoor concert venue and park).
There's something really awakening about staring at a section of the Berlin wall. Thoughts about humanity, despair, loneliness, and perseverance all come to mind. It also made me think about the walls I put up around myself, and how I've carried on in New York over the last 9 months.
Without being too specific, I feel like writing about something that has been affecting my heart over this time period. I've been very attached to one person here in New York. So much so that I pretty much fell for said person, but it never developed past a best friendship.
I asked myself, how did I become this girl? A girl who falls for a best friend and can't move past it? A girl who gets stuck in unrequited love?
To be easy on myself, it's quite effortless to do so. And I think I'm pretty notorious for wanting men that are unavailable emotionally, because I have a noncommittal spirit myself. Of course, my heart became saddened and constrained everyday by wanting more from him and not receiving it...a vicious cycle of wanting and hurting. I do not blame him, because we cannot ask more from people than they are willing to give. In this hamster wheel sort of relationship--seeing this person nearly everyday, and sharing deep secrets, and having great laughs and many tears--I focused too much energy on him and not enough on getting to know New York. The walls I built up, in this case, kept the city out.
I think about my time in London often, and the biggest difference between the two cities is that I really let London soak in. All gates, locks, walls, and fortresses around my heart were abandoned, and I jumped head first into adventure. While I will always prefer London over NYC (because, I'm a Londoner, ok?), I think I have not given a fair chance to this fine American city.
Something switched in me during this recent trip where this all became apparent. And it happened in Berlin, staring at these oppressive walls.
I know what I must do now. I will not allow myself to become stuck in the confines of my self-loathing thoughts. I want all these walls to come crashing down, as if it were 1989 and because it's damn well time to. You can have all the love in your heart for someone but know that it's just not serving you well.
I have about a year and a half left to live here, and I am going to visit all the jazz clubs, and eat all the pizza, and engulf myself in literature, and go on dates with new men, and just...let myself be open. I will say yes to life, and yes to New York. You'll see this mighty woman, standing proudly on a pile of rubble that was once a huge wall, head held to to sky, open for adventure once more.