Mindful Living

It’s the Goodbye Phase Again

It has been approximately 4 years ever since we moved to the Washington D.C. area from Germany. Now that we are so attached to the place to proudly call it our home, our fate is calling us to move again all of the sudden. Oh well, then I guess we have to move again.

It is the bitter sweet mixed feelings of sadness to leave and excitement to start a new life again just like I felt 4 years ago. As I go through this over and over again, I became such an optimistic person, who is totally opposite of who I used to be years ago. Changes always contain hope. That is my mindset now and perhaps it is my ultimate strength now that I have lived in various countries and places.

The life in the Washington D.C. area was genuinely so stimulating and precious that all I have left is nothing but gratitude just like I have said the same in Germany 4 years ago. I am honored and grateful that I could work for the U.S. military and the various U.S. government agencies with the amazing people in D.C. It also means so much to me that we adopted our fur daughter 3 years ago here, I became a U.S. Citizen here over 2 years ago, and graduated from the university certificate program for the career transition 3 months ago.

At the same time, the era to live with COVID-19 taught me so much just like everybody else. I learned not to take our health and normal life for granted and how the hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin contribute to form different kinds of happiness. It is insane how lots of people, especially in the United States, are obsessed with the idea to attain happiness through dopamine such as achieving a higher status in life by having a better career that enables you to earn more money to buy bigger better house and car etc. However, I finally realized life could be so much better with ease by embracing happiness through serotonin and oxytocin like enjoying morning coffee and walks and truly caring for our dog. In short, I grew to be much more detached from the world centered around the material wealth and to cherish what we already have.

Now, the life is taking us to Colorado Springs in 10 days. It is the journey to drive 1673 miles (2673 km) to the west side from the east side, crossing the country. When the new door is there for you, just open it, have fun and let yourself guide you to a better future because it is not a place or people that make you happy. Only you can make you happy, you know.

Mindful Living

(21 Days until I Say) Goodbye, Germany/Tschüss, Deutschland

The last year in Germany went by really fast. I mean, unbelievably surprisingly crazy fast. Our six years here will end exactly in 21 days. Will I cry? Probably!!! Am I going to miss it? Absolutely!!!

“Are you excited that you are moving to the U.S.?” 

“I should say yes. I am positive and hopeful but there is a moment every day that I feel extremely sad.” 

“Oh, we’re gonna miss you.” 

“I’m gonna miss you, too!!!” 

It is the phase of goodbyes. I have experienced it before more than once like there is nothing new about it, but one thing so sure is that I am NOT a fan of it AT ALL.

Deutschland ist schon meine zweite Heimat. People say where you live eventually becomes your home. After living here for six years, Germany already became my home. Though I am not German and my German is far from great, I tried my very best to be a better person in this country despite the fact that the attempt might not have been always successful. And now, “Please stay!” and “I don’t want you to leave!” mean so much to me more than ever. How many times do you think I have wished that I could be in Japan, the U.S. and Germany at the same time? 

The beautiful Rhein River on the bridge between Kastel and Mainz, the cobblestone road on my way to the station, the latte macchiato and the Glühwein with my friends, the Christmas markets we went throughout Germany, the sound of the church bell near our apartment, the commute to Frankfurt on S-bahn I have done countless times, the gates of departure at Frankfurt Airport where our trips started, and the sound of German language (especially, the dialect of Hessen). The priceless ordinary pieces of my memory are forever remain to be so dear to me.

Like I wrote before, it is not a place that determines your happiness. Wherever you go, it is you who make you happy. And when it happens to be so easy to fall in love with the place, it gets even easier for you to feel your happiness, Vielen vielen Dank, Deutschland. All I have for you is nothing but genuine gratitude, Germany. Thank you so much for the best six years of our life.

Now America is calling. It is the East Coast: the brand new world. It is time to go and I will definitely discover new happiness there.