I left Cologne today. My work obligations at my old job expire within the next few days, it can be difficult to say in advance when exactly (it’s one of the reasons I quit).
Meanwhile I don’t have a new job in Sweden just yet. And so, in an utterly unexpected twist of fate, one that would shock my 18-year-old self who moved away from home a month after graduating high school, I’ve moved back in with my parents for a while until I have things figured out. I’ve lived on my own, partially abroad, for the past eight years, so it’ll be quite the adjustment – for me and for them.
I’m hoping the layover at my childhood home will take just a few weeks at most. I’m looking to rent a room or a tiny apartment in Stockholm from March 1, which will give me enough time to work out some of the legal and bureacractic headaches while I’m still in Germany. It will also give my parents enough time to remind me why I moved out in the first place and why it’s probably a good idea for me to be an independent adult sooner rather than later.
Cologne was good to me, for the most part. It was exciting to live in a city of a million people, to have every consumable thing at one’s doorstep. Over the months and years, I did miss the things they don’t sell at stores, though: clean air and wild nature, relief from the traffic and the noise and the constant flood of people.
I spent the past two weeks decluttering my life. I sold all my furniture, I gave away many of my clothes, I threw out old electronics. I feel lighter again, less settled. I like knowing I’m not bound by anything; that all my possessions fit into a truck and can be hauled to an entirely new place. It brings me peace of mind to own so little and be so mobile.
Cologne was good. Essential in getting me to this next chapter.