It feels surreal; both in the sense that I feel that time has flown by and also that at times it's crept along. What a weird feeling, with lots of memories along the way.
I remember boarding a plane a day after new year's ten years ago, having rung in the new year with family and friends at a concert with artists we adored. The cat and I left that warm feeling for a bleary-eyed journey to Germany in which we were both in transit for 24 hours, culminating in me dropping the cat off at the hotel and starting a workday. Note to readers and to my future self: don't ever take a redeye flight and immediately start working again. It is rough.
I had so many different feelings about moving here. I had wanted to do this for a long time and the opportunity was finally available. I was also unsure since I was going to work for such a different employer than I had ever before. Even though I had worked on learning German before moving here, I was still mostly lost with the language. And I didn't realize it at the time, but I was going to really need to toughen up to live as an expat in Germany.
In the succeeding years, I've finally become fluent in German, met hundreds of new people, made some wonderful new friends, been on many adventures, and yes, I've learned how to schimpf people right back if they're being difficult, or not accept "es ist nicht moeglich" as an answer when something actually IS possible and the person is supposed to be doing it.
I've also learned that I can really procrastinate on things in my personal life. My original intention was to write an update on six months of living in Germany. I then pushed it to a year...then to five years. Well, at least here is the ten years' update. It's been an interesting, fun, frustrating, and one of a kind journey. I'm not sure what happens next or where life will take me but basically, I'm satisfied and couldn't ask for more.