I grew up in the suburbs near Frankfurt, but I know it was the city rather than my hometown that shaped me. I was to Frankfurt what a moth is to a flame — it attracted me, it drew me in, it coughed me out a different person. The suburbs made me long for something bigger, something with a broader horizon and more. More of everything, but especially of people.
This kind of attraction was eventually my sealed fate to move to Berlin.
Going back home on a vacation from work and life in Berlin is stressful, because it means moving back in with my parents for a week (and even that can be a hassle). It means having to call thousands of people I haven’t seen in a while, it means making dates and having no time to relax. Sometimes it feels like I left my old life back here and began a parallel, different life in Berlin. I try to combine them, but it’s difficult. There is just too many thing still left here for me: family and friends. It was not the people who drove me away from Frankfurt, it was my own hunger.
And so, on a mission to capture what I love about my home, I strolled through the city. The differences between Frankfurt and Berlin are remarkable; Frankfurt is cleaner and obviously wealthier, but Berlin has more youth and a rather pulsating feeling to it. As a tourist, I’d probably hate Frankfurt; but this is my home. Passing my home and my streets and my blocks makes me literally ache with faded memories. Faded, because they’re slowly being overwritten by new memories. Of Berlin, of being grown up, of being an adult and doing my own thing. It’s weird. I still don’t consider Berlin to be my home — home is where my family is. But at the same time, I don’t feel homely back here either.
I don’t know what this sentiment is, I don’t know if it’s good, I don’t know if it’s bad. I guess it’s just the way it is. I guess I just have to learn how to live with it.