I spent six years of my life in Heidelberg, Germany. At first, I was only meant to be there for a year. But even before that, I suppose, I wasn’t really meant to do anything in particular. Let’s start there.
As an aside, this is the beginning of a series of posts in which I record and rethink the process of becoming a Doctor of Philosophy at a German University. I have a feeling this process will lead me to talk little of philosophy and more of hijinks. But I digress, let me continue.
Before Germany, when I wasn’t meant to do anything in particular, I was doing very particular, very practical things. I was twenty two, had just graduated college, was engaged to a dashing young woman and was working full-time doing manual labor (for lack of other types of labor available to a History major).
My life was simple. And I mean to say that it was very straightforward, not directionless, but going in a very defined and agreed upon direction. In hindsight things fell apart quite beautifully. In the moment, I was ugly-crying.
Nothing major had happened. The engagement decayed and I was left with only myself – and I hadn’t actually given my self any consideration, without foreign input, for quite some time. I was disappointed. And what an odd feeling it was, to not regret the past but to be so unsatisfied with the present that I desired to rid myself of all my belongings, sacrificing them to a +1 extra life I had earned somewhere along the way.
I also gave away my job.
In both the present and past me there is an ever constant theme in my internal dialogue, the youthful fantasy of becoming a super hero. Externally, tell no-one. Without my fiancé, my things, or my job, I was going to at least try a hero’s journey to see what spoils could be wrought.