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[As I go through massive change in my life at the moment, I am reminded of those other moments of massive change in my life, when I left NYC for Berlin, and then when I left Berlin for LA. I’m revisiting those changes partly out of nostalgia and partly as a way to feel more grounded and complete now. As part of that process, I am sharing some entries from my diary as I remind myself of what that time felt like.]

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

So I’m in Berlin.

I am incredibly disoriented. On one hand, I feel like I was just here three days ago. On the other hand, I feel like I’m still asleep and if I just rub my eyes hard enough, I’ll wake up back in New York.

I can’t believe i have to play a show tomorrow, at the same time that I’m kind of glad as I think it will accelerate the process of me feeling more at home here.

But I think I want to stop playing shows for a bit and really figure out something new for myself. Much like I’ve thrown so much of my old life in the trash, I want something to get excited about, to sink my teeth into. I am a new person, in a way, and I want my music to reflect that. I need to write new songs.

I have a flat, and i have a bicycle. Which I guess means that I am staying here. Which is something that I know I am doing, but the idea of commitment terrifies me. But i need a place to live, and well, here I am.

It’s a nice flat, and a big room, and my new roommate seems very nice, and in an astonishing twist of fate, is a sound engineer who programs electronic music. So despite the fact that it almost seems too perfect, and that i was hoping to spend a tiny bit less money, i have committed and am moving forward…

Next steps are to learn German and potentially to go to Cologne to audition for a band.

Oh yes, and i also need to figure out exactly what it is that i want to get out of Berlin because, at this point, i have no idea.

I can feel myself craving a relationship here, someone to hold my hand and take me places and help me buy things and pick out paint for my new room and to watch movies with. Someone to have meals with and to wake up next to. But I know that is just weakness, that is just vulnerability from feeling so alone right now, and I am trying to resist falling into something I might regret.

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Tonight I have been reminded of this Madonna VH1 special. She travels around Manhattan with Rupert Everett, visiting old haunts from her early years in New York. The two of them go to one of the first little rooms she had, one of those cheap long-term hotel rooms in Midtown somewhere, and she mentioned how she often cried herself to sleep, but that she would not let herself give up.

I spent my first night in my new room last night, and it was quite a depressing experience. I know it will take some time and, as my roommate pointed out today, it is hard to start from zero. My “furniture” consists of a mattress on the floor, a secondhand lamp, a secondhand small table with my small stereo, a secondhand mirror, and piles of clothes on the floor.

It’s not pretty.

So today I will cry a little and feel sad and miss my dog and wish more of my friends from New York called me or wrote me loving letters, and then I will fall asleep, and tomorrow will hopefully be sunny and busy, and I will feel again full of hope and determination.

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