"Don't time travel into the past, roaming through the nuances as if they can change. Don't bookmark pages you've already read." - James Altucher
I did not expect that.
The area around the lighthouse was almost empty as we watched the boats passing by. Sitting on the ground with a bag of chips and something to drink, like the old times — talking about life, past and future.
I didn't expect Hamburg to surprise me in such a positive way, and all thanks to my friend who wanted us to stay by the water. We watched the sunset and the colours changing while laughing.
We grew up together. I used to annoy the shit out of her, on a daily basis, but with love. There are not many who know me as well as she does. But still… I felt a little like I’m not the same person anymore.
I found the cutest little hotel in Blankenese. It was close to the water, because she missed the river, the “Elbe”, in Hamburg and she came all the way from Berlin only to be with me for a couple of days. I had never been in the area before, and to get there we had to go down though the “Treppenviertel”.
Cute little stairs all over the place surrounded by flowers and old beautiful houses, between new modern hoses with flowers coming from all directions. We were completely alone and I had the feeling we weren't visiting Hamburg, but another city. This was a part of the city that I never saw back when I lived here, maybe because only the rich people live here and I couldn't even afford a train ticket back then.
But even more wonderful - Hamburg surprised me with calm and beauty. With the most amazing sunset while sitting by the lighthouse. I enjoyed the time with my old friend and the new place we found.
We talked a lot about the past, the dark times that I never think about anymore. I started a new chapter of my life in Sweden. A happy one. But it was interesting and important to remember. And I’m thankful that I still have her in my life, even though she lives far away in Berlin now.
The moment I saw her it was like we never left. The friendship stayed the same even when we changed over the years.
Blankenese showed herself from the best side and even when it was grey and raining, the colors and beach, the water and boats, the little cafe and bar on the water - all was beautiful.
New plans ....
My plan had to change because of Covid, so I booked a train ticket to my grandpa. I go there way to rarely and it always breaks my heart to leave him.
We can all learn so much from that man and I’m so proud that he is my grandpa. The love he has for his family is so beautiful and the glow in his eyes when he talks about his wife, my grandma, makes me cry instantly. The love they shared, this deep trust and loving each other no matter what… I never beleived that such a love could exist, except for my grandparents. But I found that love in Fredrik. My grandma is not with us anymore and every time he says her name or drifts away in old memories my heart just melts and everyone who is close to him can feel the deep love they shared. But it’s not just the love they shared I love to feel. My grandpa had a difficult past, he lived through the war and lost many people. He can see the beauty in all the small things, in a way that many of us don't do anymore.
We sat down in his wintergarden with a cup of tea and watched the blooming wild flowers. The butterflies came around and flew away again. We listened to the little pond in his garden.
“People always want more and more these days. We don't see the little things in life anymore“,
he said, and I could just hug him for hours. For a while we didn’t talk and just watched the butterflies, the cherries from the big tree on the ground and all the birds and insects eating from them. Peaceful and beautiful. MY grandpa has the biggest heart and I look up to him. He is what I want to be, with his love and his understanding.
The tears run down my face right now, writing about my grandpa. I love him so much. And the people here at the airport look at me worried haha. I’m waiting for my flight home right now and thought I use the time to write down some moments. UFF.
It’s funny because I can’t wait to come home when I visit Germany. So many things in Hamburg still trigger me with negativity and I go back to the old way I was used to be. I don’t feel home here anymore and often not understood. I feel like only the old me has a place here and the new me just doesn't know where to go. But I tried to focus more on the beautiful moments and not the bad ones. Because we tend to just talk about the bad instead of the good. I want to change that. Even though I can’t wait to go home, I’m sad that the time with my family was so short again.
When you live in another country your relationships and family always have to fit into a small window of time and sometimes there is not such a thing. And that always ends up in stress. That is why I loved the first days here with my friend, just sitting by the lighthouse talking, eating and laughing. No stress, no appointments, not for a few days. And the time with my grandpa, who is over 90 years old now but I wish more of us can look at the world the way he does. We can learn a lot from him. And I intend to do that. Sweden teaches me to listen and to be in n nature. And I feel now, right now here in Hamburg, that I can’t live without it anymore. Time to go home.