It’s almost 4 am at the point of starting to write this, but nonetheless I’m too excited to sleep. Today I was offered a job as a System Administrator at a new start-up company in Berlin. I start October 1st. I’ve been under a lot of stress to find a job in order to support myself and continue on this adventure.
Over the course of this entire journey there have been several points where I’ve felt my back was really up against the wall to make something happen. This ranged from finding a place to stay for the night, to making new friends, to finding a more permanent place to live, getting a visa, figuring out how to get home when lost, studying for exams, studying for interviews, and trying to find work.
I’ve found that every once in a while things don’t work out and I have to accept the loss and readjust. Yet what I’ve found more striking is that when I’m really desperate and I must accomplish something or suffer catastrophic failure to my plan of staying abroad, I just barely manage to pull it off.
The knife’s edge.
I feel that there’s a lot about life that exists within a knife’s edge of possibility. There is a very thin space where you can survive, but the moment you slip up, you’re dead. Everything depends on your ability to balance on that knife’s edge. That and luck. It’s a cosmic crap-shoot.
One of the things I’ve been trying to come to terms with personally is to learn to accept the things that are beyond my control. At several points in life I’ve felt rather helpless to control what’s happened to me. As shitty as it is, the only thing you can do is try to control the things you can and hope for the best with the rest. The really difficult thing is not letting the lack of control over the rest affect you. I’m still working on that.
So far I’ve been lucky with the knife’s edge. I just might survive, even if barely.
I had been looking for work for about two months now but it’s very difficult. If you’re not fluent in German it greatly complicates the job seeking process. Furthermore, as a non-EU citizen, I need a special visa in order to work. The visa I have no is only for part time work and study. I needed a job offer before I can apply for a working visa.
Living in a glass box.
Imagine you’re poor. Imagine you’ve been dropped off in this magical wonderland where you see shinny things all around you. Imagine you see all these young and hip people who lead interesting lives of ease.
You want desperately to join that, to have that, to be a part of that, but you’re stuck in glass box. You’re surrounded by it, but you can only look.
That’s what it’s like to be an immigrant to a new society without the right to work.
I’ve met friends and acquaintances here in Berlin who are young, living in a stylish apartment, have a well paying job with all the benefits, and the ability to pursue their hobbies. The world is their oyster.
I want that so badly.
I’m really hoping this job unlocks that for me. It will be a dream come true if I can make enough money to support myself and some left over to pay back debts, save for the future, and pursue things like travel and other hobbies.
I had actually given up hope on this company over the weekend because I thought they were going to call me by Friday. I had applied to all types of companies and had a few previous skype interviews, but I had an in person interview with this company two weeks ago, and a followup skype interview a week after that.
The first interview was rather strange as there wasn’t really a place for me to wait to meet the HR guy (who turns out was out of town) and the IT guy who was supposed to interview me. I had that “I’m lost” look about me and some employees ended up guiding me back to the IT office. I asked the first person in the IT office, in German, where I could find this one individual and they replied that they were terribly sorry but they didn’t speak German. I asked them again in English and they pointed me to the right person. I thought it was pretty funny. It’s an international company and so the employees are from all over the place. Everyone uses English as the language to communicate with one another. I still plan on continuing my German studies because that’s important for integration.
For the past month I’ve primarily been studying tech. I wanted to be on the ball during interviews and so I’ve started re-watching networking videos. Most nights/early mornings my room looks something like this:
Sometimes I’ll even set my monitor up on my empty club-mate crate next to my bed so I can roll over on the pillow and watch the lessons. It’s a little lonely and tedious at times, but I listen to the lecturer on 2X speed so that really makes him sound excited and enthusiastic, which goes a long way to keeping me interested.
Outside of studying and looking for work, I’ve been trying to make some big personal changes. I’ve started back up with the keto diet (only meats and veggies, avoid carbs, sugars, and heavily processed stuff), and I’ve joined a gym. The gym is really nice and super cheap for being brand new and open 24 hours. They even have free flavored water refills.
I’ve been sore for a couple of days now after not having really worked out since coming to Germany. I also have been trying to make a habit of meditating every day to help with stress and clearing my head. In addition to this, I’ve been trying to make an effort to get out and walk around in the sun for a bit each day. I usually put on my headphones and some music and lounge out in the grass next to Potsdammer Platz. This is my view:
That’s all for now.
Bis bald. (See you soon)