Dismantling My Nest

Once June came, the sun finally started to shine in Germany. Now there are insects that fly, not just the helpless slugs on the sidewalks, which appeared during the cruel weeks of rain in May and which inevitably got squooshed into bike tire prints (one of the many reasons I don’t ride a bike). Now there are insects that buzz and swarm and fly into your mouth when you jog, all reminders that it’s time for Germany to wake up from awful winter. They’re also reminders that it’s almost time for me to go. Every day as I move about my room, from lying on the bed (my cloud) to sitting at the desk uncomfortably while my feet go numb to standing in front of the bookshelf staring at my cherished books to sitting on the bed with my laptop on my legs to exercising on the rug to meditating on the beanbag chair to lying on the bed before I fall asleep again, I look at the strange components of my nest and know that soon I will have to take them down one by one. I built my nest in a time of desperation. The winter was hard on me, and in my loneliness and heartache I added special items to my room to make myself feel more at home. Eventually these items came to surround me on all sides, creating a comforting nest. On the wall by the bed I have pictures of those dearest to me in picture frames and I have a physical map of Europe. On the nightstand I have macadamia body butter, a little decorative shoe holding my rings, and a stand with all of my special necklaces and bracelets. On the window sill I have three candles, which I lit on particularly lonely nights to make it feel like a special occasion. I also have little wire butterflies, which I brought back from Chile, stuck on the window frame. On the wall by the desk I have a political map of Africa to inspire my dreams, a board with loose pictures of my dog and my friends pinned on it, a map of the time zones of the world (to make long distance seem not so long), and a calendar with a different herb/spice for each month. On the desk I have a homemade frame with a picture of my boyfriend and me on the beach in Australia. On my bookshelf there is one shelf dedicated to nest pieces, including pictures, cards, gifts I’ve received (one of which is my stuffed monkey Arthur), and one of the small leather gloves that my mom gave me before I came to Germany (the other I sadly lost). Some of these items like the glove and my map of Africa and Arthur will come back to the USA with me, but most of them will stay or be discarded. As I think about taking down this nest piece by piece, it makes me sad, because I feel that for certain portions of this year the nest was so vital for me. Dismantling it now equates a loss of security yet again, something for which I’m not sure I’m ready. But in some ways I do feel ready to dismantle the nest. I won’t need the nest any more in the USA. I’ll be in my own country, surrounded by my friends and my family and my boyfriend. I’ll have a real support system instead of this makeshift one. As the time to dismantle my nest comes nearer, I remind myself that I can finally let go of the need to protect my lonely, scared, confused self.  Finally I know that everything is going to be alright soon, and maybe, just maybe, I’ve learned to trust myself a little more in the process.


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