★♥️. Stories of 2023 .♥️★


I turned 30 for half a year, then reverted to 28, to turn 29 a month after (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check this BBC article). It’s as if the universe was like: you don’t seem ready to be 30, I’ll give you bit more time. Yea, I like making things all about me.

On my 29th birthday, I invited people and they came to celebrate with me. I remember falling asleep so happy! Big silly smile hung across my face, thinking and murmuring ‘I’m sooo happiee..’, drunk. The hangover wasn’t nice, but I’ve been thinking. Tbh, it’s not that I meet with all these people regularly or that we each have built deep friendship. But I see the potential. I see myself reaching out to people more, breaking out of my comfort zone, bit by bit.

I used to recoil into myself a lot. I loved being in my comfort zone but also hated it. I was scared. Scared of what? I’m not sure, maybe invisible intentions, unintended acts and words. Maybe it’s from all the goodbyes I’ve had growing up - honestly lost count of all the times I had to part with my best friends because either they or I moved away to a different city or country. Or maybe it’s just me with avoidant tendencies.

I wanted to be better. ‘Never take anyone for granted’ were the words I wanted to live by. I deeply wished, and wish, to be a good person, a genuinely good friend, companion. I also see that many find it difficult to build friendships in this city and are looking for genuine connections. I want to become the connection people are looking for. Throughout the year, I set my mind to slowly start overcoming my fear. And I feel, for the very first time, I can say I made efforts to break out of my ego and to build genuine meaningful friendships, without feeling like an imposter. 🍻

I moved into my dream apartment

A two-room apartment at the very heart of Berlin, remarkably affordable for Berlin standards, Neubau (relatively newly built). My fellow Berliners might say (and have said) it’s too good to be true. But it is true. 🥹

(the dream wasn’t super big but big enough) I’ve dreamt of a place in the city center, with a spacious area to put a large table for house parties, a space for a beamer for movie nights, and a separate bedroom. And ofc, permanent contract. This is exactly what I’ve got. I remember being invited to a viewing, immediately falling in love. I remember secretly jumping around the apartment (when landlady wasn’t looking) at the excitement that maybe I’ll live here, walking out of the apartment, and whispering to my ex ‘This is mine!!!’. There were of course many others who were invited to the viewing and it was a random selection among us. And I won the raffle.

For a while I’ve been busy moving, buying second-hand furniture, and gradually making this apartment home. Lots of DIY objects and decors. More plants. And it is a work in progress because I keep coming up with new ideas.

Could always be better, bigger, brighter, etc. But I feel this is just the right place for me at this stage in life.

I got this rental offer and work contract (after months of visa and paperwork issues) around the same time. Things worked out nervewrackingly perfectly, like fragile pieces of puzzle that fit too perfectly that a tiny slip could have messed everything up ☠️🖤 The timings were sooo close, rent was just right at my capacity. But everything worked out, major life updates!!

Embracing being outside the comfort zone

Speaking of building connections and getting out of comfort zone, I think these were major themes of my 2023. I started pole dance because, one, it looks so cool and two, I knew I was gonna suck at it. I was scared of not excelling at something that I avoided things I knew I would do badly. And I’d only do things I knew I would do at least decently. I am embracing not being good at something from the get-go, failing and trying again and again until I’m decent at it, and it feels so good! It feels so good to not be obsessed about doing great, doing better than others. Also, at this point, it’s just so much fun. Half of my insta feed is now pole.

Thanks to all those who inspired me, I wish to inspire too.

Et cetera

My ex and I became best friends. In other words, we broke up I guess? He has always been my best friend anyway, we decided to transform our relationship. It just made all the sense. He was among the most mature, understanding people I’ve ever met. I am truly grateful for the support I’ve received, the lessons I’ve learned, memories we’ve made. The relationship has helped me heal my wounds and become a better person.

I didn’t expect this but my little plant collection is sooo therapeutic. I wake up, see these guys, and feel so happy..! In this new year, I plan to give away/sell those that don’t vibe with me and fill it with ones that spark joy (as per Marie Kondo ✨). This is also a metaphor for what I intend to do with all other aspects of life. No rush though, slow and steady.

So grateful for all the luck and blessings I’ve had. I am very excited about this new year too. I have a feeling this is going to be amazing.

___ of the year

📚 Book: BITCH by Lucy Cooke

🎥 Movie: PAST LIVES, C’mon C’mon

🎪 Events: 새소년 concert 🖤, first personal attendance at scientific conference, another first-(co)author publication