(21 Days until I Say) Goodbye, Germany/Tschüss, Deutschland

The last year in Germany went by really fast. I mean, unbelievably surprisingly crazy fast. Our six years here will end exactly in 21 days. Will I cry? Probably!!! Am I going to miss it? Absolutely!!!

“Are you excited that you are moving to the U.S.?” 

“I should say yes. I am positive and hopeful but there is a moment every day that I feel extremely sad.” 

“Oh, we’re gonna miss you.” 

“I’m gonna miss you, too!!!” 


It is the phase of goodbyes. I have experienced it before more than once like there is nothing new about it, but one thing so sure is that I am NOT a fan of it AT ALL.

Deutschland ist schon meine zweite Heimat. People say where you live eventually becomes your home. After living here for six years, Germany already became my home. Though I am not German and my German is far from great, I tried my very best to be a better person in this country despite the fact that the attempt might not have been always successful. And now, “Please stay!” and “I don’t want you to leave!” mean so much to me more than ever. How many times do you think I have wished that I could be in Japan, the U.S. and Germany at the same time? 

The beautiful Rhein River on the bridge between Kastel and Mainz, the cobblestone road on my way to the station, the latte macchiato and the Glühwein with my friends, the Christmas markets we went throughout Germany, the sound of the church bell near our apartment, the commute to Frankfurt on S-bahn I have done countless times, the gates of departure at Frankfurt Airport where our trips started, and the sound of German language (especially, the dialect of Hessen). The priceless ordinary pieces of my memory are forever remain to be so dear to me.

Like I wrote before, it is not a place that determines your happiness. Wherever you go, it is you who make you happy. And when it happens to be so easy to fall in love with the place, it gets even easier for you to feel your happiness, Vielen vielen Dank, Deutschland. All I have for you is nothing but genuine gratitude, Germany. Thank you so much for the best six years of our life.

Now America is calling. It is the East Coast: the brand new world. It is time to go and I will definitely discover new happiness there.

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Happiness Is Simple

Time flies fast. This year is about to end in four days. How do you summarize this year? Do you think you had many events that could make you feel happy? I truly hope so.

When it comes to how you define happiness, it reflects the perspective of how you see your own life. How do you observe your own life and what could make you happy?

I lost my mother over two years ago after the battle with the terminal stage of cancer. The last year of her life became my ultimate source to redefine happiness in my life. She was the master of finding happiness through the simplest events of her daily life.

She was happy because the sun was shining and the flowers outside bloomed. The pleasant way some neighbor said hello to her made her smile, and the good taste of the caffe latte in the cafeteria of the hospital made her day during her chemotherapy. When she lost all of her hair, she started going to the nail salon and sent me the photos of her nails every month with excitement. Since before and even after the discovery of the cancer, that part of her remained as her charm that could make her radiant until severe dimentia caused by malignant brain tumour killed who she really was. She constantly showed gratitude towards the simplest factors that occurred in her everyday life, and she lived her 58 years of her life to the fullest. Happiness was indeed ubiquitous. 

I am forever grateful for having her as my mother, and after losing her and turning thirty without her, I feel like I finally became a few steps closer to the way she observed her life. It takes time and strength for one to become positive and optimistic like her. I am certain that she also had her own process that made her who she was. At the same time, through witnessing her life and death, I realized life was too short to regret and to feel sad. It is better to cherish your each and every day because you never know when you die.

I loved every cup of my coffee in the morning, am content that I met new amazing people through work, had fun traveling different places, read a few good books, had some good hot wine on Christmas markets, and a few days ago, my student surprised me with a slice of brownie he baked, and my husband is peacefully snoring on the couch as I write this. I guess I am able to conclude that I had a pretty good year this year.

May all of you be blessed even more with lots of happiness in the coming new year.

The Magical World

Approximately one more year remains in Germany. Most of the time, I try my very best not to think of the inevitable fact. I just let time pass by, focusing on the daily routines that do not seem to possess that much significance. But some cups of coffee and some train rides and some ordinary conversations later, the feeling of void that resembles heartbreak always ends up coming back. It is like the relationship that you are in that you know it is ending. Please don’t let me leave you.

Life can be funny indeed. I wonder how many of you are actually living the lives you dreamed of when you were ten years old. When I was ten, I was daydreaming that once I stepped out of Japan, the magical world filled with nothing but happiness awaited.

And the reality was dead wrong. To be honest, things could have been much easier if I stayed in Japan although it does not necessarily mean that could make me happier. I have lived in the United States, France and Portugal before my fate sent me to Germany. Five years ago, my life here started with zero German knowledge and zero friend. And five years later, the world became somewhat magical filled with a plenty of happiness. I wonder how the ten year-old me sees me now.

Germany already became my home and a big part of me, but again, I will have to let my fate decide where I am going next. I am not too hopeful because I am not ten anymore, but I have come to learn that it is up to me to make the world magical no matter where that is.

That Dark Juvenile Time

When I was a teenager, there was the period that I thought it was for the best if I ended my own life. I was afraid of people, responsibilities, future: practically everything. I thought the world would be better off without me. I stopped eating for months and cried endlessly because of my own despair I had created.

What saved me from the dismal selfish period was keeping journals. I turned to the healing ability of words. I felt as though I made the ultimate beauty when I described every negative sad emotion of mine on a paper. Thinking back, I was too ignorant to appreciate how fortunate I had been that I had my own bedroom and food to eat. The spoiled brat, who did not know anything about the reality of living, best described who I really was.

Now I have a job that demands the skills to face people. I am responsible for many things and I have the future I want to live. I eat a lot and I don’t cry anymore. And I learned to be grateful for everything and everybody around me. I did grow up, just like everybody else. But, almost two decades later, I still recall that era at times. Its memory deeply haunts me still and I keep on questioning myself why.

The Road Not Taken

Today is one of the rare days I don’t have to work. I slowly sip a big mug of coffee for breakfast, reading random newspaper articles on the Internet in Japanese. I clean the bathroom, take some bio trash out and walk to the station to mail some documents off to my tax accountant’s office in northern Germany. I buy an amazing sandwich at the bakery of the station- the French bread filled with fresh Parmesan and rucola. I walk back home and start to cook some decent supper- homemade patty from scratch with the sauteed mushroom sauce, hoping it turns out to be so good and my husband loves it. I exercise for an hour in the backroom then plan what to teach tomorrow while I wait for him to come home from work. Does anything I do today somewhat make me be a good housewife? Or does he feel that way? Am I still a big part of his happiness? 

And at the same time, I wonder why I am not in New York City right now, pursuing my MFA degree or working as a professional interpreter or something like that. And then again I think to myself how happy I am here in Germany. I wonder if I ever had different paths to take. 

I Can’t Write.

Here I confess: I can’t write.
For a long time, I do suffer.
Two mugs of coffee later, still a blank page on my iPad screen.
In my head, dead boring words.
Frustration growing- this ain’t me.
Work and responsibilities- emotions blocked by rationality.
Me- 31 years old.
Innocence reduced- so darn stable.
The background song: Ellie Goulding
Intuition, here I follow.
Still I confess: I can’t write.

It’s Already 2016!!!

I simply feel terrible. I launched this website last September with the countless amount of positive energy. I was so motivated to write. And I accomplished nothing I wanted last year. I was completely tied up with work and studying German and failed to invest time in this website.

However, despite all of those huge regrets, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of the readers who devoted your precious time to read my works. It required me to have lots of courage to expose my writings to the eyes of the public, and your positive reactions certainly meant a lot to me.

Last year, I was too focused on the thought that I HAD TO write something creative all the time. But this year, I will treat this website more as the tool of communication, which is like the journals composed of random thoughts, addressed to be read by people. And, I may also post poems and short stories when I feel like doing so.

Hope you still stick around. Please feel free to talk to me through comments.

Again, thank you so much for reading.

That ESL Kid

I assume a majority of the readers of my website here speak English as your first language. And, you probably had no troubles dealing with it in your daily life when you were young.

Or perhaps, some of you might be from those countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, whose educational systems are so marvelous that English has always been there for you during your entire school life, and you actually find English easy since your mother language is so similar and more complex. Or you might be from Singapore or India that English is treated as one of your national languages, thus you did not have to struggle that much.

Well, neither was my case. My mother language is not even made of alphabets to begin with. And, yes I struggled and I am still struggling when it comes to English. And If I make mistakes, please do correct me. I will be a better writer.

And, I wonder if anybody can relate this to your own experience or come up with the people you know with the similar background.

If you went to high school or college in the States or Canada, you can probably recall someone from overseas who could participate in gym, art and math classes with you but his/her other classes were all ESL. I was that kid and that was how everything started.

Even after you successfully completed the ESL program, your battle still continues. When you take an economic class, it takes four hours for you to finish reading just one chapter when it takes only thirty minutes for Americans, and you have to finish four other courses like that per semester to graduate.

And, when you think you finally wrote a great essay, your teacher gives you an A- with the footnote, “please take it to the learning center for grammar checks.” And when you take it there, the American tutor merely glances at it, obviously not reading it, and tells you that you should rewrite everything because it sucks, and your entire confidence in writing diminishes.

When you sign up for a creative writing class, some Americans look at your name listed on your works and shrug, as if to tell that you cannot write because your first name is not Elizabeth, Jennifer or Diane.

But, all of the sudden, when you keep on trying, some people start telling you that they like what you write and praise you that you are a good writer. And, you are on the Dean’s List for semesters, receiving multiple academic achievement awards and you graduate with honors.

Has anybody been there before? Well, you can still say my English is bad and it is probably still horrible but I still keep on writing. If you ever happen to be that ESL kid, don’t give up. Somebody is definitely watching your efforts and struggles. And, if you are a native speaker of English and know those kids, try to look for best in their ability beyond grammars and typos. I believe the same can be applied to any other languages.

I just thought writing this article could mean something to you and people around you. And I am happy if it could.

© 2015 Kiara Belle * To subscribe on your Kindle, please click HERE!!!

The Thoughts on a Rainy Day

It is raining here in the west part of Germany today. I don’t like the way that the sun seems to be loosing its strength to uplift my mind, and I wonder what it feels like if I ever lived in England. Will I always be like this? I doubt not.

Coming from Japan, the European stone-paved streets provide me the sense of newness, reflecting the history and the culture I was not familiar with. And, I find them particularly stunning when they are covered with rain. The way they shine invite some kind of sorrow and sadness that I see beauty within, which is like some songs by Lana Del Rey.

And, I love the way a majority of Europeans seldom use umbrellas unless it rains badly. Japanese people usually tend to be quite vulnerable when it comes to rain and we easily rely on umbrellas even when it just sprinkles. But, I learned how good it actually felt to be slightly soaked in a rain here. After all, a rainy day is probably not as bad as it seems.

© 2015 Kiara Belle * To subscribe on your Kindle, please click HERE!!!

What is Poetry?

Thanks for reading my old poems that I posted within these few days and your positive reactions to my works certainly meant a lot to me. And that made me want to think and write about what poetry is for me. What is it for you, my dear fellow writers and readers? How do YOU see poetry in your life?
 
Containing the mysterious strong power, leaving unfamiliar new scent, messing up with my heart and always running away from me, poetry goes beyond all of my knowledge and intelligence. Like a beautiful butterfly that can never be captureded in my hands, poetry is what is not mine, yet. However, it ironically keeps on making me attracted. Until the day poetry is finally captured in my hands, I would rather let poetry be undefined, for the combination of obscure thoughts never deserves to define poetry.
 
Unlike novels or short stories whose plots and characters have almost the dominant significance rather than the meaning that each word has, the importance that each word carries in a poem is quite enormous. In other words, if one cannot decode almost every word in a poem, he/she fails to understand it. This fact widens my ignorance and foreignness to English language and ends up revealing how unsophisticated my English really is. To be honest, poetry written in English and writing poems in English are threads to my English ability.

However, the reason why I am never ashamed of my poetry in English is because it is the consequence of following my heart. Namely, poetry is one tool to face who I am whether directly or indirectly. Like the case of the ancient Greek poet, Sappho, even though her works are discovered as fragments, as long as there is the strong power in the words in the poems, regardless of the languages of translations, the words shine by reflecting the pieces of the author. That idea perhaps might be what poetry to me is.

© 2015 Kiara Belle * To subscribe on your Kindle, please click HERE!!!