Mama, I made it to Oxford

29.09.2018

Dear Mama,

I just had my introduction day at Oxford. I know that you would have liked to drop me off yourself, maybe you would have done so five years ago when I first went to university. Even, Papa told me, that if you had been there I would have had more of a spine and more confidence. Maybe then I would have followed my path much sooner, but who knows if this is even really my path and does that matter now?

I am 25 years old and I just finished my first creative writing class.

At the Oxford train stop, I saw a woman with a bag full of things on top of it there was a rolled woollen blanket. She was talking to a man that she had met waiting for the train. “We dropped my daughter off to the university last week, and have just realised that we forgot half of the things, so we are just heading there… I also baked all day yesterday, to drop off to her” she said. By we she meant her younger son, with whom she had come with.

I thought of you mama, I remember the first real trip that I went to in second grade, a weekend at a pony farm. I mean the whole trip itself was an exciting event for me because I had won the trip for my class at an inter-school charade game at the “Berliner Grüne Woche”. “Shepherd”

Yet, I felt even more like a star when you dropped me off. You had packed my red, orange camping backpack and out of it, the head of my Simba doll had looked out, you had tied a red bandana around his head….

 

30.09.2018

Mama this letter wasn’t written in a day. My of recent extra scattered mind has been having problems to focus on single tasks. A direct result of my mental displacement is that I missed my flight yesterday. Even though I was at the airport three hours early and I sat in front of the gate. I had been texting Chewy and had told them that capitalism lives on human isolation and loneliness. And that we make wrong financial decisions due to our loneliness, we buy coffees and chais because we want to buy away our loneliness, we are addicted to instant gratification. I remembered that I gave out less money when I wasn’t living alone and shared my budget with someone. Yet, capitalism makes it in a way impossible to have real relationships and connections. We must work long hours that keep us apart and the little time that we have left we use to de-stress or are looking for an instant gratifying service, object, event or trip we can buy. Humans are communal creatures, capitalism knows this and has built us an imaginary ladder that we should all be climbing to reach some higher version that does not exist in the present.

I missed my FLIGHT. And was sent to all corners of the airport nobody really wanted to help me. I was just  sent from one counter to the next (Kafkaesque). Luckily, after an hour of crying and self-loathing and talking to Chewy and my roommate, I found another reasonably priced flight and here I am now.

Mama so back to Oxford, I had my first class and it was sort of strange but also nice. I thought a lot about the community that I have in Berlin, the community that made it possible for me to come here. I think about the people that always have my back and that are there for me and help me without expectations. I have allowed myself to fall into their arms and it is scary to be this vulnerable but at the same time, it is this connection that has brought me this far. Without vulnerability, there is no connection and no space for growth. Vulnerability is the fertiliser that cultivates growth and rooted ties.

I am now at the airport waiting to get back home. Yes, Berlin is home. While I was on the phone last night with my roommate (while she was on the metro bus back home) and I heard the electronic voice say the bus stops my heart warmed up, that is when I knew. Berlin, in particular, Schöneberg and the area around Yorkstr (where you lived when you were in your 20s) are home. Berlin, the city I had a mother in, is the city that I call home… too.

Well, I will end for now. I promise to write you soon, to let you know about how the first night at the Barbican young poets program went. Till then keep on shining I have been seeing you twinkle really bright. Love you and thinking of you always.

Deine,

Esther