The good thing about hitting rock bottom.. is that the only way left, is up.
Author: Melissa Sue Derlin
What if, once upon a time, there were no stars in the sky at all?
What if the stars are not what we think?
What if the light from afar doesn't come from the rays of distant suns...
...but from our wings as we turn into angels? Destiny calls to each of us.
And there is a world behind the world where we are all connected.
All part of a great and moving plan.
Magic is everywhere around us.
You just have to look.
For even time and distance are not what they appear to be.
We are all connected.
Each baby born carries a miracle inside.
A unique purpose.
And that miracle is promised to one person and one person alone.
We are voyagers, set on a course towards destiny...
...to find the one person our miracle is meant for.
I finally had enough money saved to do a full makeover of my flat and I couldn’t be more excited about it. That green old couch was my friend still and all my clothes were piled up in a library way too big for the very little number of shirts that I owned. It was time to take another step into the comfort and lifestyle I always wanted for myself and I honestly did not want to wait any longer.
I think I spent the entire day scrolling through offers and picking up the best options to fit the idea I had in mind but finally, I succeeded. By nightfall, I had the cart full of decorations, furniture and a few other things that I didn’t really need but, come on, who hasn’t done that before?
My room was going to have several shades of pink, white and light brown. Ornamented with little lights, my own watercolour artwork and my beautiful, gorgeous babies Spike and Theo (I said it before but in case you don’t remember, those are my plants). The only thing left to do was to wait for the delivery and go pick up new cuties, preferably with flowers on those tones.
A few days later, my house was fully equipped with fresh and shiny things that matched perfectly with all my plants (yes, I added many more) and desired lifestyle. Slowly but surely, all the traces of my ex-boyfriend were disappearing and I, I was finally breathing with a cleared heart.
This post is dedicated to Commonground. I don’t think I will be able to express how much I LOVE this place. Coming from the same owners as Silo Coffee (review at the end), this place that is literally the common ground with The Circus Hotel, can offer everything that you are looking when your heart craves a café kind of moment.
Food and coffee are simply great. Depending on the time you go, they have breakfast/brunch, cakes and cocktails as the evening cherry. And they are all worth the price and waiting time.
The selection goes from Home Made Granola to Spiced Chickpea & Zucchini Fritters, among other delicious options to have an exquisite brunch.
The environment is also something to admire since it gives you completely different spaces for you to choose where you feel the most comfortable. With three indoor rooms and a gorgeous patio, with really comfortable sofas or elegant group tables, with spaces to work or read (they even have a small book collection), and Wi-Fi that, and pay attention to this, does not work during weekends.
To keep in mind: Kitchen Open until 16:30 Every Day.
After that completely crazy “36 questions” date I had to have a girls day and definitely laugh about such weird experience. We arrived at Commonground around 3pm and sat next to the fireplace, facing the ridiculously cute patio, in the last room. With the typical Berlin rain as the soundtrack, we ordered a Latte Macchiato, a Cappuccino and a Lemon Pie with pistachios on top (I’m seriously addicted to that one) and started our long, long conversation
My friend couldn’t believe it. She ended up holding her belly while she laughed like it was the last time she was ever going to hear something hilarious.
– This is priceless!
– It was a very interesting experience indeed.
– I’m sorry for you tho, but guess the story was worth the awkwardness, right?
– For sure! Look how you are laughing!
The afternoon went by with giggles, stories and lots of weird looks from the people not used to loud conversations. And looking back, that weird date was a good thing after all. Seeing my friend’s face while I went through the details had no price.
As promised, I leave you with a small but honest opinion about Silo Coffee. Another place that has caught my eye and climbs to the top places on my favourites list.
This medium size but beautiful coffee shop located in one of the popular neighbourhoods in Berlin, Friedrichshain is a nice option for a classy breakfast or brunch. The menu is a small mix of delicious options that will satisfy your taste buds. Dog-friendly and impeccable staff to make your stay even better.
The first experience wasn’t completely nice but, I’m not the type that gives up easily. This time I was going to follow a different approach recommended by one of my friends. Not talking a lot, just being spontaneous and meeting face to face, fast, like you would if you had met the dude at a bar.
Tinder was buzzing again and after a short introduction, the guy that was texting me proposed to go to a bar next to a lake. It was relatively close to home, plain daylight and perfect to try this new technique. So I accepted the invitation, got ready in a few minutes (I don’t really use that much makeup or “ornaments” so the process is pretty fast) and started my short ride to the bar. When I arrived he was already waiting for me with drinks for the both of us and paper sheets at the table. As close as I approached the table I not only realized that he did not look like his pictures but that the pages were titled “37 questions to fall in love with a stranger” (you have to be kidding me).
Because I’m way too nice (or a masochist) I didn’t immediately turn around, run away and did not look back, but instead, I greeted and sat on that cement table with this already interesting (not in a good way) character.
As feared, the conversation was a disaster. For starters, he was an aggressive person in a way that you couldn’t say “no, I don’t like eggplants” if that was his favourite food. Therefore, since I’m the blunt type (sometimes too blunt) I had to deal with a lot of comments that showed how upset he was. My entire body was yelling at me words of encouragement to vanish and cancel that, clearly, awfully mistaken match. But my curiosity and desire for a story won that fight and so I stayed longer.
I thought he was receiving that rejection from my side or perhaps even feeling the same way as I was, but no. Suddenly, he got a bit nervous and grabbed the paper sheets mumbling something like “I haven’t done this before, but I thought it was a good idea to try and so I printed one copy for you and another one for me” (a lot of preparation to not having a clue of what he was doing, don’t you think?). He gave me my copy and added that it was only to get to know me and that to fall in love wasn’t necessary (not gonna happen don’t worry).
Starting with, Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want to have as a dinner guest? which wasn’t that bad, it quickly escalated to questions like Name three things the two of you have in common.I had, honestly, nothing in common with this person but he somehow found a lot of things. It surprised me to see how inventive he could be in a way of believing he was something he clearly wasn’t, not to mention that he even said he wasn’t before the questions started. I also noticed that every time that I was answering, he checked his phone, later I realized he was timing my answers, yeah, that kind of a freak.
My curiosity was running out quickly and my desperation for running away from there as soon as possible was filling every particle in my body. I didn’t know what to do, I had never been in a situation like that before and I wasn’t comfortable with just standing up and leaving. I needed a good excuse or to be brutally honest but this guy was already creepy enough to have that kind of conversation. The thinking was suddenly interrupted with the question Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why? What the heck, what kind of question was that! Okay, I needed to run, right now.
I grabbed my empty glass in an attempt of looking for ideas while I pretended to look at it I guess, and he took it as a sign that I wanted another drink so he stood up, said he wanted a refill and looked at me waiting for something. After a few awkward seconds of being stared at, he said with a bit of anger in his voice: “ain’t you gonna buy me a drink?” (Uh, no. Why would I?)
– I’m sorry, what?
– You know what, forget it!
– I don’t understand why you are getting upset.
– I bought you one, now it’s your turn.
– Well, I didn’t ask for one, and I don’t want a refill, so tell me how much was the drink and I’ll give you the money.
– I said forget it! -and he turned around and went to the bar.
Okay, enough, as soon as he came back I made a lame excuse to just leave. I waited for him to finish his drink out of politeness and run away as fast as I possibly could. Weird people, and him.
It was time to go explore my neighbourhood and check whether if living at the end of the world was actually that bad as some say. For starters, I love that this area is peaceful and completely green. It has actual houses and not those not fancy looking buildings that cover areas like Kreuzberg or Wedding. People seem more relaxed around here, it’s a families and gardens place and the constant neighbours that you will find are cute little squirrels that live on the many many trees that grow around here.
Walking among these streets and falling in love all over again with how beautiful Berlin is, I found this pretty Italian restaurant placed in a more “city-like” part of Roedernallee. Pretty, calm and quite familiar, Ristorante Cavallino is now, for sure, one of my favourites places to go in this city.
Not only counts with delicious pasta dishes, but also seafood and desserts that will blow your taste buds. You can eat inside or in a gorgeous front garden or patio that is covered to avoid getting soaked in the particular weather Berlin has.
The high rating applies also to the friendly and funny staff that works there. Of course, they all speak German but some add Italian and English to the mix.
The place is owned by two brothers, Paolo and Lorenzo Scalia, from Sicily, Italy. They have been working in this place for over 25 years and you can definitely notice the love and devotion that they put into it.
I totally recommend this place if you are looking for some delicious food and calm and lovely environment. The coolest thing, you can check the menu beforehand if patience is not your strongest quality.
After being ghosted like a champion, what better way to cure the pride than a trip to a long day of sunbathing and wine picnics? Berlin has several lakes where you can go do just that and some are for sure better than others, but this time we went to Strandbad Müggelsee (the place has been open since the 20s and renovated over the years to keep enjoying it).
For people living up north like me, this is a really far away lake so I wouldn’t recommend it if you can’t go early and stay for the day. However, starting from Alexanderplatz, it’s only 43min approximately and according to BVG, you only need the regular A-B ticket.
The beach area is wide, pretty clean and be sure that you’ll find some cool boats, gigantic floating unicorns and all kinds of beach toys and games among people (meaning, you should definitely take yours). Food is also not a problem in case you forgot your picnic supplies, there are not-that-expensive spätis (or something like that) where you can buy refreshments and snacks to keep those extra kilograms where they should be.
We spent the day under the sun talking about everything that crossed our minds (boys, sex and dates mostly) with occasional dives into that fresh water. It was for sure a nice distraction from everything and I know I repeat this a lot but after all the drama that I had, it’s hard to put your head up again and I would be lying if I said that it doesn’t require a lot of work. Anyways, I was ready to move on and there was no need to keep me from having the best time with my friends in this beautiful and unique Berlin.
Opening hours: From 9am till sunset.
Entrance fee: Free.
-But nothing! He’s asking you out during the day so that it’s perfect for a first date! No pressure for anything that you don’t want to do.
I looked at the friend that was encouraging me and then to the other one with a big “help me” in my eyes but all she did was the laugh. The excitement and desperation of that potential first date with a stranger, in Berlin, and after the bad break up, was simply adorable to them, hence, they were in the same boat.
-Can’t help you with this one. It’s up to you.
-Nooo… it’s up to me and she is going.
-When did my love life become your job?
-Since I committed to my new boyfriend and I can’t date anymore!
-That is not my problem to solve.
-Come on! Stop making him wait! SAY YES!
An hour later, I found herself waiting for the bus 120. Outfit approved by my friends, a good light base of makeup and a flawless getaway plan just in case things went south. My hands were shaking a bit and my head remembered how nervous I was before my finals a while back and no, this was worse. What if he was a total douche? Or even worse! What if he was really cute but hated me? I took a deep thoughts-cleaning breath, no panicking allowed.
It took me 40 painful minutes to get to the meeting point and there he was (yes, I live at the end of the world). Waiting for me with a pretty smile on his face.
After grabbing a beer from a späti (in case you didn’t know, in Berlin is completely normal and allowed to drink alcohol at any time and on the street) we started walking around the remainings of the Berlin wall, the river close to it, the Brandenburg Gate and the beautiful parks full of cute little bunnies that apparently not all Germans adore. During the entire time, he did not shut up about German history and how good he was with dates and facts or how awful it was the massive production of cars that Germany has and how they should be forbidden. I mean, don’t get me wrong, having a free informative guide to the most historical places in Berlin was much appreciated but that felt like a weird, untypical date.
By the time we said goodbye (with a hug) I felt like I had a new ‘friend’ that I knew close to nothing about. But the title of the post has a meaning and here it comes:
As soon as I got home I had a text from him asking me to hang out once again the next day. Unsure of what I wanted (his nickname had become “the geek”), I suggested the weekend which was two days from there). He happily accepted and in seconds, organized a nice walk in the park.
He texted again the next morning and continued talking along the day. The same situation on Friday and to be honest I had mixed feelings about it. The date was nice-ish, but I was definitely not looking for anything serious and the number of texts was a little bit weird compared to all the regular German standards that my friends so strictly taught me (in case you are not aware, no talking for two or three days is the normal rule. Looking at the texts and not replying is not considered rude and a phone call, unless you got lost or something, will just rise the psycho alert on everyone). The conversations were a mix of everything and he seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me. And let’s be blunt, despite all doubts, it was nice to know that someone was thinking about me and so I replied every text with a wide smile that intended to hid concernings away. But nothing lasts forever, right? Especially when you just met the guy and you used an app to do so. Yes, yes, there are exceptions, I know, but with the title of this post, are you really expecting one?
The geek eventually texted that ridiculously feared question that so many people try to completely avoid (being me one of them), what are you looking for? I would never be able to express with words how much I hate that type of conversation but let’s give it a try. I had met the guy two days ago after experiencing my own personal hell, I still had nothing completely settled, no furniture in my flat, not enough money to go on shopping sprees, no interest in drama and therefore, no intentions of having anything close to a relationship. I replied in the calmest and politest way that was possible to me and I thought he was going to be thrilled with my lack of commitment intentions but almost immediately, he texted back a long, pretty self-defensive, and weird reply saying something like relationships were overrated and that, of course, he wasn’t looking for anything and I should have noticed that, plus a bunch of other things that made no real sense to me at all. After that awkward message, he stopped texting completely.
Saturday was finally here and since he didn’t show any signs of life I texted him asking if the stroll he planned was still on, but nothing. Hours later, I still had no response.
After the food market (unfortunately, I do not remember the name) we went to one of my friend’s flat to get ready for the night. House of Weekend was waiting for us and I couldn’t be more excited. First time clubbing in Berlin!
Several really loud songs, a parade of a billion different outfits and way too much vodka later, we were ready and on point to have a blast. We walked to the M10 stop and waited there, giggling and already dancing to our improvised karaoke, until the metro arrived.
Coming from a small city I can assure you that we don’t have cool high rooftops with an urban view that blows your mind. So you can imagine my reaction when I saw that for the first time. No shame in admitting I pictured myself being a celebrity going through the doors and the elevator, all classy, damn cool, taking care of details and of course, image. But quickly (as soon as I put a foot outside that elevator) I became a child with a new toy. OMG, THAT VIEW!
What can I say about that night, it was amazing, that’s for sure. We danced till our feet couldn’t take it no more. We shared so many laughs and stories up there on the rooftop. It was like all the stress I had was completely gone and the reason why it started, was a long distant memory.
This club is open almost every day during the early afternoon and night. It has special events with different prices, styles of music and international food and drinks. The best way to know all about a particular date is to visit their main page or to go to the specific Facebook event.
You can also make reservations for groups at any of the 6 lounges around the club or if you feel like enjoying fresh air and a magnificent view, you can choose from up to 13 lounges at the rooftop. TIP: Across the night, people will most certainly forget this are reservations and you might find yourself sharing your table with new friends.
In a matter of seconds, my phone was flooded with dating apps and my friends were already giving me a billion pieces of advice on how to create a profile that showed a little bit of everything.
– They have to see that you are funny.
– But not a clown.
– That you can be sexy.
– But not easy.
– That you are smart.
– But not a nerd.
– That you are…
– OMG stop. What if I just put some random pics that I like and emojis of my hobbies and favourite things?
The girls looked at each other, shared a laugh (way too loud I might add) and wished me good luck with a bit of sarcasm in their voices.
Minutes later, the picture of a stranger was smiling at me waiting for that positive swipe to potentially match. I stared at that image for a moment. How was I supposed to gather enough courage to put myself out there again after all the mess I experienced? I knew how to handle a regular heartbreak but, an international heartbreak was an entirely different matter. It was, for sure, way more stressful.
I sight with a “you can do it” echoing in my head and, cheered by my friends, I started that swiping that has become some kind of a ritual for our generation.
I got the job! There are no words to express the happiness I had when I received that phone call. Finally, the constant search and the feeling of dependency was over. I was going to be able to enjoy my efforts and relax. To go around town and visit almost everything I wanted (let’s be realistic, there is still an apartment to pay). The work hours were great, the salary was good and the vibe in that company, amazing. Things were going well, really well. And to think that I was a mess a little bit more than a month ago.
– This has to be celebrated! –said one of my friends with excitement.
It is amazing how much you can accomplish with the right mindset. I had refused pain and sorrow and even tho sometimes wondered how on earth I let myself be so blind, I was getting to a point of acceptance and peace I honestly don’t remember having before. My path to happiness was the right one and to my eyes, the sun was shining brightly than ever.
I was panicking big time that day and despite I had been in several interviews in the past weeks, this one was particularly stressful. I really wanted that job and honestly, despite the Job Center was being a total sweetheart, I needed the office hours and the responsibility only a job can give you. Being indoors sending resumes all day was way too time-consuming and even more stressful than actually working.
Despite what a lot of people say about how to dress for job interviews, I usually choose an outfit casual and matches my personality. Put some makeup on, fixed my nails (this step really takes me a while), tied my snickers and after a few words of encouragement in front of the mirror, I was ready.
As usual, the Ubahn was completely full with the amazing variety of people Berlin has to offer, but that day I couldn’t admire outfits or hairstyles or hot boys (don’t judge), nothing was able to take my mind away from the constant thought of “I’ve got this”. Finally, Moritzplatz arrived and therefore, my possible office.
Six floors up the stairs (God I needed to get fit) and there it was, the office I wanted to keep seeing for a long while. Huge decorated desks organized six by six, cute little robots all around, colourful plants everywhere, chatty and happy people. It was so pretty and full of good energy that I could feel my excitement running through my veins. It the perfect working environment for me, and they even had a beautiful dog!
After greeting my interviewer and hopefully future boss, we sat down in a small conference room and before I knew it, the questions started. My strategy was simply being myself, even if that meant some weird jokes and loud laughter in the middle of the interview. This time I was going to try an angle I never tried before, and not only at this particular moment, but in every aspect of my life. I was not going to care about what people say or think and if I was going to be wanted, loved and appreciated, it was going to be because of me. With my good, crazy and bad “features”.
I opened my eyes really early that day. My ex-boyfriend was going to come over and take with him all the things he owned and that was basically everything in that flat. I was nervous, a bit sad and quite upset. I didn’t want to see him, didn’t want to know he was okay being a totally different person than the one I knew, didn’t want my lack of judgment walking right in front of my face. But I had to, I needed that moment to pass and therefore, finally start from scratch.
Untypically, he arrived earlier than expected and literally showed himself in. No knocking, no calling beforehand, no ringing the bell, no nothing. He just opened the door like he was still living there and I was still a part of his life. He was carrying a big smile and an even bigger “I do not care” look.
– Hi –he said as he walked directly into the room.
– Hello. You’ll see that I already packed some of your things and put them in boxes.
– Great, thanks.
No more words came out and complete silence ruled the room for the rest of the time. Every once in a few minutes I would go and check if he needed anything like I always did before and just like it used to be, he would smile and say no. To be completely honest, I missed having him around, or well, I missed the person I fell for. Looking at him now was both torturing and liberating. On one hand, I was a bit ashamed of not seeing the true person behind those eyes, but on the other side, it was a lot easier to get over someone I didn’t know.
A few hours later the flat was empty. Not only from stuff, but also from the fragments of memories buried on the furniture and decorations. It was done. He was one step away from being forever gone.
– This feels wrong –he said nervously.
– All of this is wrong. I’ll be fine.
– I’ll leave you the couch so you can have something to sleep on.
And after an awkward hug, he shut the door behind him. I stayed there for a moment, looking at that piece of white wood that was never going to be open by him again. All the pain came back for a while and took me, hostage. I looked at that sofa with tears in my eyes and sat there, staring at nothing, going through imaginary pictures of the life I had before and I thought I would still have. No, this was not going to be me. I shook my head, dried my face, put some blankets over that old green cover and laid there for a recovering nap, to wake up stronger than ever.
A few days had passed since he left and I was still waiting for that feared letter that was going to confirm whether if I had to move out or not. I can’t express enough how much I wanted to stay there and not having to add the massive amount of stress a flat hunt gives you (yes, in Berlin, finding a nice flat for yourself and at a reasonable price is close to an impossible mission).
I went downstairs to check on my mailbox and my heart stopped for a second. It arrived! My emotions were all over the place, wishing for that to be positive news, begging for some simpleness in this mess, to start the week happy and hopeful. I run back inside tearing the envelope apart and in a matter of seconds, I was already using the Google image translator (I don’t know what would I do without it. Totally recommend).
With shaking fingers I hold my scanner on top of the letter and while I was reading my eyes lighted up. I COULD KEEP THE FLAT FOR MYSELF! (Full disclosure, I did a little triumph dance). But, now he had to come back and pick up the furniture and I had to see him again. For a moment that idea pressured my heart but I quickly shook it off. I would be completely free from seeing him ever again after that. Free from all that drama and ready to start a new chapter in my new life.
The week started as I wanted, happy and hopeful, and I promise, I did as much as I could to keep it as cheerful but, let’s be honest, the situation wasn’t ideal. And as long as the days went by, those nice feelings left as well. Nights were particularly hard, memories stored in every corner of that flat, in every piece of furniture and even in my daily routines started to hunt me until my mood became pretty much blue.
So many questions unanswered, bad results from some interviews, adding that important dates for me were right around the corner and I was afraid I was going to be completely alone, my loved ones on the other side of the world, and my new friends too busy with their own lives. I proudly managed to not cry every day or to stay at home feeling sorry for myself, but how to keep that up for long when so many things were there to bring me down.
By Sunday, my strength failed and I could feel the tears drowning my eyes. The blueberry mode was on and so I allowed myself let all that go loose for the first time in a while. It’s okay to take it all out, right? I’ll be strong again tomorrow.
The answer I was expecting took forever and I was already a mess by the time they told me I didn’t have to take care of some of that money. I don’t think I’ve ever sight as loud as I did that day and even if I didn’t even know where that debt came from, I was happy it wasn’t all mine. So now, the only thing left to sort out, was the last appointment at the Job Center and to figure out what was the meaning of that other letter that seemed to be taking back all that had been said before.
That Friday morning I took the bus that headed to the office again. Nervous, a bit sick and still shaking I waited for my stop to arrive. After a while, Miraustraße finally arrived. I got off the bus, walked half the block and stood in front of the building. Taking a deep breath I walked in and looked for the one girl that speaks English over there (or at least she tries to).
– This letter always confuses everyone. Don’t worry, you will get the help we said last week. Now, about the flat. Are you going to keep living with your ex as your new roommate?
I swallowed my immediate tears charged with a million emotions and explained I would love to keep the flat and find a new roommate. Even if that meant having to see him again (this time to just get the furniture) and having to live on the floor until I got my own things. But to be honest, I was excited and lighted up with this tiny new hope of not having any more distractions in my road to move on. The only thing I needed was the Job Center’s approval and after that, free.
– We will review it and let you know during the week. But at least for now you have half of the rent provided. Remember, only for a few months so you need to get a job as soon as possible.
The last appointment was done and in a few days, I was going to be sure how to keep going. But for now, the sunshine, picnic and some girls love were waiting for her at Mauerpark.
So that’s my queue. A long, warm and beautiful day was ahead of us and there’s no better cure for a heartbreak and the craziness that life can give us, than friends, nature, and long, long talks, even if it means you’ll end up not tan, but roasted.