Returning to Germany is bittersweet. Memories come flooding back as I make my way through Frankfurt International for the first time in three years. So many impactful moments in my life happened here during an era that seems like yesterday and long ago all at the same time.
Crossing the beautiful Rhine river into Mainz, I think of my friend Victoria, a translator from Moscow who is married to a U.S. soldier from Tennessee. Often I bicycled to Mainz from Wiesbaden to visit her and the traditional German spa. She taught me to conform to local custom and wear only a birthday suit at the thermalbad, to be less self-conscious.
Enjoying Prosecco at a café on the cobblestone walkpatz, I’m laughing with the love of my 20’s. We tell stories of the old days that were full of as much irrational turmoil as passionate romanticism. It was a confusing time, those years between 20 and 30. I wouldn’t be myself without that experience, yet visiting the past for just a short while is enough to confirm that I am exactly where I should be in life.