New Home, New Experiences and New Challenges

During the past month a lot has happened but I hadn’t taken the time to sit down and actually write about it. My lovely girlfriend visited me, classes are on their way, my bike broke (thanks Andrea! :)), I started German class (holy s*** that is hard!) and my low-back to neck pain has gotten a bit worse (to all my chiropractors friends any advice will be welcome!).

When Andrea was here we visited the Franconian region which allegedly has really good beer and they are right! We had the opportunity of visiting Nuremberg and Bamberg, north from Munich and wondered around the small cobblestone streets and tried as much beer as we could! 


Overall, it has been an enriching experience. As of yesterday I am finally a legal resident in Germany which means that I can actually perform a useful task such as…work. If anybody mentions how bureaucratic the German government process is, well let me tell you, they are 100% right. There is an office for pretty much every step of the registration process, several requirements must be met in order to get your residence permit and in the majority of the cases the instructions are not clear to foreigners (a.k.a non-German speakers). Luckily, I can say that is all done until next year.  This to me is a huge accomplishment, so props to all my fellow classmates for going through this tedious and nerve wrecking process.

Today, I want to share with you something that I’ve realized in the past couple of days. I’ve experienced what it means to be outside of your comfort zone. I always thought I had since I’ve travelled extensively through poor countries where there was no electricity or a nice bed to sleep in. I’ve been to places where food was scarce or were an uncomfortable long bus ride was needed to move from once place to the other. But it turns out I have never felt that I have been outside of my comfort zone more so than I have in Germany. I don’t mean to say that Germany is not a great country, I mean that the whole process of moving from US to Germany, starting a student life from scratch and not speaking German has actually gotten me out of my comfort. Away from my ideal climate. Away from my old routine. Away from my beloved family. Away from my beautiful girlfriend. In essence, away of what is known to me. It has pushed me to my limits but not further.

It has been of extreme importance to me to understand how I react to these situations and how I manage them. It has taught me a lot about myself, about how far I can go and how much I can accomplish if I set my mind right. It has taught me that if you want to learn about something you have to do it, go through it and experience it for yourself. There is a wise saying that goes like this:

“What I am told, I forget.

What I see, I remember.

What I do, builds a castle in my head.”

Things will not go as you had planned them but they will lead you somewhere. You will certainly appreciate more the difficult times others face and will be more receptive to them. It will make you a wiser human being and it will help you reflect on the consequences of your actions. You will understand the difference between wanting something vs. needing something.

I say this with the utmost respect for people who follow their life goals and want to be the change they want to see in the world. I have a goal and that is to see the world in a better place than it was before, a dream to see my beloved country of Puerto Rico rise up and move forward, a dream where we live in a world where there is no more extreme poverty and a world where we all understand that there is only one planet and we are responsible for it. We should all be dreamers and follow those dreams.

I wish you all much love and happiness.

I want to thank all of you classmates who have served of great inspiration to me thus far.

Here are some pictures with some of the latest hike I did with the SRM classmates!

 

Yours truly,

-Gerardo

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