It’s been almost six years since I packed my bags for the biggest adventure of my life so far: Headed outbound to the Pacific West Coast in the Spring of 2007, following up on preparations for an endeavour that was meant to result in my migration from my native country Germany to Vancouver, B.C., Canada. I had meant to give my life a reboot following my divorce in 2003, major career setbacks in its aftermath, some struggles with my health and switching careers, twice. I think, it’s appropriate to say I’ve been nothing but a mess since my ex-wife and I had separated for good after roughly twelve years of having been an item with six of those as a married couple. In retrospect, seeing my marriage fall apart and ultimately sever ties from each other pulled the rug out from under me in every way: Emotionally, monetarily, even physically to an extent. I was lost eversince. Following the falling out with my spouse, everything else seemed to follow suit: Mutual friends began to withdraw from me, some sooner, some later after I had moved to yet a different area of Greater Munich. Eventually, I found myself isolated from everyone and everything, which seemed to fuel my resolve for moving abroad even more, as I didn’t seem to leave much behind. At some point, I fell out with my family and stopped talking to them as they never offered even the faintest shred of encouragement or moral support. There just seemed no point in talking to someone who never gets anything about anything pertaining to me and my life. It reminded me of how removed I’ve been feeling from them growing up – more along the lines of an adopted child rather than a biological one. The neglect became so profound and had me back off from them so hard, I even threatened a lawsuit upon them should they try so much as breech the unilateral no-talking “contract”. I had been very serious about burning all bridges and set foot on almost all new territory.
But this never came to pass. While travelling and staying in Vancouver, B.C. for roughly three weeks, second thoughts abounded and my resolve in seeing this through faded. I returned to Germany largely undecided, while looking forward to accepting a job offer as a full time editor for a tech publication reporting on all things Apple, Mac and iPhone/iPad. I informed my main employer then about this career change and started the new job on June 1st, 2007. I lasted about three weeks until major depression and panic attacks had taken over so firmly that I was no longer able to function. I held out for another year with significantly decreased productivity and loss of income on account of it, until my filing for early retirement came through in June 2008. Outpatient treatment had already burnt all remaining savings until then and when it did come through I was already impoverished by existing standards in my country. I did my best to avert bankrupcty and succeeded in doing so for another 2.5 years, but ultimately had no other choice but to start the process of filing for bankrupcty in 2011. Since summer 2009 I’ve been depending on unemployment and now welfare. Other than some modest, now outdated electronic equipment, which I had been using in my former career, there is nothing left of my previous lower middle class life – or what I had believed to be lower middle class and which in hindsight now rather appears as working poor after switching from project management and consulting in the IT industry to writing on the first and its technologies. And coming back to music more or less full time, which I had thought to be both therapeutic as well as sustaining me, didn’t exactly happen until now, either.
Wow. I mean, seriously – how the fuck did all this happen? I’d understand the outcome had I been an alcoholic, drug or gambling addict, a person suffering from an overspending disorder or anything along those lines. But none of this applies. I thought I had been playing by the rules and must have entertained the naive thinking of being alright as long as I did. I can only arrive at the conclusion that I’d been always too caught up in doing right that I missed the boat on how the rules of the game changed between my twen days and now. Back then, the term globalization didn’t even exist at large, much less its outcomes that can be felt and seen in every corner of the world today. I’m probably sharing just now how I must have afforded myself some sort of sleeping beauty phenomenon.
So, in many ways and after having afforded myself a six year sabbatical of sorts, I’m back to square one. Or none. I don’t know. All I know is that I’m a changed person and that my world view will never be the same as it was prior to all this going down. I am very concerned that former exuberance and capacity for enthusiasm has given way to cynicism, at least on bleaker, more depressed days. The latter I’m fighting as best as I can. For if I gave in to becoming a cynic, I might as well consider myself being broken for good, in which case there wouldn’t be much of a perspective left. This – is a very scary place to be in. And I feel very alone and separated. Heck – I am in many ways. I’m going to need a miracle. Or maybe the miracle is seeing the support from people I’d least expect it from.