No End in Sight

Earlier today, while I was mindlessly browsing through my tumblr dash, a song on my iTunes library came on called Tage wie diese by the German band Die Toten Hosen (literally “The Dead Pants”). I first heard this song in summer 2012 when I studied abroad in Dresden. Every morning, my wonderful roommate Kelly and I would wake up to Dresden’s Top 40 radio station, and every morning, they played this song. It quickly became the anthem of summer 2012 and of my study abroad experience. The song is #YOLO in every sense (except irony) and the music video matches that theme as well. Imagine lots of slow-mo shots of friends at concerts, throwing colorful powder in the air, long embraces, and generally young, free spirits living their lives and enjoying the shenanigans and debauchery that comes along with an unforgettable night with good people.

When this song came up on my iTunes shuffle today, I got a bit emotional. Although the nostalgia of this song was tied to three summers ago, I could not help but think back on the past year of my life in Leipzig/Leisnig. When June 30th came around and I had to make my way to the Leipzig-Halle Airport, I was not ready to leave. I was not ready to leave behind my new friends or such a dynamic, interesting city or the little town I was a teaching assistant in. My Fulbright experience was beyond rewarding and I hope I made some kind of impact or influenced the life of at least one student at my school. As the plane lifted off the ground, gradually getting higher and higher, I could see the city I called home for the past 10 months, slowly become out of sight. In the 45 minute plane ride to the Frankfurt Airport, all I could think about was my last day at the Peter-Apian-Oberschule, standing in the school’s courtyard, surrounded by 250 students, and accepting a beautifully thoughtful gift from the teachers. The amount of love I felt in this moment is unprecedented. Honestly. It was special and emotional, and until this morning, I really could not describe how it felt. But then I realized, as corny and cliche as it is, that moment, when I was crying in front of students and colleagues in rural Saxony, I was living my own version of Tage wie diese.

An Tagen wie diesen, wünscht man sich Unendlichkeit
An Tagen wie diesen, haben wir noch ewig Zeit
In dieser Nacht der Nächte, die uns so viel verspricht
Erleben wir das Beste, kein Ende ist in Sicht

For my non-German speakers out there, this translates to:

On days like these, you wish for infinity
On days like these, we still have everlasting time
In this night of nights that promises us so much
We’re experiencing the best, no end is in sight

As I am now reflecting on my time in Germany after returning back to the USA, every day I spent in Germany or traveling to new places, there was kein Ende in Sicht. And even as I type that, in Columbus, Ohio, I still believe that there is no end in sight. My Fulbright year may have come to an end, but all that means is, I get to look for that new opportunity on the horizon, and I cannot wait to see what my next adventure in Germany will look like, whether it’s a short trip or grad school or a full time job. When I first heard this song three ago, I never thought it would resonate with me for as long as it has. And I definitely never envisioned or could have ever predicted how amazingly awesome this past year of my life has been. So, thank you, Die Toten Hosen, for once again giving me a song that releases all the feels and nostalgia (perhaps Ostalgie?) upon every listen. 🙂

Bis nächstes Mal, Deutschland! Ich freue mich sehr darauf 😉

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