paradox: thoughts on leaving a life I love

I am a walking paradox. This is how I describe myself these days when someone asks how I am and really means it. I am filled with sorrow and joy. Anxiety, fear, excitement, and resolve.

Through all of it I feel loved.

I am in transition.

A big one.

Oh so soon I will be getting on a plane with some luggage and moving to Berlin to pursue my Master’s in Global History – a dream I dreamed up two years ago while a Public Ally. Since I have far too many feelings to be very coherent at the moment. Here is a collection of thoughts and feelings as I am closing an immensely important and challenging four years of living in New York City:

I am loved. Goddamn I am so loved.

I’m hella afraid. I picked up ‘hella’ from Teresa and Lisa-Marie.

I’m *ucking excited. Amplified by affirmations from friends new and old back home over Bell’s and here at old haunts and new spots I’ve meant to go to for four years (including Spot bar).

How has it been 4 years? // It’s only been 4 years why am I leaving?

What am I doing? // this is exactly what I need to do. I dreamed it and wrote it into existence and worked for it. It’s here.

I’m going to miss all of this. // get me the hell out of here.

Embrace it. Embrace it all. – Ben

Never doubt your potential. – Nich

I’m going to miss making space with you. -AM

Shit I have so much to do.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe it all in. Soak it all in. Everything is about to change.

Long drives (in Michigan) turned to long walks (in New York). What will it be in Berlin?

Joy as resistance.


In this transition, How do I balance this me-focused time with engaging in the urgent times we live in? DACA is attacked. Black communities continue to experience police violence and the violence of mass incarceration.

People are dying. I’m moving to Berlin. Why? Is my why enough? Am I?

I need to do this.

‘Mary I believe you are meant to move to Berlin’ – a new friend while riding the train
In every way God is telling you this is your next step. – Momma


I cried ‘my heart is breaking in the most beautiful way’ tears on my roof dancing dancing dancing with all the joy and love of four years in this wild wondrous chaotic serendipitous city. A night I won’t forget.

This is going to change everything.

While I’m in graduate school I plan to dedicate more time to writing. Both continuing to reflect on my daily life, as well as what I’ll be learning in conversation with the present day. Stay tuned.