An article in the New York Times about a girl who moved to Berlin got me thinking.
Integrating is one thing, but foreigner or not, there is something that we all do. We acclimate ourselves to our surroundings. It is how we locate our physical and emotional selves. It is how we find and give directions. We do this often with landmarks. One of the big landmarks in Berlin is the TV Tower, or in German, Fernsehturm. The article I read went through the interesting details of the TV Tower’s history, what it meant and currently means to the city and what it means to the author. So I asked myself,
What does the TV tower represent to me?
Aside from using it as a navigational guide, for me, the TV tower is a reality check- a reminder of where I am and where my decisions have led me.
If you are like me, then you know the feeling of just going through the motions. How easy it is to just …be. To not fully cognate the decisions, especially the tiniest, that make all the difference and have lead you to where you are today. Exactly where you are standing or sitting right now. You just are.
Or perhaps instinctually I knew that Berlin is where I am supposed to be. Either way, I find taking things too seriously only leads to indecisiveness, which leads to self-restraints by building doubts through overanalyzing. You just do it. Because you have to do something. You have to keep moving forward. Once I have an idea that sticks around long enough I act, or seemingly fall into action. You eventually have to make a decision even if you feel that your decision was to not make a decision. In the end no matter how indecisive and what it took to get to that point, you made a move. For me it was a physical move across a large pond.
Another approach is asking, what grounds you in your current space? I wouldn’t go as far to say that it is always a landmark. It is the people and the experiences I have with these people. However, a landmark so often seen it is ignored, whose history has varied in significance, a tourist trap, has become a physical marker. To me it is a reminder that I am here, in Berlin. I picked up my life, left what I knew for the next chapter that continues to unfold.
What does the TV Tower mean to you? Please write a response below! I’d love to hear what you have to say! If you are not in Berlin and would like to contribute, then use a landmark that has meaning to you!
The original article was written by Lauren Oyler – Letter of Recommendation:Berliner Fernsehturm.