Lost time is never found again.Benjamin Franklin
This week has been exhausting. Since I moved to Cologne, I roughly spend 3 hours of my day commuting. One reason is that my university and my friends are in Bonn, a town which is quite nearby, but if you don’t have a car (or a license) not exactly around the corner. Another is that my current workplaces are in Bonn as well. Since you probably don’t know the story: This summer, I started looking for a new place in Bonn, for personal reasons. I was rather optimistic and thought that one or two months should largely suffice to find a place, but it turned out to be more complicated than that. Tbh, the housing situation in Bonn is just crazy and people are clearly taking advantage of it. The amount of crappy shithole apartments people try to rent to you is insane. And so after I’ve annoyed everyone in my circle with my rants about how shitty the situation is, I realized, that I shouldn’t just concentrate on the area close by, but also consider other places. Besides, I haven’t exactly felt at home since I came back to Bonn – it’s quite provinical and I’ve always preferred cities to small towns. And even though Cologne is not exactly a metropolis either, it’s at least Germany’s fourth largest city. But more importantly, there’s stuff happening here! On my first weekend, I’ve already done more interesting stuff than I would have done in two months in Bonn. I went to series of talks, met up with a stranger, went to the Christmas market, checked out some art. I feel like Cologne is a city where I could actually see myself staying for more than just a couple of months. (To give you an idea, within the last ten years, I’ve moved exactly 10 times.) Besides, my new roommates are pretty dope. In short, I’m quite happy here. But of course, it would be too easy if that was all.
So at the same time I was looking for apartments, I also had to get a new job. (The one I had before was on a fixed-term contract.) I was lucky. Instead of just one, I got two part time jobs, which I’m both currently doing. The only inconvenience is that not only they’re both in two different places, but also both in Bonn, which brings be back to the beginning of this post. In addition to that, I’m house- and catsitting at the moment, for a lady who has cancer. This one is in Cologne, but at the other end of the city.
Therefore, I’m constantly traveling back and forth from one of the apartments to one of the workplaces and also in between. And as you can imagine, it’s very time-consuming and also very exhausting. And especially this week, it’s gotten to a point where I felt that people would just randomly claim my time, without considering what a change of schedule could mean for me, how much planning ahead, and how much time lost it would be in the end. But fact is, it’s been three weeks it’s been like that. And since most of it is related to work, it makes me feel like I’m a slave to others, without a having a say on how I to use my time. Instead of being able to plan and take time for things that are important to me, I’m now always in reaction mode. It’s just exhausting and innecessarily time-consuming. And I can actually feel how it takes away from my quality of sleep and my general well-being.
Now I know that my complaining comes from a place of privilege. I mean, at least I do have a job and a place to live, right? But the thing that really annoys me is that I’m not using all my capacities the right way and that I’m not reaching my full potential. I could and want to do so much more. And being in this situation where there’s basically no time for myself left just sucks. The only comfort right now is that everything about my current situation – or let’s say my jobs – is just temporary. I guess in the meanwhile, all I can do is to pack good books.