Just a day after leaving Berlin for good, I got sick for the first time in seven years. It wasn’t Corona, just the flu. There I was, feeling lousy, with all my stuff still in boxes, in a new apartment, in a new city, smack in the middle of winter.

Not exactly the greatest start.

I noticed my mental health starting to slip. Over the years, I had developed several daily rituals that amounted to what I’d call a healthy and happy life. But being too weak to walk for more than a minute for about one and a half weeks, I couldn’t keep up with any of them.

Now, two and a half weeks later, I’m mostly back to my old self. Feeling strong, hitting 10,000 steps daily, and pushing myself to do something productive for at least an hour each day. I’m not just over the flu—I feel like myself again.

Then Gigabyte got sick. She couldn’t open her eye fully. At first, I thought it might just be a passing thing, but it got worse the next day. So there I was, new city, no trusted vet, and no idea how to navigate around here.

Turns out, this was a hidden blessing. I had to tackle this issue head-on, learned that calling a taxi the traditional way still works—kind of a throwback experience. I found a great new vet I’m really happy with, and Giga’s eye is almost back to normal. It’s just conjunctivitis, nothing that a few eye drops (3 times a day, five days in a row. She’s not amused) can’t fix.

The upside of all this was it made me feel like I’d really settled in. My apartment’s turned into a cozy space, and I’ve been making use of what’s available in my new neighborhood. It’s working out well. This gave me a sense of progress, like I’m moving in the right direction.

Growing pains!