Missed me? Yeah, I had kinda involuntarily abandoned this here blog for a bit ever since I came back from my little Vitamin Sea get away at the end of August. I just didn’t really have time for anything of substance, and if you followed my Instagram, or this blog’s Twitter and FB pages, you will have seen a couple of videos and photos of sunsets, seagulls, waves and all that jazz, anyway.
I have been rather busy since I came back, and unfortunately, the whole recuperative effect from my Beach Bumming Galore which I had hoped to dwell on for a while vaporized rather quickly. Mental health issues included. Anxiety through the roof as well. But still, I soldiered on, daily, carrying all the tasks on my shoulders, and while I was close to break, I am still standing, and that is something I think I can be proud of, right?
Granted, there were days when I was so goshdarn exhausted that I just wanted to curl up into a ball and hibernate for the rest of the year, but I somehow also managed to squeeze in a bit of much needed Me!-Time as well. Sometimes, it was just a lovely bubble bath (I love them, mkay?), other times I worked on my scrapbook thing-a-ling with the bazillion of pictures I took (just click on the link and look at my flickr album). Or I just was lazing about. Because why not? Sometimes, you just HAVE. TO. Point. Blank. PERIOD.
I just made sure to reduce my interacting with people face to face, as more often than not, I find it extremely exhausting to be among (most) people, and I need to retreat after a while to recharge the batteries. I know, I appear to be totally outgoing and extrovert and all, but in fact, I am more of an introvert and need – and VALUE! – my Me!-Time a whole lot. It’s never personal when I say that it’s getting too much and I need a bit of a break from people-ing, it’s a matter of my energy running dry.
However, as rare as they are, and therefore, I treasure them more than they will ever know, there are a couple of people out there who have kind of a “refreshing” effect on me. My little godson being one of them. My BAND! lads most definitely, as they make me feel comfortable in my own skin and confident about myself. My friends fall into that category as well, obviously.
And of course …Yeah. This. Guy.
I had been meaning to roll in at a practice earlier than a couple of weeks ago, but I simply didn’t have time in between all the goddamn errands I was running. It was worth the wait, though. Needless to say, the two of us were excited and happy to see each other again after the summer break.
Last night, while I was trying to fall asleep, I realized once again how HAPPY he makes me, just for being there. He’s been on my radar since the 2013/2014 Sharks season, and, with the exception of his time in Switzerland, I was hardcore following him online and pissed off when my Sharks traded him to the NY Rangers (although, it could’ve been much worse than the Rangers, tbh).
Yeah, that’s one thing about being a sports fan(atic) – don’t get too attached to players, they’ll break your heart when they get traded. In this case, however, it was a blessing in disguise, as James Sheppard ended up basically on my doorstep. Okay, I have to travel halfway across the city to either attend a practice session or watch him play hockey with the Eisbären. BUT THAT IS STILL CLOSER THAN SAN JOSE, NEW YORK OR SWITZERLAND!
Even though he’s been here in Berlin for over a year now, it still feels surreal at times. Four and a half years ago, it seemed so out of reach to ever get to meet, talk to and have my picture taken with him. It’s hard to believe sometimes how things have developed since. Something that once seemed so far away is now a reality. And more. I sometimes still wonder “what even IS my life?” when I had another one of *those* moments with Sheps.
Like Friday evening, when he wrote a little note in my notebook (which was so DAMN CUTE!), gave it back to me, and then asked, “Did you get a new shirt?” Because he hadn’t seen my Sharks hoodie before, as it was always underneath a jacket. Like, he fucking NOTICED that I was wearing something Sharks he didn’t know, yet. This connection, him being an ex-Shark and me being the fan of the franchise as well as his from his SJS days, is what opened the door. Even his girlfriend knows me by now. 😀 So do his parents (which is still the most surreal thing ever, and I bet they didn’t expect in the VERY least that they’d come to Berlin for a hockey game of their son’s team and run into this crazy chick right here who happens to be a San Jose Sharks fan outside the venue, lol).
Truth be told, when I first went to a practice, I was a bit nervous how he might react (given that we traded him back in the day), but I didn’t have to worry at all – he was super happy about seeing my Sharks gear there. We still talk Sharks hockey at times, and this “special bond” – if I may call it that – is what makes me all excited again and again. I am not saying I am better than others, that’s not my style (although I do at times jokingly say, “Sorry, Eisbären fans, but I call dibs on the guy!” 😉 ). I just can’t believe my luck at times, that of all the NHL players the one whose ex-NHL team I am a fan of ended up here in my city. Fate? I don’t know. But I DO know that sometimes, life throws you a curveball.
Bottom line is, I know that while it sounds super crazy what I am doing here, it gives me so much life. It recharges my batteries as well and I treasure all those little moments I have with Sheps. I am grateful for being able to experience all that. That he is so nice to me whenever we meet. There’s even a lovingly nickname he gave me. It all seemed so far away four and a half years ago. And now I am kinda living my dream (well, one of them, that is). It is something I hold on to when times are rough, and when I am about to drown in this sea of anxiety. As stressful as that – the anxiety – is at times, but having something that keeps me sane, is so valuable. It’s like another form of therapy.
… You shall not fear death but a life you never start to live …