When I first spent two weeks straight in Fröhden in 2018, I was yearning for nightlife Berlin. I had a desire to just be there in a busy bar, amongst friends and strangers, drinking and staying out til past midnight, like a fresh faced eighteen year old, discovering city adulthood for the first time.
My longest record now of country living without contact with Berlin is three months. In mid March, not knowing how the situation would play out, how long we’d be away for, we moved most of our things, including my sewing machine, to Fröhden. I had previously kept my activities location independent – writing and sewing done exclusively in Berlin. Now was the time to do everything in the countryside.
The first month and a half went by smoothly. The weather was nice, we had a lot to do. Seeding, planting, weeding, preparing the garden for this year’s vegetable season. Painting the house, painting the shed, painting the fence.
At the six week mark, I hit a low. We didn’t have guests, but occasionally Jarek and Falk would stop by. I started to go crazy. Not seeing any friends in real life. Missing female company. I was sick of being surrounded by men. I was sick of seeing Mateusz’s face every day. “This isn’t what I signed up for,” I told myself. “He’s not my partner, why do I have to see him every bloody day?”
I knew it wasn’t personal. I knew that others were in similar situations with their flatmates. But still I was screaming in my mind, every time I saw him.
After a few days, the feeling went away. We started to have friends visiting again. I got my female contact and my balance came back. The low period lasted about a week and a half.
Three months after full time farm life, I decided to go to Berlin for one day. Since I was only staying a short 26 hours, I crammed in meeting friends that don’t come out to Fröhden. It felt weird suddenly being anonymous, just another amongst the crowd. Not saying hello to people you pass by on the street.
I was happy to come back to Fröhden. The time in Berlin was intense. I missed my cat and my chickens. I’d gotten so used to seeing them every day, spending time with them, that it’s harder to live a life in the city. I think about them and miss them when I’m not there with them.
I discovered that all the things I enjoy doing most can be done here. Reading, writing, sewing, baking, playing the piano, gardening. I’ve begun to question whether I really need Berlin.