(cw: war, death, pregnancy)
This is a tough update to write. With the current situation in Ukraine still ongoing it still feels like nothing else matters as much. It feels paralyzing, it’s not something to just easily move on from. Heck, the solution has not been resolved, it feels like it’s constantly getting worse. There’s not much I can do from here other than to donate to relief causes in the Ukraine and to help out at the welcome center at the train station from time to time. I don’t know how this situation will be resolved, I just know the world that we lived in before has changed forever.
The weekend the war “started” (I know, it’s been coming for years) was a tough one. That night, before Russia started its full-on invasion, my wife and I had to evacuate our apartment because they found a WW2 bomb at a construction site 300 meters from where we live. It’s not an uncommon find in Berlin but it was the first time we had to be evacuated. We spent the night outside the blast radius with another friend. The bomb defusal situation gave the lingering invasion in the Ukraine a different perspective and it made it hard for me to find rest that night. The bomb eventually got defused in the eary hours of the morning and we were able to find sleep.
That morning we woke up to the horrifying news about the Russian invasion. I felt sick to my stomach. I wasn’t able to think straight. I didn’t feel safe anymore in Berlin, just a couple hundred kilometers away from Russian bombs destroying a European country on the pretense of de-nazification. This stupefied argumentation and style of propaganda reminds so much of the Nazis in Germany, something that I hoped I would not need to encounter Europe in my life time. But there we were. I talked a lot more to my family that day, especially to my aunt. She and my parents raised me to be a pacifist and an anti-fascist. My earliest memories memories revolve a lot around going to political demonstrations. The conversations with my aunt that day were tough. She was afraid of the war coming to Germany but she also found the words to calm me down.
The next morning I get a frantic phone call from my brother: My aunt passed away that night. She was way too young to go. I could not believe these news. I did not want to believe them. We had just talked a couple hours before. I could not make sense of how life had changed so drastically in just two days. I could not go to work. Could not find joy in the things I usually love. The fog surrounding me was thick and weighed down heavy on my shoulders.
A couple days later, I was pulled out of that downward spiral by great news from my wife: she was pregnant! Our joy was overflowing! Again, I cried all day, this time for a happy reason. Those news toggled a switch for me. I found the energy to go out and help at the Ukrainian welcome center at the train station in Berlin for the first time. We’ve gone back multiple time since then. I feel motivated to help out more where I can. Even now writing this, I still cannot believe how these news shifted my perspective then and still now.
So the last months we spent organising all that needs to done to prepare ourselves for welcoming a new human in our lives. We still have some time until the due date in November and we’re making sure to enjoy the ride until then as much as we can. We’re currently on our final vacation (🇫🇷☀️) without our son for probably the next couple of decades.
After such an intense life update, I want to make this work update very light. I am very happy at Elastic and also proud to work for a company that is standing with Ukraine and providing the security product for free to Ukrainian entities 🇺🇦✊.
📚 Not a book recommendation but a fun thing I noticed in some book shops: literally not judging the book by its cover. A couple of shops were offering books wrapped in paper, only printing the first sentence on it without revealing the name of the book. It’s fun to guess the title or the genre of the book with such limited information. I’ve bought one and it turned out to be an entertaining Mark Gimenez novel (similar to John Grisham).
🍿 Everything Everywhere All at Once: Go watch it! Don’t even watch the trailer or read reviews. Let yourself be emerged in this absurd…-ly deep and hilarious movie. The only movie I watched in the cinema this year since they were showing it at midnight and I knew only a handfull of people would show up. This Covid thing is not yet over and even though I would always wear a mask in a closed room it felt better to go when there’re not that many people around.
A deliciously funky tune by Parcels: Overnight!