It’s been 25 years since I sat in our living room watching the unfathomable news that the Wall was open. I saw people standing on the wall, hammering parts off the wall, hugging each other, and feeling overjoyed. Finally, Reagan’s call “Tear down that Wall” came true.
I was only 12 years old and led a quite comfortable and protected life. Yes, we did not have everything we wanted (e.g. bananas) but we had a good life after all. Now, everything was about to change. And I, as a child did not know how it would change. I felt confused and as if the world that I lived in came to an end. I did not fully understand what it all meant.
Fast forward 25 years. Now, I live in the USA and the GDR/DDR seems so far away, just like a dream that I vaguely remember. I am so grateful however that the Wall came down and that I could have all the opportunities that I had. Opportunity to travel, to pursue the career that I wanted, to study abroad, and to move to the US.
Ever since my relationship to institutions and my country has changed. I now understand that things can change very profoundly and instead of trying to hang on to the past, I try to maintain my personal freedom and my independent thinking. And the USA is a great place to be with that mindset.
Nothing lasts forever. That is the biggest lesson that I learned from the Fall of the Berlin Wall. It is an important lesson. It helps me deal with change, adapt to new situations, and lessen my attachment to the past and present.