At 11:45 CEST I was bestowed German citizenship, thus becoming a certified European citizen as well. After almost 30 years of a close interpersonal relationship with Germany, the language and culture, the city of Berlin finally inducted me into the hallowed halls of responsible German citizenship.
The processing began in May 2019 and was plagued with all sorts of hurdles, all of which I have blogged and ranted about. But as I learned last night, all the stumbling blocks and digressions are like garden soil, and need to be accumulated in order to provide the roots with depth, foundation and stability.
My life has been a series of interconnected tumbleweeds, having been born in the Philippines, raised in Kenya and Mexico, lived all my adult life shuttling between Germany, India, Thailand and a brief interlude in the Philippines. The concept of having roots in a country has been such an alien concept to me that I almost gave up on it. I learned to be at home wherever my suitcase was unpacked and the cat was. All that has changed, and I finally have a permanent home base.
2020 is definitely not a year I will forget easily, and not just because of COVID-19. So many things came to it’s final resting place, requiring heavy duty shovels to bury them once and for all. On the other hand, it has also been a year of fantastic discovery, recovery and new beginnings, the directions of which are just unfolding.
I end September on a bittersweet note, having being handed back my cancelled Filipino passports and certificate of surrender of citizenship. I was alone in the room with the citizenship officer when all my papers were handed over and I signed them in acknowledgment. Later on, as i wandered out of city hall in a daze and a bit at a loss for words, I sat alone in a little Asian restaurant and ate sushi. I know, it should have been a Schnitzel or Currywurst, but I needed to reassure my intrinsically Asian soul that all was well.
On Monday I get to apply for my national ID and new passport, another exciting step forward. But today, I blog from the train on my way to a corner of Berlin I have never been to before, heading over to raise a glass of champagne in triumph. To hell with my allergies, and my aches and pains can jump into the lake today. Because today, my life has changed forever and that makes all the difference.
The FrogDiva rises from the ashes today.