Starbucks tumbler, lentil soup and smashed Berlin

I dropped my Starbucks tumbler on the kitchen floor the first Monday morning after the New Year weekend. It was a plastic one that I’d bought in Berlin almost a year ago.

My relation with material objects is very simple: I do not get attached to items- with exceptions of two books, my personal cure for melancholy. They have medical purpose, you will agree.

I learned to share from the beginning, thanks to the fact that I grew up during the war. Whether it was food, clothes or toys, I had to share it and not only with my older sister, but with all the children in the shelter.

So, when I grew up (eventually!) I continued to share everything with people. Except my boyfriends and my dogs. Maybe I was too possessive, who knows?

After marrying, building a home and then getting a divorce (when eventually life turned out to be heavier than we had thought), I left him and everything behind: my time, my passion, my dreams and also my nerves. But I gained it back again, by believing that new beginnings are inevitable, and that your most important possessions are within you. In the meantime I rebuild it all over again, but this time only and exclusively for my daughter and I.

It is strange how much strength you discover yourself to have in the moment when you pass invisible border  between bad and worst. Overnight, from a divorced and single mother, I became a single mother of a child with autism spectrum disorder.

It was devastating to understand that I am completely powerless to change this fact. After two days of crying, I decided: I will fight back! So I packed a bag and I went to Vienna and afterwards to Berlin to seek an ally in my personal war.

It was my first time in Berlin and it was a love at  first sight.

After walking alone down the beautiful streets and after visiting the Jewish museum I went to have a soup with an old friend. We sit there in some girly restaurant, full of handcrafts and flowers, ordering a chicken soup. After a while there a soup is delivered, but it is not the chicken one; it is lentil soup.

So I stare at the fucking soup and my friend is staring at me, not understanding what is the problem. Do I want him to say to the waitress that she made a mistake with my order?

No, I say it is fine, I will eat lentil soup, because as much as we try to hide at least for a moment, we cannot escape from ourselves. There are constant reminders of who you are and what you are made of.

So, I eat lentil soup for the first time after more than 20 years. I am eating it and it eats me. I eat what was uneatable during the war, when the only thing I could not stand even to look at was lentil.

And here I am in beautiful Berlin, reminded of the only thing I have already spent years trying to forget, and understanding that no matter where you are, you will always have your personal baggage, and most likely it will be the one which shaped your character during your most fragile years.

Within few days I went back to Sarajevo. I brought back some postcards and bad taste in my mouth. My daughter and I continue to fight back against the circumstances which threaten to shape her character. Luckily for her, she has a mother who is considered by many to be a lunatic, and who will raise awareness, change her lifestyle, change the world if possible, but who will not allow society, war or autism to make her daughter a hostage of her own life.

We are far away from Berlin and without an ally. Yes, I smashed Berlin on my kitchen floor. I already have too much baggage anyway.


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