It’s amazing what can effect happiness. Being in the right place (mentally and physically), having purpose, sunshine. There are so many factors that drag one down or lift one up. For me, at this time, it’s a mix of having moved into my dream apartment in a city I love and succeeding at being a freelancer.

For the past eight months, I had been living in Belgium. If I thought Germany was gray and gloomy, I just needed a few months in Belgium to really learn to appreciate Germany’s form of clouds. Belgium was rainy, cold, windy, but had a lot of pretty farmland. There were good things. But we lived in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, meaning I had to drive to get to absolutely anything. I did love the snow.

The circumstances in Belgium didn’t exactly work well for me. I felt isolated, away from not only friends but also any kind of bakery or coffee shop. I grew up in the country, so I can appreciate it. This time it wasn’t the same. Plus our first pet, our beloved parakeet, died suddenly. And we lost a lot of money to the leaky house because we had to keep filling the propane tank (all while still keeping the heat so low we were freezing). Everything kept breaking: the car, the shower, the toilet, the internet, the heat, our backup hard drives, my laptop…

The grocery stores in Belgium had more variety than Germany. We ended up seeing a lot of things and getting to travel to both Amsterdam and London fairly quickly.

Now that I’m back in Germany, I’m noticing how depressed I really was. Every morning for the past two weeks, I’ve gotten up at a reasonable hour and gotten dressed. I have nowhere to go, I work at home, but it feels right. In Belgium, I could spend all morning lazing in bed and only then force myself to get up. I wouldn’t shower or dress, I would just amble downstairs and work in my pajamas. I was also losing a lot of contracts randomly, which has now picked up again. So my success, and fulfillment as a freelancer, is looking up again.

Plus, spring has begun.