I was born and raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA. There’s a cornfield at the end of our backyard and if you’re quiet for about a minute you will most likely hear horse hooves clopping down a nearby road. It is a magical place, a sometimes frustratingly slow-paced kind of endearing, where the seconds drag out just a hair longer than in the rest of the world. It is a place that inspires me and a home I always go eagerly and willingly back to.
These days, I call Germany home. If you’ve never experienced the ‘cobblestoned’ charm and humming vibe of a small modern European city, I recommend you get Aachen onto your bucket list. I moved here in 2015 chasing a dream of life abroad and it’s been the adventure I wanted, often with turns and obstacles I didn’t expect.
This expatriated life has opened my eyes to how much I don’t know about well, anything really. Now if you’re thinking this sounds like a strange or depressing revelation, think again. Realizing how much I don’t know is the best thing that every happened to me. It has pushed my curiosity to near insatiable limits.
I’ve used writing as a way to cope with all the new experiences flooding in, fighting off the shut down often brought about through sensory overload.
The act of storytelling keeps me sane when the world requires it and insane when I want to remember who I am.
Every day, week, year life gets a little heavier, sometimes carrying us along with so much momentum that we feel powerless to stop, slow down, or even turn. You don’t always have a choice in what happens to you but you do have a choice in how you react to it.
I want my writing, if it does anything, to make you look up from the page and see things a little more like you did when you were six – to give you, for however long, that freedom to wonder. To remember all those questions to be asked, experiments to be tried, places to be explored, and stories to be told.
Nothing has changed and everything has!
So, breathe from the diaphragm, listen to learn, accept (and enjoy) that success doesn’t exist without failure, and always remain relentlessly kind.
Most of us are doing the best we can with what we’ve been given.
~ Jake (Aachen, 2017)