Naledi Wilde “Qualities of Life” Finding yourself in a new city
For aeyde’s “Qualities of Life” series, we sat down with six women who inspire us with their unique views on work, life, and finding balance. In Part Four, we caught up with Naledi Wilde, 22, who moved to Berlin on a whim to start out her adult life. Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Naledi left home at 18 to reconnect with her father’s German roots in Hamburg. She found herself swiftly drawn to Berlin and is currently interning at a fashion company and weighing her options. We spoke to Naledi about what attracted her to Berlin, the personal motto she lives by, and why she values self-confidence. Meet Naledi Wilde.
Images: Julia Sellmann
Words: Angela Waters
“You don’t need to tick all these boxes to have an amazing life, this big career or whatever. If you just rely on yourself and focus on having loved ones around you. That, to me, makes a quality life.”
aeyde: How would you describe yourself?
Naledi Wilde: It’s always such an interesting question because people are always telling you things about yourself and you’re like, ‘Really? I’m like that?’ But I would describe myself as charismatic. Sometimes it can feel odd saying such nice things about oneself, but I just love talking to people and meeting people. I could also describe myself as curious and open.
a: What brought you to Berlin?
NW: Three days after my eighteenth birthday, I moved to Hamburg because my father is from there. I was living there for about six months when a friend of mine who goes back and forth from Hamburg and Berlin every weekend took me with him to Berghain. I don’t think it was Berghain that drew me closer to Berlin per se, but the people there. It was so different and I was like, ‘I need to leave [Hamburg] right now.’ I had never seen anything like it. There were people over the age of 60 in the club, mixed with super young kids and these high-fashion kids—it was just crazy. Even with no plan and no friends, I told myself, ‘I’m coming to Berlin.’
“I feel like Berlin shows you that it is never too late to try something new.”
a: What made you stay?
NW: I feel like the city shows you that it is never too late to try something new. Not always, but if you stay in your hometown, you have all of these people who know who you are and who you have been. But in this city, if you want to have a dramatic change and bleach your eyebrows and start dancing on the streets, people are so open and accepting of that. Compared to other cities, it is just a little bit different. Berlin has its own people. We are all just like little weirdos, doing our own thing everyday, changing things up, and just seeing where this city will take us.
a: Is there a motto that you live by?
NW: My mom sat me down the last time I went to Atlanta and looked me in the eye and said, ‘Naledi do not stress.’ It sounds like such an easy motto to live by—’Don’t stress’—but I feel like I backed out of so many opportunities, even little ones, because I was so stressed and anxious about the situation.
a: What does a quality life mean to you?
NW: I would say it’s about being self-reliant. I’m not even talking about financial independence, but you live a quality life if you are just so secure with yourself—even if you didn’t get the job you want and you can’t pay your own bills. It’s about having the mindset that things are going to get better and giving out good energy. You don’t need to tick all these boxes to have an amazing life, this big career or whatever. If you just rely on yourself and focus on having loved ones around you. That, to me, makes a quality life.