The morning started really well! I got up, gave the dog a short piss time, I gave him a bath cause otherwise Ill be really allergic to him, and then we took a jog together. I fixed some graphics for this company called Nordgröna, and I then had a meeting with a lady that runs a great yoga studio here. If I clean up in the mornings then I can have free yoga! Then I went to Jennys house and talked a bit to her and Louise. Felt good.
My mood this morning was great. I felt like I was capable of doing stuff here in Sweden and was feeling pretty good. I read a bit more of my Olaf Palme book and then settled into staring at the computer. I even took a nap. Something about not getting a reply from people that I was hoping to hear from made me feel sad.
I started doubting everything again. I feel really insecure here. As if someone might pull the carpet out from me at any moment. And I have been feeling realllllllly homesick. I think about my mom and dad. I think about the lack of stress I felt at home.
I also think about how I was still sad in the evenings at home, that I still didnt know what to do with my life there. This isn’t something new. This is kinda me and how I operate.
i then went to pick up a key to look after a cat this weekend. my friend Julie and I hung out, biked to the beach to work out with Friskies och Svettis, and then her boyfriend cooked us dinner! It was unexpected and really nice. I thanked them profusely.
i talked a little bit about how i was feeling— just really homesick and debating whether or not to leave for home.
honestly a big part of it is that mats has shut me out of his life now. i know he needs it, but it hurts so bad. somewhere inside of me i thought maybe we could get back together. now i know, the answer is definitely no. i thought that if i did all the things he wanted (get a job, clean my place more, speak more swedish) he would take me back.
the answer is no.
my tears have been flowing for days now. it hurts really bad.
of course i want to be home and be with my parents who take really good care of me :) but….maybe, just maybe, i can push on. if i make it thru this then maybe there’s something to win on the other side? happiness, self-contentment, a respect for myself.
its a debate i have daily. i still dont know. a voice in my head tells me there are still adventures here. another voice says there is nothing wrong in going home. no defeat, just less wasted time in some ways?
but i like sweden. it would hurt to leave here anyway.
so the fact is, it will hurt no matter what i do.
PROS of going home:
-Mom and Dad and friends can help for a bit while I recover.
-Could most likely find a job in an advertising bureau
-Don’t have to search high and low for a place to live
-Could hang out with people who love me
CONS of going home:
-Have to pay medical insurance
-Have to pay for gas
-Have to have a car
-Don’t know for sure if I could find that job I think I could get
-Disappoint the people in the job that have stuck their neck out for me.
-No European passport
-Would feel pressure
I am making my own adventure here! :)
I am most of the way there! Just a bit left to go !!
I have the power to change the things around me.
Good things today:
-Talked with new interesting people about working with them to promote their awesome new product that I really like a lot.
-Drank a fair amount of coffee.
-Ran this morning with Miro.
-Called the stupid people about Capio City about my prescription. Should be fixed tomorrow. Hooray! My hormones will normalize and I’ll feel less shitty.
-Julian and I had a rather good conversation. Doesn’t happen that often, so I am glad when it does.
-Talked with Jack about what kind of work I’ll be doing in August. Made an appointment to speak with Brian on Friday.
It’s been awhile since I’ve talked with you. I’d ask how you are doing but you’d probably say that life is beautiful; Sweden is summer is beautiful. It is, I agree but it’s too hot. I watched Hemingway and Gellhorn earlier and I thought about you a bit. I’ve started accepting that you are a part of my life, and probably always will be. Tiden läker alla sårar…eller? It’s because of you I write more often, and give thought to the words I choose.
I miss you dearly, but it’s almost always better to miss someone than have them close and take them for granted. I love people better when I’m far away. I think.
Memories are sweet but they will be replaced with new memories. Memories that press down others like piles and piles of paper neatly stacked. I hope someone comes to knock them down someday.
The smell of cherries is drifting in through the window. I’m listening to the Beatles and Fugazi and perhaps Thåström so I can feel a little closer to these Swedes that I love so much.
I chose to stay in tonite. To not go to a “forest party”. Mostly because I didnt want to deal with the option of taking drugs or not. I’ve always avoided those situations, not completely, but I hate being around people who would rather slip away from their lives while surrounded by interesting people. people who need to talk so badly, but take the choice to not.
i felt a bit lonely today in spite of a lovely conversation and ice cream with Louise. Why do I have to be so serious about everything? I found a good Bob Hund song that explains that emotion.
Att födas här
Att födas in
I en obotlig identitetskris
Världen håller för hårt i oss
Kramas för intensivt
The best moment today was agreeing with Louise that Håkan Hellström is “just okay”. We laughed about this and I enjoyed it.
I’ve been reading The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. It reminds me of two things that I like very much: my Swedish teacher and Twin Peaks. I feel like I am going though this pattern of remembering different phases of my life here in Sweden before this last trip.
there may be somethings wrong with me. i may have been borderline anorexic before i went on my trip. i am severely addicted to nicotine. i love coffee and the feeling i get from having a shockingly strong cup of it.
back in sweden it felt as lonely as homesickness can make it. i had been to an interview, in which i had not gotten the job, but managed to convince him enough of my worth to talk about a consulting gig or internship in the fall. i still had the other job in my back pocket (the sales job for my old college buddy starting mid august), and a couple of dog walking and house sitting things to keep things afloat.
the wanderlust was burning cold. i had gotten my rest in atlanta, made amends, secured important connections to people and things that mattered. traveling more was out of the question. the swedish summer was lulling and lazy by comparison however. there was nothing immensely immediate about the swedish life at all— and it was upsettingly frank about its intentions. no one screaming, no one frantic, no one begging for attention. the beaches were there if i wanted…the parks too. the european sun is made to be soaked up, even in the most northern of latitudes.
it was what i liked about sweden in the fall and winter. everyone stares into their coffee and when they speak, they say important things. sweden can be annoyingly serious in the summertime. that’s why i had sent out an immediate invitation to my parisian american friend to come stay for awhile. i needed silliness. i needed someone to bum around with and talk about the BURNING IMPORTANCE of kerouac and SCROUNGING OUT A LIFE.
i was resolute in my decision. had talked it over with the folks. i was here to stay, to make it to my golden goal of a red covered passport that could take me to innumerable adventures and places. sweden was good to me. i just needed to make it through a lonely summer and the outstretched arms of homesick laden atlanta.
"You can see a beautiful view of Freedom Tower, downtown Manhattan and Coney Island," said the captain cheerfully.
“Great, I don’t care,” I heard myself answer back in my head.
I listened to the stewardess talking t a passenger, thought about the scotch drinking man behind me who had ordered about four or five drinks during the two and a half hour flight. Wondered why I was flying away from people who love me.
US tied Portugal 2-2 in the World Cup. Defeat snatched away from victory at the last second.
My birthday pary gave me mixed emotions. I was incredibly happy with the people who decided to come. I felt emotional the whole evening but chose not to show it, just was glad and deeply enjoyed the mint julep that my brother had carefully concocted for me.
The difference between science and fucking around is writing it down.
Today I saw a magazine cover that aid “Be your own boss! Turn passion into money!” and I thought, “Wow, this is a lot of people’s dream that I have done. And I am doing it in a foreign country.”
I have a pretty solid job offer for the middle of August.
My dad said he was proud of me.
Good birthday gifts.
Ghana was defeated by the US and my booze free life continues. At this pace I am going to be really boring and sad at my own birthday party.
I fell for someone. It was about a sexual connection between us, but now it’s about this story instead: a story of adventure of a life on the road. That we were kindred spirits in the night. That we could maybe do anything and everything together.
Mom and dad were discussing the goelogical history of Florida and Appalachain mountains as I was working on my sketchbook.
"Man was in North america when that geologic event occured."
"You have to look at the rocks," my mother said, solemnly back to my father.
Dahlonega was an absolutely picture perfect southern town. Antique stores, children’s books, happiness and relaxation around every corner. We had lunched on the second story porch of an old turn of century store. The grouper sandwich and lazy atmosphere with a teenage strumming his guitar on the corner down below was perfect.
I ate it up. I dug it. Talked to a hippie old potter turning clay in his hands, feeling my strange eyes on him. Talked to another artist, gave him $2 for a postcard.
I wrote several things down in my sketchbook that day.
"I need money."
"Why not be a waitress?"
"Why not work at the airport?"
"Why not be a professional dog walker? Why not?"
Grandmother is really down. She’s frustrated, upset and alone. I think she wants to be doted over in a different way. Maybe I’ll try with her tomorrow.
I am a terribly shy person.
I am afraid to show people how I really feel.
I am strong but also very weak.
Sometimes I just want people to like me.
I have a weakness for sad people.
I have a weakness for people who like sad people.
I choose to be happy instead. Mostly because the alternative sucks. Mostly because when the sun shines the world is beautiful.
I admit things to people sometimes that I really shouldn’t. It’s as thoughi feel I have something important to say. What do I need to say in these situations instead?
I’m not sure.
I don’t like telling people off. I don’t like telling people that they are not good for me. I’d rather just disappear. I’d rather them just leave. This is an old habit and one I would like to gently replace with a new behavior.
I’m working on it.
But for now I’m going back to the us for a bit. To make some decisions. To see how the us feels again. To warm up in the sunshine. To be with my family. To see old friends. To hear my own language and hear my own voice say it.
Once upon a time there was a girl who was up afraid of being alone, un afraid of new friends and happy about getting up every morning because there were so many exciting things to do. She played tee ball, practiced ballet, and didn’t really like horses or loud people so much. She lived down a dirt path in the middle of the forest. She saw fields every morning and the sun catching the light of the elegant homes every evening. She felt alone but didn’t know what to call it so she talked to imaginary friends, birds, and loved to bike. She imagined that one day she would have a beautiful boy in a white button up shirt propose to her in front of a waterfall. Of course she would say yes. She really wanted to be a lovely young and beautiful mother.
When she was five her best friend in the whole world suddenly turned against her. She was told that one day all of her friends would leave her and she’d be all alone. This friend was bad and made her feel bad about having other friends. So she tried to make her friend feel better. Her friend just treated her worse. So this is friendship she thought. Later she learned that wasn’t really the case but it started a lifelong pattern of trying to please other people even to her own detriment.
This little girl is me. And a year from now I want to sit at a cafe table and say that I love this little girl because she’s a beautiful person and has lots of truly amazing friends who treat her nicely. They like her for her and not for things she’s done or hasn’t done. They like her simply because she is. I’ll be that little girl again. Happy to wake up every day because the world is full of interesting things. Happy that the sun has returned. And sometimes when I’m feeling bad I’ll remember that I’ve done and tried lots of things and that I’m not ashamed of it. I’m impressed.