It is 5am and I’m sitting on the balcony of the apartment I used to live in until five months ago when I moved to Washington DC for an internship. Wrapped in a blanket. It’s light out. And cold (12C/53F). Well at least compared to tropical DC. Scandinavian August mornings ❤
I’m in my pyjamas, barefoot. Feeling the wood under my feet, and the dew on the table, my chair, the strawberry plant next to me. The blanket offers some comfort – just enough to leave me shivering a little. Gleefully.
I’m so in love.
It’s not the jetlag that brought me out here. It’s the seagulls. Screaming in the morning cold. I am so in love with Sweden. And just can’t waste this beautiful day in bed. I came back to Göteborg for only four days. So I have to make use of every minute.
I really liked living in DC, the center of power, the not so big city life capitol. But THIS, Sweden, is my one true love. To explain rationally why is difficult – love is rarely explained rationally. I like the heat – and the sun. I like standing out, and traveling the world. This is surely not the ideal place for that… But something about this country always makes me wanna come back. It’s a magic attraction. It’s home away from home. A whole country like my parents’ dining table. A safe place, my happy place.
When I arrived yesterday, it was like I was never gone. Which was mostly weird honestly. It’s like nothing had changed, except everything. Arriving at the airport that I’m so familiar with. Being picked up by one of my favorite people (shout out to Kristin ❤ ), having fika ( ❤ ) and then lunch in one of my favorite cafés in Haga. Sitting in the sun by the canal, speaking some Swedish again. Going to the bathroom in my university. Knowing the staff in the supermarket downstairs of my old apartment. Knowing if the prices for certain foods are cheap or expensive. So familiar. Like nothing changed.
But then again, there is new life in my room, my shelves are filled. I’m not really a student at this university anymore, won’t write another paper in this beautiful library. My guy is not my guy anymore, many friends are out of town for the summer or gone for good. I won’t take the tram everyday anymore, will not even stay here until after the next weekend. It feels wrong. Seriously wrong.
Every location, everything is attached to beloved memories of a life that is past.
It’s that simple. Life goes on. If we want it to or not. It’s hard to leave your happy, safe place, your love, your friends, your everyday life – your comfort zone. It’s easy to stay there. And it feels right. It feels safe, it feels like you can stop time. But you can’t. Life goes on, always. And things will change.
I firmly believe that personal progress happens outside our comfort zones. And that the perfect time to leave mine is during my early 20s. This doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t make me doubt if I am making good decisions all the time. I’ve asked myself more than once if I am giving up too much, if I have my priorities straight. I mean I would love to live here. My “old” life. But things have moved on and people have. And I have. And it was time to make new experiences. Those things and people that matter the most, will outlast. In this way, it’s also a means to filter out what is most important in life and what is real.
They call it home for a reason. Home doesn’t mean that nothing will ever change. But that you can always come back. To your happy place, to love and laughter, to Scandinavian summer mornings and seagulls, kanelbullar and fika. I don’t know if I can find a job here that will make me truly happy in the long run. From what I am aiming for right now, Göteborg and Sweden just don’t seem the ideal place. Which leaves me heartbroken because I am just so in love with this place. Sweden just makes me be my better self. I remembers me of who I am. Maybe this is enough to make me realize I want to make this my priority and adjust the rest some day. And for now, I know that I want to come back, always. As often as possible – even if it’s only for four days…
Every location, everything is attached to beloved memories of a life that is past. But the seagulls keep screaming – and I am home.