Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year: What the hell should I do?

A new year is fast approaching and suddenly I have realized it has been over a year since I last blogged and over a year since I last let myself write something just for fun, or write anything besides essays and papers for school for that matter.

I’ve also realized my personal self has gotten a bit lost along the way this year and as I embark on what is to be the project that is the culmination of all of my academic and life history and what it is I know about the world (aka my master thesis), I find myself asking “what the hell am I doing?” on a pretty much daily basis.

I read the blog of an old friend today and finally realized I am not alone in this horrible, angsty rollercoaster we call our 20s. For the past five years I have been having this ongoing inner battle with myself about what the heck life is and what I am supposed to do with it. I know, it’s crazy, but I actually thought I was the only one with these problems. I mean, people only put up the super cute and awesome pictures on Facebook, they don’t include their crappy jobs at the café and Mexican restaurant they are still working at on Linkedin. I mean honestly people, can we just cut the crap and actually put the truth on the internet so we can stop stressing out and comparing ourselves with each other?! Can we all just admit that “we have no idea what the hell we are doing and are just playing each day by ear and hoping to god it will work out and that we won’t end up in our parents’ basement in the town we grew up in.”

My own personal struggle has been this never-ending journey to find my own “passion” in life. This thing that people say you need to have about work because “work will make up a good portion of your life” so now I am frantically trying to find it otherwise I will totally be doomed forever and will be 40 and freaking out and wondering “why didn’t I just move to New York when I was younger and try to make it as an actress-pop-star-singer-princes???! That is what I really wanted to do!”

I look at my career, what it is I am going to be doing the rest of my life, in the same way I look at finding true love. There has to be that one, perfect something out there that is just meant to be, and meant for me, and I have to keep looking for it until I will come to that moment where I will just know. But is that true? Is there just one true thing for everyone? Or are there so many things instead?

I thought that I had done everything right. I did well in school, went to college, graduated, even studied abroad which I thought was totally cool and unique, but I guess everyone else did that too. I learned another language (big freaking deal, apparently this is the norm outside of America), got a big-girl job in a big city office building, and then even went to work abroad and am now learning yet another language and in my last year of graduate school! I should be so grown up now and know so many things! But I still have no idea what it is I am doing!!! Or what it is I want to do. Or what I can do for that matter. And I thought being a teenager was confusing….

So, as this New Year comes, I have decided to go back to the basics and take stock of this life I have so-far created. Journaling, dreaming, writing and getting shit done is my plan, and trying not to totally lose it every time someone asks “so what is it you want to do?” I’m still figuring it out, and I’m actually kind of happy about that. I feel closer and closer to the revelation every day, and know the best is still yet to come. God I hope that’s true…

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall Cleaning

View from the summer house

We are in full Autumn mode here and the scenery is beautiful. Falling leaves galore and a gorgeous harvest sun.

We spent the weekend in Uddevalla again, had a special ceremony for Tage, and spent some time outdoors enjoying the sun that had been hiding for so long.

The days are getting shorter now, and the darkness is coming, so I am trying to soak up every ounce of light I can.

We spent Friday at the summer house in Ljungskile doing some good, hard, outdoors work, cutting down trees and clearing bushes. This was a first for me so I opted to be family photographer half-way through.

Hey, I'm still learning this Swedish rustic way of life ;)

The men taking down the tree

Maude and the dogs monitored the work


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spooky Spooky

Well I just wrapped up my second Halloween in Sweden and it was a success! Carved pumpkins with my AWC gals, had a blast at Linnea and Andreas' second annual Halloween party and even found the movie Hocus Pocus on youtube to watch! I have to say, European Halloweens are becoming a stiff competition to my American ones. Well, almost ;)

J and me as cowboy and cowgirl

Andreas as a Somali pirate, the other Andreas as Ipren (a Swedish pill equivalent to asprin) and Felipe dressed up as his wife, Alexandra

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Vilken härlig dag

Today was a perfect Fall day. The air was fresh and crisp, the trees hues of orange and yellow.

Jonatan and I enjoyed an afternoon concert at the Gothenburg Opera and then I had nice evening out with my AWCG gals and finally saw Eat, Pray Love.

Tomorrow my mission is to find decent pumpkins for carving to really bring in the autumn season. We'll see how that goes....

Gothenburg Opera Foyer Concerts

I am teaching again

At the bus stop near the school where I teach in Sweden

I really enjoyed teaching in France last year and when the experience came to an end, I realized how much I was going to miss it and my students.

Now I am living in Sweden and though I am focusing on my own studies at the moment, I still wanted to keep my teaching skills in practice and spend some of my extra time teaching English to cute Swedish kids.

I was lucky enough to find part-time working teaching ESL in an after school program. I teach only two classes a week (sometimes 5) but get to have fun teaching children 3-9 English and make some extra cash at the same time. And the children are such great learners! I am really impressed with their interest and motivation.

Here are some pics around the school with some of the beautiful Swedish Fall colors.

Puss och Kram!

Fall trees near school


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A day in the life of me

So what do I do all day? Well, being a grad student I don't do much more than read and study and read some more, but for those of you who are far away, here is a little picture by picture account of what a typical day looks like for me :)

For now the weather is still a pleasure--we have had a lot of sun and while there is the nip of Fall in the air, you can still get away with a light coat and scarf. I am trying to take advantage of this so instead of heading straight for the tram in the mornings on my way to school, I'll take a stroll down to Lindholmen to hop on the ferry to Rosenlund.


There is the ferry I just took!

And then I'll wait for the tram at Järntorget

I get off the tram and here I am at campus

That's my building!

And look, people just park their bikes here. They don't even lock them up! Can you imagine?! This really is utopia.....

I can take a little detour through our "secret garden" and grab an apple for a snack from the small orchard

Close up of the main building where all of my lectures are held

Here is the computer room at the library, where I spend a lot of my time. There are weird mask-like sculptures on the wall...I'm not too sure about those, but I guess they are cool to look at

There are a lot of excellent open lectures held by the various departments within the university. This one was one of Jan Eliasson and was held in this gorgeous hall

Jan Eliasson himself (if you don't know who he is, look him up, it's worth it)

And then I make it home and take over the kitchen table (to the boyfriend's dismay) with all of my reading and studying and reading and studying......

Not too exciting, but now you know!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Let Me Catch You Up...real fast

So it has been quite a while, and a lot has happened. The past few months have really been a whirlwind of hellos, goodbyes, surprises, shocks, solitude and lot of flying and moving around.

I have returned back to Sweden after two months back in the States. My parents came back with me for their first time to Scandinavia and they loved it—what a relief! I had such a great time showing them around my new home and introducing them to my “other family.” I couldn’t have asked for a better visit.

Now they are back home, and J and I are here, all settled in our apartment. There is still a lot of work to be done here, but it does already feel like home. It kind of always has.

I know it’s only been about two months, but I have to say, I am loving this “living with my boyfriend” thing. Initially it was something I really never thought I would do, and after being preoccupied with all of the technicalities of getting here (applying to school, getting into school, getting the visa, making the flight and getting all my crap here), I kind of didn’t really pay attention to the reality of what I was doing. But then I sit here, in our apartment, and become my 16 year old self again. I am living with my boyfriend. With my best friend. How cool is that?! We can do whatever we want! Eat candy for dinner, stay up and watch TV as long as we want. Kiss whenever and wherever we want. It is awesome!

Ok yes, I swear, I am an adult too. Yes we have to pay bills together and are having a slight disagreement about where the Tony Sopranos poster will go *cough*storage closet*cough*. But after being in a long-distance relationship pretty much my whole adult life, I am so completely ecstatic to know that I only have to be away from my love for no more than a matter of hours a day. So mushy and cheesy but so true.

Finally on the same continent again!

As for other updates—summer was great and exactly what I needed. A little re-charge of California and family and friend love to hopefully hold me over for the long, dark winter ahead of me. Working at IIE was great and geared me up for my studies.

I started school almost a month ago now. For those of you who don’t know I am pursuing a Masters in Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg. I am really loving being a student again. I get to go to the library and read for hours a day and then write papers and have seminars and lectures. It’s awesome! Haha. My class is really interesting too—there are 85 of us total and we come from all corners of the world. There are so many interesting people and perspectives—I am really happy to be studying in another country again.

I also have found a little job for myself teaching English to elementary school level children in an after school program here in Gothenburg. I really enjoyed teaching last year and am so happy I will be able to continue. And Swedish kids are so darn cute! Maybe even cuter than French kids? Hmmm…. :)

Other than that I am still very active as the Program Chair of the American Women’s Club of Gothenburg and am starting Swedish Language lessons next week, so I am definitely keeping busy. Oh! And I am going to join Friskis och Svettis (Chelsea L knows what this is), because I need to get some exercise going.

Ok there are probably like a million other things I have to say and I apologize this was not the most creatively written blog entry but I just felt that I needed to throw everything at you list-form to get it out and get you caught up. I will try my best to keep you all updated regularly, but honestly, I am just so busy!! But I love it! And I love Sweden! And I am so wonderfully, incredibly, probably annoyingly happy right now it would probably make you sick to hear about it all the time but I really will try to let you all know what’s going on. I love you! I miss you! Oh—and I’ll be home for Christmas :)

Puss och Kram!!

Our apartment--still a work in progress

I went to a kräftskiva!

The girls turned 1!