Friday, November 13, 2015
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Coming to the lake every evening has become my little ritual.
It began one day when I felt really miserable and lost but dragged myself out for a walk anyway, hoping that it would clear my mind. It was a bit windy but the wind was quite gentle and didn't irritate me at all but it caused waves on the lake and for a moment it felt like being by the seaside again. So I just stood there listening to the comforting sound of the waves and it felt really good. Breathing in the chill air of autumn. Trying to be present.
I'm teaching myself to live in the moment. I've spent years longing for something different, wishing to be somewhere else, constantly looking forward to the right moment to start living. Longing for relationships. Trying to live up to someone's expectations. I forgot that the only thing we own is the moment. I forgot how important it is to be content on my own. Our world has been turned upside down and our values have been messed up. When I think about my life I subconsciously try to plan it out according to what's considered to be normal: school, university, job, family... I'm sorry, but life is so much more than that! I was taught to think that this simple scheme defined life. There is so much pressure in our world. We are constantly expected to do certain things that would make us "fit in" yet the only way to really fit in this world is to find connection with the universe and just be. I no longer want to follow the path blindly, hoping that some day I'll be happy. Somewhere, with someone, doing something. I can be perfectly happy right now. I'm here to experience this life, to embrace the moment, to accept myself. I might want to share this moment with someone but I don't need anyone to experience it. I am enough. I am alone and this is how it's supposed to be. Just me and the world. I'm teaching myself to like the idea. Because I've always thought I needed something else or someone else to enjoy this life but I was oh so wrong.
I stood by the lake and I watched the sun go down and the sight of it filled me with endless happiness. I think I had an epiphany moment there. The world of colors, sounds and smells unfolded in front of me and I breathed it all in.
For a moment I thought how amazing it would be to become a part of this wonderful country with all it's lakes and sunsets, but then I realized... I am a part of this! How weird is the idea of the world being divided into countries? I am a part of this beautiful planet and no borders can prevent me from enjoying a wonderful sunset.
I'm trying to change my perspective on this. Once upon a time I was happy in Sweden watching the sun go down. Sounds good. But not good enough, because I know I'm not a swede and I really wish I were. But how about a sunset that I once watched on this planet? Aren't we all earthlings?
See, it's all about the approach. Choose to be happy now.
Lots of love,
Friday, September 18, 2015
Today marks a month since I came to Sweden. Time flies.
One month ago I was freaking out and had no idea what awaited me in Sweden and now this small town in the heart of Scandinavia, Arvika, totally feels like home.
What have I been up to? Attending classes, reading, traveling, exploring, having Skype talks with my family... Actually just living. I don't remember the last time I felt so alive and grateful for the sheer fact of being. I've been very happy here. Do you ever have those moments of overwhelming happiness? It's like the very air here contains molecules of happiness: you take a deep breath and...
It feels amazing to appreciate every single day here. Every morning I wake up feeling motivated and just positive about life and I feel much better mentally than ever before. This whole studying abroad thing is like a perfect well-deserved escape for me. It feels really good to be on my own having all the time in the world to reflect on my feelings and let the bad stuff go.
The last several years have been very challenging for me: I suffered from anxieties of all kinds and from an eating disorder, I felt miserable and lost, I felt as if I didn't have any control of what was going on in my life. I probably looked like a completely normal person but all those small issues were driving me crazy deeply inside and my mind was a mess. So, things aren't perfect now but I've already noticed a lot of improvements. Being in a totally new environment can do wonders when you want to clear your mind.
People keep asking me if I feel lonely here. The answer is no. Not at all. I'm perfectly fine and I actually enjoy being on my own more than I thought I would. Of course I talk to people every now and then but I haven't made any friends, which is ok. Everyone is different and I don't want to force things. Besides, I'm a very introverted person. I might also be a bit antisocial but I don't really care: I love being alone.
I've always been terrified by the idea of traveling on my own though. I have these weird phobias of losing my keys/money/passports and most of all - getting lost myself or missing a train. Ugh. But all these fears (ok, most of them) disappeared once I gained more experience. Traveling is not as complicated as it might seem: there are always people who can help you, there are timetables, there are maps... All those stupid fears just don't let you relax and enjoy exploring new places. So... I think I'm getting better at letting my fears go.
Well, I'm sorry my ramblings are so chaotic: my life in Sweden is just so overwhelmingly different that I have no idea how to write about it. But huge thanks if you've made it to the end of the post :)
Lots of love,
Friday, August 14, 2015
So, here is something that I wrote on my iPhone notes when I was on the beach. The sun was going down and I just felt overwhelmed.
"Greece. Being present. Living life. Every minute is filled with happiness, gratitude and amazement. The incredible and striking beauty of nature is all around you: just keep your eyes open, keep your mind open. Nothing matters but life itself and being alive."
Well, this probably sounds way too peaceful and romantic, as if taken from an all optimistic motivational poster or something. Yeah. I know. But Greece just makes you feel that way if you plan your trip well.
In our family we love quiet, isolated places. I am the kind of person who always spends a ridiculous amount of time browsing google maps to make sure the hotel I like is far enough from big roads and towns. This summer the efforts payed off. We stayed at the loveliest hotel surrounded by dreamy olive groves and the atmosphere was so relaxing that we literally forgot about time and nearly missed the flight home, hehe.
It was a great escape and I enjoyed every single minute of being there. Like, actively enjoyed constantly talking about the beauty around and whispering to myself about how lucky I was. Because how else are we supposed to express gratitude for being alive and having our opportunities? I like talking to myself so that I have something to hold on to when things don,t work out well for me.
I was happy there. Really, really happy.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
So... Here I am, trying to come up with a proper beginning for this post but obviously in vain. No wonder: I haven,t posted anything in months and it totally feels as if I,ve lost all my blogging skills. I think I,ll just skip the "sorry-for-my-long-absence" part for now because it would take too much time anyway. Oh well, it turns out that I can,t skip it completely. The thing is that I had to take quite a long break from film photography. It just happened. I didn,t feel ready to create anything and my whole life was kind of a mess. As soon as things started getting better, I bought a roll of film.
I met this girl at an Instameet this spring and snapped a couple of portraits with a phone camera. And as I was looking at her I realized that an Instagram photo was definitely not enough. So, a little photoshoot happened. I used both Rolleiflex and Zenit to keep it more fun.
Have a nice day everyone! And I hope it won,t take me too long to come up with a new post :)