- Whatsapp group messages
- Instagram stories
- Vanlife youtube videos full of skinny white rich vegans
- My boyfriend going Emma talk to me
- My landlord's heavy feet over my head letting me know who owns this place
- Girls at work whispering about other girls at work
- Phone calls I'm not getting but if I did I would let it ring
- Cucumbers from my own garden
- Lake swims
- Driving a car on an empty road
- Outside showers
- Local honey
- A good speaker and open doors, with the music blasting out to the forest
- A hill to climb every day so my legs burn and my mind clears
- To be a different version of myself every single day
In 2016, during the summer months, I moved back home to Sweden temporarily. My plan was to finish my Masters degree at home, get a job, relax with my family and take care of some health issues of mine. I relaxed with my family a little bit, but apart from that everything else sort of fell apart. Life happens and what not. I made this video for school, but ended up never using it. The idea was to film the moments that didn't really mean anything; just everyday moments without any commentary really. My favourite kind of videos? Anyway. Looking back at it now, it's one of the best things I've ever done? Only because watching it now gives me so much joy. I know exactly how it felt like being there, in Sweden, during summer 2016. The clips showcase it so clearly to me. Of course you can't fit a whole summer in a 3 minute clip. Of course I filmed when I saw beauty in everyday life and not just clips of me watching tv or me crying or me wasting my day not doing summer:y things. I want/need to make more films like this. Because it's all in those boring details. It's ALL in there.
The title is a quote by Lucy Sheridan from her text regarding the worry we feel over Instagram/Blog posts; the hesitation to showcase our life due to our "content" not meeting imaginary expectations. Bottom line: let go of comparison and focus on showing a scrap-booked version of your life and not the highlight reel.
Yesterday was filled with so many of my favourite activities. Me and Andrew left home early to drive south, a block away from the border. Misty, our very charming car, doesn't have a working AC so we were boiling in no time. We stopped at a gas station to get breakfast; medium roasted brewed coffee and a blueberry muffin. Andrew had a kinder egg. We parked up at an RV park close by, to look at a dog show. Growing up I always went around with mom to different dog shows. I love the feeling of a dog show, so even though we don't own a dog ourselves we love to visit "dog events" and just stare. Due to the heat people were spraying their dogs with water bottles and many of them wore cold dog show capes. We decided to opt out of the dog show hot dogs that were served, and went to White Rock instead. White Rock is a beach town named after a - you guessed it - white rock. We had fish and chips on the beach. Reapplied sun lotion. Even though I brought my swim suit, I was too lazy to get it from the car but I desperately wanted to swim in the water so I went in with my under garments. Due to the low tide the water was shallow and so, so warm. I couldn't stop smiling; I was so happy. During the summer months all I want is to be in the water, and this was the first dip I had this year. Tired from the sun, the beach and the food but still not ready to go home we decided to book tickets for the cinema that evening, the new Mission Impossible film. Honestly, I was so amazingly surprised. I had no expectations because action films are not usually my thing, but I loved, loved this movie. You have to see it. On the big screen, with good speakers. I couldn't stop smiling throughout the film, it was so incredibly well made. It was also such a perfect ending of a perfect day here in Vancouver. I didn't take a single photo. Or I did, but they're not worth showing to anyone since they can't possibly convey what was actually going on. Here instead follows three pictures not taken by me but would fit well into this page of my scrap-book-life:
Pictures are all taken from Tumblr, credit sources here: mvisional.
I coloured my hair. The box said Light Ash Blonde but it turned out a dusty, hay-blonde with hints of green and brown. Unsatisfied and sad, I told you lets go to the beach instead. We'll get burgers on the way and just eat on our blanket. So that's what we did.
I got mad at you for not taking any pictures. Why don't you wanna capture this moment with me? Then you started taking pictures, and I got mad again. No, not from that angle. No, not when I'm looking, please. I got mad at myself for being so mad at you, for ruining everything. I love you for always being there for me, mood swings and all.
(But I swear to god if you don't come home soon and feed me I will kill you)
Wow. My titles are always so incredibly creative.
Since last time I wrote, about a month ago, my dad visited which meant we went traveling a bit and I had some well deserved days off from work. I enjoyed having dad here so much; it pained me that he had to leave and I couldn't come with him! I miss Sweden like crazy. I miss my sister, I miss warm lakes, I miss eating outside and fika every hour. What I wouldn't do to move back, live in a little cabin with a dog right now. Go on forest walks, complain about the mosquitos. Eat Swedish berries and new potatoes.
The worst thing about living in Vancouver is that I'm so far away from my family. Any other place in Europe would be closer. Now, if I had to go home, we're looking at a $1,200 one way ticket and around 10-11 hours. It's not just the family I miss about Sweden. Every day I long to be there; I dream of being there. Every place I visit here, no matter how spectacular, has me yearning for the north instead. I think it's time to come home. Not right away, I'm not "done" with Vancouver yet, but soon.
I have so many pictures to post, but first I need to properly go through them. It never feels like I have time, for anything. Apparently I don't have time for blogging either. I've started so many entries, only to abandon them. I prefer to live in a sort of numb state, where I only work and watch Game of Thrones. But I accept that these moments in life need to exist too. That it's not better or worse, it's just where I am in life at the moment. At the moment I'm not social; I'm extremely introverted. I lack productivity and creativity. But that's okay. This too shall pass and all that jazz.
I write a word here and there. I start drafts, I edit pictures. Within minutes I get distracted, by a view, a thought, someone else's texts and pictures. I watch Netflix with Andrew. We go on car rides. I make dinners, I talk to my parents. I complain that my skin is always itchy, my muscles always achy, my brain is always over stimulated or under stimulated. I never open my computer. I clean everything with vinegar and I fold our freshly washed clothes into the only chest of drawers that we own. I read up about nutrition and how to best care for your pet. I dream of owning 15 different animals on a farm somewhere. I dream of writing, reading, cooking, caring, living. I live now, too. This is my life. This is the in between stuff. I rarely feel pretty enough, I rarely feel rich enough or smart enough or funny enough. But I'm getting really good at not giving those feelings as much power as I used to. There is power in just being. Just enjoying now. I give power to moments that brings me joy; waking up two hours before I have to leave the apartment, being on the bus listening to music or podcasts and texting loved ones, working with my body and mind every day doing something I love, having delicious home cooked dinners without a thought of diet and "good vs bad" food, watching tv-shows in my pyjamas with Andrew brushing my hair, falling asleep on the couch, sleeping for more than 8 hours every night (always). The list/life goes on.
I'm also nostalgic by nature. So I want to keep on documenting, keep on romanticising. If anything just to pay respect to the now. There's no end-goal; you live and then you die and while you live there are ups and downs and they are all important.
(Pictures are from Harrison's Hot Springs a couple of weekends ago)
Lately I've been loving the warmer weather, blue skies and trees dressed in bright green, pink, white and peach. Spring came so fast: all of a sudden after a couple of rainy days people were wearing summer clothes and walking around looking a bit happier, like life now was a bit easier.
Lately I've been watching The Office with Andrew like a mad person. We only have a couple of episodes left now, and I'm already in mourning. How one cannot crush on John Krasinski is beyond me - I even forced Andrew to come with me to see The Quiet Place, which turned out to be a great film honestly.
Lately I've been full time at the pet shop I'm working at. Overall I really enjoy working there: there's always something to do, you're always on your feet and you're bound to pet and say hi to at least 10 dogs per day.
Lately I've been eating pretty badly: I try my best to cook and eat at home, but it's hard. The prices for groceries here scare me. Add a low paying job to that and a high rent and voila! It's a problem that I'm working on fixing. We're heading into May, we've been officially in our apartment for a month and I've been working full time for a month so better, more planned and stable days are coming. I hope.
Lately I've been really excited for dad to come to Canada on Saturday! He'll be staying in Alberta, and then sometime in June we'll meet up for a holiday. It'll just be so great to have him here in the same country, in the same time zone. I'm also super excited about Jennifer moving to California on Saturday as well! Two of my favourite people in the world, in the same time zone as me! Yay!
Lately I've been missing home/Sweden like crazy. It's the "summer" days. I think of Swedish lakes and Swedish trees and Swedish traditions and food and houses. What I wouldn't do right now for a BBQ outside in the sunshine with my family right now.
Heya. It's been a while, I know.
I guess I've lost myself a little bit. I don't know how to write anymore; I don't know how to start. Unintentional absence. My brain has been so mushy for the past two weeks; for obvious reasons such as PMS then bleeding. Surely there are some non-obvious reasons as well that I still have to figure out. I feel incredibly saddened by the death of Tim Bergling (Avicii). I grew up with his music, whether I wanted to or not, and his songs were enjoyed by everyone - not just house-music-fans. I remember my youth years in Santa Barbara, how we would always feel pride whenever his songs would play at clubs/parties. He was one of us; a Swede, yes, but also just a young guy with ambition and passion. Trying to make it outside our cold, Nordic country. Listening to his songs now makes me emotional; they're full of memories. Not just my memories, but I think most people have memories connected to his songs, whether they are house fans or not.
Of course, his passing makes me think a lot about mental health, and physical health as well. It makes me think of the pressure young people are under, myself included. It reminds me again that this is all temporary. For someone who's had death anxiety since she was a kid, the notion that even "successful" people can die at a young age, way before they should've gone, scares me to no end. The thought of people all over the world, leaving us before they have experienced true happiness, calmness, contentedness, absolutely just breaks my heart. It's not dying that's scary, it's living without a purpose, it's living without joy. Always wishing things were different, perhaps always being scared. Always feeling like you're not living your life the way you really want to.
What is success? Is it climbing the ladder? Being acknowledged and validated by a huge audience? Success looks different for all of us, sure. What is my version of success? I'm still reading Playing Big by Tara Mohr, I'm on the chapter where she talks about our Inner Mentor. The idea of the inner mentor is seeing yourself 20 years from now, who you really are, and take inspiration from that person in every decision you take. How can you move towards that person/life? It's such a life-changing book for me, that I'm reading it super slowly so I can really take it all in. This month has been all about thinking about the future, thinking of my Inner Mentor; where am I heading? How can I create personal success? How can I bring more joy into my life? This all mixed with fear that I'm always living in the future; I have no balance and I'm not enjoying the moment I'm in. Who said life was easy, right?
I'll keep on blogging. I need to prioritize documentation, purely for the reason that my future self will want to see this life as well. I love reading through old posts; I want to create that same experience for my future self.
This post has been all over the place. I know it probably doesn't make sense, but neither does my thoughts at the moment so it is what it is!
Take care out there x
It's hard to believe we've been here for two months by now. We're still in the same Airbnb apartment that we arrived at on that surreal night in late January. Our host coming down the stars, hugging us, welcoming us, spreading joy. We've been incredibly lucky with our host and our apartment. Our host even connected us with our new landlord, so all in all, we're extremely grateful for good people.
It's proper spring now. There are more sunny days than rainy days. I'm on strong allergy medication which means most of the days are spent in some sort of drowsy haze. Still, it's not as bad as it is in Sweden. Or Santa Barbara. On my days off, we've been visiting parks instead of cafes. We try to save money wherever we can, knowing that we'll need all the money we can get when we move into our apartment.
I still don't love Vancouver. I love how close the city is to nature, how trails are so accessible and well taken care of. But other than that, it's just like any other city really. Minus the history, there's a serious lack of history here. It's all wiped, you could take a street in Vancouver and place it anywhere else in the world (obviously another city) and it would fit in there. No wonder Vancouver is often a backdrop for other cities in films/tv shows.
What I miss the most about Europe is good food. Nothing amazes me here, everything is bland and boring. The groceries don't even do it for me, I haven't been able to make something really tasty since I got here. I don't know what it is. It's not just the meat and dairy, it's the produce and even the snacks. Don't get me started on the bread. I'm already fed up trying to find something nice, so sad! The food that seems like it would be semi-ok is incredibly expensive as well. I constantly convert the sum to euros / Swedish kronor as a way of accepting the price (the dollar is really low at the moment), and that might comfort me while I still have euros and Swedish kronor - but what about when I'll only survive on earned Canadian dollar? So much of my weekly budget will go to food. Very mediocre food on top of that. Buhu. The food critic / lover inside me weeps! Europe, I love you! Cali, I love you too - you were blessed with incredible food. I don't know what Canadians are doing wrong! You don't know what you're missing living here.
What else? Apart from working and getting used to my workplace and new routines, I haven't really involved myself in the community here. Haven't made a point to explore and meet up with new people outside work. Now, I'm a very private person anyway and don't need too many friends, but still. Would be nice to get some roots here. I guess it'll come with time. We're moving into our new apartment this week (oh my) and I work pretty much full-time hours in April, so a daily routine will be essential to establish. After that I'll carve out time for more adventurous and soul-growing activities.
To summarize: This city is not a place I love, but it's got potential that I'm willing to explore. I've got a job, for now, and we're moving into an apartment. I miss grand historical buildings and good food = easily accessible things found in most other countries. I pet a lot of dogs, we watch a lot of Netflix, we've been out for brunch twice so I guess if anything Vancouver has made us a couple who brunch on Sundays.
Don't ask me why we went to a botanical garden in the middle of February. Or do, why not. Answer: It was one of the first days of spring, the sun was shining gloriously and the garden is within walking distance from where we live, so it was all a win-win really! Also, my allergies during spring are r i d i c u l o u s, so better hurry up and visit nature places before it all gets wild (ed. note: it's gone wild now)!
Nothing was in bloom yet; the same hue of green surrounded the grass and the trees. The darker type, the one that survives the winter. The one that reminds you of witchcraft and fantasy novels. The type of green I want to surround myself with, always.
I love botanical gardens. I mean, how couldn't you; they're basically lusher, more luxurious versions of parks. With less trash on the paths, and people being quiet and respectful because they paid actual money to be there.
VanDusen Botanical Gardens had lots of great stone art all over the place. The garden also has a maze (which we got lost in) and bees (most of them asleep during our visit). I can't wait to go back in the summer, to fully enjoy the vegetable garden and the big grass field. I'll wait till spring is over, I'll let the trees be done with their pollution and love making so I can spend time with flowers, bees, and roses in peace.
If you look up flawed in the dictionary, you'll find my name, underlined. Maybe even in bold. I say flawed, because of synonyms such as "unsound, defective, faulty, distorted, inaccurate, incorrect, erroneous, imprecise, fallacious, misleading" + more. I say flawed because sometimes my own paradoxical way of living annoys me to no ends.
I feel broken, out of sync with the world and sometimes even myself. There are things I want to be doing, but I'm not doing them. There are things I love that I can't STAND. Does this make me special? Not really, I genuinely believe most humans are the same: we all have contradicting emotions/opinions. We're all underlined under flawed. Not many people talk about themselves and their struggles, though. Instead, we fill our feeds with success stories and seemingly happy-go-lucky people. We compare ourselves and come to the conclusion that there's something genuinely wrong with us. But we're all the same, really.
I'm trying to show up. For myself, mostly. Because the more growth I allow myself, the better I feel. It makes me a better human, friend, girlfriend, daughter, sister, etc.
Here's a list of things I struggle with at the moment:
. Wherever I am is not where I want to be.
. I want to travel & explore, but I want to create a home & stability.
. I want to be super-productive, do all the things & win the world over! But I also want to hide in a hut somewhere, live a quiet life with just my dog, the kettle and my Netflix account.
. I want to be fierce, loud and opinionated! But I also want to be quiet, reserved and private.
. I want to be a nutrition expert! To only eat vegan food! Only on a budget of like, $2 a day! But I also love "trashy" food. And big homecooked dinners. And fancy restaurants. I don't want to restrict myself to anything because I know only bad things come from restrictions. But I also don't trust myself when it comes to eating without any restrictions. I just wanna live, to eat what I want, when I want! But I also know that that's not what makes my body feel its best.
. I want to wake up at 4.00AM and do work before everyone else, knowing my brain works the best in the morning! But I also want to sleep in, because I love late nights watching tv, being with people I love. It's when my brain rests and my heart does all the work.
. I want kids, now. I want 20 dogs, now. A big house. But I also want to live in a trailer, just me and Andrew traveling.
. I want to work with film. Videomaking. I want to work with writing, books. I want to work with dogs! I want to work with photography. I want to work with children, as a teacher maybe! I want to work with anything other than what I'm working with right now.
The word balance. I hate it, because our lives rarely feel balanced! It's what we all strive for, at all times, but we rarely reach that balance. So why fight for the unattainable? Yet I do believe in striving for some sort of contentment. Contentment in the mess, in the contradictory. Contentment in who we are as people, being flawed. Being kind to people, but also being a bit of a prick to some. Being loveable, but also accepting that some people might not like the way you roll - simply put. Being productive, independent and creative, but also being a big needy slug who just wants to be taken care of without having to prove anyone anything.
I guess that's where breathing comes in. Did you allow yourself to breathe today? It's still on my to-do list. But I'll get there!