Happy Birthday Kiddo; An Ode To My Brother

Today's my little brother's birthday! When I told him I would write a post about him, he said: "Finally! You only ever write about your little sister, never about me". He's got a point! My brother's so close to me in age, whereas my sister is around 10 years younger than me. The relationship I have with him versus her is so different. What remains the same is the responsibility I feel for them both, being the oldest, and how their happiness means everything to me. Happy Birthday Eric! I love, respect and appreciate you and hope you had the most amazing day. One day I'll be there to celebrate it with you!

Here's some of the memories I have of growing up with you as my annoying lil' bro. 

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Memory I: We're playing outside our grey timber house, it's summer. Daisy, our golden retriever pup, is hanging around looking after us like a proper childminder. On the side of the path leading into our house there's an abandoned Jungle Book juice box with its content sipping out. There are ants everywhere. In that house we dress up Daisy like a doll whenever our parents are sleeping. In that house you spin around in my dresses; your eyes sparkling of joy at the beauty that is your sister's spinning dress that you, too, get to wear. 

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Memory II: Some of our friends are over; they're mostly your friends. Kids seem to like you more, you're funnier, tougher, more playful than me. We're in a different house, sharing a room with a giant image of a forest as our wallpaper. We're jumping on our beds, playing with Smurf-toys. You mention to the other kids that I wet my bed at night, and sometimes I even wet my pants during the day. I hate you for saying that, for sharing secrets. Other memories from that house: us bathing together. Us in mom's bed listening to her reading Barbie books. 

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Memory III: We're at our dad's house, dad's out doing something in the garden, helping grandma and grandpa most probably. He says before he goes, be nice to each other. I don't know why, but we start fighting. You get a scissor and throw it at me, I run out of the house, over to grandma's. At the edge of her house there's a rake, I take it and start swinging it around me creating a border that you can't get through. You cry and scream till dad comes back. Other memories from that house: us playing with Star Wars lego, us playing bats after our shower with our towels as wings, us laying in the dark in our bunk beds listening to scary stories on the cassette tape, us putting "spider webs" all over the house, us creating a trap for dad - so that when he opens the door to our room an object will come flying towards him.  

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Today's your 27th birthday! You're almost as old as I am, you always are. You're the person I share the most memories with. We share trauma, we share joy. There are emotions grown from moments only you and I can relate to.

Here are seven traits of yours I really treasure, admire and look up to: 

1. You're just as sensitive as me. You're connected to your emotions, allowing yourself to live life with both the ups and downs. You understand depth in film and music and literature, it comes easy to you. You understand depth, layers, in people, too. 

2. You're a hard worker, both when it comes to your personal life and your work life. Most importantly maybe, you work hard at fighting for others. There's nothing that engages you more than equality for all and every person's right to live a better life. 

3. You enjoy happiness. You take real pleasure in the small things in life. A cup of coffee, a song, the weather, a view, a good meal, travelling with friends, travelling alone, meeting new people, being by yourself, writing, reading, drawing, finding something nice for your apartment, cooking, etc. 

4. Your ability to be independent. I've always admired how well you take care of things. Where I would fall apart, you persevere. You always seem to have projects going, apartments to move into, jobs to work at, a steady budget: things that I've been struggling with haha. You manage to build stability, no matter how rough things get. 

5. Your social life. People love you, you've always had many friends. You treat your friends like family, you understand the importance of people coming together and collectively growing and not just doing this independently of others. You value "offline" gatherings more than "online" ones. 

6. You're extremely funny, and no one can make me laugh the way you do because of what we share together. I'm guessing I'm the only one who could really laugh at some of your jokes as well, and I love that we share that. 

7. You always seem to understand what people are going through, and even if you don't understand you respect the struggle. You listen without judgement, full of empathy and compassion. 

I'm so incredibly proud of who you are and what you do. I'll always be your number one fan and defender. Love you, mean it. 

Ten Days Later

So. Seems like I had an unintentional blog-break. That's ok. 

In the meantime I started my new job, which is always exhausting because you're learning so many new things all at once. Not just how to actually do your job, or detailed facts about the products you're selling; what the company stands for etc. - but also about the humans working there. You learn who's in charge, who's responsible for what and who you might become friends with. You keep yourself as neutral as possible, because you don't want to offend or overshare or step on anyone's toes. At least that's me. Trying to fit it, trying to establish myself little by little; see what spot's available. At the moment I'm one of the new girls, the one with the accent. 

The job itself is only part-time, so I still have to look for another one. And learn all the office politics all over again. Whatever pays your rent, right. Speaking of rent, we signed a lease to an apartment we get to move into at the end of this month! It feels both good and scary. Good because the landlord is amazing, the location is amazing and the apartment itself is pretty sweet. Scary because it's a huge commitment, and neither me or Andrew really have the required income yet. I mean we have savings, but it's still scary because we're definitely taking a risk here. Commitment is scary for me in general. I always like to have one foot in one place, the other foot in another place and the rest of my body somewhere else. Like I'm divided equally between past, present and the future. This is the wrong way to live and I know that. But it's the only way I know how to.  

Other than that me and Andrew have been obsessed with a South Korean show called Hello, My Twenties on Netflix! Don't ask why, just watch it. We loved it. 

dailyEmma Carlsson
The Patriarchy Will Fall (And Other Good News)
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Welcome, welcome first Monday of March! With every passing day it's getting warmer and brighter, and I can't tell you how much we all need it? Collectively? If you survived February without a hint seasonal affective disorder I need to congratulate you and tell you that you were one of the few lucky ones. For most people I know, this winter has been tough. As the world is growing smaller, I have a feeling we're more inclined to be absorbed by each other's sense of desolation. With more accessible information, we also now know more about ourselves (and others) than ever before: we're learning that our behavior could be a sign of something else. The realization makes us sad, as we go deeper into our wounds. It's not all bad, since in order to heal you need to realize that healing is what you need. Rather than being an endpoint, it's a start. 

Anyway.

Last night Andrew and I were watching the Oscars in front of our fake fireplace. How gorgeous was the set-design? I was blown away. Shape of Water might have deserved Best Film but Timothee Chalamet should've won Best Actor. This weekend was a good one; we walked on the beach, I got a job offer and we went to our first apartment viewing. I developed a cough, but apart from that, I was as happy as can be.

Earlier that day, we went to Canada Place to visit the Outdoor and Adventure convention, mainly to attend one of the photography workshops. It's amazing how photography is still so dominated by older men. What amazes me more is their confidence in their own art. If only women could let themselves feel the same pride in their art? The same self-respect? Imagine a world in where women all over are taking up space and being celebrated for it, in where they celebrate themselves for their own achievements (small or large). There's a quote by Swedish singer Lisa Ekdahl, which once translated goes something like this: "The patriarchy will fall, within your lifetime". Repeat it over and over again till it becomes the truth. 

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Postcards From Capilano River Regional Park

After our trip to Grouse Mountain, we wanted to see more of North Vancouver, so instead of taking the bus all the way downtown we decided to walk downhill from the Gondola through Capilano River Regional Park. The views did not disappoint. 

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Capilano Regional Park is most famous for its suspension bridge. We didn't visit the suspension bridge this time but saved the experience for another weekend. Instead we stopped by Cleveland Dam overlooking Capilano Lake. After that, we walked through down through the River Park on one of the many trails through the green, deep forest. 

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Walking through the trees just made my heart so mushy of love and appreciation. It made me miss home; it made me realize how much I belong to this type of terrain; so much more than I belong on concrete streets. This trip really made us fall in love with North Vancouver for this very reason; the closeness to nature and the general calmer pace. 

One of the things Andrew and I discussed on the trails through the park was how pointless this all was without a dog. Just imagine how much better life would be with a dog? The very thought makes me just illogically annoyed at myself; I should be at a place in my life where I have a dog (or two) by now! Life, you are a mystery. 

Coffee Rants #1 - Nothing Has To Be True
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If you texted me this afternoon to come meet you somewhere for a cup of coffee, I'd reply "I'm exhausted and have already crashed from caffeine a long time ago, but I could do with a doughnut!". We'd meet at a coffee shop on Main street: it's close to where I live. I've already been on Main street twice today, at different cafes. But a third one wouldn't hurt. We'd meet at Forty Ninth Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky's Doughnuts; it's a cozy, darker place and Lucky's Doughnuts are the best ones in town. 

If we met for a cup of coffee, I'd tell you this: 

I don't know why, but today I'm just exhausted - yet energetic at the same time? I woke up from nightmares this morning, and even though I feel quite positive and content, there's an inner worry that I just can't seem to shake off. You ever get that? That everything's fine except for an almost transparent shadow watching over you, slowly and quietly convincing you it's not fine; you're not fine; this is wrong. You might know what it feels like, when your energy is spent fighting invisible creatures in the background of your everyday life. So despite it being a good day, a productive day, you're just so drained after 2pm that you might as well call it a day. 

And I mean, what can you do. You just try your best, I guess. To get by. I just feel overwhelmed and out of sync with the world. It's tough, moving to a new place. I don't know anyone here, and recently I've been feeling so anti-social that I just can't make myself go out and meet new people. The thought of "mingling" or "networking" puts my body in a state of panic. We don't have a place to stay yet, and neither of us has jobs yet. Things are definitely moving forward: I don't want to paint a picture of hopelessness. It's all about attitude, I know that. Those are just obstacles right now, those are the hills we're climbing. They're tough hills; the type where you're too exhausted some days to look back at the view and enjoy it. The type where you feel like you'll never make it to the top (until you do). 

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There are many things I should be doing. You ever get the feeling that no matter what you're doing, you should be doing something else? That you never prioritize the way a "successful" person would prioritize? And what's successful anyway? Are you, like me, so tired of this perfect life being broadcasted to us on Social Media? People who leave their jobs with no fear, with no hardships. People with perfectly styled homes and model-babies. Younger people than you who landed their dream jobs ages ago, and are already looking into retiring. 

I mean I get it; you filter yourself online. As you should, as do I. For most people that perfect life is just a job, and I know that there's an everyday there that we don't get to see. Some days I just need more vulnerability and less business type of content. Do you follow anyone online that just makes you feel so much better about all the pressure? Do you know who positively.kate is? 

I'm kind of in love with Kate, you have to check her out. I'm gonna be honest, in the beginning, her rawness made me a bit uncomfortable. Because we're so used to seeing the filtered version of people, right? Kate is the opposite of that; she's someone that so many people need. I've grown such an affection for her. Her stories where she's there with her morning cup of coffee, talking about real self-care (and not just the one companies are trying to sell us in shapes of lotions and potions) means so much to me. How she keeps on reminding people that she hopes "you have a day, because a day is enough" (it can be good, it can be bad, us being here is enough). 

Also, she has the cutest dog ever called Waffles, you need to check her out. You're gonna love her too. 

It's getting late, and our coffee date is almost over. Before we leave each other, I just want to make sure you're listening to Ruins, First Aid Kit's new album? Have you also listened to Nothing Has To Be True on repeat? I mean, just thinking of the melody and the lyrics now makes me cry. Maybe you're just like me; a simple verse can make you cry instantly. But how beautiful is it? Quick, here's a live-video of it that you can watch on the bus home (but I do recommend the studio version with headphones on): 

Anyway, thanks for listening. Let's do it again sometime soon! Take care of yourself x

(this blog-post concept is inspired by one of my favorite bloggers Ashley Ann who sometimes do these coffee-date writings) 

coffee rantsEmma Carlsson
Postcards From Grouse Mountain

Two weeks ago or so we went up to Grouse Mountain. It was our first trip "outside" the city, and we loved every minute of it. The sun was shining for the very first time since we got here, and we finally got to see some snow.

Grouse Mountain is very much still in Vancouver; you simply take the Seabus over to North Vancouver and from there take a bus up to the Skyride, the Grouse Mountain gondola. On a clear day, you're able to see Vancouver from the mountaintop. Even though it was sunny throughout our visit, we were unable to see the city due to a fog coming up around the mountain - but it didn't really matter. We were happy out taking a break from downtown! 

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The gondola up takes a couple of minutes (after standing in line for way longer). You can see the fog forming here. 

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No Smoking! Fragile Mountain Fresh Air. Where can I buy this sign for my future home? 

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Upon arriving, seeing happy families playing in the snow and in the sun my heart just melted. This was exactly what my spirit needed after two weeks of almost constant rain and grey skies in the city. 

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There are plenty of activities here for all ages. You can skate/play hockey, rent ski-gear and snowshoes. We did neither, which was okay too! We walked a bit along the mountain on the snowshoe trail and just relished the views + air. 

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We didn't complete the whole trail: there are some really steep parts where you really could use those snow shoes. Plus we weren't really dressed for a hike, so we decided to turn around. A mix of fog, sunshine and snow-cannon created snow generated such a magical effect around us. All I kept on thinking about was how much we needed this.

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Next up is visiting Grouse Mountain in the afternoon/evening time so we could enjoy the Light Trail and hopefully get a glimpse of a lit up Vancouver under a night sky. Can't wait to go back in the summer as well; to enjoy more of the nature surrounding the area. 

A daily ticket (including Gondola and access to area without a ski-pass) costs us around $46, and was well worth it. A great day trip if you want to get out of the city but don't have the resources to go too far! 

vancouver, travelEmma Carlsson
List Sunday: Five Things
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↟ List inspiration

5 things:

… I long for:
Days when you only need a light jacket when you're out & about
Our own apartment
Financial security
Road trips in BC
Structure (my Virgo brain is having a bit of a crisis at the moment)

… I'm grateful for:
Andrew, always
My brother & sister, always
The lack of rain lately
Peanut butter & banana toasts
The fake fireplace in our AirBnB

… I want to be better at:
Not overthinking & catastrophizing everything
Remembering to send texts & call loved ones
Not settling; to really go for what I want
Taking selfies (yes, selfies)
Speaking up

… that annoys me:
When things don't matter as much to other people as it does for me
When you go out to eat, but the menu is dull & the table you get is awful
My own memory. I'm so forgetful, it's an actual problem
My own hearing. Again, this is an actual problem - I'm basically deaf
That I didn't do that barista training a couple of years ago 

… I'm scared of:
Never fulfilling some of my dreams
Not taking part in society in the way that I want
Social gatherings; mingling, networking
Diseases (hypochondriac)
Someone at home getting sick / dying

… I love to eat:
Veg. Chili
Rice with soy sauce
Pico de gallo
Appetizers
Spaghettini 

… I want to do this year:
Explore BC
Respect my creativity
Do more projects with Andrew
Reach out more: join communities
Document more

aboutEmma Carlsson
Postcards From Jericho Beach

Dear people at home, missed friends and curious strangers. I'm aware of how dreary I've been sounding lately, my apologies! It's not all misery; it's not all dressed in a desaturated green and blue. Some things are golden. 

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I have so much to write about, I'll tell you all about it later. Tonight is spent in front of the "fireplace"; there's a snowstorm outside and we spent yesterday in glorious sunshine doing the toughest hike here in Canada yet (not on Jericho Beach!! The pictures are just for show). More about that later. Hope you are taking care of yourself, hope you listen to some great music and take some time to think deep, meaningful thoughts while cooking delicious food or browsing the internet for motivation (make the definition between motivation and comparison, one is good and one is evil).

No guilt this weekend, let's shake on it. 

vancouver, travelEmma Carlsson
Count It All Joy - 1 Month In Vancouver

I'm sitting at my local Starbucks, located only two blocks from our apartment. It's snowing outside; yes, it's snowing.

I had written such a long text for this post, but now upon publishing it's all deleted. Someone out there must've realised the rawness of the text and decided the words weren't ready for the public eye. For someone who constantly dreams about hiding and throwing away all tools of communication, I'm surprisingly open in my texts. Lesson learned! 

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Did I tell you that we've been in Vancouver for over a month now? Seems strange and unreal. It both feels longer, and shorter.

What follows are some things I like and dislike about Vancouver. The photos might have nothing to do with the text, but that's okay. 

Photos are all taken in Stanley Park, on a day before the sun came but after the rain left. We thought it was such a glorious, bright day. Looking back, I realise how it's all about perspective. Looking back, the pictures look gloomy. But know we smiled in bliss on the actual day! 

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Like: There's a coffee shop wherever you go. This is by far my favourite thing about cities in general!

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Dislike: They say in general the quality of life here is high in comparison to other cities. And that might be true, but there is a lot of destruction here. A lot of people are not enjoying any of that statistical life quality. A lot of people on the streets. Sure there are lots of vegan cafes and yoga studios and dog walkers, but Vancouver is currently experiencing both a housing crisis and a drug crisis. 

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Like: When it's sunny and you see the mountains in the background, Vancouver is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. You notice things you didn't look at when it was raining: street art, beautiful buildings, smiling people. 

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Dislike: The rain, obviously. So far the weather's been 50/50. It was raining pretty much every day for the first two weeks when we got here. Then the sun arrived, and the whole city changed. We changed. Now it's snowing, so you get it all really. 

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Like: Cute boutiques with local art. 

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Dislike: The lack of plus size fashion stores, or stores with a plus size section. 

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Like: Walking trails! Not just in nature, but around the city as well. 

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Dislike: The lack of smaller parks in the city areas. You have to travel to just visit a park, they're mostly located in the outskirts. Queen Elizabeth Park is close to us, but I just wish there were smaller parks to have a coffee in on a nice day out. 

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Like: Public transportation. It's really easy to get to places, plan your trips and pay for them. We have a compass card, which we basically can travel wherever with. 

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Dislike: The fact that we have to use public transportation. Both me and Andrew are so used to driving. When you have your own car, it just means so much freedom to do whatever whenever. A big reason why we haven't explored outside Vancouver yet is because some days you're just too tired to take 3 different buses for 2 hours to get somewhere.

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Like: Stanley Park, Kitsilano Beach, North Vancouver! 

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Dislike: Downtown. I love a good city if it got character and history, but when it's just blocks of tall buildings with general stores it's kind of boring. Downtown is best experienced from a distance, as a nice view. 

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Like: Our AirBnB, it's a perfect basement apartment in a residential area that's still very local. We're one bus ride away from most things, we got a local pharmacy, local grocery store and a Starbucks. 

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Dislike: Not having our own place yet, knowing we're only here temporarily and can't make ourselves completely at home. 

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Like: Spending time with Andrew alone for such a long period of time, for the very first time ever. I love being with him, thank god. 

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Dislike: Missing my family and friends, the time difference makes it harder to keep in touch. My dad's coming over to Canada in April - June for some work and I can't wait to have him here, even if it's not in Vancouver! 

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Like: The conversion rate right now! 10 Canadian Dollars is only 6.4 Euros, which is crazy low! We're basically making money (no, not at all.)! It's really saving us right now. 

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Dislike: Traffic. Andrew says he's never seen drivers as bad as the ones here! Such a silly thing to dislike, but I'm getting to the end of my list and I'm scraping here, okay. Both me and Andrew really need to start driving here. The goal is eventually to get a car if we do well, but the traffic scares us, not going to lie. 

To sum it up, it's hard to feel home here. I'm not gonna lie. But then again I always knew it would be a struggle, it always is when you move somewhere completely new. In many ways Vancouver is just like any other North American city, what I like the most about Vancouver is how nature is so close by. You don't have to go far outside the city to get wilderness. My goal this year is definitely to try to stay out of the city as much as possible. That all depends, of course, on what type of job I'll get and how my economy looks like. It's all a guessing game at the moment, which is why I'm trying my very best to enjoy the moment exactly as it is. It's not easy, in fact it's very hard some of the times. But I'm cutting myself some slack; I'm doing the best I can with what I got. 

vancouver, travelEmma Carlsson
Setbacks
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After a long, unpublished text of mine got deleted for some mysterious reason, I've been feeling unmotivated to write anything else. That, and my mind is completely clogged up and blurry. It's worse whenever a Monday comes around and you're not ready to let go of the weekend. You feel like you need more time to do absolutely nothing other than resting and reflecting. Why we only have 2 out of 7 days "off" per week is beyond me. 

There's an inner stress I don't seem to be able to shake off. There's also a rebellion, going on inside me. The start of something bigger. Whenever you feel uncomfortable, it usually means something else, something bigger, is heading your way. And I feel so uncomfortable right now, so unstable. But I've been here before, and I know some things you just have to wait out.

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dailyEmma Carlsson
Shame
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What are you afraid of? What is it that you wish you could do if only you were "naturally talented" like them? If you only you had the required experience? The right type of background? If you were smarter, prettier, skinnier? What dream do you keep pushing away; what is it that you're saving, for later? And why is it that you believe that you can't get there right now, using what you have? 

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Mine is creating. Writing. Photographing. Filming. Showing up, presenting. It doesn't matter how much experience I have; it doesn't matter that I have a Masters Degree in Creative Media, that I have over 15 years of experience in writing + photographing + filming. I'm scared of sharing, because I feel shame. 

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It's shame that originates in many things. Mostly in my perfectionism, how if it's not the world's best (insert body of work here), then it's not worth anything. Nobody will like it, nobody will get any value from it. Why would I show you what I’ve done if I know that it could be better? 

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I experience shame when I compare my work and my attempts at showing up to present them with others. Everyone seem to have their stuff together. They all have a style that works for them, they have a niche. I'm all over the place, too multidimensional. I want to talk about x, but I also want to talk about y and z and sometimes all of them at the exact same time. Who would relate to all that mess? 

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It's probably too late, anyway. I'm wasting time (shame). I should focus on climbing the ladder instead. I should focus on becoming smaller, not bigger. God knows I don't need to get any bigger (shame). 

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I'm incredibly scared of criticism. Of not being in control (again, perfectionist) of how people interpret my work. Of it being available to everyone, and not a selected audience. What, is my work just suppose to be here, for you to judge? To laugh at? To diminish? 

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I rarely focus on the amount of people that would potentially enjoy and connect with my work. I focus on the few that would criticise it, who would tear it apart. These "few" individuals are all shaped from my own inner critic: they're born out of fear and shame within me. I believe they exist, because for so many years my inner critic has convinced me of their overwhelming existence, and importance. 

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I am trying to actively battle shame and fear. To show up, do the things, present them anyway. Brene Brown was and is an incredible motivator when it comes to these subjects, and I'm always looking for more role models to add to my collection. 

I have finally picked up Playing Big by Tara Mohr. It's a gift from myself to myself. Tara Mohr was a guest on Hashtag Authentic by Sara Tasker and they were talking about Mohr's idea of our inner mentor. How our inner mentor is there to fight our inner critic. 

Your inner mentor is basically you, in the future. How do you imagine yourself in 10 years, what are you doing, where are you in life? What advice would you give your younger self? And for your present self, how can you grow towards her

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I haven't finished Playing Big yet, I just started. But I can't wait to explore more and continue to convince myself to just keep going. 

For now, here's a short list of things I do whenever my inner critic takes over: 

1. Remind myself that I'm always learning and growing. That learning is essential, and that I can't grow if I don't keep on going. 
2. Investigate someone I look up to; explore what they published before they publish the outstanding content that I see right now. Rest assure they all started off somewhere very similar to the place I'm in. The only reason they grew into who they are today, is because (again) they kept at it. 
3. Listen to something by Brene Brown again, or Hashtag Authentic (podcast), or one of my favourite podcast episodes of all time "Show up as if you're already where you want to be" from Make it Happen (podcast) by Jen Carrington. 

Psst, all these images are from Stanley Park. 

 

Anti-Capitalist Love Notes
  Source:  Etsy  

Source: Etsy 

Happy Valentine's day! Let's talk about me instead of love for a minute. 

Ever since I first saw this ANTI-CAPITALIST LOVE NOTE it's been on my mind. Its message is something I remind myself quite often as I have to. It's on my mind now, when me and Andrew have trouble sleeping / talking to family members / surviving without going crazy as we try to make our way through the cannibalistic jungle that is job hunting. 

The goal has always been to get away from all that. From all this. From writing cover letters (convincing you that I want this job for your company's sake and not for my own?) and doing group interviews (competing for a low paying job that you don't really want?). The goal has always been to become more and more free from the system that we're all forced to align with in order to survive. Living in a capitalistic society is demanding, and I'd say it's almost impossible to not have to adjust your life accordingly in some shape or form no matter how "free" you are. I accept it, and I try my hardest to not feel guilt or shame when I fall for what they want me to fall for. This valentine's day I'm therefore trying to celebrate me - with AND without my achievements. 

Job hunting is tough; I knew it would be. It always is. One week unemployed feels like one month. No matter how much work you do, how many people you reach out to, you're always gonna feel like you could've done more. There's a lot of comparison going on: how did that person make it? What am I doing wrong? I am probably not worthy / not as good / not as suitable. My merits don't measure!

Enter: The Imposter Syndrome! Which I won't write more about here because we all (probably) knows what it means. 

  Source:  Medium

Source: Medium

Newsflash / reminder to self: you are just as worthy, you are just as talented, intelligent, kind, and brave. You are able to create your own life. You have the power to take control and to let go. Your creativity matches your peers (and yes, they are your peers and not some almighty beings living in another dimension), it might just be different and different is okay. 

Newsflash / reminder to self 2: know that your value doesn't come from your productivity / your work anyway. Know that you are worth a sick day even though you don't have a job, or it was just the weekend. Know that you are allowed time to take care of yourself. You deserve kindness, respect, and love even though you didn't produce anything today. 

Newsflash / reminder to self 3: everyone is doing the best that they can with the resources and abilities they have at any given time. This applies to you, too. There is not some superwoman inside of you waiting to emerge who are more worthy. There is no such thing as "if only I did this or that then I too would be deserving" - you are deserving as you are. Flaws and all. 

(Sidetrack: and wasn't this why Ladybird is such a relevant and intimate film? Because we have all felt exactly like Ladybird standing outside the dressing room asking her mom if she likes her, just as she is? Without improving even the slightest?) 

  (an old picture of us. for a couple that enjoys shooting both videos and photos there are surprisingly little footage of us)

(an old picture of us. for a couple that enjoys shooting both videos and photos there are surprisingly little footage of us)

To conclude: I am incredibly lucky to have someone who loves me exactly as I am. It's almost bizarre how little I have to do in order for him to see the magic in me. My goal is to feel the exact same way towards myself: to be in love with myself. Not just on the days when I've achieved something or "proved" to society that I'm a serviceable human, but also on days when I don't do much at all except practicing kindness. I hope on this valentine's day, or any given Tuesday (or Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday) you let go of comparison and the destructing belief that your life would be better if only you had x, y, and z. Treat Valentine's Day as a day where you allow yourself to take extra good care of yourself and love yourself as much as you love others + others love you.

philosophyEmma Carlsson