How Can I Write This Title Without Mentioning 2018?

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There are so many stories I didn’t share in 2018. So many moments that went undocumented. Or, at the time I did document them - taking photos and such. But I never shared any of it. An Instagram picture here and there, definitely a couple of stories. But apart from that, no writing. No real reflection.

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I obviously neglected this space on the internet after august. Summer here was amazing. I worked a lot, yes. But I also visited parks and beaches. It made me think differently about Vancouver. It made me like it here. Fall was glorious, with all its colours and Halloween decorations. I nested quite a bit in our apartment, and couldn’t wait to go all-in over Christmas. Which we did.

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From September onwards, up until very recently, my main focus was just getting my visa extension approved. I had to live life with a plan A, B, C and D in mind. I was well prepared to just go home to Sweden. Start my life there again. Or to visit California, stay with my aunt for a while. Either way I quit my job two weeks into January. And that very same week, my visa got approved. The stars aligned, etcetera.

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Now I’ve been home for a week. Resting, mostly. Taking those sick days I never took while working. Forcing my body to r e l a x. I have some saved up money. I have food, I have an apartment, a car, I have a supportive family and friends but most importantly I have Andrew. There is nothing to be worried about, although the outside world and your inner critic try to constantly convince you of the opposite.

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I asked for help during the visa process. I tried not to feel shame while doing so. I was open to people about my struggle; I shared the turbulence with people around me without expecting any emotional care-taking back. The biggest lesson in 2018 was to not take responsibility for other people’s emotions. Only for my own. And I can decide not to worry. Because what good does worrying do?

(Easier said than done, obviously. But practice makes (almost) perfect.)

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In 2019 I intend to be better with sharing. To follow some advice I gave to myself earlier in 2018, to create a scrapbook of memories; not a show reel. Because almost every day I find something to celebrate. Coincidently, I find something to be sad about as well. Why not share it, for future use.

(All these pictures are taken at Chilliwack Lake a couple of weeks ago)