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Dream Nineteen Q2

There’s a popular blog post format doing the rounds in Sweden at the moment. By “at the moment”, I mean it did do the rounds a couple of weeks ago. Since then I thought I’d try to write up my own version of it. Basically, a blog post that describes how 2019 would look like if it was completely up to me. A dream scenario, yet have it be realistic enough that it doesn’t seem out of reach.

I tried writing up my dreams for the full year, but I only got till June. For me it was tough and stressful to dream up plans. I wanted to make them real! I wanted to schedule them in! “At what time exactly are we having that dreamy coffee?” It’s the virgo in me.

The dream-plans ended up being too realistic I think. I couldn’t dream of a better world, because I prefer to make plans in the world we have.

Anyway. I thought I shared my visions/plans/dreams for Q2 of 2019. This is what I came up with:

April:

There are cherry blossoms everywhere. After work, I take trips to document all the glorious streets where the pink trees are taking over. We visit The Big Picnic, Cherry Jam Downtown, Fraser Valley Food Truck Festival and Spring Lights Festival. I go to Tangram for coffee and Sakura ice cream. I swing by my old job at the pet store to say hi to dogs and familiar faces. During Easter, I invite some people over for an Easter dinner. I enjoy Swedish candy that dad sent over in an Easter egg (dad, if you’re reading this, send an egg!).

Oh, and we’ll spend time with Andrew’s cousin and auntie who are both here visiting his other cousin who already lives here - maybe we’ll have brunch at the french cafe down on Fraser. We get our tax refund and it turns out to be way more than we ever could’ve imagined! We spend it all on eating out.

All of a sudden, after a tough winter, I have so much energy. I walk everywhere and clean the house thoroughly every single day. I go to the doctor for beta-blockers and I don’t have a single migraine. Oh, and for some mysterious reasons all my spring-allergies are gone! I breathe in the smell of new cut grass and green leaf trees waking up to bask in the sunshine. I sleep 9 hours a day, I eat prepared lunches almost every day and I manage to repay all my debts.

Oh, and I finally cut a fringe. Imagine that?!

May:

Pre-summer at its finest. We buy a small portable barbeque, which will be our most precious possession during summer 2019. We not only bbq at home, we have our first bbq at the beach! Everyone’s at the beach nowadays. We go there after work some days just to watch dogs run. We read, plan, film. We have margarita and nachos at Sal y Limón. Maybe we’ll dare to try Los Cuervos Taqueria & Cantina too. We take walks down by the water around Yale Town. We have picnics in parks watching people play sports.

We visit Abbotsford Tulip Festival. At the end of the month Andrew leaves for Ireland for almost two weeks. I cry, and cry, and cry, and cry. I spend those days reading loads of books, trying not to miss him too much. Trying not to miss my own home country too much.

This month we celebrate our five year anniversary as well! We find the perfect place to have dinner. We dress up in our very best clothes. We take a picture of us down by the ocean.

june:

Andrew’s gone for the first week of june. We all know how I feel about it. I’m a needy girlfriend, what can I say?! When he’s back though, we enjoy Main Street Car Free Day and farmers markets and beach days and park days and Midsummer celebration. We drive up to Squamish to find small lakes to swim in. The water’s cold. We finally go to Richmond Night Market and maybe even the Shipyard Night Market.

Andrew turns 30 at the end of the month; he’ll be gone for work in Victoria. We celebrate both before and after. I’ll join him on Vancouver Island in the beginning of July, and we have some dreamy days on the Island just shooting footage of waves and tall trees. We pretend it’s Hawaii, because that’s really where he wanted to go. I hope and pray he’s happy with this, here, with me, our life. He tells me he is, that this is everything he ever wants from life.

Mercury in Retrograde

Previously on Blue Lakes Deep Forest:

Emma got her visa approved. Emma and Andrew are making plans for 2019 (spoiler: lots of the same stuff as last year but also trips down south). Emma has a new job, it’s an office job. It’s extremely mundane but it’ll do for now.

Oh yeah, I didn’t write about my job yet. One of our dearest friends here in Vancouver went back to Ireland, so I took over his job. I sit in a cubicle, trying to avoid headaches and fatigue. It’s a good job, it pays good and the hours are great. It’s not exciting, but it is what it is and it works for now.

Let’s go through some updates!

3 things I do a lot of right now:

LISTEN TO PODCASTS

Obviously not a picture of me walking while listening to podcast (god, I wish that was me because DOG), but rather the picture is a visual representation of the state I’m in while listening? I don’t know. //    Source

Obviously not a picture of me walking while listening to podcast (god, I wish that was me because DOG), but rather the picture is a visual representation of the state I’m in while listening? I don’t know. // Source

This is new because I’m not a podcast-stan like most people. It started during my unemployment; I just got tired of hanging out with my own voices all day. It also gave me a reason to get out of the apartment, to take a walk and have it being the length of the podcast episode. Now that I’m at my new job, I’ve been using podcasts as a way to cope with the stress that comes along with being new at a place, sitting alone in lunchrooms (out of choice, don’t worry!), walking to and from work etc. I’ve been catching up with everything I’ve been missing these last… years? Some of my favorites include The High Low and Love Stories, as well as loads of Swedish ones (Daddy Issues, Alex & Sigge, En Varg Söker Sin Pod).  

CLEAN

Not a picture of my kitchen, but a picture that sort of expresses how I feel after each clean. //    Source

Not a picture of my kitchen, but a picture that sort of expresses how I feel after each clean. // Source

Yes, cleaning. Jessica from The Little Chapters podcast talked about Mrs. Hinch; an Instagram profile from Essex who is obsessed (perhaps too obsessed?) with cleaning and updates her stories frequently with her just cleaning around the house, doing the same tasks over and over again. There’s something so extremely satisfying and calming watching her do the job with the enthusiasm she has. She’s also incredibly kind and loving; she’s just a super nice person so I LOVE watching her stories now. It’s common knowledge now that having a clean space and being organised is part of self care and the activity of cleaning can have a anxiety-reducing effect. Hence, why I love cleaning. A messy home means something’s wrong. It’s the Virgo in me.

Anyway, Mrs. Hinch has made me take my already existing obsession to the e x t r e m e. A couple of weeks ago I went to the dollar store and bought 5 bottles of spray-cleaners, cloths, sponges and a freaking BUCKET to keep all my cleaning supplies in. I love it. It’s not realistically for me to have a spot-clean home all day every day, but if I can do 15 minutes here and there - I’ll take it. And I’ll thank myself for it afterwards.

TRACK EVERYTHING WITH SPREADSHEETS

Obviously not a picture of my Google Sheet, but that picture would not be aesthetically pleasing. This, however, is the feeling I get FROM my sheet. //    Source

Obviously not a picture of my Google Sheet, but that picture would not be aesthetically pleasing. This, however, is the feeling I get FROM my sheet. // Source

Same as with cleaning, this is not necessarily a new thing. But me and Andrew have been tracking e v e r y t h i n g lately into our Google Sheet. This helps with so much. It’s not for everyone, but it definitely works for us and we find it to be more important during stressful / anxious times. My memory is awful, and Andrew has dyslexia so for us to have an accessible system where we have to write down e v e r y t h i n g really, really helps. I don’t want to show anyone our spreadsheets, because I know people will think we’re bonkers.


Ok, seems like the common ground here is anxiety and how to deal with it. But it’s been February / March, literally the darkest months of the year. We’re all trying to deal, right?

You Are Lisa Simpson

If you were to ask me “Emma, do you consider yourself a workaholic” - I would probably say no, since I’m very, very much against the concept of “working” from an idealistic point of view. I preach resting and rebelling against our capitalists society that wants the hustle to kill you slowly by overworking and making you feel like no matter what you do, you’re just never gonna to be good enough. Strive for the impossible, and feel shit while doing it. Basically.

However. All I want to do right now is work. So. Figure that one out (please).

I’m extremely bad at being unemployed, being in this in-between period. I don’t get a rush of energy to search all the jobs and call all the people. At first, I want to do absolutely nothing except to lay on the couch eating baked goods and watch Netflix. After a while of doing nothing however, I panic about doing nothing. After a while, I want to go back to the exact thing I wanted to escape from just a mere couple of weeks ago. I am me, and work is my boyfriend that everyone tells me to dump because he’s making me severely depressed, he doesn’t cater for any of my needs but he pays the bills. So I stay. Because I’m scared of unpaid bills. And I guess I’m scared of who I am without him as well. Without work, I mean.

Lisa6.jpg

Outside validation is extremely important to me. An old teacher of mine said out of all The Simpsons characters I was most like Lisa. Lisa knows she’s smarter than everyone else, but her knowing it herself is not enough. She needs teachers to tell her that she’s smarter than everyone else. It wasn’t exactly my nicest compliment / the one I’m most proud of, but it was probably truer than any of the compliments I’ve ever received, so. It’s something anyway.

Work provides outside validation. It provides me with a problem to solve - becoming liked, becoming an expert at something, becoming better than other people at something. And I love solving problems! But only if other people created the problem. Only if I’m there to impress others, not if I’m there to only impress myself. That’s why I stay at jobs that do me no good, because I’m absolutely addicted to the validation and security they provide.

Lisa1.jpg

But Emma, why don’t you just get a job you like, I hear you ask. And it’s a fair question. That has been asked many times before, often by my actual boyfriend. And by myself every single work day. “It’s not that easy!” And it isn’t. No matter how many white, middle class influencers online tell you otherwise. In order to go for what you want, you have to figure out what it is you want. Then what follows are a lot of even more complicated steps - but just that one step of actually KNOWING what it is you want, can crush you. Because how can we decide on just this one thing?

For me, it’s always been easier to become good at something I’m not particularly interested in. Because if I am interested in it, and I try it and I find out that I’m not good at it, that would be the end of it. So I prefer to play other peoples’ games instead of my own. Because I’m confident that I could do what they’re doing, but better. I am, however, not confident that I would be even okay:ish at my own game. And that is scary.

Lisa5.jpeg

This all sound like a lame excuse as to why I’m not pursuing something. But again, I’m not even sure what it is that I want to pursue. I’m so jealous of people with clear goals. “I want to be a lawyer”, “I want to work with coding”, “I want to design buildings” - whatever it is, I’m so, so happy for you that you know and that there is a somewhat clear path for you to take!

I thought I wanted to do feature film work, hence why I studied film for over 10 years and now have a Masters degree in it. But now I’m not so sure. So what do you do when you’ve had a somewhat clear path, but then abandoned it? Not only do you have to come up with something else, you have to deal with the pressure from yourself plus everyone else thinking (probably) that you’ve wasted 10 years and will probably waste another 10 years on the “next big thing”, only to realize down the line that your second choice really didn’t interest you either.

Lisa8.jpeg

And while you’re figuring out what would make you happy, career-wise, you have to provide for yourself. You have to pay bills. Most of us can’t take a year off to “figure things out”. And even people that do have that opportunity, spend most of the time off anxiously thinking “I should be doing something else”, so all that off-time never comes into good use anyway.

So I’m sitting here, on my couch, knowing how to move forward but not in what direction. I want to work. I want to give something my all. I want (need) money, not a lot but I need to get by. I have energy to work. I have ambition. I have a big box of great stuff, I just don’t know who to give it to! Sometimes I think I know, and I take baby step towards that place, only to retreat and change my mind. Because it’s scary. It’s way easier going back to what you hated, what was familiar. And I’m a big baby in the shape of Lisa Simpson whose main wish is just to go back to doing homework in the system that raised her not to be a free-thinker but be a cute lil’ successful conformist (no matter how 'liberal’ she wanted to come off as).

Lisa2.jpg







A List Of Noise
  • Cars
  • Netflix
  • 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 
list, aboutEmma Carlsson
A List Of Things I Want
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  • Silence
  • Goats
  • Cucumbers from my own garden
  • Lake swims
  • Driving a car on an empty road
  • Puppies
  • 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 
about, listEmma 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