Posts in philosophy
The End Of All Ends
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Someone asked me the other day what my goals are; for life, in general. In the grand scheme of things, what do I dream of?

And I dream of so much. I have visions on top of visions, 76 goals at all times. I dream of a cottage. Of forests. Of lakes. Of pine needles and camp fires. I dream of having a garden, with big crowns of lettuce and potatoes. A green house with cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Of keeping bees, goats, donkeys, 20 dogs and 2 cats. A big fat horse, that will take me around fields of wild flowers. I dream of having kids, to teach them about everything. Teach them about space and love,and how to be an active participant in society, how to cry and how to make someone smile. I dream of creating something I’m proud of. Releasing it to the world and to have people saying how proud they are of me. How beautiful it is. I’ll say “thank you!” instead of" “oh it’s nothing”. I dream of celebrating a lot; both celebrating my own life but also others.

I dream of meaning something to more people. Or mean more, but to a few. I dream of becoming someone people can trust, that they feel safe around. Someone who people cry to, someone that people go to when they need help. Or wanting a meal and a night in. I dream of going to the north and south and east and west. But intentionally, not just weekends here and there. I dream of really being where I am. At all times.

But that’s not what my reply was, of course. I replied that it doesn’t matter; that earth is doomed to be destroyed so what’s the point in having life goals. It was over a drink, so it wasn’t that serious. But the fear is real; I’m so anxious all the time that those dreams of mine won’t mean anything because we’re ruining our planet. And I tell myself I’m not allowed to be mad at others, because I’m not perfect myself.

But it’s not about being perfect. It’s about being an active participant in society; it’s about taking responsibility, to make the earth a better place. Even if it only improves a tiny, tiny, tiny bit. It’s still important, it’s still worth it. So I need to do better. That’s my goal. I need to write about it more. I refuse to stand at the end of all ends and have regrets; thinking I didn’t do enough. I didn’t even try. To know that I only had fear and anxiety, and left it at that. That I sat inside, trying to hide from the danger. To believe it would magically disappear by itself like in a fairytale.

Anyway. Spring has come to Vancouver, I have so much to talk about. The sweet smell of flowers and trees makes me hungry and full at the same time. I could eat you up, I love you so.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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The Art of Doing Nothing
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Getting closer to 30 is just as exhilarating as I assumed it would be. For as long as I can remember I’ve been longing for 30. For me, 30 always meant being able to live the “boring” lifestyle everyone claimed I lived anyway, without feeling any guilt about things I should be doing. It’s almost like how babies become a grand excuse to get out of things. “I can’t go to that thing with you tonight, you see I’m 30 now.”

I’ve always enjoyed doing nothing. I played on my own a lot as a child (I know, major surprise there). I enjoyed going on trips or staying over with my grandparents. Their slower pace suited me; there was so much space for all that daydreaming I was occupied with. Anyway. As you grow up, you start realising that doing nothing is not valued by our society. On public transportation you see people working, to save time. Instead of just enjoying the train ride, you could do some work on your laptop, or at least read a book. As technology progressed, this became even more prominent. There are now more and more tools for us to use in order to secure productivity at all times.

I could never be productive all of the time. I get spurts, and if I miss one of those spurts it’s g o n e. On buses and trains I prefer to do nothing at all. At cafes, my favourite pastime is to do absolutely nothing at all. Maybe browse on the internet, maybe listening to music, maybe read or write down some words in my journal. But for me, those activities is just an extension of a daydream. Not something that will actually lead to something. It’s doing an activity with an end goal in mind that I have a problem with, not the act of doing itself.

One of the perks of almost being 30, especially as a woman, is knowing how your body works in seasons, too. You become aware of when you have energy to produce, invent, organise, analyse or when you should simply do nothing other than just rest. Let things simmer. Otherwise the flavours won’t come out etc. My body has worked the same for many years now; there are a couple of hours a day where I can be creative - but not every day. I cannot study or write an essay after 5pm. My brain shuts down.

I remember days in college where me and my friends would all go to Starbucks for an intense study-session, and all I did was just stare at pictures of dogs (probably). I called it procrastination. I thought it was me trying actively NOT to work. We look at procrastination as something negative, and maybe it is. But maybe we don’t always procrastinate just cause we choose not to do something? Maybe we just need that time to be spent doing absolutely nothing at all.

None of those days where I rested instead of working did me any harm. I still graduated. With good grades, mind you. I went to bed early. I avoided all-nighters like the plague. I knew that wasn’t my style, I couldn’t handle it. And this I hold very dear: the knowledge of exactly what my body needs.

Right now I’m not working. I’m in between jobs. I’m taking some time to do absolutely nothing at all. It helps that the first weeks of my unemployment is being spent pre-menstruating and menstruating. Yes I said it. It helps slow things down, it allows me to not rush into things and then feeling like shit because it wasn’t the right type of thing. I know there will be a time when I won’t like resting, where I thrive on being creative and productive. But I know that that time is not right now. And acknowledging your seasons gives you all the power.

Some inspiring articles:

“In a world that has glorified hustling and exhaustion in pursuit of creative production for far too long, my cycle has shown me sustainable creativity is not only possible, but wildly effective.” - Claire Baker
https://wepresent.wetransfer.com/story/claire-baker-periods-and-creativity/

“We don’t have to glorify work. … There are only so many hours in a day, and I’ll be damned if I will work more of them than I have to.” - Laura Jane Williams
https://www.redonline.co.uk/red-women/blogs/a25829735/laura-jane-williams-death-to-the-hustle/


Thoughts of June

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) 

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If The Sky Comes Falling Down For You, There's Nothing In This World I Wouldn't Do

Heya. It's been a while, I know.

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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 

philosophyEmma Carlsson
Contradicting Truths

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. 

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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. 

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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! 

philosophyEmma 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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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
Homesick: Corners Of The World We Long To Return To
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Weddings. Funerals. End of the school year celebrations. This church has played such a central part of my life.

When I was younger I swore to get away, to escape this hole of a town. When I was even younger than that, I thought that the whole world existed of only this; of the lake and the surrounding valleys. That if you climbed up over the hill, you'd fall over into the abyss of space. This was it; this was where life happened. Now I'm of a different opinion, again. I lived away for many years, and every time I return for a visit it's harder to leave. 

I swore to never marry or to celebrate anything in that church. Now the sight of the grand white building makes my heart sing of longing. Not for marriage, but for life here. It's so cliche; to leave a place despising it because you're young and you want more for life, only to later in life wanting to go back. To find beauty in the old, in the familiar. To realize that you've explored so many corners of the world, except your own. 

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I've seen many churches, but nothing compares to the lighthouse-like church in my hometown. Calling its men and women back from the waves and valleys. Someday I will return, most likely in the near future. Perhaps I won't settle down right here, perhaps I'll find my own little corner. But it will be in close proximity of life here, so that my future children can celebrate this place just as I did growing up. When life is hard living in other places in the world, I consider myself so lucky to have this place to always return to. 

Job Hunting Part I

Updating my CV. Updating Linkedin. Updating Indeed. That's all fine and dandy, it's when you actually have to click into the different ads that your soul slowly escapes through the cracks. I can only read through a couple before I give up. I will do literally anything else. Like listen to the Wicked soundtrack and cry. People watching. Going onto Twitter which I'm never on otherwise. Answering emails I've been ignoring for decades (most probably). 

I have a masters degree, I've produced a feature film. I still don't know if it's film I want to work with. When do you finally decide? And why does work have to be that important anyway? I want to just slide into a career. I want to just work with something I'm happy with. Ideally a job where I don't get an anxiety attack every morning. 

Some jobs I would love: 

x Something with dogs! Read: dog shop, dog spa (yeah, why not), doggy daycare, dog shelter, dog training, dog photographer etc. You name it, I'm there. If it includes a dog/dogs. 
x Children / YA author. The ultimate goal? 
x Local news reporter. No world news here, only interested in local activities. Think pieces as well, but for a local audience? With social media everything has become so global. Will local be the new big thing (again)? 
x Real estate / special mission photographer. This might be a weird one. But I'd love to be a photographer on request. Not a wedding photographer or a people photographer. I like places, to photograph houses or landscapes. I love moving things around within the picture with my hands, not giving people instructions. 
x Animal sanctuary farmer. Preferably want to combine this with any other job on the list. 
x Creative Content Strategist. Work with clients who want to develop their brand. I'm into logos, websites, even copywriting even though I have very little experience with it. I'd love to meet people, get a sense of who they are and create a brand around them. Especially everyday companies. I'm not talking tech companies or any type of corporation. I'm talking my dad with his timber house company. Small. Again, local. 
x Video teacher. Not film teacher, even though this would probably be the term institutions would use. I would love to teach people how to create effective videos. How video is art, how video is everything. How we can utilize even small clips to get our point across. Love to focus on female creatives, of course. 
x Holiday home caretaker. I'd love to work with Airbnb. My retirement dream is to own a couple of huts (built by my dad) somewhere in the wilderness and have people come over with their families and friends and I can help them have a wonderful time. Perhaps while petting my saved animals? This needs to happen. 

Those are just jobs I can think of right now. None of them really requires a city, which is a must for me since I see myself settling down somewhere way smaller. I wrote this post instead of actually looking for real jobs. But it's Friday, and this week has been as intense as I allowed it to be. I'm ready for the weekend. Monday will come either way, and I'll be ready for it. Maybe. 

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daily, philosophyEmma Carlsson
Leaving Éire

So I left Ireland. It's hard to describe the feeling of leaving a place not knowing when you'll return. If you'll return. It's even harder to describe my feelings about Ireland in general. Let's just say it's complicated.

Perhaps it was where I was mentally and physically in general at that point in my life, but my time in Ireland was anything but easy. From the get-go, I was met with obstacles which challenged every bone in me. An intense feeling of loneliness and not belonging. It didn't help that I was homeless for almost 4 months, moving from hostel to hostel. In Santa Barbara I experienced being homeless for certain periods as well, at the beginning of every semester, but the big difference between SB and Dublin was that I never felt alone in SB. I always had friends I could trust and who loved me, who were experiencing the same thing at the same time. We persevered, together. In Dublin, I was all on my own. And despite the "friendliness" of the Irish, I felt very unwelcome. Like I didn't fit in, completely.

2013. 

Dublin, September, 2013 - Definitely still in the honeymoon phase.

Dublin, September, 2013 - Definitely still in the honeymoon phase.

I came to Dublin with a friend, so to say I was completely alone is not exactly correct. While we had dreams of finding a place together, the tough housing market in Dublin split us apart. She found a place to stay before me, while I was stuck in bunk beds for another month or so. That first time in Dublin scarred me. The housing market scarred me. Hostels, free toasting bread with jam, humidity and being constantly surrounded by people but always feeling completely alone scarred me. 

There were moments I cherished in the beginning (and throughout, of course). Moments when I felt like "this might be it". Warm nights walking through Temple Bar, sunny Sundays going down to the Sunday market in Dún Laoghaire made me fall in love with Dublin. But as the months passed, the rain and the cold took over and I was growing extremely hopeless of ever finding a place to call my own.

I came to Dublin to finish my studies. I hated how I had just abandoned it in SB, so I was determined to make it work despite the hardships. The first semester while being homeless was tough, and I wouldn't have survived had it not been for the people I met in my class. Indah, the Dutch girl who took me in on nights when no hostels wanted me, and who invited me out for drinks; Jake, who would take the last bus home just to keep me company after school; Shane, who would invite all of us over for tea and couch hang (it felt like a second home); Mike, who joined our class late but shared my love for sad songs.

I also met my current best friend and my favourite person in the whole wide world; Andrew. I tried to resist falling in love with him, but I couldn't. Luckily, he was struggling with the same thing. Despite us being in love, it wasn't particularly a nice experience in the beginning. It rarely is. I was convinced he didn't care for me, really. I even helped him try to get other girls. We were so different yet he reminded me of everything that's familiar. At the end of 2013, we finally got together. And Dublin made a lot more sense. 

2014

The start of 2014 was a roller coaster, to say the least. As soon as I left Sweden after Christmas I found out that my darling precious dog Lovis had died. I finally got a place to stay, and even had a housewarming party - but I still felt lonely and homeless. I didn't like the place where I was staying at. The walls were thin, the rain came through the roof - among other things. I was still desperately in love with Andrew, while he didn't think it was the best idea for us to be together due to having similar friends and being in the same class. I tried to be the "cool girl", so I just agreed with him. Despite not really accepting me as his girlfriend I tricked him into taking these very couple-like pictures of us haha: 

Things were looking up when I got to share an apartment in the middle of Temple Bar with the friend I had arrived to Dublin with! I loved our little space. It felt like for the first time since I got there I could relax. I had my own room, and we had a tv and a couch where we watched Top Gear and ate crisps! I loved it there. Andrew came over early in the mornings and stayed after school. It was the sweetest period in Dublin I had. Mom and my sister came over to visit. Dad, too. 

Then Grandpa died. I took it really, really hard. I hated being far away, I hated only being able to be home for a week. My computer broke down at the same time. I'm not comparing those two things at all, I just remember breaking down publically among friends cause my precious young little heart wasn't used to all that happening all at once. Things kept piling up. A couple of weeks after that, the next big thing happened. An event which completely broke me and changed me as a person. Having to have an abortion in a country where it's illegal is... I don't really know what to say about it. Comparing Sweden and Ireland when it comes to abortion is a bit absurd. In Ireland I couldn't talk to anyone about it. I felt shame and disgust. In Sweden, nobody gave a shit. I was somewhere in the middle. Wanted to not care, knowing it was the right thing to do. But due to the situation, and where I was living, it made everything so much bigger than it had to be. Flying home, taking time off school. The secrecy. I still haven't told many people at all, which is weird to me. I want to be able to tell everyone, which is why I'm writing it here I guess. I cannot take responsibility if other people feel uncomfortable of that fact anymore.

Needless to say I cried a lot Spring 2014. While also falling more and more in love with Andrew every day. Needless to say - I cried a lot in front of Andrew haha. 

Summer 2014 I got a job at Google Maps. I spent the days working, hanging out with new friends and going to the gym in the evenings when I wasn't with Andrew. Summer was a nice break from Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. Nothing really happened, the routine I had going was very much appreciated. I didn't really feel like myself during that summer, but it didn't matter. I welcomed being someone else for a while after having too much of a personal battle for so many months. 

Fall 2014 had a soft start where me and Andrew went down to Kerry on our first trip together. It was one of the most amazing trips ever, and I'll cherish that time we had together forever. A couple of weeks after that we went to Sweden, Andrew's first trip there. He fell in love with the country, and I was so happy he enjoyed Sweden so much as I had started to really feel like Dublin/Ireland might not be the place for me. But I still had a year in college left, so I didn't really think too much about it either. 

After the summer months, me and my Swedish friend had to move from our apartment quite abruptly. Pretty ordinary scenario in Dublin. We moved further away from town, but still central, in an apartment that neither of us really liked. I never felt at home there, it was just a place I slept during the weekdays. Most weekends I spent at Andrew's place outside Dublin. I worked hard at school, trying to take my career seriously, trying to prepare for something afterwards I guess. I enjoyed spending time with Andrew, it was the only thing that really made sense.

2015. 

After celebrating Christmas at home in Sweden, I went back to Dublin to finish off my years of studying (I thought). My friend Sofia came to visit, and Andrew continued to make me happy. We explored the nature of Ireland and I loved getting out on the country side, away from Dublin. The dark, grey city had lost its magic a bit, but the Irish landscape still impressed! School finally ended, so did my financial aid. I finished my thesis, said goodbye (sort of) to our friends from school. I entered the unknown, let's say. 

I got a job for the summer, a job I didn't really enjoy but it was okay. It kept me going, it had me staying. I didn't really want to stay, but Andrew was there. I wanted to be around him, simple as. My life was with him now. My brother came over to visit one time, my dad another time but other than that not much happened. I really hated our apartment and did everything I could not to be there, to be with Andrew instead. I started to have really bad health concerns which took over my emotional and physical life, while I contemplated fall. Andrew was due to start his Masters in Feature Film Production and I wasn't sure what to do. 

I ended up joining Andrew in the Masters course. Not only for Andrew's sake, but I didn't want to work anymore. I thought it was the right thing to do, which perhaps it was. In the beginning, I worked and studied at the same time due to many complications with getting my financial aid going again. I remember thinking "this is it, I'll never experience hardship like this again", but then again that thought reoccurs in life. You just learn to deal with more as you go on. I didn't take many pictures in fall/winter 2015. I tried to focus on surviving. I moved home to Andrew, it made more sense. I was there all the time anyway, and the apartment was too toxic for me. The school was tough, it challenged me in every way. Is this really what I wanted, what I was good at?

2016.

New Years Eve 2015, we were at a wedding celebrating with Andrew's friends. I remember just breaking down, like I had started to do a lot. I didn't want to be around people, I didn't want to be alone. I didn't want to be in Ireland, I didn't want to be without Andrew. I felt like I had forgotten something about myself, that I couldn't live my life anymore as me. I didn't feel like I belonged, I complained about minor things and let them ruined me. In school, I ended up producing both a short and a feature film in Spring 2016 so I was doing great career wise. But it all came with many panic attacks, Andrew again being so good at comforting.

I tried to focus on the small things. Books, cups of coffee, meeting with friends, animals, nature, road trips around Ireland, but it was tough. My health wasn't there, my heart wasn't there. I craved hearty conversations with friends, but as friendly as Irish people are when you meet them, I've found it hard to really get close to them. Everything is grand, not a bother. The focus is on Having Fun and keep it light; to not take things so seriously. Swedes are quite the opposite, to us everything is a serious matter. I felt very lonely even though I had Andrew. 

In the summer of 2016 it was time for me to make my Masters thesis. I decided to go home to Sweden and finish it up. Me and Andrew started dreaming about moving to Canada, and we knew we needed to save up money for it. The plan was for me to go home and finish the thesis and then get a job so we could start saving up. I had to take a break from Ireland, I needed family and Sweden and familiarity. It was scary, but it was the right thing to do. I came back to Ireland in the fall to go to our film premier at the Irish Film Institute with the feature film we made earlier that year, but that was it. Andrew kept visiting me in Sweden as well, it worked for a while. 

2017. 

After not having any luck in getting a job in Sweden, I decided to go back with Andrew to Dublin to try my luck there (again). I missed him too much, I didn't care that I had to go back to Ireland that I associated with so much hardship. I still hadn't finished my Masters thesis due to a lot of reasons, mostly depression over being unemployed and alone. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I wanted to be with Andrew so the decision was made! I got a job pretty much straight away in Dublin. A job that I, naturally, hated. The job itself was okay, but it just wasn't for me. I had such social anxiety and my stress levels were through the roof. I was living in a constant survival mode. 

This blog already contains some details about 2017, so I'm not gonna repeat it all again. I don't know what I would do without Andrew. Rest assure (as much as he hates to hear it), I would not be staying in Ireland if it hadn't been for him. That's a good enough reason. Home is where your heart is and all that jazz! Despite him though, Ireland never really felt like my home. I had trouble getting Irish friends, I always found things to complain about. A lot of things happened in Ireland that the country itself wasn't responsible for, it's just a pity that it all happened there. 

In January we'll move to Canada, just to see what the fuss is about. Currently, I don't see myself ever living in Ireland again, but I've been wrong before! I'll always come back to Ireland. It IS familiar and I have a lot to thank it for. I have family there now, and will always have family there. I feel stronger now. My stay there helped me shaped my values. It made me realise how important it is to be completely yourself, taking care of yourself, taking up space. Some things/places/people are valuable to us not because we stay there/stay friends with them but because we leave. Always forward, never backwards. 

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