Stumbling through time

Of late, I have found myself restless and worried. It’s quite common for the mood to shift with the seasons, and autumn is undoubtedly arriving, at least up north here in Sweden. With it come the colds. I think most everyone I know has been posting about how sniffly they are and their sore throats on facebook for the past two weeks.

In this restlessness, I found myself looking for a new facebook game to play. Yes. I was actually looking for a new facebook game. Actively. And I already play 3. Well, two that I play, one that I have lost my addiction to. So I stopped what I realised must be a clear sign of desperation and sat down to write out things that me and my husband like to do, that we are good at. We intend to start our own company, but all the things we are good at are fairly… insubstantial. Creativity, writing, story-telling, analysing, prop-making… and most of those are just my husband’s. So attempting to start a company, based on passion alone, with no funds, and little actual professional experience, has proven a frustrating process. (If any of my beloved readers have suggestions based on the things I wrote above, please, tell me. I would love comments with suggestions).

So after I stopped myself in the hunt for a new facebook game, and then put the company ideas on the shelf until further notice, I delved deeper into my latest obsession: Stumbleupon. I can, honestly, sit for hours and just “stumble”. I felt that my posts need some form of gimmick, so from now on, I shall attempt to end my posts with a few links to things I recently stumbled upon and thoroughly enjoyed, for one reason or another.  So I shall kick this off by sharing a LOT of things that I enjoyed on Stumbleupon.

This man creates an “image” on the wall through the shadow of objects. Quite astounding.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/4yvz0l/catinwater.com/2012/08/21/rashad-alakbarov-paints-with-shadows-and-light/

This picture made me smile… a lot 🙂

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/323KpH/media.al.com/birmingham-buzz/photo/goldie1971jpg-a0de64e9bd62fd9b.jpg/

These pictures of snowflakes are so incredibly beautiful. I know macro-photos of snowflakes aren’t new and exciting any more, but I will always find them extraordinary.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2pnYmj/www.petapixel.com/2012/12/07/ethereal-macro-photos-of-snowflakes-in-the-moments-before-they-disappear/

This is an amusing, interactive page.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1n6win/www.drawastickman.com/episode1?o=66-69-32-67-82-69-65-84-73-86-69s66-89-58-32-84-72-69-32-66-65-78-68-69-69/

And finally, an adorable video of a grizzly bear cub playing with a wolf puppy. Daaaaaaw!

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/30xLvD/www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL8x7LcA-Y4/

For the time being

I think it’s been long enough of a forever by now that I can write another post. I used to have this down to an average of one post every four or five days. I don’t know what happened. Life maybe. It’s not like I don’t have the time to write as often, I think it’s the energy that’s fading. This post is just going to be a bit about a couple of things that have dominated my life of late with their presence or absence.

Sleep

I have treated myself horribly in the sleeping-department the past couple of weeks. With a maximum of seven hours per night being the average, when I allowed myself to go to bed without setting an alarm, I woke up twelve hours later… at 4:30 pm. I’m worried that I am returning into the same old habits that I used to have when I lived on my own in Sweden for what seems like a miniature lifetime ago now. Back then, I averaged at four hours of sleep per night, so in a sense this in an improvement. At first I thought it had something to do with how my bed was placed. I moved it further into the room, then I woke up with a nightmare and turned myself around in the bed. When I still didn’t sleep any better I moved it next to the window. It will probably stay there, I don’t think it’s the bed any more. I don’t know if you guys have any theories but I have a feeling it’s this restlessness, this worry combined with the feeling of never doing enough, this feeling that I should probably be some place else and three steps ahead instead of sitting where I am and just enjoying the moment. Believe me though, I try. I consciously stop myself sometimes and force myself to just enjoy the moment and let go of any “whatifs” and “hastobedones”. I’m just really bad at it, but maybe with a little practice, I will be able to sit down and just watch a show or read a book without getting up ten times in the process to fix something or do something else.

Kittens

God has there been an abundance of kittens in my life of late! The two little crazy bundles of claws and fur and ginormous eyes have made my life so much brighter and cuddlier but also a lot more hectic. When you’re trying to get a paper done that needs to be turned in the following day, battling two kittens that are doing their best to chew off the numerous cables and wires sticking out of your laptop is very distracting and far from helpful. When you step into the bathroom only to discover one of them has decided to try their hand at modern art on the floor with their own excrement as paint, it does not exactly make you bubble with joy (I still kind of smile at the memory though). But yet these two, at only ten weeks of age, came into the 95 square metres that me and my room-mate had recently installed ourselves into. And they came into it so naturally, without any complaints, they started playing around the first evening on eventually after long discussions and arguments the little turtle-patterned female Saga realised the error of her ways and started using the litter-box as well as her ginger brother Selon. Never have I known two kittens from the same litter that have such different personalities! I mean, they’re both playful like mad, bloodthirsty, climb anything they can and can’t, cuddle and purr like nothing else… yet they appear to have two very different kinds of intelligence. When running after the cat-toy, Saga waits and calculates to then pounce and snag the mouse-like appendage with skilfulness, whereas Selon just bounces after it and often has his paws on it but let’s go too soon. Saga is a bit of a gourmand, whenever we eat she gets extremely curious and often-times after Selon has started munching away at whatever has been put down in front of him his sister will move over to the stove and start mewing in the most pitiful way she knows how. “Why do you want me to eat that crap? I know you have something better. Selon is busy eating so just give it to me. He’ll never know.” It’s still the best feeling in the world when a sleepy kitten crawls up on your lap and curls into something oddly ball-shaped, and then just falls asleep there in a relaxed lump with no resistance at all, somehow trusting that your warmth and size gives them the safety they need to sleep with abandonment. Well, the only thing more heart-melting might be when said kitten makes its way up your chest to nuzzle your face. That might do it.

School work

So much reading and writing. The lack of sleep does not make it easier. I think when you write a lot for school it makes you want to write less for anything else. But the worst part is over soon. When I hand in my paper on a book by a Swedish working-class author tomorrow that is the last thing I need to do for the first stage in Swedish. The second stage starts in two weeks but even a temporary respite is a welcome one. Then I only have to spend four days straight reading and writing about the conflict in Northern Ireland. That should be fun. Great fun. I, who never gets affected by what I watch or read, and who do not get severely depressed when reminded about the stupidity of mankind. I have to do this. Great fun. At least with the English class I don’t have any extra school work burdens; we get barely any home work at all, which might well be one of the many reasons that the class isn’t going anywhere. I can’t wait for university. I’ll get to learn things. *faint smile of hope*

That has pretty much been it for my life of late. What is there too much or too little of in your life right now? What engulfs you, what occupies your time and makes it impossible to do other things?

Special Edition

I think we all know why this is a special edition. Because I haven’t written a blogpost in ages. And I feel horribly guilty about it. I know I know, life gets busy sometimes and that’s a great excuse, but when your blog is only words and ranting it’s not that much of a bloody effort to sit down for a half hour every once in a while and post something remotely interesting. But to make up for this cold-hearted lack of posts for the past two weeks almost, I shall write about a TON of stuff in this post. BE WARNED!!!!!

Why Life got Terribly Busy all of a Sudden

First off, I have no good explanation for why I capitalized that title so randomly. It just looked right. Anyway, for those of ye who do not knowe, I started studying three courses at high-school level the 8th of this month. I am doing this to make up for grades that I don’t have because I was home-schooled and I only have an American high-school diploma and not a Swedish one so there are certain things I need to complement my studies with in order to get into the university here. So I’m taking English B (which is like second degree English for high-school students), Swedish A (which is first degree Swedish for high-school students, you are getting this!) and International Relations (which most high-school students don’t take because that would be like an elective or something). On top of all these studies (of which Swedish and International Relations are both proving tricky and head-ache inspiring) I now also have a job. This is how that happened;

I went to Fotografiska (which is like a huge art-gallery for photographic art in Stockholm) with Daniel, Jessica, Tilda and one of Daniel and Jessica’s friends. On the way to meeting up with us at the subway Jessica noticed a sign in the window of this quaint sushi-place, announcing that they needed new staff-members immediately and to apply inside. It just so happened that I needed a job, and Jessica insisted I should apply there, to which I agreed heartily. The thing was, after the Fotografiska – which was really awesome, and if you come to Stockholm to visit and there’s a good exhibition on at the time we are so going! –  we met up with some more friends and went for a few beers at a nice pub a short walk away. Now, I hadn’t really eaten much that day. “Not much” means like one fruit and a small bowl of yoghurt. So understandably, drinking at the pace I do and the beer being 8%, I was mildly tipsy after two of them. So when we had happily waved good-bye – the “us” and “we” in this story being mostly me and Tilda – and I had promised Jessica I’d go apply for that job right away, I turned to Tilda. “I’m kinda tipsy. I don’t think it’s the best idea that I apply for a job in this state” I admitted sheepishly. “One really can’t notice that you are tipsy” Tilda responded, and this reassured I went on my merry way into the sushi-place and onto greater things. Greeting me was a short blonde girl, very Swedish-looking in appearance. “What can I do for you?”  she asked in a sloppy, disinterested manner. “I saw that you were looking to hire people” I reply, all of a sudden more humble and unsure of myself. “Wait a second, I’ll get brmrgl”. No, she didn’t say that, but I couldn’t catch the name. So out comes brmrgl, this short, adorable looking Japanese girl, who after taking my name and phone-number – and I ask her to write down her name, which is Mafune, not brmrgl –  instantly calls her boss and starts up a brief, lightning-fast conversation with him in Japanese. It was all “Hai! Hai! Hai! Wakarimasta!” and then she turns around and asks if I can start the following day. I said yes. I skip and jump for joy all the way home. Poor tired Tilda cannot create enough excitement to join in my celebration.

Now I’ve been working two shifts there and tomorrow is my third. It’s inconsistent there, slow for hours, fast-paced during some. The waitresses are nice but mostly bland and just talk crap about everything. One of them seems a little racist. I don’t like that. But well, because of this job and the courses I’m taking on top of just having moved into this place, life has gotten more busy than it used to be.

How to remove a spider from your home without hurting it;

You will need;

  1. something thin and stiff, like cardboard ripped from a milk-carton or cereal.
  2. a glass or jar, fairly big, just in case the spider is big, so you don’t squish any legs.
  3. a small amount of guts, in case the spider gets out.
  4. fairly quick reflexes to undertake the action required.
  5. preferably someone to open doors for you (this is optional).

What to do; first, notice the spider. The spider will have to be of a fairly considerable size for you to a) notice it and b) get so uncomfortable that you do not want it in your house. Then, if you do not have the required objects at hand, gather them quickly while keeping on eye on the above mentioned spider’s position. If you are not very brave and have a very strong dislike for spiders but hate hurting things, you might want to be standing on an elevated surface and carefully direct a friend or family-member as to how the disposal of the spider should proceed in a high-pitched and panicked tone of voice. Should it still be you carrying out this task, quickly place the glass upside down over the spider. It is now trapped but unharmed. (Unless you managed to put the rim of the glass down on the spider’s legs or body, in which case you did not have the reflexes necessary for carrying out this task. Proceed to page 124, “How to bury a spider that you killed accidentally while trying to save it”). If the spider however is still unharmed at this stage, carefully slip the piece of thin cardboard or other flat and hard paraphernalia under the glass. It should now look something like this;

The only thing remaining to do is to gingerly but swiftly move the entire spider-cage to a location outdoors and at a safe distance from your house. Then hastily remove the glass and retreat. (If the spider has clung to the glass you might just want to tip the glass over and then run). Once you can be sure that the spider is nowhere near the vicinity of the glass or carton-scrap, bring them inside and keep them in a safe and accessible place for your next spider-rescue mission.7

How not to take care of an ant-problem in the bathroom;

You will need;

  1. hour of day later than 10pm, preferably just as you get home and you are really tired
  2. bathroom-floor
  3. large pot with large plant that we can assume houses ant-hill
  4. wet dishcloth

What to do; first, enter your apartment. This will have to be at a late hour so that you are sure to be exhausted and ready to just fall into bed. Turn on the bathroom-light. Discover between 20-30 ants scattered over bathroom-floor, sometimes trickling out into hallway and further into kitchen. Curse loudly, in several languages if possible. Grab cloth from under bathroom-zink. Wet under tap in bathroom-zink. Apply the cloth to any ant that you are able to spot. The ant should now a) get stuck in the cloth and/or b) get squished by the cloth. Continually dab your way across the floors and lower walls, rinsing the cloth as it gets too full of ants and then continuing this process until no more ants can be spotted. Do not consider removing the plant from within the bathroom to an outdoor area where the ants will not be such a bother to you. Grumble about this and then go to bed to repeat this episode later when you get up to pee. Repeat 1-2 times as necessary during night.

Special Notes for Certain Readers

Sarahsmmmm; I am very sorry that I didn’t make you a guest-post. I have an honest and really stupid explanation. When I got your e-mail, I only read it down to where you signed it with your name. About a week later I wondered why you hadn’t invited me to write a guest-post. A few days later yet I went back to read your e-mail in an attempt to answer it, upon which I noticed the detailed instructions on how to help contribute with a guest-post to your blog, right after your name was signed in the e-mail. Yes, I felt like the embodiment of the r-word. But I love you. So in order to somehow make up for this, I am encouraging all other readers to click on this link and go read Sarah’s blog. She inspired me to do something like this. She is really f-ing awesome at blogging and will probably make you want to blog more, unless you already blog more, in which case she’ll make you want to blog the most. Srsly. Go read it.

Patches; I don’t know if you got my post-card yet but I hope you did. I’m sorry I didn’t send one earlier, and that I’ve been horrible at keeping in touch. I’m sorry that I haven’t checked your blog of late. Please send me a link so I can find it again because remember when we tried to google your blog and didn’t find it? Yeah. That’s right. Also, please say hi to my sausage-friend. I know what that looks like to some people, but I will let their minds remain in the gutter. *hugs*!!!!

Sierra-bean; I’m sorry I didn’t read your blog before you pointed out its existence the other day. In fact, I thought your only blog was the poetry-blog, I hadn’t noticed that you had a personal blog all of your own. I’ve read two posts so far now. I’m also sorry that I haven’t replied to your facebook-message yet. But I will, maybe this weekend. And I hope to get something in the mail soon, it isn’t here yet 🙂 *love*!

English-friend; I haven’t heard about your life in a while. How do the aliens fare? How’s Richard? And the little ones? I haven’t read your very latest post yet (I don’t think) because I like having some time on my hands to read them to make sure I can comment on anything of interest to me. Also, I don’t think there are Japanese vampires. Especially not ones that would use garlic as a decorative touch in their restaurant. So I think I’m fairly safe, for now, unless there are other super-natural beings there.

Everyone else; (Like Jessica, Tilda and any other awesome people who actually take the time to read my blog every once in a while) thank you. It makes me happy to know that someone reads this and thinks it’s sort of good 🙂

Shiny and New

I know I write a lot about new things and changes. The reason why is simple. My life the past month or two has consisted of new things and changes. And like most other bloggers, I write about what mostly affects me in my life right now. So here’s some more of the above mentioned.

 

Remain

I love this place. At first when I stepped inside my newly acquired humble abode, it was empty, echoey, blank and bland. Slowly the space is getting filled, first with visions, then the physical manifestation of these visions. My flat-mate and very good friend and I seem to have the same ideas for the common rooms. French farm-style in the kitchen, Chinese in the hallway, Moroccan in the living-room, tons of lights and plants on the balcony. The half-bath is becoming Japanese, the bathroom itself fresh and contemporary and chrome and shades of blue and green. My bedroom will turn into something I have long wished for; a cloud. An oasis for thought and peace. White upon white in numerous shades, thin fabrics, fluffy blankets and pillows, pictures in black and white. But all in time. First we need someone to come here and repaint the walls. Before that I need to call this person. Before that I need to find the time and remember to do so… This has been what my life has looked like for a little over two weeks. Endless to-do-lists. One thing gets done, another thing gets added to the list. I really should make a physical list this time because for once there are so many things I barely have room for them in my head! But one day, our little home which is now still rather bare and incomplete, will get turned into a magical wonderland of culture and style, ensuring that whosoever enters will leave thoroughly confused and bewildered about where they have been.

Do

Of the hair kind. Once upon a time I had never done more to my hair than trim it every few months. Last year in the fall I started off gently; first a nice sort of red, then taking a step further and moving towards the blond but never quite reaching it, then dark-brown to counteract that though that faded rather quickly, leaving room for roots and then some lighter hair where the blond still would not give up. A few months back, after about half a flask of tequila and a lot of convincing my lovely friend Sarah to take a pair of scissors to my head, my hair got a lot shorter than it’s been since I was probably 3. The bob-cut with bangs that I had been dying to try for years and years was finally mine! Upon returning to the Swede-land and growing tired of my lighter tips, it’s now a solid dark-brown, and will probably stay that way until the tips of my hair give up and I win the war. There is also the matter of clothes. I gave away as much as I possibly could when I left Canada, knowing I couldn’t possibly bring all that on the plane and hoping that someone would love my clothes and knick-knacks the way I had (well I loved them but I certainly didn’t take good care of them!). To my great dismay, 4 large sacks of my wardrobe from years ago awaited me upon landing. So after going through that and discarding of nearly half, I am now wearing the clothes that I didn’t have much time to wear before I moved to Canada, and so despite how long ago I got them, seem new to me. The “white-period” will have to come at a later time.

Learn

Oh gosh where to start! Being home-schooled (or unschooled if you will) I never truly learnt to learn in the way that people normally learn. I just absorbed information or went out to hunt for it. I was never asked to sit down and shove information into my brain in an ordered manner. Well, if we don’t count the time that I took a beginners course in Chinese, or when Phil so kindly agreed to teach me some French. But now! Books upon books especially written to help me study things, teachers demanding things handed in before deadlines, the books I need not coming to me so easily, the teachers not being so organised or clear on what they require, me writing e-mail upon e-mail to get to my books and my teachers… ah. What can I say. It is both a frustrating, exasperating experience and some of the most fun I’ve had in my life! I feel so challenged, so invigorated with this whole new thing! I actually enjoy doing the school-work and the exercises, I love doing them well and handing them in on time and doing my utmost to reach whatever goal is set, and pass it if I may. I am so scared that I will fail or not do good enough, so worried that my lack of book will be frowned upon by the teachers, so worried that my classmates will find me dreary or high-brow, and that my preconceived knowledge in both English and Swedish will make them hate me for taking the courses at all. I already got to correct the English-teacher on how to spell “tires” (actually he asked me to write it with a “y” on the board since he was convinced it was supposed to be a “y” so I just got up and did it, knowing that it was wrong. And then he got to figure it out for himself afterwards. It gave me great satisfaction to know I was right and yet not throw it in his face. I mean I totally could have but I resisted the evil temptation!). I have great hopes and fears regarding this my education. Only time will tell.

Be

I am learning to be with myself again. And with friends. And new friends. And strangers. Mostly, I am learning how to be alone and be fine with being alone, and be fine with being with others too. I am getting more at peace with life in general, not because life is peaceful but because I focus on the sensation of peace. I get happy over the little things, and when I feel the sadness welling up inside I stop myself and start focusing on something else. I won’t pretend I don’t get stressed, or sad, or angry, or frustrated. All of this things I experience on a daily basis. I just think I’m getting more conscious about them, and this in turn helps me handle them better. I am also slowly diminishing my judgement of others, and learning that there are so many ways to live, not only isn’t there a right way, there isn’t a wrong way either. Of course there are still some basic things that appal me or upset me, but after the initial sensation I try to stop myself and consider what it would be like if I’d been in that persons shoes. If I find that the answer is I would never under any circumstances be in those shoes, even if they were cleaner or say, yellow, then I will probably go ahead and judge, or at least have negative feelings regarding whatever action or word the person has uttered which previously upset me. But in most cases I realise, there is no possible way I could judge, not when being human is to err, and we only learn from our mistakes, and that what one person might see as a crime or betrayal another just sees as an inevitable part of life. Above all, I am very slowly, hesitantly, softly… moving towards forgiving myself for my mistakes, and understanding that certain things are not wrong, and that if something feels right then that’s probably because it is. And I’m being more ok with not being perfect for every second that goes.

What about you? How do you feel about your home and surroundings right now? Have you made some positive changes to your demeanour that makes you feel different? Are you learning something new that you’d like to share? Are you being kinder to yourself?

Solitaire

This post is sort of about being single. I don’t know a lot about it but what I know or think I know I am now about to share.

After a break up.

Being single after a break up can either be a relief if the relationship was bad or the worst thing in the world if it was good. Either way it’s mildly confusing and very unstable ground. One second you enjoy your freedom, the next you yearn after whatever you shared with that person in the good times. Nostalgia is a very frequent visitor in these early days, making sure you doubt every decision you made, all the way from getting together to breaking up. It makes you think about your former partner in a number of different ways, how wonderful they were so you should get back together but then all the bad sides, and why you’re better of on your own. Then the self-doubt. How can you make it on your own, isn’t a mediocre or slightly depressive relationship better than none at all, what if the other is happier on their own, is that because you were not enough, could have done better, could have been more? The first few days, weeks, sometimes months after a break up are certainly very analytical, of yourself, your ex and your entire relationship.

Healing.

If your relationship was even remotely serious at any point, a break up is in most cases almost like an amputation. You lose a part of yourself and proceed to crawl around on the ground like a wounded animal, focused on the missing part with every breath and thought. Then comes the day – or night – when something changes inside you and you realise you can actually make it without that part. And though your arm, leg, whatever else it might have been, was quite unhealthy, it wasn’t all bad. Losing it was a relief but having it was still good. You can now start looking back with less regrets, anger, resentment, bewilderment. You can possibly even forgive yourself and the other for what was said and done. You are no longer necessities in each others lives and so if you stay in touch that’s for the joy of communication and interaction more so than the need and reassurance of the other being there.

Amki’s list of things that will help you heal;

  • Not thinking too too goddamn much about the other person, no matter how hard this is.
  • Spending lots of time with friends and out of your house. (This will in turn help with the above mentioned point but also help you think about the other awesome people in your life).
  • Picking up a new hobby. This might sound clichĂ© but if you think about it, doing something you never used to do with your ex certainly helps.
  • Looking at old pictures/reading old diaries. Pre-the-other-person. To remember what your life was like before, and focus on a time in your past when you were single.
  • Doing couply things on your own. Like going to the movies, eating out, taking a stroll etc. It will help you realise that these things are still enjoyable without someone else there.
  • Getting a pet. Sometimes the urge to love someone becomes very strong, and having a pet there to splurge your affection on is just the right thing. Just don’t marry it.
  • Meeting new people. NO. I didn’t say “dating new people”. I really meant meeting people, like making friends. This way you will have a new and awesome friendship, where this person won’t discuss your ex or even know who they are. It’s a blank page for more funsy-times. (I’ve yet to make new friends since I got back to Sweden).
  • Pampering yourself. Having nice hot baths, massive dinners and lots of time to sleep in actually helps. You’ll feel more relaxed and at peace with being to yourself.
  • Reading. When I read I disappear into another world for as long as my eyes are glued to the page. And in this other world there is no you, past or ex.

The Next Step.

I can’t really write much about this one. I mean obviously either you stay single or you start dating someone else. I don’t really see that as a step though because well then you are just single naturally and you don’t focus on being single any more. Of course you might be the type that desperately seeks for someone to fill the void of your previous relationship. That totally sucks. Not only for this new interest but also for yourself. Because if you do it that way you’re just trying to tell yourself you are over someone that you might not be. Give yourself space and time to make sure you are truly done before you dive into something new or you will just regret it. If you are uncomfortable with being on your own,  there are lots of alternatives to the dashing-right-back-out-into-the-dating-game. In fact being uncomfortable with your own company is probably a good sign of that you are not ready to be with someone else. If you don’t stand you, why do you expect someone else to? I don’t pretend to have inner peace (please! hah!) but I can enjoy afternoons or days with just myself. I LOVE going to the movies on my own, or exploring the city, or just having that strange, lonely freedom which is known as not asking someone else what ought to be the next step.

Your turn. What do you guys think is good help to heal the break-up wounds? What should you avoid in a break-up? What do you enjoy about being single? What sucks about it?

The Journey

It’s time for the story of how I spirited myself away from the people I love so much to the other people I love so much on this planet.

Leg 1

After tearful goodbyes for the last week, I was finally on the actual plane. I was sad yet excited. I can’t really explain the pain of tearing myself away from my life and the people I have been so close to for the past 3 years in order to join the other people whom I love and explore the world as a student. The first part of my flight was joined by Lorapope, we discussed the contents of the latest “Cosmo” magazine, it was fun ^^ It still hadn’t really hit me at that point, because you know I was still in Canada and the flight was only a little over an hour. I felt rather fine. Like I was taking the bus somewhere. I arrived in the sweltering heat at Halifax and me and Lora said our goodbye’s, she was heading on to go meet LENORE! YAAAAAY! Personally I stumbled out of the plane, retrieved my painfully heavy luggage (no, it wasn’t that heavy but it was heavy for me :p) and then proceeded to drag it around the airport in search for one of those modern smoking-booths with the fans in them you know? I didn’t find one so I went outside to a place that didn’t have non-smoking signs. Halfway through my cigarette a lady came out and said there was “no smoking on the upper level, you have to take the elevator down and turn right”. Of course I forgot the last part of directions, so I just went down and outside and sat down on the grass. I called Gerard with the last 10 dollars on my phone and then had to escape as angry wasps interrupted my second attempt at smoking. Well back inside I bought a 3 dollar ice-cream and sat down to play Mah-jong Titans on my computer. (My laptop is kind of big. It gets a lot of “that’s the biggest laptop I’ve ever seen” when I bring it out). Then I decided that 4 more hours of Mah-jong Titans on a dying battery wasn’t what I wanted to do in the Halifax airport so I went and bought “Paradise Lost” by John Milton and got through the first 50 pages. After much waiting and attempting to get the weird non-verse that is used in this book, I got on my second flight.

Leg 2

Halifax to Keflavik in Iceland. In the lineup outside the airplane while people were trying to get into their seats a little woman, who was probably from Thailand or those parts, commented on my sweater. She thought it looked really nice. I do too. My oldest brothers fiancĂ©e knitted it for me some years ago, I wore it when I got to Newfoundland and I wore it when I left 🙂 I sat next to a nice old couple and decided to watch Avatar since I’d never seen it before. I must say I really enjoyed it, even on the tiny shitty screen embedded in the seat in front of me I jumped and squirmed at the wonderful special effects. Foreseeable yes, bad no. Though I did mostly like flying with Iceland air I was unimpressed by how they missed our row while serving people and then took forever to bring us two glasses of juice. I started getting tired then but wasn’t nearly tired enough to sleep. When we landed it was raining. Gone was the streak of gorgeous weather that had followed me so far on this trip. They instantly security screened us upon exciting on the old French-Canadian woman who’d sat next to me mentioned how cold it was. I didn’t feel it. It was early morning and Iceland, what do you expect? On the flight the stewardess had announced through the speakers that “personnel on the ground will help you if you have a connecting flight”. The only help I got was this one guy who told me that arrivals and people with connecting flights had to go in the same direction. After that, I walked through the airport a bit paranoid, and decided that even though there was no one to ask all the signs pointed towards that the flight I thought I would be taking was the right one and that I didn’t have to check in and that my luggage would indeed go straight to Stockholm. But then…

Leg 3

Well all those things did happen. However, do you remember how I said I’d had a problem finding those smoking-booths in Halifax, and how there in fact where none there? Well, I started circling the airport with my 9 pound laptop over my shoulder (I told you it was big) and after walking around it 3 times I decided to my dismay that there were none here either. And I didn’t want to spend money on iffy food since I had gotten a Starbucks frappucino in Halifax. So I walked back towards the gate that would have my plane next to it in 2 hours, and broke down crying. It was very embarrassing because if anyone came up to me and asked what was wrong I’d just blubber out “is there a place to smoke anywhere?” But I guess it had finally occurred to me. I was no longer in Newfoundland. I wasn’t even in Canada. I was alone without help and with 2 hours and nothing to do and I hadn’t had a cigarette for a looong time by now and I missed all my friends and I missed Gerard and I was just so so sad. So after attempting to stop crying for a while I walked into the ladies and cried a bit there. Then I walked back and sat sadly in the same spot for a while. Then I walked to the ladies on the opposite side of the airport. And out of the corner of my eye I saw it. Gloriously double-doored and with an airflow from outside through barred walls. A smoking-area. A place where people with a stupid and self-inflicted addiction to making their health worse can go to do just that. And I was so happy. It was a little sign of acceptance in a big world of “you are alone”. I can’t even explain. So then I got on my flight after that and endured the American lady on my right talking to her husband across the aisle on my left while some young girl was doing her best to poke her feet through the seat-back of my chair, despite my best efforts at pushing her feet back. And then I finally landed in Sweden, and Daniel and Jessica and Anna were there, and they had flowers for me, and they brought me home and made me food, and Tilda came over, and we watched Sex and the City, and I finally got to sleep, and all was good.

What do you love about travelling? What are your pet peeves? Is there any place you’d like to go especially? What makes you feel alone and helpless?

The Challengers of the Unknown

To some of you, this title might ring a bell about a group of comic “super-heroes”. I personally never heard of the Challengers until I googled the name just now to try and find the song “Challengers” by the New Pornographers, which is an absolutely wonderful song and it’s really been affecting me of late. Give it a listen!

I’ve been in a rather curious mood and disposition of late. It makes me think a lot, which is good because the more I think the less I talk, and I can talk a whole lot at times (No like seriously, it’s really annoying, sometimes even I want to punch me). Right now I’m thinking about adventures, new beginnings, growth… so this post, if you haven’t guessed it, is just about that.

“The Quest”

If you think about it, a “quest” is probably one of the widest terms there is. It could be going down the street to get coffee, or making sure you sneak into the house at 3am without waking anyone, or driving on your way to propose to who you hope will someday be your wife. The point with the quest though is there’s always three parts to it; the initiative, the search and the answer. “I want coffee. If I walk down the street, I hope to find some. Got some”. The quest requires drive and determination not to simmer out and become a failure. The quest doesn’t always involve physical exertion like a journey, it can also be a mental and intellectual quest, like that of the Philosophers Stone (not the Harry Potter book… but that stone thingy that was in the book). A good quest always has a bit of drama or a hiccup along the way of some sort; you got some gravel in your shoe on your way to the coffee-shop, the neighbours dog started barking when you entered the house, you’re so distracted by the fact that you are going to ask a life-changing question to this woman that you run a red light etc. But a quest that goes smoothly without a single bump in the road is simply… not a proper quest. I mean just check the story-books! Things always went wrong before they were set right again! Is it possibly this way in life too?

Growth.

Ooooh! First off on the note of grow, it reminds me of my friend Sarah‘s blog, which is really super-awesome. She’s the one who inspired me to actually start writing, because her blog is just that awesome. Check it out here. (That is a link to an awesome little artsy project she started, you can follow the results in her later posts). And I don’t know if it’s just me personally being weird but whenever I hear the word “grow” I get a picture of this generic-looking tree seedling sprouting from the dark earth, like this;

Whoa, except for like, a smaller picture. Anyways. I like the concept of growth. Once upon a time when I was a princess of a small country my Latin saying was “Vivo, Cresco, Floreo” which means, “I live, I grow, I burst into flower”. Sort-of-ish. And you know, without growth you will never get anywhere. One of the laws of thermodynamics is that every system, from the moment it is invented, starts its fall into decay. But what is necessary for a world like this to function if everything goes sour from the moment it’s even thought of? Growth. People developing themselves, developing technology, developing theories… every time a system dies, just grow a new one. Because as we have all seen, when you have an old and dying system and just keep patching it up instead of replacing it, things go horribly wrong eventually. And finally to quote Barney Stinson… “New is always better”.

The start of something…

New is always better. No. That is not true. But new is always different, exciting, upsetting, makes you think and see differently. Several years ago I came up with a little motto that I have held close to my heart since; “When you run away from your problems you only get new ones. But at least they’re new”. And that is the thing. Even if a situation is bad, at least it is a change in your life, and change helps you learn and develop and whatever horrible thing might have happened to you will help you in the future. New is generally always scary, because we’re unsure of how to act or what to think, and as humans we like being sure and safe. But new stands for youth, vibrant, shiny, glowing, alive. I like new! It can above all things be horribly sad, because for new to exist old has to go away. And letting go of something you’ve known and taken for granted in your existence for a long time can be extremely painful and almost traumatic for a person. But for me, even that pain is worth it, and it can be quite a magnificent thing. Isn’t that why a sunset is somewhat melancholic and nostalgic,  whereas the sunrise is and will always be a magical thing full of hope and strangeness? The end of something has to happen for the start of something new to be.