one week in sweden: goals.

Hello from Sweden!

This is not my official travel blog; this is just the continuing internal monologue. But I have been in Sweden for a week and have basically ridden the entire emotional rollercoaster. (Twice.)

The first night was rough: suddenly in a new country, alone and unable to connect to friends and family (no internet in the dorm), and also without a mattress. I think I would have slept if I’d had to sleep on the floor, though. Things got better, and by the end of the week I find myself with friends in this city, a bike, an Internet connection and food in my cupboard in the common kitchen. I’m doing pretty well.

I have already struggled with how much I want to talk to the people back home: sometimes I cannot calm down and want nothing more than to run home to my mom, and sometimes my other side is like dang it Red, get off the freaking computer and go outside and live your life.

So far I’ve struck an okay balance, I’ve managed to make myself talk to people and haven’t melted down about it. (Yay!) I think the necessity of finding people I can talk to who actually live in this city really broke down some mental walls. Hopefully I can keep this going.

In order to avoid spending endless meaningless hours in my bedroom watching Dan and Phil, I’ve decided to write out a plan of sorts for the rest of my time here. Some of these things are related to the Twenties Project; some are not.

Things I will work on doing for the rest of the year:

  • Read every day (This will be a little difficult, considering that I have a lot of books on my phone, and my phone is full of terrible distracting things like Twitter, but I intend to make it work)
  • Do something towards schoolwork every weekday, and make the effort not to have homework on weekends
  • Try a new recipe a minimum of once a week
  • Write in my journal (which is a whole nother project) at least twice a week
  • Make the effort to hang out with my friends at least once a week (texting them to say “let’s fika” and getting turned down does count)
  • Take pictures of beautiful things (even if you have to go back to the pretty lake where you were barbecuing with your friends two days afterward because you didn’t want to look awkward)
  • Bike! Everywhere! (Maybe consider going for a run when you have time on the weekends!)
  • Love on your people but don’t get obsessive. No idea what that balance is. I think you’re doing okay about it.

Also there’s a really hilarious ad for tomato sauce on YouTube that I’ve been seeing. It’s in Swedish: it’s a goofy old man saying that he uses “all the best ingredients in his tomato sauce!” A beautiful pastoral scene behind him in a cottage with all his family round him and a cow visible out the window chewing grass. Then the old man adds, “It needs the very best meatballs!” The cow looks alarmed, drops the grass and runs away. I giggle every time.

Loving it here.

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