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Del 1: Summer and winter 2022

Nice that you ended up here, welcome! I am a Swedish citizen residing in Germany, more specifically in Hanover. I've spent most of my life outside of Sweden, but it's important to me to maintain my Swedish language skills. That's why I decided to maintain and improve this skill through a blog! (This text is available in three languages: German, English and Swedish. The original was written in Swedish.)

Summer. 28.08.2022: Two years and eight months.

It was two years and eight months since I was last in Sweden.

Now I've been there.

Many feelings. Familiarity. Mixed feelings of reunion. Distance. Melancholy.

The sea! How I missed the sea!

A lot of thoughts.

Thoughts about a loss that became an anger.

A powerlessness that never seemed to end.

Lots of rules that we didn't understand but had to follow. Strict rules with fines in Germany. Sweden without rules. Sweden had recommendations. And I still couldn't go there, or it didn't happen, or ….. there were a lot of different reasons why I didn't go to Sweden for a long time.

Sure, corona, covid-19, sure, but there were also many other things that prevented the trip. Deutsche Bahn e.g. I planned to go to Sweden in September 2021 and then there was a strike, so I never got there. I went to Denmark three times instead during the Pandemic. To visit a friend there.

I would like to write down all the reasons why I didn't go to Sweden during the pandemic, but... I don't really know how...

This is how I wrote when I was in Sweden, in English:

An outsider trying desperately hard.... (english)

Here I am feeling emotional.

Here I am feeling all those feelings that I have been feeling the past two years, now intensified and expanded. All those feelings that I don't know where to put. Remembering the reasons why I haven't been visiting Sweden for almost three years. It wasn't just because of the pandemic. No, there were other reasons. And I don’t know if I am ready to talk about that in public... Later maybe..

Here I am in Sweden, feeling emotional, thinking about my relationship to my home country, which has of course changed in the last three years.

I always had a kind of ambivalent relationship to my home-country. I never felt like „a true Swede“ (whatever that is…). I never felt that I really belonged there, not in that country, not in my family, not in the language. Well, the language thing came later. And now, after so many years of being away from this country, I feel it even more in terms of the language. It's not really my language anymore, I hardly speak it. And when I do, I keep stumbling around, constantly looking for words that I have forgotten. I often feel like an outsider trying desperately hard, but somehow failing at fitting into something once familiar.

Here I am, feeling a lot of feelings, not knowing how to contextualize them and give them a shape that might mean something to you, dear person who reads this. Are you still with me?

Ease the pressure

It was quite an emotional journey and there are still a lot of thoughts that need to be sorted and shaped. Thoughts that press on and want out.

I simply want to relieve the pressure. I know from experience that it helps to " write it off" like we say in Swedish. But it is not easy to shape feelings into words.

Let me try:

I cried when I landed at Malmö central station, my hometown that I hadn't been to in two years and eight months. I stood there at the station, completely exhausted, in a city I hardly recognize, because it has changed so much since I lived there. I cried when I jumped into the ocean for the first time, I cried when I dived into the water. It felt so healing and nice to be in the sea, the beautiful, clear sea where there were hardly any people. The sea that I miss so often and a lot when I'm at home in Germany. It is often so full by the sea in Germany, it is not the same pleasure then. I cried when I was standing in a cafe in Helsingborg I hadn't been to in many years. There I used spend time with a friend who is no longer with us. (Yessica, I miss you so much…). I cried because I was moved, sad, happy, tired and exhausted or just because.....

There are a lot of reasons why I (we all) cry, and I'll write more about that another day...

Of course it was very nice to be there and nice to meet friends and family, of course. And yet... hard. Among other things, because I had to work while I was there. Because I have to work all the time since the start of the pandemic. Three times more than I usually do, yes, that's right. Still. Yes.

And because the whole thing with Sweden and the pandemic is troublesome, because during this whole time I felt that I had to have an opinion about Sweden's way of handling the pandemic. But no, I don't want to write about it now.

Here's a picture of my mother and me instead. We had a great time and I managed to meet her quite a lot when I was in Malmö.

Malmö Ribersborg, Augusti 2022

Winter 5.12. 2022. ROCK BOTTOM

Is today the day where I completely break down? Is it happening now? I give up everything and just crash? Is this where my burnout begins?

I often say that I can't take it anymore, that I can't do it anymore, and so I go on anyway, continue to work like a horse. Work day and night, get sick, keep working even though I'm sick. Sitting in bed and working. As I do now. Cold, sinusitis or whatever it turns out to be.

And I have so many words and thoughts and feelings in me that want to get out and I know that I am creative and work with theater and even get paid for being creative. But it's as if that's not enough. I need even more output, other new ways of expression, or I'll go under. I have to find time to write, to paint and dance and be creative in a way that heals, rebuilds and makes me healthy and happy again.

And at the same time, I'm so mad at myself because when I had the time / opportunity / money to do it this summer for my researchproject, I couldn't do it - I just didn't have the time. I was working on 7 projects at the same time, it was as crazy as it gets. I think I'm bursting with overload. I can't do it anymore. Now I'll say it again. I can't do it anymore and then I'm at it again. New ideas and projects, more applications that need to be written.

Where should I start? How will I make it? And everything is important and urgent and must be done right now. And I know I should take it easy and relax and go on vacation and take time off and work less and I know, I know, I know. I'm my own boss and it's only my fault if I work too much, but it all backfires, I'm afraid of having too little work and therefore have to work constantly. And this dilemma became much worse during the pandemic. First I had almost no job at all for 1.5 years and then everything came at once, tripled!

No wonder if I'm overloaded, but it can't go on like this, it can't!

Hannover Maschsee December 2022

Winter 24.12.22. Today is Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve and the third year in a row that I celebrate Christmas on my own. For 16 years I celebrated with my (now ex) German boyfriend, either with his family or my family, mostly with his family actually. It was easiest that way.

I've said so often and so many times lately that I didn't want to celebrate Christmas alone this year again. And now I do it anyway... But this time it's different, this time it's by choice. I have too much work, that's it. A day only has 24 hours and I don't have time to do everything I have to do if I go to Sweden. Or anywhere else for that matter.

But I'm not going to complain, it's just today, 24.12. where I will be by myself, then I have invitations to the other days. And there will be a New Year's party, too.

Alles wird gut...

The pandemic still has a firm grip on me. I have three deadlines on 31.12. which has to do with projects/ COVID-Money (Abrechnungen, unfortunately I can't find what it's called in english, no, it's NOT an invoice). IT'S NOT OVER YET!

Maybe I'm a arbetsnarkoman/arbeitswütig/workaholic. It sounds worst in Swedish, as a Swede I am a drug addict when I work too much, in English I am an alcoholic and in German I am angry. Work angry. Interesting. I'll write about it sometime. Later. At some point. I'm just getting used to saying it: I'm a workaholic. Or something like that.

Here I had written a text about crying. On Christmas Eve. Yes, I cried on Christmas Eve. Also. I cry often and I will write more about that soon. I will write more and more often and in Swedish. Yes, I have to practice writing in Swedish. I'll do it. I will write more. Although I still don't really know why I do it.

Thanks for reading this far!


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