There are certain things you don’t realize until you come back.
Having spent 19 of my first years in a single environment have had an impact on me, and in a way, those years and their experiences form the measuring rod to which everything else gets compared – what becomes normal. My home town in December is grey and cold, the buildings are white or brick stone and the roads and sidewalks are wide and straight. The people are tall and reserved and being blond with white-redish skin is not uncommon. Skåne in December is really nothing extraordinary, but it’s Sweden to me. And having been away to and from for three years, I’ve realized that there’s something profoundly relieving in being in neutral: in being in the circumstances where nothing deviates from what I grew up with.
I’ve realized that there’s something profoundly relieving in being in neutral: in being in the circumstances where nothing deviates from what I grew up with
Coming back over winter break is rest, but it’s only so because I have somewhere to come back from. Going back to an effortless mother tongue, and not being considered exotic for having blue eyes are privileges because I’ve experienced what it’s like to not have them, what it’s like to be the outsider. And I think it’s so hugely important so go there, to go to places where you’re not the norm, in order to try to understand the realities of other people. To understand how we although all our cultural and visual differences, are so humanly similar. But to constantly go outside your comfort zone is also very very tiring, and sometimes everyone needs a break. And so even though I’ll work 8-18.30 in the local fish restaurant from now until Christmas, I’m happy to be back and to spend time with the people who I love unconditionally and with whom I can just be.
For the time being, the grey and organized Sweden is exactly what I need.
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