Tuesday, August 28, 2012
From city to small town
I have to admit how few times I've actually travelled around in Sweden. In fact, I've seen the world ten times around, but I haven't paid much attention to my own country. My parents use to take me up North when I was younger to ski and we also have family in Värmland. I've been to Göteborg once and Åre a couple of times of course, Halmstad once before and Dalarna a small amount of times when I was really young. I've been to friends in Åhus and Österlen and even Falkenberg when I recall, but neither of these destinations have been neither regular, often or long. And the last time that I took a trip somewhere in Sweden was four years ago when I spent New Year's eve in a lovely house of a friend in Värmland. So, I'm not used to how big of a difference it really is to Stockholm or any big city. Stockholm is the best city ever, but also the worst city ever in many ways. I've never seen a city where people are so forced to be mainstream and the same as here, but still with the personal conviction that they aren't. It's very particular that the focus is so little on indvidualism as it is when we in fact are a very lonely city in the sense that we have a very large number of people feeling alone and living alone, per capita. When I was working as a regular nurse many, many years ago in a private, elderly home it really stroke me how lonely we really are, and family bonds mean very little in these northern parts of the world.
In Sweden in general, we like to be the same, dress the same and think the same whereas in many other places on earth, the opposite is more attractive and the general standard about how to be. People dare to stand out and be different in a broader and deeper way, both mentally and how they live, act, dress... etc.
When you visit a beautiful but small town like Halmstad, especially in the way you can when someone actually lives there (and actually moved back after spending some time in Stockholm), it's so fascinating to see all the differences although we all come from the same country. Just like with my own city Stockholm, I both love it but still it confuses me. For me, anywhere else than a bigger city is too small in the way that it has very little of an international feeling and basically for the fact that everyone knows everyone. But it's in the same way so warm, friendly and people tend to care more about each other and the mentality is less up tight, less snob and less stressful. People are who they are in a bigger and more obvious way that really surprised me. All the same, it's an enormous difference that I just can't stop thinking about. And with that said, Stockholm is a minority and all the other places in Sweden are the majority. Good or bad, it's for you to decide. Personally I need the bigger city's feeling of anynomity, the vibration and a more sophisticated lifestyle only a bigger city can offer. But still I'm not completly satisfied. I would love to have the true nature around my corner, the peace and quiet to be truthfully happy and pleased.
For my dear girlfriend, I really envy the closeness she has to everything; the nature and spaces of absolute calm - freedom. I miss that a lot in Stockholm. We have the archipelago, but it's too difficult to get there for a spontanious outing. We have Djurgården and Brunnsviken - but neither of them stand up to the tranquility and mindpeace I'm seeking for when dealing with the serenity only true nature, fields of earth, the ocean and the never ending horizon can give. I have to go by car to reach further out.
We had such a lovely time together, us girls. Talking about things of importance in life, things that actually means something for your own spiritual growth, like when you share experiences. I might have a addiction to style and I might work with the medical side of aesthetics, of staying young and beautiful - but honestly, talking about it day and night bores me to death. So spending time with intelligent, humble humans with strong personalities but with the same latitude of what a good conversations stands for, it's very liberating and fulfilling.
I needed this. Really. To get new perspectives, see other places, think a lot and re-evaluate. It was totally necessary to be able to get a break from my dear, dear son, motherhood and everything that's constantly in my life. One year spent most time by myself has been tough, I'll admit that anytime. But with that said, also the best time of my life.
Thank you Minna and Mac for those incredible hotel like breakfasts (I ate 3 freshly made croissants, one sandwish, an egg and fruit!!!). Thank you for opening up your lovely home for us and thank you for being such a role model for how an exquisite couple should be and behave towards one another. Let's always stay true to who we are, never stop surprising ourselves and always accept the differences between us. Bye, bye Halmstad!