The good life: Appreciation & fika
„A tea for you, Lena?“ By the time of the last fika, I seemed to have become a regular at the café, I’ve made it as a “stammis“.
Those weeks before leaving Sweden were filled to the top with appreciation and fika. From the moment on where I first took the idea off studying in Germany seriously, I felt as if I was being carried by invisible hands. I knew clearly what I had to do and wrote my application in only two days with an abundance of inspiration. Effortlessly, I was moving through all necessary practicalities, I enjoyed going through my belongings and tried to get rid of as much as possible. The last Saturday turned out to be an amazing final celebration, big fun with best friends until sunrise, and to my surprise it wasn’t my head but my feet which hurt the day after. That I had blisters from dancing wasn’t so bad at all. As it was time to pack the car with all that I had decided to keep, I received generous help from friends who didn’t even need to be convinced of frequent fikas. (High five Marion, Levi and Sophie! Superheroes!)
FIRST OUCH… Probably around midsummer, there was this feeling in me, a clear discomfort and an unclarity about my future. It felt nearly impossible to move away but at the same time I wasn’t tempted to stay either. It just didn’t fit anymore, the lust for being there had faded away and from that point on it would still take months until I finally figured it out what it was that I wanted to do next. It wasn’t pleasant to realize this, quite the opposite. Ouch, it seems to be time to move on indeed. This realization had come very slowly and somehow, it was painful. There was so much resistance in me. I didn’t want to see or hear this, I rather wanted to deny it. It was as if I was a stubborn kid that was slowly growing out of its most favorite, most beautiful, most cozy sweater: Unwilling to let go at first, but eventually accepting that it’s inevitable to say good bye because a sweater that is too small is obviously uncomfortable to wear and increasingly awkward to look at. The more you grow, the more you learn to trust that your next favorite piece of clothing is already waiting around the next corner. So literally, it didn’t fit anymore. Everything was screaming for renewal of some kind.
…THEN FLOW! Having realized I might have to let go of that life in Järnatown, my “where to” and “what for” were still hidden in unclarity. Once I knew – and that was a sudden impulse after a week-long quality time that I had spent on my own on Fårö – everything started to feel easy. The pre-imagined pain of leaving adored friends and the precious place was being replaced by a feeling of deep appreciation for all that’s been. I enjoyed all moments and encounters so much more consciously and started to be pretty amazed by the phenomena that I could meet everyday life with so much more gratitude and appreciation than usual because the time I could spend there was limited. Why not always like that!? That appreciative attitude makes life so much more beautiful and it seems to occur much more easily when something or someone is available for a limited time.
During these weeks before departure, I’ve understood what I had craved to understand, I healed what needed to be healed, and I finally did the things that I had been longing to do. Most things just fell into place, and that left me free to leave so that I could start driving southwest on the E4 with calm and peaceful vibes on the passenger seat. As the distance to the north was growing gradually, my gut feeling did so too: This was only a hej då for now!
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”
― William Hutchison Murray