I just got back from a walk and it’s amazing how much better it can make me feel. I have been sinking into a sort of slump lately and I can’t allow that to happen. I’ve been trying to find things to do to occupy my time more productively rather than watching one mind-numbing TV show after another.
Let me state, I love Sweden and I feel so extremely blessed to have been given this opportunity. However, I have been feeling lonely lately due to the fact that Andrew works all of the time for the football team and my time is spent mostly sitting in our apartment waiting for him to come home. I knew before we came that I was going to be spending a lot of time alone due to the fact that he told me he would have to spend a lot of time on football, I just thought there would be more things to keep my occupied.
While I have made friends here, most of them are from the football team and the one girl that I have become close to works all the time and the only time I can really see her is the few times I can actually spend with Andrew. I honestly just thought that I would make a plentiful of close friends while I have been here, but the cultural difference from the United States puts quite the hinder on that.
Let me state that Swedes are extremely friendly people who are more than willing to lend a helping hand whenever you need it. I have never met people who are more accepting of a person than I have since I have been here, it’s just when it comes to making friends, Swedes are extremely reserved. In the United States, while I’m considered to be outgoing, I am also considered slightly shy as compared to a lot of other people. In Sweden, I am considered EXTREMELY outgoing. The few times I have been able to meet new people outside of the football club is when we’ve all been out and drunk. Swedes are completely different people when they drink. They will laugh and talk to you like you have been friends forever, but the next day, they will act like you two are from a different planet and their wall tends to go right back up. Like I said, they are very friendly people, they just have a tendency to say in their comfort zone when it comes to friendships.
I think that has been the roughest thing about being here. I am so used to having friends to call up when I’m bored back home on the drop of a dime, whether we just met two weeks ago, or have been friends for two years. I spend a lot of my time here cleaning or waiting for Andrew to get home from work and it has made me feel like I’m not really myself. But I honestly don’t want to wish my time away while I am here. I am so used to working 24/7, and when I was in school full time I was also working full time. I remember wishing for even just a week off for relaxation, but now I’m wishing for work. I know that once I’m back and get back into a schedule of working and being busy, I’ll be wishing for my time here back, so I’m making the most of it as much as I can. I don’t want to seem ungrateful for this experience, because I truly am thankful that I have been given this opportunity and had Andrew brought into my life. I do believe it has made me grow as a person and has made Andrew and I grow as a couple.
I can’t lie, though. The anticipation I have to be back home and be reunited with my family and friends has me anxious beyond belief. I can’t wait to be home and see my mother’s face in person after six months because this is the longest I have ever gone without seeing her. FaceTime has been a savior for me because I’m sure without it, I would have gone insane by now. I can’t wait to be home and feel my father’s embrace. Due to the fact that he doesn’t own a computer and our phones aren’t compatible, we have not been able to Skype or FaceTime, so it has been extremely hard not seeing his face at all. I think about seeing my nieces and nephews for the first time in months and it brings tears to my eyes. Hearing that my oldest nephew gets upset that I am not home, because it’s not the same without me, makes me heart break since we are so close. He’s my little buddy and I know once we see each other, we won’t be able to hold back the tears. I can’t wait to see my newest nephew once I get home since my sister is due in August. I can’t wait to hug and kiss all of my friends, but especially Lexi, Alex, and Shantell. They have been my biggest supporters throughout all of this and despite the distance, they have shown me what true friendship means.
And lastly, and probably most importantly, I can’t wait to see my dog, Zeke. I know, I know.. he’s just a dog, but I truly can’t express how much he has changed my life in so many different ways. It’s truly amazing how a canine can take you from the lowest point in your life, to finding extreme happiness again. For “just a dog” he made me take responsibility not only for him, but for myself. Being apart from him has been the hardest thing ever for me. After struggling from so many things from depression to extreme anxiety, he turned it all around and restored hope in me. Anytime I ever felt low, he instinctively knew and would make it his sole mission to make me smile. I swear, a little person lies inside of him. Not to mention, the love Andrew has for him made me fall in love with Andrew even more. We both look at a picture of him every day and feel a mixture of happiness and sadness, because we love and miss him so much.
On my walk, I took in all of my surroundings and felt truly thankful for everything in my life. I feel so blessed and full of love. I hate when I allow myself to feel anything else because I allow simple, meaningless negativity to enter my mind and manifest into something it shouldn’t. I felt all of the beauty around me and I am making a promise to myself to not complain about loneliness or boredom the next two months. Because ten years from now, I don’t want to look back and regret not taking full advantage of this opportunity.