Independence

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Lately I feel like I’m riding a particularly tumultuous rollercoaster. Oftentimes I feel fantastic, like everything is coming together and I might actually be able to make this whole Sweden thing work… yet in the flick of a switch and I can feel completely bewildered, isolated and alone.

It’s a strange kind of loneliness, because in the literal sense I’m not really alone at all. I’m almost always around J and – especially when we’re at the summerhouse – every meal is a social occasion and I’m constantly surrounded by people. But in a lot of ways I am very much separate from them; I’m nowhere near proficient enough at Swedish to join in with conversations and I cannot express my thoughts in English in anywhere near the same way that I can at home.

And there’s also a rather conflicting sense of dependency – whilst back home I do most things on my own, here I find that I lack the confidence, opportunities and language skills to maintain that same level of independence… and whilst I really do appreciate the hospitiality of J’s family, who have taken me in and taken care of me purely out of the goodness of their hearts, it does knock your self esteem when you realise that you probably couldn’t manage on your own. In a nutshell, it feels like I’ve been “dumbed down”. I wonder how long it’ll take before I start to feel like myself again?

It isn’t all doom and gloom, however, as aside from these residual negative thoughts, I’ve been having quite a good time out here on the island! These last few days have been filled with swimming, silllunch and sunshine, and although the 40c+ heatwave appears to have passed for now, it’s so calm and peaceful out here that you can’t help but feel at ease 🙂

Hopefully in the next few months I’ll be able to set down some concrete plans about staying here permanently. After all, once I finally pass my driving test, there really isn’t anything keeping me in England any longer (if I don’t go to university, that is). It’s rather exciting to think about!

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2 thoughts on “Independence

  1. At least you have social media to stay connected to your friends, family, etc, where you can fully flow in your native language without ‘dumbing down’. Imagine in the ‘old days’-moving to another country would mean a definite cutting off from everyone. I guess there would be a severe sense of isolation then?

    • That’s a really good point, actually. I have no idea how people managed it pre-social media. They were certainly very brave! And in all honestly I think the majority of my negativity is the fault of my own way of thinking rather than the result of anything bad actually happening. Perhaps when I get out of this “limbo” stage and work towards getting my personnummer I might start to feel a little better 🙂

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