Reading a good book should
be like sleeping with a crush for the first time
or eating creamy pasta when you’re hungover
while watching a movie that makes you cry.
Or like a watching pink sky at sunset
it gives you chills
but is only that pink,
because of pollution.
There's this old man on the subway.
M-train from Essex. Uptown.
He touches his suit jacket
where the heart is. Where the two tickets are.
He takes them out
four times in three stops.
Makes sure they’re still there
where the heart is.
The city was hot from sun and pollution. Boiling streets, sweaty AC's dripping onto pedestrians on their way to work or some random tourist attraction. Summer in New York has a certain taste to it. A bittersweet scent of burnt skin from the Rockaways and trash from the Chinatown sidewalks. You want to escape it, yet it’s the best thing in the world. Its own world in the big one where everyone complains about the subway platforms being hell on Earth and their ice-coffees dripping onto their iPhones as the L-train chases itself under the East River. But we would never leave. We’re angry and in love all at the same time.
We were these kids running around downtown; drinking at St Dymphnas, fucking musicians, wearing yesterday’s outfit days in a row. How we roamed and laughed, so oblivious about the responsibilities that lurked in the back of our minds. In the same way our thighs rubbed against each other underneath our sundresses, the city was slowly wearing us out. But we didn’t know it at the time. We would meet up after work, have a beer or two and share a pizza in Tompkins. Drool over the skaters killing it in there, doing their tricks in front of us. Sometimes they fell on their faces and started to bleed. We took a big bite from our cheese and tomato slices, let it drip.
There was this group of people, always around. We would sit next to them at the bar, say hi sometimes. Borrow lighters. You know, those kinds of interactions. One of them was a guy I wanted to kiss. I first met him one night in Brooklyn. I was at his bar. Or it’s not his bar, but for me it is his bar. He served Coors and got high in the back. We didn’t know each other, but I knew he was this dude skating around Williamsburg playing rock music hanging out with all the models in East Village. This weird friend-lover relationship started. Never in love. Always loving. In some way I think we were alone, together. There was this straightforwardness he had that I liked, made me want to be close to him. Total honesty. Very refreshing. His aura was so magical, I swear he could make a whole room fall for him. He would speak and you would listen. I felt him everywhere.
We were unstoppable as we blasted music in a cab across Williamsburg Bridge. The world is ours and so on. The midnight wind barely cooled down our skin, so double the beer. How could people live anywhere else than New York? “They must be, somehow, kidding.” It was so clear to me then. Never grow up, always have fun. Do not care.
But come October. The melancholia creeps up on us as the rooftops close down and the beer turns into hot toddy. There's no more cheap watermelon at the bodega and whenever we turn a corner there's a wind of ice hitting us right in our faces. The thousand blankets that try to keep us warm at night fail and we wake up with our noses cold. There's frost on the inside of our windows. The heater never works. And no one skates in Tompkins when the snow falls.
Oh hello! This place looks different. Again. I’m sorry for being so flaky, but as I received an email from Go Daddy saying my portfolio website had expired due to credit card failure I decided to bring the two together. I don’t work in advertising anymore, so I’m not in the need of a “portfolio” per say. Still, I do want a place where I can collect my current projects and such and since this blog/diary/notepad technically is a personal project I felt like it made sense to keep them in the same place.
I haven’t posted (nor written) much lately. I mean, you’ve noticed, probably. There is just so. much. going. on. I deleted Facebook Messenger from my phone because every time I hear the pling-sound it makes I feel like I’m getting a heart attack. I think I need a weekend in a bath tub without talking to anyone. Just eating cheese, watching makeup tutorials and letting my skin soak in hot water and oily things.
It will get better though. Like, this week. Tomorrow I move into my apartment. I was there last night with my dad, assembling furniture, drinking beer and listening to Fleetwood Mac. For every chair we put together, the more I felt like home. It’s such a cute little place and I can’t wait to show you guys. I had new floors put in, so now it’s bright and airy even though it’s tiny. I have a pink couch (PINK!) and transparent chairs and a small balcony to drink coffee and eat breakfasts on. :DDD
Fall always brings a friendly nervousness and melancholia, as well as energy and inspiration to start new projects. I’m ready to sit down and write and sing and (in a month or so) start working on the second issue of new. So I guess it's safe to say - see you soon! <3
Until next time, you know where to find me!
After months of thinking and concepting and replacing and what not, it's finally time for me, Frida-My and Linnea to release new_magazine. I've never worked on anything that's been as challenging nor rewarding as this. It's been such a great ride and it is the prettiest fucking magazine you could ever hold in your hands. NO JOKE. :))))
Tonight we have a release party at Riche Lilla Baren in Stockholm, 6PM-9PM.
Please come, have a beer, flick through the mag and maybe even buy one. If you can't make it, get your copy at www.newmagazine.co
I left New York on a Sunday evening. Sitting at JFK airport, around families and business men on their way to Scandinavia, I felt very calm. Ready to take on a new life, a new day in Stockholm. I never would’ve thought in a million years that leaving the city which I’ve dreamt about since I saw my first Sex And The City episode on my cousin’s couch as a 12 year old, would be this easy. Am I saving up on tears for an extreme melt down as soon as the plane touch down on Swedish soil? I didn’t know. I sent a last text to my roommates, my friends, my lover, popped a sleeping pill and boarded.
After a month at home; living with my parents, starting a new job, buying my first ever apartment, catching up with all my friends, I still feel that satisfaction. Except for a small cry on my first day home (still not sure if it was “leaving New York-tears” or “wi-fi in my parents apartment doesn’t work-tears”), I haven’t grieved. Do you have to? I sometimes question my own emotions when people ask me how it feels to be home. Do you miss it? What do you think about Stockholm now? I honestly don’t even think about it. Living in New York, being there - it’s as if it happened in a different lifetime. In a parallel universe.
Stockholm is cold. It’s only September, but it’s cold. I wore a merino turtleneck and a trenchcoat to work yesterday (I also wore pants, but you got it). IN SEPTEMBER. As my instagram feed fills up of New Yorkers still sipping on Aperols at various roof tops and planning their Labor Day-weekend beach outfits, I considered a cup of Christmas tea last night. Went for chamomile in the end, but still. I considered it. It’s weird how different life is, depending on where you are geographically. My food habits changes, my style changes, my mood changes. Not for the better nor for the worse, it just changes. I have my New York-self and my Stockholm-self. Do you believe in that? That your location changes you? Not your fundamental state obviously, but those smaller things like what you wear and how you react to different subjects being brought up in conversations. I do.
It’s very very nice to be home. Safe and calm. I haven’t written anything at all since leaving the US. I just haven’t had time. But as I get my shit together and start to find the words again, you can listen to my podcast that I have with my best friend Linn. And in two weeks, you can read my magazine that I have with my friends Frida-My and Linnea. There’s a lot going on. And I feel calm.
I'm home in Stockholm, feeling content and very much happy. It's summer and I've already had beers in a park watching the sun go down over the city. When I got to my parents apartment from the airport on Monday I cried and continued to as I walked down to the grocery store to buy food. Picking lemons and avocados, tears falling onto the fruit. Not caring at all about what people saw or thought. Then Sofia called me and as I made it around the dairy aisle, choosing between Turkish or Greek yoghurt, she made me feel like home. It will probably take a while to reset and start fresh here, but for every hour that pass the happier I get to be home.
I arrived in the afternoon, after a bunch of delays. First things first, I ran up the stairs to the terrace where my brother and his girlfriend were drinking beer and playing cards waiting for me and my mom to make it back from the airport. The views from my parents rooftop is a mix of mountains and oceans peeking up between the white houses with laundry drying in the wind. Spanish being yelled and dogs barking in the distance.
Pastel sunsets by the ocean.
The food tastes better, the wine tastes better. The balconies are all decorated with flowers.
Went on a morning walk and found this man taking it all in.
And then had breakfast here.
Being by the Mediterranean makes me nostalgic, having spent almost every summer somewhere along the coasts of Spain. Here is my little mermaid cousin, Hanna.
...I wake up early for a Saturday, around 8.30, in my own apartment and I’m not the tiniest bit hungover. My bed has white or beige linens and they’re crisp as if I just put them on the night before. Next to me, on the nightstand, is a glass of water, a Glossier balm.com, a beautiful designer lamp, a book that not only is a good read, but has a pretty cover. Maybe there’s even one of those vases that only fit one flower. I drink the water. It’s ice cold even though it’s been in room temperature for over 8 hours.
The wooden floors are in a light shade and I walk across it into my kitchen. There I take out coffee (which I keep in a metal box because it enhances the taste) and brew it in one of those fast brewers that my parents have. The room fills up with the sweet taste of pitch black, Swedish coffee. It’s lovely. I prepare breakfast; avocados (perfectly ripe, but do I even have to mention that?), two fried eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice because I always keep it in my fridge. Maybe I’m in the mood for a cinnamon bun for dessert and add it to my breakfast tray. I keep fresh ones in my cabinet, just to be safe.
I eat on my couch. It’s one of those couches that look amazing, but not very comfortable. Only this one is. Because this is my dream. I’ve decorated the beautiful, comfy couch with pillows that matches the light beige fabric and two knitted throws are thrown over the edges. On the walls around me hang Christiane Spangsbergs and Matisses in blues and yellows. They make me calm. I put on the TV and watch Nyhetsmorgon as I eat. I always find it very cringeworthy and embarrassing to watch, still it makes me feel home and safe in a weird way. That’s just what you do in the morning; you watch Nyhetsmorgon. I refill my coffee cup two and a half times. After the first time I open up the window and it smells of early fall. You know, when it’s still warm out, but the leaves are starting to fall off. Maybe it even rained during the night, that’s why the wind feels cool on my skin as it crawls in over the windowsill.
When I’ve finished my breakfast and my coffee and Nyhetsmorgon has turned into some rerun of last nights Swedish Idol or something, I jump in the shower. I have all sorts of goodies in there. Aesop shower gels and body scrubs, Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser, whatever vegan shampoo. It all smells divine and I take my time washing my hair, body and face. The hot water dances down my back and I move into it so it blocks my ears, making me feel as if I’m under water. I love it under water. I’m cancer, so it’s natural habitat for me. I feel in control. When I step out of it, I reach for the towel. A thick, light gray towel that is warm and dry and that wraps around my body like a blanket. Then I treat my skin. Serum from The Ordinary, priming moisturizer from Glossier, spf from Glossier. I follow up with Chanel to cover redness, Glossier Boy Brow to thicken my brows and & Other Stories to make my cheeks blushy. No pimples. Pimples do not exist in my dreams.
In my closet hangs perfectly fitted vintage Levi’s jeans, silk shirts and vintage t-shirts I pick up on my travels back to New York and LA. Big knitted sweaters, crisp white t-shirts and basic underwear. I slide into a pair of silk panties, a light washed pair of denim and a tight white t-shirt. Jump into my black flats, grab my leather bag and walk out the door. Probably to meet some friends at some café. Stockholm is clean and nice and home as I walk down the street toward the subway.
I dream of home.
On Friday I sat down with my boss and quit my job. It’s crazy how fast you can change your life. But it feels like the right thing to do. It’s time. After two interviews, a whole lot of overthinking and finally an offer that felt too good to pass up on, I decided to take the jump. At the end of July I’ll move back to Stockholm to take on the role as Social Media Editor at & Other Stories. I’m so so so excited to get to be part of such a big and praised company as H&M, but get to work on a smaller, studio-like brand as Stories.
Leaving Stink breaks my heart a little bit, since this is where I’ve blossomed as a creative. I’ve gone from being an insecure intern who had to be proof read and guided through projects, to being the creative lead who takes on both art direction and writing. I’ve learnt so much about the industry, about writing and about myself and I owe that completely to the people I’ve gotten the chance to work with.
To move back home feels scary. Scarier than it was moving here to be honest. I haven’t lived in Stockholm for almost 5 years which feels like forever. But I can’t wait to get to know the city again, to live close to my family and friends, to have closer access to my family’s summer houses and to Europe. I'll always call New York home and who knows, maybe I'll move back again later in life. But for now, Stockholm.
I can’t wait.
Nicole and I are driving upstate to spend the weekend among trees and lakes and mountains. We’re going for hikes to search for swimming holes and picnic spots, barbecuing in the garden of her family friends’ cabin and breathing fresh air for two days.
The city is humid now, like it gets in the summer. Unbearable, but lovely. It smells like old beer in the city and rats indulge on the trash bags thrown on the Chinatown streets. Kids play in the leaking water hydrants and old Latino men bring out their tables and chairs to play chess in the shade on every Williamsburg block. All bars makes frozen cocktails and the smell of weed and magnolia and barbecue spreads between the brownstones. New York summers are not like any other summers. They’re magical dreams that happen between work hours and sweating naked in bed in the breeze from your fan.
Still, getting out of the smog to breathe some upstate air feels like waking up.
You take the duvet out of the sheet, let your fan run all night long, undress down to your skin and hold your hair up from a sweaty neck. You pray you won’t wake up sweating during the night, cause it’s always so difficult to go back to sleep if you do. When the suffocating air makes your skin damp. But it also makes your hair fuller, your skin softer and lets you get out of bed before 8am without wanting to die.
You sit in your window one June evening. Smoking a cigarette and listening to the birds, the Puerto Rican guys selling weed out on the street, the kids playing in the pool across the fence. One foot on the fire escape, one on the window sill. The smoke stands still as you blow it out in front of you. Everything stands still.
You used to chase them. Not in a pathetic way, but in an easy way. You used to lean over and smile and say something sarcastic and they’d kiss you. On cold winter nights they took you home, warmed you with a joint and an episode on Netflix before you went to bed. Sometimes didn’t make it to the bed. Fake romance and mundane compliments made your heart race.
The streets look exactly the same as they did two years ago. A sky so pink it could be fake, stoops decorated with people who speak loud in Spanish and a smell of vanilla cigarettes filling up the block. A water hydrant is spraying water all over the streets and some kids are cooling down in it. You know the streets by heart. By now. You walk fast, like everyone else and you don’t take it in. Taking it all for granted while thinking of what to eat or what to say or how to dress.
Hi! I'm sitting on my bed, listening to Ariana Grande with pimple cream dotted all over my face and fake shopping online. How much of a cliché am I? I have zero dinero, but I want (oh sorry, need, in case my mom would read this and feel generous in terms of supporting her favorite gal with some vacation wear) a lot of things for my trip to Spain that's coming up in a few weeks (can't fucking wait, pardon my french). Anyway I thought sharing it with you and going all bloggy on ya could take the urge out of me.
Skorts from COS. These ones with a white t-shirt or a black silk cami or an oversized white shirt. While sipping on an aperol spritz and eating olives waiting for dinner.
Slip dress from COS. I think this might be an under dress? But since I wear pyjamas to work, who cares? With black ballerina flats and red lips. Or a pair of black Havaianas at the beach.
Shirt dress from Zara. Right up my freakin alley. I'd wear this with ballerina flats or sneakers while strolling the town of Nerja looking for holiday souvenirs (jewelry).
Bucket bag from Zara. I just really need a new bag because the two I change between are both old and broken.
Pumps from & Other Stories. I've been wanting a pair of pumps like these for like a year now, yet I never buy a pair. Enough is enough. I need them.
Alright, that's it. If I get all of this I'll be happy forever. A total cost of 378 dollars. Who wants to chip in? <3
The other day I read a book. Like, layed down on my bed at 3pm on a Sunday and read a book. I turned my phone on silent, put it on the shelf I can’t reach from my bed and read a book. It was nice. Not that I could focus on the story, because my thoughts wander these days, but it was nice to just be. Not look at a screen, not talk to anyone, not listen to anyone. It was just me. Scratching my thigh a little bit when it itched, touching the pimple on my cheek to feel if it had grown bigger, watching my stomach rise as I breathed the humid air. Window open letting a light breeze inside together with a couple of flies and the smell of empanadas. The dog on the other side of the back yard barked, a car passing on the street blasted that latest Latino Bieber track, my roommate laughed at something in the kitchen. Probably a meme.
I’m usually very restless. Can’t get through a page without looking at my phone to see if that guy had liked my picture or if someone had texted me something irrelevant. But as I layed there I found calm. It’s not easy these days. Mostly I’m very conflicted about how to live my life. Being attracted by the wild and beautiful, chasing highs in boys and nights has left me feeling as exhausted as it has empty. I’m really a sensitive, emotional little bird on the inside. Finding a balance seems impossible.
I long for next weekend when Nicole and I drive upstate. We’ll spend the days swimming in the lakes, hiking the mountains. The evening’s barbecuing, drinking wine. The sky gets so dark there, but it’s never scary. It’s like you can breathe again after living in the city of smog and people and subways. There it’s quiet and clean and pure.
Finding these moments, whether it’s reading a book on a Sunday afternoon or driving up to Woodstock, is how you make a summer without barely any vacation bearable. You just can’t survive in the heat and humidity if you can’t escape for a while. Not look at a screen, not talk to anyone, not listen to anyone. At least I know I can’t.
I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. I usually don’t feel great in the mornings. Anxiety about leaving bed, not wanting to get dressed and fry those damn eggs. But today, I actually wanted to. I took a shower, did my skincare routine and felt, you know, light. I feel like taking care of your skin could count as therapy. Apply moisturizer in circular motion and as it absorbs, let your problems go.
Then I got dressed. Comfortable in jeans and oversized shirt, but with uncomfortable loafers because I can’t let myself go too much. I also put on a pair of earrings to make me look like an ultimate mix of a 13 year old boy and a 60 year old lady. It’s a look that works really well for me. I also think it’s the perfect way to describe my personality. Naive, silly, a little bad, but also very responsible, put together and so wise you’d think I’d lived through hell and more.
Isn’t it funny how we sometimes wake up with this weight in our heads, in our hearts. And some days we feel perfectly fine. Even good. Mornings are really weird for me. It’s like I haven’t felt the vibe of the day yet. Is it raining or is it clear skies? Will I drop my deodorant in the toilet or will I pull off the perfect cat eye? You know, there’s so much to be decided. Usually I don’t like it, especially when I have to get out of bed. On weekends on the other hand it’s fine, because then I can chill and take my time. But because of this, days like this one, when the first scroll through instagram feels inspiring and the makeup turns out great and the eggs are perfect sunny side up and I’m ready to go 10 minutes earlier than usual, then I wonder why I ever feel heavy and as if I have a black cloud above my head.
So as I walk out the door, I cross my fingers. Please may I not step in dog shit.
It started a few weeks back. It was a sunny Thursday morning and I woke up early, before my alarm. I decided to go out for a run, because how often do you wake up before your alarm and actually feel rested? I slipped into my Nike tights and sports bra, pulled a sweater over my head and jumped into my running shoes. Off I went.
It’s kind of crazy how silent my neighborhood gets between like, 4 and 7 am. Now it was 6.30 and no one was out except for a guy in flip flops, ugly shiny shorts and a Columbia alumni sweater walking his dog. I took left out on Havemayer, which a sort-of-friend very thoroughly explained to me does not read Ha-vey-mayer, but Have-mayer. When I reach Metropolitan the cars are waiting at the traffic light and the white walking man is lighting up, so I run out in the street to cross. I don’t see the black car turning out behind me until it’s running into me and I, in some kind of superpower reflex ninja mode, manage to throw myself away from it onto the ground. It’s like everything freezes. The world stops. I was just hit by a car. The man in the truck who’s kindly waiting for the red light to turn green, jumps out from his seat. “What the fuck man? You just hit her!” He screams at the driver in the black car and I get up on shaky legs with a rage building up. People are honking and screaming and I feel like I could kill this man. “What the fuck! Look where you’re driving you fucking idiot!!!” I slam his car with my hand, hoping it will leave a bump, but turns out I do not own arm muscles so the only thing that gets hurt is my hand. He apologizes, I give him the finger and continue my run for about a minute before I break into tears on a stoop on N 5th.
What followed after this has been an emotional rollercoaster where I haven’t really recognized myself. I see this particular incident as the start of my anxiety filled, teary eyed, anger issue streak. I'm aware that thinking this was some sort of starting signal for a do-I-dare-calling-it-a-semi-depression is naive, but still. Over the weekend that followed my skin developed some kind of rash which appeared all over my body. On my butt, my legs, my arms, on my chest. I don’t want anyone to see me without clothes on because there’s no way I dare to wax when my skin looks like this. And I really don't want anyone to touch me because then I have to scratch and if I start I can’t stop. For almost a month now, I haven’t slept through a night because it itches so much. I’ve emptied all kinds of creams and ointments that are supposed to make it better, but nothing helps. After some intense googling and about a hundred self diagnoses, I’m now cutting out gluten of my diet because eczemas are a symptom for intolerance and my skin kind of looks like the Google image result. This means no beer. Great.
I’ve been feeling a lot of rage. Being angry at everyone for no reason at all. When people have texted me or messaged me on facebook I haven’t replied except for the few ones I’ve been able to keep my cool with. Several phone calls to my parents have included tears caused by them asking me how I’m doing. I haven’t been very talkative or taking initiatives at work. There's been zero energy for anything except going to work, going home from work and watching One Tree Hill (which you can laugh about, but there is no better way to let your tears out than watching Haley and Nathan break up and get back together a million times).
Now I’m not sure if it’s getting better, or if I’m just getting used to the feeling of not feeling great. I usually feel great. I don’t know what’s going on. Did something break me? Did I break me? I’m starting to think that my prioritizes this last year have been totally off and now all of a sudden, I don’t know how to live a normal life. Or... Am I just a drama queen who needs to chill the fuck out and realize that life isn’t always a plate of perfectly aged cheese and fig jam? Probably.
I cut my hair because I thought it would make me feel better. Because, we all know hair and mood is tightly intervened. It made me feel prettier, that’s for sure, but not better. So at least now we know, looks isn’t what makes us who we are which I guess is a relief. I’m not really sure what I need to do to get out of this funk, but I need to do something. And so, since I need a new writing challenge, I was thinking I’ll write myself out of it. A getting out of a do-I-dare-calling-it-a-semi-depression-diary, if you will. And I'll write it here, so that all of you can indulge in my misery. I don't know, maybe it'll help someone else. But most importantly I hope it helps me because this doesn't work anymore.
Waking up before 8am without a piercing sound from an iPhone alarm going off. Sun is on it’s way up and far off a dog is barking in one of the towns hundreds of alleyways. I pull a sweater over my bed head, put on a pair of tights and my running shoes and go outside. The air is humid and cool. You can feel it’s going to be a warm day as soon as the sun gets a chance to do its work.
I run out on the narrow streets, dogs barking at me as I pass by their territory, cats staring at me from the window sills. The town is empty on tourists as it’s early March and the sleepy retired old men haven’t made their way out just yet. The woman working the bread shop is dusting off the glass display, the man running the fruit store on the corner rearranges the bright oranges in their crates. I feel as if I'm in a Disney movie where people should wave and shout my name, but it's completely quiet except for my breath and soles of my shoes hitting against the ground.
Making my way down to the sea, it’s easier than usual to put one foot in front of the other. Usually I give up before I’m even tired, because it’s so damn boring to run. But today I could go for what seems like forever. I reach the shore. The cliffs, the ocean, the pink flowers decorating every white house wall.
When I get home, my mom is brewing coffee in the kitchen up on the terrace. Fresh mangoes and oranges, aged manchego cheese, creamy yoghurt and fresh bread is on the table. We eat as it gets light out and the sun burns our backs. No rush to get anywhere, make it anywhere. Just eat and drink and then maybe move over to the sun bed with a book.
Booked a ticket to go be with my parents at their house in Southern Spain for 9 freaking days. 30th of June can't come soon enough.