New year. I usually don’t care much for reinvention after another lap around the sun, but tend to focus more on the seasons changing. But this year I feel a new energy coming. 2017 was everything. Paradise and hell and everything in between. Moving from New York was, and still is, one of the most difficult things I’ve had to go through. It was so challenging in so many ways, coming back to Stockholm as a better human being but somehow not as the one I was when I boarded the plane at JFK. I was richer in knowledge, experiences and emotions, but I still felt as if I had to adapt. Fit into an image that my New York-self didn’t fit into. It was hard and I didn’t like that feeling at all. It took me a long time to actually enjoy Stockholm again, even though I told everyone I loved being back. Telling them the truth would’ve resulted in questions I didn’t know the answer too, so I took the easy road. Turns out though, that the easy road is not easy when you walk it alone. I built up so much anxiety that this past fall I’ve walked around with a cry stuck in my throat. Stressed out, sad, worried. I think I handled the move kind of like a breakup. It was self-chosen heartbreak, which was necessary but still hurt like hell. My reality abruptly changed; from what I ate for breakfast to how the guys looked to all of a sudden being able to see my family everyday if I wanted to. It wasn’t bad. It was just hard.
However, if fall was hell, spring and summer was paradise. I think of hiking and burning my back in Los Angeles, driving through the hardest rain in the in-land mountains somewhere between Pisco Beach and Santa Barbara and eating the burrito of life in San Francisco. I remember drinking a million beers at St Dymphnas with the windows open and The Smiths blasting, pizza dinners on our roof and Nicole killing a cockroach with her bare hands and sitting in my window smoking a late night cigarette as the smell of weed and fries blended from the yard across ours. I will remember of laying in the hot sand in Spain listening to the waves, drinking Fanta Límon on my parents terrace as the sun went down and having big family dinners on rowdy seafood restaurants. I think about days on the beach in the Rockaways, the fact that my face is still drawn in his notebook, about nights when I honestly felt like what was right there, was everything I needed.
And in the midst of going home, leaving my nomadic life behind me, buying a freaking apartment, growing up - I had glimpses of light. Like falling asleep holding Lisa’s hand after a night out in Copenhagen, shouting across a loud table surrounded by my best girlfriends only to tell them I fucking love them so much, sleeping on Nicole’s shoulder while watching Scandal on my very own couch. And as I danced out 2017, with a vodka shot in my hand and with my friends around me at an underground bar in Moscow, I thought: 2018 is going to be paradise.