Dealing with myself and this move I start to understand why people often choose safety over adventure. Many of us loves the thought of traveling through life light and free – and yet in the same time we have a hard time letting go of old things and ideas on how life should be. How come? What in our lives today make us so afraid of change?
One (very unscientific and highly personal) explanation could be that we have too much. We have too much to lose. And we define ourselves less by who we actually are and more by what we possess and make of our life. A situation where we suddenly see ourselves with less status symbols and wealth than the year before is for example a very uneasy feeling, right? It makes us feel like we go backwards instead of forward. But, are we really? Or are we actually finally going forward towards a life where stuff and wealth don´t control us anymore? I don´t know the answer to that. What I do know however is that I don´t want too much stuff anymore. And then there´s only one thing to do.
So I sit around in piles of old school papers, letters, pictures, books, clothes and belongings – memories in the shape of physical things. And I do my best to sort out and throw. Sometimes I get lost in old memories, I might even shed a tear once in a while. And I struggle with myself and the thought of throwing old memory bound things such as my old high school yearbooks in the bin. Like throwing a bunch of pictures of pimply teens in nineties clothes will automatically kill a part of my past. I mean, if we wouldn´t be moving once in a while I would never ever look at them. I wouldn´t even think about them or remember that they existed. Still, I´m hesitating. And I feel trapped in this feeling of hesitation.
With changing something in your life follows a lot of hesitation. And worry. And anxiety. At least for me. I´m a bit ashamed to tell you but at the moment I wake up every night around 2 am in the morning. Last night I started thinking of what will happen if our washing machine breaks down while our new tenants are living in our house. The night before the center of my worry was how we were going to move our bed out of our house and get it to the waste station. Completely irrational thoughts that come to me in the middle of the night when I can´t sleep. Mainly because I cannot let go, not only of my things but of the feeling that I can´t control the outcome of this move. I have no idea how everything will turn out, so I worry about the things that I can control. Like getting our huge Ikea bed out the window.
So, why are we actually moving to Switzerland in the first place? I realize I haven´t yet given you the whole picture. Well, here´s the deal:
I met my husband Thomas 11 years ago. He just happened to stand in front of me in a semi shabby disco in Malmö dancing to a song that I don´t remember anymore. I remember the image of him though. His happy face. The way he was slightly shredding his shoulders like his body was unconsciously asking me: ”Who are you?” Already when we had known each other a few months he asked me if I could imagine to live in Switzerland. Well, I was in love so I could imagine to live anywhere with him. But imagining and doing is two completely different things.
We´ve now stayed together for more than a decade here in southern Sweden, gotten married, had two wonderful kids – and suddenly it felt time to give this Switzerland a try. We have some plans and projects in the making, but the two fix things we have to start with in our new home country is my company within journalism and communication and a part time job that Thomas has gotten, branding Swiss eco products on the Scandinavian market. I´m not worried (ok, sometimes a little bit, when mrs control freak shows up) that we will find our way economically. We are both driven people that wants to create something for ourselves and others.
Apart from the job thing this is most of all our family adventure. This is our kids possibility to see their second home country from a day to day perspective. Eddie will go to local school and Olivia will start Kindergarten when she turns 4. If this adventure will last one, two or many years is yet not clear. The only thing we do know is that this is a great possibility for us to start on a blank paper – again. Without pimply teenagers, old dusty school papers or the law of Jante sitting on our shoulders whispering ”Who do you think you are?”
Jante is by the way always sitting on my shoulder. But I´m finding it easier and easier to ignore him. Who is he anyway? An ancient, little northern fella totally occupied with bringing everybody down, just because he can´t find the courage to deal with his own fears of being insignificant.
The truth is that, underneath our polished surface, all of our old baggage and shredded delusional thoughts on how life should or should not be, all that matters is that every single one of us is significant. We just have to find the courage to believe it ourselves.
A year ago we started our journey of letting go. Letting go of our conception on how life should be and how we as family are supposed to live our life. This trip to US and Cuba is one of the greatest things we´ve done as a family so far. Now we are getting on a completely different bus. Still, the adventure remains…