Autumn is here, and in the beginning of October the lack of sun hit me. Nature was falling asleep, and my body just wanted to join. It got difficult to get out of bed, follow a routine, and really do anything of what’s necessary to stay healthy.
Since then, I’ve had a bit of a breakdown – stayed inside too much, been a bit sad, and almost failed school assignments. That was the culmination really, a weird week where I needed to hand in a text, and I felt like I couldn’t. It’s in times like that you notice how you’re really doing. When you try fighting it. It was such a good week as well, a bunch of great things happened, but I’d been down for so long that it didn’t help.
Anyway. After that, things looked up. Because they had to. A bit of a sad rock bottom, and now I’m doing really well. I’m buying some extra good food for myself, go to the gym, subscribed to the paper edition of the newspaper. Small stuff.
So that’s how I’m doing, how are you? And remember that even if the world is in a certain mood, you don’t have to feel the same.
It’s easy to forget that I’m in Germany. Sure, the city centre has some classical architecture and I’m saying “Danke” to people in the store, but all in all things are pretty similar. The neighbourhood I’m living in could just as well be located in my home city in Sweden. At least kind of.
I guess what I’m saying is: I’m getting used to this, so when we drove an hour away from the city, out into the “fränkische schweiz”, with idyllic little villages resting in the valleys between tall mountains, I felt like I stepped into a fairytale. Driving to something like that from Sweden would be a “this is what we’re doing this summer” kinda thing, but now it was just a friday excursion. Beautiful beautiful beautiful, to bring some more breath and peace into our lives.
And even if you’re in your home country, wherever you are, there’s probably something cool nearby. Get out, whenever you can. I mean, stick to places where there’s no people of course – but fortunately nature has a lot of space.
Notes from my phone in the evening:
– Let’s bring this air into the city. I breathe in here and breathe out amongst the dirty street corners. Sun and moon over empty streets. I bring with me a song of birds and waters. It’s awakening in here too, even amongst graffiti and grey.
This morning the air smelled like rain. So much that it was heavy with it, almost too much.
I woke up early, because I have a problem with keeping rhythm and “balance” and I know that if I keep trying to wake up at 9 I’ll also keep actually staying in bed til 11. So I get up super early every now and then, to turn everything completely around. Today I had my alarm at 4 am, but I woke up at 3.30, by myself, completely awake and – kind of – feeling ready to start my day. I suppose that’s a life hack for night owls, just get out of bed when it’s still night time.
I took a nice walk some time after 6, and some guy asked me (in German) if I was just taking a walk or heading to work, and I answered (in German) that I was just walking, and we commented on how early it was and I was feeling much proud of my language skills.
It’s gonna be a good day. (Or even if it’s not, this is a good moment.)
“I’m not gonna say what we’re doing or where we’re going,” my friend told me, and I got increasingly confused as we got on the tram, went to the outskirts of the city, got off on the stop next to a tiny lake (??) and just walked walked walked.
And then we came to a place where you could buy Christmas trees!! She bought one for me. It was the sweetest thing. I’m staying in Germany for Christmas instead of going home to Sweden, and now there’s a tree in our apartment 🖤🖤
I’ve spent so long going to places that I didn’t realise how different it is to move somewhere. I’ve spent the past few months saying yeah-yeah, I feel at home here, I feel at home anywhere, fast, but now I start to actually feel it. I just didn’t realise that I didn’t feel it before. Because I don’t mind the time when everything still feels like a visit, I enjoy it. But this, this landing thing, is different. It gives me a sense of control. As if finances and ideas and meeting people is not just something that happens to me, but something I can plan for, for months to come. Crazy?? And so now I’m here, in Germany, just thought I’d let you know. And here are some photos of things that make me feel home home home.
At the Swedish café where I got a small job as a Swedish teacher
My friend making me fancy blue tea
Baking Christmas cookies in our shared apartment
(But then again, maybe this is also a lot about the Christmas season?? That makes me feel all “arrived” and stuff. Because people are creatures of ritual, and few things make you feel as present as a special, or recurring event does. Right?)
You know how to start a new project? Make a logo for it. At least that’s how my brain works. Look!!
Well, I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, we all start in the end we’re most comfortable with. I like the fancy words and ideas, and then I get into the practical stuff.
But anyway, this is something I wanted to start for a long time. Really, ever since I was in Zambia in 2015 and saw the wave of self help literature that swept across the country. I mean, nothing against self help books, but they’re not the only way to learn, and we shouldn’t think so. Truth is, most of us already know areas in our lives where we should improve and do better, and most of the times we even know how to do it. But what we lack is motivation. Conviction.
The idea is: fiction teaches in a different way.
Sometimes we think we have to be told what it is that we’re learning to learn something. But a good story teaches in a way that’s more than informational. You can read facts about a people group for ten years and still hate them, but read a story told from their perspective and suddenly it becomes difficult.
So, I think that everyone needs access to good books.
When I was in Nigeria in the beginning of 2019 I met a woman who’s starting a library. I also met a woman who works with “Internally displaced people” (refugees from other parts of Nigeria, who’s had to leave their homes due to the Boko Haram) and she would also appreciate books. So I said that I’d send a few boxes to them, and I plan to do it in the beginning of 2020.
And.. yeah, I’ve written about it here as well, but I just wanted to tell you guys, because I’m excited and a little bit nervous. But, I’ve already bought a few books!! And I’ll keep you guys posted as time goes on.