Another year has gone by with both up’s and down’s, just as it’s supposed to. I used to run a lot in my life, and I mean metaphorically not physically. (I only run physically in the jungle in Malaysia, only there.) I used to look forward to the next step, and not just looking forward, but chasing forward. Sometimes it’s really nice to sit down and look back, not my whole life, but the last year and since it recently was my birthday again I find it as a very good time to do so.

My life did not turn out the way I thought, as no life does, I didn’t think too much, but some details were very different. For both good and bad. When I look back at this last year, I like to look back at what I’ve learned. From 33 to 34 I learned a lot about China and Malaysia. This year is more about Italy.

  • I’ve learned to speak Italian – not fluently, but can get by.
  • Wine – how to make it from scratch and different kind of making/treatment of the wine/grapes.
  • The history of a beautiful castle built long, long time ago. I can tell you about it in my sleep…
  • I’ve learned how to surf!!! (This could also be ‘I’ve learned to be happy’ 😀 )
  • As I was warned about Italian men, I will say that I’ve learned that it was nothing to be warned about. They are sweet, loving, respecting gentlemen according to my experience.
  • I’ve also learned how to eat four courses, because Italian food is just so good.
  • I’ve learned…
  • …how to work in a lot of new computer programs and systems. Even a little coding has been introduced.
  • …that Senegal has a pretty gender equal in the government.
  • … that despite all the statistic of how beneficial immigration is, people will still blame ‘the others’ with stupid reasons for whatever is wrong in their life instead of focus on their own and the growth of the world. Good, old Sweden is no exception. What could happen if they focused on their own growth? They could actually turn out…. Happy.  If everything was neutral from the beginning, it would be such a struggle to make a fight/war. You have to prepare, build walls and weapons, organise, feel anger, fear, hate, dividing people, pretending you have power etc. The only time you have to struggle for peace is when somebody created a war.
    If everything was neutral and you wanted to create peace. You had to do… Nothing. Maybe it would be nice to share love and a smile, but you really didn’t have to do anything. (Ok. Sidetrack, because I got upset)
  • …  (I’ve learned) that it’s possible to make people wait by the side of the traindoor so people can get out, before people start to get in. (This actually makes me think that peace in the world is possible..)
  • … some arabic words.
  • …about how Sweden look at the right system, why in general, the maximum sentence is 10 years and that sometimes no jail is the better option.
  • …. that I will fall asleep around 3 p.m. if I exchange my snoozing-half-an-hour to a walk in the morning.
  • …that Yoga is fun and challenging. I just had to turn 35, and be a little more stiff before I figured it out it’s really hard! I used to think it was extremely boring, but I was just too young and fit.
  • … more about how to use an advanced camera.
  • …. that, after been working with a PC at work, I’d choose Mac any day. Still.
  • …. that acupuncture works for me, even though I’m still doubtful that needles work. Placebo effect-reversed.
  • …. that four seasons of ‘House of cards’ takes about 10 days to watch when you have a full-time job, and taking classes as well. (I like to finish what I start and therefor I never start to watch things if I want normal life to take place)
  • … and much, much more…

There’s one greater thing I’ve learned this year. I had to make some life changing decisions about a little more than a year ago. Moving to the other side of this planet is not one of them. That’s a piece of cake!
I made some choices that some people really didn’t like and would never understand for the simple reason that they didn’t want to. It’s hard to make people upset and sad. I made my choices for my own sake. My dreams and achievements are mine and not supposed to be changed for anyone else’s benefit. My confusion and struggle are also mine, but they’re not less worth than for anyone else. Why are you supposed to stay around people that are not able to say they miss you? People who are more eager to hear when you are leaving than when you’re coming home? People who think you’re mean when you express your needs? And specially need for kindness and love… People who only use sarcasm, but have no knowledge how to use humility? People who is so busy being confirmed that they have no interest for caring for other people? Why be around people who are more interested of what ‘everybody else thinks’ than the relationship of me and you? Things like this makes you have to build up a shield. Not to not only not get hurt, but you need the shield to not get eaten.

I took the decision, I took action. It was hard and heartbreaking, but here’s what I’ve learned:

LOVE

This year I can easily say that I’ve only had people in my life showing me real love the way I thought it was supposed to be. Sweet, caring, funny, open, sometimes annoying, but always with respect for feelings and emotions, both ways. This last year I’ve experienced so much love, not only because I’ve met loving people, but also because I’ve been open to receive love. (No shield, just heart 🙂 The ones I have in my life now, even though they came into my life some years ago are included. I know real love doesn’t hurt, doesn’t make you feel vulnerable and left out. Real love is someone listening to you what you want, how you feel and vice versa. Not a competition of who is suffering the most. That just makes you feel unheard and distanced. Love is someone that tells you when you’re going in the wrong direction, because that way isn’t good for you, not because they think they will be more liked by others if you chose another path. Also they encourage you when you’re going the right direction, even if you’re doubting. It’s so wonderful to hear that people miss you when you’re gone and happy when you come back, not hearing that they’re too busy to say they’re happy and when you’re back they just ask you when you go. Love is when someone tells you how much they love you and how beautiful you are. When they tell you. This is what I thought and have been proved was true. I knew in my heart what was important and I’ve focused on that.

 

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
  From the song Nature boy written by eden ahbez

 

I’ve decided to start my year like this, sharing a piece of my story, my vulnerability, my struggle and achievement. A part of what makes me beautiful, just as your story makes you beautiful.

We all have our struggles and I won my biggest one. Let’s make peace and let year 35 begin!

You do know that it is because of the cracks the light can get in?

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