A month and a half ago I was last here to consider (and be considered) relocating to one of my favourite places in the world and now it's been five days since I could officially call it my home. New home. Another home.
The last couple of months have been nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster and there is nothing more cliché than that sentence, I know, but maybe there is a reason for that and for those last couple of months it was true. It's taken me six months, from the point of making the decision to get up and move to taking action to getting here now and still it was a surprise when I finally got the go ahead. You think and you overthink and daydream and hope and sometimes you feel like it's a never-ending cycle of digging and disappointment. And then when something finally happens.. well shit, something finally happened!
I spent two weeks saying goodbye to my favourite people, mourning the end my Spanish life in my empty apartment and coming to terms with the fact that I won't be living in such a big space full of all my shit and on my own again for a long long while. I might not miss the never-ending rain or the annoyance of the siesta hours or the late late late eating times but I don't know if I'll ever not miss those lunch breaks by the beach or our weekend road trips or just any day with my Coruña family. I was so excited to leave but then to actually leave behind the people I had found a home in.. it was a lot messier in that sense. It's not like I won't see them again and it's not the first time I've had to say goodbye before but it's not like when I left my friends in London either. When you move to such a "remote" part of the country with so many cultural differences and a language barrier and a million other things that you can't fix or struggle to adjust to, you're forced to create your own defence in the friendships you find. From the people I met from the very first day to the new faces in the last month, we are all connected by something, being in such a concentrated environment, that isn't comparable to any of the friendships I keep at home. It's so corny to say and eye-rolls all around but I honestly can't imagine not ever having them in my life again. I have been shaped in so many new ways since first moving abroad and it's mostly because of those friendly faces that I learned to open my heart to.
And so we celebrated the end of this chapter and toasted to the start of a new path. We took a final weekend together reminiscing so many of our favourite memories in one of our favourite little towns outside of Coruña. Fulfilling all of my housewife dreams, I baked and cooked and packed a road-trip dinner while the others were at work and they picked me up at the end of the day outside of the bakery behind the office. In Porto we rested and ate and laughed and drank and ate some more. We walked and talked and shopped and laughed again. On our last Sunday morning together I made pancakes for brunch and I gave them each a last goodbye gift to say thank you for everything they have done for me and everything they will always mean to me. Kaska started crying and then so did I and it was so hard to express everything that I wanted to express to these four perfect people. We had the perfect weekend with the perfect weather and the most perfect company. And then just like that, it was over. We were back. And then I left.
My new colleagues (!) keep apologising for the weather here and have already given me future warnings for the next winter to come. In truth, I've never really been that bothered about this factor of Stockholm. They keep telling me that I've come at the right time because now it can only get better. The weather, they mean. But if Coruña has taught me anything, it's that I know how to withstand the shits that mother nature likes to so frequently dump on me. I'd take the cold over wet and damp any day. And I've been here two times already in the winter before this official move and it's not been something I've particularly noticed - the early coming of the darkness. Perhaps it's just the excitement of the first week but there isn't anything so far that's made me sit and question my decision to come here. I haven't felt this optimistic in the longest time.. it's close to making me anxious about feeling so great but not quite yet. I won't let naivety get the better of me this time but I've never felt such an overwhelming sense of relief since I got here.
So I'll believe it when they say it because maybe I have come at the right time. And it can only get better. Not just the weather, I mean.