There's a lot that I feel like I need to catch up on writing up for this last month. I think in the midst of things, so much happened, continued to happen, that I feel like I've just been swept up in a new wave of unrest each week. And when minds are changing every hour and feelings are up and down and mixed around, then I suppose it's better to document some things to stay on top of it all. But even in those quiet moments, I haven't felt like writing so much. I've been thinking a lot, I guess. A lot of trying to understand things in hindsight. A lot of looking back but in a look-at-me now kind of way as opposed to the depressing I-miss-you kind of alternative. I read back some of my old entries, all the way back from the beginning, and I'm grateful for sticking to it in the early days. I don't know how obvious my desperation was in my words to make it all work out even when something clearly wasn't right about the way I felt there. And I suppose it has somewhat scared me, to think about the initial elation of my first real move abroad and then to realise how quickly I lost my way on that path. I know it's still not been that long in Stockholm (but is 2.5 months long enough?) so it's hard to not compare it to the last time I was going through the very same thing.
I'm happy now.. but wasn't I happy then?
People here are so nice.. but didn't I think that last time?
I could stay longer than I initially intend.. just like I thought for the other places I've been and gone.
But then, there are the differences. And they are differences that seem so small and insignificant and yet reassure me every time that perhaps this is a better place, in a way that my past life never seemed to fully understand. People are so polite here, and beyond please and thank you, they actually thank you for your time at the week's end. There's a real meaning to feeling valued as a person and appreciated for the work you do here. I can't count the number of times, or the number of people, who have told me not to stay "too late" when the clock only reads 5pm. Why was I still at my desk, go home, it's Friday, go home, finish it on Monday, go home.. almost 3 hours earlier than I would normally finish work in my previous job. I surprised myself when I was actually excited to return to work after my vacation in Japan, unaware that on my second day back, my designer will turn to me as we work on new sketches, and she'll spontaneously tell me how happy she is that I am here. And I will pretty much melt into myself and from that moment develop an intense girl-crush for her, which is both confusing and hilarious every time I think about it. That such simple words can change so much about my outlook towards my own work is such an understated difference, it makes working in Spain feel like whole worlds away.
Kaska said that it was a good thing that I hadn't read them yet. That it meant that I was happy right now and that they would be there when I needed to them to read. And then Harley asked what the point of writing them was if I wasn't going to read them.. idiot. But, as it so often happens to be, he was right. What was the point? I was scared. Afraid that when I opened them that I would be overwhelmed with emotions and ugly cry in front of everyone. And then I was afraid to open them on my own and ugly cry alone. And I thought that if I cried about it, it meant that I wasn't ready for this. That I wasn't ready to leave, that I wasn't ready to start again, that I wasn't ready to stop looking back. I sometimes wonder, still, whether it was me not being strong enough to stay, or more me being strong enough to leave. And I still don't know what is more true.
I read all my cards before I left for Japan. And I never smiled so hard and laughed so much (thanks Harley) at written words in my hands before. I read everything twice and laughed a few times more. I still miss them like crazy. Which also made me realise how bad everything else was. Because leaving them was a hundred times harder than leaving any job or city and still, I knew that I couldn't stay there. But holy hell, I didn't cry. I didn't cry!!
And so I realised after, that I didn't because I couldn't cry. How could I? I'm in a better place.