July is the beginning of the second half of the year and I always like to think of it as a sort of reset. 6 months have passed in the year, and there are 6 more to go. It’s a perfect, natural point to pause for a little reflection on what has been + to prepare a vision of what I want to create going forward.
This year it’s easy for me to celebrate the shift from the 1st half of the year to the 2nd. Sometimes I have to make space + intentionally engage in a ritual to mark the turning of the half-year; but this year we moved on July 1. So, of course, there was a natural break in life before the move + the new life which is beginning as I write this.
So, if you don’t know or have just stumbled onto this space. Lina (my wife) + I have lived in Uppsala, Sweden for the past 6 years. This past year, as many other people all over the world, Covid-19/quarantine/unemployment/work changes and a very devastating family loss got us thinking about our priorities, what we want, what was working + not working in our lives, and how we want to live. Obviously, we chose to make a change. After reflecting on it all, in March I told my job I was quitting + Lina was offered to continue at her job and work remotely. And we decided to leave Uppsala behind so we could return to the city of Norrköping, a place where we’ve lived before. I think I’ll save the reasons we chose to move to Norrköping for a later date.
On July 1, just as we all shifted to the second half of the year, my love + I moved and started over once again. A move that is just the new beginning that we need after the past year and a half. A move that, in some ways, opens up our life in ways that we had forgotten about.
And this is the post with all of the photos + a few stories of last week’s move!
Before leaving Uppsala, we made time to spend some time with some of the most important people to us. I tried to find pockets of slow moments to just soak up our home, the energy, and all of the feelings.
But, the majority of the time was spent packing + organizing + donating. I felt so overwhelmed and like it would never be done. And, honestly, I had tons of anxiety about the movers + whether all of our stuff would fit in their truck – even though I ordered a larger truck than we needed. I just couldn’t relax + let go of that sinking, freaked out feeling.
On our last night in The Yellow Villa, the sunset was gorgeous. And I hadn’t been to my tree yet. A tree nearby that I have visited for the past few years. She speaks to me. I speak to her. And we’ve celebrated many solstices, equinoxes, full moons , and new moons together. I needed to go there one last time… knowing that I would not have this kind of connection again for a while. And it turned out to be a magical, incredibly moving last ritual.
Moving day came and we were so ready!
BUT… about 20 minutes before the movers were to arrive, I got a phone call from them. The truck they had for us wouldn’t start, so they’d work on it and be in touch. Oh. My. God. So, we waited. About 2 hours later they called and said the earliest they could be at our place was 3pm. 6 hours after the time they were supposed to arrive. Yep. All we could do was wait. So we did. But, we had no internet, no food, no nothing… and no way to leave just in case they showed up a little early.
Two guys came at 4 pm!!! We’d waited for seven freaking hours. We should have been there and unloaded by then. And then the confusion began. There was so much miscommunication, they couldn’t get the truck ramp down, and didn’t know we had another storage unit. Needless to say, it was not going good. Nor smoothly. We left Uppsala + said goodbye to The Yellow Villa at 6pm. Exhausted, stressed, disappointed, worried, and we had a 2.5 hours drive ahead of us… with a super anxious cat.
Oh, and remember that premonition I had about the truck not being big enough? It wasn’t. At all. Because they brought a smaller truck. Nightmare made real. And half of our stuff stayed in Uppsala.
We arrived in Norrköping at 9:30 pm! Finally! And we arrived to an amazing sunset. It was gorgeous. We couldn’t wait to unpack the car + go see our apartment – we hadn’t even been in it before! It was breathtaking and everything felt so right.
I can’t believe we woke up in our new place on Friday – it was like a dream! Of course the first thing I did was make coffee + go out on the balcony. Gaaaaah.
As for our stuff that was still back in Uppsala, the movers had to bring it all on Friday. Of course they arrived late in the day on Friday as well. Needless to say, the experience was not smooth and amazing. Quite the opposite. Still, by the time our stuff was in the apartment, all we could feel was gratitude. Ok, and a tiny bit of stress from the chaos.
On Saturday we didn’t do any upacking at all. Instead, we walked to a cafefor breakfast and then did some errands downtown. After that, we made an IKEA run for some things for our closet. But, then, we drove out into the country to have coffee in the woods and meet up with some old friends + acquaintances. It was perfect!
Sunday was the 4th of July and we celebrated with coffee on the balcony (duh) and then finally some grocery shopping. You know, the kind where you have to buy freaking everything.
But, we ended the day with bubbles + snacks on the balcony with our American friend who lives in town. It is so good to be back in the same town with her! We went to dinner, drank cocktails, laughed hysterically, and updated each other on all of the most important things in life. It was so unbelievably great.
By the beginning of this week, the newness + excitement began to wear off and I found myself feeling exhausted, down, and like all I wanted was to be alone. But, after all of the excitement, stress, worry, heartbreak, change, and amazingness over the past 6 months… now that I was able to finally begin to settle, how could I not feel that way?
In any case, I’ve balanced myself back out now and I’ll share more about all of that + our first full week in my next post. In the meantime, what you see above is really what these first days back in Norrköping have been all about. Unpacking, organizing, meeting up with friends, enjoying summer, sitting on the balcony, and beginning the process of creating a home.
Whew. I’m tired from reliving all of this as I’ve written it all down. So, I think I’ll end here and go take a long shower. Oh, how I hope you are well, sweet souls. And, that as you begin the second half of 2021, you find a little time to reflect on what has been + decide how you can create the beginning of more of what you want as we move towards December.
All my love. From a new beginning in Norrköping. xoxo. liz.