yesterday i had a perfect expat moment that took my breath away. it was one of those moments where i stopped doing what i was doing and practically pinched myself. i was in my downtown office working (ahem….), with my old-fashioned windows flung wide open. i heard church bells off in the distance. and people down below laughing, chatting, and buying fresh vegetables at the market just two stories down from my window. i was sipping some very strong, very good swedish coffee. and i realized… this is my life. as i thought about it all, it felt like i was in a movie. this is what i have been doing for almost 3 years now. living this crazy, unpredictable, take-a-risk-&-trust-everything-will-be-ok life.
and it’s these little moments which i dreamt of as a young girl. it’s the dreams of a young 20-something who wanted to have her go at living in europe. it’s the dream of walking amongst old buildings, drinking coffee outside in cafes, learning a new language & customs, hanging out in pubs, meeting new people, buying fresh baked bread from the bakery just below my apartment, living in the middle of downtown, visiting other places in europe. it’s the dreams that, after some time, came true for me. and it’s all these little moments which have defined my years living as an expat. it’s the little ways of european life put together over the past few years that have touched me and given me a new perspective. and in that perfect little expat moment yesterday, i realized just how much i have been absorbed into this society. i have become a part of it, and it has become a part of me. i have changed. i didn’t the feel the change happening, but it has. it did. it does. so, i return to the states in a month a little bit different, and a lot more wise than when i left three years ago. i am most definitely american. but, i am also most definitely part swedish too.
my wish for all of you? that you will chase your dreams to the farthest corners of the earth if you have to. and that when you find them, you realize that the most beautiful dreams are made up of the tiniest, simplest, most ordinary things. you just have to pay attention and be present and most importantly, be true to your soul. and all those moments, and all those dreams, make up the amazing, extraordinary life that is waiting for you.