be life

silence + simplicity: my first 6 weeks in uppsala have begun

3 Feb 2015

it’s monday. and everything is new again. how many times have i done this? you know, started over or started anew. i must admit, the emotion that i feel the most right now, today, is gratitude. the sheer number of times that my love and i have moved and begun a new adventure together blows my mind. for me, each new beginning has been another chance to not reinvent myself, but to push myself + transform myself, adding new experiences, new hopes, and new dreams to the ones that i always carry with me.

rakarbergsgatan

so, here i am. on a cozy white sofa, watching snow fall down outside and writing away. every five minutes or so, i catch a glimpse of the view out the window, or i just look down at my hands and realize what i am doing + where i am. i am in sweden. again. living here. i just popped out of my asheville life, one that is so different from this one here, and popped myself into my european life again. this thought blows my mind as well. it’s just like… poof. here i am.

balcony-viewtoday my love is in the middle of her first day as a graphic designer – and i couldn’t be more proud of her – as i sit here + write. so, i’m on my own, in our little apartment that we are renting for the next 6 weeks. being alone, especially after so much excitement + stress, is usually a really good thing. but, today i’ve been a bit jittery, restless. i’m trying to settle down + land, i think.

lina-to-work

after lina left, i got dressed – knowing that it is imperative that i get dressed so i feel like a human being with a mission. i made my second cup of tea, grabbed my journal + calendar, and sat down for a little planning session with myself while i ate breakfast. i made a few lists and eventually hammered out a little routine that i think might work to help me stay focused for the next few weeks.

planning

it was like taking a final exam, though. my mind is all over the place. and then i’d look out the window and remember where i am and how my life has changed. yeah, focus has not been my thing today. so, i decided i’d meditate. i got on the floor, lit some candles, and closed my eyes. i breathed in + breathed out. but, that’s about it.

you know what it is, in addition to the continuous moments of realizing where i am? it’s the silence.

my friends, what we have moved into for the next six weeks is a very cozy + nice apartment. we are overly excited + it exceeds our student housing expectations by a mile. however, it will be a simple + silent time here. there is no tv. no internet. no coffee pot. no kettle. everything is very basic and simplistic. and it’s quiet. we’ve got all of the furniture that is necessary, so we are totally comfortable. but, we don’t have any of our stuff with us – just clothes. and zola.

hall breakfast kitchen living-room bedroom

what this all means is that i have walked in circles around the apartment a few times today. just kind of settling into this silent groove. the one thing that i did accomplish when i was meditating was the revelation that this is exactly what i need. the slowness, the silence, the opportunity to focus. it’s a push to live life more authentically, more real, more intentionally, more grounded + connected. a reminder to me, once again, that i do not actually need much stuff in life in order to have a life full of meaning and purpose. in fact, perhaps life is even more meaningful the more simple it is.

so, i’m typing this to you now on my computer in a document. i’ll save it and, by the time you read it, i will have found a little café or uppsala university’s library so i can steal some free wifi. i’m thinking that this going to be really, really good for my writing + photography. no internet distractions. just a chance to create and tell my stories in words + images.

apartment-uppsala-lina-window

i’ll not be grabbing my usual cups of coffee, either, while i write + read + take photos. nope. if, i crave something warm, then i heat water up the old-fashioned way – on the stove in a pot. then i can have a cup of tea. and, while i have a headache right now from the lack of caffeine from my lovely morning coffee rituals, i am grateful for the simplicity of doing things more slowly. including planning ahead for the time that it takes to walk everywhere. i am grateful that everything in my life is taking a bit more time than i am used to. of course, there are (and will be) moments when i just want to pop back into my convenient, everything-at-my-finger-tips life back in asheville. still, that’s just me being lazy and petty. the life that i have in front of me right now is just another slow, intentional, beautiful step towards bliss.

speaking of that… it’s time i go check that pot on the stove. time for my afternoon tea.

 

onwards + upwards! xoxo

12 Comments

  • Reply Jacque Brandon 3 Feb 2015 at 16:25

    Looks like a very nice place to spend the next 6 weeks. Sending positive vibes that you will find something permanent that is just as nice. I can’t imagine what the silence must be like, I always have music or the TV playing.

    • Reply Liz 5 Feb 2015 at 19:24

      Your vibes totally worked, as you saw! Thank you so much! We absolutely cannot wait to move in to the new place. It’s just wonderful!

  • Reply Julia Gallant 3 Feb 2015 at 16:54

    What a cute apartment, and nice place to hang your hats for a few weeks. I believe it’s good for everyone to have a time out from media-frenzied activities from time to time. The photos exude peace and quiet. Thanks for sharing. Yesterday in Asheville we had a lot of blowing snow all day, very windy. Today the sun is out and the sky is blue, no clouds. There is a little snow left on the ground, just enough to remind us that it’s still winter.

    • Reply Liz 5 Feb 2015 at 19:24

      It’s amazing, I’m already not missing the addiction I realize I had. Hopefully these six weeks will help me make a permanent change. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the Asheville weather with me!!

  • Reply Holly 3 Feb 2015 at 18:10

    The apartment looks fab for a little stop gap, and I’m sure the silence in it’s own way will be soothing as you start afresh, simply. Enjoy!

    • Reply Liz 5 Feb 2015 at 19:23

      Soothing – yes! What a great word. Something that I need after all of the craziness. Much love to you! xx

  • Reply Barb 4 Feb 2015 at 04:25

    Chuckling inside about how my usual quiet life just got turned up several notches when I inserted new hearing aids. I may soon be craving a little peace and quiet from all the (new) noises.

    • Reply Liz 5 Feb 2015 at 19:22

      Oh, that’s just great for you! Try to enjoy!

  • Reply Meg Evans 5 Feb 2015 at 05:34

    Enjoy the quiet time to rest and recharge, Liz! And yes, it’s so amazing how life can suddenly transform into something new and awesome — those moments when you just find yourself saying, “Wow, this is real.”

    • Reply Liz 5 Feb 2015 at 19:22

      I’m just blown away and filled with gratitude, Meg. Thanks for your comment! Hope you are well. xx

  • Reply Leigh 5 Feb 2015 at 09:20

    It’s always inspiring to see how readily you seem to stay present in the moment no matter how monumental the changes you’re going through. Looks like you’ve landed at a very nice opening moment. After the busy mindedness of Americans I imagine this transition of quiet is helpful for shifting into your new environment; as you say, just what you need.

    • Reply Liz 5 Feb 2015 at 19:21

      Thanks for following along, Leigh. Yes, I believe this was meant to be. 🙂

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