the week that i crossed the atlantic ocean… twice // 44

well, one week has passed and i have been to north carolina and back again… all within 5 days. i was on the verge of becoming sick + breaking down from exhaustion once i arrived back in sweden, but i have hibernated this weekend and engaged in a ton of self-care, so i am feeling much better physically.

emotionally, i am calm + stable, and yet worried + anxious. i’m a little bit of everything. however, i am also accepting and trusting how life unfolds, therefore, i am able to remain grounded even though my emotions are all jumbled up.

so, here’s how my crazy week went, as i bounced back and forth between countries…

on sunday a week ago, i left sweden to fly to north carolina to be with my parents. no one died. but, we did get some quite disturbing news about my dad’s health. so, i needed to be with them. and, thanks to my brother and my work and my love, we made an unexpected trip to the states happen.

it was incredibly tough to leave lina behind. not only because i would miss her, but also because her grandmother was in the process of dying, so i knew it was a crappy time to leave. but, we both knew that she needed to be in sweden + i needed to be in the states. not to mention we were still reeling from the death of our friend just a few days before.

so, i boarded a plane + began the long journey home to north carolina.

me travel bag passport

lucky for me, i ended up having an empty seat beside me. that is luxury when traveling in economy. sooooo nice. and the sunsets… amazing. i say “sunsets” plural because since i was flying east, and it was late afternoon, i was flying with the sun, as it was setting. so, it was continuously gorgeous outside my window. all the way to chicago, when the sun finally went down below the plane plane flying sunset plane flying sunset plane flying sunset chicago airport chicago

after making it through chicago’s ginormous airport, i made it to my flight to charlotte only to find out that it was delayed… like an hour. ugh. and, it was already gonna land at 11:45 pm. so, now it’d be more like 1 am.

after arriving to the airport in charlotte, with NO PLANS at all as to how i would make it the two hours to asheville at 1 am in the morning, i somehow connected with a friend (who also happened to be in charlotte) and said that she could come + get me at the airport and we could ride to the mountains together.

so, i was absolutely saved by one of my best friends. the entire time, before i knew how i was going to get to my parents’ house int he mountains, i just kept waiting to make a decision. i just let it be somehow and didn’t worry about it. at. all. and what i learned (or was reminded) was that there is no reason to worry and fret and stress. to just take everything as it comes in that moment makes everything so much easier. airport charlotte

i made it to my parents’ home at 4 am. my mom met me in the driveway and then we stayed up talking for about an hour. my dad was resting in bed. i mean… it was 5 am. i FaceTime-ed with lina some, and then i crawled under the covers for about 2 hours.

i woke and headed into the kitchen to make coffee for my mom + me. as soon as it was done, i sipped a little and jumped in the shower. and then we all headed to the doctor for my dad’s appointment.

all of that went as planned and surgery is planned for the end of november. we went to grab breakfast and then headed home to rest and recuperate.

it was gorgeous out. warm and sunny. so, i soaked it all up. trying to stay in the moment. appreciating like crazy the fact that i was with my parents. and, hurting so much because my love’s grandma had just passed away…
lake junaluska  trees

lake junaluska home me lake junaluska trees autumn

after gaining a bit of strength from resting, we decided to head out to grab a very late lunch. i put on regular clothes and drove my parents downtown to a local brewery that we all love. it was a long lunch filled with laughter and good moments. plus, the weather! it was amaaaazing.
me lake junaluska waynesville downtown me beer waynesville lake junaluska home bed

the next morning, i woke early. like 2:30 am. i stayed in bed and texted some with lina. and finally i got up at 6. my dad had been stirring since 5:30 or so, and had made coffee. so i grabbed a cup and headed out on the front deck with him to do some star-gazing. they have an incredible view of the sky. so we stood there in the pre-dawn morning and just talked and looked and dreamed. soon, my mom joined us. and it was a perfect little moment with them.

and oh how i missed lina all at the same time. lake junaluska stars

later in the day, after lunch, my parents had to go to asheville to meet a friend. i dropped them off and then had a few hours to kill. so, what else to do but go drink some local beer.

i plopped down at a picnic table in the 80 degree sun with a  cold beer + peanuts at the wedge, one of our favorite spots for outdoor drinking. i put a little call out to any friend who might spontaneously want to drop by and soon, our friend emily showed up. so, we shared a few hours of chatting and catching up together. it was nice and relaxing.

and i missed lina. and thought about her. and hoped she was doing ok.

asheville RAD

asheville wedge beer me beer wedge

wednesday morning started the same. 2:30 am texting with lina. coffee. star-gazing. and catching up on election news. then, my parents and i decided to grab a bite for lunch t a local diner and head out to do some shopping – i had a list of things to get to take home (things that we can’t get in sweden, or they cost too much). everything from king-sized pillows to thanksgiving napkins to hairspray. so, we did that and went home just before dinner…

lake junaluska breakfast coffee lake junaluska chapeland then i received more bad news from sweden. lina was not doing good. she really needed me at home. and, even though, i needed to be with my parents, we decided that i would go home on the next flight i could get.

so, my brother swooped in and saved the day again, helping me get a ticket out of atlanta for the next day (thursday).

at this point, i was totally numb. i literally needed to be in two places at once. i was leaving my parents 4 days earlier than i had planned on it  – and it broke my heart. and yet, i couldn’t wait to get to my love, who seriously needed me there.

so, my parents and i woke early on thursday. i packed up. and i drove us down to atlanta. 
lake junaluska sunrise trees lake junaluska  parents mom dad

i anticipated that i might fall apart and crumble under the sadness, worry, pressure, and exhaustion that surrounded so many people that i love. but, i didn’t. i was on auto-pilot. i checked in, got my boarding passes and headed straight to my gate.

incredibly, i had the very last row on the plane and THREE seats to myself. this was a huge godsend, as this was my overnight flight to amsterdam. i tried to be as cozy as possible. feeling anxiety + sorrow for leaving north carolina and feeling anxiety + sorrow for wanting to get home as soon as possible to take care of my love.atlanta airport atlanta plane me plane travel plane sky cloudsi finally landed in sweden (after a delayed flight of course) and lina booked me a cab home from the airport. winter had come to sweden, but i didn’t care. i didn’t even pay attention to it. it was just good to be home and begin to try to settle in again. 
home snow

i think i slept friday afternoon and evening. i know that i didn’t wake up until saturday morning after 8 (a major feat for me!). my love was doing a bit better, since we were home together. i was feeling nauseous and drained. but, we took care of each other. to be honest, i don’t remember much of anything about the weekend. but, it was important to sleep, eat, and get some semblance of a routine back.

home backyard winter

yesterday was the first time that i felt a bit like myself… albeit a still melancholic version of myself. so, we did the grocery shopping that we had to do, a bit of cleaning, and then relaxing. we are trying to regain control of what feels like were two weeks of complete and utter out of control-ness.

me coffee cozy home

as of right now, lina is doing better. but, it’s very tough right now. she can tell you more when, and if, she decides to.

my dad is ok right now. and so is my mom, i think. they are determined to say “fuck it” to any shoulds, woulds, and could. it’s all about doing what they want and when they feel they want to . and i cheer them on 100% with that. it’s how we all are meant to live life!

my brother is a hero. and lina’s brother too. while i didn’t get a chance to see my brother, i am planning on it very soon.

we also have a friend here in sweden who was a lifesaver while i was gone. props and thanks to her.

and to all of you who have been sending healing thoughts to light and love and energy, we can feel it. and we are so grateful for each of you.

keep them coming because we still have a lot to process and deal with.

and me? well, i still feel a bit numb. calm + grounded emotiona+ l. but, time moves on. life continues. and wherever i find myself is exactly where i am meant to be… there is always something to learn. and i am right in the middle of something right now. still, i feel ok. i feel strong and vulnerable all at the same time.

perhaps that’s the new balance that i learning right now. that, and, really learning a lesson about caring for myself while also caring about others.

whatever it is that is happening during these growing pains, changes, etc… i trust the process. even when it hurts. because i know deep, deep down that from our deepest, darkest places, springs our greatest light + joy. how? i do not know. why? i do not know either. but, i do know it.

take care, dear ones.

xoxo. liz.

9 thoughts on “the week that i crossed the atlantic ocean… twice // 44

  1. So glad you are home safe and things are settling down. Tough times are meant to be shared with family and friends to support us and you seem to have, and be, an amazing support system!

    I just wanted to tell you that I am in the middle of major renovations and the other day I worked on my bathroom all day. You and Lina kept me company as I listened to all 10 of your podcasts during the day. I feel now like I know you both and we should have been sharing a drink rather than me working so hard 🙂 Thanks for the company and know that I am sending light and love to you both during these tough times. You will get through it <3

    1. Hi, Audrey. I am very blessed by the people around me, you are so right.

      That is so much fun and so touching that you listened to all 10 of our podcasts!! I am so glad that enjoyed it and felt closer to us. Thank you so much for being a great support yourself, we truly appreciate it. Take care, lovely you. xx

  2. My dear friend! There is so much happening in your lifes right now, and you are standing strong! You are such an amazing woman! I´m glad to hear you landet safely back in Sweden. Give Lina a big hug. xxx G

  3. Morning Liz! Oh god, what a week, or few weeks by the sound of it.
    I guess the expat multi-country living has got to take a piece of you sometimes – and that is the being torn in two – thank god it is not often!
    Whatever your father is going through healthwise – I wish him huge good health – I assume if surgery is planned THAT is a good thing – I have a faith that if you are being seen and there is actino planned that that is ALWAYS a positive depsite it having to happen at all, if that makes sense!
    And as for Lina, and you ntoo, a tonne of love and good feels… a dark process of grief, not probably helped by the sudden darkening all around as the nights draw.

    1. Yes, my friend, it was bound to get difficult at some point. Thanks for always saying just the right things and for being an amazing support. Wishing you lots of relaxation and bliss as you enjoy Iceland! xoxo

  4. I know this is a late response, but I’m been dealing with some emotional stuff too that is just part of my biology. I am so sorry to hear about what you (and Lina) have been going through. I’m holding space for you both. Many hugs and lots of love.

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