några tankar ifrån Stockholm

Även om jag emellanåt kan tycka mig ha sett så mycket av både det lilla och det stora ute i världen, så är det konstigt nog alltid här som flest känslor rörs upp. Eller är det kanske inte alls konstigt? Jag minns det som igår hur redo jag kände mig att lämna detta mellanmjölksland bakom mig. Hur jag där och då upplevde det som att tiden stod stilla här. Som att människor gick i cirklar, sade förutsägbara saker och levde sina liv utefter andras åsikter snarare än sina egna. Och ja, någon sanning ligger det väl förvisso fortfarande i det där; för vissa, på vissa platser. Men det är väl kanske egentligen så enkelt, att utan en möjlighet att jämföra, är det svårt att se storheten i det man har. I människor, och i upplevelser. Guld glimmar, men hur vet en det ifall en aldrig ställt det jämte bly?

Att människor säger tack. Att människor ställer sig i kö. Att människor är oformella. Att människor Du:ar (även om jag alltid varit och förblir en ni:are). Att människor står till höger i rulltrappor och går till vänster. Att människor följer trafikregler. Att människor respekterar personliga sfärer. Att människor håller handen. Att det hängs prideflaggor på offentliga byggnader. Att det som säljs på Ica oftast är producerat i Sverige. Att kollektivtrafik finns, fungerar, och används (gäller ej Skånetrafiken). Att det hålls rent på gatorna. Att det finns en vår, en sommar (som regel), en höst och en vinter. Att systembolaget finns. Att småprat faktiskt kan vara genuint. Att det inte ger fördelar att skrika högt och vara otrevlig när ens vilja inte infrias. Att människor sällan höjer rösten. Att… ja oj vad många fler anledningar det finns.

Så många anledningar som jag inte skänkte en endaste tanke när planet lyfte mot Dubai den där Majdagen 2014. Men jag ser det annorlunda nu. Så många anledningar att stanna upp en liten stund och tillåta sig själv att känna sig en liten smula sentimental. Och stolt. Jag kände det igår när jag gick längs raden av porträtterade kända svenskar i ankomsthallen på Arlanda. Och jag kände det idag när en främling höll upp dörren för mig på Pressbyrån. Så självklart kan man tycka, men så sällsynt. Stora och små saker, men lika värdefulla. Och kanske just så värdefulla eftersom jag inte ser och upplever dem varje dag.

Just precis så enkelt, och just precis så svårt.

The loneliest or the least lonely life?

To jaunt out into the world and leave your comfort zone is probably one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever give to yourself. Everyone who’s ever done it would tell you so. They would tell you that nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to that immense sensation of wanderlust and curiosity they all felt the day they set off. Because there isn’t. And they would tell you that the world is every bit as magical as you imagine it to be, and every bit as terrifying. And how there’s a dual harmony between the two that awakens an insatiable desire that can never die. An equal two-way desire of both the joy and the sadness found in this world. Because the joys are truly so many, but without the sadnesses as a constant reminder of how blessed we are, we often miss out on the opportunity to enjoy them while we can. Important.

But it comes with a price. Everything worth doing, having and experiencing often do, and far from it’s a monetary price. The thing is, in this unparalleled life constantly consisting of new acquaintances, unseen skylines, contradicting timezones, not yet savored cuisine and unexplored cultures, the person you spend the most time with is usually yourself. And that can either lift you up or completely break you down. And that is because most people are not entirely comfortable being by themselves. However, it’s the rare few who are brave enough to sit down with their loneliness, look it in the eyes, hold its hand, listen to what it has to say and allow for it stay whenever it comes to visit, that are the really fortunate ones in this world. Because they know that loneliness is not the time we spend in our own company. Far from.

People come and go into most people’s lives all the time, and that’s not a revelation of any kind. That’s just a fact. But what makes it unique for a traveler is that slowly, precariously and surely, you become so accustomed to this high flow of people that the old beaten process of getting to know someone, opening up bit by bit and taking time, is completely out the window. Because that’s just it, there is no time. And living a life where the one thing that unites most of us in it is that we’re trying to make the most of the time, we skip a few steps of the order in which things are normally done and instead go hardcore straight away. I can tell you, I’ve lost count on the occasions I’ve sat down next to someone I’ve met just moments earlier and opened up about something very personal to me, or the times when someone else has done this to me. Most of the time I don’t believe it’s about seeking for advice, it’s simply about ventilating. To prevent the things holding us down at the moment from nesting in our minds. I would describe myself as quite a private person normally, and that’s why I rely on the belief that we become adept at assessing quite quickly whom to trust, and whom not to. At the end of the day, we’re all strangers and know very little about one another. But I think it’s healthy. Not only to be reminded that all of us struggle sometimes, regardless of who we are. But, to trust.

It’s can be a privilege to be able to choose your alone time, just as it can be a torment to have it chosen for you. In this life, it’s chosen for you very often, and if you don’t know how to dispose of that time, it can be lethal. By now I don’t think there can be any more existential questions a person can ask themselves while taxiing around an airport, walking down new streets in new cities and starring into the hotel room ceilings on jet-lagged nights than I have already done. But the reward for asking questions is finding answers. And I feel like I do all the time. Asking questions is scary quite often since you don’t always obtain the answers you’re looking for. Even scarier if there’s no one by your side in those moments. That’s why I don’t believe this life would work unless you know that you have your safety net, a phone call or a flight away. And that’s enough. For me, right now and right here. More than enough.

People may come and go, but we’re still here. And somehow, we’re fine. Maybe not right away, or even every day, but we’re fine. It’s a nice thought to think that at the end of the day you don’t really need anyone. That the people in your life are there because you chose them, and because they chose you. But perhaps one day you won’t chose them, or they won’t choose you anymore. You will choose differently. Perhaps nothing except for right here and right now can be granted, and for exactly that reason it’s a good idea to stop for a moment and take a look around you. We don’t know what won’t be here tomorrow, regardless of what we know today, so to celebrate anything that makes life a little bit more colorful, is never a bad idea. Life will continue to take turns we didn’t see coming. Some things we can control, so let’s. Some things we can’t control, so let’s. It took me some time to embrace, but there’s a genuine power hidden to be found behind the things we are powerless of. Just precisely that simple, and just precisely that difficult.

Namaste.