As we’re nearing the middle of December, I’ve allowed myself time for reflection over how many personal changes I’ve seen take place in my life and those closest to me.
As much as I’d like to make this a safe place where I feel comfortable to write about pretty much anything, I never felt quite comfortable to write about my relationships before, mostly because I’m quite a private person unless you manage to break past my initial cold barrier and then it’s like the floodgates fall with a crash and you end up privy to all thoughts and feelings that circle the strange orbit underneath this skull of mine.

The biggest change, without a doubt, has been my attitude towards relationships and my views on love and other people generally. After several long years of being single with short flings in between I met and fell in love with somebody who, for all intents and purposes, became the centre of my world. I was hesitant, difficult and in denial about many aspects of our relationship for a long while, until four months of seeing each other and I did everything I could to persuade him that being my boyfriend would be to his detriment, but he relented and took me on eventually.

On our third meeting, I explained my reasons for being distant and unwilling to talk about my feelings towards him and other complications in my life. This was a huge step for me as I previously mentioned, I dislike speaking about my private life. The result: a horrible feeling of guilt and annoyance and my fleeing his apartment in a rage, as after I told him about the mental state I was in he replied: “that’s just a phase most girls go through.”

In sheer disbelief, I cried on the metro down the phone to one of my closest friends who offered me comfort and told me she was proud of me for confiding in him. My barriers were back up. When I reflect on the almost 9 months we spent together, I remember a lot of trepidation on my bad days: he’d offer me comfort and I’d rebuff it. He tried to understand, but never could. It was a larger issue than I was willing to confront.

The fault isn’t entirely his, of course. I am more aware than most people that being the boyfriend of someone who is unstable is no easy feat. He was frustrated with me, and I with myself. A lot of guilt, arguments and general discomfort ensued and when he left to study abroad I was distraught. I loved and cared about him deeply, but my insecurities were rooted so sturdily that I found myself unable to be the girlfriend I felt he deserved or wanted. His defiance made me stick it out for a few months until the relationship eventually broke down. It was a very sad time and I felt terrible.

Now, however, I can see that some differences are so irreconcilable no matter the volume of love in question. There are so many factors that make a relationship good and bad and everything in between, but trust and a sturdy foundation particularly if you don’t have that yourself are absolutely imperative if the relationship is to work. The good times outweighed the bad by far and most days I still find myself wondering what it was that eventually broke it down and it is now that I can admit to myself that the initial conversation about the sensitive subjects I did not want to confront were at the crux of why I could not whole-heartedly give myself to somebody who, aside from our problems, was a wonderful person. I urge everyone to put their mental health before romance.

Anna-Karin xx

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Stockholm is something of a bittersweet pill during the winter. The glittering lights and snowy streets are something out of a romance movie, but they don't always feel that way. Whilst they are romantic visually, the profound darkness takes more than a bit of. getting used to, to put it lightly (pardon the pun).

Walking these streets with my boyfriend, however, I was struck by how much I had to show someone else. I think of Stockholm as a friend that I love to hate. She's difficult and organized and structured and she's full of idiosyncrasies that I don't even understand although she's a part of me, but I'll defending her until the end. ​

Anna-Karin xx

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If I am to even begin describing myself and the latest updates in my life, I think it's poignant to begin with how I spend my time, and where.
I am currently studying a Masters in Transnational English and Creative Writing. If you don't know what transnational means, then, don't worry - neither do I really. I study in Stockholm, where I live, in a small red wooden cabin in the middle of rural nowhere... and when I'm not studying, I work as a waitress on an island where everyone is rich and mostly treat me with contempt. Despite this, I would highly recommend to anybody that they get a job in service at some point in their lives. Patience is most definitely a virtue, and I truly believe you don't know hardship until you're sat on a bus after a 13 hour shift, feeling as though you have just put yourself in a washing machine with fish and rice (I work in a sushi bar). Besides the physical toll my job takes, I enjoy and love the structure of it. It organizes, grounds and gives me deep belly laughter that I otherwise wouldn't get. Get your hands dirty, kids.

Outside of the things I have to do, I find myself in a slight crisis where I'm not entirely sure of who I am or what I enjoy. Without lapsing into cliches about my difficult self-identity crises that I have experienced alongside mental illness since my mid-teens, there are many things that I do that have become a part of who I am, and how I would like to be perceived. After a health scare in the spring of this year, due to almost 8 years of neglect diet and sleep wise, I realized that big changes needed to take place. Like with everything, there are good and bad. days. I have a long way to go until I am happy with who I am, and how I treat myself, and I hope this blog will act as a catalyst for self improvement. We'll find out.

Until then, look after yourselves and love as always,

A-K

xx

Anna-Karin xx

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It’s been roughly four years since I properly blogged in long form writing for myself. I spent the last three or four years writing as a journalist, mostly around subjects that weren’t of personal value to me. I wrote a long post to spill my thoughts somewhere that wasn’t a pillow with mascara stains I’d regret the next day. Usually, I’d consider myself a talker rather than a writer. My career paths have led me to show that that may not actually be the case. My writing is now the only part of my personality that I have left that I fully trust. It’s been a fixed entity since I was a child, where other hobbies passed me in a hurry or perhaps at a slower pace. After blogging the ins and outs of my life almost every single day for 4 years I was pretty devastated when that was taken from me when the blog platform shut down. It was a different identity; one that today I can look upon with nostalgia but also sadness. I read the posts I have saved and barely recognise myself. I fell in love on that blog, got my heart broken, made friends that to this day I wouldn’t be the same without although that contact is minimal these days. It was more than just a way of gaining my gratification and self acceptance - I came to trust my blog. I trusted it to make me feel better. To remind me that there were good times too. The bad didn’t outweigh the good, they were just there. Four years of an angsty, self hating and occasionally amusing teen and I miss that trust. I related more to strangers than I did my friends sometimes, and far more than I trusted myself. So that’s why I’m blogging again. I need somewhere to put all these experiences and confusion and problems that aren’t my own head. Formulating them into my own words gives them a purpose: it makes me realise how much bigger my world is than just the musings of a now young adult. If you like clumsy, awkward and loud laughed people, you might enjoy reading about my sometimes tragic and sometimes funny life. And if you don’t, it might open your eyes to what it’s like to be that person.


Till next time,

AK xx

Anna-Karin xx

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