I actually had a very wonderful childhood, growing up in the countryside in the middle of nowhere is a very effective way to build character as a child. Being given the freedom to just go out and explore nature at my own will and accord, taught me early on how to become comfortable, and even how to have fun, being alone. You are left with little choice when the closest thing to friends is your rock collection and the imaginary creatures that lived in the forest (yes I had a rock collection and it was an awesome one!).
This was paradise for my siblings and I, and then came the day my parents sat us down and said “we are moving to Germany”. I was around 7 when they told us and my brother was even younger, neither of us had any concept of what this meant so we were just excited. My older sister on the other hand (about 11 or 12 at the time), was absolutely devastated, inconsolable really… But come late 2005 off we went anyways.
The first few years were very, very difficult. It eventually sank in that we were never going to go back “home” to our paradise, we didn’t become settled into the German school system, our mother became depressed and our dad was never home due to work. But, as with most things, as time went on, Germany started to become home and Sweden became the place we went twice a year to visit family who we were feeling increasingly disconnected to.
My sister and I started going to an English speaking school fairly early on, I made amazing friends who I’ve been close to for about 10 years now and I guess Germany is still more home than Sweden for me. Up until this point I can look back and still think that everything happened in a fairly normal way, after all it is not uncommon for a family to feel strain when uprooting like that. But, without trying to sound too dramatic, that changed in 2011 when my sister graduated high school. Id It changed very quickly and in a very bad way. I often catch myself remembering her graduation and thinking: “Funny how I, at that very moment, didn’t realise that this was the last day my family was still, well, a family. It was the last normal day of my life.”.
I leave you today with a slightly cliché message: life can change at any moment, enjoy the normal ones because those are the ones you will miss the most…