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One thing that I have realised about living alone and in another country is how lonely you can feel at times. You can live in the most lively, biggest city in the world and still feel so insignificant. That's what happened with me in London. My health was deteriorating, and I was freaking out. I would stay at others' places overnight because I was so scared of being alone. There were, and still are, so many times where all I needed was a hug and someone telling me that everything was going to be ok. But I only had myself to turn to. I was solely relying on myself to make the right decisions, and that is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

For someone that has always been very family orientated, and had few very close friends, I am still adapting to being physically without them, even if this has been my reality for two years now.

My anxiety in collusion with feeling lonely is what really brings me down from time to time, and I am still not sure how to cope with it. I'm not sure I ever will know. At the same time though, I have still not packed my bags and moved back home, so I guess I must be doing something right.

All I know is that next time I move somewhere, I am going home ♥️

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In 2013, when I was 16, I made up my mind. I decided that I was going to move to London and study when I had graduated. I did my fair share of research, and I applied to a university that I thought was good. A few weeks before I was supposed to leave Sweden, I got an email saying that the university programme had been discontinued. I was then recommended to go to Brighton instead which I did in September 2015.

I seem to refer to Brighton as the point in my life where everything went downhill and horribly wrong for me. I was dealing with deep emotional and mental issues. Was it all self-inflicted? It might have been. I still have problems with dealing with stress and emotions. However, I made it through alive and I came home to Sweden with distinction grades from college. I came to Brighton with the sole purpose to study and succeed, which I somehow managed to achieve even though it was in many ways the roughest period of time in my life. After I left, I never wanted to come back.

I decided to take a break from everything and try something completely different for a while, and that is how I ended up in Madrid. I look at Madrid as one of my main achievements and the turning point in my life. Before I went there, I thought I knew Spanish. When I came there, however, I quickly realised that I did not know as much as I thought I did. I spent three months in a country where I knew the basics of the language and where not a lot of people speaks English. Although, life in Madrid was so easy compared to Brighton, and I was slowly but surely starting to heal.

After having given myself a break, I thought that now would be the time where I took the bull by its horn and throw myself out into another, more professional, adventure. I moved to London. I was tired of studying and I wanted to try something new for a while. While I was super depressed in Brighton, I used to go up to London all the time to clear my head. At that point in my life, a stressful environment is what I needed to help myself from my thoughts and anxiety eating me up from inside. After having dealt with and moved on from a lot of the things that went down in Brighton, a stressful environment is not what I need right now, which is where it went wrong. London is stressful. London is expensive. London is crammed. It made me ill. I was not happy with my situation, and after three months I knew I had to do something about it.

I moved back to Brighton, and I must say that I am proud of myself for coming back even though, as I said, Brighton was the hardest time of my life. I could have chosen not to come back, and let the Brighton feelings that were still undealt with make me feel sick. But I didn't. In some way, I learned that the city itself had nothing to do with what happened here. Some minor issues and obstacles are better left behind in life, but whilst living in London, coming down to Brighton and dealing with the past step by step, was the best decision I could have made right then and there. For once, if not the first time in my life, I feel like I am on the right track. I live in an amazing house, with great people, and I wake up every morning going to a very interesting and challenging job, which I love, where I know that I can go further if I keep working hard. I feel very happy, which is a feeling that I have had to fight quite hard for.

I can still be an emotional wreck, I still make wrong decisions, people are still looking at me asking what the hell I am doing, but who cares? After having lived in and visited so many different places, spoken different languages, met so many different people, going through both hard and happy times with no one else than myself to rely on, I am doing just fine. I have learnt the importance of holding your head high and be proud of yourself and your achievements, as I can be quite hard on myself. I guess my way of living life is living and learning. I am not afraid of leaving everything behind and trying new things. For me, that is my way of living life and growing as a person. However, now is the time for me to finally relax and find peace in where I am at in life, and I know that Brighton is the right place for that.

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This morning I woke up, got ready and went to the tube station. 45 minutes later I got off at Gloucester Road which is my favourite area in London. ♥️ It was cloudy, windy and quite cold but regardless I love walking around there.

After having been to Harrods and having lunch outside, I went to Hyde Park when the weather suddenly changed and it was now sunny and warm, and it really felt like spring with all the flowers blooming. ☀️

I love London in the spring. Everywhere is so pretty.

Celebrating the arrival I spring, I went to Zara and bought a coat. I have been wanting one for so long and I found the perfect one. It was expensive but it was worth every pound!


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I have always been advocating how important it is to be open with your feelings. When I say being open- I am not talking about letting the whole world know, but at least the people close to you. If you keep quiet about what you are going through, then you are indirectly building up the stigma that is surrounding mental health. We are living in a social media age where each and everyone of us is choosing what we share online, and most of is a text or pictures portraying the "perfect life".

Let me tell you, the perfect life does not exist. My life is not nearly perfect, and has never been. I have been bullied, an outsider, depressed, self-conscious and lonely for years. My first teenage years I barely remember- what I do remember are bleak memories of walking home from school pretty much every day, after having just arrived, looking myself in the mirror, and started crying because I felt ugly. I remember having scheduled meetings with the school nurse and the teachers to talk about what I was going through. I remember waking up three hours before school to put on loads of make up and hair extensions to feel somewhat happy with myself. I remember being told I was fat and disgusting. These memories are incredibly painful, to a point where I cannot describe the way it makes me feel thinking about them. I was depressed for years without even knowing. I thought that feeling like I did was normal, and that I was the only one.

Starting high school was a period of transition, and my third and last year I was feeling that I was getting back to my old self. The Moa I used to be before I hit 13. I thought going to Brighton would make me life even better for me. You know, a new start, a new beginning. But it did not. I was expecting everything to be perfect, because since social media had its boom, that is what you are being fed with constantly. I was struggling and it is almost like my teenage years repeat themselves. This time though, it felt like there was no end to it. I almost got used to waking up with anxiety everyday, going to college without having eaten anything, going back home, sleeping, reading positive quotes trying to make myself feel better, going down to the beach talking on the phone to think about something else for a moment.

Having it said makes it easier to move on. I am getting better and stronger each day, and I look back and barely recognise the person I was during this moment in time. It pains me, however, to listen to other people going through similar things. I know what it is like feeling worthless and hopeless and like there is no end to the suffering. I do not wish that upon my enemy. One of my biggest problems is that I am empathetic. It is a great quality to have but it means that I always get involved in other people's problems, because, somehow, I can always relate. I want everyone to be happy, and talking to someone close to you can sometimes ease what you are going through. I do not know where I would be today if it was not for my family and friends. That is why it is important to let at least somebody know what you are going through, because truth is, most of us just want to help. ❤

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Whilst writing this, I am on the train to Brighton. I remember how nervous I was about going back after everything that had played out, but since then I have been back, I think five times? This shows how important it is to take that one, uncomfortable and scary step forward.

First times doing something is always scary. The weeks before moving from home the first time, to Brighton, were horrible. I was super stressed, worried and anxious. But once I had lived through it and dealt with those emotions, I could move on and focus on the good parts instead. When I then moved to Madrid, I kind of knew what to expect. No emotions came as a surprise as I had been going through it once before, and same with London. With every new challenge comes problems, but most of the time, those problems are worth the outcome.

If you want to be happy and content with your life, you need to take risks. Taking that one big, scary step is something you have to do in order to grow as a person. I have always been very family orientated and uncompromising, but I was tired of my non eventful life and now, I cannot see myself having done anything differently. England is my home now and so is Brighton. All it took for me to realise was a nerve wracking train journey to Brighton. And I thought I would never come back. Things change, right?

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Sometimes I think about how different my life would be if I had been more acknowledged and how much easier my teenage years would have been. I am trying to be the person that I, have so many times, needed myself. I am always trying to do for others, what I wish others would have done for me. I am making an effort to make others feel accepted, appreciated and supported because I know what it is like to feel neither. I have been the person that no one ever really cared about, talked to, or even noticed. It is difficult and painful, and I know what a difference being acknowledged can make- saying hello, asking how they are, smiling and being friendly. It takes so little to make such a huge difference to someone's existence, and it makes me happy knowing that I have made someone else happy. Obviously, you expect from others what you expect from yourself, and a lot of the time I end up being disappointed.

No one ever believed in me, and I felt that I had so much to prove. At the same time, however, I like to think that this was for a reason. As tough as it may have been, and only having myself to rely on, it has made me independent. I do not need reassurance from others to keep going. I know what I am, what I am doing and what I want and that is the only thing that really matters- my own opinion and the opinion of the people close to me. I do not need approval from the masses because, in all honesty, I would probably not be doing what I am doing today if it was not for this. I do things because they are what I want to do. I studied in Brighton because I wanted to. I moved to Madrid because I wanted to. Now I am in London- because this is what I want to do. If I were to care about what everyone thought was the right thing for me to do, I would be nowhere. Personal development comes from following your ambitions and achieving your goals, not from doing what everyone else wants you to do.

Not caring about what others think or say about you, sounds a lot easier than what it is. Having this approach to life is something I could only dream about, but now I am here, and every day I grow more and more confident. Life is a journey and some events are more difficult to handle than others, but most situations, you walk away from stronger and more thick-skinned than before.

This wraps up what I said about being the person that I needed before. I took to heart what people did, or rather did not do, for me. I can still find myself being sad about people being rude, telling me what path to take in life, someone not smiling back, but then I remember who I am and what I have accomplished so far and I am doing just fine. You are capable of doing whatever you set your mind to, regardless of what anyone else says or think. Start living and everything else will sort itself out one way or another. I promise.

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Ever since 2010, my dream has been to live in London, and last year I decided to go for it once and for all. In December, I was sat at home and got this sudden feeling of that I was about to pass out. I freaked out and was feeling dizzy more or less for a month after that. Two visits to the emergency and I was told it was nothing.

I was leaving for London, and the dizzy feeling had just about stopped. After a few days in London however, it started again. It has been on and off and I get these moments all the time where I feel like I am going to pass out. It makes me stressed to the point where I am lying in bed shaking because I don't know what is going on with me.

I went to, what I thought was a walk-in clinic, but ended up being a private practitioner, costing me £55, and was told that it was nothing serious. I have never had any major problems with my health, and being a hypochondriac and feeling lonely in a foreign country is not exactly what I need. I have never felt so stressed and helpless in my life. Not only can I not work properly, I cannot take care of myself when it is at it's worst. A few weeks ago I didn't eat for three days because I couldn't leave the bed.

I am trying so hard to not let it affect me, but it's impossible. Because I am a hypochondriac I have always been told that all of my problems are imaginary, but when I actually wish they were, they are not and it has been constant now for four months. I feel so weak for not being able to do what I came here for, and it is almost like there is always something wrong with me.

I hate talking about this because it makes it feel a lot more serious than it already is, but the truth is, I am really scared and stressed and maybe the best thing I can do is go home to Sweden and get the help and support that I need because I am at a breaking point right now.

It makes me so sad thinking about how happy and excited I was about coming here. How I have bought things for my room, that is currently a mess because I don't have the time or the energy to do anything about it. It's not fun feeling like I have to leave London all the time to go to Brighton or Oxford where I feel somewhat safe and where I have company, because the whole situation is too much for me to handle. I can no longer see the point of being here when all I am is stressed and concerned about my health. 

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This time a year ago, I was not in a good place. The result of this rough year however, has been nothing but positive.

I was living in Brighton, and I miss that place and the house a lot. I have always struggled with appreciating the present, and I often find myself looking back and missing what I used to 'hate'. I never liked Brighton. I never had anything positive to say about it, and I felt like the city was the reason for my anxiety. I used to go up to London as much as I could to get away from it, and when (I thought) I was leaving for good I was the happiest I had been in months.

Now- I go back to Brighton as much as I can and I cannot get through my head how I could hate it so much. I love Brighton and it feels like coming home whenever I go there. ♥️ It took me over a year to realise that Brighton was never the issue, the circumstances were. It was easier for me to make that conclusion then, than to deal with my own, actual, problems. Now I deal with problems and my feelings as soon as they come, rather than oppressing them and hoping they will go away or solve themselves.

When it comes to the academic part- back then I had no clue what so ever what I wanted to do in the future, so I chose a very general programme with marketing and advertising, which was great for me back then- I learnt a lot but it is not really my area. If I were to choose programme today, I would have chosen international relations, politics or law. However, there are so many options and routes to take so I am not blaming myself for not knowing. I did what felt right for me then.

Part of being young is making mistakes and learning from them, and that concludes the past year for me. There are so many things I did then, that I would never do today, but that is part of life. How are we supposed to grow if we have nothing to grow from? As rough as it was, I still needed that to get to where I am today, although there are a lot of things that I still need to improve and change, of course.

Last year, I was anxious, depressed and not strong enough to stand up for myself. This year I am a lot happier, confident and I do not care what anyone thinks of me. I learnt that the only one who can turn your life around is yourself and that life does actually get better. I also realised that I prefer Brighton over London any day, who would have thought? A lot can change in a year.

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Spending time in and around Oxford has really changed my perspective on what is important. I have been surrounded by smart and intelligent people, that have opened my mind to so many new things that I have never even thought about. I have been going through a mid life crisis lately but leaving my stressful life in London for a few days has been really helpful for me, in trying to find my way in life.

If I had had the same mindset that I have now when I was younger, my #1 priority would be to attend a well known university. But the truth is, I have always been a bit self-conscious. I never shared any common interests with people my age when I was younger- instead I spent my days watching documentaries and doing Latin homework. I always felt older than everyone else, because my priorities have always been different from the "norm" and the pressure from being a certain way when you are a teenager, and fitting in.


My priorities have changed completely, and the main thing that I realised is how important it is to follow your dreams regardless of what others think. I look up to intelligent, open minded people and I love having deep conversations with people who give me another perspective on things. In my workplace I get to meet business people everyday and it inspires me to see people loving what they do and that have worked hard to get to where they are today.

Being away from London has given me a lot of clarity and once and for all it has made me stop caring about others' opinions about me and how I live my life. If someone wants to think I am boring or call me a nerd, then so be it. There is nothing wrong with being a nerd. It is time we change the derogatory connotation. To me, a nerd is someone who is driven, intellectual and works hard for what they believe in. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Stephen Hawking are just one of many people who fit into that description.

I am not a bit self-conscious now. I am going to continue my studies, work hard, get good grades and live the life I want to. If you want something, you fight for it, and that is what I take from my weekend in Oxford.

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That is a quote that has really stuck to my brain lately. I don't know if it is supposed to have a positive or negative meaning, but to me it is certainly negative. It is almost pressuring me to do everything right from the start and not having any regrets.

To me the quote is saying that I only have one life, and that I need to make it as perfect as I can. Then I think about how I, in the past, let people hurt me continuously, how I let my anxiety control me, why I didn't continue studying in Brighton, why I went to Madrid, and why I'm back in London with an unqualified job- why I didn't think through my choices before I put myself in situations that are hard to get out of.

I had the opportunity to get a university degree, but because of bad experiences in Brighton- experiences that didn't really have to do with the college or Brighton itself, I decided to take a break from studying. And now I am here in London with a house contract, with a job contract, wanting to finish my studies and get a qualified, well-paid job and settle somewhere. I have no clue what I want to do with my life, my only life, and it is scary to me. All I know is that this is not how I want to spend the rest of my life.

From now on, I will think through everything I do thoroughly and not be too spontaneous about what I do *cough* Madrid. I am overly ambitious and way too impulsive for my own good, and it is starting to get to me- the 20 year old has hit her first life crisis. ✌🏼


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