I've never been one that enjoyed poetry. There's only a few of them that I sometimes think about and that I actually enjoy reading. Poetry to me is something that is not meant to be understood properly. Indeed there are somewhere you can sit for hours and notice different hidden messages in these texts. Poetry to me is supposed to be read and only read. There's no point in reading through the lines when everyone has their own interpretation of the poem.

In prior to yesterday's class we had to read several poems in our bible (not kidding, the book's papers are as thin as the papers in the bible and there are around 2000 pages of there all about Literature etc.). In class, we had to sit and discuss what our own interpretation of the poem. I have always looked at people that analyzed these texts in class and they notice these things that I have no idea they even existed. I can read a book or an article. I get the meaning behind it, but I don't read between the lines to find things that may not even be there. I can overanalyze, yes, but not when it comes to books or poems.

So I've dealt with Social anxiety for some time now. Ever since the second year of High school, where I had close to 0 friends and I felt like dropping out because I was too depressed, I've been terrified of raising my hand in class. Even though I knew the answer, I would sit in the back and pretend that I didn't. Even though the teacher might've asked '' do you prefer x or y '' I wouldn't raise my hand on either option. Too afraid that someone might look back at me to stare into my soul. Making friends has not been easy since High School (besides from meeting my guildies but that's another story).

Now I'm at a university level and I have to be more active in class. Our teacher wants us to engage more into the discussion, he wants us to question our reading and question everything. I've had plenty to say, but too scared to say it. Most people say what I think anyway so I'm thinking to myself that '' meh, whatever '' and I move on. Yesterday, however, during our break my teacher came up to me and my little group. My group is mostly quiet so there's no wonder why he wants us to speak more. He turned to me and said (T= Teach, M=Me);
T: So Johanna, which poem was your favorite?
M: -Scared to death to say something wrong even though it was only for him- I really enjoyed reading Richard Cory.
T: Ohh? -looking surprised- Why's that? (he says with a smirk)
M: I like the meaning behind it, but after recess, I can tell you a little bit more about it.
T: I'm looking forward to that!

So everyone came back and before the break we discussed the poem Ozymandias.
T: Welcome back everyone. Now... I'd like to talk a little bit more about Ozymandias (he suddenly looks at me and smirks) Aaah, screw it! Let's go for Richard Cory. Johanna, could read it for us?
M: Eh, sure!

And I read the poem. Afterwards, he asked me why if I liked it and why. So I told him (take a look at the poem below to read it for yourself). Richard Cory created an image of himself, for others to see. On the outside he's happy and it looks as if he has everything. People look at him and see this amazing guy and they easily could get jealous of it. But then when he comes home, he's not happy. He's himself and he could probably be the loneliest guy on earth without someone knowing it. Why? Because that is the image he's creating for the world to see.

Of course, someone had to say something about it (which I was terrified of) and it was as if this person didn't get me and what I was trying to tell them. She said that it's not Richard Cory creating an image, but the ''we''-the people in the poem. To that, I had to question and say '' Yeah but, doesn't Richard have to create something in order for them to interpret him?'' I can't remember what she said after that but I was too pleased with myself to even bother.

Because you know what? I broke down an insecurity of mine and I spoke while people listened. People I'm not fully comfortable with. People that give me anxiety because I feel so outsmarted when they talk or do something. But I did it. I just can't believe it was poetry that made me talk in front to the class.

Now, I understand if you don't get it why I'm so proud of myself or why I'm making such a big deal of out it. But this is so groundbreaking for me. Two or even one year ago, I would never do this. I would only say '' No '' and sink down in my chair, avoiding everyone's look. I would suffocate in anxiety but yesterday I was full of euphoria from doing this. I'm so proud of myself and that I did it.

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'' You're gonna hate me for this ''
- Ben 2017

That, my friends, are what Ben said as we just parked the car for today's adventure. Months ago, he had been talking about a big ass granite stone in the middle of Georgia called Stone Mountain. On pictures, it didn't look so bad to walk up to the top but actually doing it? Jesus Christ, I was so out of breath that we had to take a few breaks along the way. Some really trained people would run up and down there and maybe get a little bit out of breath. Me? Oh yeah, in this heat and climbing in the wrong shoes? Horrible idea Johanna, horrible.

So when we got to the top of that mountain I WAS SO PROUD OF MYSELF AND THE VIEW WAS SO AMAZING!! I'm happy that Ben dragged me up there and no, I don't hate him. No, but really, it was so beautiful there. If I lived near Stone Mountain I would probably sit up there as much as I possibly could. I would get a yearly pass (if those exist) and every time I would get off from work or school I'd sit up there. Looking for me? Oh, you might as well just get on the top of Stone Mountain to find me.

Ben's grandpa would come visit for dinner, he drove all the way from Alabama to get grandmama's meatloaf (which is his favorite meal if I recall correctly). So when we came back from Stone Mountain, grandpa was already there. He needed help with his old (like... Really old) computer so Ben got right into that. During some time, Ben disappeared somewhere and I sat in the kitchen with grandmama and grandpa talking to them. I felt comfortable with them to talk, and I felt comfortable around them. Usually, I want Ben to be around to feel comfortable, but this time I didn't really need him to be around to talk about myself or what's Stockholm is like. They were interested in what I was talking about and asked me a few questions about it. So at one point, grandmama looked into the oven and I thought that she put the meatloaf into the oven. That was not the case. So after 45 minutes, she walked to the oven again to ''check'' on the meatloaf, only find out that it wasn't even there. It was still in the fridge. During these 45 minutes we were waiting for the meatloaf to get ready, Ben opened the fridge to get a drink but maybe he just didn't see the meatloaf. We had a laugh about it and after another 45 minutes the meatloaf was done and o m g that was the best meatloaf I've ever had. We had some Mac'N'Cheese and vegetables with it but the whole meal was delicious.

Something that I really enjoyed with staying at grandmamas was to listen to their conversations. The three of them (Ben, grandmama, and grandpa) would joke with each other, talk memories and they made me feel like I was apart of it. That is what's important to me. To feel included and I felt more than included during that dinner.



Oh, hello!
For today's adventures, we decided to visit the Georgia Aquarium and after that go straight to the World of Coke (they were about 300 meters from each other). We woke up pretty early, so we could avoid the Atlanta traffic as much as we could. The day before, Ben had booked out entry tickets so we could get a parking lot too. It was cheaper that way and who says no to saving money?

So we drove early in the morning to Atlanta and when I saw the traffic I got amazed by all these people, once again. Comparing it to Stockholm, the traffic in Atlanta is one of the worst that I've seen. Of course, there is traffic in little Stockholm, but Atlanta traffic? No thank you. I'm too used to going by bus or train to get where I'm going so going by car in this traffic was so horrible. I'm glad grandmama told us that we should either drive downtown early or just around 9:00 am when traffic might slow down. So around 10 am or something, we were in the parking house. I shouldn't be amazed anymore about how big things can be in the US, but this parking house was huge. It had to have the capacity to hold all their visitors, but wow. That's a lot of cars and people that can fit in there! AFter finding a place to park the car we went to the park that was on the other side of the street from the aquarium. If I remember correctly, it was because Ben wanted to see what Pokemon Go looked like in this park. *cough* nerd *cough*. But I decided to step out of my comfort zone for a small second and take a few selfies with Ben. Yes, this is an issue for me since I feel awkward taking selfies in public. But I want to cherish the moment here!

First, we went to the Aquarium. They had a few exhibitions in there and we picked them randomly. The first thing we did in there, however, was to see their sealion show. They had these 4 sea lions they were showing and also giving some information for the kids. One of the sea lions was a rescue and has been with them for several years! After the sea lions, we walked around in the museum. I was most excited to see the penguins that they had there. Problem was... Everyone in there seemed to be as excited as I was because there was a lot of people there. So we wandered off somewhere else.

They have this huge exhibition where you could see not only one, but 4 whale sharks(Destiny from ''Finding Doris). Believe me when I tell you that I felt so small seeing them so close to the aquarium glass. In the start of this exhibition, you could walk right under the water (or stand on some kind of band, so you wouldn't have to walk but at least keep moving in the tunnel). So the whale sharks could swim right above your head and it seemed like they would swim forever because they were so big! So after walking in the tunnel, you walked up to this podium where you could sit and watch the fishes, turtles, whale sharks and other marine animals. I had to sit there for a few minutes to just take it in. I've never seen a whale shark and it was so astonishing. They would bump into other creatures in the enclosure, but they would just keep on swimming. They could bump into each other and then just keep swimming.

The aquarium had a few other great exhibitions. They had a few beluga whales and I do think I saw some when I visited an aquarium in Bergen (Norway). They had sea otters and they were as active as they could be. I think we heard from a guide that they eat 3 times their body weight every day to not starve - that's how active they are. I could be wrong of course.

After the aquarium we walked to the car again, just to relax a little bit before going to the World of Coca-Cola. So after 15 minutes, we walked towards the World of Coca-Cola, which happened to be only a few meters away from the Georgia Aquarium. This is when Ben noticed that his wallet was gone. We went through the times where we had to pay for something but he was sure enough that he didn't leave his wallet somewhere. I told him that he probably left it in the car, as a habit, somewhere. He shrugged and we kept on going, but I could see that it was bothering him.
We paid for our tickets, entered the building and as we entered the building they offered us free drinks. '' Hello and welcome to the world of Coca-Cola! Would you like something to drink? We have Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero... '' Ohhhh yes please, give me some of that free drinks! So we got our free drinks, entered another room where you could see pretty old signs and other miscellaneous items throughout Coca-Cola's history. A guide entered the room and gave us some information about how much this famous drink would cost back in the days and that they would charge even more for a cold drink.

After that part, we were welcomed into a theatre to watch a short movie that Coca-Cola put together. That this drink usually brings people and families together to have a great time. Of course, they had to show a soldier coming home again and surprising his family in a football (or some kind of sport) game. I'm weak for those moments so yeah, I could feel myself getting teary-eyed. After that short clip, we were welcomed to get into the actual exhibition. I must say though, I wasn't too satisfied with the exhibition. There was this section where you could walk through the timeline of coke, see different trailers for the drink throughout their time etc. Of course, you could also meet their mascot (picture below) but the line was way too big for me. They did, however, have a section on the second floor where you could taste different flavors from different countries. I think that was the most exciting part for me from that whole museum.
So after the World of Coca-Cola, we walked to the car again and his wallet was still not with us. I tried not to talk about it but I was so sure that it was still in the car. I was ready, however, to go to the aquarium and ask them if they've had someone report a found wallet. We got to the car and look what was there! His wallet! Just where I thought it would be! We decided to visit a mall after the museum but we didn't get anything in the stores that we visited.



We woke up suuuuper early today to avoid the traffic but also arrive at Grandmamas place during a decent time. Also because we wanted to avoid the traffic in Atlanta as much as we possibly could.

The first few hours were pretty much the same. There wasn't much to see in Florida, everything looks basically the same on the road. No mountains and just some farmhouses, cornfields and maybe some strawberry fields along the way. You could definitely feel the change in the different states. As we drove over the state border, the trees started to change, the towns that we were driving by started to change. Mostly everything started to change. Most of all, the traffic changed. The closer we got to Atlanta the more lanes appeared. We started to notice how there was 5 lanes, 6 lanes and then even up to 7 lanes! That is crazy! Here in Sweden I don't think we have more than 4 lanes on the highway? An deven that is a lot of lanes for us. So seeing these 7 lanes made me realize how much americans depend on their cars and not on other transportations tha you can use.

As we drove into Grandmama's neighboorhood, I felt like a little kid again. The houses were beautiful and I felt like this is a place where I want to grow up, only to realize that I've already grown from my childhood. Oh well, one can dream to be a little kid again right?

I got to say, her house was beautiful. On the outside but also on the inside. There was a lot of space between the ceiling and the floor, creating this open area in the living room. That's how I want my own future place to be like! Her backyard reminded me a little bit about the house where I grew up in. It was a very small backyard, but you could use your imagination to that place and the entire backyard could become a whole battlefield or a playground. I know that if I had the chance to visit her more often I'd suggest that we can sit outside in the sun/shade and have chat instead of sitting inside. However, her house also have a sunroom. WHICH I AM SO JELLY and here's why; when it rains (and I love it when it rains) you can sit there and stare out the window while listening to the sound of the rain hitting the window. You could hear the sound when it hits the ceiling.

First thing we did when we arrived was to talk a little bit to Grandmama and settle. We were planning our days and what we would to on each on them. Since we got there at dinner time we didn't have much time to do anything else than rest from the driving (well Ben would rest from the driving). For dinner we would eat some ribs and the ribs were delicious!

Later that night, after dinner and while watching a movie, Ben and I heard the rain and we immeadiatly sat down in the sunroom instead. We joked about how we would have a place like this but we wouldn't call it our sunroom. We would call it our rainroom because we would only sit there when it would rain. It was probably raining as I fell alseep because I slept like a baby, safe and sound, that night.