Waiting 4 months for a work permit to live in Sweden is the most anxiety filled aspect of my life right now. The worst part is not knowing. Am I going to be allowed to move to Sweden, or not? In the meantime I have no clue what I am doing on a daily basis. I have no plans ever, I'm the least busy person on earth it often feels like, and I can't help but feeling like an awful human being. My worst fear is to live mundane and unproductive.

This has sparked a major question in my head: What are you going to do with your life if granted the right to live in Sweden?

In this blog post I'm going to address some of my life goals, which I've come to feel very comfortable dreaming since I've come to Sweden. So here is what I want to do with my life, at this moment in time:

I would very much like to be an author. It has been a fantasy of mine to become a writer, having been inspired by some of my favorite novel series: Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling), Pendragon (D.J. Machale), Divergent (Veronica Roth), works by George Orwell, and of course admittedly Twilight (Stephenie Meyer). Reading is like a drug to me, and I spent much of my young life devouring whatever I could get my hands on.

Writing sparks my interest because it offers the chance to create your own world. Your own story of culture, politics, language, romance, action and so much more. Writing is magical because all there is are: you, your own mind, a pen and paper. It's my form of therapy.

I aspire to being able to help people in need. This is a major important must in my life. Every day in the life of Collin, I find myself in weird situations. Weird states of being, and sometimes I find myself in need of help. I often, however, see people around me that need an incomprehensible more amount of help than I will ever need. People sleeping in the streets, folk from war torn countries with nowhere to go, drug addicts with nobody left to call; and I feel an incredible amount of empathy towards these people.

A form of help I see people in need of are those who find themselves in new, often intimidating or down right scary, atmospheres. If I were to be allowed to live in Sweden I would make it one of my life efforts to help those who are also struggling to make Sweden a new home. Some of my ideas to accomplish this are: clothing drives to help those trying to assimilate fit in and not feel left out of societal norm, and book drives; everybody should have the right to look, learn and feel a part of the culture they are being surrounded by. I can't help but notice that there are not many systems in Sweden for true integration. True knowledge on cultural aspects that are so easily found and absorbed through literature. And it must never feel so great for those who cannot afford new or stylish clothes to be so obviously spotted in a crowd as different.

It is a long-term life goal of mine to become a scientific researcher. My favorite subjects of science, as uncorrelated as they could be, are Botany and Psychology. With Botany I would love to discover new species and research new medicinal uses of herbs and plants alike. In our modern society I believe people are taught to be too quick to accept the most common methods of medicine, which often can show proof of being harmful in more ways than not.

Psychology interests me because of the amount of sorrow we have in the world. You would think that in modern days, considering how far humankind has come, we would see less misery. Yet quite the contrary. Nowadays he have higher populations than ever before, yet a higher sense of loneliness. We have more methods of contact and communication with each other yet a horrendous amount of isolation among us. And the amount of people today who feel like suicide is a viable option makes my heart cringe. I, myself, am not a stranger to any of the topics I have just discussed, yet I consider myself a strong and happy person because of my stride to keep moving forward. Keep making the world my oyster. I would like to one day be able to teach people individual strength and purpose. And most of all happiness: it is worth more than gold, so I have heard.

Also, my boyfriend who is slowly becoming a bigger and bigger part of my life and dreams. His name is John Norell, and he is probably one of the most interesting people I've met in my life. He is motivated, knows what he wants to do with his life, and most importantly is out-of-this-world adorable. Currently he is writing his Batchelor thesis at Gothenburg University, while also juggling he task of reading each Harry Potter novel and analyzing the political and economic world within. He will then be writing a book based on his findings. If that's not enough to make you fall for him, I'll add the fact that his hugs are the most ensuring, warming force I've ever felt. That on top of his amazing smile, I don't even have words to describe how badly I'm falling for him.

Last, but surely not least, I become gitty with the idea that someday I could be comfortable enough in my life to pursue art. I have always wanted to pursue an artistic life, yet have been hindered by my own insecurities. Coming from the US, art is associate with being gay. And this has been something I've spent my whole life not hiding, yet suppressing. I grew up hearing things like, "it's okay to be gay, I just don't want to see it," or, "I don't care what others are doing, but I'd hate if my kids were homos," and the best, "I'd like you so much more if you were straight. It's less weird."

However, what I've recently learned is that nothing can hold you back but yourself. With that being said I'd like to address that I do not blame anyone or anything as an excuse as to why I have not become an artist yet. I blame myself. However, in Sweden I feel the courage to work past these fears to express myself. I would love to learn music, try out modeling, sing and dance, make fine wood work, and again, produce literature. Express myself and show the world just who Collin Peeples is.

Finally, happiness. I just want to find happiness in my life, and I know that I am the only person who can make this possible. Nothing the Swedish system offers can give me happiness but the opportunity to simply be here. The opportunity to live, work, and pursue this long list of future dreams here in Sweden would make me the happiest person in the world. I don't know why it is so difficult for someone with such a dream to move to where they foresee a future, but I will not let my spirits get down.

Everyone lives under the same sky, and I believe the world has a huge untapped resource of smiles just waiting to be discovered. The world has an intimate amount of dreams, you just have to dare to follow one! 

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Hello everyone!
In this post I'm going to explain my reasoning for wanting to move to Sweden, and the current progress I have achieved.

I came to Sweden in the middle of December, 2016 as a vacation during my winter break from school in Santa Barbara, California. Once here, I was able to recognize that I was not happy in the US. Life became livable here in Sweden.

In California, I lived in different student apartments near my college in Santa Barbara. Having moved away from home for many various reasons, I tried for many years to make my life work as a college student in the sunny beach town. However, a future was never foreseeable.

I was miserable.

Being a homosexual in one of the 'most accepting' places in the world is difficult. First, you are alone. Nobody understands the struggles you go through, and everybody assumes you have no struggles in the first place since everyone is so 'liberal,' and you're smiling all the time. Second, you're discriminated against on the daily. From the way straight people treat you, to the way homophobes treat you, and the way fake people hide their true feelings about you. Living in California is not as accepting as one would think.

Just think, have you ever gotten rocks thrown at you while walking down the street for simply wearing nail polish? Have you ever been fired from a job because of who you are, yet are left powerless because of 'religious freedom'?

Being homosexual under such unique and strange circumstances has always made me hate myself. It has made me unable to grow as a person, unable to trust friendships and relationships, and most disastrously unable to let anyone become close to me.

In Sweden, I don't feel any of this misery. When people find out who I am they are glad. They don't assume anything about me, yet they ask questions to get to know who I am. They give me the opportunity to be Collin, not 'the gay guy, Collin.' Nobody introduces me to their friends as "this is my Gay friend, Collin." With the Swedish language I'm able to explain exactly who I am and not be afraid of getting judged or misunderstood. In Sweden I am free. I feel like I can choose the future that's ahead of me. I can choose to stop hating myself and therefore start loving the world around me.

So, that being said, here's my progress on the move:

I have searched for three months now to find a job. The hard part about this is that I come from a country outside of Europe with no political and economic ties to Sweden or the European Union (The Unites States). I have been extremely discouraged as a job seeker. Employers do not see the benefit of hiring me versus someone who comes from within Europe when looking at the cost and effort it takes to go through the hiring process. And without a job, I am not allowed a permit to stay. Yet, again, it is nearly impossible to find a job without this said permit! It's a whole viscous circle of unnecessary bureaucracy seemingly set up to discourage immigrating folk.

However, I have found a job! Hoorayy!! I will now be the new employee at Phil's Burger at Stureplan in Stockholm!

However, it is not all roses and dandelions.

That's right, more bureaucracy! Now that I have gotten a job I am allowed to apply for a work visa. However, I have now learned that I must apply in my homeland, as the Migration Board does not accept applications submitted here in Sweden. And to top it off, I am looking at a 4 month wait (at least) before the permit is granted. Needless to say, I was not prepared for this.

But! This is not negative news. I refer back to the fact that: I GOT A JOB! For crying out loud, I was beginning to think this would never happen! Sure, I have many things to figure out, and much planning to do, but I have never felt so elated before. One giant, nearly impossible seeming step has been accomplished, and nothing is going to hinder me now!

So, Sweden, watch out! Your newest inhabitant is graciously yet over-excitedly awaiting the right to truly be Swedish! Once this happens there's no telling what's going to happen! My future has never looked so bright ☺️

A big thank you to all those who've believed in me during this crazy journey, I couldn't have done it without the help of my beautiful friends. Each and every person in my life plays a giant role, and I would not be here without every single one of them!

Keep your fingers crossed, and keep holding your thumbs, because the journey is not yet complete. I still have a lot of work to do.

Pussokram till allihopa ❤️
I hope everyone the best life they can aspire.

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Left home

New clothes

No luggage

New beginnings

Yet no compass


Where have all my dreams gone?

I can’t seem to find them anymore.

The world feels a little worn,

A drought of smiles and talk of war.


Found myself in a new land

Speak a new language, i'm so profound.

Looking at the ground, I never look up

Too afraid to see what’s waiting to drop.


Rain feels like acid,

My thoughts are going rancid.

Trying to hold onto the best thing I know.

Words.


But they don’t come to me anymore.

I guess I’m afraid.

Afraid I’m already a failure.

Afraid you’ll shut me out.


Because I did this for you.



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I ain't got time
To make a rhyme
When all I wanna do
Is call you mine
And spend all my time
In your arms
Safe and warm
Yet without a dime.
That'd be fine
Intertwined body parts
Flailing about
As I try to figure out
When you'll be mine.

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While we spent most of our time studying and of course being completely responsible students, here's a video of some of the many fun times I had while studying in Santa Barbara, California during Fall of 2016. I made such amazing friends and met so many great people, I'll forever have these memories ❤️

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I could be your fantasy
Underneath the palm trees
You could leave your worries
Listen to the waves
Say you wanna get so high?
Breathe me in like air tonight
-Cory Light

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This is for all those people out there who's had a partner treat them opposite of how you wished to be treated. For all of those who became invisible in a relationship. To all of those who had pain they weren't able to show or talk about with their partner. Those who have been forgotten by their love. You are strong. You are powerful. You are your own person. Be you.

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Many of you have seen them. Fyktingar. Immigrants. Asylum seekers. Freeloaders. Terrorists. People.

People leaving war torn countries to find somewhere safe and free to live normal lives. Now, my intent of this blog is not to get political. The reason for this blog is to answer a big question I've been engaged in many conversations surrounding: what do we do about these people?

I have a few solutions. First, look at them.

These are Syrians. If you purely look at them, is there any difference from you and I? We're all made up of the same organic compounds, so what makes us different? Religion? Geography? Politics?
Who knows, I for one am sure there's many different reasons why different people may have different reasons why it's okay to discriminate one group of people from another. People discriminate color. They discriminate heritage. They discriminate culture and language. Hell, they even discriminate based on who you like to have sex with!
So discrimination could be a big aspect on why we see people differently. One solution I could think of besides looking at them is listening to them.
I promise, there's a deeper reason why millions of people are uprooting and trying to find somewhere else to carry on life.

Did you know that in Arabic, they read right to left? There are 28 letters in the Arabic language.
عقوبتهم تبدو مثل هذه، وهذا يخيف لنا.
Does this scare you? In the United States, it is a common conception that everyone from these lands (the Middle East) are terrorists trying to destroy America and kill all Americans. Why is that? Because their words sound different? Because their characters look different than ours? If we work off that logic I might as well be able to infer that people who come from Asian lands are also terrorists.
あなたもこれを怖がっていますか?
So obviously listening doesn't do us much good. That is, if you don't know what you're listening to. So my next suggestion would be to learn the language if you're so scared of it.
Freedom Rabbit: أرنب حرية

Another big issue we face is that we don't know who these people are, or what their intentions are when they come. They often come with no passport, no paperwork, and there is no proper form of vetting for possible dangerous crowds.

John Oliver of Last Week Tonight has made a video further explaining this issue:

Not sure where the point of this blog has taken is? Do you still remember the poses question?

What do we do about the current migrant situation?

Take a moment to scroll through these next few pictures while thinking about what the answer to that may be:

My answer?

We need to understand. Not judge.

Understanding is listening. It's observing. It's learning.



Here's a picture I took with an immigrant beggar on the tram in Gothenburg, Sweden.

I honestly don't think much more than circumstance setting the two of us apart.

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The point of this blog post is to speak about the writing style used by A.S. Byatt in the writing of "The Little Black Book of Stories." Within the book are multiple short stories which I will compare and contrast with each other to prove how Byatt has linked them all together to form one book.

22 November 2016
The Artistic Journey for Love

In Byatt’s, “Little Black Book of Stories,” different abstract, yet eerily humanistic, stories are told through symbolism and imagery that gives the book and each story its own unique qualities that each story builds from to relate together as one novel. The main symbol, or motif, is the relationship between art and artist.
The story of Mado and James is not one which portrays the relationship between art and artist; yet instead represents a relationship between two real people whose intricately traumatic lives have left a void state of co-existent survival. The two have lived together in a way that Byatt describes as, “two people whose calm lives were a frenzy” (205). Recurring ancient memories which occur during Mado’s delusions haunt James during the late stages of his life; he battles to understand the meaning, importance and attraction of death through his battle between the morality behind the social law of the strive for survival and the spiritual yearn for death and release to afterlife, which manifests into the answer for his own release from his own ingratiating mental entrapment.
The main supporting symbols Byatt uses to express the art to artist motif through the stories “Body Art” and “Raw Material” is love in the form of a woman. That is, the love from a better form of woman than that which each man currently has. In “Body Art,” Damian transforms through his newfound relationship with the free yet somehow troubled Daisy, with also the combined stimuli earned from his relationship with Martha, as he replaces her with his anchoring wife. Everything in Damian’s life is anchoring. The symbol of infertility and infant mortality is a constant used to symbolise the depressed rut in which the Doctor is imprisoned. Art is the key symbol in this story because it induces the ability for the relationship to bring upon hope and strength during the journey out of his mental imprisonment. Dissimilarly, Byatt creates a scenario in which the inspiration deriving from the fascination of a woman’s artistic abilities builds the enlightenment and fascination to lift Jack’s own imprisonment of lost hope for literature ability; however with a tragic ending rather the hopeful latter.
The relationship between Art (Damian) and Artist (Daisy) brings upon a healing nature to “Body Art.” The use of art transforms the fear Damian has of hopeless infertility into the most beautiful thing that has happened in his life. A pregnancy! Before the introduction of Daisy, the Doctor is represented as someone who does not see humans as life forms. Byatt describes him as a good doctor, yet also as someone who, “didn’t want to know the details of other humans lives, except ...in order to save those lives;” although, he is seldom able to save the lives of his so helpless patients (55). This creates a hole of pain which is remedied through Daisy in the form of art, which provides creation of hope which guides Damian through the dark path of his and Daisy’s miracle. This miracle, told through the symbols of art brightening the idea of death through placing the most bright art in the most barren of wards, is the distinguishing attribute in which saves Dr. Becket. He becomes a new man once his baby is born. Once their baby is born. This is similar to the relationship of Mado and James, in which the rising of the fear of delusion making death seem invaluable, that allows James to decide to put his wife to rest, correlates to Damian willing to risk Daisy’s life, through dangerous pregnancy, for the hopes of a miracle. Their two revelations set them free, as well as their partners. Daisy is blessed with the child she never got over not being able to have, and Mado is allowed to return to the spirits and escape the dreadful delusional state she perpetuates in.
Although the art and artist motif allows good comparison between “Body Art” and “The Pink Ribbon,” there is a key distinction to contrast between the growth of the two different story’s male characters. Where through the artist, the art is able to grow symbiotically the development and triumphs between Damian and Daisy, it is the direct opposite for James and Maddy. Because the artist (Maddy) is a depressant stylist, the art is able to be created only upon the death of the artist. Freedom and release turn Mado and James into art, while unionship and hope are the factors that create the art of Damian and Daisy.
The story, “Raw Material,” follows more in suit to the symbol of tragedy resulting from a forward motion of clarity which is also correlated in “The Pink Ribbon.” The relationship between Jack and Cicely is similarly built like Mado and James’s in where the male partner builds and evolves from the female. Jack has lost all hope in his students’ ability to move him with their literature and intelligence. He seems to be entrapped in the ideology that there is no hope for his students, and no hope for him being an effective teacher. This is evolved through the talent and artistic capabilities of one student, Miss Fox. He is transformed, and quickly becomes completely involved in ensuring the success of this student. Byatt further explains that “Cicely Fox was becoming a ‘teacher’s pet’,” proving the infatuation that incurs from the arrival of the new woman student (193). Simultaneously, it is the caretaking and faithful support that is keeping James in his vanilla existence; and it is the arrival of the younger form of his wife, named Dido, that sparks his clarity and understanding for Maddy and leads to their climax. The understanding James learns from the newly arrived, younger Mado is similar to the sense of rejuvenated faith Jack earns through his connection with Cicely. The differences between these two stories are more apparent, as in “Raw Material” Jack falls in love with his student (artist) only to find her dead after her art flourished, while in “The Pink Ribbon,” James is the one to kill what could be called his artist (Mado) for the art to flourish, as described before. Also, and most importantly, is that Jack receives his rejuvenation from and older soul while it is a young and vibrant soul which must bring clarity to James.
Byatt uses a fantastic use of different imagery and symbolic usage to convey similar stories in dissimilar ways. While each story is similar in that the partners are freed from their imprisonment, which was caused from one woman, by a figure of another that in one way or another builds to the evolution of character. The motif of the relationship of art and artist is used in all the stories and is used to provide beautiful and stimulating imagery to understand the passion behind the story “The Purple Ribbon.” We understand that Byatt expresses the idea of love to be an art form, and the process of healing is the product of the artist undergoing revelation and transformation in order for the art to be produced. Definitely a writing style that sets Byatt apart from the rest making him an interesting read!

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Wow, I'm sitting here this morning in Sweden, checking my Instagram feed, and here I see the streets I have called home my entire childhood FILLED to the brink with power. Power in the most natural form. Democracy! Today was the Woman's March in Los Angeles, one in the many to show the real American thoughts behind the recent political atrocity. This is the real America. These are Americans. These are beautiful people. And these people are power.

March on Women, thank you for spreading your love and fertile drive for a better world 🙌

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