Tuesday, December 31, 2013

On Solutions and Resolutions

And this is the last day of the year. Not quite as I dreamed it would be. The whole year was an unexpected moment after another. 

This 2013 has been long and short, good and bad. It's been a year of sad endings and hard beginnings. It all started with the student thesis, then the last clinical practices, the national final examination, graduation, moving to my new place, starting a new job...

The thrills and the pride of having finished college were so wonderful and satisfying, sharing it with my daughters and my niece was the perfect way to have it. As it is expected it was a little bit sad as well. The well known life as a student, a housewife, a wife... it all ended so abruptly! 

Facing the end of the family life I knew was hard enough on its own, all the questions and the wondering, all those feelings I could not name! In the beginning of the summer I felt naked and abandoned, with my life in boxes and my thoughts elsewhere. Running and fixing and solving the unsolvable and compromising on all and giving up on half of it. Nights alone in a lonely new home, planing and thinking and thinking and planing... "How am I going to do this?", "I don't even have a permanent job, what will I do after September?", "How am I going to heal? Will I ever?"

And time went by and the job issue got solved, and more plans and more ideas and more alternatives. Dealing and compromising, compromising and dealing... I have been naked and alone, insecure, scared, broken, exhausted, and somehow in peace.

As it usually is the case, I met wonderful people along the ups and downs of this year. I have made dreams come true, others have made dreams come true for me! 
And after all I have been through this year I sit here alone, before my New Year's Eve night shift, thinking about all the people around me! My dear friends, my new friends, my dear colleagues, my new neighbors (most of them my new friends) the old friends I met again, teachers and instructors who inspired me and helped me, my family, my loving dear wonderful family! my girls! 

I think it's no as much as what happens what counts, I will always cherish this year because I felt so much love, support and friendship! It is hard, oh so hard for a soul like mine to have to ask for help, to accept it! It feels so unnatural to be the one getting the attention. It feels so wrong! And then I think it was just right. I cannot feel other than gratitude this year.

So Thank you! thanks to all of you who are a part of my life and who, each of you in your own way, bless my life with so much! Thank you all, for all you give and all you gave! 

My resolutions? 
To spend more time doing the things that make me happy, that give me peace, that make me see the beauty around me and in everyone I meet. And, if I don't have the chance to return all I got from all you wonderful people, I promise I will pay it forward!    

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Girls like her

Girls like her would wait against the wall at home disco parties. They would watch the guy they like always picking up some other girl. Girls like her waited and waited and danced last, or didn't dance.

Girls like her were called fat, they were called ugly. Girls like her had no secret admirers, so they made up one of their own. Girls like her daydreamed on the way to school, on the way back home, at school and at church, because for girls like her reality was too hard.
Girls like her made far too many mistakes, they did all wrong, they said the wrong words, wrote the wrong texts, play the wrong games, red the wrong books. Girls like her were wrong!
Girls like her did love too, they loved and dreamed and cried at nights because girls like her were never loved back. They knew what love was, or so they thought; love was poems, holding hands, a teddy bear, a bunch of flowers or a single rose. Love was hearing "you look pretty" or "I'm so happy you're my girl". Love was giving it all, love was getting warmth, security, respect, friendship, kisses, hugs, and compliments in return. Oh yeah, girls like her knew all about love! Those kind of girls read Shakespeare and Bécquer, maybe Neruda and perhaps Storni, too. Girls like her knew what love was, but not what it felt like.
And girls like her grow up someday, and struggle and fight and things hardly go right. And they are still called ugly, they are still called fat. So women like her grow leather were there once was skin, and look up, unbreakable! But women like her still cry.   

Friday, September 6, 2013

Those easy, casual, difficult questions

A few weeks ago this guy came to me at work and started a small talk in the corridor. Suddenly he asks "and what do you like doing?" I got blank! empty! I hesitated and started feeling really stupid. "I don't know... there's a lot I like doing..." I mumbled, and felt my cheeks turn red as I started to picture myself from the outside like a very bad version of Bridget Jones.

I don't even want to think about how embarrassed and shy I appeared to be during those short seconds it took for someone else to call me. The thing is that I had forgotten... I really, truly and sincerely had NO IDEA what on earth I like doing!
I have been doing what I had to for so long, studying, working, cleaning, cooking, doing the washing up, doing what the girls wanted me to do, what they like doing, what others choose to do, that I truly hadn't even thought about what I like doing now, when I am an adult and not a teenager. It has been so obvious for me, so simple, so automatic. Denying my hobbies, my likes, my needs, my time, myself was just what I was supposed to do.
Since that day in the corridor of the ward 11 I have thought about a more specific answer to that question. Not to finally give this guy a not embarrassing answer (it's social rules, not that he was that interested in knowing) but to finally be able to answer that to myself.
So I started my list of things I like doing and things I truly enjoy in life:
I like being a mom.
I like being a nurse.
I like helping people and doing nice things for others.
I like taking long, long walks (specially if I walk in the company of someone who offers a nice and interesting, or at least amusing, conversation)
I like doing cards and scrapbooks.
I like reading (not best sellers) and writing.
I like going to the movies
I like dancing and parties
I like stupid movies and silly humor, I like sarcasm, too... sometimes.
I like riding my bicycle
I like taking pictures.
I like baking yummy pretty things
I like window shopping, and shopping (but cannot afford it), and smelling creams and perfumes and all those girly things.
I like painting walls and decorating rooms (although I lack the money)
I like knowing things, lots of things! I love knowing!
I like deep stimulating conversations
I like theme parks and carnivals and festivals and going to the zoo.
I like listening to music really loud while I clean and sing my lungs off and dance and jump around
I like things organized, tidy and clean, and smelling good!
I like being goofy and silly at times
I like hugs, bear hugs! and kisses and holding hands
I like music and chocolate and cakes.
I like the smell after it rained and the warm summer mornings.
I like to laugh until my stomach hurts
I like being with my family, all together!
I like those people who smile with their eyes and the whole face and just spread joy and I love those who can laugh so bad they make strange noises as they breath in.

G! I'm pretty normal after all...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

This rainy summer night...

The shift was over, fifteen minutes too late as it usually is the case. I rushed thought the hallway and waved good night to the patients that were still awake. Some of them waiting for their sleeping pills, others waiting for the night medication because it's easier to stay awake than being disturbed in their sleep, others were just laying there, staring at the pale yellow walls, bored, alone, sick, full of uncertainty, in pain... The luckiest ones were already asleep despite the constant ringing of the alarms, the phones and the nurses running up and down the corridor.
I walked the silent solitary halls to the dressing room and rushed to take off my white scrubs so I could make that one phone call before it got too late. The phone call that lightens up my eyes and helps me sleep somehow. And so I stepped out of the hospital and felt the summer rain on my face.
Rain has a weird effect on me, it awakens thoughts and makes me look inside of me. It has been a long, long time since I last took the time to listen to my inner self. That made me wonder why. Why did I stop analyzing my thoughts and feelings? Why did I make such a big effort not to face my heart? Why was I afraid, terrified of finding out if I was sad? Or was I just afraid and terrified of finding out that I wasn't? What would that say about me?
One of the patients said today: "love is evil, it just sucks!" Maybe it is true, I had no time to sit and ask why he said so, I had no courage either because I agreed, in that moment I fully agreed. It wasn't until I walked out and took my phone that I realized that love has many sides. It can look evil when we think about ourselves, when we think about what love makes us leave behind, the sacrifices, the pain, the worries, the tears, the loneliness that eventually it makes us fell, the emptiness that kills us when a loved one is gone. Love can look evil sometimes but it is not! I thought that just as we do, love is both good and bad, happiness and sorrow.
I then thought about myself, my life, my present, my past.
I am now a registered nurse and have so much responsibility over my shoulders. I've fought and cried and made sacrifices and struggled and I made it! It makes me happy, but not all in life goes the way school does... That's the beauty of school, that's why I felt a certain peace and comfort while in school, school is easy, it's predictable. You study, you pass. You have boring, tedious and useless classes but you know when they will be over, you can write it down on your calendar, and when they are over, they are over for good! You give time and effort, you read, you write, you go to classes, you pay attention: you get a reward! You know what the reward will be! no surprises there, you pass! you get your degree, you finish...
Life is a whole other story... In life you have boring, tedious times, they will eventually be over, or so we hope, but we never know when, we never know how. In life you learn your lessons, you fight, you make sacrifices, you try, you try, you try... you make your best, you give your best, you get up when you feel like staying in bed, you sometimes smile when you feel like crying, you push your feelings aside to be able to cope with the practical stuff, you deny yourself at times, you work hard, you live and you never know what your reward will be.
After ups and downs, good times, bad times, patience, fights... After having tried as much as I could and maybe even more, I lost the battle and got left on my own... I got left to begin a beginning I hadn't plan, I am on my own. I am not sad, and I am not mad. I don't feel defeated, I don't feel I've failed and for a moment I thought that I didn't feel at all.

We don't know what we will get in life, it is not always as easy as school is. We lose dear ones, we see people going away, we walk away from people, we get disappointed, we get hurt, we hurt and so on... And here I am this rainy summer night, alone in my home not being able to kiss my girls goodnight but over the phone. Here I am tonight writing in the loneliness of my new unfinished kitchen, unable to sleep and thinking how life is unpredictable. Life is a lot like love, I think... it can be evil at times, It can be evil when we think about ourselves, what we give, the sacrifices we make, what is left behind... but life is not evil, life it's just like us, it's good and bad, it's generous and stingy, is happy and sad, is worth it even when we don't know what we'll get.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What to say...?

I have been gone for a long long time... I had a lot to do for College the last semesters and I have been facing a lot of trials and tests. Life can get hard sometimes, I suppose it kind of keeps it interesting and challenging.
What can I say? My little girls are getting bigger and smarter, I can finally have time to spend with them with no exams or papers in the back of my head! I love the feeling! 
Me? After three long years I am ready with school! I am a NURSE! I am proud of what I have accomplished, it hasn't been always easy. It is a little scary at times, to think that soon I will have all the responsibility on my shoulders, no instructor to check up on me... At the same time it feels so great!
Now life is changing for me in all possible ways, today I feel like I am standing at the edge of a cleft and about to be pushed. I can see darkness, I can feel the uncertainty that awaits. I am rather scared I have to admit, but what is there to choose? It feels like someone has done it for me, but I probably, mostly certainly, gave them consent to do so... 
I am jumping, jumping to "come what may"... I hope I have grown wings of my own, wings strong enough as to carry my two little children in my arms as we fly and float, and float and fly and get blown by the wind at times... My arms are strong, that I know! My heart is brave and warm enough to protect them, comfort them and love them every minute of every day.
I am scared, but once you faced your fears, they're gone.

It Has to be Skyltmax!

I've order my new name tag today! I have been all over the net trying to find out the best alternative... Once again I have chosen Skyltmax! They have great prices, great colors and I am more than satisfied with the final product. You get it home quickly and just the way you want it.
Choosing a name tag as a registered nurse was a thrill!! I couldn't believe my eyes I was writing "legitimerad sjuksköterska" under my name... but it is true! the race is over and I can't wait until I get started... wearing my Skyltmax name tag, of course!
If you are in need of some to yourself, or any other kind of signs, just check out their website at  (I don't know if they deliver outside Sweden, though) Have fun making your own name tags and signs! They even have pink now!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I just have to post this

It's been so long! I have a lot I want to post about. The girls figure skating show, Emily's teeth, school!!! OMG school and the stupid paper..., Disney on Ice, and well... a lot really but I don't have time today. The last month writing anything that wasn't the paper for college seemed sacrilegious.
I just have to post this, you know, talking about this silly things we do makes me realize that life is so much more than obligations, chores, school, work...
The girls got the habit of calling people they like silly names, and I loved it! Olivia is now Oly-Bolly (and I laugh every time because it makes me think of olibollen, the dutch pastry... my sweet little girl looks like a very unfortunate one being so skinny) Emily is Emy-penny (it was hard to find a Swedish word that would rhyme with her name, and it suits her since she saves every crown she gets) and Nicklas is... tah-dah! Pappa-Natta (and YES! if you know Spanish you know why he got it! it's so funny!!! alternatively he is called Grumpy-bumpy)
And no, I didn't get my silly name yet! You might suggest one by leaving a comment. 
Now I gotta leave dinner ready and go to work!