Jul 28, 2011

The roller coaster called life....

Scared, happy, excited, sad, relaxed, angry, relieved, exhilarated, nervous, stressed, confident, not so confident ;) Well....I must say I'm amazed by all these different feelings that I've been having lately and they are all related to the upcoming change of jobs and moving to another side of the country.
The last few days it has finally dawned on me that all of this is really happening and it's stirring up so many emotions! I guess the only red thread I have managed to find in this entanglement is Gratefulness.  

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am grateful:
for the opportunity that came my way.
- that I had the courage to take another life changing decision.
- that my life is never boring...or plain.
- for the time I've had with my colleges and peers (I've learned so much from them!!)
- for the chance to get to know another area of this beautiful country and its culture.
- for finally realizing that you can only be completely in control of the changes YOU make...not the change of others.
- for the chance of meeting many new people, who I will continue to learn from.
- for all the support and encouragement received lately...even from very unexpected sources.
- for some of the luck that came our way, making this change less difficult.
- for the ability to FEEL all of these things!!! In the end, this is what makes life so interesting and rewarding ;))

"Life is a roller coaster.....there will always be ups and downs....but in the end, it's the twists and turns that you will remember forever."


Jul 25, 2011


...and at a loss for words....
This has been my state of mind throughout the whole weekend...ever since I heard the horrific news about the event in Norway where cold-blooded attacks were carried out by the far-right extremist by the name of Anders Behring Breivik, from which its death-toll is still left to be determined and its victims are mainly children....all that I hear in my head are questions based on WHY and HOW? How can anyone be so evil? Why was this done? 

It appears that his aim and mission was to spread his poisonous and ignorant opinions to the world by a 1500 page written manifesto and all though I'm also asking the question "Why?", I sincerely hope that this manifesto will be kept away from the public! I also hope that his trial will be behind closed doors as if his opinions and explanations are spread, it will be what he wanted and his mission will have succeeded!! There is no question about IF he did this...this is a fact and he has already admitted to it. I think with this in mind, his rights should have seized and his wishes should remain un-granted.

I urge you to read this brilliant article composed by Boris Johnson in the Telegraph:
"There is an important lesson, therefore, in the case of Anders Breivik. He killed in the name of Christianity – and yet of course we don’t blame Christians or “Christendom”. Nor, by the same token, should we blame “Islam” for all acts of terror committed by young Muslim males. Sometimes there come along pathetic young men who have a sense of powerlessness and rejection, and take a terrible revenge on the world. Sometimes there are people who feel so weak that they need to kill in order to feel strong. They don’t need an ideology to behave as they do."

I also hope that Norway won't be changed by fear of further attacks....that they will remain at least as open as they have been and that, indeed, they will not be scared off by terrorism but instead, they will answer to this by being even stronger, more open and democratic than before.

My heart goes out to all of the people who have lost their loved ones in these unfathomable and horrific attacks.... I know words are of no comfort to you right now, but please know we are all with you in our thoughts.

Some links where you can read more:
Swedish: DN
German: Spiegel
English: BBC

Jul 18, 2011

Getting to the point....

I didn't really enjoy being so honest about who I am or where I'm coming from. So then why did I do it? The answer is quite simple.... I want people to think a bit more before they label people. 

What you see, the surface, may be the the only thing there is to someone, but that is quite rare if you think about it. Normally, what you see is just the tip of the iceberg. You see what people want you to see. Most of us try to show off the best sides and we try so hard to keep up appearances, afraid to be judged for the "ugly truth", hidden underneath the polished cover. Some of us just don't care to play this game and the "judgers" are not satisfied with that either, but think that these people could try harder..... Try harder to do what? Be themselves? 

People have the right to show what they want of themselves. We all have our reasons, our stories - the truth, that makes us who we are. The only thing we can be sure of is that we are the only version of ourselves, we are unique and we can only take responsibility to be the best we can be. Who has the right to judge wether we are right or wrong in being what we are?

The point is: Just try to consider this and give people a chance before you judge them. There might be a world of stories hiding beneath that Burberry jacket or that construction helmet. Things aren't always what they appear to be.

I wish you all a great week!!

Jul 16, 2011

The other side of the coin....

If you read my post from yesterday carefully, you will remember that my end statement in a PS said "Never forget that there are two sides to every coin....". What I wrote yesterday was extremely difficult for me to write (and I feel really really bad and guilty about it and already thought about deleting the post) and now I will try to explain to you why......and what I mean with the coin.

Most people take a look at someone and their behavior and place a judgement....sometimes that is the first impression, which can be hard to change and sometimes you wait with judgement and let someone prove themselves over time before you label them....but be sure, you (WE) do label people. 

Now let me ask you some questions....and please answer by commenting on this post:
1. How did reading my post from yesterday make you feel?
2. Have you labelled me yet? Or are you still waiting to judge?

The other side of the coin
- I grew up under very poor circumstances....meaning we could barely afford the essentials. Our house had 3 small rooms and we were 4 people, which then means that our parents slept in the living room. Sometimes when friends came over for the first time, they would say "Oh! You live here....so where do your parents live?". I grew up on a farm and we had so many animals when I grew up. I had relationships with almost all of them (maybe not all the chickens ;)) and didn't realize that most of them were for eating and/or getting food from.
- I looked like a boy and always wore my brothers old clothes...not because I wanted to, but because it was all we had.
- I have already lost 3 of my very best friends to death....yeah, you may not understand two of them as they were horses (unless you had horses yourself), but they were the apples of my eye and it hurts just the same and you have memories together, just the same. The third friend was my best friend: My grandmother (we were neighbors). When she died, I felt as if all the kindness in the world had been ripped away and what was left of the world was only mediocre and I didn't anymore dare to believe that I had a future. I didn't understand why she had died so suddenly and hence, for weeks, I didn't dare to fall asleep as I was afraid I would also pass away in my sleep.
I am still not sure I had so many real friends growing up....most of my friends only came over with the question "Can we go riding on your horses?".
- I spent the age of 16-22 suffering from periods of severe depression, never seeing the point of anything and especially not myself and was so so very tired from hiding this from the world and keeping up appearance. 
- During parts of the same time, I was stuck in a very destructive relationship from which I still suffer from some of its consequences......
- I have always hated the way I look and been ashamed of myself and hence, I never went swimming with my friends, but always went swimming in places where I was the only one....or occasionally I would bring my very best friend (very cherished moments!!) (I still hate to go swimming because of this). In the Gymnasium, this problem became so bad for me that I had a separate shower room after gym-class. I also had an eating disorder.
- I am competitive! ....but not in ways that people seem to  think. I don't care to compete with other people....just with myself. A great performance was the only way to make me feel even an ounce of joy about who I was when I grew up....and it didn't come with a price-tag. I got my real kicks out of football, competing with my horses (or the ones from my riding club) and being good in school. Because of this, I was also very hateful with myself when I didn't perform up to my own expectations......and some of my current friends can still see sides of this in me...the perfectionist side.
- I never felt that I was worthy of anything good in life....especially not love.
- I never got a proper education....partially because I didn't know if I would have a future but also because I didn't have any time to ever study when I grew up as I had my horses to take care of before and after school. This meant that I had to listen hard in class and take notes and ask questions and never learned to study and learn things by only reading. I learn best by doing. I am where I am today because I worked really hard and learned on the job.
- I was always very sporty and if you read the above, you might have realized that this part of ME was the way I got through because I performed well.......so you can maybe imagine how I felt for the 10 years when I had an undiagnosed problem with my back, keeping me from doing any sports without having a Lumbago....and during this time, besides being in physical pain, I was faced with disbelief from numerous doctors and specialists who all believed I was just being lazy and wanted to be on sick-leave....but this disbelief also came from the people who claimed to love me, which really hurt at the time (now I'm diagnosed properly and, besides one very recent set-back, doing really great!).

I am not bitter for the above things, nor do I feel sorry for myself (anymore) or feel that I missed out. Since a few years, I feel real joy and appreciation for myself. A lot of this is thanks to family and friends (I hope you know who you are ;)) who have stood by me through everything....and also to someone who had to bare the heavy burden of being around me while I was still trying to recover from my self-hatred......the rest I owe to Chris. He's love is the first one I have ever really truly felt and believed in (not saying that the love of others were never real....just that I didn't think I deserved it before). I always wanted someone else to come into my life and make me happy!! It took me soooo long to understand that happiness is not something that someone else brings to you....you create your own happiness. It is a HUGE and entirely unrealistic pressure you put on other people if you expect them to make you happy. I do sincerely apologize to the people from who I once expected this.

You can be sure that for everything I have in my life, I am eternally and profoundly grateful and not one day goes by where I am not aware that this could all be temporary and hence, I do not take things or people for granted. I have learned to find joy in the little things as, what we thought were the big and important things growing up, such as toys, nice houses, fancy cars, holidays at exotic places etc. was never within my reach. Since we couldn't afford exotic holidays growing up, I have learned to love nature as most of our holidays were in nature, camping and fishing (I loved these holidays!!!!). Photography is my way of capturing happy and beautiful moments, memories and places and I truly treasure this possibility..... My parents raised me the very best they could and never ever pressured me to become something or someone....they always let me decide for myself and were always proud of my achievements....even the smallest ones. They worked so hard to provide for my brother (who I love dearly!!!) and me!! I am truly happy and feel successful for the very first time in my life for REAL and yet, I can not genuinely shout it out to the world because it embarrasses me, provokes people and makes me seem less humble than I really am.

I didn't write this post for you to feel any kind of pity or whatever.... I wrote this post because I want you to know that not everything in life is black or white. I am a very strong character...I know....and I know I am not very flexible in some areas... I also know that I appear to be a snob too some people (I've heard some nicknames for me that make me laugh ;))....well, now that I'm earning my own money, I think I deserve to spend them on things that make me feel good about myself and for this I will not make apologies.... I know what I want now and I have the ability to make things happen because of this and I waited way too long to get here. Now I'm trying to catch-up! The moment I started to believe that I deserved good things - good things started to happen to me........just saying ;))


Jul 15, 2011

My most annoying post EVER!

Moment of truth (and extremely hard to write for someone Swedish).....

I am successful!
I have a great job!
I don't look too shabby!
I have a few talents!
I have a man who is great and who loves me!
I have an amazing circle of friends!
I am ridiculously happy!

....this is why many people hate me. Sorry (well not really...) for being provocative, but that's just the truth.

Why are people like that? Spending so much time on being hateful when they should be focusing their energy on finding things that make them grateful?


PS. Never forget that there are two sides to every coin ;)

Some words about music.....

I must admit, for someone who considers herself to be quite open minded about many things in life.....as it turns out, I can be quite lost in my bubble when it comes to some topics. Music is one of those topics. You see, for me, music is not about beats or rhythm....for me, music was always poetry in motion

I always believed everybody felt the same about this genius equation of notes+words. I thought that everyone, just like me, would at least occasionally turn on a song, turn up the volume really really loud, lay down on their beds and drink in every single word of a lyric, feeling it's meaning and letting it touch them all the way into their very core.......moving them to tears or smiles. Now I know, some people don't have the faintest idea what I'm talking about, but they get similar kicks out of the beats or the rhythm.....and I don't have the faintest idea what they are talking about either ;)

Looking back at my 30-something years of life, I can, because of the way I feel about music, easily unpack an emotion from a moment or a phase in my life that has been in my archive since years and years, simply by turning on the song that was played at a certain point on repeat (in typical Linda fashion ;)) and it will instantly bring that same emotion to life (...please allow me to clarify, to avoid misunderstandings, that I mean the emotion I felt then ;)). I can also remember every lyric that ever moved me in some way...by heart...and I was always very grateful for this ability!

So here goes....a selective list of emotionally powerful songs, from some of my most admired artists, that I have FELT (Yes! I feel this music....), over the years (this list could have easily been of 100 songs, but I'll share only the most frequently played songs to spare you....a bit!!). I also added some favorite quotes from their lyrics:

Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Jewel - Painters
" Cause they were painters and they were painting themselves a lovely world.
Until one day the rain fell as thick as black oil and in her heart she knew something was wrong. She went running through the orchard screaming 'No God, don't take him from me!', but buy the time she got there, she feared he already had gone! She got to where he lay, water-colored roses in his hands for her...
She threw them down screaming, 'Damn you man, don't leave me with nothing left behind but these cold paintings, these cold portraits to remind me!
He said, 'Love I leave, but only a little, try to understand. I put my soul in this life we created with these four hands. Love, I leave, but only a little this world holds me still.... My body may die now, but these paintings are real.'"

Jewel - Kiss the flame

"Please love let's make no impartial vow. Let all fall away that's not crucial now.
I want a brave love, one that makes me weak in the knees. I want a crazy, crazy love
One that makes me come undone at the seams...
'Cause I'm tired of all these pilgrims, these puritans, these thieves, of all these unbelievers
who whittle love down at the knees.
Let these swift roads destroy themselves, let the world fall into its sleep, for we shall be spared, we shall be left standing, to face what's left of concrete and honey....Kiss the flame"

Missy Higgins - The Sound of White
"Like a freeze-dried rose, you will never be, what you were, what you were to me in memory. But if I listen to the dark, you'll embrace me like a star, envelope me, envelope me..." 
"My silence solidifies, until that hollow void erases you, erases you so I can't feel at all.
But if I never feel again, at least that nothingness will end the painful dream, of you and me..."

Live - Overcome
"Even now the world is bleedin', but feelin' just fine, all numb in our castle where we're always free to choose never free enough to find. I wish somethin' would break cuz we're runnin' out of time...and I am overcome."
"These women in the street pullin' out their hair. My master's in the yard givin' light to the unaware. This plastic little place is just a step amongst the stairs....and I am overcome."

A Fine Frenzy - What I wouldn't do
"If we were children I would bake you a mud pie, warm and brown beneath the sun. 
Never learned to climb a tree but I would try, just to show you what I'd done!"

Sarah McLachlan - Wait
"Under a blackened sky, far beyond the glaring streetlights, sleeping on empty dreams, the vultures lie in wait.
You lay down beside me then. You were with me every waking hour, so close I could feel your breath...
When all we wanted was the dream, to have and to hold that precious little thing.
Like every generation yields, the new born hope unjaded by their years"

Ingrid Michaelson - So Long
"I am soft for only you. Impale me with your tongue, it's true
And slices of me piled sky high, the same old me to the naked eye....but I can't find myself tonight"

Joshua Radin - One of those days
"Wait right here", is all she said to me and so right here I stay.
Time has reached our home and I've been left alone, it's carried her away
And everyone keeps saying, "Nothing helps but time", time is all I own.
...and time won't stop replaying aver in my mind, I watch the hours slow down."

Toto - I will Remember
" I went driving last night on a dark canyon road. Had the sky to myself, but I wasn't alone
Had the pain of my lifetime for my company. How did it end up like this, for you and me?"

The Weepies - Can't go back now
"You know there will be days when you're so tired that you can't take another step,
The night will have no stars and you'll think you've gone as far as you will ever get.
But you and me walk on..."
"I can't really say why everybody wishes they were somewhere else
But in the end, the only steps that matter are the ones you take all by yourself..."

Ingrid Michaelson - The Chain
" The sky looks pissed. The wind talks back. The bones are shifting in my skin and you my love are gone"

Sarah Mclachlan - Lost
"I want it all to go away I want to be alone. Sympathy’s wasted on my hollow shell...
I feel there’s nothing left to fight for, no reason for a cause..."
Unfortunately - there was no official video or even a really good one, so I will only share a link to one YouTube clip where this song is used: http://youtu.be/RmADYIdDO9U

Close your eyes as you LISTEN to these songs. Now THAT, my friends, that is art....for me...and there is not a lot that impresses me more that people who can write such beautiful music....and I suppose this is as close as I've ever gotten to being high.


Jul 12, 2011

Boredom and its consequences...

Things I do when I'm bored....
- Watch movies.....and I mean LOTS of them!
- Miss friends, family and Stockholm....and imagine what I would do if they were right next door to where I'm at...
- Start to watch a TV series that I've previously heard of but never before got around too (am right now watching Cougar Town and it's really really fun! If you haven't started, I sincerely recommend you to ;)))
- Read my favorite blogs and try to find new, interesting ones
- Pester people with humongous amounts of Tweets! ...and when I Tweet while being on boredom, that's when I also start Tweeting about all of those trending topic #topics ;)) ..
- Look for summer houses in Sweden and dream about decorating it.....
- Shop online
- Think about delicious and surprising food combinations that I could use to write some new recipes
- Pester people even more on Facebook!
- Go to the gym for training while watching CNN (we don't have a TV at home....by choice).
- Edit some of the thousands of photos I've taken and upload the best ones on JPG Magazine online.
- Overdose on coffee
- Blog
- Go for walks
- Read interior decoration or science magazines
- Solve crossword puzzles
- Checking LastFM to find new music
- Dream about writing a book or becoming a much better photographer!
Things I probably SHOULD be doing when I'm bored....
- Studying German
- Sorting out some stuff for the upcoming move
- Calling people (but for some reason, I'm not a big fan of talking over the phone more than occasionally).....
- Doing even more back exercises
- Going for even more walks
- Calling back all the headhunters and recruiting agents that have left messages in my voicemail, letting them know I'm not available for offers.
- Find out HOW to be a much better photographer or HOW to write a book
- Feeling incredibly guilty for all of the above things that I should be doing instead of what I AM doing!

So that's my week so far..... What are you up to?

Jul 9, 2011

I was blind, but now I see?

I believe in freedom of opinion and beliefs. Personally, I am quite a scientific person.....meaning I need facts to believe in things and hence, since there is no scientific proof, I was always sure that God was just a creation of peoples imagination to comfort themselves and find some sense to it all....(...and in some cases for abuse of power)....but after going to the local Coop grocery store today, seeing my favorite ice cream that I have been missing soooooo much since I moved here, Ben and Jerry's Baked Alaska, in their freezers, I'm not so sure anymore ;))

Halleluuuuuujaaaahhhh! Praise the ice cream lord, summer is saved!

Jul 8, 2011

Movie recommendation - Flipped

Flipped (2010)

"A cow by itself is just A cow. A meadow by itself is just grass, flowers. And the sun picking through the trees, is just a beam of light. But you put them all together and it can be magic!" Richard Baker, played by Aidan Quinn

Storyline: Juli Baker devoutly believes in three things: the sanctity of trees (especially her beloved sycamore), the wholesomeness of the eggs she collects from her backyard flock of chickens, and that someday she will kiss Bryce Loski. Ever since she saw Bryce's baby blues back in second grade, Juli has been smitten. 

Unfortunately, Bryce has never felt the same. Frankly, he thinks Juli Baker is a little weird--after all, what kind of freak raises chickens and sits in trees for fun? 

Then, in eighth grade, everything changes. Bryce begins to see that Juli's unusual interests and pride in her family are, well, kind of cool. And Juli starts to think that maybe Bryce's brilliant blue eyes are as empty as the rest of Bryce seems to be. After all, what kind of jerk doesn't care about other people's feelings about chickens and trees? With Flipped, mystery author Wendelin Van Draanen has taken a break from her Sammy Keyes series...
Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0817177/

This story is funny, heartfelt and as sweet as sugar....and on top of this, I found myself really liking the way the story was played out. Also a big plus for the uplifting music from the 50-60's! The perfect rainy-evening-snuggling-up-under-the-covers--kind-of-feel-good film.

Watch the trailer:

....or read more about it here:


For me, joy is.....

....in the anticipation of waiting for your loved one to come home after spending time apart.
....falling asleep, window slightly opened, listening to the sound of heavy rain.
....knowing that you have friends and family who you love and who love you for who you are and who are always there when you need them.
....feeling warm and gentle rays of sunshine on my skin.
....running towards friendly faces in the arrivals area at the airport when going home.
....smelling things you love! Like the sea, a lake, freshly cut grass, jasmine, sun-warm strawberries, freshly brewed coffee and most importantly, that scent of the one you love...you know the one you can smell hidden in the back of the neck?
....kissing the one you love.
....in the kind words coming directly from someones heart, telling you how they feel about you.
....in adventures...any kind!
....discussing your dreams and how to achieve them...together!
....eating my favorite ice cream with candy sprinkles.
....diving and exploring life under water.
....finding little heart shaped things unexpectedly, in food, nature or even in the clouds.
....receiving or showing kindness from/to a total stranger.
....being really hungry and then closing my eyes while eating my favorite food, enjoying every little bite.
....finding a quiet spot in the forest, preferably in a tree, listing to bird twitter while the wind lightly breezes through my hair.
....watching my little niece grow up.
....waking up to the smell of coffee.
....eating and baking cupcakes.
....achieving something physically difficult, like hiking up a mountain, after having thought "I cant go another step!"

....jumping into the cooling sea after a hot sauna and then floating on my back while stargazing.
....making people laugh or smile.
....capturing special moments, memories and places with my camera.
....the sound of laughter.
....finding a new song and playing it on repeat while singing out loud!
....being able to be outside, enjoying nature and all its glory.
....picking blueberries and wild strawberries in a sun warm pine forest and sticking them on a piece of straw.
....watching an amazing movie that grabs a hold of your heart and shakes out every emotion you possess.
....achieving what someone said was impossible.
....falling asleep and waking up next to the one I love...with a smile on my face.

What is joy to you?

Jul 7, 2011

Things on the mind of a slightly frustrated 30 something blogger....

First of all...don't worry......I know the frustration I'm feeling is only temporary.....I'm not loosing my mind, nor my normally positive spirit.....but some things have been on my mind lately and I need an outlet, so apologies for that ;))

In random order, independent of frequency or durance of these thoughts, here we go:
- Why is it always the carnivores who say things like "Phhhttt! Why must there be such things like veggie sausages or veggie meatballs?! Why can't vegetarians just eat vegetables?". Uhhmmm, what's it to you anyway? I love soy sausages and Qorn balls!! Can I eat them in peace please?

- Ok, so I recently hurt my back (Lumbago) and it makes me look a bit like a Cheese Doodle...or Quasimodo like some who have seen me might say.....the pain also makes me shake, visibly.....and every single time I have to "walk" to my physiotherapy sessions, people's eyes almost pop out of their heads, staring at me. Does this give me the right to punch them? Or at least carry around a water gun that I can aim and shoot with, should the looks not seize within 3 seconds? ....or would this turn me in to the female version of Gollum (Gollam?!)?

- Why is it that even above the age of 30, some people and processes still have the ability to make us feel like school children? Example..... Chris is right now serving 3 weeks of FORCED military service. For what reason? Switzerland is always neutral. Is it to protect Switzerland from other countries trying to steal their cheese or chocolate (not that I'd blame them.....it is DELICIOUS......but you see my point, right)? Or how about this one, calling in sick to work (due to my injury) and receiving an e-mail telling me I better ensure I have a doctors certificate.... Seriously? At the age of 32 you think I'd play hookie? C'mooooon!

- Why are there so many people on Facebook who instead of finding and spreading joy in/with it, just complain about what people post and with which frequency? The solution is definitely understandable even for dummies: Just.Unregister.Or.Log.Off. 
Man, some people must have lived too easy lives if this is what they call a problem.

- Why are there still so many un-environmental friendly yoghurt packaging materials used in this country? This is surely a dairy-nation and people eat a lot of yoghurts. Still, the biggest packs I find for my yoghurts are 150-250g's....in PLASTIC! What a waste!! Why not use 1L recyclable Tetra packs? Unfathomable.... 

Hmmm.....I think that's all....and yep, thanks! I do feel better now ;))
Feedback on this? I'm all ears.....


Jul 6, 2011

Movie recommendation - Barney's version

Barney's Version (2010)

FINALLY that movie came! The one I have been waiting for....the movie that would move me to tears and laughter, would make me THINK and for short moments, put my heartbeats on pause. Barney's version is a beautiful story about love, recklessness, regrets and about never giving up. 

"Take a ride through the life and memories of Barney Panofsky, a hard-drinking, cigar-smoking, foulmouthed 65-year old hockey fanatic and television producer, as he reflects on his life's successes and (numerous) gaffes and failures as the final chapters of his own existence come sharply into focus." Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1423894/

Paul Giamatti's performance is exceptional and in my opinion, certainly worthy of an Oscar nomination (at least!) for this role!! It is a movie that is equally beautiful and hard to watch that will make you reflect upon your own life, hopefully making you appreciate what you have more and help you put the good parts of it into focus.....

Don't miss this amazing gem!! All though the playing time is quite long (132 min's), it is worth the time spent.....

Watch the trailer:

....or read more about it here:

I hope you enjoy it! Please do let me know what you think about it.