Good evening! It’s been a while since I last published something on here. I’ve been busy with family, friends and a lot of work at my new workplace, Turning Torso – Sky High Meetings, where I host conferences. I love it. I get to meet the most interesting people and the venue is incredible. I operate on the top floors in the highest skyscraper of the Nordic region. Yes, it’s as cool as it sounds, actually. I am very glad and grateful.
Besides from being happy, and probably happier than ever – I still get anxious. I feel like my worth is dependant on performance. Unfortunately, that’s the way I was raised – solely praised for achievements. Even though I know that I am a good person and should be valued for who I am, I find it hard to give myself a break. At the end of the day, most of what I do is a subconscious attempt to impress in order to feel worthy of attention. It’s so bad. The real struggle truly lies within myself nowadays. I obviously didn’t get a full life toolbox out of my childhood but I’m an adult now, it’s no one’s job but my own to take care of me – and I want to do that. I will have to find the missing tools on my own before I can start using them – in order to heal my ambivalent soul.
All of this makes perfect sense to me, yet it hurts pretty bad at times. I’ve got so much love to give. Why is it so hard to give some to myself? I know I deserve it, I just don’t have that sense of being loveable, supposedly because I never really felt that warm unconditional love towards me before. It’s a constant fight between what I know and what I think. I have some serious sorting to do…
I get misunderstood a lot. I don’t blame anyone, sometimes I don’t even understand myself. However, I want you to know this: when sharing these personal stories, it is not because I want you to take on responsibility for my well-being. I merely share out of sincerity to give you a fair chance of understanding where I come from. I often get the feeling that people believe it’s their job to fix me and so they shy away because that’s just too much. It is too much, and I don’t expect that from anyone but myself, OK? As far as I know, friendship is about being supportive to the extent of personal ability. I know my friends care regardlessly, they don’t have to move mountains for me. You amount to more than effort. As do I.
I wasn’t born at IKEA, but I can almost say that I grew up inside those yellow and blue walls. Both of my parents worked there when they met, and during the early years of my childhood. At times, my dad was at the flagship store in Kungens Kurva, Stockholm, and my mum mainly at the office in another store. I used to come along and hang out with her lovely colleagues and I especially remember one who used to buy me ice cream!
I have long been inspired by great entrepreneurs; Ingvar Kamprad and Steve Jobs have always been particularly interesting. At upper secondary school, my last major essay was about these two. I chose to compare two multinational companies in two completely different industries. I looked into terms such as business concept, leadership and product. What fascinates me the most is the fact that these individuals failed many times but still managed to do great deeds. They share a story of hard work, passion and multiple obstacles. I suppose that’s what makes people go down in history. Fail, fail again, fail until you don’t. And of course, have a vision. Ambition.
Mama and papa met Ingvar. I never did although he’s been on my bucket list. He will be missed.
Sweden, and the rest of the world, yesterday we lost one of the greatest minds of our time but let’s carry out the task for him, and for us, by never ever letting creativity die. Kamprad didn’t think outside the box, he thought inside the flat-pack. The last sentence makes me realise even more how brilliant he actually was. Dare to think differently and the game of innovation will be in the bag.
The other day, I went outside for a walk with mum. After about an hour of strolling in our neighbourhood, she inscrutably said that there was something she had to tell me. I immediately thought she was expecting. Her fifth. She put it exactly like that the other two times.
I was pleased to find out rather quickly – that was not the case. I do love every single one of my siblings but I always felt the current number was enough. I mean, all l I ever asked for was one. I ended up with three plus three! The moral of this subplot: be careful what you wish for!
Consequently, no baby boom but a bang as she dropped another bomb. My beloved mother is moving to Bangkok! The moment she uttered those words, tears welled up in my eyes. I have no idea how to manage without her close by. She is the indispensable life-support system of mine that I am in serious need of in situations like these. Mama just caused a minor life crash and I feel slightly injured at the moment. The main reason I live in Malmö is because of her and her three kids, my sister and my twin brothers. I cannot believe they will be gone in a month, for one and a half year at least. I am going to miss them times ten.
A number of degrees warmer, six hours ahead and a ten hour flight away. Never have I ever cared this much about numbers! Nevertheless, of course I am happy for my family and this great opportunity. I certainly would have done the same.
We have now discussed the matter for a couple of days. Finally, I have realised this can be advantageous for me as well. I will have an excellent excuse to visit Thailand. Besides, I will get the chance to finally see the sun again and get a tan! It has been eleven years…
I think a lot. So, here’s a thought I thought I’d share with you. Just a thought that brings me comfort: you’re not wrong, you’re just not right.
Everyone can’t be the right one. Ultimately, there’s only one the one. I mean, just because you’re not right, doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Like my dad used to tell me, yet in a completely different context: ”This is not against you, Julia. This is for me”, meaning he didn’t do what he did to be mean to me. He simply did it for his own gain. Basically, I had nothing to do with it and it was all well meant.
At some point, you’ll be more than all right for someone, and when you think about it this way, it doesn’t hurt as much to be basically no one to what feels like everyone. One day, you’ll be just right for someone and it won’t matter that you weren’t all the other times.
Sometimes, people are willing to settle for anyone, anywhere. I believe it’s always better to settle for the one and only, even if that person oftentimes seems to be nowhere. I’m still searching for Mr (b)right. That’s right, he has to be a smart one!
I’m convinced everybody’s ”rights” are left somewhere. We just need to move forward and leave the thought of being wrong behind.
We often talk about how actions speak louder than words, but I have got to be honest with you – as always. Actions without words does not appeal to me (either). I am a woman whose body and soul are one with the words. The more I express them, the more they come to me. In the end, I overflow. I have to get them out of my system. That is how my words rule and this, is how I rule the wor(l)d.
Actions are crucial. Words are necessary. I am coming from a place where my words were not always welcome. Words in terms of strong arguments. It did not matter if I was right. In fact, that was undeniably the major reason to why I had to zip it. The truth of certain actions was too perplex to be revealed through this very mouth – through my words. Implicitly, I was better off keeping everything within me; within the stomach, head and heart of a child.
Actions and words apply to multiple levels of life in several ways. I do need the talk through actions, but words must be present in one way or another on a daily basis, too. Actions and words go hand in hand. Words do not mean more to me than actions, I merely figured that words generally mean more to me than to others.
Never again will I put the weight of unspoken words on my shoulders. They might be able to handle it after an infinite number of hours in the battlefield, however they do not deserve it. I shall stick to this commitment for the rest of my life and I a woman of my word.
Words are not just words to me. I use them wisely and I love to play with them. However, that is a whole other story. I love deep talks, connecting with other people and finding the right words to say… It is not as easy as it may seem. In the progress of getting to know myself better I have learned a lot about communication. Here are some keywords (sentences):
1. Active listening versus passive hearing.
2. Be aware of personal perception filters.
3. Listen with your ears, eyes and gut.
4. Understand as you seek to be understood.
I warn you, with me you will always get too many words but I ensure you that they all have meaning. I do not do words for nothing. This post is long but now I feel confident that nothing is left out and nothing has been wasted. At times words fail. On the other hand, actions failed me first and that is where words fill in.
Some of this might be difficult to understand. I am being fairly personal but at the end of the day, I am writing this for no one but myself.
I often feel the urge to explain in words (preferably written) and I continuously expect explanations from others. For instance, I cannot take no for an answer. I need to know why. I constantly seek to comprehend and it is hard for me to understand beyond reasons. There has to be at least one and it most certainly has to be reasonable, or I will argue. It is both a weakness and an asset, I would say.
I rarely raise my voice. I cannot even remember the last time. I learned the hard way that there was no point. Instead, I raised my words. I am happy to say today that they have taken me far from where I once were. Words are so much. They are integrity, compliments, humour – you name it. Words are what you make them. Make them count.
For anyone to get to know me inch by inch, that person will have to get to know me word by word. Nevertheless, there is more to me than words, but how could I possibly tell you about that? I can only show you…
I am a HSP, a common condition but seldom understood. However, I have learned that a HSP should not want to ‘cure’ oneself. It is who you are. It is who I am. A Highly Sensitive Person. “Rather than just being a personality type, like being shy or outgoing, being a HSP is defined as having a hypersensitive nervous system.” In order to comprehend and come to terms with myself I started to read. One book and a few articles on the matter. Only now have I advanced to live in the modern world and watched this TEDx Talk. I sincerely recommend giving Elena Herdieckerhoff just over fifteen minutes. She is worth it. Watch with English subtitles! Even if you are nothing like me, you will get a deeper knowledge for as much as one fifth of the population. High sensitivity is normal, we are quite a few but not enough to be well understood by the majority of those around us.
PS, ironically, I began to cry at the end of this video…
I rarely see my mother and when I do, it is usually for lunch dates on weekdays (a.k.a. work days), which means that once I get to see her it is only for about an hour which is certainly too little time. On these occasions, I either talk too fast to manage to utter everything she has missed before we must part ways, or, I have nothing to say because I do not know where to start.
I love spending time with my mum, Anna. She is smart, encouraging and we laugh at the very same things. We are very much alike. Right now, she is on a business trip somewhere in Europe and after touchdown Sweden, she will travel to Switzerland the very next day for a vacay. She is a busy woman for sure and her time is precious.
“Mamma Anna” is definitely one of my best friends. Thus, it is important for me to meet with her regularly. However, I definitely need to make new friends this year; it is a fact acknowledged that I cannot hang out with my mother as much as I wish, but mainly since one of my best friends, Claudia, is leaving for Barcelona indefinitely in just a few days now!
Just like Claudia, I also feel that I am done with Sweden for a while, and since I am not bound to stay (boyfriend, kids…), I am thinking of a getaway. I am pretty certain it is a Londonbound thought. I will just have to sort some things out before I make a move. Imagine my state of mind if I were to live in my favourite city and date my favourite kind of men – the British ones. What am I waiting for?
For me, 2017 is not going to be about hitting the gym more often. This year will be about the following:
Eating better. I have to start thinking about what I eat, or rather, what I do not eat; skipping meals and barely eating real food is not healthy. Frankly, it is very stupid. I am not very bad at cooking but I cannot say that I am very good either. I have zero confidence in the kitchen but I am far from incapable. I need to begin to cook proper meals for myself – at least once a day. I probably suffer from several types of nutritional deficiencies and that is utterly bad in so many ways. Carbohydrates, fats, fibre, minerals, proteins, vitamins and water – here I come!
Daring to fail. I am a perfectionist. I want to do everything right and I am committed to perform in the best way possible. Whatever I do, it has to be done wholeheartedly. I am against mediocrity. I find it hard to do things in a perfunctory manner – then I see no reason to carry out the task. Consequently, my challenge is to lower my standards for myself just a little bit. High standards are beneficial in many aspects, but this is important to me because it will give me the courage to do more things. One cannot win if one do not even try and there are actually various things that I refrain from simply because of the feeling that I will not be able to do it well enough. Sometimes it is just about doing. It is definitely worth a shot. I need to convince myself that I can be good even if I am not the best. This has to do with self-esteem as much as it has to do with personal attributes. I must dare to live a little.
Feeling comfortable in my own skin. I ought to learn to accept my imperfections (but work on them if I can), value and love myself at all times and lastly, allow me to believe that I will do just as I am. Always. I have to trust that I am beautiful even though I do not like my nose, even though I want to lose weight, and even though I have fairly bad skin. The things that come with good self-esteem are many times much prettier than the physical.
I will also continue to work with Jubilee Line (my brand/fashion start-up), try to make friends/peace with as many as possible and last but not least, try to be better at giving compliments. It is so important and I urge everyone to get better at it! It is an amazing positivity boost. I am pretty good at it already but one can never give, nor take, enough compliments, right? As long as they are sincere!
The reason I do not have a resolution about workouts is because I tend to overdo it. I (already) go three or four times a week, I train hard and I usually stay for at least two hours. Furthermore, I always walk home from my work which is about a 20-minute stroll. I walk a lot, it is cheaper than taking the bus and my imaginary bike does not take me anywhere. What I am trying to say is that I am good at getting daily exercise! Therefore, this is not something I feel that I need to develop. Nevertheless, I will of course aim to stay in good shape and keep my routines as they are. Three, two, one… Go!
My little sister Emma gave me this piece of paper a few years ago when I had recently moved in with my mother again. The note says: “To Julia from Emma. I wish you could stay here more than all the days.” I also got the cute little drawing with it and the red glitter heart that is barely visible in this photograph. So much love.
“I never told you how much you mean to me, what in the world I would do – I just never made it through to you.”
“Home used to be just some walls that I knew, but the truth is that home means nothing without you.”
“There goes a month, there goes a year. So many things out there I fear.” And so many things I want to share…
“You taught me how to stand my ground. This life is a song, happy and sad, and I don’t want to sing without you Dad.”
“Maybe it’s selfish when I say these words: but I’m missing you.”