As I said in my last posts, the past 6 months have been rough. We’ve been unemployed, moving from place to place, and money has been tight. However, we’ve had a lot of support from within the community. Friends have let us stay with them and there have been others that have not really understood the depth of our situation, yet still just provided a nice time. I’m so grateful for Swedish people!
Truthfully, the stress of moving to a new place (country) and trying to get settled has put our relationship in a tough place. I regretfully admit the number of distressing conversations have been a good majority because of me and my fears. Nothing could’ve prepared me for the difficulties of immersing into a new culture, despite it still being a western country.
A Swedish woman had shared an old Swedish adage with me, “gott ska till goda komma,” or that good things come to good people. With all of our fights, I was beginning to think this quote wasn’t applicable to me or my situation. I don’t know if it’s the laws of physics or karma, but I think tough stuff can only happen for so long before things start to take a turn for the better.
I know it’s no excuse, but in case you haven’t heard from me or us, this is why:
Morning Mysore Classes (Undervisning)
When I got notification that I finally was able to start Swedish languages classes, we promptly decided to stop our morning mysore program. This was for many reasons, but two were that I wouldn’t have the time because of school and with our present financial circumstances, we both just needed to get some steady income from regular work. I’m sorry to our one dedicated student, Maria, I hope we’re able to teach you again in the future.
All in all, I just want to be a student right now and I am…
SFI – Svenska för Invandrare
After 8 or 9 weeks on the waiting list, I started at SFI or Svenska för Invandrare (Swedish for Immigrants). Long story short, Sweden offers free language classes for new immigrants. My course is 4 hours every morning, 4 days a week. Tuesdays I’m free, which is typically my day to go to Copenhagen for my internship. When I’m not studying or writing, I’ve been teaching a Spanish woman English. Language immersion is accelerating my life, but it’s also connecting me to cultures I never would’ve ever come into contact elsewhere. People from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, etc…we have a lot of fun in class too, despite language barriers.
A friend within the law community connected B with a full-time job, called hemtjänst or assisted living. He visits elderly, makes sure they are fed, washed, administers medicine, etc. He has expressed his conflict with giving drugs as we try to be as natural as possible in our daily lives. The irony is that most of his coworkers smoke and eat junk food. I wonder why they don’t see the correlation, the “nurses” now will become those they are caring for if they keep up their present lifestyle. Do people just give up or is it really that people are so unaware?
I was expressing to B that this job has it’s value and importance in the community. He’s not just maintaing people and keeping them alive with drugs, there’s an opportunity to share and give something that isn’t discussed in his training. However, I understand his frustrations and angst about feeding unhealthy food or pharmaceuticals to sick people. I’ve started reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and it addresses our views of aging and dying. It talks about the value of hospice work because it gives practical and emotional care. Where B can make a difference is finding a way to give something more profound though, something in the form of spiritual comfort.
My internship is going well and I’m still really happy to be working with Pine Tribe. I’m not sure if this will actually result in a potential work opportunity or if I am just that, an intern. Either way, learning Swedish and the experience I have and will further gain with Pine Tribe will hopefully land me a job in the autumn.
On top of language classes, my internship, I also will hopefully be starting a part time job as a receptionist at a yoga studio. I’m just ready to be contributing to things financially as I feel it’s an unfair burden for B to carry on his own.
Yoga N’ Spice
I’ve lost steam with this project, we had been tirelessly contacting companies without having much result. But, after nearly 7 weeks of correspondence, we’ve finally landed a teaching gig with the Malmö Redhawks, the professional hockey team in the city.
This excites me in so many ways because for a long time I’ve wanted to teach yoga to athletes and businesses. We’re hoping other opportunities will develop in this area, but again, it’s summer and in Scandinavia (or perhaps Europe), everything sort of stops.
And no, our website is still not how I want it to be, but I don’t really care so much at the moment.
We finally have our own place. The bed isn’t the nicest. Did I mention Swedes have really small beds? Despite being the land of Ikea, people still seem to stick with 120 cm size bed in a lot of apartments we viewed. If you’re American, this is something between a twin or single size bed and a double. It’s a nice temporary solution for the summer, but we’re a bit tight in the sleeping situation. C’mon, albeit I’ve had some big bed sizes in the past, but this is a bit small. We’re in a great location though, not too close or too far from the center of the city. We’re aiming to move to our official place come September.
Despite the weather in Sweden being nicer in June, I still am nostalgic for summer in San Diego.
All in all, the structure and routine of school, my internship, getting a part time job, B’s full time job and random yoga gigs here and there are enough to keep us busy for while. I’m thankful to have stuff happening. The momentum is picking up and I’m starting to feel like immersion is becoming a reality. Although, I’m feeling like the pendulum is swinging the opposite direction. I’ve gone from having not so much to do to having far too much. As B always says, ‘you have to swing out of balance to find balance.’
Truthfully though, I feel so spread thin with my friends. I’m sorry to all my friends in other countries. It’s so hard to stay connected with everyone with all the time zones, in addition to try to develop a life and friendships here. It’s hard to not lose touch with a lot of you. You’re still in my heart though!
Ahead this month are many fun all Swedish things. Midsommar is right around the corner, something I must post about as we’ll be doing it really Swedish this year. Happy June! I’m so ready for you summer!