Never Not Coming Here.

Saw this movie the other night here in Lund and was reminded of this quote from it that I like the idea of...

"I thought about one of my favorite Sufi poems, which says that God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. I was never not coming here. This was never not going to happen."
— Eat Pray Love

I have known Swedes for about two years now. Back then, and for quite awhile, I had no idea I'd end up studying here. One of my Swedish friends whom I've known for a year asked me the other day what my intentions were in Sweden, now that I've arrived and am planted in my studies and experiencing the country in person. Did I think I was just going to be here for the length of program, did I want to stay longer, what were my thoughts about this place in relation to me...

I told him, using words I hadn't framed for my thoughts until that very moment, "What I'm aiming to do, is, well, to break my heart in two."

He understood exactly what I meant... and it's that I love the people here, I love the country, and I want to weave myself into it- for however long it works out- so that it becomes a part of me. What makes up most of who I am is connected to my friends and family and experiences back in the States, and I've always inherently known that as fiercely as I love all that, I have the capacity and openness to make somewhere else a deep part of that as well. Someday, I have a feeling, wherever I am, my heart will sometimes ache for one place when I'm in the other, for one set of friends though I'm happily surrounded by the other, for spontaneous runs by the beach when I'm tramping through snow in a beautiful forest, or vice versa.

Another Swedish friend of mine from my class wrote me on Facebook several weeks ago about my Letters From Lund. He said that he was enjoying them, and then...
"What strikes me is the absence of badmouthing. Whenever I go abroad, at some point I always just get sick of...whatever really. 'We do things so much better at home' is what I'll think one minute and the next I'm just awed by some building or taste sensation. I can never make up my mind if I love it or hate it... However, there are no bad things in your letters. Where are the bad things? Are you intentionally keeping them out, or are you really just...happy?"

I answered, "Yes. There are bad things. Am I intentionally keeping them out? Yes. Am I really just happy? Definitely."

I explained that I don't feel naturally drawn to write about the 'bad things', it's not very fun, so it's not usually an intentional omission, but a natural one. Also, I said that I've learned that when it comes to the negative, if I don't dwell on it, write about it, share it, then it goes away and I'm left with mostly how much I enjoy things here. I didn't choose to study abroad to critique my new location, although that happens occasionally. I came to get to know it. Already caring about it. So I accept it as it is, for the most part, even when it's hard for me...and then I just want to understand it. If you're a Swedish friend of mine and I'm pelting you with questions, that's where it comes from. If you're reading these letters, know that life here isn't perfect, but that because I am in a relationship with this country, as with any friend, I choose to focus on the good.


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