A little over a year ago I was sitting under the desert sun, beer in hand, barefoot, sunburned and dirty, being that I was a couple days into a music festival. I was very happy and having the time of my life. But there was a big question weighing on my mind, and I discussed it with one of my Swedish friends there with me.
Was I going to get into graduate school in Sweden and be able to go?
"Of course you will," he said. "You will get in, and you'll go, and it is going to be so, so great." He seemed so confident. I nodded and hung on to my cautious and determined hope, and then in the next few weeks, found out that indeed, I did get in and I was going to go. So I went, and it was, still is, so very great.
A couple of weeks ago, I sat on the patio at The Story Hotel in Stockholm. Beer in hand, but with high heels, a blazer and dress pants on. It was the end of an intense daylong interview process for a job. The same friend sat across from me, and we discussed how the day had gone and the big question weighing on my mind.
Will I get a job in Stockholm (the kind of job I've wanted for several years now) and be able to stay in Sweden?
"You will," he said. "And it's going to be great." I mentioned the déjà vu feeling of the moment, and we said that we hoped that this time around there would be the same results. The night went on and I sat there, happy to be surrounded by several of the Swedish friends that I had known for the longest, since 2008, 2009 and 2010, before I'd ever come to Sweden.
I got a call the next day about the job, and a message from that same friend soon after that, once he'd heard the news.
"Our conversation at The Story the other day turned out to be a reprise of the one at Coachella a year earlier!"
Indeed it was. I got the job. In Stockholm. I will stay in Sweden...I don't know how long but I don't need to know that now. What I do know is that it is the right thing to do right now, and that I have friends all around me, here and in California, that believe in me even when I feel I should be cautious about believing in myself. This was never easy and the odds were not in my favor. But here we are...I'm so happy and so excited.
And I will be honest with you, I'm a little scared too.
And that's when I've pulled out messages from those who've known me even longer, those who watched this all unfold and so much more before it.
One of my dearest friends from Santa Barbara, Anna, wrote this in her goodbye card to me:
"Although I know in my head you are leaving, my heart does not believe it! However, what I do believe is that while you are moving away from us :( you are moving closer to yourself. Sweden is calling you - has been calling you."
And it still is. It does not mean that I don't miss everyone who isn't here fiercely, that I don't think about you all the time and wish we were having coffee together, laughing at new jokes together, watching football together, shopping together, playing soccer together, sitting on the beach together, taking walks around the lake together.
It just means that Anna was right, and she still is.