The Sixtythird Letter

"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing."

-Benjamin Franklin

This life mantra has been working out pretty well for me the last couple years. I'm trying at least.

Most memorable moments of 2011:

-The call that I got the job

-Finishing a masters thesis

-Speaking at my masters graduation

-Valborg weekend

-Midsummer. I didn't write about it because it was too good, and words wouldn't have sufficed. It would have sounded like I was exaggerating but really, all who were there agreed that it was one of the best ever. And it was my first, and I had been looking forward to it for years :)

-BBQs in Sweden once summer hit... on the island of Ven, in Botan in Lund, in the grass outside my apartment in Lund, in Filip's backyard in Göteborg, in parks all over Stockholm, by the sea in Österlen, and more

-Touching down in San Francisco after being gone in Sweden for almost a year, and hugging my mom. There is no other hug like that.

-The lovely week in Budapest

-Lund International Week especially our night in the cottage by the sea with the Swedish food and awesome dance party

Spring in Lund. I did write about it even before it hit its peak... and it's not really fair to say a whole season as a most memorable moment, but really, I've never seen a place go through such a transformation before... the vibe, the people, the greenery... it just exploded.

-Family time during the second half of summer

-Being there when my high school best friend married her perfect guy, in a field outside Chicago, with a party in a barn

*wedding photo credit

-Being in Santa Barbara for Fiesta and getting to see so many many friends that used to and still live there

-Going to New York City with work and getting to do and taste and see a million cool things, plus meet up with some more California friends

-Having my mom and Brad visit Sweden... Hanging out with them in Visby, Lund, Ales Stenar, and Stockholm. Knowing that they now can picture my life and and friends here

-My Roaring 20s themed birthday

-In early November, the final day of the end of my first project with my wonderful, challenging and long awaited job.


So... about 2012...

I had a hard time really deciding upon what to say about this upcoming year, that's why it's taken me awhile to get this post up.

Two incredible things about 2012 are:

1) I enter it having so many things that I want, things that weren't easy to attain.

2) I know (as much as anyone can know their near-ish future) that I will be living in the same place and city and having the same job through the end of the year. Saying all those things is something I haven't been able to do for 4 years now. Wow, even writing that out gives it more impact for me than it had in my head.
What's interesting is that I've been blogging for 4 1/2 years now, and so I can look back and see what I was thinking and planning each of these years where I haven't known what was in front of me. For so long I was a girl who had big question marks in her pathway.                      That can be exciting.
But I'm really happy that this year, I don't.

However, I'd like to continue living in the pattern I was establishing for myself these past years... for example, at the start of 2009 when I said:

"I want to live with as much honesty and straightforwardness as possible."
"Here's to a year full of adventure. A year with taking more chances but secure in the fact that I know myself well enough to handle whatever may come."

And at the start of 2010:
"I'm going to spend time with people who are living life to the fullest, and see places I've been dying to see."
"I'm going to live an adventure. I swear it."

And sometime in 2011 when I said:

"I've had a very interesting past couple of years where I've learned a lot about how many cool things can come from saying "why not?" more often than is customary."
When little else was certain, I wanted an adventurous life. An honest life with with friends who seize the day and live richly. A challenging life spent out of the comfort zone.
And I have had that. Each of those years. And I am certain now that I will continue to.
And now I will add something for 2012, that takes a page from what I said at the start of 2008:

 "I think forward to the future so much; the promise and possibilities of next week, next summer, 5 years from now, are irresistible. I enjoy the present well enough, as anyone who knows me can attest to, but I do have a hard time being grounded in it, and need to be better at that."

The girl who said that, wow, she had no idea what was in front of her. The possibilities she imagined, completely changed by the hard times in the immediate future, the unexpected turns several months later,  major decisions a long time after that, and hard work even further on. How dumbfounded, and likely, confusedly thrilled, that girl would have been if she'd seen a glimpse of January 2012...

A darling apartment on an island in Stockholm, Sweden.
Snow outside my window. A job for an international company where I'm stretched and reviewed for all my strengths and weaknesses like never before and pushed to grow. Friends all around me who care deeply and who I think used to have accents but I don't hear them anymore, and who sometimes speak to me in a beautiful foreign language that I learn more of all the time.  A family and countless friends who are far away but never make me feel less loved.

This is a present worth being grounded in. A year deserving of my settled and thoughtful attention. A year to stop looking beyond the bend so much, and get to just be and grow.

 And don't for a second think that means a year with any less adventure or why nots...


  1. I love and admire this post....and you.

  2. can't believe how the time flies! wow.

  3. Thanks Mom!
    Yeah Meg... I know :)

  4. Hi Corine,
    I am on the eve of taking a decision about having a finance masters degree at Stockholm. I am learning many things about your experiences. Thanks for the blog. I would be happy if I can ask some questions directly via mail especially about education.
    Waiting for more stories.


  5. Hey Can, just saw your message, but not sure how to reach you back directly without leaving my email address up... Let me know, would love to share!

  6. I like this blog so much and I like bhabhi ka doodh wali kahani and choot kahani its cool urdu chudai kahani


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