Scandinavian Summer vs New York

There is nothing like summer in Scandinavia. Every little island in the archipelago comes alive and people, especially in Finland, go from being introverted and silent, to extroverted and naked, swimming in some of our 188 000 lakes and enjoying the favourites of almost as many islands, while heating up the sauna to over a 100 degrees celsius under a sun that never goes to sleep.    In New York things were different. The silent politeness of my home country is nearly nonexistent among scyscrapers and college jocks. People wear swimsuits in the sauna (?!) and exchange clothes and friends at a live fast die young pace very different from home. This change allowed me to meet new people easily, live quickly and learn exciting things at a surprising speed, but it also pushed me to set some clear boundaries for what I want and don’t want in my life. 

Yes, we are all different and need to be kind and meet other people’s needs, but at the same time you have the right to care for yourself too and not become a dormat for others to walk over. You have the right to choose what you allow in your life and decide if there is something that should not be in your life, especially if it’s hurting both yourself and others in the long run.

 I also learned that you will fail. Even after you have the courage to take a risk, to grab hold of a lifelong dream, you will still fail along the road. Over and over again, you will fail. 

Slowly, this continuous process of failing in different ways, of never being perfect or flawless in the way I run, write, cook or communicate with people, or do anything completely flawlessly for that matter, killed the fear of failure in my heart. The very same fear of failure and rejection that held me back from becoming a college athlete in the US straight out of high school. The very same fear of failure and rejection that used to paralyze me in relationships, friendships and everyday life. 

The very same fear of failure and rejection that allows us to stay isolated and prevents us from being connected to our purpose, our inner selves and others. 

That fear is dead. 

Suddenly the illusion of never being enough no longer haunts you because you finally truly believe that you are enough. Just as you are, you are enough. 

  


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