A lot of people have long ago packed their suitcases and left in the pursuit of a different life. I am not there yet. I am currently in the middle of a crossroad in which I am striving to find my own way to live in accordance to my personal values and beliefs, be it in Sweden or somewhere else. At the moment I am clueless in regards to which road I will take. I have no idea how many obstacles, detours and dead ends I will encounter along the way, nor what final destination my journey will lead me to. In fact, I am not even sure what my first destination will be. All I know is that I am on the way. My way.
I am currently in the middle of a sticky dough of decision-agony filled with contrasting ingredients; An intense longing for a life by the seaside and a strive for an alternative lifestyle different from today’s’ consumer society. Whipped together with expectations of settling down in the safety of a full time job and a house loan. Stirred with tough financial considerations, a huge amount of insecurity, inevitable self criticism and worries about the uncertainty. Baked on high temperature, served on a bed of growing restlessness and stuffed with a hardly noticeable little voice that screams to make itself heard while repeatedly being drowned out by a heavy sauce made up of the continuous noise of stressful everyday life. If that sounds confusing it’s because that’s exactly what it is.
On one hand I have a very exciting, rewarding and meaningful job waiting within an area that I am interested in and that could surely satisfy me for a limited period of time. It would without any doubt satisfy my family, the society and my retirement savings account. But it would mean no end to the role play that I find myself stuck in. Another full time job at this point in my life would force me to keep up the pretending and further increase the distance to my true self. It would fill my days with more stress, increased tiredness, decreased wellbeing, less presence, and worst of all; a continuous fading of the sparkle in my eyes. The sparkle that can shine so incredibly bright but which has lately been losing its’ intensity. The sparkle whose absence indicates that I am on the wrong path in life.
To merely change from one stressful fulltime job to another would be to make a “Cul-de-sac-decision”; a decision that eventually leads to the same spot over and over again. A decision without any forward movement and without any real change. A dead end road.
Paulo Coelho writes in one of his books that it takes 29 years for Saturn to make one orbit around the sun and return to the same place it was when a person was born. The main character in the book contemplates about how we humans, during the first 29 years of our lives, are relatively flexible and open to learning and new possibilities but how most of us after passing the age of 29, or in other words after the return of Saturn, become more attached to our habits. How we more easily settle in the comfort of our previously shaped behavioral patterns and how we, to a smaller and smaller extent, challenge ourselves to expand our comfort zone. How we risk stagnation by the time that Saturn begins his second orbit around the sun.
There’s something about that metaphor that appeals to me and having recently turned 29 I want to make this year a crucial year where I, at the same time as Saturn begins his next orbit around the sun, take my next steps towards shaping an authentic life which will come to characterize my next 29 years. Because of that I will soon embark on a journey, within and outside of Sweden, during which I will gather inspiration, knowledge, insights and experiences that will be valuable as I shape my personal version of a different life.
Curious readers will be able to follow my journey through this blog as well as through photos on Instagram; pointsoftears