Every action and every thought is a product of both your past and your present. I have lived in Sweden, Los Angeles and New York. I have forgotten much and it feels like three different lives. But fact is, my past is me.
I lived in Sweden until I was 18 years old. Perfect place to grow up. I actually just some day ago found my old “baby book” where my parents wrote about my progress as a child (much like I am doing now in this blog). Its funny because they described me basically the same way every year; happy, stubborn, positive, strong, knows what she wants and with a twinkle in her eyes. With emphazis on the stubborn and strong part. What is more funny is that that is kind of how I described myself in my profile here on my site, isn’t it? I apparently still have the same core personality as when I was 1, 2,3 and 4 years old. By other parents and teachers I was described as a ray of sunshine.
But then my teenage years were rocky. I felt unloved, unappreciated and out of place. I went through different phases quicker then Justin Bieber goes through scandals. Sporty, emo, punk, dancer, barbie, blond, bitch, popular, rock, hipster, classy to finally land somewhere close to how I am today. Most of it was clearly just a way to both find myself as well as get attention. But through these phases the recurring thing was that I was depressed. Looking back that was probably a combination of the swedish darkness, boredom and the want to feel important. It was like an illness that dragged me down into a pit and I found no way to get up. I cut my arms (the clearest evidence of “hey! notice me!”), I heavily considered suicide and then I started on meds. The change came when I realized I had to make a change. Not because I felt better, but because I found strength. I have analyzed this period over and over, and as terrible as I might find it, it made me become who I am. Never have I been prouder over myself or seen what I am capable of. It might seem awful, or even pathetic to some, but this period shaped my want for a better, happier life.
I moved to Los Angeles at the age of 18. I stopped my meds hastily about two weeks before, although you are supposed to slowly cut down. My first weeks or months in LA I was a mess- insecure, crying, mood swing and break downs. But I knew I could do it. Everyone else doubted my move to LA. My family was against it, and told me to do it on my own. My friends felt it was dum, that I should have a back up plan because most likely it would not work. This is my proudest moment of my life. I got through it. No doctors, no meds. Years and years with depression and I got through it all on my own, in a situation with all odds against it. After this, I walked with my back straight and my head high; I knew my self worth.
Then the two years in Los Angeles consisted of partying, drama, sex, alcohol, celebrities, gossip, attitudes and you get the picture. Nothing productive. But nevertheless important for my persona. I learnt what I do not want to be like. I learnt about other people. I did it and got it out of my system. I don’t like who I was there, but I like who I have become because of who I was there. It paid off.
Then New York, my second proudest achievement. During a break in the end of school I suddenly googled for flight tickets to NY and bought a one way. I am not impulsive when it comes to smaller stuff, but clearly when it comes to big stuff I am. Because I had seen what I was capable of before, I knew I could do this too. Nothing could stop me. I knew nobody, I had no money, no job, no apartment, I had nothing in New York. But I went. Those first three months was a hell. I worked like 17 hours a day in 3 jobs to be able to survive, constantly having the pressure of keeping my visa in status. I rented a shabby room with rats everywhere. I have never felt so alone. I was exhausted, both body and mind. But I never gave up, and I got a great job, moved to a better place and got friends. Now I call it my home. And if I could do that, I know I am unstoppable. Because even if things seem really hard, I know if you just calm down, throw yourself out there and slowly go through it you can do anything. You just can not be scared of trying.
So although I do not remember much of things that has happened to me, I can see the impact it has had and that every little bit of it, both good and bad, is important. I am 22 years old, and I can not wait for what more life has stored for me.