If we were having coffee, I would tell you that in the end my summer will be Scandinavian. After much back and forth, it looks that I will still join my husband who is working in Oslo this summer (first, the idea was that I go with him, next, that I stay in Barcelona, and in the end he got a bit emotional because two months apart is too long. Just to give a little idea of how our family works 😆).
I didn’t know what to feel. Happy to escape from the heat and noise of Bcn (and to hug my Oslo friends) or sad to leave the summer for the Norwegian weather unpredictability? But then I decided to look at the brighter side of things – took my journal and jotted down all the things I am looking forward to do in Oslo.
At times I find it difficult to come in touch with my motivation and inspiration. Maybe, it’s the apathetic vibe of autumn, or maybe, I think too much. When I’d hear “you think too much”, I’d always smile (superiorly, of course) – but now I ask myself if this is not always such an advantage as I used to see it.
Sometimes I find myself in this philosophical mood when everything seems just a fuss, with no meaning. For example, when I say it would be good to do more blogging again, there is this voice in me that says: “And what is the meaning of it? Why do you want to do it? To get popular once? We have discarded this idea long time ago. To build a community? And what will it give you? Just to communicate? But there are other options to do it in real life – and you know, you would prefer it in real life”. And then the apathy crawls in, and I think: “Ah, whatever. Really, why bother?” Do you know this feeling?
You can start throwing your tomatoes at me – but I will go and say this thing: I am happy it is autumn already!
I am not one of those blogger babes who start talking about the cozy knitwear, pleated scarfs and pumpkin spice latte with the first days of September. But living so long in Norway has turned me into a true Scandinavian, I notice :)). And all the Norwegian girls I hear sigh together: “It is getting more autumn like, oh so nice! Ja ja, mm.” Yes, I am one of those who pulls out my favorite sweater and starts wearing it with everything (like a kid). And seeing gloomy skies can mean a sudden dive of the mood (just the hormones, I explain to myself) – but it also means no need to run out, but a chance to open my favorite fashion blog, or just any blog, to find that cardigan and socks, and the cookies hidden somewhere in the kitchen.
I know that in some weeks I will regret this enthusiasm. When the autumn sets in for real, with winds and rains, with gloomy skies and wet shoes – I will pronounce some f-words and wish it were all summer again. But so far, I want to embrace autumn like my sister.
The last week of summer is the perfect time for a coffee and a catch-up (in Norway it is called “late summer” but it really reminds more an early autumn). It’s been a while since the last time. Getting back to my favorite format: chatting about everything at once :))
If we were having coffee, I would tell you how I feel about blogging. I’ve been grinding many thoughts about it lately. My biggest revelation is that: I don’t want to work hard on blog because I already have my job. To be honest, when I just started this blog, I was playing with the idea of making it into my income source. I was tired of my career path, unsure where I wanted to move next (a bit burned out and out of motivation). I quit my job, walked into unemployment for several months – and at the same time I started this blog. Of course, I imagined myself being this cool blogger, sitting in some nice Italian inspired cafe, posting exciting content, building my platform (growing popular, oh yes).
With the time I realized there was more work to it than “just create awesome content” (which is the popular advice for new bloggers). First, how do you make it awesome especially when you are new? Second, it is not “just”. There is so much work to it. And I didn’t want to study a new profession and work hard on it (remember, I had just finished working hard and wanted a break). I wanted to play. Then my thoughts were crystallized when I read an Instagram post of a Ukrainian girl who has the following of 100k but doesn’t want to become a blogger. She said: “People say to me: “you have so many followers, why don’t you become a blogger?” But I already have a profession I love. And being a blogger is work, just like any other”. This is when I thought: bingo!
Some weeks ago we were walking through the woods – and I suddenly got the flashback of my adolescence. We were visiting friends outside of Oslo and took a walk to the beach. Through the woods which went up and down, with a little river and a bridge over it. This spot brought a vivid memory of a similar place in other woods – in the village where my grandmother lived. I walked there, some 14 years old, and that place seemed just charming to me. Why? Because I thought, it would look perfect in the photo. At that time my pictures could be taken by the old black-and-white analog camera, difficult in use. Why did I want those photos? Passion for photography at such a young age?
No, it was not the passion for art. It was a wish to show something to my classmates. And how did I get inspired? So, there was this popular girl in our class, Irina, and in the back of her day-book (an obligatory book where we noted our schedule, homework and the teacher put our marks into it) she had some chocolate wrapping papers and photos. Yes, we were showing each other the papers of sweets we ate. Asking each other: “Did you try Mars? Did you try Snickers?”
I have returned home from my favorite craziest adventure – Summer salsa festival in lovely Rovinj – and I keep on repeating one phrase. “So good to be back”. Wow. I am surprised.
Usually I turn my nose away from the everyday reality (from the need to clean the house, shop my food and cook it myself :)). I post the vacation photos, the feeling of missing it already playing on the strings of my heart. This time, however, I just feel loads of gratitude to the place and the event – but I don’t want to get back into my past emotionally. I enjoy every moment here. And I want to live in my emotional present. To connect with my life which is only happening here and now.
This year – like never before – I am love with my home, my city and the country I live in. I am so used to the feeling of “yuck, this gray and cold place again” – that I even get surprised by my sudden “oh, Scandinavia, how lucky I am to experience this my Norwegian adventure” (adventure? Since when has it become an adventure??? :)) And here are my reasons to love it.
I am a firm believer that the art of life is created by small steps. Small habits, small adjustments. I have never been a fan of resolutions like “From Monday on I start a new life”, but advocated for the small changes one can make – first as an experiment – in order to change one’s quality of life.
I believe in the health and happiness that start from the inside out – from our mind and soul. I have tried to set big goals for myself, like meditating for 20 minutes every day, but I struggled to keep it as a daily routine. However, the small practices seem to stick with me. Today I want to share those that work for me.