I have too much on my mind right now. I am in Stockholm, where I arrived this sunny afternoon. I've spent two days in Gothenburg, which I still don't think I'll be able to properly describe. I can't tell the whole story, that's for sure. You can choose to be open about personal issues, but now I really think I should be dead silent. Nothing serious, provoking, sexy, alarming, extra-ordinary (hey, it's me), but I feel there must be a line drawn somewhere. It's been emotional and I'm happy, that much I'll tell you. See, I arrived early afternoon in Gbg. I was feeling well and in comparison, it was the first real day of the summer. I met up with Elin in my own nervous, non-flexible way. That seems to be the one and only I can offer, which must be pretty exhausting for the victims. She was the perfect tourist guide, of course.
Of course, I had trouble eating. That afternoon, I went from feeling special, capable and strong to being weak, insecure and totally unfit for normal life. I couldn't eat and my own safe place at the hotel suddenly became the Den of Evil and I had to get out. So I sat there, alone, thinking what will become of this. The anxiety was very strong. I wanted to go home, of course. So, that was the bad part. Once again, I confirmed that the panic was all too close to be able to do these things. On the other hand, I really think I've become accustomed to various good, positive measures to feel better, quickly. I sent a text message to my mother and that was kind of a cry for help. But the other thing I came up with was that I should force myself to do something that I could be proud of, to sort of show that okay, you can't do this and you can't do that, but there's still something in you. So I went back to the hotel, took a glass of orange juice and some dry bread from the lobby and went to my room and wrote the column I had planned. It had absolutely nothing to do with my present condition. Instead, I wrote about the Live8 charity concert, as I had planned. Once I had finished, gotten a message from my mother and Elin, I was able to breath normally again. I chose to stay at the hotel that night and that was probably wise, as I woke up 5 a.m. the previous morning.
The next morning, I went to eat some breakfeast and read my newly aquired book, "Please kill me: An oral history of punk". I went okay. Then I went to write some sort of account of what had happened. It felt okay.
Then it felt like I sort of unilaterally decided to meet up with Elin again. It was like this because we had this more or less silent agreement that it was like this it had to be. I had to try really hard not to be ashamed of this. It felt exactly like in the really old days, which kind of indicates how much I've changed. No, that's not fair either. But still, it's kind of strange. And what's even more strange, this is exactly what the man across the river told me to do, and not to be ashamed of!
So, we went on another sight-seeing, which was amazing. When we stood there on the tourist boat named Älvsnabban, I can swear I felt happy.
When we parted, she said "see you again tonight?" and I think I heard her say "yeah, we'll see each other" while I mumbled "we'll see".
But we did, in the same manner as before. I didn't feel completely relaxed or anything, but again, I swear I felt happy. In fact, I walked around with a broad smile. That always means something. I guess I was just happy when I realized I had actually done what I set out to do. I mean, I knew it wasn't going to be easy and my expectations were of course low. But I planned the whole thing in a quite good way, I think. I followed *some* of his advice, too, and I must say, they seemed helpful.
We walked around and gbg really seemed to be the most beautiful place on earth.
Did I talk about being "proud, but not content" before? I heard the newly elected leader of the social democratic party in Finland, Antti Kalliomäki, quote a Swedish politician. He talked about the welfare system: "We are proud, but not content". I thought this was really good. It meant that you should continue striving for something better, but be proud of what you've accomplished. But as I think about it now, regarding the situation I was in, I may need to rethink this. Sometimes it would be best if you could be proud AND content. Because, of course, there was no happy ending to this. The only thing I could do was to TRY to be content. I could NOT strive for more, it was clearly impossible, due to many and overwhelming reasons. I'm not going into them, but you can imagine. For one, I was leaving the next morning. But just as you know, there were others. So, the rather surprising thing Elin told me, didn't make any difference. It put me at a complete loss for a minute or two until I realised this. I didn't even have to say anything or make any decision of any kind. Oh, maybe a small one, but that was actually irrelevant.
So, of course I feel hollow and my heart is... I don't know. But on the other hand, I've got to meet this wonderful person again and I did perfectly alright. I shouldn't judge my accomplishments, but it's inevitable. Anyway, I did okay.
I've listen to a lot of Felt these days. It's cheesy to say that certain music helps you, but somehow Lawrence helps me. See, the anxiety springs from a feeling of being completely out of touch with the world, of being completely unable to cope with anything that everybody else does so easily. But it's actually a short way from there to the feeling that you perhaps do not need to comply with the world, that you maybe should feel proud of what you have and what you seem to be. No one can possible have the perfect recipe for life here, it's probably just how it seems.
So, tomorrow I'll meet Lotta. Notice how I feel relaxed now? I know her. It will be fun, I think. She's fun.
written by Mattias