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Interesting stats and answers from a "Contentment in Sweden" survey done by Parent Net Sweden, directed at expatriates: Read more here

In one of the accompanying articles, a woman had this to say, "What I needed during my first years in Sweden was for someone to say to me, "It is really difficult to live in a culture that is so different from the culture in which you were brought up. It is natural that you are having a hard time." Unfortunately, I never heard this; I was told by the people around me that I was obviously not doing the right thing, not behaving correctly, not being this way or that way. In short, I was wrong and everybody else was right. I was a failure. No matter what I did--learning the language well, my academic achievements, finally landing a job--I was still a failure because I hadn't 'adjusted', 'adapted', or whatever I had to do to feel good about the place I lived and the people around me."

I have had the complete opposite experience, although I don't know if she had unrealistic expectations or had never lived abroad, but I have to say, I KNEW it would be difficult living in a foreign culture, even one as "Americanized" as Sweden, and have always tried to think of it as an adventure. This is the philosophy that my parents succeeded in instilling in us during a childhood moving from one place to another. I've always thought I WAS doing the right things, and never doubted for a minute that I would succeed and assimiliate to the extent I wanted to. I wonder if that just reflects on my own self-esteem and self-confidence or if I'm just obnoxious. Probably both.
mood: okay
music: Eurythmics—Here Comes the Rain Again


Definitely obnoxious. :)

Who knows, maybe she did have unrealistic expectations. Who can say? Some people do have a difficult time moving to another state, let alone another country, even one where they have American fast food and American television and most people speak good American English. :) I've had a few ups and downs, and I won't pretend that I didn't, and I'm bound to have more.

But even after saying that, Sweden does seem to place rather a lot of emphasis on belonging and doing the same things that everyone else is doing. And that can be difficult for anyone who is used to going their own way. Maybe that was her problem, but I don't have time until later to read more.

Well, I'm not saying that I haven't had my own ups and down, because I have and for that matter, still do once in awhile, but I think it's NORMAL. And I don't give a shit what the "Swedes" think, as far as that goes, as being conventional or conforming to anyone else's expectations has never been something I subscribe to :)

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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