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VICENNIAL
Last week, I passed a major anniversary. It wasn't my birthday. It wasn't even my wedding anniversary. It was the anniversary of the day I moved to Sweden...TWENTY YEARS AGO. I was planning to write a post that day (Wednesday) but work was crazy and I clean forgot when I came home, even though I wasn't doing anything special that evening. So it went by unmarked.

Twenty years ago. When I passed my 10-year anniversary of living in Sweden, I wrote a post about it, because of course I did. I wrote a similar post when I reached my 7-year anniversary, too. Every year, nearly, I have at least mentioned the fact of my moving-to-Sweden date on or near January 11.

But now, I can officially say that I have lived HALF MY LIFE overseas. Isn't that weird? Half my life away from the country of my birth. When I wrote the post 10 years ago, I had still not applied for Swedish citizenship. That's been rectified...I'm a dual citizen now, since several years back, though I give more and more thought to becoming a single-country citizen again for every article I read about Trump and his cabinet. Ironically, it would cost me MORE to renounce my US citizenship than it did to apply for Swedish.

Just for the record, I love it here. Of course, there are things about living in Sweden that are not perfect, but that's true of every place I've lived. I can't imagine moving back to the US, what would be the point? The only reason I would want to, in any case, is to be closer to my mom and sister, but instead I think maybe I should be campaigning to get them over here!

Both my children want and plan to move to the US...Martin is in the middle of college applications for next fall, and Karin is already chomping at the bit to get there as well. I think both of them consider the US as the place to be because every time we go there, it's FUN. We go for vacation, we shop, we eat out, we have parties and go places and do things. It's not boring like every day life home in our tiny village far away from anything cool or trendy or happening. It's not work and bills and stress.

I have very mixed feelings about this, of course. I've always encouraged my children to think about going to school in the US, or living there, but I really, really hope they will come back. And I worry even more right now, in the current political and cultural climate that has changed so much in recent months.

And it's not that I don't miss things about America, I do. I just think we have such GOOD lives here. I've never lived so long in one place, ever, and now we've been in this ONE house for what sometimes feels like forever, and I still love it just as much as the day we moved in. I dread leaving this house some day, which is weird considering that I've loved moving around my whole life and loved moving to new places.

Even though I am a Swedish citizen, I am very much NOT Swedish. I never will be, no matter how long I live here, or how well I speak Swedish. I will always be a child of America but Sweden has wormed its way into my heart, and I don't think it will be easily dislodged, no matter what happens. It would be fun to live somewhere else for awhile, but I think I've found my forever home.
 calm
mood: calm
music: Act—So Let Me Give Your Heart a Break


Comments
(Anonymous)

Well, I CAN believe it's been 20 years - at least once every several months, I stop to realize you left here in 1997!! But, I think you've landed in a great place and I'm always praising Sweden as a great place to live (ditto Germany), but most Americans get hung-up on the fact "it's a Socialist country" and they sound a little spooked by that. SO I praise it even more and point out what great places I have to visit.
I have no idea where I'll end up when I move from here, but do believe I need to be someplace where I can do my own thing and not rely on my kids to entertain me -at least until I'm not able to do so. I often tell people that life is just paying me back because I also moved to Europe for 6 years and never once went back to the USA during that time -just totally unaware how much that must have devastated my parents (I sure get it now). At least they came to visit twice and my Mother-in-law came every year. Love, Lizardmom

That's because they don't really understand what a socialist country means. And Sweden is a Social DEMOCRACY. I wish it wasn't paying you back for our 6 years in Europe...I really, truly wish we were closer physically! It sucks, it does.

(Anonymous)

I wish we were closer phyically also, but like I keep telling everyone: my kids have given me GREAT places to visit and that is a very Great gift indeed! Love, Lizardmom

June 2019
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Findus the cat as used in my user icon and header is the creation of Sven Nordqvist.