How we change
I’m not sure what I expected.
That’s a lie.
I was expecting a metamorphosis – a transition similar to the changing of a butterfly or the Parisian sophistication of Sabrina.
“Come to Sweden and be with me, and I promise you, we will have a beautiful life,” he said.
It is only now, after four years of challenges, that I see the glimmer of that beautiful life. It didn’t happen in one week, as when the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis. Nor did it happen in one year as in Sabrina’s case.
Perhaps I expected too much. Or maybe I’m just a slow learner.
And so, as a foreigner who is making her way in the culture of the Vikings, I reflect on the last four years and ask myself how have I changed?
I can’t think of a bloody thing.
How can that be? Those who return from the Road of Trials are not static characters and I have certainly traveled the Road of Trials. Never in my life, even while sitting comfortably in my Connecticut home, was I ever a static character.
And yet, I have felt as if the last four years brought me nothing. What was the lesson? And what did it provide for me? I couldn’t have struggled and sacrificed for nothing. But, I do not feel like Sabrina. I do not feel like a emerging butterfly.
“I don’t know why this experience was put upon you,” said my best friend as she comforted me through a particularly difficult time.
For months, I grappled with this question. I pondered the bigger picture thinking that there must be some cosmic force, some type of karma or lesson to be learned from all my experiences – good and bad – in Sweden.
“There must be,” I told myself, “some point to it all.”
But there isn’t.
There is no cosmic law, no karmic reason, no point to it at all. What it boils down to is … I made the decision to move. My life here, so far, is exactly what I made of it. And it will be, for the future, exactly what I make of it.
And so I learned, through many a hard knock, that no matter where you live or what you have sacrificed – make it count.
Writer/photographer Lisa Mikulski. Available for print or online publications and business in the Nordic region, Europe, and the US. Editorial, features, and creative.