Postcard from Stockholm

Some people move from a small place to a bigger city while others do the opposite. I belong to the last category of people – Stockholm born and raised, living in Jönköping.  I don’t know which choice you learn the most from but changing the place you call home will teach you at least one thing about your old place, new place, but most of all about yourself.

During the summers when I came back to Stockholm from having vacation in other parts of Sweden, the look of the metro and all the people stressed me out at first sight. Seeing the blue colored train meant that summer was over, life was going back to normal, and I would need to wait an entire year to live at my favorite spot again. Back then, I thought that “Maybe I’m not a city girl after all”. Well, now I know.

When I came back to Stockholm just a few days ago, the sight of the city lights and the metro made me warm instead of stressed. Finally, I was home. I’m still having a hard time calling Jönköping home, or when I do, I call Stockholm my home-home or my real home. Will that ever change? I don’t know. Maybe it’s all about the feeling of knowing every corner of your neighborhood, recognizing people by their cars or knowing exactly what time the garbage truck is rolling down the street.

Some people say, “Home is where the heart is” and that I can agree on. It’s the people that makes the place feel like home – on that note I feel like I have more than two homes and for that I’m grateful. The feeling of going back home full of joy might look the opposite for others. They don’t just move to a new place but also run. Away from people, memories and the “home” in its whole – ready to start over. Some people search for a place to call home their entire lives while others grow up and grow old in the same place. There’s no right or wrong as long as you do or try to do what makes you happy. Trying is enough.

So back on being a city girl. This time coming home I will avoid everything that will connect me with the typical way of being a so-called city girl – catching the metro from one part of the city to another, going to fika at my favorite cafés, visiting theaters and museums, or ending the evening together with my best friends. So, say what you want but I don’t think I reflect on being a city girl during a pandemic. Instead, my entire focus will be on taking walks in nature, read books, go out for a run, buy takeout from my favorite local restaurant and of course – study.

I haven’t thought this way before on this level, but I truly can’t wait for the day when I can connect with my inner-city girl again. I’m ready to throw my SL-card on the reader on the exact beat so I don’t have to pause before entering the metro station. I’m ready to stand on the right side of the escalator while other city folks run past my left. I’m ready to feel the storstadspuls (city pulse) while walking in the streets of Stockholm knowing this is my city. Once a city girl, maybe always a city girl? But for now, I just love being back home. Oh, sorry. I mean my home-home.

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