Thursday, 22 June 2017

expat life, one year in: things I think about

There are two issues that have been on my mind more and more lately. The first is that I am homesick and in a way long for living in Sweden again. All of the photos of and stories about Swedish summer that I see on social media make me nostalgic and a bit sad. Maybe it's just FOMO, but I think it goes a bit deeper. The other issue is that I feel should try to reconnect with my "old" profession in some way.

I'm not sure if the feeling of  homesickness have influenced the idea that I might want to be an architect again, as some kind of nostalgia? Or if it's just the fact that I have now been here a while and have had my fun with the graphic design courses and now it's time to "get serious" again? I'm not sure. 

The homesickness is funny in a way because these past few months I have felt more established here. I have a few friends to hang out with - even though I don't do it very often - I have hobbies and meaningful projects and I like our home and routines. But I also think I am in the third stage of culture chock. (The first stage is: Aaargh, everything here is so strange! The second: No, actually it's not so strange after all. The third: What was I thinking, it IS strange! ) This makes me long for things that are "normal" and safe to me, and miss my friends and family.

Luckily I have decided to do something about this. I'll be going home in the middle of July and stay for two about weeks. The original reason for this is actually not my homesickness - I hadn't planned to go home until September - but my dear grandfather passed away in May and I wanted to go home to see my grandmother. I'll also be visiting my mom, my dad, my brother and a bunch of friends so I hope the homesickness feels better after that.

The other part of this, the profession thingy, is in a way more complicated to do something about, since I can't work here. But what I will try to do is to get back into the architect-mindset and get myself more up to date about what's going on in the business. I couldn't find any suitable online university courses within my field for next semester, but I'll be taking one short online course. Plus, I have decided to not take as many other courses this semester and set aside time to sketch, develop my software skills and read some of the many architecture books I have here at home. I might reach out to one or two of my old friends from uni, to see if they can give me feedback on my sketches. 

All of this will be something I'll start planning more seriously for in August, when I'll be back here again. For now it just feels good to have some sort of plan. I'm still not a hundred percent sure I'll be working as an architect again, but I don't want to become too distanced from all the things I actually (used to?) know.

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