Over the years I’ve made dozens of friends. Moving around the globe, this is a natural process. Just as natural and just as much a process is the process of letting friends go. Both during my introvert highs (locking myself away from the world, being comfortable in a pile of books and dog cuddles) and my extrovert escapades (seeing friends every day, openly embracing new people and hanging out in huge groups) this one thought keeps nagging me: Why do some friendships end and others don’t? The answer to this, in my opinion, is much less obvious than one would first think.
I like to get lost in other people’s thoughts. I don’t want people to tell me what they think. I want to regard what they create and draw my own conclusions. I think that’s why I like reading, analyzing poetry and lyrics and, above all, looking at art. Creative expressions are a direct portal into someone’s head. Much more direct than a conversation. Of course, the connections and conclusions I draw may be totally wrong, but does that really matter? As a self-proclaimed storyteller, I find meaning in the story my head creates around something. For years I’ve been toying with the idea of creating short stories based on the works of some of my favorite artists. Most famous works have been interpreted thousands of times. But that’s not at all the point for me. I want to look at a picture with a clear slate, grab the spark in ignites in my head and turn it into a story.
Since I moved to Sweden, I have built a carefully picked small circle of expat friends and a tiny circle of Swedish friends. While Sweden is usually not the first stop on my expat friends’ journey, it’s only a base for most of my Swedish friends. I can conclude, that all my friends have pretty extensive expat experience. My Swedish having this as their common ground: they are open towards the world and wouldn’t mind leaving comfortable Sweden for a new adventure (for a while). Now as I write this I can already see people panic. “We’re all open!“, they’d say, “We love to travel!” And while the travel part is true and they are generally friendly, the amount of truly open Swedes is small. Let me share some experiences.