Thursday, October 6, 2016

I ran so far away

"And I ran
I ran so far away
I just ran
I ran all night and day
I couldn't get away"
You might be Usain Bolt fast, but some things you cannot outrun. For years I thought I fled to Sweden to escape my past, run away from it as far as I could, as fast as I could. And I ran. I ran so far away. I ran to a place where the Aurora Borealis is just outside my window, splashing the clear night sky in a beautiful, mystical green color.

And you know what happened? Through one way or another my past caught up with me. I couldn't get away. So I accepted it and embraced it instead. This is my story. I am the writer and I am writing myself into a new storyline. And for the last month, I have been enjoying every second of it.

My life is not so glamorous. 6 languages, 2 university diplomas, 400 business cards collected, countless networking and the best job I could get is taking care of 2 gentle animals, for the most kind and lovely people I have met in Sweden so far, Johannes and Richa. Who invites their dogwalker to a family dinner? I wish them the best.

I ran away one more time this year. I reached my hand to touch her face and she started fading away. Like a gloomy beam of light. And I ran. I ran so far away. I couldn't get away.

This time things are similar, but much different. I don't have the time. I need a job, I need to fight daily for my own survival. But I am done running. The next time I will run is in the Stockholm Marathon.

Getting a job here is becoming the biggest challenge I have faced in my whole life. Even bigger than the disappearing of your love, which is like getting impaled and eaten from within. Being unmade. Swedish companies demand you to speak Swedish, even though they often speak English at work. But if you don't speak it, or your name does not end in -sson or you know the king you are in for a rollercoaster ride.

I have been studying intensively Swedish for the past month. I speak pretty ok, I can read and write just fine. Anna has been helping me, Johannes, Josefine and Eleonor all try to speak Swedish with me. But what good is the language when the employers don't respond? Not to emails, not even in SMS or phone calls. Is this multicultural and equality projection of Sweden just a smokescreen? Maybe I am biased from my own experiences so far. I cannot get a break this year. My own thesis examiner has set me back 5 months already from applying officially for my diploma.

I look at my colleagues from my Greek University in the Aegean sea. University of the Aegean, Department of the environment. My sister always tells me I have nothing good to say about any of them. When I see those people that are my "colleagues", being lost in the vast nothingness of space, I start to wonder if there is truly a thing such as luck or in my case being unlucky.

But I am done running. Sometimes, you just need to face your past or your problems, or your fears or anything that bothers you head on, gain momentum and just power through it. And one day, you will gain so much momentum, you will break through the hardest barrier, bend the toughest steel and be in peace with yourself. You make your own history. I will make my own legend and my star will shine bright.

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