2017



Every year, I answer a specific set of questions, to summarize the year. It's worked well so far, but it just won't do for 2017.
2017 was too much for that - the questions don't do this year justice.

With that said, I'll still start like I usually would: With the places I've been.

Where have you been in 2017?


Dublin


Copenhagen


Oslo


Södertälje (well, actually a hostel somewhere in the woods outside of Södertälje, for Stockholm Blues Fest)


Östergötland


Amsterdam


London


Huddersfield


Edinburgh


Abiskofjällen


Visby


Berlin


Oslo again


Copenhagen again


Humlebaek


Berlin again


Huddersfield again


London again



And at home in Göteborg.

But let's take it from the beginning.

Spring was hard. It was as simple as this: My relationship was not good and it drained me of energy. I was working so hard to make things work, but it didn't. I don't really blame anyone for it. It was beyond us to do anything about it.

There were highlights, still, even in spring:


Laughing like crazy at the spring dinner at Trevliga Trion's headquarters. Playing in Cowgirls - the musical (washboard premiere mind you!) with five outstanding women. Fair City Blues in Dublin, and most of all, the best soul party of my life, with the insight that I am at exactly the right place in my life - I wrote about it here (in English).


And more than anything, the Blues Garden; I don't need to write more about it, because here is a lenghty post (in English) about the love I have for this event and the people I get to create it with.
(Photo by Joel Höglund)


In late May, things felt warmer, I started looking forward to things, things started happening. I guess I had made up my mind properly by then, and was just waiting to let myself catch up. I went to Stockholm Blues Fest and had an amazing time; I photographed Swingin' Spring and had an amazing time, and the rest of June was rest and early summer and warm breeze and hanging out with friends, and visiting my cousin Solveig for a couple of days. So well needed.

And then, I decided to not come back to a couple of my jobs after summer. Workwise, EVERYTHING happened this year. This was my year. I quit two of my least fulfilling jobs in May just because I knew that you have to make space for new things to make them happen: without that time and space, you won't notice the opportunities.

Then: started a second pop choir (I have two now! Sirius and Vega), got loads more photography gigs and basically traveled around Europe to sing the blues.

!!!

Everything I do now is fun and I have free time to do whatever I feel like and what I do is making people happy (you should see their faces when they leave choir rehearsal - it's my greatest joy). How did I get to be this lucky?


So yeah, I became a blues singer, without planning to - I just followed the music. This is the year I got to travel all over the place to sing the blues, with one of my dearest friends behind the piano. But I've got a whole post about how the Gentle Sorrows came to be, so I'll wait with that for a while. Let me just say this: I know. I know I am the luckiest. When you beautiful dancers take the music we play, and make it your own through your movements, and I get to stand there and pour my soul out into it; I really, truly know how lucky I am to be allowed to do that. I can feel it in my entire body.


Summer happened. It was a summer of everything.
After the summer of 2016, I was tired. I had been traveling to much (it felt like), I had been sort of between apartments, I just wanted things to slow down, I just wanted someone to take care of me. I July 2017, I spent a total of four days at home (and I spent them packing up my whole home), and I was away for about half of August, too; yet, when summer ended, I was happy, fulfilled, inspired and excited about the future. How? I don't know.

I went for a magical two week trip in Europe in the first half of June; I don't have to write about it again: the blog post is here (in English) and it's one of my favorite blog posts I've ever written. Also this one about Yorkshire and how things work out in the most beautiful ways.


Came back home and two nights later went to the north of Sweden for a seven day hike with Johanna, David and Sebastian. It was an adventure that I couldn't have expected but that too worked out perfectly. In short: My boots broke (unexpectedly - I've taken very good care of them, and they showed no signs of it; the soles just fell off and I didn't even know that could happen) on the first day and I walked 20 km in sandals, in rough and very wet terrain, with 18 kg on my back. My knees obviously paid the price, and we had to change the route after that. It came with some important and valuable insights, and I am intensely grateful that it happened the way it did. Also, the way my friends carried most of my weight to make my knees last longer makes my heart expand.


AND then I got to ride a helicopter!!! Always wanted to, and obviously, there's no better place to do it than among my beloved mountains. It was not an emergency - it was a conscious decision to change to route to a hut where there is a helicopter leaving every morning, so I wouldn't have to walk the last two days. I really needed to save my knees at that point. But there was no lasting damage to my knees. And I was bubble-laughing SO much during that entire ride that the pilot next to me said "Well, now you know what you need to change jobs to!" when we landed. :)


Jens and I broke up in early August. It was difficult for both of us to let go of something that had been good but wasn't anymore. And we both know now, that we could have - should have - broken up sooner than we did. I'll never regret our years together, though. And I will remember forever what it felt like to walk into Forum one Saturday evening in August 2014, seeing him sitting there changing into his dance shoes. My first thought was just a wordless gasp. My second thought was literally "way out of my league". He was just too gorgeous, you know? Two months later, he was my boyfriend.



Then I went to Medieval week with Trevliga Trion med bihang; literally landed there in the arms of my friends, with all the comfort, all the love and all the entertainment I could have hoped for.

Early September I posted this on facebook, one of my most important insights ever: A little while ago, a friend who I haven't known for very long asked me how I'm so happy most of the time. I didn't know what to respond then, other than the usual clichés like "whenever I'm sad or angry, I let myself really feel all the feelings until they go away". But I've given it some more thought. Because I really do feel like a genuinely happy person, most of the time. And here is my answer: Privilege, luck, & therapy.

Autumn continued to be everything in almost the same way as summer was, but also work. :) I had SO much fun at work. I can't believe that I thought for as long as I did that being self employed wasn't for me? That I'd need more safety than that? When clearly, this is making me so happy, and it's not scary and not difficult? This is such a great, and privileged, place to be in. Here is a post about what most of my work week looks like (in Swedish).

In September, one of my most special moments ever happened, at an art exhibition, where I found myself transformed by meeting a stranger in the most profound way. No - no, not transformed; I was already everything I needed to be. But I found myself even more authentically me when I left, than when I got there. I describe it here: Mutual Gaze (in English). You probably want to read it.


A couple of weeks after that, we had our traditional Autumn Dinner at headquarters. It was a delightful party, we were all beautifully drunk, and it was exactly what I needed. In so many ways. :)

And then, on September 30th, we met up with ten thousand others to protest against the Nordic Resistance Movement. Knowing how dangerous these people are, I was nervous, but refused to let that keep me from going. And it was very powerful. It was a victory in the sense that they didn't get to continue their march, and that it was peaceful, and that they themselves internally admitted what a failure their march had been; we won't allow them on our streets. But it's just the beginning of a very long fight.


Morning walks during autumn were lovelier than ever, living so close to Skatås.

Also, a thing that needs to be mentioned somewhere here: Somewhere late summer, early autumn I started feeling truly gorgeous. This is an insane change from many years of wanting to change something (most often, my weight). I'm not entirely sure what changed, but comparing photos from spring and autumn, there is a glow after summer that wasn't there before. It's probably just happiness as usual; happy people are always more attractive. And the older I get, the more comfortable in myself do I get, so it's not surprising if this happiness is one that runs deeper than before. It sure feels like it. Basically:








Yep.

(Also, it needs to be said that having my dear friend Michael at my side so much this year certainly helps with the photos; everything above is taken by him except the one in the mountains, by David Björkman, and the one on the couch, by Christofer Bengtsson.)


We had some lovely meetings with Bastuklubben - the sauna club. This group of people continues to be deeply important to me; these friends, whether I meet them over dinner or actually in the sauna, are a foundation for me to rely on, and somehow they always say the right things to ground me. Deep philosophical discussions or normal life ranting; I want it all, with them. Basically, if you want to remain sane in this day and age, spend time with intelligent women.


I spent the first weekend of October in Berlin, for Berlin Blues Explosion. I had an amazing time. And I think it was at that point things finally landed in me: That this dancing thing, is me. That I can do it. I love it. I know it. I feel it. I'm good at it. (Placing second in the Strictly at one of Europe's most prestigious events certainly helps, too! :)) the Weekend with Awesome Local Teachers I organised in November made this love even more clear to me. And now I can't get enough. It's not just blues dancing, it's balboa and lindy, too, it affects everything. Wants more! (I got to end my year with five incredible nights at the Snowball in Stockholm, which definitely made an impact on my view on myself as a lindy and balboa dancer. :)) And I can't wait to see what's going to happen with my dancing in 2018. (Photo by Andrew Miller)

We did eight more shows of Hjälp! with my choir, Sångensemblen Amanda, at Musikens Hus. It was a special time, I learned a lot, and people told me they were moved. Nothing could make me more proud than that.

In November, I was needed, and basically moved in with Johanna from one day to the next. Lisa and I stayed almost a month, taking turns spending time with her, so she wouldn't ever have to be alone if she didn't want to. It was a very beautiful time. My love for my crew - Trevliga Trion - and what we continue to share, in our daily lives and going on adventures together, has continued to grow this year.


And then, in late November, I met Liam, and very quickly, I knew that my life is never going to be the same again. Everything is more intense, more alive and better. That's what I'll remember about December: It was a haze of hours and hours on the phone every day, serious sleep deprivation, and thousands of messages throughout our day. And it's just so good.

- - -


And all this? This is just skimming the surface of all the joy, and all the feelings, and all the things I've learned this year. I have to stop somewhere; I couldn't possibly write it all down. But I also have to mention, through all of the much that this year has been, the support of my friends. Friends in music and not in music, friends in dancing and not in dancing. Friends I speak to every couple of days or every couple of months, friends I see a few times per year or less. Friends who love me, make me grow, share in everything I do, listen to my stories with the loveliest of warm enthusiasms, and understand me so well. I'd be nothing without you.

I can't wait for 2018. I've never been happier.

juldagar



Det blev jul också! Vi var ju som vanligt extremt slappa med julen i min familj (på ett bra sätt). Allting var precis som vanligt. Typ såhär:



Mamma och jag var på kyrkogården för att tända ljus på mormors och morfars grav, och träffade helt spontant på min moster och morbror och kusin med familj. Det var himla fint!


Julmiddagen bestod för min del som vanligt av sojabullar och potatismos eftersom potatismos är mycket godare än allt man kan få på ett julbord.


Och min bror såg som vanligt ut såhär när jag tar upp kameran.


Fast han kan se ut såhär också! Hej hej!


Ganska mycket slapptid, som sagt.




Frampå kvällningen när vi hade spelat spel och tittat på Karl-Bertil Jonsson och delat ut några julklappar sänkte sig det stora lugnet. Det här är den bästa biten: När folk sitter och pratar lugnt runt omkring och jag sitter i bubblan och läser och är trygg.


Julen!


Juldagen tillbringade jag med Johannes och hans familj.




Det är så OERHÖRT coolt med folk som tecknar med sina barn. Nore är ett och ett halvt år och kan liksom uttrycka typ allt som behövs? Plus cirka alla djur i hela världen. Vi sysselsatte oss ett tag med leken "Hur tecknar man ...?" och så fyller jag i alla djur jag kan komma på och så tecknar de. Alltså så gulligt. Den nedersta är en zebra tror jag (ränder på bröstet) men annars minns jag inte. :)




Tänk att jag har fått känna mig hemma i den här fina familjen sedan jag var 17, vilken lyx att få ha det kvar.

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