The thought occurred to me the other day that I never clarified or explained these mixed emotions for which this website is named. The phrase was “created” after I decided to move to Sweden. I realized that I loved Vancouver and my life there so much that this was a bittersweet move, no matter how I looked at it. If I did not come to Europe, give it a chance with this idea of love, then might I regret it? But leaving the city that I love, the friends that make me whole, is that such a good idea?
My going away party in Vancouver was called the Mixed Emotion party. I invited everyone I ever knew who might buy up some of the stuff I was selling off, and invited all those who I thought might want to say goodbye, or people who wanted to point and laugh at me for leaving such a fantastic city for shores unknown.
In fact, if I recall correctly, about 45 to 50 people came to my party throughout the day; old friends, old work mates, new friends, girlfriends, guy friends, and just people I care about all came to watch the “love videos” from C and find out more about my sudden decision to move to Sweden (I had only met C in March and this was August…). Some people expressed how they thought I was very brave; people who have known me for a long time were happy that I had finally found love; others notably said nothing, probably wondering if my medication had stopped working. Some of these same people were as sad as me that this love was so far away.
I also had mixed emotions about putting my cats through the process of moving overseas, and of leaving behind the job opportunities that I would not have in Sweden. On the plus side, I would be closer to England so that I could visit and get to know my relatives better (theoretically at least). And of course it was exciting to move back to Europe and to explore this side of my personality that had lay dormant for(ever) a while.
Three years later the mixed emotions continue. The majority of the internal conflicts are still with me on a day-to-day basis, and now there are more conflicting emotions to deal with. I am struggling like crazy with the language (it is not coming easily and I admit I kinda resent that I just can’t download it or absorb it through my eyes into my brain like osmosis); I have mixed emotions about living in the country instead of the city, I am never sure if I can handle another winter here, I am of course happy to be in C’s life and my cats are fine and happy. But now I am unhappy at work, and trying to find another job, and this has led to several major disappointments because I do not speak fluent Swedish. Even though I am applying for jobs that clearly state English is the only thing required, each time I have an interview, this turns out not to be true. And although I get the interview, I don’t get the job. And there are so few jobs I can apply for that this is very frustrating (of course). So now I have mixed emotions about so many things because this is interfering with my ability to bond with Sverige.
The good thing about this process, and there always is something creative that results from my internal dialogues, is the relaunch and revamping of this website (journeyofmixedemotions.com), and of the portfolio site I created (amandajwood.com), and the extra writing I am going to do for Expat Arrivals. And of course the upcoming NaNoWriMo marathon in November! So I guess these mixed emotions will continue to drive me crazy. Just hope I can make some money from them one day.