When writing this I’m sitting in an apartment surrounded by boxes. An apartment which has been my home for the past five years and which I have loved from the very beginning. It is emotional in more than one way to leave this place I have called home for the past years. This is where I came to rebuild my life and this is where it happened, step by step, despite having obstacles along the way. This is not just an apartment. This has been my safe haven, but also the place where I’ve experienced hell on earth.
It is with mixed emotions that I two days from now will stand on the station in Lund to go back home to Stockholm. The very same station from which I have commuted to work every day for 3 years now. Leaving this beautiful university town which is like a real life Disneyland replica means I’m not only leaving my apartment. I’m leaving my full time day job that has been my financial safety. I’m leaving a lot of people who care for me and love me. I’m leaving the place that nearly saw me laying on my death bed, but also witnessed my rise like a phoenix moment. I’m moving on to new adventures from a place that gave me my life back.
I will forever cherish this beautiful city and as my photographer Joanna lives down here (geographically Lund is quite a bit further down south in Sweden than Stockholm is) I basically need to come here every now and then to shoot with her. She, however, is not the only one I will miss from here. It’s strange how you don’t realize how good something or someone has been to you before it is about to become a part of your past.
On Saturday I’m back in Stockholm. The city where I was born. The city that has always had a more prominent place in my heart than any person could ever obtain. It must sound weird to most of you, but my relationship with Stockholm is organic and symbiotic. I need it, and now that I’m making a comeback, I can tell it has needed me too. I’m coming home. “My home is wherever I lay my hat” might be appropriate and most certainly has been applicable to Lund, but there’s no such thing as coming home to where you belong for real and feeling it with every fiber of your body, heart and soul.
I have probably never been happier than I am at this moment heading on to my next big journey in life, but there’s no denying I’m leaving a piece of my heart in this beautiful town that has given me so much. I know I use the word grateful a lot, but there’s no stopping me. I’m incredibly grateful for the life I’ve had and the life that now lies ahead of me. As a reference to my title, Nicholas Cage’s character in Leaving Las Vegas went there to drink himself to death and succeeded in his pursuit. I came to Lund escaping that life. To survive. After many struggles and intense self exploring I’ve done just that. Survived, thrived and grown as a person. Stockholm gave birth to me, nourished me, gave me some of the best years in my life, but also poisoned me. Lund healed me, made it possible for me to start over from literally nothing when it comes to money, relationships and even belongings.
As I owned absolutely nothing I began life from scratch and the person who escaped Stockholm as a poor outcast is now returning with full force as a brand new person. Still being the same loveable and loving guy I was before, just an improved version with a completely new take on life. A much happier and more optimistic one. Goodbye for now, dear Lund, and thank you for everything. Until we meet again.