No interference

I’ve been painting, meditating, watching films and drinking tea. It’s a good day. It’s been a good week. A good month too, so far. Johnny and I are getting closer. Hearing his voice through the earbuds while closing my eyes, almost transports him here, next to me. There is no static between us. No interference. Only love.

I’ve never let any man come this close before. It used to terrify me, this closeness, even though it’s been my highest wish to be really close to someone. But I am not afraid anymore. I decided not to be. It was that easy. But getting through all the obstacles so I could make that decision was very difficult.

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2015

When we talk, we float into each other, melt together in the silences and through the laughs and we’re cleansing our hearts together, deep inside our invisible home. I know it will take years for us to be together in real life, but it doesn’t change anything. I feel happy. I feel close. Our intimacy outsmarts the missing and the frustration.

Next year will be so different from this year, I can already sense it. This year was all about letting go and to accept what I’ve never been able to accept. Next year will be about finding the pulse of life and getting in sync with it. I want to lose weight. I’ve had so much extra weight on my shoulders for a very long time, and it shows in my body as well. I want to feel beautiful. Healthy. I want to celebrate my femininity. My raw female power and strength. I want to do, to be, to make, instead of healing through the intellect and meditation. Next year will be my first real year as a person, without the traumas or the fear. I’ve worked so hard to get there. I am so close. I am so close to finding life. To letting myself go – without inhibitions. I am so close to whatever reality is about, without the dark edges around it.

The scent of time and love

I’m at my parent’s house, I couldn’t bring myself to go home to an empty apartment. I feel sad but at the same time happy and grateful for the moments we’ve shared together in real life, so far. When you are building a home together in a long distance relationship, it is impossible to take anything for granted. Time. Love. Life in general. A long distance relationship is a good reminder of how precious life is – how rare it is to find someone you can connect with on a deeper level – and how time can work both as a highway to common goals and as an invisible wall of limitations and restrictions.

I am thankful that I live in a part of the world – and in a time where time difference as a concept is merely a nuisance and not an impossible obstacle. We are always connected through chats, emails or Skype. It is possible to create an everyday life together through those channels, but of course it lacks many dimensions.

I’m thinking about the sheets in my bed. They still have his scent. My whole bed smells like him. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or if it will make me miss him even more. I don’t want to go home right now. What is home anyway? At the moment I’m not sure.

Outside, summer is making one last performance. Blue skies. Sunshine. Heat. But it doesn’t fool me – I can feel a new season comming. And with Johnny gone, I feel like there’s a new season waiting for me in my life as well. I’ve been so focused on our time together (and the involuntary foucus on all my health issues this summer) – now it’s time to go back to dealing with the restoration of my life. Reclaiming things. Explorations. Working on my self-empowerment. Finding a job. Getting back into the art world. Make more paintings. I have a lot to do.

But right now, I just want to go home to those sheets.

The slow process of becoming truly naked

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It’s been raining all night, the world outside my window is wet and covered in a misty glow. Johnny is still sleeping, next to me, the bed is warm and so is my heart. He will leave the day after tomorrow. It’s ironic because I’m starting to feel a little better – and we’ve just found our own perfect groove. Building a relationship where you have half a planet in between is harder than I thought, but also exciting and very rewarding. We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t really love each other, then it wouldn’t be worth the effort. Nothing has ever come easy to me, I’ve always been fighting for the things that matters to me, so I am used to struggle – but this particular thing requires a lot of patience and that’s not my best feature. If you’ve found true love, you want to surround yourself with it all the time, it’s only natural. But this way, we’ll prolong the first delicate stages of a love story – and that’s beautiful. Every time we’ll meet we’ll know each other so well but at the same time be like strangers to each other in some aspects. We know each other to the core but there are so many things left to explore in the physical world. And we’ll get to do that in little chunks of time, every year.

What I’ve learned from these two weeks with Johnny is that it takes time for both of us to acclimate to each other when we get together – it takes a week or so to leave the worlds we know – in order for us to create our own. In our world he is not a guest in my apartment, but home. In our world nothing is perfect or done because of expectations – we try to avoid it as much as possible because we are both sensitive to the pressure of it. It is hard to let go of it because of course we both have expectations and visions before we meet, of how it will be like.

To be naked together takes time – and I don’t mean physically naked. That’s where we feel most at home, in the nakedness of each other’s hearts and minds. That’s where the heartblood flows without any resistance at all. Into every moment.

A crash course in “us”

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Things rarely happen the way you plan it, but the unexpected always brings something positive with it. This time with Johnny has been bittersweet – I wish I wasn’t so sick and it has made me feel trapped in my own body, in my apartment and in the passivity of waiting for my health to improve,  but it’s also been pretty perfect, because we’ve been spending so much time together talking – defining who we are as a couple, what we want to achieve with our connection and the direction in which we want to walk together. I’m not gonna lie, it’s been tough at times. We only have a couple of weeks to figure these things out, then he goes back to the States and it might be another year until we’ll get to build an everyday life together in the same place again. These weeks have been like a crash course in “us”

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Our honesty and directness are crucial – we can’t afford to be vague about who we are or what we want, we already have the language barrier, time differences and painful pasts we want to avoid revisiting. Our talks can be brutal at times because we challenge each other, in a positive way, to get to the realness of each other and cut through the layers of insecurities and imagined expectations that’s been forced on us by other people. It hurts to let go of fears by facing them. You’re bound to get your ass kicked by them before you’ll able to triumph and rise above. It hurts to get your comfort zone crushed. To let someone inside even though you are still healing a damaged, delicate heart. It’s confusing to let go of preconceived ideas of what you should be, do, say, or act – and instead just be and see what happens when you are showing your bare bones for the first time. Will you be able to move or will you fall apart?

But the brutal nature of honesty together with the smoothness of intimacy makes the relationship vibrate with life and energy – and there’s a clear sense of movement and progress and that gives me the biggest sensation of relief and satisfaction.

“You have to work hard for the things you want otherwise it’s not gonna be what you want but a compromise or something else and you’ll end up dissatisfied”, Johnny says. And it’s true. I’ve worked hard to achieve my dream of becoming an artist. Whenever I’ve had to compromise in my art I’ll end up losing my true artistic voice. I’ve worked hard to just be me without having to sacrifice or compromise who I am in order to fit into other people’s expectations of me which leads to depression or getting caught in traumatic places. So I understand the importance of the hard work. I just wish my mind wasn’t so full of little wounds, created by the traumas and the PTSD, it makes the hard work feel even more difficult and hard. My traumas are connected with love, intimacy and vulnerability. But that’s also where the magic happens in my art. That’s where I feel at home. Naturally it gets confusing at times. I need these deep talks with Johnny, otherwise I’d probably freak out and just give up when the trauma wounds are too sore or bleeding. But I’m lucky we share this open-hearted connection and that we both want to change and adapt to each other without losing our integrity. Change is hard work – building a home is hard work, but also so rewarding. I have been breaking free from my past for several years now, but now I’m actually breaking free from who I used to be in that past. I still don’t know exactly who I am when it comes to love and relationships – “great” Johnny says, “let’s find out together!”.

A clean house

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I woke up with a smile this morning – I could feel it in every part of my body. Like I was smiling with everything I am. I let the morning light illuminate the smile for a long time before I left my bed. I spent the whole day cleaning the apartment, for your arrival of course. I scrubbed the inside of the microwave exactly like I’ve scrubbed myself clean through therapy these last few years. Very thorough. You’ve been been by my side through a couple of short lifetimes already, even though we’ve only known each other for about four years. You were there when other men tried to steal me away from you. Some of them thought of you as a threat, but you never considered them to be a threat to you: “let them be jealous of me, let them talk badly about me, let them focus on me as a rival, and I’ll just go on focusing on you instead.” you said then. You are always calm and wise. It must be that native Mexican blood in you. One man even wrote a cruel poem about you to make me look at you differently, but he failed miserably.

“It’s not a dream when I say that I will kiss you one day…” you once said before we had ever met in real life, “…it’s not even a plan – it is a fact.”

And you were right. We met. Kissed. Fell in love.

Since then, we have been building a home together, from each side of the planet. That home is in both of us but has only one heart.

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While I was cleaning all the mirrors, I thought about all the things we have in common on the inside. Like our internal mirror. The sensitivity. The sensuality. How we filter reality through our curiosity, intellect and imagination. How we believe in magic and how we create it together. The way we are equally focused on the smallest little detail as we are when it comes to seeing the bigger picture and how those two things always are in a fascinating juxtaposition against each other. How often we make each other laugh. The deep wounds we are healing in each other. Our empathy. The gratitude. Our native language of intimacy and nakedness. And our nerdiness. That’s one of my favorite things we have in common. I love how we can spend hours analyzing fictional characters from movies and create background stories for our favorite characters in TV series. Especially when it comes to Hank Moody. Or Poussey. I loved our dissection of Hannah Horvath when you were here last year and we watched four seasons of Girls together.

Once I was done with all the cleaning, my apartment was no longer mine, but ours. A clean house where we can create more magic in each other. All that is missing now – is you.

While you’ll be traveling amongst the clouds, over the mountains, across the big ocean, later today, I will be here, waiting for you. I feel excited and happy – and a little restless. But if I was able to wait half a lifetime for you, I can manage to wait another day.

There’s no place like home

I feel like fall is approaching. It’s windy and the air is slightly crisp. I love that. And it’s only a couple of weeks until my love will come here and we’ll get to share the wind and everything else, together. Against all odds, we have found something solid and beautiful together that doesn’t get affected by the distance or the frustration of being apart. For the first time in my life I have all the patience I need.

I’ve also allowed myself to have doubts. I am so used to being ‘slurped’ by other men in my past, I mean I was seduced by their attention so much so that I was swallowed up by it and couldn’t think straight. Like I was spellbound and drugged  by it. I didn’t get a chance to feel if it felt right or not, or to have any  doubts. I am very cautious about the slurping now. I know it’s a manipulation just to catch me, and once they have me, they are very different from what they first appeared to be. It’s creepy. The slurping effect is like buying a fancy car and then realizing you are sitting in a cardboard box that just looks like a real car.

I am all about authenticity and being vulnerable and real together. No wonder I’ve been miserable in my past relationships. Some people think that you should work hard to GET someone – to work really hard in the hunting process, but once they have you, they stop making an effort and they let go of their commitment and focus. I believe in the opposite thing: the hard work starts once you feel like you are committed, when you have built some trust together. That’s when you can create something truly beautiful and magical together. And I won’t ever let go of the commitment or the focus on the connection, because that’s when it all goes to hell.

All the doubts have led back to the same place, and it’s the home we are creating together. In each other and in the world. And there is no place like home.

Counting the days

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I woke up to a cloudy day. It’s still hot but at least the sun is not too bright. I feel somewhat cloudy too. I’m totally out of sync with my emotions, it’s been an intense month with a lot of emotional discharge. I feel a little worn out. Johnny will be here in a few weeks, so I want to feel centered and energized before his arrival. I need to isolate myself for a while, like I do whenever I need to find that perfect sync between mind, body and heart.

Even if my inner batteries are running low, I feel strong and in control of my own destiny. I know where I am going. I am aware of my own behavior and choices. And I’m still working on my art – and it means everything to me. I feel so inspired. I’m growing as an artist, I feel like I’ve reached a new artistic level. It doesn’t happen a lot, perhaps only a handful of times in a lifetime. But it has happened now and it makes me feel proud. I know I am without competition in my style (both here in Sweden and internationally) – and in the way I use my trauma to express female sexuality and the integrity of the soul. It makes me feel confident and like I really matter as an artist, like I make a difference somehow.

My creativity is leaking into every area of my life now days – even my relationship with Johnny is a beautiful creation that we’ve both been working hard to maintain and add to with everything we are and have. It’s our own little piece of heaven – our home in the world, even if we are separated by an ocean. I can’t wait to have him here with me. We are counting the days.

But first I need to meditate and recharge. I have so much I want to accomplish, so much I want to experience – but so little energy. I think that my art could be the perfect place to get in sync with myself. I feel grateful. Where would I be without my creativity? Even the thought of it is unbearable. I feel lucky – and I know my creativity will save me, every time I need to be saved. That is why I never need to be saved by a man or anyone else. This is what makes me strong. This is part of my core strength. It’s what will keep me going, no matter what. But I owe it to myself to keep it safe and in sync. So that’s what I have to do now.

USA vs Sweden

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Building a long distance relationship isn’t easy. Especially not when the distance contains both an ocean and a time difference of 9 hours. We share our days and nights together but never at the same time; when it’s day here it’s night over there and vice versa. It’s more than 5000 miles from the West coast of the US where Johnny lives to the East coast of Sweden where I live.

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Then there’s the overhanging shadow of the inevitable question: “Who will eventually move to another continent, him or me?”. It’s not an easy decision and it never feels completely accurate because there are so many aspects to consider. Practical things. Family. Proximity to an ocean (important for both of us). Climate (we both dislike heat). Cultural stimulation. A base for success. Job opportunities. Language skills. Health issues. Safety.

I’ve never felt like I belong here in Sweden. I don’t feel Swedish in any sense really. I see this as a very positive quality, but it also makes me feel like a misfit. My art is so different from the work of my Swedish colleagues. But it’s not all a negative thing – I could start an art movement here. If I wanted to. I could make a change, I could make a difference, I know that. In the US, my art would make more sense, but there would be a harder competition. I wouldn’t be as much of a misfit over there, for better or for worse. Johnny is a writer and could write anywhere, but he wouldn’t have access to a community of any American writers here.

But then there’s the question of safety and health care systems – and to me, the American systems are very harsh and ungenerous. We don’t have the issue of gun violence here and the last time Sweden went to war was in the early 1800’s. Sweden is a pretty peaceful place if you compare it to most parts of the world. Frankly, the blood dripping history of the US intimidates me. And all those guns, the easy access to weapons – and the pride that goes with the second amendment totally creeps me out. I just don’t understand it. When I think about America, I think about Disney, Coke, movies, pop culture and amazing art, but I also think of war, guns, violence, unimaginable poverty and horrible prisons. We don’t have that kind of poverty here. There are no ghettos and you have to work hard to really fuck it up in order to become a homeless person. We have a lot of safety nets here. I just landed in those nets after I became ‘homeless’ after my last breakup a couple of years ago when I was in between apartments without any income. I’m proud to say that those safety nets really do work. I feel very grateful.

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The biggest issue for me when it comes to making a decision to move to the States or not – is the nightmare of the American health care system and the whole insurance thing. We don’t have a health care system with the connection to an insurance based on income or jobs here, we are all equally privileged to get (almost free) health care and medical treatment. I have health issues. I need constant medication for my sensitive skin and my allergies. And I will always be a hardworking artist – not a starving artist perhaps, but I doubt that I will make a lot of money in this lifetime. In the US, I would be insured through Johnny’s work, but I’ve worked so hard to become independent, I would never want to be dependent on somebody else to keep myself healthy or alive. The American health care system is something of a deal breaker for me. It’s a horrible system and if I moved to the States, my allergies would get worse because of the stress and worries the system would cause – and Johnny would benefit from our insurance free system.

We are still talking about all the practical details of an eventual (and inevitable) move across the Atlantic Ocean, 5000 miles away from what we consider home right now. But I think, all and all, Sweden can offer more benefits and a better base for a good life than the US can offer, at least at this moment in our lives. And if Trump wins the election, well – then this matter is a no brainer!

House roots

Something wonderful is happening. For the first time in my life, I’m growing roots and they are deeply connected to the ground. I’m not floating around in space like a balloon without a string anymore. I’ve found my place in the world just by being true to who I am and in the love I feel for Johnny. Geography doesn’t matter. Nor does circumstances. When you find your home, in yourself and in another person’s heart, external things are not that important. I am still broke but I feel very rich. To be poor is a state of mind (in this part of the world), feeling fortunate as well.

I’ve known Johnny for almost four years and our love story has been complicated and rich in details and colors. So much has been standing in our way – other lovers, bad timing, health issues, distance and money. But we are still here, we are still in this connection together. What started out as a few strings attached grew into a complex and beautiful root system. The progress of our love story is visible in my digital art. Look closer at the three pieces above. See how the floating house with just a few strings attached to a star slowly develops delicate roots which are a little more connected in each piece. Not yet touching but slowly making contact while creating sparks of light and warmth.

Some years earlier the houses in my art were adrift, hard to reach or full of smoke and flames – just like my relationships at the time were either explosive or disconnected.

But there’s more happening than the creation of my new roots. My house is growing taller, like a tree – and I’m stretching out, reaching out, unfolding, pushing myself outwards like I have long and curious branches wanting to touch the world outside myself. Wanting to be part of it and making it part of my very own existence.

Johnny is setting me free into the world. There’s no possessiveness, no chains. I’m still struggling with fears, trust issues and insecurities at times, because of my traumas, but every day I learn something new from him about  generosity and kindness. He’s  making grow and blossom by letting me be me – all the way. I’m very grateful. I hope I am doing the same for him.

There is so much out there for me to reach for.

I will try to explore this new sensation of being rooted but so free to reach for the sky, in a new digital piece. A tree house perhaps. Or why not a house tree, somewhere between the depth of reality and the dreams within.

A restless house

The monthly hormones are messing with my head again, I’m feeling slightly off – and it’s still too hot outside. My mind is like a restless house where the windows are closing right after they are opened. I can’t think straight. I know I am being whiny right now, but I have my reasons it’s just not the ones I just listed.

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I always thought that if there ever would be anything coming in between two lovers, it would be other people – lovers, flings, exes – or just a sense of growing apart. But now I know it also includes health issues – in my case; diabetes (and no, I’m not the one with the disease).  When someone gets sick it changes the dynamics in the relationships, suddenly there’s new obstacles, new routines, change of plans, a new focus, seriousness and worries. The disease is stealing things from both its victim and the relationship. At times I feel furious – and I have no one to blame or anywhere to put that rage – because I can’t really be angry with my boyfriend for getting sick and there’s no one who made him sick to begin with. The energy turns into a restlessness. And at times – despair.

I can’t really do anything to help from this side of the planet  – he is doing his best on the other side. The only thing I can do is to be there for him and to accept what is happening. The latter is way more difficult. But I have to accept it. I’m still too mad to do that. And it’s easy to let the ego ask the questions; “why now?” and “why is this happening to me when I just found the best love of my life?” – but it’s not even about me. I have no right asking such questions. Yet, it is affecting me and the fantasies I had about us. I guess all the fantasies are still there, I just have to adjust them to fit the new reality. But it still sucks.

This is definitely a test to see how steady and stable the foundation of our relationship is. I thought we had enough obstacles with the geographical distance, with practical things like moving to another continent to be be able to be together, money stuff – little things like that. Life is both an amazing place to explore – and also nothing but a pile of crap at times.