A couple of days ago I accidentally scrolled back to the very beginning of the photo feed on my iPhone. One of the very first photos I happen to have on my phone is this one:
I don't really have many photos of Singapore left on my phone. Just a couple of photos that I have saved there to be able to go back and look at them once in a while. Looking at these photos gave me an idea. To share some of the old photos in my Instagram stories with dates and descriptions of the moments when they were taken (thank you Instagram to letting us share our old photos in Stories, and not just the ones taken in the past 24 hours!).
I've been sharing these old memories in my Stories for the past few days now. And this is what it made me feel and think.
My photo feed starts with a couple of pictures from Singapore, with photos with my team taken on my last day at UBS and then it continues with the photos taken upon my return from Singapore to Sweden. July 2014. If you have followed my Stories for the past several days you don't need to be a psychologist to figure out I was fucked up by my return to Sweden. Leaving Singapore after one year of living there was like going through a really painful break-up in the middle of a honeymoon period. You could see that up until March 2016 I was really depressed by having to come back to Sweden. You could see that I had many photos of Singapore that were sent to me by my friends. Singapore and the people I left there were still a part of my life. I couldn't let go.
I don't think it was about the absence of light or the absence of warmth in Sweden. I think for me it was about the absence of the feeling of belonging and fitting it. I chose a wrong job and a wrong company upon my return and I didn't fit in. It was depressing, frustrating and bad. And one of the things it taught me is that once you figure out you don't like the job and the company you are working for you have to leave. Immediately. And all those reasons you tell yourself about why you can't leave (usually having something to do with financial stability), they are just excuses. Because one thing you really cannot afford is spending years doing things that make you feel bad. I can't believe I kept doing it for 2.5 years but at least it was a valuable life lesson.
But enough about this. Sharing these photos made me think that we share very little about what's going on inside of our minds with people around us. It might be because we think no one is willing to listen, or because we think people wouldn't understand. Or simply because we think it's only our business and we don't want to bother people around us with our problems. Or maybe because in our society (especially in Sweden) you are supposed to be able to take care of yourself. Being depressed is not exactly socially acceptable. It often happens that people who are closest to you (your spouses, parents) go around with stuff in their heads that they don't share with you.
This being said, I think on the inside we all are very different to what we show to the world. The more comfortable we feel with ourselves and the people around us, the better we are at sharing our emotions and feelings.
The way we share it on social media is never the way it is. Especially when you have your own business and you constantly have to be "on" and "selling" the idea to everyone around you. I know I often look all bubbly and excited but inside there's always a bit more depth to that. For instance I often battle with stress, oftentimes so overwhelming that I feel paralyzed and unable to do the work that has to be done.
I think I want to start sharing more things the way they are, here on the blog. Without sharing them somewhere outside. So that people who know about the existence of this blog have a better chance to follow who I really am, but mostly so that I myself have a better chance to process my own feelings and experiences.