Buzzfeed has been known to make stupid lists and true to form the one above may also be grasping at straws sometimes. But for someone who has a connection to Sweden it's still fun to read. It superficially lists some valid reasons, however, for me, it's the relationships that I've made here that "ruin" me. They make it impossibly hard to pack and move, even if it's just for a few short months away. This weekend my friends threw me a see-you-later party. Going into it I was very anxious and sad because it felt so final. But it was actually really nice. We had a murder mystery complete with a tape outlined dead body in the bathroom. My friends went to great lengths to make it a near perfect evening. And it was. I felt so loved.
Yesterday was my cohorts last full class together. We've taken several classes together throughout this program but yesterday's was the last time we will all be together. Some people will continue taking elective courses, some will take a leave of absence to work, have babies, or just take a break. And some of us will go do research and write our thesis'. At the end, I may have said goodbye forever to some people. How do you process that? There were so many emotions.
Now, with my remaining days in Sweden I am saying my see-you-later's, talking long walks with friends soaking up the Christmas charm, packing, cleaning and trying to figure out how to process this experience and all the people who have made it what its been. They've ruined me. They have challenged my thoughts and beliefs, taught me about the effects of corruption on health in their countries, shared their struggles, introduced me to their families, empathized with the culture shock but most of all, they've loved me and made me richer.
Living in Sweden has ruined me. But ruined in a good way.