By: Michelle Plett
Last night I said farewell and so long to the people that have become family in Sweden.
Tomorrow I embark on what I call my BIG GRAND ADVENTURE as I travel to California for some well needed rest and time of reflection.
But last night, as I said goodbye to my friends, I was so overwhelmed by love.
As someone who can claim German, Canadian and Argentinian citizenship, who is truly a citizen of the world, I have realised that I have taken what is the best part of each culture and clung to it. My time in Sweden, though beautiful and a true blessing was a challenge. I say this because I, often silently struggled with my value here. I have come accustom to affirmation. I love knowing I am making an impact on someone’s lives, that I mean something, that my existence is more than me. It’s something I value. And living in culture that is much more reserved in their acclamations of pleasure and joy, I mean there’s like one word for good that they use for everything, it took almost to last night to understand the impact I had here.
As I write this I am confident that there are many people reading this that may not be living in Sweden, but are struggling with finding their value.
We are taught we should not rely on other’s affirmation of us, and while this is true to a great extent, some of us are simply built with a need to hear those words.
“I appreciate you.”
“You mean so much to me.”
“I love you.”
“You have impacted my life.”
And I am here to tell you it’s okay to need it, but be careful. There are so many people in the world that will not verbally affirm you. Whether it’s cultural or perhaps the way they were raised. Whether they feel emotion so strongly that it’s difficult to articulate their feelings. Instead of feeling rejected, try and look for the other ways people show their appreciation of you. In the way they look at you from across the room, the random text messages sent that really just show they’re thinking of you, the mundane errands they help you with.
I guess what I am simply saying is that you are valuable and you do mean a lot to someone, probably to many more than you may ever realise. Your presence on earth is needed and you have a purpose. Just because it isn’t shouted from the rooftops, you make a difference.