Ever since my first trip to Hawaii in September 2004 (or maybe even before that), I have been asked how I can go anywhere alone. Why not? The other day, when I was chatting with Tom Cruise (!), who is in Turkey at the moment, I was asked the same question about being in Portugal alone. Then when I answered him, the essence of it became so easy to say, that I’d like to share.
I am not free to be how I really am with my preferences and priorities, when I am together with the majority of my so called former friends. It has always been me that had to succumb to what others want to, and most times, yet by my initiative to meet. But why hold on to someone who never calls, unless I call first? Or don’t want to answer?
I recalled my first trip without my parents with friends in Europe. It was fun, but it felt like it was the same as home, just in another setting, without us really getting to know neither the place nor the people.
And how I felt later in the early 00’s, for example visiting San Francisco, Miami and New York City on my own, became the path towards an exhilirating freedom. When I was in California in the mid 90’s, on a job with a Swedish photographer’s assistant, it was pretty good, since I got to lead our work, similar to how I have led a group of about 40 young Nordic exchange-students across the Atlantic when I escorted them to, and through, their transfer in Chicago to their High School year abroad.
When it comes to studying abroad, should I have my Swedish girlfriends waiting for me outside the university? Or “approve” my dates first?
It’s about meeting me halfway and for me not to always have to sink down to match another person’s level, especially spiritually and creatively, or simply by interest. Would you have fun if you felt forced to go to clubs where you don’t like the music? Who could you meet instead if you go where you want? I did!
Many times, I believe, we get stuck in a pattern of holding power structures and unspoken hierachical levels also with our friends, that we either not mean any harm with or don’t see, or do know of. These have to be changed with mutual effort like within all relationships. Or we have to find new.
Meanwhile we can just live in peace alone.