Just when you thought you had it all figured out your world is turned upside down yet again. I know I should be used to it by now but believe me when I say, you never really get used to it. And I guess that’s a good thing in the end.
As most of you know already we’ve been in Kyiv for almost two years now and we’ve really loved being here. We were planning on a definite third, or maybe even a fourth year here and then back to Stockholm as this is our fourth posting in a row. This autumn marks 12 years abroad for my part which is not unheard of, but very unusual. So we’ve been mentally preparing ourselves for a move home after our posting in Kyiv ended. But then the phone rang. Stockholm was on the line and all of a sudden, seeds were planted in my head and all our plans changed.
First I find that an explanation is needed. You see, I LOVE my job. I love being a spider in a web full of obstacles and regulations, of rules and guidelines. Operational and strategic planning, personnel issues and strangely complicated consular cases is my area of expertise. It’s my passion even. It can be rough seas sometimes but in the end, I get to work with people. Even though I love writing, I could never have a job which requires writing reports all day. It would drive me insane. Furthermore I need to have several balls in the air at the same time. It’s just how I like it, feel free to call me crazy. And it is at our missions abroad that these jobs exist which is probably why I’ve been ok to stay out for so long. And it has been made possible due to the fact that I have the most understanding and supporting fiancé that ever existed. And a daughter who is ready for anything that we throw at her.
But let’s get to the point, shall we? As of late August it looks like we’ll be swapping Kyiv for Beijing, China as I’ve been offered the position as Head of Chancellery at our Mission there as of September 2016…I have to admit it came as quite a surprise seeing my posting here was supposed to last for at least another year, but after lengthy discussions with the whole family, we decided that it was an opportunity too hard to miss out on. It’s China after all, one of the most exciting countries in the world and a posting at one of our largest, if not THE largest, missions in the world. And let’s face it, I’m always up for a challenge. I know that Beijing comes with its own difficulties, the air pollution being one of the bigger issues, but we have faced challenges before and we will do it again. As long as I have my family with me, anything and everything is possible.
There are also some practical issues to be taken care of before we move. One major thing is the issue of not being married. You see, me and Tobias have been together for almost 10 years, we have a daughter who is turning 7 this year, but we’re not married. We are, what us Swedes call, “sambos”, which basically translates to co-habitants. So that’s another thing to tick off on our agenda during our summer vacation, a “Wedding á la Express”. Honestly, I have never been much of a “marrying type”, a piece of paper does not determine or shape a relationship, your attitude towards it does. But like some wise person once said, you have to try everything once befor you know if you like it or not. 😊 But you try organising a quick ceremony during summer time in Sweden and under certain restrictions when it comes to dates etc. and see how lucky you are. City Hall was fully booked until September and that’s too late.
Thankfully I have an amazingly family. A sister who so kindly offered her lovely garden as a venue when I mentioned that we had to get married & another one (in Singapore!) who organised a person to hold the ceremony for us. And to top it off, a mom who offered to bake my favourite cakes for the “fika reception” afterwards. It’s truly been a family affair to organise this.It will be a small gathering, nothing big or fancy – no poofy white wedding dress (the horror!!) and 8 layer wedding cake with an all-night party afterwards. Neither me nor Tobias are fans of big parties. We’ll keep it small and cosy. You will all be there in spirit though, promise. ❤️
As for the rest of the planning, we’ve already found a school for Ms S (yay!!) and as we already know where we are going to live, two of the biggest “to do’s” on our moving list are already ticked off. But seeing this offer came at such a late stage, time is of essence when it comes to everything else so stress will be my middle name in the near future. But that’s ok.
Now I know that all this will come as happy news to some, and less happy news to others. We’ve been away for a long time. Ms. S has never lived in Sweden and I understand that it is hard on our families that she will be even further away from everyone. But just like here, in the fantastic city of Kyiv where the chestnut trees are blooming and the sky is blue (well it’s actually grey and rainy when I write this but it’s usually blue!), there will be a guest room available. And there is always room for family and friends. So we do hope you’ll come to see us & the great Wall of China.
But first some more planning, then vacation (and the whole wedding thing) and finishing off work here in Kyiv. I’m not done yet. There’s still plenty to do at work and lots to explore. Beijing will have to wait just a little while longer.
Love from all of us in Kyiv to all of you across the world. And do remember..
At least once in a while… ❤️