Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Glorious predictability

It's 4:37 am and I'm wide awake. I wish I was sleeping, not because I'm tired, but because I should be and could be. It's the never ending battle between me and jet-lag.

I came back from Sweden two days ago. I was gone about three weeks. I spent my days doing the usual stuff, chatting and eating with my favorite people. I also managed to squeeze in a weekend in Birmingham, to attend a re-union with my former university flatmates.

Usually I'm all about experiencing and discovering new things. But sometimes nothing beats the tried and tested. This becomes blatantly clear every time I'm back in Sweden. I always stay with my parents, in my childhood room. I enjoy my mum's cooking like there is no tomorrow. At every dinner we sit and talk for hours, just like we've always done.

I've also spent countless of hours with my BFF and I knew we'd do what we do best. Talk. We talk each other's ears off, and it has always been that way. We've been on countless trips together and never found the time to open a book or a magazine. We live continents apart, but she still knows every intricate details about my everyday life, as I know hers. We are so predictable that we literally know the next word out of each other's mouths. Not only can we finish each other's sentences, on multiple occasions we say the exact same sentence at the exact same time.

I also got to catch up with a childhood friend. She became a mother about 6 months ago and I hadn't had the opportunity to meet her since. It was great! But I would've been surprised if it wasn't. We've known each other since we were six and she's one of my closest friends. Since 1994, when I moved to another part of town, we've had, periodically, a very sporadic relationship. We haven't lived in the same country since 2002 and we usually meet up once a year. But I know we'll just pick up where we left off and our friendship is completely effortless.

The trip to England was another fine example of familiarity. The city of Birmingham has barely changed in 6 years. Maybe that's no surprise. However, my old flatmates and I live very different lives today compared to 2005. This had some interesting consequences. The amount to taxis we used this weekend by far exceeded the amount of taxis we used during our three years at uni. One of us owned a house where we stayed. We could't and didn't want to drink like we used to. But despite all these new changes, we were all pretty much the same people. We shared a home for a year and when we prepared dinner together, it felt amazingly familiar.

My theory is that you will appreciate predictability in a whole other way, when you live a fairly unpredictable life. Cause when you do, predictability and familiarity is not just about security and control, it's about having a harbor to return to. So, after three amazing weeks, I returned to the familiar arms of my husband and the feeling of coming home was great, just as predicted.

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