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Young Women Leaders

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Partners in crime – what it means to your sanity

Last Sunday I finally got together with my friend A-Conk on Skype. It´s been way too long, you know the way it is when there´s an ocean and six hours of time difference in between. Anyhow, it makes me happy to know how quickly we pick up where we left off, and how much she energizes me in what she does and what we do together (never mind that ocean and time difference).

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I got to know Al at the end of my junior year in college. We were both Political Science majors, but had never taken any classes together until then. Since we were both gone fall semester junior year (she in Washington D.C. and I in Santiago, Chile) we had to take this class called Methodology (or Methods as it is known) in the spring. So we had Methods together, and at the same time one of our honors classes on poverty alleviation with my mentor Welker. During this time we got to know more ABOUT each other but we didn´t hang out. But in the summer we were basically the only people around on campus, and Welker set us up to become friends. Why? Because we are meant to be together!

Look, I come from the cold and ice of Sweden and Al comes from the land of corn and dairy of Ohio, but there are so many things we have in common, such as our interest in politics, hard work, work outs, good food, family, fashion, and saving the world.

I´ve wanted to write this entry about Al all week long but I feel like I am not doing it well enough for how much she means to me. But today I went running and I thought “screw it, the most important thing is that I write it, not how well it is written.” Going running also reminded me how much it means to have a person like Al in my life. When we lived on blocks next to each other last year, we were so good at going to work out together all the time. We did this program called Insanity in Al´s living room or the racquetball court at the gym, we went for angry ranting walks to the country club and back, and we got out there so often together. As much as I need somebody to go working out with, I need a partner in crime in the work that I do. I need Al to bounce ideas with, I need her to listen to what I say and to point out things that I cannot see myself. I need her to dress up with me and go to a presentation and present the living hell out of our material (which we do very well by the way).

I need her to be silly with me and goof around. I need her to go buy beer and sit on a roof/in the honors house to write a thesis together. I need her to remind me that if a person doesn´t like all of me, then he/she is nothing worth spending energy on. I need her to come with me and sit in the waiting room at important meetings, just knowing that she is out there with me.

I need her to come out with me and scare the shit out of people because we make a great team together. I need her to talk about women that inspire us and make up teams such as “Team Rhinestone” in honor of the chair of the political science department. I need her to tell me about her job and life and realize that we are often in the same structures of lowest on the ladder in the workplace.

Having a person like Al in your life is something that I wish everybody had. Just as much as she helped me exercise my body, she helps exercise my mind. She has chops, as Welker would have said. She is a smart, funny, loving, good-looking great friend. With partners like her, you go great lengths in work and you develop yourself as a human being.

This reminds me of Al. This could also be a video we made together, I wouldn´t doubt it.

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In the process of shaping this up

Dear readers,
I have now survived most of the obstacles put in my way to move into my new apartment. Phew. I am now living in it, it´s filled with boxes and stuff, but I have moved my physical body in there. This past Sunday I skyped with my partner in crime Allison and we made large plans for life. It means so much to me to have this person on the other side of the ocean going through the same things as I do, and supporting me in everything.

Talking to her made me reconsider this blog again and attempting to PICK IT UP again. To blog more frequently (isn´t that a large blogger problem? Well, I have it too) and to put more effort in.

More news to come as projects progress.
Much love to all of y´all!

Hanna

Most days I find this to be very true

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“I think, therefore I am single.”
– Lizz Winstead
(Photo cred: ncac.org)

“We can all change the world”

Please watch this inspirational clip with Cecilia Andrén Nyström, a young leader in the world. She is helping young girls and women grow in Mozambique, through the force of football (or as Americans call it, soccer). Yup, this makes me want to get out there and really do something!

Friday inspirational quote

“This has always been a man’s world, and none of the reasons that have been offered in explanation have seemed adequate.”
– Simone de Beauvoir

Killing us softly

Killing us softly is one of the best eye-openers for how media influences us. It kills me to see this, but is so important to see how women are portrayed, and what effect that has on both women and men. Watch!

there will always be something

I’ve felt like I am not doing all that I can to move forward. But it hit me the other day: discrimination and injustice will not disappear in a moment. Sadly, of course, but at least I know that there will always be work for me to do. And that is strangely comforting.

Cleaning out my closet

I am currently in the process of moving to a new place, and with that comes the decision-making of what to bring and what to leave behind. Since I have lived long periods abroad, I have accumulated a lot of stuff in my parent´s attic that I am now going through. I am a bit of a hamster when it comes to things, and there are a lot papers, notes, and material that I have just packed down and saved for another day. A lot of it is fun stuff, kitchen stuff, old memories, pictures and books. I have laughed out load many times when finding treasures such as an old calender Maria made me when we were 17, texts from Caroline that I wrote down on pieces of paper, and random little elephants that I have collected since I was little. 

But there´s also a lot of things that I do not enjoy going through, and that almost immediately goes back up to that attic. Things that makes me feel physically ill to go through. Not only is it a huge amount of things that I should just have tossed at the time, but there are things that reminds me of a time when I was in a mentally bad state. There are diaries from when I was 17-19 years old, a time that was (as it is for many people) overwhelming, new, scary AND developing. 

During this time I had my first (and really only) longer relationship with somebody that I was in love with, somebody that threw away what we had when we broke up. (My first real relationship was great! But short.) After that I had a few short “relationships” without being committed to any of them. The last one being a person that actually treated me the best way I have ever been treated. I broke up with this person on the phone (yeah, I know, geezz), unable to listen to my feelings and hurting, I believe, both of us. After that I have been unable to go into a love relationship in a way that has been good for me. 

I am also reminded of the straining time of belonging to an ongoing social situation that never made me feel at ease. During this time I was partly doing an excellent job, but it was overshadowed by not reaching my full potential because I was SCARED of doing something wrong/being judged by others because of the mentally of the people. I am not in touch with any of these people anymore, but it saddens me that I am still, at times, struggling with the same destructive and self-harming thoughts that was present a lot at this time. 

So what do I want to say with this? That I hope to process this time in my life and move on even though my spirit is currently low. I know we learn from our mistakes, but how do I deal with the feelings I have when being reminded of this time in my life? Suppressing is never the answer, because sooner or later the feelings and thoughts will rise to the surface again. 

Hanna

This is how we go out!

Kudos to my friend Maria, I was introduced to Leslie Hall in 2009. I went so far with my obsession that I dressed up as her for Halloween, gold spandex and all. The song below was def one of the best party songs me and my roommate Brit-Brit listened to back in those days. Please add this to your best playlist!

 

 

ImagePhoto cred: Lindsay Beckman/Gretchen Dellner

Photo cred below: Chelsea Jean
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This is what Swedes do

Video by my favorite Swedish blogger, HanaPee, http://www.hanapee.com performing a traditional Lucia song. Maybe a bit out of season, but hey, it´ll make your Saturday even better!

Much love,
Hanna

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