19, Swedish/Mongol in the Hong Kong metro being all international and cool. I know, I’m like James Bond or Jason Bourne or something… minus all the killing.
I was supposed to be born the same date as Jesus but I decided to stay in my mom’s belly for two extra days. *advanced maths*
It’s four am and I can’t sleep and I have nothing to do. Girls love making lists so why not make one about 20 facts I’ve learned over the past 20 years? I’ll make the number sort of correlate with the age I learned it. TL;DR: I’m strange and that’s OK because it is becoming trendy to be strange. For real though, it’s weird seeing people be praised for the same scheisse you got bullied for in
middle school life. There’s hope for me.
1. Food is delicious. Rare steaks, mandarins, kimchi. I’m not going on a friggin’ diet. I’ll be paleo/slow-carb mostly but then cheat so much it can’t be taken seriously. I get annoyed when people see me not eat anything for a whole day like “DO YOU EVEN KNOW ME? I WILL EAT A GOAT TOMORROW!”. There is no risk of me going anorexic or bulimic. Food > being thin. But I’ll eat it when I feel like it, don’t worry. Also thin privilege and fat shaming are you serious like I don’t even… Please stahp. Eat food, read some basic books on nutrition and move your body.
2. Nice people are precious. My earliest memories are of being picked up from playdates with my cousins by my uncle and him just making me laugh all the way home and my mom teaching me how to read. My family is very nice and I think many a people will take advantage of that and have… But I’ve made a decision to cut off the people who seem to be hanging out with me because I’m nice and “will be of value in the future”. I am awesome and I will be even more awesome but you’re not awesome enough to hang with me if you’re using me.
3. Reading = magic. I remember the first words I read in Mongolian. Words starting with B like böörönhi bömbög (round ball) and I remember thinking “WHAT IS THIS SORCERY!?”. I still feel that way every day, especially when I read books. Books, unlike things on the internet, are often more well-thought out and you can almost understand the psyche of the author on a deep and sometimes creepy way.
4. Not everyone speaks the same language. Cartoon Network was only available in English when I was a kid in Mongolia… and here we are. Amazing how such small things can change everything in your life. I remember being able to say ‘apple’ in Mongolian and then saying it in English and then saying it again in Mongolian and just feeling like an epic wizard.
5. Sweden is a country that is not Mongolia. These are just the sort of things you have to learn fast when you move to a foreign land where everyone is tall and speak an off-version of English.
6. I like Sweden, though it is cold. I liked going to preschool where we got to “nurture” caterpillars into butterflies and then release them into the forest. I liked my teacher in the first grade because she had curly blonde hair and was nice to me even though I saw that she gave me three stars on everything except for “classroom behavior” where she had commented that I have a hard time not goofing around.
8. Animals are people too. As my obsession with orcas, dolphins and animals in general were growing I also accidentally started reading more and more about their ability to process feelings. So I only wanted two things in the world 1. A bunny 2. My acceptance letter into Hogwarts. When I turned eight my mom gave me the cutest gift a girl could ever wish for – a tiny tiny tiny bunny that got both a Swedish and a Mongolian name and stayed with me until I was seventeen.
9. Being Mongolian definitely has its bad-ass perks. Look at that picture of me riding a moose like I’m from some sort of fantasy saga. Imagine that sort of thing happening everywhere you go – MONGOLIA.
10. I’m a Photoshop God. Not really, but it is easy to think you’re amazing at things when no one else in your environment is doing it. When I was nine – the internet was so new that most people still wrote “www.” before they wrote the site name. I’M SO OLD. No I’m not, but I like to freak myself out so I’ll be more productive.
11. I love singing, music, art and languages. And I will forever not care what any body thinks of it.
12. School is mostly horrible but I have The Sims. I started gaming a lot and at some point around this age I started not doing my best in school because I realized all of the teachers had decided I was brilliant no matter what I did and the kids at school the opposite. So I pretty much just hung out with myself and my computer.
13. I’m very lost and it’s ok. I think most modern young women have had their fair share of consuming all of the books on the self-help shelf and then not followed through with most of the solid advice. Everyone was giving very extreme advice like “only live in the present” or “you will be a failure if you don’t have any goals” and I just took the middle way and realized that all of this information on this planet will make you feel very lost and it’s cool. Being cool with being lost means you’ll be very curious and eager to try to figure things out and I love figuring things out.
14. My parents are also people. I discovered this when my mom said some fact about the brain that was a little too on the 20th century science side for me and then it dawned on me – the realization that my mother was just a person with feelings and friends and everything else before I existed. Albeit, I still believe she is one of the greatest creatures to have ever lived.
15. I’m attractive enough for someone to kiss my face. And it was amazing, especially since the only thing I could think about at that age was boys boys böys and the occasional thought “how do I not think of boys?”. Hormones are horrible and I distrust anyone who didn’t feel like the most awkward human being to ever walk planet earth in their teens.
16. Travel, eat, pray, love, work/study 4 hours a week. I read a lot of books the summer after my first boyfriend and I broke up and most of them were on the topic of “travelling is easy and if you’re not doing it you’re not living”. So began this part of my life when I thought that as long as I’m travelling I’m doing good… (I also developed a huge passion for soccer). Partly true if you adhere to the school of thought that the more you do – the slower time seems to pass and this was very true because 16-17 were the longest years of my life and now I’m aiming at making 2014 feel like a decade. I know what they feel like now that I’ve experienced two of them…
17. There is a God because I got to go to Kenya to a boarding school with a pool and kiss giraffes. Honestly, I don’t know what I was doing in cold Stockholm in a public school when I could’ve chased (literally) blue-balled monkeys around school a few days before my graduation on the savannah. (Re-read that sentence to realize there is so much win).
18. People are crazy. Keep calm and avoid when possible. I’m sorry but the only thing I learned from turning 18 in Thailand and accidentally buying drugs to bartenders is that people are batshit crazy (many things happened on the day I turned 18 but the story is so friggin’ incredible and incredibly long that very few of those I’ve told it to have believed me). After graduation I helped out at the family restaurant having to deal with customers and employees and I realized even more so that I’m not the crazy one. People are. *couple orders ramen noodle soup with yakiniku and I explain what it is* -> *I bring out the food* -> woman: “WHAT IS THIS? I DON’T EVEN EAT NOODLES!” man: “I’M VEGAN!”. *cough* Allegedly.
19. College is the best form of school ever and I’m good at it. Getting accepted into Stockholm School of Business made me feel at peace. I suddenly found myself studying things to a deadline instead of researching kitosis for hours for my own pleasure. Studying at an academy has also given me the immense joy of connecting the dots between things I knew on a shallow level and now having the information and the ability to prove my theories. The professors that I’ve shown my work on economic theory to have all found them very sound, but I seem to be lacking the knowledge necessary to present it in a scientific way right now (must learn advanced math or hire tech support to do it for me). I’m also grateful that I followed the advice of Derek Sivers and shortened my study time by taking the second-year courses on top of my first-year studies.
20. Making people, including myself, laugh is the best feeling in the entire world that has ever existed ever like ever is this sentence too long. Such humrou. Also, I’m bad at keeping my serious writing tone and making serious lists of “REVELATIONS” SO here’s a funny screenshot off tumblr that made me laugh irl. Seriously though, Dumbledore might’ve been the worst headmaster of Hogwarts ever. Also, bonus pic because I can’t help myself.
Bonus revelation about being “hot” as the young people call it: people are now nice to me from the get-go now that I’m le babe, but no amount of le babe will hide your weirdness and in the end the conservatives will run away in terror but you gain cool friends faster. Friends who can belch the alphabet and also send you politically incorrect but hilarious drunk philosophical texts at four in the morning. I love you.