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A Dream of a House

Your chest is rising up and down to the buzzing of a trapped fly, repeatedly crashing into the window above us. I lay still a while, my tangled hair sliding across your arm with each breath, back and forth like waves. The vacuum of our skin make it so sweaty and it’s like we’ve consumed all the oxygen left in the air. Even the fly has noticed and is trying to escape before we all suffocate. I try to endure it, last a little longer and make the summer seconds feel less short. For some reason they still seem to rush away. Perhaps they are just as eager as the rest of us when the snow has vanished. After all we all run through the good parts too quickly.

When I slide off you your skin prickles and it wakes you up. It feels like ages ago when I woke up in your bed the first time, all shy and embarrassed and happy. It was ages ago I guess. Like that day three and a half years ago we have no plans.

– I don’t want to see a single person today, I say.

 Me neither, you respond. You sigh and I can tell that this city is wearing on you faster than ever.

– Shit Linn, why don’t we actually just save up all of our money and buy a tiny cabin? A super small one where we just fit everything we need and nothing more.

This year has been tough on so many levels and I want it to stop, to go away so maybe we should just leave. Live somewhere I haven’t even been because there is no reason to go there. I continue:

– It has to be somewhere by the water then. In a rural area with nothing around it. With big windows so you can watch the storm and read and listen to music and not be stressed by anything. Just us. And I can write and you can… be my slave or house husband or something.

I stop with my lips pursed, trying to keep a straight face and turn to look at you. You pretend to be hurt but your face is amused so I laugh. But the more I think of us living along by the beach I realise that it’s actually not an awful idea. Us in a little house with a bedroom this size, where we could open the window and let that poor fly out and in return hear the ocean brush across the beach.

– We can cook amazing pasta dinners and walk along the shore or drink whiskey in front of tv series and have sex everywhere in every room. And it won’t even cost that much, Daniel, think about it!

– And when we get bored we could just invite all of our friends out for a massive party.

I turn onto my side so I can freely gesture with my right hand about our future as faraway fugitives escaping the city life. You roll your eyes at my more obscene suggestions and I accept the challenge to shock you even more. When I finish I lean my chin in my other hand and look at you for response. We’ve derailed our dream into unattainability, maybe because the thought of it being possible is terrifying.

I stand up on your mattress with the white sheets curled around my ankles and reach high up towards the window. My fingertips grab hold of the handle and I twist and push it open. But the fly heads back into the house and away from my attempt to save it. Once we’re offered what would save us, why is it that we all run the other direction?

I plunge back down into the depth of the bed. The noise from fast fixie bikes and shouting bus drivers flood in through the window. Some kids walking down the road are half screaming half laughing as they tease one another and the pub next door is already filling up. I guess it’s not really the ocean, but it’ll do.

 

Linn

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SUMMER MORNINGS

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Last night I landed in a bright late summer Stockholm. No more London until November when I move back. Instead I will finish my last months at Hyper Island so that I can actually get a job and pay rent for that small room with high ceilings and large windows  on some quiet side street in a cheaper corner of Hackney that we’ve planned on moving into. And not having to move or be away from each other for years.

For now I’m on the underground on my way to my first day back at school. And you know what – these months will be fun too! But in the midst of harsh mean autumn storms apart I’ll be thinking about the days waking up on summer mornings with you.

 

Linn

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LONDON TENNIS SKIRTS & WINDOW PANES

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D  London is vibrant and hot and wonderful. I ended up having a big dip when we first got back here though. Deeper than at those times when it was worst back last autumn. It paralysed me. Being here when all my friends are working leaves me alone with my mind, which is the most toxic monster I can imagine. Going through therapy this spring has stirred up a lot of fears and a lot of poisonous habits rooted so far back. But luckily it got better after less than a week. Thank god for that.

I’m working so hard to wash it away, the hatred and shame, but there is no doing so. Instead I’m trying to share a space with them. And maybe it’s going alright, a few exceptions aside. After all it’s okay to feel shit and not be all jolly and pleasant. At least Daniel tells me so haha. So the days when it isn’t too bad I wear miniskirts and play loud music and feel shit about finally having time to write and not doing so. I hope I’ll be completely back to normal soon, and do all the things I’ve longed for.

Thanks for being here reading all of you. It’s great that you’ve been commenting a lot lately. It means the world.

Linn

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3YRS & HOW WE MET

Today it’s been three years since we laid in his bed the night of Friday 13 and he asked me to be his girlfriend. How insanely long is that?! We are celebrating with drinking whiskey at the cinema tonight and having take out in bed.

Some of you might remember when my 19 year old self met this mysterious Canadian but I figured it’s time to properly tell the story of how we met: Linn+Daniel

foto Frida Vega Salomonsson

It all begins one late night in June 2011. Outside it was vibrating hot and we were out at night in only mini skirts and a tan. Olivia and I were still new to London and spent every second exploring it. This night we had a pre-party at our house, drinking K cider and playing messy summer music on the balcony with our neighbour James. As so many times before, we took the double decker 8 down to Shoreditch and went to our regular bar Catch. That was back when the crowd was still cool and the magazines fought over taking people’s portraits there. The queue was overwhelmingly long but we skipped to the front, kissed the bouncers on the cheeks and snuck in. In the midst of east londoners wearing dirty shoes and naked skin we danced like nothing could prevent us from ever being anything but 19 and ignorant.

Sometime during the night we bought beer by the bar to cool down. A young man tapped me on the shoulder and asked what my name was, what music I like, and everything else people ask when they don’t know each other yet. He was tall and handsome with dark hair and the iciest blue eyes I had ever seen. We got 7min of conversation before Olivia pulled me away as we were late meeting our friends in Dalston. I turned to the handsome young man telling him that I had to leave.

– Can I at least get your number? he asked.

I thought that it was pointless, I knew I didn’t want a boyfriend until I was done with London and by then I’ll be at least 35. But I also thought about how painfully pretty he was. For once I decided to compromise, wrote my name on a note from the bar and told him to find me on facebook. It said Linn and nothing else, leaving it up to destiny and his research skills to find me. I left and returned to doing dumb things with Olivia, completely forgetting about this encounter.

Two months later, I was visiting my family in Stockholm when I received a Facebook message from a tall and handsome man with dark hair and icy blue eyes. Apparently not that many people are named Linn in London after all. The message read something like this:

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I sat in my parents garden with a flattered heartbeat and brief panic. I never thought he’d find me. I wrote back saying of course I remember but I’m out of town but who knows perhaps when I get back. He told me to get in touch once I was in London again and I thought that that will never happen, I’m too shy and too happy being single.

Another six months went by when suddenly another message popped up in my inbox. It was him again. He had found this note once more, the one with my name on it, and he knew it was even more weird and more awkward this time but would I be up for actually meet up for a drink?

I read it on my flickering pc screen and felt that this must be the bravest guy in this world. He’s asking me out again after having been pretty much turned down twice. I’m such a sucker for brave hearts (and pretty eyes) so this felt irresistible.

Our first date was at the pub the Royal Oak. In my nervousness I had accidentally showed up 20min early and was now hiding in an alley around the corner, high on nicotine from chain smoking five cigarettes in a row. I told myself that now you have to get your fucking shit together and then I went inside. For 15minutes I was standing alone in the packed bar, thinking that I had been stood up, before he arrived, late. What an asshole, I thought but he quickly made me change my mind because he turned out to be pretty lovely. My plan had all along been to have drink or two and then go meet up with Olivia, because how fun can dates be anyways? Instead I was having hell of a time as the hours flew by. When the bar closed we continued from one bar to the next. At 3am we had ended up at Catch where we had first met that one sweltering night in June. To the pulsating beat of hiphop he pushed me against a wall and kissed me.

The date lasted over 24 hours. Probably a record for first dates. I woke up in his bed the morning after and he took me for brunch up in Hackney and coffee at Broadway Market. It felt impossible to have this much fun with a hot stranger and then leave it. So I asked if he wanted to meet again. And he sure did.

Turns out that London was even better with him.

Linn

 

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SELF HATRED & ASKING FOR HELP

The past week at school was perhaps the worst I have experienced in my life. We had a project where we worked intensely on personal development and reflection on one’s persona. I had tasks where I had to expose my deepest of secrets to people I don’t want to dislike me. Already at lunch I panicked and wanted to leave. My program managers and my project partner had long talks with me convincing me not to. I sat down in front of my classmates with my body shaking violently, hysterically, trying to find words but instead I choked and teared up. The task was reading out my weaknesses and see how we could turn them into opportunities. I couldn’t. Instead my head was flooded with self hatred and doubts so reading it aloud slashed up all infected old wounds and shames for all to evaluate. The following two days I wept nonstop, thinking that this, this is when I die.

For the first time, probably ever, I had to ask for help regarding my personal issues. And it took more than courage – it took fucking vulnerability. I was sure they’d hate me but nobody even frowned or found me disgusting when my whole body shook from fear and sobs. Instead they grew from being able to help. And their help was invaluable. I keep on thinking I know myself and have my shit together, but I don’t at all actually, which is fine too. Nobody fucking has, but we all go around pretending, feeling lost alone.

During these nights Daniel stayed up with me on Skype, trying to comfort me for hours and hours, and on Saturday he arrived in Stockholm.

We stayed in bed and I read out loud all the things I had written down during the week that I feared that people would find out about me. I told him about my eating disorder as a teenager and my loneliness in not being open with my parents. I told him about how I’m scared to talk about my feelings because I’ve never leaned on anybody and that’s why I write so much because then nothing of it seems real. I told him about everything that hurt. But also everything I am proud of and the tools I was given on what to do to not ache as much anymore. He just listened. Patiently, attentively.

– I will help you get through this, Linn. I promise. And it will take time, but that is fine. We will do it in your pace.

I didn’t have any tears left, just hollowness and relief. So I hugged his chest as he held me, listening to his lungs and his silent worries. Then we laid in bed, eating cheese doodles and sweets naked, binge-watching House of Cards and talking laughing breathing. I think he felt relieved too. I texted my project partner I did it.

He’s my rockstar Daniel, but this is my battle and I’m going to get through this only by pushing myself to open up. It will take a long time, but I will. I am just so grateful to go to a school that works so much with mental health.

 

Linn

This is the hardest text I’ve written because it reveals so much of what I doubt about myself. But the stigma around self hatred, especially for females, has to stop. And it’s important to seek help from professionals! Maybe we can help each other by sharing?

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