Everything is still status quo, still no job, trying to fill my days and getting frustrated with it apparently. We are down to our last year here in Sweden, and though there are a lot of things and people I will miss, I think it is time to move on. If not back to Canada, then hopefully somewhere where English is the operating language as to increase my chances of getting a job. In the meantime I will just keep baking when I can, and try not to snap so much at Carl.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Thursday, April 4, 2013
It seems that people want to be happy, but they don't seem to want to take the steps to change their situations. I have spoken to more than a few people who are in situations they are not happy with, but when I suggest that they seek out counseling or some other form of assistance, they refuse to do it and just continue on in their path of unhappiness. Quite frankly I can't help but think these people are depressed, but no one can see it because they often limit their interactions to those that take place in cyberspace so no one really sees it.
I know that life can suck, and there are things that are hard that you have to get through but sometimes you need help to do that, and it's okay. Seek it out, but from professionals not from the internet. Work on yourself before you start trying to fix your situation with others, and sometimes making yourself happy means taking back the control you have given to others over you. I have been there before myself, and it isn't easy, but doing the same thing over and over again that you have been doing for years isn't going to change anything.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
As I read this lying in bed last night it was as if something hit me in the head. I had never really consciously thought that before, but it is so very true. All of us who are GLBTQ have to do it. We do it at work, at the doctors office, the dentist, school, if we change apartments and just about anywhere you go. It is even more common if you are in a relationship. It is never more pronounced as it is when you start a new job. You go into a work area full of people you have never met before and if you wear a wedding ring like I do it is automatically assumed you are married to a woman. The conversation usually goes like this;
STRANGER:"I see you are married, what does your wife do?"
ME: "HE works for the Government of Canada"
STRANGER: "OH! I see! Sorry, I just assumed..."
In a new environment you have to do that so much it just becomes rote, but each time it makes my pulse quicken a bit, just waiting for someone to be nasty about it. I'd like to say it gets easier, but it never really does. Sometimes though, it can be comical too. From 1987 to 2000 I worked on the Chicago Stock Exchange. I started as a runner, then a Broker and eventually to a Trader position. The Trading Floor is a bastion of male dominance, but I was one of 2 or 3 out gay men on that trading floor during that time. I think is some ways my size helped me, you generally don't call a 6'3" 250 man "faggot." My size has been my saving grace I am sure on more than one occasion, but I digress. The firm I worked for would regularly hire clerks. Young kids for summer jobs, or kids looking to break into the business and a couple of my buddies would slowly out me to these kids. I didn't care, but it became a game. At one point I actually had business cards printed up that said; "Yes, I am gay, no I won't answer any sex questions, go find someone else." It was easier there because I was established and known, but that took quite a bit of time to get to that point.
With Carl's job we move every 2 to 4 years or so. This means that each and every time we land somewhere new the coming out process begins again. Fortunately we have not had any negative response, at least to our faces but it is always there, just a possibility that it will happen and to be honest I assume at some point it will.
In late summer 2011 Carl found himself in the position of Chargé d'affaires at the Embassy. The outgoing Canadian Ambassador to Sweden had retired, and a new Ambassador has yet to be named, so with Carl as the next highest ranking Canadian at the Embassy, he was the designated person. About the same time the Nobel Awards were announced and there was a Canadian Nobel Laureate for Medicine. It is the tradition that the Chargé d'affaires or Ambassador of the country where the Laureate comes from would be invited to the Award Ceremony, the Nobel Banquet and a dinner at the Royal Palace the following night.
It turns out the that Laureate for Canada had died one day before the announcement was made that he won the prize, but the Nobel committee did not know that. At the time his name was being announced as a winner a press conference was being set up in New York where he taught to announce his passing. After deliberating for about 24 hours the Nobel Committee allowed the prize to be awarded posthumously, which was a first. Fast forward to December 10. We are in the receiving line in the Prince's Gallery waiting to meet the Royal Family of Sweden. Carl is in charge of introducing himself and the widow of the Nobel Laureate, which leads me to introduce myself. In order to explain why I was here I introduced myself as "John Smidt, the spouse of the Chargé d'affaires of Canada." Well the older royals, such as the sister of the King were kind of like "Oh, I see" but as the line got down to the younger royals, for instance the HRH Crown Princess Victoria I could see she made the connection, her eyes lit up and widened and she said to me "how wonderful! A pleasure to meet you!" Yes, I had to out myself to the Swedish Royal Family. Weird.
The next day when we were at the Palace we were approached by the wife of one of the Nobel Committee members who informed us that they believe we might have been the first openly gay couple at the Table of Honour. Now that is kind of cool. To wrap this up I will say that I am glad I live at a time and in a place where I can be married to a man and for the most part it is not a big deal. I am watching with great interest the cases at the Supreme Court of the United States and hope that the Court will do right by us. The U.S. is where I was born and raised and I want to be able to be recognized as married there. I am cautiously optimistic.
Friday, March 1, 2013
For the life of me I could not put into speech the thought process that was going on in my head. Just. Couldn't. Do. It. Fuck.
Now, I used to be good with words. I could talk my way around, over, through, below anything at one time. I used this a lot when I was working full time as I regularly spoke to people in the office, over the phone and in emails too long to list but now it seems to have escaped me. Oh, sure the blog here seems to indicate otherwise but I can polish the crap out of something before I select "publish." Obviously it is still there though a bit rusty after disuse. Maybe this writing thing is just what I need to keep it in form. Who knows?
The hardest thing is what to write about. I personally feel my life is boring, but sometimes something will just set me off down a path. I wish I was a better creative writer, or as good as I was when I was a kid. I used to write all the time for extra credit and stuff when I was in elementary school. One of our teachers had this card case; you know it looked like one of those recipe card files that every home had back in the 70's. Inside it held cards that had topics, and phrases or even just a few words on them and you had to create a story from that. I was good at that at one time but as I got older, and reality became more important that fantasy I seem to have lost most of it. Maybe, just maybe it is time to see if I can find it again.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
This is my perception of people, and maybe it is very narrow. I suppose it is true that every person probably has a bit of each in them, and it would stand to reason as none of us are intrinsically one thing or another but a combination of many attributes, however I think that it would be unusual for me to see both "true" and "false" in the same person. What puzzles me is when people who I feel are true, obviously click with someone who I find false. It makes me question my entire opinion of all parties involved, including myself.
When this happens I wonder if I am too harsh on people. Do I limit myself by not giving people more of a chance to prove themselves as true? Often there are things about that person that just rub me the wrong way, and I get wedded to that opinion, and when that happens my opinion is not easy to change. Another odd thing is when someone who I feel is true clicks with someone I feel is false my opinion of that true drops a bit.
Relationships of any kind are complex. I am not sure what all of this says about me, other than that I can be judgmental, but I truly feel I give people ample opportunity to show me who they are. Maybe, I'm just a butthead.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Fast forward to today. Every morning I check Facebook to see what all my friends around the world have been up to while I have been asleep. I make comments on posts from friends who I have met in person via the Chumley's Bear Cruise, or places I have lived such as Chicago, San Francisco, or Ottawa, not to mention the people who I have only met in the cybersphere. The number of people I know, and follow on Facebook greatly outnumber those people who I know and hang out with here in Stockholm. As nice as this all is, and as much fun as it is to stay involved in these peoples lives, I miss them. I love to see gaggles of people meeting up and going to Gay Days at Disney, or meeting up for brunch, or off to the movies together, but sometimes it makes me sad too. These are all people I used to do those things with in person, both myself and Carl. We both miss it. We miss the friends we have made all over the world. We miss spending time with them, and doing things with them.
We both appreciate the fact that we have the opportunity to live in amazing places like Stockholm, but it also puts us far away from those who we call friends, and our families. Just in case you ever wonder, we do miss you. A lot, and we can't wait to see you all again.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
In addition Norway and Finland choose their entries to Eurovision tonight and that can be found later on the Eurovision website after the announcements are made.