October has always been my favorite month, mainly because my birthday is in this month. But throughout the years, October always gives me something special to experience, things that later would become some of my fondest memories.
This year is no exception. There were lots of good things that happened in this month, and I’m writing them here so years from now, I can read this and be reminded of how I’m feeling right now: grateful, happy, and content.
Moving to a more advanced Swedish class
I was enrolled in a Swedish beginners course in August. At the time I started, I’d done independent learning with Duolingo and other materials, so I found it a bit too slow. My teacher noticed this and suggested me to move to a more advanced class. I did a trial and found that I could follow the lesson, so I moved. I need to do more study in my free time now to catch up (they were quite far ahead), and I still need to work on my speaking and listening skills, but it’s been great so far.
Starting an internship
I started an internship in a fashion e-commerce company here in Gothenburg. I won’t say much except they have the most stylish office I’ve ever seen.
I wrote about my birthday here, so I won’t bore you here with the details. But let me just say, it was a good birthday.
H’s birthday fell on a weekday so we didn’t do much on the day itself. I baked a cake that looked like a kindergarten project (I won’t post the pic since I’m too embarrassed). This year, I baked it from scratch, unlike last year when I used Betty Crocker mix. An achievement, considering I’m a rookie who hates baking.
The real celebration were done in the weekend, when my sister and her boyfriend arranged a surprise with a (real fancy) cake, balloons, and even some decorations. We had an Indian lunch at The Elephant (our favorite, and birthday boy’s request) and went for a walk in Slottskogen before going to Liseberg for a Halloween adventure.
Joshua Radin concert
To be honest, I didn’t expect much of this concert, but this turned out to be one of the most memorable concerts I’ve been to. It was beautiful, intimate, and heartwarming. Perhaps it’s because of the nature of the small concert, but I think this has more to do with Radin’s way of engaging and communicating with the audience. He told the story of each song (yes, each one of them) before playing it. There’s one which was created when he was on the brink of depression, written in the hope of lifting his spirit up (Beautiful Day). There was one which he wrote with someone he was dating, but never played it again after they broke up (Paperweight).
He also played a few new songs with he’s going to include in his new album once he was back in the US, among them were Here Right Now and You Got Me Thinking’ (I love them instantly).
It was an amazing concert, and I left the venue feeling warm, happy, and content.
Getting a new job
This is the happiest news and the best thing that happened this month. After a lot of applications and many interviews, I finally got a job! And the best thing is, it’s my dream job in digital marketing.
This job-searching has been extremely difficult and soul-destroying at times. With the things I’ve heard about finding a job in Sweden, I was stressed from the start.
“Most of job vacancies are not advertised, they look for candidates through networks.” (Worry #1: How am I gonna find connections quickly enough in a new city where I don’t know anyone?)
“It’s hard when you don’t talk Swedish, they usually look for people who can speak Swedish.” (Worry #2: Of course I’m gonna learn Swedish, but how long will it take until my Swedish is decent enough for me to be considered? A few years?)
“It’s even harder if you don’t have experience with Sweden-based companies.” (Worry #3: I don’t. Does this mean I have to do an internship with a company here to increase my chance?)
My confidence was slowly diminishing, and so was my hope. One night, H asked me if I wanted a cup of tea, and I replied, “No, I just want a job!” before bursting into tears. That poor guy might think twice now before offering to make me a cup of tea ever again.
But I worked really hard like I’d never been before. I did networking like crazy (offline and online). I learned Swedish in my spare time. I took online courses to improve my knowledge (since I don’t have a formal education in this area). I polished my CV over and over again. I wrote, edited, and proofread applications. I even have an Excel sheet detailing each application I sent with the company name, position, submission date, reply date, and so on.
It’s a relief to now it’s paid off.
If there’s a few things I’ve learned from this whole process, it’s this:
- Persistence wins the game
- It never hurts to ask
- Take a break when you need it, and don’t feel guilty about it!
A weekend in Copenhagen
This wonderful month is wrapped up with an impulsive idea for a weekend trip to Copenhagen. The weather forecast fooled us big time. We were promised sunny days during the weekend (albeit cold), but what greeted us were freezing rain, sleet, and strong wind.
I’ll write more about it in a separate post, but be prepared for lots of photos with grey skies! 🙂
October has always been great, and this one is definitely one of the best ones. Everything is starting to fall into place, and I can breathe easier now.
Bring it on, November!