To say it’s been awhile would be an understatement. Happy 2013 by the way. 

Life is busy and crazy and happy and insane and overwhelming and basically many other things. But mainly great. 

I post almost every day on twitter and on instagram, so I figured I could start pulling some of my instagram photos over and talk about what I’ve been up to lately, like I used to do in the olden days of last year. 

These four photos show what’s been happening in just a little more than a week. 

First off, London. Along with the Friday Late coordinator, Ruth, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, we planned and executed a special World of Minecraft night. A true fusion of art, design, and Minecraft. It was one of the best moments in my career at Mojang. The photo of me with a life size cutout of myself (drawn by the incredible Celeste Pille) was one of the unique ideas. She drew youtubers in time period outfits based on their favorite Minecraft mob. Very outside of what we normally do, but showing how the game can truly bleed over into all areas of life. Greg created 21 pieces of original Minecraft themed artwork that was on display throughout the museum. Take some time and look over his blog post about all the things he made. I mean seriously japanese style Minecraft sword, stained glass, the list of incredible relics goes on and on. The entire evening was full of people I respect, who helped create something incredibly magical. Digital Spy in the UK interviewed me about the evening and it’s a pretty great article if you want to check it out. 

Thursday was our crawfish party. A great tradition of Sweden. The Mojang team headed out to the beautiful archipelago for a night of crawfish, snaps, and fun. It was an epic night that won’t soon be forgotten… or remembered. 

The photo of Vu by himself is actually from today. We spent the day at the Hornstull Market enjoying street food. Then we headed over to the Fotografiska (photography) museum, where this shot was taken. Sometimes I forget how much I love Stockholm. Then on a day like today, all the feelings I have for this city rush back to me. It’s truly home. 

So it’s been more than 6 months. How has your life changed in 2013? 

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Emotions

Everyone has struggled with difficulties in their lives. Why, then, is it uncommon to REALLY talk about them? 

When I was in the middle of a dark time in my life, I started taking self portraits as a way to express myself. Some of them were happy while others were dark, cold, lonely, basically the way I was feeling. People took them as a cry for help. Everyone was asking my family if I was “okay.” Why is expressing your emotions publicly in a safe sane way worrisome to others?

Markus is one of the kindest and most wonderful people I know. A year ago today he lost his dad. He wrote a blog post expressing beautifully something terribly difficult. It’s brave to put yourself out there and especially to share a piece of yourself. Telling people your own story and giving them support through the mutual understanding that sometimes life sucks. But when you feel alone or sad, there’s usually someone else who feels those ways too. And suddenly the world feels a little smaller and you aren’t quite as alone as you originally thought. 

notch:

One of my fondest childhood memories is me sitting on a sled, being dragged along a thinly snow covered road by my dad. I was looking up at him and reflecting on the fact that he is also an individual person, just as I am. He has his own thoughts, his own wants, and his own memories. He’d had an…

I didn’t speak about my divorce, the struggles I feel with loneliness, or life changes that are difficult to figure out. I’ve kept them to myself for fear of having people feel as thought I’m too “emo.” Well fuck that. I’m tired of always wondering, feeling, overly caring what EVERYONE thinks. Markus blog post will affect people. How can you affect people if you can’t even be real? Being real and sharing your difficulties brings solidarity to a world that can be incredibly lonely. 

Sometimes I’ll write about silly people in airports and other times I’ll write about my feeling of loneliness. If I’m too emotional for you, I’ll understand if you stop reading. If you decide to stay, know that sometimes when everything is wonderful I still cry uncontrollably, I overthink situations and cause others pain, I don’t always know how I fit in to the world around me, but it’s part of being human. You’re not alone.

[“Depressed” Me circa 2010]

I wish there weren't two sides of me.

Tired

Hurt

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Lessons from Waiting in an Airport Rebooking Line - A Satire 

1. No one likes a complainer. Unless you’re stuck in a line of other pissed off people, then you become the life of the party.

2. It’s fun to tell stories of a worse flight you’ve had. “This one time I was stuck for five hours, 360 degree ice spin of death, had to be bussed, total panic ensued, etc.”

3. Constantly complain about your hunger. “OMG I won’t be able to eat for like TWO whole hours.” #firstworldproblems

4. No matter how nice the people helping are, act like they are total crap. I’m sure that will make them work harder to fix things for you.

5. Say ignorant American things while you wait in line at a foreign airport. “This isn’t even an AMERICAN airline.” - No freaking duh lady, it’s British Airways.

6. Say things like “I thought planes could land in the fog.” The pilot really should take your advice. 

7. Wait in line and listen. Bask in all the logic being spewed from the mouths of those around you.

8. Talk about your incredible 10 day Italian vacation (or insert another amazing location) intermittently with your complaints about the terrible fate of missing flights.

9. Make efficiency suggestions. “It’s funny when you’re standing in line you can think of a lot of things that should be done differently.”

10. Sigh as loudly and as frequently as possible.

Life is too short. I’m learning to chill out and enjoy the ride. Be flexible. My parents always said that but somewhere along the way I stopped being able to handle a lot of changes. Now everything in my life is in a constant state of flux, so I’ve decided to just enjoy!

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Wherever Life Takes You

Tomorrow morning I fly to Nigeria. I’ll be speaking at the African Futures Roundtable about Block by Block. It’s a quite prestigious event with leaders from all over Africa. Brilliant minds. Visionaries. And then me. Yikes. I’m humbled, yet proud of Mojang. Thankful to work at a company making a difference in the world.

Three years ago I cried every flight. Tomorrow I fly to a dangerous country on my own.

"People are never more insecure than when they come obsessed with their fears at the expense of their dreams." - Norman Cousins

Everything I used to do was dictated by my fears. Since I’ve made a conscious decision to start living, my quality of life has dramatically increased.

As the Beatles eloquently put it, “Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.” I was exactly that person. But once the blinders of fear are removed, everything changes. Don’t get me wrong. I’m genuinely a bit scared of the trip tomorrow. But unlike before, that fear doesn’t dictate what I do.

Goodbye comfort zone.

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My Anniversary

More than two years ago. 

I discovered my love for making videos. 

Unlike popular belief that my first YouTube video ever was of Minecraft. That is in fact untrue. I have an entire channel hidden away (never to be found) because it holds extremely incriminating evidence. Evidence that I, am in fact, a complete dork. 

These two particular videos had view counts that were out of control. I became addicted to the high of having people watch something I created. 

And now I will share something intensely personal and deeply disturbing.

Video 1 - Hip Hop Cupcakes. Original View Count: 838

Video 2 - I Save Turtles. Original View Count: 130

Two years ago.

I was lost. Completely. I was sick of trying to think of something new to make a video about each day. My friends gave me the idea to create Minecraft videos. 

And thus it began… 

2 Year. 

70,000 subscribers. 

11 million views.

Countless friends. 

My dream job.

Traveling the world. 

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I hardly recognize that extremely lost girl in the video above. The Minecraft community got me through the hardest time in my life. A divorce. Something I have NEVER talked about publicly until now. Despite it being my decision, it was hard on every relationship in my life, especially with my family. Being able to sit in front of a computer, playing a game, making silly content, talking to incredible people, pushed me though. 

Minecraft changed my life. In every possible way. 

It’s hard to remember a time before I knew the Mojang team. Thank you Lan and Vu for telling me to play Minecraft. Thank you Mom and Dad for encouraging such a ridiculous sounding endeavor. And thanks to ALL of you for watching the things I’ve created. For giving me hope and happiness. 

Happy Anniversary. 

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Choose your own…

I am a pouter by nature. 

Pouter - noun: Person who to shows displeasure by thrusting out the lips or wearing a sullen expression (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Not one of my best qualities. I have a clear picture of how I expect things to go and any deviation causes such fits of pouting. 

Recently though, Vu and I have started using the term “Adventure" for anything that does not turn out the way it was planned. Incredibly, this tiny change in vocabulary makes all the difference. 

Case Study: 

  • When: Saturday, September 22nd
  • Where: Stockholm and Linkoping 
  • What: Junkboy’s art show 200kms away
A few weeks ago, Junkboy (Mojangsta) sent an email telling everyone that his art was going to be featured in a gallery. I decided after reading it that I’d go. Then I looked it up and saw it was 200km away and thought it would be even cooler to be supportive and attend.

Flash forward to yesterday: Get all pretty. Take a subway from my apartment to Centralstation in Stockholm. Run to get on the expensive but super fast train to Linkoping at 12:14. Arrive 13:53. Take taxi to Datamuseet. Arrive 14:02. Practically on time. SCORE. I’m always on time.

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The gallery is upstairs and filled with people. I look around at the incredible artwork all around the theme of video games. 

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This picture was taken at the complete end of the show.

Call Junkboy. No answer. 

Immediately I can figure out which are Junkboy’s. Stunning. People are ooo-ing and ahh-ing every time they walk by his four featured pieces. The art director gives a presentation. None of which I could understand. You know, because they decided to do it in Swedish. Continue to walk around and look at all the pieces. 

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Call Junkboy. No answer.

I start to wonder if maybe this wasn’t a good idea. Then I remember the word that will change everything.

ADVENTURE.

Junkboy calls. 

Me: Hey, where are you?
J: In Stockholm. At my house. Why?
Me: I’m at your art gallery.
J: Oh my gosh… I didn’t think anyone would go… *apologies galore*
Conversation continues… 

I’m ridiculous about wanting everything to be a surprise. The entire situation was actually caused because of my innate desire to shock and awe. 

So I’m at a gallery opening 200km away from home without my friend. Crisis or Adventure? 

An adventure can be described as an unusual experience.

Life is basically like a chose your own Adventure book. Yesterday, I decided to enjoy the silliness of what happened. Honestly, at the end of the day, I still did what I intended. I wanted, plain and simply, for my friend to know how important I think he is to me. It’s just a side bonus that I also somehow made him feel indebted to me forever. J is one of the wonderful guy. Not to mention, artistically talented to a degree I could only dream. He’s part of the reason I feel like Stockholm has quickly become my home. Hopefully I can feel the mission WAS accomplished of making him understand in a tiny way how much I adore him.

And if just calling something an adventure doesn’t suit you in a situation, then I would call for a healthy dose of one of the best medications, perspective.

PERSPECTIVE: My sister is an hematology/oncology nurse at a Children’s hospital in Florida. When she takes work related trips, she is driving across the state (sometimes for up to three hours) to attend funerals of children she cared for on her unit. To go and support the family who she spent countless months with as their child was dying. Yeah, one Saturday and a video game artshow offers NO reason for me to EVER EVER complain. 

Yesterday was an adventure. One I won’t soon forget.

Life is what YOU make it.

Junkboy’s Art

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In other news, when these aren’t on display anymore. I get them! Yay for apology gifts

Question of the Day: When have you tried to make something good out of something seemingly bad? 
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Video Games are a WASTE of time.

Dear Guy sitting next to me on the plane from Seattle to Newark,

Next time someone sits next to you on a plane maybe you just shouldn’t talk to them. I mean, it was nice that you were curious about my job, but why after hearing about it and asking questions did you decide to be an ass and say that Video Games are a waste of time. I mean you were insulting both me and my company.They turn your brain to mush, you told me. Multiple times. 

The first time you said it, I decided to let it go, because you know I try not to start fights with random middle-seaters. You took a long pause but then decided once again to state your opinion. The interesting thing is that all the while you were looking over the seat in front of us trying to figure out the score to the game. Oh wait… that’s weird. I said game. Hmmm. Sports GAME. Video GAME. Are you playing in that sports game, sir? So you are passively watching, right? I wonder if passively watching something might turn someone’s brain in to mush. I’d like to suggest that there is probably a lot less brain-mushing going on with someone who is actively playing a video game, then passively watching sports. I tried to be as nice as I could when I pointed this out to you. 

In case you forgot here’s the recap of our convo:

You - Video games turn your brains to mush.

Me - Well actually I wouldn’t say it’s much different than watching sports. It is something that people enjoy doing. As long as it’s in moderation then it’s fine. 

You - A duuuh *silence*

Your Son - Yeah that’s actually totally true. 

The worst part is I didn’t get to tell you why I was flying from Seattle to Naples, Italy. Just for a tiny thing called the WORLD URBAN FORUM. To announce a partnership between a turn your brain into mush video game company and UN HABITAT. No big deal. Building 300 public spaces in third world countries by 2016. Stupid useless waste of time video games. 

You know what… After careful consideration. I guess you’re right. I should probably change careers and get out while I still have some of my brain left. I owe it all to you, seat 10B. 

In the future, maybe you should abide by the don’t insult someone’s job after you ask about it rule. Or the don’t run your mouth on things you don’t know rule. Or the don’t be a dick in general rule. To name a few

Minecraft is changing the world. I couldn’t be more proud to work at Mojang. Open your eyes. The world is changing. Video games are making a difference. 

Welcome to 2012.

Sincerely,

Seat 10C

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Do it for YOU

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When I’ve been alone at my apartment in the past, I’ve always felt as though it would be a waste to cook. Therefore, I’d go spend money on eating out because cooking would only be worth it if I was doing it to make other people happy. 

Being in Sweden has changed my view on too many things to write about in this one little blog post, but let’s focus on the idea of slowing down

People here work hard, but they also take time to enjoy thing. Recently I realized how much I enjoy cooking. The turning point for me was understanding that if I slowed down I could learn to like the entire process. Vu and I have been having friends over and I have thoroughly loved it.

Today I had an epiphany. I enjoy cooking. Why am I constantly in the mindset that making something nice for myself would be a waste? So I made myself a nice dinner. 

I buy a box of organic vegetables from Kate’s and have been challenging myself to eat everything in it (other then the mushrooms I bought outside of IKEA - haha). Also when I cut into the big green vegetable, I realized it was a cucumber NOT a zucchini… Oops. Maybe I’m not as kitchen savvy as I’d like to think.

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Here’s the finished product. Not too bad actually. I used some butter to sauté up the garlic, squash, mushrooms, and pine nuts. Added a little white wine, crushed red pepper, and fresh ground pepper and viola. I sautéed the green beans in their own pan with a little bit of butter and a garlic/red pepper mix. 

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Then I sat at the new kitchen island that Vu and I found at IKEA. It’s one of my favorite places in the house because I can eat and look out the window. It’s incredibly cozy. Yes, I was drinking coke out of a fancy glass. 

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After dinner I cleaned everything up and then decided I wanted to try out a new simple dessert. 

I whipped some coconut milk, cut strawberries, and then drizzled melted orange chocolate over it. I loved it. Total time to make was maybe 6 minutes! 

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Remember to do things for yourself. Today will not be the last time I cook dinner for myself. 

Question of the Day: Is there something you’ve been doing for other people, but feel like it’s a waste to do for yourself? 

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The Catch-Up Post…

My cat apology post didn’t do much good since I still haven’t been posting. Here’s a look at what’s been going on!

Vu and I went to Prague.

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It’s incredibly gorgeous there. 

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Vu took me to a special dinner in a belltower. It was some of the most amazing food I’ve ever had in my life in one of the most unique places.

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This is the menu.

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The food. Want to eat it right now.

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The architecture is incredibly ornate. 

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Then we did something fun, which I’ve never done before… had a random meetup with some Minecrafters from the Czech Republic. On the way there, I told Vu that it would be nice if we stayed an hour for drinks and then we could leave. We enjoyed our time with them so much that it ended up being about 4 hours! 

Note: It is very difficult to keep up with a Czech beer drinker!

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Another weekend (I can’t remember dates anymore), we spent the most perfect Swedish summer day with Jenny and Jens in the Archipelago on the island of Uto. 

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It was surreal how picturesque it was - I will be archipelago-ing much more next summer.

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The day after we went and had lunch with our new friends Kate and Emanuel, who own Kate’s Organic Market. 

Their shop is wonderful and I pretty much stop by every day!

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Vu became friends with the two of them before I got back to Sweden. Kate and I hit it off right away. She’s Canadian, so we have the whole North America thing in common. We had another gorgeous day in their garden. 

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They have the sweetest little daughter. She enjoyed taking photos of my iphone. Love the finger over part of it!

Also - don’t judge my pigtails. 

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In other news - I adore my job. In every way. 

Here’s a typical day. 

Foiling Carl’s desk. Typical thing to do to a CEO.

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We were over Karin’s house when we saw THIS guy on Tv. My Kaplan. 

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Also I get to meet wonderful people like Sara Casen! She’s good friends with Tobias and Johan. She’s wonderful and a relevant and insightful blogger.

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I finally am official a person in Sweden (I got my personnummer - which you need for EVERYTHING here). Swedish citizenship here I come!

My apartment is finally finished. Vu and I have been inviting people over as much as possible. I still have SO many people to invite. 

Our first dinner was with Kate, Emanuel, and their baby girl. Cooking has become something I adore. It was such a nice inaugural dinner.

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Then I made some food for my FAVORITE vegan, Tobias. Oh and we had a splash of Kinten for drinks. 

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Then Vu and I became real swedes at Karin’s house by going to a Swedish Crawfish party. Karin made everything look perfect. She’s a wonderful host and her family and friends are all tons of fun to be around. 

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I actually ate them. I was pretty proud of myself. Three years ago I never would have done that!

I kept giving them voices… which Vu said was inappropriate since we were eating them. Oops. 

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Wow. I think my brief synopsis of the past like month is over and now I am finally on today!

This afternoon, I met up with Tina aka Fashtastic. She somehow found my blog right after I started it, we became twitter friends, and now we are IRL (in real life) friends.

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We’ve been talking about meeting up for awhile but never really picked something concrete. I’ve been wanting to shoot more with the Hasselblad, so I asked Tina if she wanted to do a fun shoot. I CANNOT wait to see all of the photos. I shot them on black and white film. SO excited.

Here’s a shot I took with my iPhone of one of the poses… she looks like she is a professional model. 

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Things are pretty much insane at the moment. Next Friday I leave here to go to Chicago -> Seattle -> Naples -> Paris -> Stockholm. 

Paris will my first week off since my sister’s wedding in March. I’m taking my Mom and Dad there. If you have any fun Parisian tips… please send them my way! I need to get the plans all organized. Woohoo.

Now I must sleep. I’m considering sleeping all day tomorrow, maybe it will help with what is sure to be a crazy work week. 

Question of the Day: How did you find my blog? 

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My dad sent me this picture with the title, “Kitten’s New Favorite Napping Place.”

I post a picture of a kitten doing something humorous as somewhat of a penance for my lack of blogging.

Today I woke up late and decided to take the bus. A few minutes to myself gives me the chance to let you know I’m alive. Happy. Incredibly busy. I have many events to catch you up on but maybe I’ll just start new from today as to not get too overwhelmed with past events.

And already it’s time to hop off the bus. I’ll work on writing more. Until then, happy Tuesday!

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About

365 Days in Sweden

365daysinsweden
A 25 year old girl starting a new life with a new job in a foreign country .

Hej Hej!

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