25 May 2006

Wow...the more I learn, the less I know.

I got a comment on my site from mylifeinstockholm and after reading a bunch of her posts, I had a look at her links list and found Amerikanska (which is Swedish for "American").

I so desperately wanted to become a Swedish citizen while I was an exchange student, and the more I check out the forums, the more I realize that it would have been really tough, especially the way I thought I COULD do it, which was probably not legal anyway. I wanted to either (a) just stay in Sweden with my legal student visa, but overstay the visa and just "apply" for citizenship {uh, yeah, I was 17, it seemed like a great idea} or (b) come back to the US, finish High School and do the application process while I was doing my final year of HS so that I could attend University in Sweden. Why didn't I? Well, my parents hated the idea, and I was 17, for one.

I've spent about 3 hours reading all kinds of posts on Amerikanska, and seems to me that lots and lots and lots of the folks who post there moved b/c of the Swede in their life...boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. I had a Swedish boyfriend that I would have totally moved there for, but praise Jeebus that I didn't. Bastard. He broke my heart, but it was more than half my lifetime ago now, and no, I'm really not still bitter about it. I married my Prince Charming more than 6 years ago and wouldn't change it for the world.

The thing that would have been scary about moving to Sweden for the ex's sake is that I noticed a statistic that 17% or 21% of the relationships actually survive, the rest end, and while it might end badly, or it might end well, any marriage that ends before "till death do us part" wasn't a resounding success. That's really scary. What a leap of faith, too, and how incredibly awesome, to move for the sake of love. I admire the hell outta that. It has to be exciting, terrifying, wonderful, and heartbreaking all at the same time.

I wanted to move there because I loved Sweden, and by the end of the year that I lived there, I spoke the language fluently. A large part of wanting to live there was the fact that I thought my parents were way too strict, my host parents were pretty easygoing, and I got away with just about anything I wanted to do. I was 3,000 miles away from home. Europe was so cool, so cosmopolitan.

And then it looks like the Swedish immigration authorities make it really hard to move there if there isn't a spouse, family member, a company who has a job waiting for you....you can't really just "move" to Sweden because ya wanna.

Which leads me back to my rants on immigration here in the states. I'm going to have to do a bunch of research to find out what the rules are to become a legal immigrant here in the states, since I've never had any occasion to check into that.

We're heading out tonight for the Indy 500, and then I'm going down to Florida to see my relatives, so I'll be offline for a while. Probably for the longest amount of time that I've been without a computer since 2000. Yikes. Hope you're well!!

2 comments:

Anna, Fair and True said...

Have you at least been back to visit?

On the relationship statistics, I think it's probably as bad as the States. I think the divorce rate is similar, around 50 %. Here lots of people also live happily ever after but without getting married; "sambor" (cohabitants) almost have the same legal rights as married couples.

Thanks for the visit to my blog earlier!

/Anna

MyLifeInStockholm said...

Hi.

Thanks for the note about my blog, MyLifeInStockholm.com.

And, Anna, the stats for intercultural relationships are that only 17% survive. It's not the same as in the States. There's a big difference when two people are born and raised in different countries with different languages. That 17% includes, BTW, people who choose to live in a 3rd country that isn't either of their homes. That seems to increase the chances of survival.