It's funny how reality always seems to differ from the big dream.
We have everything we dreamed of in Sweden. By leaving the UK behind we have gained so much. A beautiful house set in the idyllic Swedish countryside. We live in a small village that fuels itself on kindness and community.
We're lucky to be able to access forest, fields and hillside walks all from our doorstep. To be able to swim in the lake less than a mile from home and have lazy summer days at the beach a short drive away.
Regular "pinch-me" moments while standing beneath a sky shining bright with the glorious green glow of the aurora borealis.
I take none of this for granted; I marvel at it every day, and I hope that shows through my numerous posts on my social media and my written work and drawings.
I count my blessings to have all of this.
BUT. What then do you do with the negative feelings?
My love for my new home comes with problems. Things I perhaps didn't expect, foolishly or not. People ask me “Do you miss anything from England”? And the answer, aside from family and friends, is familiarity.
I miss familiarity. I miss knowing my place in society. I am still trying to figure out my role in Skellefteå, and desperately trying to put down some roots, so I can anchor myself in what feels like unsteady ground.
Familiarity gives us a feeling of understanding and comfort, like old shoes that have molded to the shape of your foot, the leather grown soft and flexible to the extent you forget you are wearing them.
At the moment, even though we are three years down the line, my shoe still feels a little tight in places and can even leave me with a blister of frustration or confusion from time to time. They can rub when I feel embarrassed to have nowhere near the grasp of the Swedish language that I hoped I would by now.
They pinch and squeeze when I try to understand the bureaucracy of a new country and the quirks and customs of a new culture.
But, having said that, the leather is starting to soften. I feel at ease navigating the roads, the supermarkets, polite conversations and saying "I'm sorry, my Swedish is terrible!"
One thing about Sweden, is that everyone has a shoe horn they are happy to lend you, just to make those shoes a little easier to wear.
This is a column and the views are the author's own.
This column was originally published at norran.se/english, the English part of norran.se.