Emil and I had ham and milk last night in my apartment around 11 p.m. “I feel so alive right now, Bicca”, he said. And I couldn’t have agreed more.
Let’s go back two years. Emil and I had recently started talking to each other after 3 years of complete silence. I was the president of my student council. The Swedish-speaking school-students union FSS were arranging their general assembly in my hometown. Emil and I ended up there for various reasons (my main was that I was supposed to give two different speeches that weekend and so I could just as well attend the whole thing). After two long days of debating, discussing, learning and having fun, I accidently candidated for the board. And I accidently got a lot of votes.
I spent my first few months in FSS learning about the organisation and the whole universe of NGOs that I had no clue about. I also thought about quitting when I didn’t understand, when it got rough, when I felt outside. But I didn’t. And on the general assembly in 2015, after being elected to various other boards, going to my first OBESSU-event and getting tons of new friends and contacts, I realised that I had accidently started loving it.
Jannica, a board member and a good friend of mine, challenged (or well convinced) me to candidate for vice president. I got elected and I spent another year learning, traveling, organising, meeting new people, working hard and getting to know even more amazing people. Emil and I went interrailing over the summer, and in Paris we used to eat ham and drink milk on the trottoar pavements for breakfast. We also happened to grow even closer while I grew apart from so many others.
Now it’s been a year since I got elected vice president, and I made Emil come join me at this year’s general assembly in Kristinestad. It took place last weekend. The last two-three years have been the best of my life. I lied awake on Friday night after a midnight board meeting, in a room and a building full of friends and went over the happenings of the last years. Never have I ever in my life, actually thought that it was possible to find a place where I could be myself and still be accepted and appreciated, while doing something I loved. That feeling is incredible. Last year’s board thanked each other on Saturday evening and it’s a miracle my eyes didn’t just completely flood.
These people, these wonderful human beings that don’t agree with me on anything, that never reply to e-mails on time, that have such different backgrounds and lives from me. But that I’ve still come to care for so much, that I count as some of the most important people in my life.
How does that even happen? I have a hard time finding words for everything I feel for this organisation. And if I have a hard time finding words for the things that have happened, you should that I’m speechless for being re-elected and getting to continue doing something I’m this passionate about with people that I respect and admire as colleagues, but also value highly as friends.
Having Emil there, as one of my oldest friends, that probably knows me better than most people, made it even more special. Sharing the weekend with close friends from here and there, seeing them be happy and enjoy themselves made it, if possible, even better. I could not have wished for a better general assembly and I couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming year. So blessed and thankful.