I'm an American Dreamer

I think my Swedish friends think I'm a little bit crazy.  I even think I may be a little bit crazy.  But in a good way.  I'm that "good crazy".  You know how you have that one friend who always has some crazy new idea?  Then the next week, that friend has a new, crazy new idea?  I'm that friend.  The thing is, my ideas are good.  Really good!  With the proper resources, all of my ideas would be successful and heralded by all that know of them.

But then another idea comes along.  And that earlier idea becomes... meh.  I mean, it's still a good idea -  a great idea even - but this one is better and it needs all of my focus.  Even though the plan is for me to fully execute the first brilliant idea and then follow up with the even better idea.  But that new idea is so tantalizing that I just have to go all in on it.  Then the other slightly less brilliant idea gets left in the shadows.  You know how this story ends normally.  None of the ideas get finished.  They all remain what they were.  Good ideas.  In my head they're failures.  Then that sting when someone you haven't seen since your new idea asks you about the old great idea (that they agreed was great).

       - So what happened with the glow-in-the-dark cheesecake?
       - Oh, that?  Yeah I'm still working on that, but wait 'til I tell you about the video game club/bakery!  First I get people hooked on the glow-in-the-dark cheesecake, then I make it only available at my bakery.  Then when they go get my cheesecake, they're like, "Damn, I can play video games here too!  Sign me up for a membership!"  Bam!

Those weren't real ideas by the way.  My Swedish friends would probably say that they weren't far off from some of my gems.  My problem is my passion.  I love hard (ask Swedie).  I think about something and then the next thought is of the amazing success that it would be.  Then I go full throttle into research mode.  Does this exist?  Is there a market for it?  Can I improve upon it if it does exist?  If those questions are answered with respective no, yes, yes... look out world, Expat Jon is hooked!

I realized this a couple of weeks ago when my latest idea took me hostage.  My idea?  "Dopplebanger": a semi-stalkery, facial recognition porn database.  Brilliant, right?  Man, this thing controlled my thoughts for about a week.  Everyone I bounced the idea off of thought I was (besides a bit creepy) onto something good.  So good, in fact that it must exist already.  Then I looked it up.  It kind of exists.  Of course.  Porn is all over everything.  What was I thinking?  Crazy thing is, I still think my idea would work, but not be as groundbreaking as I thought at first.  The fire was doused.  On to the next thing.

My friends shake their heads.  They say it's an American thing.  This whole "wanting to be groundbreaking" and "coming up with the next big thing" is for the other side of the pond.  The "dream" is an American thing.  It's especially not Swedish.  Three of my Swedish friends sat down after eating some pie and came up with what I consider a BRILLIANT idea (of course I would) for a pie shop here.  They came up with a good marketing strategy and a plan for how the shop would look.  They divvied up the project responsibilities and everything!  Then at the end they decided... nah.  That's too much of a hassle.  Who wants to look into all of that?  There must be paperwork.

WHAT?!  Too much of a hassle to do something so amazing? Paperwork?!  I can't imagine what I would have done if that idea was born into this brain of mine.  I can't even imagine being a part of that conversation.  I would have held everyone at knife point until they signed an agreement to follow through on this thing! (not really, but kinda really)  They even said at that moment that if Jon was here he would be looking everything up and trying to make it happen.  So American...

It comes down to the struggle.  Or lack thereof.  The government provides your basic needs here.  If you don't make a lot of money here, your family will be alright.  Your children will receive their money from the government.  They will go to good schools.  You don't have to worry about money for college.  If a medical emergency happens, it won't bankrupt you.  You don't need a car.  The working class doesn't feel like they need to do this, that and the other to make ends meet.  Your ends know each other very well already.  You're in Sweden!

Almost everyone I know in the States had a "side hustle".  Mine was cutting hair.  I knew guys that washed cars, took care of lawns, everybody in the hood knows the candy lady.  There were people selling hot plates of food, ticket scalpers and pyramid schemers.  The American dream is real!  My uncle is a true entrepreneur.  He owns a beauty salon, he's done some home wall designing, he designs and sells edible fruit/vegetable arrangements and he has a portable conch salad stand that he makes a killing off of at fairs and festivals.  This stuff is in my blood, man.

So now I'm here trying to suppress this American Dream Gene.  My friends think I'm bad, but they only hear 20% of my ideas now.  Poor Swedie hears them all and is still supportive.  Now I'm focused on the follow through.  I actually broke down my projects and gave myself some rules.  My latest  movie idea script won't be started on until I finish this one (I'm 91 pages in!).  And I have to dedicate blocks of time to each project.  The good thing about living here is "starving artists" still eat.  I just need to focus.  Then I'm really going to take over the world!!!  Until next time...


In related news, I'm proud to say that one of my ideas actually came to fruition!  I approached my two best friends about starting a podcast.  We meet up at least once a week and talk about life over drinks anyway, so why not record these interesting sessions.  They agreed to try it out and see if it sounded alright.  It turned out nicely!  In turn, "The Power Meeting Podcast" was born.  Unfortunately, if you don't speak Swedish you won't understand two-thirds of the podcast because I'm the only one speaking English.  However, those that kan svenska,  I encourage you to check out our podcast.  We'll have new episodes every Wednesday and your support would be appreciated.  We talk about a wide range of subjects from both a Swedish and (my) American perspective.  Some episodes will feature guests.  All will feature interesting subject matter such as: sports, puberty, manners, the Mars mission, the anxiety of getting older, comparisons between here and the US, slang, fighting, bullying, relationships and more.

You can click the hyperlink above, or check us out on iTunes: The Power Meeting Podcast.  Subscribe to get updated episodes each Wednesday!


  1. Sad it's not English! Definitely would've tuned in.

    1. It's ok. If we ever have an English speaking guest, I will let you know so you can check it out. Thanks for the support anyway! Take care.


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