Hello home, Charlotte Manning
May 19, 2022
Please tell us a little about yourself!
Hi Wall of Art! My name is Charlotte Manning and I am a Swedish-American, mixed-race storyteller, creative and friend. By day, I work full time as an agency copywriter and in my free time I am always exploring my deepest passions - poetry, fashion, design, media and community building.
"I bought a one-way ticket, got a random first job, and found a room to rent."
You moved to Stockholm five years ago, how come?
Stockholm is my hometown, believe it or not! My siblings and I were born here and grew up in Solna - I went to pre school in Ulriksdal and had a very ordinary Swedish childhood in that regard.
When I was 4, my family emigrated to America, and my siblings and I had no choice but to adapt to American culture very quickly. We were three Black kids in the suburbs of Minnesota, so we always stood out and always doubted our own heritage. I always had a feeling that I would return to Sweden because I knew that I could never fully know myself until I did.
After graduating from college in Chicago, I felt myself in a restless state of mind. I felt an intense yearning to explore my potential, and with Sweden in my heart since birth, it just felt like the right choice.
I bought a one-way ticket, got a random first job, and found a room to rent. I barely knew anyone in Stockholm and completely uprooted my life overnight...but the whole repatriation experience gave me a newfound strength, so I never looked back! It took a couple of years to find my people, passions, and purpose here, but I eventually did. I know now that my home will always be in two very different places - Minneapolis and Stockholm.
What do you love most about yourself?
I love the way I care for others. Human connection has always been my most natural trait, though sometimes it can feel like a burden or weakness – always wanting to be everything for everybody. But being a connector and protector gives me energy and it would feel unnatural for me to be anything different.
What's your biggest dream?
To be a published writer with an impact.
Where do you find inspiration?
In my own emotions and the diverse sentiments of others! The human experience is undoubtedly our global commonality. There is so much to uncover and walls to tear down constantly in our own lives. I love my friends and family so much for that reason because often, the most unexpected, honest conversations can spark the exact inspiration I (or they) need to continue growing.
Best place in Stockholm?
I may be biased, but Södermalm has my heart. Mariatorget has been my neighborhood for the last few years, and I grow more in love with the vibe in this area every day.
"My apartment is 100% a work in progress, with so many renovations and ideas in the pipeline, but it excites me!"
When do you feel happy and safe? I feel most happy and safe when I am around the people I love - in Stockholm, that's with my chosen family. I'm definitely still learning how to feel that contentment when I'm alone, but I have come to terms with the fact that I am at my core a people-person.
Tell us about your home!
My home is my place of peace! Since high school, I've struggled with pretty crippling social anxiety, triggered by a lack of sensory controls (social setting, sound, smell, etc.) So I am very much a homebody with an extroverted spirit.
I love interior design but love even more the process of making a home and taking the time to find decor that is unique and filled with personality. My apartment is 100% a work in progress, with so many renovations and ideas in the pipeline, but it excites me!
I noticed that I usually take on a new home project when I feel most anxious or stressed out because it is meditative, intentional, and makes me feel in control of something that doesn’t really matter. It's a healthy creative outlet and brings me joy to see things come together through my own vision.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I love to sing! I don't "do it" for anyone other than myself anymore, but I grew up backstage with my dad, who was a phenomenal blues vocalist in Sweden. I believe that music is a part of my soul, because of him. When I was in college, a group of my friends and I performed a few times at small bars, and the thrill of performing on stage was something I realized I genuinely enjoy. There's always a tiny part of me that wants to do more with music, and perhaps I will in time! For now, guitar jam sessions with my dog and roommate as the audience is good enough for me.
I dance to…
'90s & early 2000's hip-hop, disco, funk & soul train. Black music is my culture.
I laugh to…
My friends. They make me laugh daily - via text, Instagram memes, and conversation. Being surrounded by people with prominent personalities and a strong sense of humor makes life's craziness more light-hearted!
I love when people…
Mean what they say and do.
My biggest fear is…
Not being independently financially stable. Growing up, my family life was the exact opposite, so my biggest goal in life was to break that cycle of poverty for my own well-being, confidence, and understanding of self-worth. This fear frankly has nothing to do with wealth; I don't care about money or having large sums of it - money does not equal success. Instead, I care about creating a life for myself that's not rooted in constant worry, overcompensation of generosity, and seeking validation in the wrong places.
I wish I knew this when I was younger…
Being a people pleaser is overrated.