Norway day. The 17th of May. Started off pretty early. Norwegians gathered for breakfast in the city in ones apartment. One of those student homes that gives you the urban city vibe in an artistic way. Norwegian food and music. Flags everywhere. I felt a bit like I was in one of those post-war movies. Nationalism at it´s best. Made me miss my home country for a few seconds, but not so much longer than that, really. Being Norwegian in Australia is great.
I just felt lucky. Watching palm trees and love how I can feel so home so far from home.
We spent the rest of the day with more Norwegians in Hyde park. Playing all those stupid, hilarious, children games, lottery. More Norwegian food and flags.
Walking together in a parade towards the opera house and being photographed by a thousand chinese tourists. Singing the national anthem as ugly and tone deaf as even possible. Commenting something about how Norwegian those who actually bothered to bring their Norwegian dresses “bunad” all the way over the world are. Wow. I was just loving life. The 17th of May in Sydney was not too bad at all.
The day ended with ice- cream, livestream from Oslo, and face timing with mum. Thank you to my follow Norwegian friends for an amazing day Xx
My feet rest on a basketball that are moving with the rytm of the ground we are passing. My head is bumping into the cold window. Heavy eyes are closing to all the songs that I don’t know the lyrics on. Suddenly a well known melody starts playing. My eyes open dramatically. They are wide awake now, and I start singing. Without any shame at all I am turning into that annoying 7 year old that allways had a song to sing. The one that walked around the playground always screaming the tones of one of the pop classics from the radio. It is in the midle of the night. The clock has passed 3 am, and the red truck is bumping towards a beach-house further south.I am not to concerned about the fact that I don’t really know these people very well. All filters are gone. I just want to sing.
Tribe retreat is when the leader is in youth get together to spend a weekend without sleep. For those who know me, you also know; that is when my head turn into cake. ” I am excited to see how my mood is on Monday. Probably not the best. But this will be fun. I have heard that the beaches are beautiful. Lets go”
Weeks ago, but I never posted these pictures. Now I look back and miss the heat from summer. You might laugh at me telling you that Australian winter is freezing. We are not even there, but I sleep with two hot-waterbotles, 2 duvets and a blanket at night. All well tucked around my fleece pyjamas. You said Norwegian winter was cold? You have no idea.
My camera officially died on this trip. My good friend for a whole lot of blog-posts. These are the last pictures it took. Well. At least I thought so. I have no idea what happened. It took two weeks before my camera somehow, started working again. Anyone who have experienced anything like it before?
I can hear the sound of birds singing in between the mainstream music in the background from my mac. I am laying in my bed watching Norwegian TV-series when my room-mate enters our room, and sits down on the floor. One of our housemates have invited her connect-group over. They are having break-fast downstairs. It smells pancakes, and I can hear laughter mixed with different conversations.
But hey there. I just wanted to share some pictures from an evening at Bondi. I deeply regret not bringing my Canon Camera. But Iphone- X pictures are better than no pictures at all. What I have learned is that Australia is so beautiful that i own myself to bring my camera everywhere I go. It will always be something to take a picture of.
We were walking along the beach. With that salty taste in our mouth from swimming in the gigantic Australian waves. Watching people surf, and exhausted joggers run pass us as our feet melted together with the soft sand. These conversations that makes you bond. Conversations about church, God, life, and everything in between.
I am looking at this blog, and thinking that I will love myself for doing this a couple of years from now. It is amazing to have an opportunity to look back at how life was here. How I have grown, and how I will grow on the way.
– Handling pressure –
Our youth-pastor had the best preach on this subject yesterday in our leaders meeting. And I just got so inspired. So I wanted to share a couple of my personal thoughts around this topic. Let me challenge you on how you see pressure.
He said something as cool as ; “Pressure is a privilege”
That did really hit me. Because I have never, ever thought of pressure as a privilege. Rather the opposite actually. You know. If you are leading under pressure, you are leading on a high level. When you are put under pressure, you are actually stretching yourself. If you are never put under pressure, you will never grow. I wish someone told me this just a year ago. When I was sitting with all of my school assessments, drowning in how much I had to do in so little time.
I wish I knew that right there, I was stretched out to handle more of that pressure in the future. Because the last year in high-school might feel like the most stressing time ever. But dear 18-year-old-Victoria; it will get worse. It really will. So learning to handle those seasons are so extremely important and such a privilege.
Just remember that. Pressure is not a bad thing. Stress is not a bad thing. The truth is that it is all part of our lives, and we can not avoid it. It all comes down to how you handle it. How do you let it shape you?
Will you let the stressed times upset you, or will you find a way to get through that season to grow?
I do not know about you. But I do not want to live a comfortable life where I am never challenged, never stressed and never pressured. I want to grow and change into a better version of myself every single day.
So, hey. Do you feel stressed? Do you feel pressured? Good. Treasure this season. You are about to grow.
Good day beautiful reader!❤ My alarm woke me up at 5.10 am yesterday. “That is quite early” my housemate said when I told her about my plans of watching the sunrise with two of my friends the day before. I smiled and started laughing. She is actually waking up like that every single day (I am not joking) It is funny. Back home, I am considered as the early riser. Here I am the one who “sleeps in”
Well. My alarm went of. I jumped into my clothes, and ran outside to Gabby`s little, red car. Together with Millie, the three of us were on our way to the Northern beaches. What was supposed to be a couple of hours, turned out to be most of the day. We talked a lot, and had breakfast at a super cute café. We brought our bibles and did our devotionals on the beach as well. It was such a nice day!
In the evening I went to girls connect with youth. That was also really nice. We watched a movie, and painted our nails. All in all, a good spent day.
Just before bed, I Face Timed Kristin in Norway for the first time since I came here. About time. It was really nice to talk with her again. Miss you loads girl. Buy a plane ticked, and visit me, please!
A bit exhausted of all these adventures in one day, I slept really good that night! That is for sure 🙂
My pink-striped pyjamas is placed in my favorite corner in our sofa. That is a lie. I do actually have two favorite corners in this sofa. It is actually the best sofa ever. Anyway.I have been awake for a couple of hours already as the rest of this house finally starts to wake up. My early bird of a room-mate is not home for the next days that are coming up, so I am officially the early riser in this house now. At least I like to believe that just because it was like that this morning. Well. It feels good! It should be mentioned that there is a huge responsibility with waking up early. I mean. It does unofficially mean that you need to be productive the rest of that day. Not that I always am …
I have already had oats for brekkie for the first time in 2 months! I missed that from back home. What a taste of heaven! I have had two cups of coffee and some vegan chocolate and a couple of books are placed next to me. I am going to do some reading, some assessment working, and some series watching. After that I will just see where the day takes me. Have a wonderful week, beautiful you! 🙂
The kind of rain that specifically belongs to Mondays, is splashing with the sound of drumsticks on our roof. I jump down from the second floor of the bunk bed to grab my phone that is charging somewhere on the carpet floor. 9am. That is not ok. I was planning on sleeping until 1 pm today, and catch up every minute of lost sleep. Well. What can I say. My head aches.
“The conference hangover” is real (given that I am talking about an alcohol-free conference, this is a classical wannabe- funny- statement. Please laugh just to be kind.Anyways. ) Looong days, and all the impressions and experiences … Last monday I felt like I was shot in pieces and put into the washingaching for a centrifuge program. But I served last weekend. This one I sat in. So I did not at all feel as tired this Monday morning. Sleepy, but fine. I almost have the rest of the week off as well. So it is all worth it. Big time.
I always regret not writing in the moment. Why do I never learn?
“Suddenly I don’t even remember what I did five minutes ago. But I am just sitting in the most comfortable sofa on this side of equator. A white furry pillow supports my back. I Have just had a shower and put a couple of clothes in my washing machine, made a good breakfast. Kesha and I are leaving for the shopping mall in a couple of minutes. I need to to my brows. It is just so long ago now. And I need to buy some products for my poor devastated hair. A few of the food products are cheaper in the mall as well.”
-Let’s go shopping –
The sound of different voices, screaming babies, music and dishwashing flows around me. Three bags rest beside me. “Someone please tell me when, during this journey of life, did spending money start to hurt?” I am literally feeling physically pain in my heart. My brows looked so bad. Honestly. Some self treatment is necessary. Even as a student on the other side of the earth. And my hair is so damaged by all this bleaching of mine.
Never colour you natural platina blonde hair black…
It needs some good treatment. I can’t not buy food. In other words “money flew in every direction this morning.” I guess I need to have a coffe-spending-stop again. It’s at least one way to save money. What an expert shopper I am. Ylva didn’t even believe me when I told her I haven’t bought more than one piece of clothes since I came. Student life is hard. Not because it really is. My parent are to nice. But it feels bad knowing they spend to much money on me here. He.. the struggles of life. Time to grow up.
Budgeting people. Be good at it early. That is my best advice.
Conference part 2 // For those of you that are a bit into the Christian world. You might have heard of preachers as Christine Caine and Lisa Harper, and of course our own dear pastor Bobbie Houston. If not. Check them out on YouTube. They are amazing. This was amazing. Even more than conference 1, just because I got to experience it all.
To sit in a conference is quite different than serving. It is awesome to “Experience the room” Everything in a girly conference as this is just so girly. I LOVE IT. All these amazing women together to praise Jesus.
It was all so practical and empowering. Sisterhood sessions, girly topics about life. Cool showes with amazing dancers. The amazing Hillsong worship songs. The list goes on.
Let’s not forget the “gifting moment” where we all received a cute little gift.This year it was a handmade soap from Iraq. Who on earth have a soap with the label “made in Iraq?” Sounds boring. But it is not. Not when you know that these soaps are made of women that have fled from ISIS. It is awesome that this gives them an opportunity to earn their own money, and makes it possible for them to stay in their home country, buy food, pay rent, and send their children back to school! Well. I wish you an amazing week dear reader!
To tell you anything about how life really is, I have to write my thoughts down in Norwegian first. That is when it starts to get real. That is when I am able to grab out the raw feelings and thoughts that circles around in my mind. But I just could not do it. For the longest time in my life, I had nothing to write. Not because of too few thoughts, but because of too many.
I haven’t stayed here for so long yet. Quite exactly five weeks. I am walking down the hill to school, we have classes in a few minutes. My ripped jeans have started to be too ripped. You can probably see my underwear because of the gigantic hole under my left pocket. Anyways. I need to speed up here. I am going to be late.
First of all I just want to apologize. I wanted this blog to be real. It has not been like that the last weeks. I have just scratched the surface of everything. That is not my intention here. You have enough of those out there already. I am sorry. Victoria the writer is officially back.
With these “Clarendon covered” pictures from my day at Coogee beach with some really nice friends in between, let me tell you about life.
One of the most frequently asked questions from everyone I have talked with during my first few weeks here, was whether I felt homesick or not. Homesickness. Some girls told me that they were crying every day and just wanted to go home. That they missed their parent so much, even though it probably would be better soon.
I didn’t feel like that at all. I have honestly not looked back home and felt homesick at all. Except from a few sticks once in a while. Not because I don’t miss mom and dad or my friends, but because I know that I am ment to be here. And that I am ment to be here right now.
I was so determined to make this house my home as quickly as possible. It is home now. It was from day one actually. Much due to good housemates. There are not any huge culture differences between us, and that makes almost everything safe and familiar. The first difference I noticed was that they all eat dinner around 8 pm. Something that was very strange to me. But instead of sticking to my good Norwegian habits, I began to do like them. Just because it’s so social to sit together in the evening, watch a movie and have dinner at the same time.
We call each other babe, beauty, sweetie and love all the time. Because that is apparently what is polite in english-speaking countries. I have literally heard more encouraging words heading my way the last month here than I have heard the past five years in Norway.
Apart from that I have walked in woolen sweatshirts in 30 degrees by several occasions. Just to realize that the weather here is changing very fast. With that a sting shakes in the dept of my heart. My dear Norway. What are my friends doing right now? Am I missing out on anything? Every time that happens, I just need to think of who the real winner here really is. I’m the one who’s living in Australia, the land of surfing and kangarooes.
I tend to get really tired of how much my mind changes. Get tired of growing so fast. Because I know that is what I do by how much I am challenged in my old mindset. Only in my class there are 14 different nations represented. The encounter with so many different cultures is strange. It is crazy, and I love conversations with different people. I have noticed that my tolerance and worldview needed to expand. And I am reminded that my Norwegian thinking is not always the right one. Just sharing bedroom, and living with other girls 24 hours a day, is a really new experience. I’m being thrown into responsibilities I’ve never had before. And as I realize that, I am 30 hours by plane away from everyone I ever considered protecting and safe.
I was also introduced to a problem I hadn’t been facing before. The challenge of not having friends. It was perhaps the most unknown setting I have ever been in. Seeing gangs form already after a few weeks and not being part of one. If feels like I always have had someone during my entire life. Down here, I did not really have anyone to gather around in my class. Although I am the recipe of individualistic, strong and independent… and probably could have lived alone on a deserted island for myself without any problems… this feeling was just so new.
It was perhaps needed for me to realize how much my friends mean to me, and what role they usually play in my daily life. How dependent I am on them in social settings…
But it always works out. I had to convince myself to be patient here, and give it time. None of my deeper friendships at home were built in two weeks. It would have been strange if it had been totally different here. And I’m certainly one of those who likes that a friendship is genuine and real. So it will take a little more time. I know. But I have never felt lonely like that before. It teached me that this was an unique opportunity for me. An opportunity to be there for someone else. I’m probably not the only one in this situation. I hope that I can be the friend I needed for someone else.
Did I mention that it is just now that I have finally got myself to write again? All these impressions do something strange with my mind. It forces me to stay in the moment, and use all my energy to take everything in.
It is kind of funny. I have just listed a lot of “natural” things that have been capturing my focus. But Hey. I am actually in bible school. I am learning A LOT about leadership. About Church. About God, and about me. And I am definitely challenged in all of that too. Just to see the difference between church culture in Norway and here.
Can you imagine that everyone you talk to have heard of your church? Been given discount on coffee on the local café because you are from church? And actually wanting to bring everyone you meet to church. Just because you are so proud of it, and you know that it will not freak people out, but rather give them a positive experience of christianity? I could not imagine that either. Suddenly it is what I am living in. In a church that is growing all the time. That is healthy and inspiring, and that makes me want to serve. Wow. How can I describe being surrounded by people who encourage you and
“believe in you more than you believe in yourself.”
I have finally started to realize the importance of community and unity within the church. Wow. I am excited for the rest of this year!
I woke up yesterday and felt like I woke up for the first time in a really long time. Victoria the writer is back. Finally. I have missed her.
Let me just finish this by saying that I am so grateful. So grateful for being here, meeting all this incredible people, and learn so much. Even though it is challenging sometimes. And I am so grateful for my loving parents that support me more than what should even be allowed. I love you to a couple of times around the distance of the universe.
How beautiful is Bondi Beach, hey ? It is really amazing, and the water there is just so extremely salty. It is really a cool beach.
But why do I never remember to wear sunglasses? To be a day on the East-coast of Australia, it was actually quite cold and clouded. But my eyes were still burning. The temperature was low enough to make the walk in the sand tolerable but it felt like it was possible to get som tan out of it all anyways. At least I got a pretty, red, lobster-skin – color. Better than look as white as snow, I guess. My parents have sent me photos from back home where they are skiing. So I am not really allowed to complain either.
Half of my clothes is placed in a huge pile outside of our washing-room. Our washing machine broke down almost two weeks ago, and it is finally good again. Thankfully. I was about to run out of clothes. Is is not crazy how you suddenly have so much to think about once you have moved out from your parents? I mean… washing machines?
To have anything to write about at all on this blog in the future, I just have to keep you updated in what I do in School and church. Since that is where I spend all of my time basically, haha.
So we had Heart and Soul night at church yesterday. That is a yearly happening where our senior pastor tells about the local vision at church. It was really inspiring and encouraging. I am going to serve in the youth ministry, and I am serving for the first time later this week. So I am really excited to get startet. Right now I am going to take another cup of tea, so I will update you guys again soon. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day!