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.
Every time I put on my pink striped pyjamas pants, I start to think about home. I remember how mom came with them wrapped in after a work trip once. With a big black ribbon. She bough them from Victoria secret and I used to love how the paper bag had my name on it.
Suddenly I start craving her pasta with peas and ham. Literally the only dinner she makes that actually tastes good. Sorry mum. I love you, but cooking has never been your thing. Fair enough. You are the best role model in everything else. But hey. That is what I miss. And your hugs.
“How deeply a girl can miss her mum from the other side of the world.”
I am looking forward to summer when she is going to visit me. We have an open guest room here without doors that are just closed off by a curtain. It contains a mattress, but Kesha and I are going to try to make it a bit nicer. Kesha even got a lamp for it because her mum that is also coming over. She is going to be here already in a couple of weeks.
I have just finished an assessment. Something has been going on every evening the last couple of days, so I am spending the rest of the evening relaxing. Reading. Listening to music. Laying in my bed with these striped pants. Listening to the sound of some cars driving by a few blocks away and a plane that is passing somewhere. I’ll stay here and feel how good my feet likes to rest from all of this walking. I’ll stay here completely safe. Not terrified of dangerous spiders as I were the first couple of weeks here. Hundred percent sure that a poisonous snake would walk in my door at any minute.
Saturday 9th of March
The smell of Australian rain, the sound of Saturday’s traffic. It amazes me how different Australian rain smells from the Norwegian rain. You should not think that the smell of wet asphalt could vary. It does. I miss the scent of Norwegian rain. Another thing I long for. I have to laugh of myself as my eyes fall on the pink shoes I am wearing. They are dripping wet by now. The weight of a book rests heavily on my shoulder. I have just spent the last five hours on two different cafés, reading about Norwegian law.
I am probably a bit weird like that. I felt like it was a little bit long to stay at the same café for so many hours. So I simply moved a few meters away to the neighbor a few hours later. I do not dare to think of how much of my money I spend on coffee these days. Well. Now I am going home. To this Australian house that I call home at the moment. How strange that life would turn out this way. Here I am on the other side of the globe. Soaking wet by Australian rain.
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.
I hope your day is good so far! My Fridays are always off, and it is so nice. Even tough I am serving in church in the evening, it is good to have a peaceful day to sleep out and relax! Wow. I just listed a few things that I really love. But hey. Let me tell you about a few things that i miss as well. I have already stayed in Australia for a whole month. I really can not believe how fast time goes by down here. Probably because there is so much going on all the time …
– MONDAY 11th of February 2019 –
The sounds of different voices flow around me. I am sitting on a café, drinking coffee that doesn’t taste more than tolerable. Lately I have begun to realize how desperate my need is for time to just think. Sharing room, and living with four other girls simply resulted in me being with other people 24 hours a day. I need some me-time sometimes. I think we all do. Time to let my mind run its own way. So I go for a walk. I can see 3 parrots fly by. It is strange that they live in the wild here. I have never seen one outside a cage before. They are beautiful. Colorful. Perfect in a way.
Somehow I find myself next to a girl on the bus, and she smells like my grandmother’s shampoo. Well. She does probably not. It`s just my brain that is making fun of me. Looking for anything familiar. But suddenly I miss the summers with my grandmother. I miss the smell of her shampoo in my hair while I was bathing in her bath-tube. I miss the icy wind as I get up on the cold floor in the morning. I miss the extremely good, cold Norwegian drinking-water. I miss the smell of freshly baked bread. The one that tasted so much better than any other homemade bread I’ve ever had.
Then I miss that house. Suddenly I am so grateful that Mum and Dad have kept it after all. The house that was built by the hands of my own great-grandfather a lifetime ago. I miss it. Maybe because I know that my parents are there right now. I miss picking berries in the summer. All the endless kilos of cherries from our garden. I miss stepping barefoot into the grass. I miss lifting wood down to the basement as soon as the leaves had started to turn red.
The heavy, warm air suffocates me. As I miss the clear Nordic wind wedging in my nose. As I miss snow.
I miss to ski and fall over every other second because I am so terribly bad at skiing. I miss the fireplace. Old furniture. My dog. Mom and dad. My friends. Although I don’t let myself miss them or anyone else. I miss home. All these things. I miss them, and I love it here. What a strange combination.
Lyden av stemmer teiper seg sammen i en konstant bakgrunnssus.
Alle disse bølgene av samtaler, som hodet mitt velger å tolke som en enkel tone. Alle disse ordene, og stemningene de formidler. Denne monotone lyden er rett og slett en genial musikk, som jeg på en eller annen måte klarer å konsentrere meg til. Det er fascinerende. Vakkert egentlig. Fascinerende og interessant at jeg den siste uken har kommet lenger med denne studeringen min enn jeg har i løpet av de siste to månedene. Det er vel sånn at noe blir mer spennende ettersom du forstår mer. Ikke bare forstår jeg mer. Jeg blir sittende med en uforklarlig mestringsfølelse, og denne fikse ideen om at jeg faktisk er ganske intelligent.
Intelligent nok til å lære meg dette, og med disse tankene sniker også skolelysten seg på. Graver seg frem i hjertet. Jeg har lyst til å lese. Jeg har lyst til å lære. Jeg kan med hånden på hjertet si dette for første gang på omtrent fire år. Det kommer så overraskende på meg at jeg nesten ikke skjønner hvor det kommer fra en gang. Ikke visste jeg at dette var mulig heller. Jeg antar, og konkluderer med at det også har en forklaring i at jeg for første gang på disse fire årene studerer noe uten at jeg skal bli vurdert i det. Eller. Jeg blir jo vurdert. Men jeg trenger bare å bestå. Det er målet mitt. Ikke å få A. Bare få nok poeng til å få bestått. Det skal jeg klare, og det holder.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
The sound of voices tears together in a constant background sound.
All these waves of conversations, which my head chooses to interpret as one simple tone. All these words, and the moods they convey. This monotone sound is simply an ingenious music, which I somehow manage to concentrate to. It’s fascinating. Beautiful, really. Fascinating and interesting that I have gone further this month than I have in the past two months with my studies. It’s good that something gets more exciting as you understand more. Not only do I understand more. I’m getting this crazy idea that I’m actually quite intelligent.
Intelligent enough to learn this. I want to read. I want to learn. I can say this for the first time in about four years. It’s so surprising to me that I almost do not even understand where it comes from. I did not know that this was possible either. I assume, and conclude that it has something to do with the fact that I am studying without being concerned about my grades. I just need to pass. That’s my goal. Not to get an A. Just get enough points to pass. I can do this!
Det er forresten mulig at jeg har funnet en verdig teori på mitt store spørsmål om hvorfor jeg blir så mye mer kreativ så fort jeg forlater husets fire vegger. I følge David Hume er det så enkelt som at sanseinntrykkene jeg møter skaper nye ideer. Disse ideene skaper igjen såkalte refleksjonsinntrykk basert på hverandre. Til sammen er det skapt noen helt egne og nye ideer. Også kjent som tanker, refleksjoner eller hva enn du måtte kalle det. Sanseinntrykk som altså skaper noe nytt i krasj med hverandre.
Det er litt logisk for meg. Til tross for at teoriene hans kanskje feiler på noen punkter ifølge disse ekspertene. De gjør meg forundret. Forundret over at noen i det hele tatt har tenkt nok på dette fenomenet til å skape en teori rundt det.
Slike tenkere altså. Kan jeg snart kategorisere meg selv som en av dem?
Idet mørket møter skotuppen min innser jeg forresten at jeg har blitt et av disse irriterende cafémenneskene. Ikke en sånn en som jeg skrev om sist, men den typen som sitter der lenge etter at kaffekoppen er konsumert. Lenge. Mye lenger. Det til tross for at det er så stappfullt i rommet at nye kunder ikke får sitteplass. Likevel har jeg ikke et snev av dårlig samvittighet. Denne Cafeen har blitt mitt lille bibliotek. Jeg konsentrerer meg så mye bedre blant alle disse menneskene. Med dette innser jeg også at jeg åpenbart har nådd et nytt nivå av selvutvikling, etter at jeg nå faktisk klarer å stenge alt annet ute fremfor å leve meg inn i alle disse samtalene.
Men vet du hva som er så kult? Nå begynner jeg også å innse hvorfor. Simpelthen fordi det i absolutt stillhet gir meg friheten til å tenke på alt mulig annnet enn det jeg leser. Mellom alle disse samtalene blir jeg derimot nødt til å fokusere for å få med meg noe som helst.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
By the way. I think I have found a worthy theory on my big question about why I get so much more creative as soon as I leave the four walls of my house. According to David Hume, it is so simple that the sensory impressions I face creates new ideas. These ideas create so-called reflection impressions based on each other. Together, some new ideas have been created. Also known as thoughts, reflections or whatever you might call it. In other words these sensory impressions create something new in crash with each other.
It’s a little logical to me. Despite the fact that his theories may fail on some points according to these experts. They make me amazed. Surprised that someone at all has thought enought about this phenomenon to create a theory around it.
These thinkers … Can I categorize myself as one of them?
By the way, as darkness meets with my shoes, I realize that I have become one of these annoying café people (Norwegian translation only). Not the way I wrote about the last time, but the type that stays there long after the coffee cup is consumed. Much longer. Even though it is so packed with people in the room that new customers can not get seats. Still, I do not have a hint of bad conscience. This café has become my library. I concentrate so much better among all these people. I have obviously reached a new level of self-development, after I have actually started to forget every single sound around me, rather than listen to all of these conversations.
But do you know what? Now I think I realize why. Why I like studying with all these people around me. The answer is simply because absolute silence gives me the freedom to think of everything else than what I read. However, between all of these conversations I have to focus on understanding the words I am actually reading.
Mørket har senket seg på alle kanter, men det gule lyset fra dashbordet, og radioen lyser opp. Jeg er på parkeringsplassen ved stranda. Hvordan jeg har havnet her, finnes det ikke et godt svar på egentlig. Jeg kan jo ikke se sjøen nå, men noe i meg har lyst til å være her likevel. Kanskje det bare hjelper meg å vite at det brusende vannet mot svaberg lever like ved? Rett utenfor?
Vi er over gjennomsnittet gode venner, havet og jeg. Jeg kan nesten føle det kalde, salte vannet. Føle saltsmaken på tungen, til tross for at jeg sitter inni denne bilen ganske mange meter unna. Selv om jeg hverken kan høre eller se. Det er ikke vitenskapelig troverdig dette her. Men du tror kanskje på meg likevel. Er viss om hvor ekte minner kan føles.
Jeg skrur av bilmotoren, og hører på stillheten som erstatter musikken fra radio Tønsberg. Den eneste kanalen jeg fremdeles får inn på FM – frekvenser.
Jo. Caféer. Jeg liker dem så godt. Det var jo det jeg skulle skrive om. Poenget var at de alltid får meg til å tenke så mye. Kanskje fordi jeg alltid spaserer inn i livene til alle disse menneskene som befinner seg på alle kanter. Jeg tror jeg kunne sittet i timesvis, og bare levd meg inn i samtalene som foregikk rundt meg. Det er kult at de virkelig forteller så mye disse samtalene, om hva slags mennesker dette egentlig er.
Nabobordet planla en overraskelsesbursdag for far i huset. Noen ord om fly, og hoteller fosset ut. En litt sjefete datter i begynnelsen av tyveårene snakket mer om turen hun skulle ta til Bergen med en venninne. Det var i hennes øyne mye viktigere enn denne overraskelsesturen.
Samtidig prøvde en fortvilet mor i midten av femtiårene å komme med noen gode forlag. En tredje dame, som jeg gjetter må ha vært en tante av noe slag, mumlet brått noe om kaffe, og forsvant for å bestille runde nummer to med kaffe latte.
Jeg prøvde lenge å koble meg ut av samtalen deres, og konsentrere meg om det jeg febrilsk forsøkte å lese … Descartes. Filosofens far.
( Det er ganske flaut at jeg ikke har kommet lenger egentlig. Når var eksamen igjen, sa du? Litt over en måned da … Jeg klarer dette! )
Blikket mitt vandret videre til en ung gutt som satt alene med musikk i ørene. Litt over gjennomsnittet kjekk, kanskje? Neida. Ingen tvil. Definitiv over gjennomsnittet. En jente spaserte forbi ham med noen ord i gaten «Takk for sist, hvordan går det?» Han mumlet noe til svar som jeg ikke klarte å få med meg. For jeg hadde plutselig innsett at kaffen min var drukket opp.
På tide å kjøpe en ny kopp med Cold brew ? Nei. Jeg orket ikke mer filosofi. En ny foundation måtte jeg jo ha. Så. Saken var klar.
(Det morsomme er hvordan penger bare forsvinner idet jeg setter mine ben på et kjøpesenter. Mitt største budsjettkutt handler dermed om å unngå dem. Det klarer jeg aldri.)
En stund senere befinner jeg meg altså i bilen. Her på parkeringsplassen ved vannet. Jeg ser på alle disse båtene som er på land. Har lyst til å spasere rundt dem, men tør liksom ikke helt. Skal jo sitte her i bilen i stillheten. Jeg hadde glemt å skru av billyset. Det oppdager jeg nå. At det har stått på hele tiden. Med et gir alt mening. Så mørkt det egentlig er! Jeg fatter det nå.
Hvordan havnet jeg egentlig her? Det var jo et av de opprinnelige spørsmålene her. Jo. Vent. Nå husker jeg det. Jeg var på vei hjem, og hørte på radioen. Det var noen litt melankolske sanger som fikk meg til å fundere mer over livet enn jeg vanligvis gjør. I et par sekunder hadde jeg bare så lyst til å beholde følelsen. Følelsen av en stillhet som blokket alt annet enn mine egne tanker. Bare akkurat da. Jeg orket ikke snakke med noen helt enda. Så jeg kjørte hit. Også begynte jeg å skrive. Det har visst gått en halvtime nå. Førti minutter. Jeg tror kanskje jeg har sittet her i tre kvarter, når jeg tenker meg om.