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.