I’m in a reflecting mood lately.
Which is natural because there are a lot of changes happening. Moving out of the beautiful space that I’ve called home for a year. Leaving my job and my wonderful colleagues. Calling myself a student from now on. Creating a home for myself on the other side of the world. I look at the person I was 6 or 12 months ago and I think, “Wow… You were so scared, weren’t you? Scared that you wouldn’t figure it out. Scared you wouldn’t get your ducks in a row. Scared you were stuck.” For a little while I think I was stuck.
I’ve lived in Oslo 14 months now. I started working at the main offices of the same company I’d been working for as a tour guide. I got a place in the city. I found a routine. I went on vacation. I searched for university programs and tried to find the perfect city/country for me to live in next. There has been so much laughter and joy, so many memorable trips and experiences. I’ve been surrounded by the people who love me the most, my family and oldest friends. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve felt lonely at times.
Because it’s lonely not knowing what you want. It’s lonely trying to trust that the next step will come to you, as if out of thin air. It’s lonely being scared of making the wrong decisions. It’s lonely when, despite of their best efforts, I see it in their eyes that they can’t fully relate to how I don’t always feel like myself in Oslo.
I’m tend to get so caught up in always moving, always growing. Like most of us, I can be hard on myself – harder than I would be to any of my friends. Pick yourself up, Christine. Don’t dwell on things in the past. Don’t look ahead to the future too much. Keep smiling. Spread joy. Whatever you do, do not complain. One of my favorite bloggers, Kelsey from Happyolks, wrote something beautiful that I try to remember now:
“We (humans) can be so hard ourselves when we get off track. We fight those ugly parts of our being so fervently without stopping to look at the mess and think about it before cleaning it up. I’m generally in the “one foot in front of the other” camp of life wisdom, but sometimes it’s okay not to move at all. Just sit. Kneel. Stand in the kitchen with breadcrumbs on the floor. Just be there. Just swim in it for a little. See what comes up.”
This is probably the longest period of time in my life that I haven’t had a clue about what to do next or what my future should look like. Up until I finally figured it out in March I was pretty freaked out, to be honest. Freaked out at the possibility that the answer might not appear to me “in time”. Freaked out that I didn’t feel my gut, my intuition, leading me towards something. Yet still trying to have trust that my gut would let me know.
But you know what? I made it.
I look back now and exhale. It’s finally come to an end. The year of being in between. I don’t think I realized how exhausting it was to feel so “in between” until I’m now letting go and stepping forward. I don’t really know that I’m stepping forward into; this is new territory for me. But I’m so ready to expand my horizons again, to grow again, to challenge myself again.
Oslo, to me, is limbo. As much love as I have for my hometown and my family and my life here; it is still the place I go when I don’t know where else to go. Ten years from now it might be where I want to stay forever, but until then… you’ll find me in some other corner of the world.
I’m ready to leave limbo behind.