It is strange to be in a place that is both completely foreign and familiar. The changes in the trees, the smell of leaves on a warm fall afternoon, the crisp morning walks, and the quietness of this rural town make sense to me. The desire to swim in every body of water that I come across (because it’s 55 degrees and sunny outside), is ingrained within my consciousness. There is water everywhere, and one understands that each chance to swim could be the last. Because, winter. But, I don’t have a cold-water swimming friend here, to brave the possibility of strange fish or the unfamiliar color of the water. Yet.
I love the newness of a place. It is surreal to go from dog-walking within my normal, it’s morning, and I’m slow to wake up-haze, to having someone speak to you in a language you don’t understand…especially the type of conversation that you’ve had a million times before in your own language. The simplest of tasks transports you to being a child here. It is isolating, humbling. I’m sure it is funny to watch. Yet, there is something to discover everywhere- the way the moss grows, the sing-songy way people speak, the cultural differences, the chocolate. The smallest of wins or moments of language comprehension feel like giant wins in a foreign place. I certainly have developed a deeper sense of respect for the immigrant, and I’ve only just arrived, by choice.
I prepared myself before I got to Norway for frustration and confusion when navigating another country and culture. And I’ve got that. It is daunting to find a job, to get a visa. I have never doubted myself or my non-traditional path enough to give up being an artist (as if it were something you could just un-be). I’m so used to rejection, that I’m surprised every time someone says yes. And I’ve lived for the yes. Yet, the older I get, the more I want a quiet life. A house, my own family, weekends, consistency. The less I want to fight against the current to get by. I want to find something sustainable in the place I want to be, with the person I want to be with. Maybe always choosing freedom to protect what I hold dear, space to create, is not the solution that fits anymore.
I don’t have any big insight. It’s challenging to start over in a new place, but I’m so thankful for the choice to do so and pretty fucking happy, even though I’ve yet to figure out what to put on this blank slate:)
Now, pictures of the simple life: