I guess I should spend a few words on Norway considering I leave tomorrow. I feel like I am a broken record on repeat, but I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that tomorrow I am leaving. Done, not back in two weeks after a little holiday. There are so many things I am excited about in the next chapters of my journey, but it has truly become my home for what feels like the last 2 years. Yes I did go on a stink back to Canada/the US between an extended visit and actually moving here, but the whole point of moving to Norway was that it already felt like home. It just hadn’t totally hit me yet. Every time I fly into Sola Flyplassen, see the mountains, the fjords, the farms, and little colored houses I get that deep sigh of relief and relaxation you get when you know you will be sleeping in your own bed that night. It’s not my hometown or where I was raised or where I ever planned to stay forever, but somehow that feeling arises every time – much more than flying over spacious parking lots and the (not so) mini malls covering western new york (no offense!).
I think I haven’t written this week because I do not really know what to say, or perhaps I’m just not ready to say good bye. In fact, I may or may not already be plotting all the possibilities of returning. Not unlike my feelings for India. It may take a while but my heart is now in several places around the globe, and it is much easier thinking of when you will return instead of dragging out goodbyes. It’s hard to know how to sum up such a profound experience. It is much easier to report about a trip and say I was at such and such church and what I found in terms of Melana friendly yummies. How do you thank a place for changing your life? How do you give words to knowing at the start of this journey you were of course the same person but entirely different?
In summary, I danced and taught and organized a lot of costumes, went on some (ok a lot) of trips…but where does that leave me. On paper, I was a dance teacher which at home is not nearly as lucrative as it seems to be in say, India. I am now leaving another job and city. I have wandered new parts of the world which can sound very careless and usually followed up with the question of “yes, but what are you doing with your life?” I am not working a high profile job or saved up to buy a big house so it is hard to express what I have gained from these last 2 years to others.
I think if I gave it a shot though, the answer would look a little something like this….I got my life back. I really think I had to feel I had lost my way enough to accept the wake up call and do something about it. I needed a change to get back to being me. I had let too many external factors dictate who I was becoming and none of them even mattered very much. Moving to Norway helped me get my priorities back in check. I learned to love again, to have that zest for life renewed. I got to be back in the dance world in a way that didn’t make me loathe it, I got to travel, experience new culture and places constantly which I thrive on, I got to live in a place that actually takes holiday time and respects you when you take yours (though you seriously can’t get anything done in July), I was literally a skip from mountains or water at all times with a quaint cobble-stoned city center at my disposal. I have met some incredible new people, had family turn into dear friends, and new friends become family, my anxiety lessened and my taste buds became trained to detect the deliciousness of Norwegian water. Norway gave me the clarity to get back to myself and also to prepare me for embarking on the next chapters of my journey. The clarity helped me realize what was truly important to me – the things I cannot live without. Though I am sad to say farewell, it is this experience that has allowed me to continue forward. For every step, piece, and person in that process, I am grateful.