Anyways, I thought I'd write a little update on my life (and in English for those who used to follow my blog), and let you know what's been going on the last months.
Over a year ago, last summer, I was in Hawaii for the last time with sorrow in my heart. I think the last blogpost: Summer on end or Good bye Hawaii were some of the last I did in English. After a long time of resisting I decided to put my apartment there up for sale (I can still by a click go in and take a look at it!). It wasn't just selling an apartment, it meant a lot more. It was giving up my dream. Even though I hadn't lived in it for 6 months and no doors were opening up to Hawaii (or South Korea), the fact that I had my apartment there, was "proof" to me that the dream was still alive. I could at any time - if circumstances just changed - hop on a plane and move back to my apartment in Hawaii and continue traveling from there to Asia. But having an apartment in another country, being the landlord for 5 girls living there, had its price. It was hard to do the work that was required while living in Norway. After Magnar and others gently pushed me over time - I decided to let it go, in the back of my mind hoping it might not sell and things would change.
You see I had dreamed of being in missions since the day I left - September 25th 2000. I couldn't believe it when the door opened back to the very same place I left 14 years ago, thinking then I would be back in matter of months. It ended up being almost 14 years. When I came back to Norway in 2000 the dream of going out again was very much alive for years, always living with an open suitcase in the back of my mind, never settling. Then the dream faded, realism sunk in, and I kind of gave up on it before everything changed in 2013/14. Now, after 2 small years back, traveling around the world, living in three countries, was everything coming to an end, and I was to move back to - Bryne?! It didn't make sense, I couldn't believe it was already over, but it was.
In January 2017 the apartment sold, but it took over three months to finalize the sale (if I would have known the difficulties buying and selling property in Hawaii, I probably wouldn't have dared doing it. I am glad I didn't know on beforehand!) In April 2017 I was back in Bryne for good, and the apartment was gone for ever.
Needless to say the last year has been filled with a lot of grief and struggle to settle down in a place you thought you'd left, maybe for good. Bryne is so small! I still have thoughts of - is this really it?
But at the same time I'm noticing that the place is growing on me. I'm starting to not mind small town so much. To be surrounded by mostly Norwegians that know my culture instead of trying to understand Americans and Asians all the time. To meet people I know almost every time I go by the store or out for a walk. Less than five minutes to get to nature. Earning money again (ha!). Having a car. See the big things in the little things. And feeling that I am at home in a way I guess I never fully felt while living abroad.
This doesn't mean I will never again uproot and travel or live in another country again. That's at least what I'm telling myself and something that gives me comfort when I just want to scream of the way things are done in Norway (like the jantelov, the inside law to not stick your head out or be different or better than anybody else). Last time it suddenly happened, when I was well grounded with deep roots in Bryne. And if it happens again I guess it will come as a surprise again, because right now my focus is to put down those roots one more time at the place where I'm at right now.
So I will never live in this apartment again, spend Saturdays by the pool or invite people for food in my kitchen.
This summer I started to create a "being room", or call it a prayer room. It's just a place to come and sit and be me before God. I light candles and read, and next up is to get wall stickers of the world on that purple wall, so that I can continue to dream about the nations, traveling, and also have something to inspire me when I pray for other countries.
Being in one place and knowing the stores in and out allows me to try out cooking some more. I've never cooked as much as I have this year in my entire life. Here is a new hit for me - tortilla pizza, which is made in 10 minutes, perfect time frame for me who always wants it quickly done.
Norway is beautiful, at least on sunny days.
The great thing about living in one place is that I get to do normal things, and have routines. Routine was the first thing to be thrown out the window with such excessive traveling. I often just stayed 2-3 months in one place, and it took me at least a month to start routines that could only last a little while before I was moving away again. Living in Bryne I have a gym less than five minutes from where I live, and it has helped me get rhythm into my life again.
Playing with these little guys is the joy of my life. They grow up too fast. It's such a joy to live less than ten minutes away, and see them as often as I want to.
Having friends that I've known for decades close by me.
And my work place, which I love. As a Friby (International cities of refuge) coordinator I in some ways get the best of two worlds. Idealistic work of giving a voice to persecuted authors who now live in Stavanger, a city near me. Sometimes it feels a bit like being in missions, just with a paycheck.