This year was my inaugural word of the year. To say that I have found what I was looking for is with choosing it is not the case. The word for 2019 was focus. I was supposed to focus on my dreams and create goals. I was suppose to focus on myself and get myself out of debt and earn more income, perhaps become a full time writer.

But times are not the same for writers these days, many of whom – myself included – have to rely on a steady income from a day job. I know what I should be doing, and yet I always find myself stuck between duty and choice: a choice to change my circumstances, a choice to break free of whatever bound me, and a choice to accept who I am.

I’ve discovered that fear holds me back. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not belonging.

Looking Back at the Year

2019 was meant to be the year where I determined where I would focus my energy. I always know where I want to live: on the island of Senja. Figuring out the how is a completely different story. I thought I would apply for relevant jobs, but didn’t because of other circumstances currently out of my control.

In my opinion, I will do anything I set my mind to. I love to travel; and there is one particular destination I enjoy the most that is in Northern Norway. Maybe I am just biased, but I gain a lot of clarity while on the island (and I have gained a few friends too). I just find myself cursed with an inability to write (or sometimes speak my mind) when I am there. I am guilty of taking it all in. Because I don’t want to forget it, or my memories of it whether they are good or bad. To say that it was frustrating that I had to leave would be an understatement.

It was inevitable.

I only booked one week, 7 days. I wanted (and did) cherish every moment of it – including with Mads. If things were different, and I could have stayed longer, I could have begun working at a fish factory in Gryllefjord. Or at the resort at Hamn i Senja. Or some place else entirely on the island. And yet, I had to return to my own responsibilities back in the States.

And that has been hard. I will put on a brave face, and try to work it out myself, before reaching out to friends. Whether that makes me strong or brave, I don’t know. Because even I don’t have all the answers. Even I am figuring my life out.

It’s still in the back of my mind, because there I feel free – alive, confident, brave. I find it has a different aura than most places I visit; there’s a sense of peace and clarity. My mind clears considerably, which is quite a surprise for someone whose mind never seems to rest. It’s a therapeutic experience, whether connecting with the locals or in complete solitude.¬† My restlessness subsides (or more likely matched) by the rugged landscape and the people who inhabit it.

On one of the isolated beaches, for example, alone. I am almost accustomed to it, even though I want friends by my side. Were I to successfully move there, there would be at least two clubs I would join: the local photography club and a swimming club.

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Self-Portrait at Ballesvika Beach

Honestly, there’s even a part of me that would love to see this blog take off. You could say I bite off more than I can chew. And I am a dreamer. I need to become a doer. A risk-taker. Live life more spontaneously.

New Year, New Word

The word I choose for this year is clarity. There are a number of reasons I choose this one, but I won’t go into too much detail. Below is a simple definition of the world:

the quality or state of being clear

Communication for me has always been a struggle. I am, and always have been, better at writing: in part because I am an introvert, in part because I am a writer. Only recently I realized the importance of having a close friend to talk to about anything without judgment. That felt amazing! And yet it was temporary. I miss that.

There was a certain closeness in what we shared. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a cozy friend (koselig venn) in Norway, but that’s what it felt like. To be accepted for who you are. To laugh with or simply sit with a friend who needs it. And what we both¬† needed. I know I am difficult to get to know. It’s partially my personality.

Clarity in who I want to be.
Clarity in how to achieve my goals.
Clarity in how I communicate.

Perhaps there’s more, but for now that is all that I want to think about for the new year.

 

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