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.


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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