Well, it's here. The big 3-0.
And you know what? I'm not scared.
I have absolutely no regrets from my 20's. They will be a decade I'll look back on with fondness and a smile for the rest of my life. There are so many reasons, and I'll hold them in my heart, always.
I generally try to stay positive on this blog. But, since it's my 30th birthday and all, I'm going to let it flow for a bit.
I will say that 29 was a year with some growing pains. I may have cried more tears in the past year than in all my life put together. And felt more unnerved that I've ever felt. Living in a foreign country tends to magnify rough patches, and there were some crazy times that made me quite anxious. From late July 2011 through late March 2012, I mostly wanted to pack up my bags and move back to Portland.
A couple of very unfortunate incidents had an effect on my psyche that, living far from home, made me want to leave all of these adventures behind. On top of that, the mounting questions and pressures around us regarding staying a third year in Norway almost drove me to the edge. I knew they were all there with the best intentions, of course. The timing just made it a bit much.
Thoughts swirling in my head for months on end: Why would I want to stay somewhere I don't even want to be? Why is it anyone else's concern? Why would I feel bad for wanting to live in a beautiful city that I love, in a country that I call home, within a four-hour flight of my family, and where I can actually use my education and career? I'm already on a crazy adventure abroad for two years, why is that not enough??
So I traveled, which was always a lovely and welcomed break. I ran, met up with friends, cooked, cleaned(ish), biked, did yoga, traversed the ice, and wished there were better ways for Ken and I to talk through things.
I want to give a tremendous thank you to my friends here in Oslo, for your listening ears, and for being beautiful distractions. This had nothing to do with our amazing friend base here. You are fabulous. I just had to work through the growing pains. I'd also like to thank Ken of course, for working through the growing pains with me.
There was finally a tipping point in time where we were obviously heading home and not staying a third year, and that put a stop to a lot of the pressure. Good riddance. Then, despite the incessant rain, April was a saving grace, with a trip to España, and a really, really wonderful trip home that took me through May.
So now, on the other side of all that jazz, with just a few months left before heading home to P-town, I've entered a period of calm. A time where I'm soaking up all the lasts during this season of life in Norway, and enjoying the awesome nest of friends we've been lucky to fall into here.
Actually, I'm feeling very alive and confident right now. Feeling like I'm breathing new air. I don't feel old in the least.
Maybe it's the two years of funemployment I've been given, for which I'll be eternally grateful. Maybe it's the fact that a lot of the questions and desires of my 20's have been addressed, and I feel like I can see things a bit more clearly now. Maybe it's the pretty remarkable two years of travel and special new friendships in my pocket.
And, maybe it's the fact that we're headed home soon, and we have a few fun adventures ahead before we finally put our bags down in one very lovely place for good.
30, I'll take you. I'm extremely thankful for the other 29, and I'm excited to see what you hold.