Four Fantastic Years
It was on this date (September 29) four years ago when I started to embark into the most remarkable journey in my life. I arrived around 2 o'clock in the afternoon in Oslo Airport with over sixty kilos of baggage. It was about four degrees Celsius, normal for an early fall in the Norwegian capital. I had mixed emotions. I was not totally elated by the idea of starting anew. I was more confused, unprepared and anxious. Nevertheless, looking back to that day I am nostalgic, but a lot of "what-ifs" in my head. I could not really find an adjective describing those four years, but I would just choose the word fantastic. Why? This is the focus of this blogpost.
Overwhelmingly drastic. This could somehow describe the process that we have to willingly accept as part of integrating ourselves into the Norwegian society. Literally, I have to forget at times my Filipino values. I have to embrace Norwegian mindset in deciding for myself and others. I have to force myself to make the Norwegian virtues the gold standard for everything to help me understand the society. I have to drown myself into the Norwegian language, even at times I do not want to. Sometimes, I just have to accept I am dumb, because some people think I know nothing. That hurts. Not just ordinary pain, but excruciatingly overwhelmingly painful. But that is part of the fantastic process that I am willing to tolerate.
No one could imagine all the challenges I and my sister are going through in Norway. Things are getting better now, but sometimes I could say some of the events are unexpected. There were many times I wanted to give up. I honestly do. There were even worse thoughts that came into my mind. However, I am still here. My belief of a better tomorrow is still there. When I say tomorrow, I literally mean the day after today. The more I think of more than that, the more uncertainty and anxiety I would feel. I am a thinker so tomorrow is enough for me to think of. Looking back, this current mindset I have is also unbelievably opposite to my future-driven perspective. That change itself is fantastic.
Norway is a beautiful country. When I travel home to the Philippines and even during short trips to another place, I long for Norway. I see myself discovering more the Norwegian landscape, and knowing more people of different background in this country. Moreover, the Norwegian system provides me not just opportunities, but as well benefits I would forever be thankful for. Norway has given me some of the marvelous chapters in my life so far. It has changed my outlook in a significant manner. I love this country, and I am willing to give whatever I can to make it better. This is because this land has superbly changed my life.
Norway, to be honest has given me both positive and negative experiences. It is not the country and the people that primarily caused it, instead it is due to how I reacted to situations directly and indirectly that I am into. I see Norway as my home now. Just like the Philippines, I experienced both good and bad there. In Norway, I have also experienced them. Many people ask me if I regret coming to this place. When I remember those negative things, ofcourse I would say I regret a little. However, when I see things in a positive light, those experiences were simply fantastic. I am truly grateful to the first fantastic years in my life in Norway. Certainly, the next years will be even more fantastic.