One year of reflection.

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This little space of mine has an anniversary — one year!

Moving to Norway was the beginning of a journey that would forever change me. We all change of course, shaped by the things that come our way, but some things are out of our hands. Moving was a choice I made though, a decision in my control, yet ultimately one that would take it away, for a while at least.

I spent my first years in Norway building a life and trying to figure things out. Eventually things did make sense. Kind of. Except then I started to question the things I had previously taken for granted. I had started to think differently.

That process wasn’t really a conscious one. It sometimes felt more like a battle, me versus Norway. I realise now I was just experiencing culture shock. I couldn’t have written this blog back then because I was in it, immersed in the experience.

There was a familiarity about arriving in Switzerland. First an air of being on holiday, before the realisation of the task ahead. It hadn’t seemed so daunting when we moved to Australia, for me a different language brings a whole new dimension.

In the early days of Zurich, when it dawned on me that pursuing my previous job description or chasing a new one were both going to involve an equal amount of time and effort, I had the chance to take a breath and really think about what I wanted to do. It was a unique opportunity to take stock, and one for which I am incredibly grateful.

I discovered that I wanted to write for a living. There were elements of writing in my previous jobs, I just needed to focus on that more, and so I took an online course. The last module was to write a blog, about anything, but to start one. I decided to write about my thoughts and feelings on living abroad.

I had toyed with the idea of writing a blog for some time before, but never got around to it. I knew I had lots of ideas in my head, but I wasn’t really clear about whether I actually had anything to say.

In Australia I had three small children, and headspace wasn’t in great supply. By the time we reached Zurich the kids were older and everyone had somewhere to be. So there I was, in a new country, a little lonely, a little bored, but experiencing quiet for the first time in years.

This was like a key unlocking all the thoughts I had been holding on to for so long, and writing allowed me to process them in a coherent way.

I needed to find my ‘voice’. I had initially wanted to write a funny blog, but living abroad is many things, it can certainly be fun, but not always, and I found my voice to be an honest one.

I read somewhere that you should write regularly, and post on a certain day each week. But I don’t do that. I have to wait until the words come. Sometimes they get stifled by the noise of daily life, not ready to be released just yet. Then at some point there will be a moment, a flicker from somewhere, and the words that I find so hard to say in person appear on the page. Another part of the story written.

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