Maybe this blog is also about being overwhelmed. Heck it is.
Only 6 months after moving to Norway, we already took the next big step. We bought a house! Even without moving to another country, buying a house is a huge thing.
Though it looks like this was the thing we were looking for, our grand plan, the ultimate goal, it still feels very scary for me.
The big plan behind moving to Norway, was to settle down. To integrate, learn the language, make friends, earn money and yes, own a property to live on. Something of our own, something for the future. Not only owning a house, but also a home. Feeling at home with the culture, the people, the amazing landscape, the seasons and yes, with a specific house. We were looking for a home.
Especially my husband Koen has had this dream for as long as I know him. To buy, build or renovate his own home. A pretty strong drive to build his home base from where he could start his life.
For me it always has been more of finding a location. A place where our idea of ‘home’ could collide. A location on this earth, where I would happily build a home with him. However, when the moment was really there, where we had to make the decision to commit to a house, a specific location, it scared the crap out of me.
Because it meant an end to a chapter, a chapter I thought I wanted to end so badly, but to which I was much more attached than I thought. Maybe because I thought that it would end out of itself, gracefully. Until I realised that the only one who could end it was me. I had been waiting for me, again.
You see, ever since I can remember, I have been feeling homesick. Homesick for a place I had never been. Even worse, I didn’t even know where or what this place was. It doesn’t even look like a 100% physical location in my head, it was more an atmosphere, a feeling, something of light, air and water. Something I missed, longed for intensely.
I confused the hell out of me as a child. Every time I got to go somewhere; it was another opportunity for me to find this vision I had in my mind. Every time I had to come back; it meant an end to another search. Something that was very hard on my mother, seeing me hating to come home, confusing it with dread to come home to her. I could never have explained what was really going on in my head.
And so, I kept searching, travelling and living in many places. Playing a game of ‘warmer-colder’ with myself. Feeling my way to the places that felt closer to this specific idea that lived in my mind. I even dare to say it lived in my memory. In the end it led me to Northern Europe.
But I am still to find that feeling of relieve that I associate with coming home. I have still not found that ‘click’ when I walk the earth of different places. Even though I have been to such amazing, beautiful, fairytale-esque places, I had to ask myself “really? Not even here?”.
Every time I think of Iceland, I feel such a pain that I was not able to make it my home.
The same thought pattern that made me go ‘a little more to the North’ or ‘no a little more to the West’ and ‘just a few kilometres in that direction’, came to a rather abrupt halt when I was living and working in Vesterålen, Northern Norway, this summer. It came to me that I was never going to find this place and the only person that could bring my search to a halt, was I.
As with so many struggles and things in life, you are the one you are waiting for. I don’t even understand why we seem to forget that over and over again. But if you have been through a realisation as this one, you also know how extremely painful it can feel. How extremely relieving at the same time. It is a very intense process.
So, there I was, one the most beautiful beach I had ever seen, realising that the right thing to do on this path of my life, was to make a commitment. It was my challenge to bring balance and rest into my life. It was my challenge to end the chase. To pick a location, a location that felt just enough in line with my inner world. To pick a place and stick with it for a longer period of time.
Not long after I accepted this completely, this house, our house, came into our path. I kept my promise. Because I have to be able to trust myself.
So, it came that when we visited the house, I was overcome with a feeling of calm. As if my unconscious knew to trust this place. I know it sounds weird, but I have felt a few déjà-vu’s when walking around. It all feels like a new beginning, but I know I have some inner work ahead, before I will never feel scared of this commitment again.
The house itself is more than 60 years old and in desperate need of a serious upgrade. My husband Koen got what he wished for too, to literally build his own house. Even though it looks amazing in our head, when I walk around now, I can have difficulties to imagine a cosy home. Everything is so old, dirty and cold. However, the potential I feel in this house goes through the roof. Mark my words, it’s going to look amazing when we are done with it.
It lies in a village of around 300 inhabitants, in the Northernmost part of Vestland, close to the city of Måløy. It overlooks the fjord, the mountains and the forest. Even better, it only lies half an hour drive to the ocean, to an actual beach. It is perfect.
But back to feeling overwhelmed. Next to trying to integrate in the Norwegian culture and learning the language, I’m in the process of becoming self-employed: Starting up a webshop, hoping to write more and hoping to guide more, both as a travel guide and as a whale watching guide. Now we also have to build a house in the meantime.
Because we want the renovations to go fast, we will move in very quickly. Now we are working very hard to make one room an ‘all-in-one-room’, with the purpose to ‘camp’ there while we renovate everything else. All in the middle of winter.
We are excited. I’m scared. We are ready for it. (But please check on us from time to time.)