They often say that things happen for a reason, and while there may be some truth to it, I have come to believe that things happen not because of kismet, but because we make certain choices in our daily life that have direct and indirect consequences.
My life has gone in a direction I would never have expected it to go. Some people would call it luck, some an act of grace or divine intervention, but to me, it is but the direct and indirect result of my hard work, patience and taking the leap when every cell in my body was screaming to hide away.
And while some things have unfolded in ways that I can only describe as fast and furious, the journey to that point took years, maybe even decades. There were many happy days, and not-so happy days. Some bad days in between. Terrible days every now and then. Even unspeakable days. Each deciding moment eventually leading to where I am today.
Five years ago, I would have laughed if someone told me I’d be living in Norway at some point in my life. It was a country I knew little about — well, maybe except for its Vikings and pricey salmon exports — and the fact that I despise the cold, helped to build my case against what would have been an incredulous idea.
Fast forward to 2017, and here I am, unable to imagine a different life. Despite the challenges that a transplant like myself is expected to go through, like adjusting to a different culture, landing a job and ultimately learning how to speak the language, which I haven’t yet mastered after 3 years of night school! (for those who aren’t in the know, the Norwegian language has many, many, many dialects, so much so that if you drive for a good ten minutes in the countryside, people could be speaking a different variant of Norwegian), I can’t complain. I am where I am today because every little thing I’ve done so far has led me to this moment of contentment and yes — gobsmacked disbelief.
Because after all the doubt, anxiety, confusion, pain of loss, and the sheer stress that comes with having to deal with the upheavel of one’s life, I have a loving and devoted husband, who drives me crazy sometimes (not in the good way!) and at other times splendidly scrubs clean the entire apartment inside and out when all I did was hint that the floors could do with a quick mopping; I have a job that is finally permanent and rewarding; a new house we are looking forward to moving into in a year’s time; and a baby on the way, whom we cannot wait to finally meet in a few weeks.
Sometimes, I have to pinch myself because I think I’ve stumbled into a dream; that perhaps, I’m actually lying somewhere else, in a deep deep transe of some kind, and unwilling to wake up. Or I find myself in a panic, thinking that only the worst can possibly happen now, because no one is supposed to have it this good.
Then again, when I really think about it. Think long and hard, it hasn’t been all pixiedust and unicorns. Because my husband and I work hard at our relationship every single day. We have our honeymoon days and days when I just want to bust his butt for one reason or another. Our first year as husband and wife was rocky and eventually led to ultimatums, but we got passed it and although we laugh at it now, it was a tough period in my life.
My job may be rewarding, but everyday, I have to work hard for it. Like really, really hard, because this is probably the only job I’ve had where there is absolutely no room for downtime. You’re up and at it from the moment you clock in, to the moment you clock out.
A new house may be exciting (what with all the possibilities!), but with it, comes a heftier mortgage that my husband and I have to pay for for a good 25 years of our life. So we have to be extra smart with our money just in case the world goes into a nosedive and we find ourselves jobless and with skyrocketing interest rates.
Finally, a baby. It may perhaps be the singular most fantastic dream of mine, but now that its reality, comes my many founded fears and doubts. Will I be a good parent? First and foremost, is he healthy? What if there are complications? Women have died during childbirth. Babies too. Will I end up drawing the short end of the stick? I may not dwell on these harrowing thoughts, but they have passed my mind and I can only really hope for the best when the day finally arrives.
So, as timely as everything may seem from the outside, it is but a consequence of a series of fortunate and unfortunate opportunities, both seized and unseized, that have led to this very moment. Of choices made and brave leaps taken. I may owe a bit of it to fate and luck, and blessings from above, but ultimately, I’d like to think that I had a hand in making it happen, and for doing a job well done (so far).