So, it’s been almost a year since I left a place where I felt at home. The events and decisions that lead to me leaving were complicated and emotional, and this ‘anniversary’ is really making me reflect on my time there, and my past year.
It’s been a crazy 12 months, an exciting 12 months, a heartbreaking 12 months, a brilliant 12 months, a stressful 12 months, a lonely 12 months, 12 months filled with new and old friends, 12 months of goodbyes and 12 months of hellos. I’m sure there is only more to come, but I am also sure that the past 12 months have been really tough for me, very rewarding too, but boy have they been challenging. I’m now living in my 5th country, but it’s my 3rd in the past 12 months. Of course I like most parts of my slightly nomadic lifestyle, but there are parts that are hard. And it’s the same parts every time you leave a place dear to you, when you come back to an old haunt, and when you try and settle in a new place. I hated to leave Bergen, it felt like it wasn’t my decision, I had finally settled in and made friends, I hadn’t seen as much of Norway as I would’ve liked. I wasn’t ready. And it’s really the first time I haven’t felt like it was my own decision to do something since my parents dragged me to New Zealand when I was 13. So, of course, I was miserable when I arrived back in New Zealand, I was miserable for quiet a while. But then, I managed to find a job to keep myself busy, I really earnestly started applying for new PhD positions (it took me a while to decide to have another go), I got involved with some sports, I made some new friends, I went to a friend’s wedding, and another really good friend came to visit me. It was really great, and really awesome to find that side of me again. Eventually I found a new phd position, and I moved to Austria. I love my new lab, my project is great, but I’m not sure I’ve really settled in yet. I’m not sure I will settle in here as much as I have in other places, it’s nice here, it just doesn’t feel quiet like it could ever be ‘home’. I guess that feeling might go away, but right now I’m not convinced.
I guess it’s always a bit of an adjustment when life throws you a curve ball, and I am slowly adjusting to my new world, it’s just taking longer than I thought it would. I really do like what I’m doing now, and who I’m working with, so I’m excited for the future but I guess I just can’t help looking back at last year just a bit more than I probably should.