Well, so much for putting my hand up, confirming that I would keep up the blog after the last semester. I really ment it though, and I’m hoping that this entry will light a spark that motivates me to keep writing.
The last time I wrote, I was in Melbourne. The big and wonderful city that allows you to become anonymous, to disappear in the crowd as just another human being that doesn’t have to affect anyone around her. My situation is pretty different now. I’m back home in Alta, a city with a population of 18 000 people, and I am currently trying to figure out what to make of this place.
To explain my situation better, I’ll try to describe what it was like growing up here. Oh, and it might be like this anywhere, but this is at least where I think my Norway brain and Australia brain crashes.
Like I mentioned earlier, Alta is a small place. We are blessed with having nature at our doorstep, and politicians who constantly struggle to improve the living standard, which might lead to more people wanting to move to the district. The schools I’ve gone to are small, but not tiny; there were always kids around. However, you have few, if none, opportunities to interact with someone of your own choosing: that is, you are somehow limited to whoever surrounds you, without realising that there are people out there with all sorts of interests. In my case (and I assume this goes for others as well) this meant that in order to fit in with the “cool kids” I had to adapt, to alter my interests, and become someone who could be considered in the group. This became somewhat of an obsession; being part of the cool group. Although I envied the kids who broke away from the popularity ladder and focused on doing what they wanted, I didn’t manage to seperate myself from the thought that once I was popular, I would no longer be insecure, weak, and all the other features teenagers adapt to themselves. This went on until High School, where I finally started to develop a personality of my own.
However, the popularity ladder still mattered, and I started seeing it in a bigger scale. Outside of school it was still present: a bit more subtle, but you would notice it while walking in the city centre, that people had, if not a certain rank, at least a singificant status that would have to be acknowledged.
I guess, in my head, the whole city is constructed this way. It is so small that you can easily climb to the “top”, and the fact that it takes a small effort to impress less people, I guess it is tempting to do so. Before I left Alta I would claim that people knew who I was; I played on a handball team that did fairly well, I worked for the local tv-station, and I still tried to please everyone in order to not fall out of the accepted and popular zone.
One of the first things I noticed after coming from Melbourne, where I spent 1 and a half year being 100% myself, was that I instantly got the same feeling of having to fit in. Is it okay to wear this, or is it too different? Can I say that? Or will it make me the weird girl who no longer fits in? One thing that instantly got me thinking about this was all the attention around my nose ring. HOLY CRAP, how difficult is that to accept? I’ve received one positive comment, about 20 questions on whether it is real, and an unknown number of unapproving head shakes.
However, at least some things have changed. I don’t care to the same extent that I did. I’m not afraid to let people know I disagree, or to cut them off if they’re being assholes. It is a small change, but it means the world to me. So what if not everyone here likes me? No one can ever be loved by everyone. And if it doesn’t work for me here, there is without a doubt one place out there that will.
I think the part that worried me the most about coming home was whether I would still get along with my friends; after all, its been a long time since I’ve seen them consistently. I was thrilled to find that there is still a spot for me, although I’m not exactly the same as when I left. Then again, neither are they.
And thank God for that. What retards we were.