Seeing how many of my former classmates are all “grown up” with boyfriends, fiancés, husbands, kids, houses, cars and down-paid student loans have made me think thoughts that felt distant when I was at Augustana, but suddenly very close now that I’m here in Norway.
I’ve felt a combination of relief and gratitude for the freedom of not having to “grow up” yet; of not having to worry about buying a station wagon, finding a job, planning family vacations or weddings, arguing about how to raise the kids, and about making secure, logical and reasonable life choices.
But in between that relief and gratitude, there’s doubt. Logical doubt. Tempting shortcuts rooted inside comfort-zones. So many easier options, secure options, reasonable options.
“Am I making the right decisions with my life? Is my dream worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? Am I the only one in the world not wanting to settle? Should I settle?”
You see, Norway is a paradise for secure, logical and reasonable life choices. I’m surrounded by people who’ve done it all the “right way.” You know, the way banks, parents, teachers, coaches and neighbors have advised you to do things from the day you were born.
The Utopia for comfortable and predictable lifestyles is right here in Norway — everywhere I turn I see logic screaming for attention.
Still, I choose not to listen.
Please don’t get me wrong; my heart bubbles of joy when I see people who found their way, their job and their loved one. I’m thrilled to see that their relationships are thriving, that their coffeemaker was on sale, that their station wagon runs well, that their honeymoon-tickets were cheap, that their baby said a word, that the lawn is recovering from the winter and that their student loans are paid down. I’m happy for them, I really am.
But I also know that behind my occasional moments of doubt and temptation for “the comfortable,” I have to continue working towards my dream; the dream that won’t be satisfied by having a house, a car, a coffee-maker and a nine-to-five job.
In the midst of all the noise, I need to follow my heart and trust God.
So, what am I trying to say?
– In my head there’s nothing logical about NYU Tisch, or even attempting to apply to the program. Less than two percent gets accepted, and it’s so expensive that regardless of how fast I say the number, it still takes a great deal of syllables to pronounce the cost in its entirety. Meanwhile, I could have studied for free at a Norwegian university, settled with my journalism degree, gotten a normal job and started saving up for that station wagon — but once again I ignored logic and went with my heart.
Sometimes I feel confident in the decision, and sometimes I ask myself what in the world I’m doing.
Yesterday fit the latter description. I felt freaked out when I thought about the tremendous amounts of money that goes into my dream, and about the things I sacrifice.
But I tell myself that even if I’m not close to buying a house or a car, and probably can’t afford anything big enough to earn the name “apartment” for quite some time, I’m at least fueling my dream the best I can.
I don’t need a perfect lawn or a nice coffee-maker for now, I need to make films.
The rest is up to God.