Hei voksenliv!

Jeg nyter å lage statistikk for å forstå strømningene i tyveårene, eller livet fra jeg flyttet hjemmefra som attenåring til nå. Den essensielle epoken som formet meg som det dannede mennesket jeg er i dag.

Det grønne gresset 

Lærdommen er, som kjent, at gresset ikke er grønnere på den andre siden. Både jeg og livet mitt endrer seg konstant, lite varer evig. Kunnskap er en utømmelig kilde. Relasjoner er viktig å ta vare på. Lykke er ikke noe man kan oppnå, den er flyktig. Og uten god helse blir livet fattigere. Mye fattigere.

Hjem er flere steder

Først teller jeg land. Steder besøkt, steder bodd. Husvær delt med veldig ulike mennesker fra mange nasjonaliteter og kulturer. 5 byer i 3 land har jeg kalt mitt hjem. 13 kollektiv og 50 samboere fra 12 nasjoner.

Over 40 land hvor jeg har reist omfattende. Fem og et halvt år på 4 universiteter.

Apollos Publishing

Identitet og status er ikke samme greie

Så teller jeg jobber og bransjer. Minst 8 arbeidsgivere på 7 år. Minst 6 forskjellige bransjer. I tillegg til en mengde strøjobber og frivillige verv pre-mastergrad.

  1. TV-bransjen           
  2. Publikasjons-bransjen   
  3. Filmfestivalbransjen
  4. Shippingbransjen
  5. Turistnæringen
  6. Bistandsbransjen
  7. Servicenæringen
  8. Bolig- og eiendomsbransjen

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Frihet og økonomisk stress

Vikariater, prosjektstillinger, frilans, selvstendig næringsdrivende og fast jobb. Jeg har hatt like mange gode som dårlige ledere, hyggelige og kjipe kolleger. Over snittet og ekstremt lav lønn. Ulønnet. Frivillige verv.

To ganger har jeg sagt opp jobben. En gang ble jeg permittert i en nedskjærings-prosess i kjølvannet av finanskrisa.

Tittelhoreri

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Jeg har båret titler som kreativ intern, juniorprodusent, ansvarlig redaktør, redaktør, webredaktør, sekretær, digital markedsfører, kommunikasjonsrådgiver, informasjonskonsulent, kreativ skribent, avisselger, resepsjonist, servitør, lærervikar, gruppeleder, logger, statist, sykemeldt, buzzmaker, frilans.

Det blir umulig å telle hvor mange 100-talls om ikke godt over 1000 søknader jeg har levert alle disse årene. Hvor mange intervjuer og hvor mange muligheter som ble valgt bort eller ikke materialiserte seg.

 

Arbeidssteder med ulik kultur

Her har jeg tilbrakt aller mest tid etter masteroppgaven ble levert:

  • Cartoon Network
  • The Economist
  • Groupon
  • Nordisk Film
  • Rederiforbundet
  • Film fra Sør
  • Visit Oslo
  • OBOS

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Og mye fritid her

Liker tydeligvis at det skjer noe.

  • Redd Barna
  • Røde Kors
  • ANSA Alumni
  • Sosialistisk Ungdom
  • Hulen
  • Bukta festivalen
  • Speiderne
  • TILs jentelag
  • Danceworks
  • SATS
  • Alfheim svømmehall

Poenget har aldri vært å samle på byer, steder eller ha flest mulig jobber, det bare ble sånn. En gang håper jeg å kunne se tilbake på tjueårene og tenke, jøss så mye du opplevde da og for et jævla herlig slit det var!

Hva teller dere?

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Emotional stuff

Ridding myself of material things was an easy enough task. Dealing with emotional baggage seems to be much harder. I´ve been pondering for the last two months which approach to take in terms of health and diet. The scales show plus 7 kilo since leaving London. For every one centimeter I carry one kilo, and I am a petite person.

Some friends have success with the 5:2 fasting diet which is very alluring for a control freak like myself. But haven´t I learned anything from a lifetime with fitness addiction and food restriction, emotional eating, binge drinking and such?

The complexity of life

I guess I have learned something. I do know what triggers these unhealthy obsessions with becoming “perfect” or hitting that magic number on the scale where all shall be glorious. So why can´t I stop with the improvement regime?

Let me cut myself some slack right there! Is it not human to want to better oneself? I do care about my health, not just appearances. I enjoy working out. And I can acknowledge why I had the urge to drown my feelings today, health is much more complex than diet and exercise alone.

What YOLO really means

My brother was diagnosed with a rare mitochondrial condition aged twelve. We are a year and a half apart. There is no cure or medicine for his condition, no known life expectancy and symptoms get worse with age. He has muscle weakness and pain, migraines, impaired vision and hearing, and stroke-like episodes.

In 2011 the latter hit and he spent six weeks in hospital. I thought I would lose him back then. In 2014 he was back in hospital and we hung out there all of Easter. We made a pact then; when they let him out we`d get him a cat, a very much wanted companion. He got two.

Coping with death

Death has been lingering in our family since I was ten years old. My coping mechanisms has been to toughen up and go explore the world. To live a little harder without thinking consequences. And to really go after what I want. It has made me super-independent, driven and brave.

On the flip side I haven´t learned to deal with or express difficult emotions, but suppress them. Fear of loss, in addition to other anxieties, has made it difficult to open up. Which has made me struggle with romantic relationships. I´ve escaped from anyone who got too close. Read More

Goodbye Things

I am no idealist, that’s not why I got into minimalism. I don’t necessarily purchase a lot of items, I just hold on to things because you know, everything might become useful someday. I think this mentality is a result of moving houses and countries every so often. Fourteen times in thirteen years to be precise. Before buying a flat I´d never invest in furniture or valuable items because I´d share with my flatmates and I knew it was a temporary home. Moving is a hassle so it’s better to hold on to things than dispose of them to later have to replace them, right?

Culture takes its toll

Returning to the motherland there are certain cultural ideals that are hard to ignore, like owning a home. 80 % of Norwegians own their homes, the state subsidizes homeowners with tax reduction on mortgage rates. The cultural consensus is that it’s a sound investment. Another thing that is common is comparing salaries. Until three years ago the tax statistics where public, anyone could check their neighbours net income and capital, and the papers would print excerpts. Now how do we show off our status and high income when everyone is well off?

Subtle bragging

In Norway we spend an awful lot of time and money on renovating and redecorating our homes. On average kitchens tend to be ten to fifteen years old. It makes perfect sense considering our homes are our investments, we will not let them drop in value. Then we fill them up with expensive items, to portray our good taste and status. And that is where I got lost, all this energy spent on choosing furniture, comparing this item to that. Comparing my life to others. Thinking about the endless possibilities for decorating my small condo. How easy it is to fall into the spending maelstrom. A £ 2000 sofa seems insignificant when purchasing a £ 300 000 flat. This materialistic focus clashed with my inner nomad, I want to be able to pack up and go in a day, rent out my flat and not worry about my stuff.

Break with the norm

Friends and family don`t always get why I have to do things my way. In our wealthy society having the newest gadgets, trendy interior design and traveling to trendy destinations is the norm. What I want to do is to change my mindset and be more conscious of where my funds go and not owning more things than I need. Also letting go of past personas that I no longer identify with in the process. This means donating, borrowing and not accumulating more, but also letting others know that the only gifts acceptable are those consumable. For every load I carry to donation, I feel a bit lighter.

Becoming Minimalist

It’s only been five months since the last big clean up but still feel like my space is filled up with things. Thought I got rid of the excess before moving houses, but seem to have a hard time parting with belongings. Started reading up on minimalism as a counter-reaction to months focused on new furniture, painting, decorating and everything that goes with buying a flat. Becoming conscious of the effect of consumerism on the human mind and thus the decluttering journey began. Recommend these two as starter literature if you are curious of the concept:

Natural Born Hoarders

Hoarding is definitely a family trait. My parents` house is full of collections of books, vinyl, DVDs, CDs, cassettes, VHS, comics, electronics, toys, gadgets, tableware, you name it. Nothing ever leaves that house, everything can become “valuable”. My grandfather was similar, he enjoyed spending his hard-earned money on his grandchildren. While I see nothing wrong with hoarding, is not how I want to live my life. So I started where it all began, I went home to clear up the clutter.

Goodbye Things

My carefully selected collection of books, comics, movies and music was easy to put in boxes for donation. I don’t need them to portray who I used to be. The knowledge is in my head, the music digitalized and movies always available on demand. The favourite teddy bears and toys I photographed as a sideproject. Endless piles of paper went to recycling: notebooks, letters, travel memorabilia, cards. A travel blog that I deleted ten years ago but printed in paper just in case. I don’t need the items to savor the memories. Two full days of decluttering.

Round Two

Came back to my own place and had a second look at what I couldn´t part with last time. Clothes that no longer fit, from my fitter days in London, had to depart. My outworn Nikeys witnessing hours and hours of dance training from the years at the dance studio. I had been holding on them because I didn´t want to part with that person I used to be. Old glasses. Unused kitchen ware. Gifts from loved ones, given with the best intention but never needed. I donated it all and put up for sale what I thought had value. This process is giving me some peace of mind. I am becoming aware of why I hold on to things forever, my spending pattern and why I purchase items. Seldom because I need them.

Let it go! 

My friend told me to snap out of the housing bubble, so let me tell you fabulous travellers why Oslo is your next destination.

Perhaps you’ve seen an animated movie about two sisters, Elsa & Anna, who live in a frozen kingdom. Disney came to Norway for inspiration for that. We got Arendelle right here at Akershus fortress. It`s like an urban winter wonderland.

Affordable gourmet

The restaurant and bar scene is booming. You can have a six-course meal at Michelin starred Kontrast or wonderfully quirky Pjoltergeist for 850,- NOK (100 $/ 94 €/ 80 £). Oslo is not cheap, neither is London, New York, Dubai, Paris or Tokyo. And it shouldn’t be! The cost of production and minimum wage is high in comparison in our oil-fueled economy. There are so many options for budget travelling today, you can find affordable accommodation and food.

However, we have heavy taxation and strict marketing laws for alcohol preventing things like 2 for 1 and happy hour. It used to be a Lutheran Protestant country, go figure. The trick is to get spirits at the airport duty-free, pre game and after party like most Norwegians. Or go to student bars.

The underdog

Oslo is a rough diamond. It has all the typical Scandinavian things but also an art scene and modern architecture developing with the speed of light. The city is growing rapidly which is evident by the numbers of cranes inhabiting downtown. Reminds me of a docu produced by my former colleague Sam at Cartoon Network “the Solitary Life of Cranes“.

There are an impressive number of concerts and happenings in Oslo. Just like back in jolly old London, I enjoy going to the Opera to watch modern dance, to music- and film-festivals and to try out new eateries, bars and places. I work at Visit Oslo, though I write this blog entirely on my own time, at my own expense, and get no benefits or encouragement for it whatsoever. No free meals. I am more biased towards my hometown Tromsø, up in the Arctic North.

Anything you’d like to know about Oslo or Tromsø? Leave a comment!

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Carrie Bradshaw moment 

Four weeks tracking and the rare snow leopard finally revealed itself in shape of an apartment within shooting range. To illustrate the insane feeling of winning a bidding war on Black Friday and buying my first apartment, here’s a retrospective: Since leaving home after graduating college twelve years ago I’ve lived in:

  • 3 countries
  • 5 cities
  • 13 flats

with

  • 50 flat mates in total from 12 different nationalities!

and I`ve never lived all by myself.

Turtle wins the race

After a six-hour slow and tormenting bidding war ticking in on SMS while I was A) attending the office Christmas lunch B) on the tube C) in a meeting with the general manager of a major bank D) in for a job interview and E) walking home, the broker finally called. It was the most surreal conversation you can imagine “Congrats, you are now indebted for the rest of your life.” Pop the champagne!

Here is my balcony and view to be.

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When you wish upon a star…

I’ve been dreaming about decorating my own place since collecting paint colour charts as a kid. Envision ripping out the floors and laying down some hardwood dark oak. Painting walls in petroleum or “Oslo” blue. A gas grill for the balcony for all year round halloumi. Growing plants. Putting posters into frames. Keeping a dog.

My new neighbourhood is multicultural Grønland. Vital stats:

Metro – 2 minutes walking
Office –  15 minutes walking
Sørenga seawater pool – 20 minutes walking
Nearest gym in Bjørvika – 10 minutes walking
Central station – 10 minutes walking or one metro stop
Ski slopes – 38 minutes on the metro or less depending on direction
3 Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo – 5 minutes walking

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The Oslo housing market

It looks like a bubble. It talks like a bubble. Is it a bubble? Prices have gone up by 18,5 % in the last year alone. Loaning money is practically free at 2 % inflation-adjusted interest rate. The “bubble” is only partly driven by speculation, the overwhelming majority of the houses are bought for the purpose of living. Parents are bailing out first time buyers. The rental market is dominated by small owners and the Norwegian tax system strongly encourages owning with 25 % tax deduction on mortgage interest rate. 10 000 people move to Oslo each year but new builds are not keeping up. Owning your own home is culturally determined as the highest good in our social democratic society. Bubble or not, the prices are utterly bonkers for sure.