I am so happy to be able to be writing, after such a long time, while sitting in the kitchen of my old student shareflat in Oslo. This is thanks to my good friend Sigurd who always lets me borrow his room during the holidays! I came yesterday, feeling nostalgique straight away. I have so many memories from this place; parties, dinners and shared moments with my flatmates from when I studied in Oslo. How come that feels like a decade ago?? Anyway, I'm very happy to be back for yet another week before I'm leaving back to Paris and far too many exams. As I'm sitting here, Saturday night and not yet ready to go to bed, I wanted to write some words about 2012, and about the last months in particular. This is the year that I've been creating a close relationship to France, on both good and bad terms. The year I've found out that sometimes you need to be hard on the outside and say "fuck it, I'm good enough", maybe twice to make sure you believe it. Sometimes people you don't care about will try to make life tough for you, and you just have to look the other way, in order to find confort and smiles elsewhere. And not least, I've found out that nomatter how much I try, I always get tipsy after only one glass of wine.. France didn't change that.
Life in Paris is in every way so different to the one I had in Montpellier, where I almost forgot how it was to be stressed. I actually remember complaining about not having enough to do at some point (what a foolish thing to do!). However, my current life couldn't be more different. After 3 month as a student at Panthéon Assas, I've learnt things about myself that I were not really aware of. I've been more aware of my scandinavian values, about the importance of respect. I've experienced classroom situations where seminarleaders seem to enjoy making a fool of some students and I have the impression that they want us to feel like shit. This way of "encouraging" improvement is something I find very strange, but I had to learn how to deal with it. I had to tell myself every now and then that I should be proud of myself, even though sometimes I wonderned what the hell I was doing there. How will I ever meet their standards? How could I imaging being able to succede? I still think like that, but I also know myself well enough to say that I'd never quite something I've started. I'm too stubborn. And the feeling when you achieve personal improvements, even though they're small, always makes you think that all the struggle was worth it :))
So I can definitely say that I've become tougher the last months, but more importantly that I've understood that the values of my own society are actually not to be found everywhere. In France, being in a position of authority seems to give you the power to treat other people as you want. I might have fallen a little bit out of love with France, even though there are heaps of things I appreciate a lot, like the respect for people that are older than you, the appreciation of good food and the outgoing spirit of french people. Even though I might not want to settle down in France, I know that I'm not in a hurry leaving this country. I've always been a realist, and this is my final words for tonight, and for 2012; nothing is perfect, noone and nowhere. And to make a relationship strong, you need to see past the places where the sun always shines.