I have tagged 1 blog post with independence:

An Unexpected Journey: Unpacking the Reality of My First Rental Home

A composed teen at a desk, surrounded by legal papers, in a sparse, studio apartment.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 15:38

The sun is low, the sky a murky grey, painting the Oslofjord as if washed in a pool of melancholy. Outside, the temperature hovers at a crisp 14°C, a perfect mirror of my mood - not too warm to be content, not cold enough to numb. The train shudders rhythmically beneath me as I make my journey home from the city, tickling my senses like a melancholic heartbeat.

A dull buzz hums through the carriage, murmurs of conversations muffled by the distance of my own thoughts. My fingertips dance against the cool metal of my laptop, a silent symphony unwinding itself into words. Tunes, barging like uninvited intruders, break the monotonous hum now and then.

Today, I look back on my hasty leap into independence. That first uphill battle of navigating through the complex world of rentals. A teenager, fresh out of the nest, navigating the unnerving maze of adulthood masked as a humble apartment. The mandatory deposits, the rules and clauses buried in contracts thick enough to work as doorstops. And yet, I thought I was ready for it all.

But reality was far from the illusion. No one told me of the sombre loneliness that echoed through empty rooms or the heavy silence that bore into you in the late hours of the night. The walls, as oppressive as they were confining, were cold, unfamiliar and alien. They bore no imprints of life, no memories, nothing to tether me.

I remember the aimless wandering, trying to mold an alien space into something warm and inviting. The realization that a home is more than just four walls, it's a feeling, a sense of belonging that takes time, effort, and patience. I remember the unbearable sadness of returning to an empty home, echoing with silence, pregnant with solitude.

The promptness of the news shadowed my gloomy thoughts. I had just finished reading about the situation in Israel. A global pandemic. Norwegians extradited. An aspect of reality I hadn’t even considered infiltrating my musings as I have seen my countrymen boarding a flight back home, leaving their lives, their homes behind.

For them, no home to return to could ever compensate for the comfort of their own homes in a foreign land, embraced by the paradox of familiarity amid strangeness. If it was heart-wrenching for me to confront the solitude in the corners of an unfamiliar room, how devastating would it be to be forced to abandon the concept of home altogether?

The train is pulling into my hometown station, indifferent to the emotional reverie it disrupts. The bracing cold air hits me as I step onto the platform, a reality check after the warmth within the train. The youth who moved to Oslo with ambitions, dreams, and fears has returned home with a newfound appreciation for this sacred space we call home. Home, the mere sound of the word echoing within me.

Expected to be about concrete roofs and locked doors, the first-time rental experience has taught me otherwise. Now I see that the home is not about the space you are given but about the emotions, the memories, the warmth, the familiarity that you embed into it.

More than just a rented space, it's a journey one embarks, the winding road of adulthood. And as the universe unravels the realities of home, moving, and pandemics, I understand. My first home away from home wasn't just a rental apartment. It was reality. My reality. For we all are, after all, just wandering in the labyrinth of life, in search of a place to call home.

Tags: adulthood personal journey independence home

Continue reading