Today is my one year milestone of living here in Bethel. For the past four years I haven’t stayed in one place longer than a year. But in moving here I chose to challenge myself to settle down for a bit and stay at least longer than a year.
It’s been hard, many times I get restless, anxiety and almost depressed about being here — the last thing I want to do is get stuck anywhere. But then I realize that I am not stuck! I have a great job which I love, I get involved in the community in fun ways, I have amazing friends, every day I get to know and meet new interesting people, and every day I am learning more and more about my heritage and the roots that I come from. I am gaining such great experience by being where I am now, and it is very exciting!
I hear people talk badly about Bethel, a lot. And it is a tough place to live! Believe me, moving from Sweden, I would know. Even though I come from a small town, it still is a huge contrast moving out to rural Alaska. But at the same time, moving anywhere takes adjustment and time to settle in and create your own comfort zone. So, Bethel is what you make of it, it could either suck or it could be a place of opportunities. I’ve chosen the latter, and it’s working out amazingly for me. I’ve chosen to stay here for a while, because I know the experience I gain will benefit me later in life. And you know what? I’m excited, the possibilities are endless if use your imagination and put yourself out there to do something.
The other night I had a dream about moving from Bethel, and I was hit by anxiety because I just knew I had moved too soon. I was not finished with my time in Bethel, there’s still plenty for me to learn and do here. And that’s exactly how it is! So, I don’t feel stuck in any way because I am not. I’m growing, learning and experiencing.
Life has it’s ups and downs, no matter where you go, and every now and then I will be in those valleys where I feel stuck and miserable. And honestly, if it weren’t for my friends I wouldn’t make it out of those “depths of despair”. I am so thankful and I feel so blessed for being given the opportunity to get know all the amazing people here that I’ve come to call friends. I am so glad that I have people I can talk to who will hear me out and remind me that it’s okay to be down for a bit, but to not forget who I am and what I have that makes life beautiful. Moving anywhere is tough, unless you have friends. I’m a very impatient person, and I would stress out a lot in the beginning of my year here because I felt like no one knew or understood me. But it takes time to establish relationships, and it’s worth it in the end.
All I have to say is that life surely is an adventure if you choose it to be, and mine most certainly is.