All for Norway

So, I did something crazy. Yep. It’s not often that I go outside my comfort zone but I am trying to be more intentional about it these days. So, when Matt told me about an opportunity to travel to a beautiful but strange land with strange people … on somebody else’s dime, I was listening. He had heard about a reality show in Norway that brings Americans who have Norwegian ancestry (any amount will do) to Norway and has them act like Norwegians, doing Norwegian things. And local Norwegians laugh at them. The winner gets some money but also the show will track down relatives you have in the country and set it up for you to meet them. What a hoot! Anyway, being that I practically stepped off a Viking ship myself and I have never been to Norway (another prerequisite for application), despite the fact that my entire family went when when I was a little girl, I figure I am a perfect fit. So, I applied. How could I not?

Of course, I needed to submit a video application. I’m a writer so I could have written a brilliant little essay but no-o, I have to record myself on video where I make a complete fool of myself! And, of course, being the procrastinating perfectionist that I am, I waited until the very last minute. I finally finished recording and piecing it together at about 11 or midnight–not the day it was due but the day *before.*

Having waited so long, I did have several technical issues to contend with. The first was not being able to transfer the video from our video camera to the computer because the archaic software that came with our camera (which is 6 years old, that’s archaic in terms of technology) was not compatible with our relatively new computer. D’oh. Solved that problem early on by using my digital camera instead (thankfully I had only taped a few minutes so I could test it out). It was not as high of quality but the files were much easier to work with. Of course, the problems didn’t end there. I finally finished downloading and editing the video but now it wasn’t in the required format. Somehow I had to convert it, and neither Microsoft nor my ignorant searches on the internet were any help. But I knew somebody out there would know something so I posted an SOS on fb. A high school acquaintance came to my assistance by telling me about Handbrake. Did I mention how much I love open source software (and facebook)? Within a few minutes, I downloaded the software and converted the video to the appropriate format. Phew.

Unfortunately, now I had to contend with the thousands hundreds tens of applicants trying to connect at the same time to the ftp site. Not panicking, I gave up and went to bed. I was finally able to get through during lunch the next day, the deadline. Having finally actually submitting my video, photo and application, I was … buzzed! How exciting!

Now, I just have to wait. I’m really okay either way. I’d really love the opportunity to go (what a story that would be!), but the downside is all the logistics that would need to be in place for me to leave my family for 2-6 weeks! And, just having taken the chance to apply seems to have been enough of a risk to remind me life is worth living!

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental,
To reach out for another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self,
To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure,
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing,
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love….live.

Chained by his certitude’s, he is a slave;
He has forfeited freedom,
Only a person who risks is free.

-Author unknown

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9


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