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Becoming independent

There comes a time in every typical Norwegian family for young people to leave home. This should also apply to young people with functional impairments. I look upon this as essential in order to become independent and to attain self-accomplishment. I left home in Year 2000 to live by myself and to be nearer to a place with more opportunities and services. When looking back, I wasn’t very independent at that time. I knew nothing or very little about what it entailed to be responsible for the management of my own daily life without the help of my parents to guide and adapt things for me. I didn’t have the competence to manage my own personnel to cover my needs nor to obtain the assistive devices I needed or to keep track of financial support schemes, write applications or manage my own private finances. For someone who thought it was scary to telephone the doctor’s surgery to make an appointment (I got my mother to do it), it was like wheeling a wheelchair backwards on the edge of the Pulpit Rock.

Get out of your comfort zone

In order to develop, you can’t stay inside your comfort zone forever. It might be the most comfortable thing to do, but if you want to get anywhere in life, you must be prepared for the occasional uncomfortable situation. It’s difficult to do something for the first time, often you’ll wish you were somewhere else, but such experiences have given me so much confidence. In addition, I have released some of the fear I had of failing.

I’m one of those people who needs to be pushed and pushed and put in a position where I have to do something in order to learn as much as possible from a situation or event. The experiences I gained when I relied on myself for the very first time are those from which I have learnt the most during my life. I think it’s easy to underestimate your own capacity, at least in situations where you feel insecure.

But, of course, it hasn’t always been plain sailing. I’ve got into situations where I had to fly half way around the world in search of elegance and perfection. There will always be bumps in the road on the way achieving what you want in life. It’s just a matter of equipping yourself with the best shock absorbers as possible.