Saturday night was a milestone. It was the first ever gig I played as part of Audiokicks, and for us as a band it was a big night. We played our hearts out, probably drank our hearts out and with a ripe bedtime of 4 am I can honestly say it was the best night I've had in a long time. Waking up aching, knowing it was completely worth it, feet reminding me how much I danced. Not quite remembering what we talked about or what we laughed about, but remembering laughing. Remembering being entirely happy.
It was a milestone in more ways than one. It's been about 26 months since I moved to Scotland and in those 26 months I've felt more lost than I've ever felt. I've also felt at ease, at home, overwhelmed, motivated, inspired and stressed out of my mind. Anxious, content, depressed, worried and out of place. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a bit of a rollercoaster and I've pretty constantly felt what Phoebe Bridgers calls "emotional motion sickness". And that's probably a very normal part of moving, starting a new job, joining a new band, writing a book, being in your twenties, or at all just being human.
Saturday night felt like landing. It felt like arriving home, finding that sense of belonging, puzzle pieces falling into place. I'm very aware that I experience highs as high as I do, because I've been as low as I have and I now feel this intense feeling of belonging that I don't know if I would feel had I not been through feeling entirely lost. Maybe this group of guys has been more important to me than they're aware of, or that I've been aware of. Maybe it's the feeling of belonging to something that's bigger than me.
This Saturday was positioned at the end of a period of time that has been more busy than I think I've ever been, having traveled, worked 7 day weeks and meanwhile trying to stay on top of writing, music and volunteering. It's come around after two years of building a sense of home in a city that isn't mine. The aftermath, as well as a desperate need for a day off or two, is a feeling of gratitude. Gratitude to my family, my friends back in Norway, my friends in other places, to my other half, to bands I've played in before, to Eilif, David and Erlend for teaching me bass. Especially, gratitude to my new friends here and to Audiokicks for giving me an anchor when I needed one.