The year that challenged everybody, myself included


  •  I will be completing five years in Norway this January, never thought I would come this far. It happened in this year 2020 that has been so challenging to many of us around the globe. Life has been quite challenging to me, nevertheless an adventurous journey, I say!

As the year soon is coming to an end, and I would like to give you a glimpse of what I have achieved so far in this blog post. I am immensely grateful for the opportunities that came my way, to all the things that worked out, and plans that did not turn up in my favor. 

Our lives have been disrupted by a global pandemic, which resulted in economic fluctuations, recessions, digital classrooms, racial tensions evoking mental health awareness. In January 2020, I began writing blogs, which was an idea to share my life experience in Norway shedding light on various aspects that 2020 brought my way. 

When living abroad, the constant hurdle that you have to pass is getting your visa fixed, and I applied for a job seekers visa as I was planning on starting with a Ph.D. Unfortunately, I could not find a company that can fund my research, and my visa was declined in February, with the help of a legal consultant I appealed. I was allowed to work and make 240000 per annum, as a freelancer or full-time. 


I attended business meets, applied for jobs in the embassy, met entrepreneurs, and sent my CV to four companies each day. Unfortunately, the pandemic demanded the companies to cut down some revenues, and some uprising companies were not able to pay well for the job. I continued to work as a freelancer and have been anchoring podcasts interviewing journalists all around the globe. The journalist who has primarily been guest speakers at Oslo Media meetings, I enquired about their challenges during COVID. 


I got some reviews over the podcast, and some companies were interested in hiring me as a freelancer. One of the employers suggested I apply for a self-employment visa rather than waiting for the answer to the appeal I sent to the officials. I took his advice and applied for the new VISA on 30th September with all the necessary details and a good business plan. On 27th October, I received the decision of the appeal I made in February, and they rejected it and asked me to leave the country on the 10th of November. 


I checked with my legal consultant and called up the authorities for my rights to stay until I hear the answer to my new self-employment visa. They agreed on sending the letter soon, so I didn't have to pack my bags, but I could not work with any employers until I heard from them. I turned off my work phone, let go of everything and live in the moment like a free little bird, and I did so. I went on long walks, watched the sunset and the sky turn orange-red-violet, and posted videos online. 

I used my free time on improving the Norwegian language, hanging out with friends, maintaining distance obviously, ate desserts, danced, and laughed more. Sometimes these little breaks can give us wider perspectives in life, let alone my destiny decides what is best. November 5th, I received an email saying, “You have received a positive answer to your application. Hopefully, you have the decision letter in your digipost. You can now book an appointment with the police to order your residence card. “ 


I replied- “I do not know if it is a positive answer to 

a) Permit to self-employment visa 

b) Positive answer to temporary work permit 

c) Positive answer to temporary stay until I hear the decision


The email responded, “Dear Chaitra! It is nr a) permit for self-employed for 1 year”. I lit a diya in my Lil shrine and closed my eyes, “there has been a delay, but there is no darkness” I see things fall into places now. Finally, I could resume my work status and start my company as a freelancer. I see the beginning of endless opportunities. I am glad that I did not give up on this when the odds were against me. I believed in myself. It is indeed a test of patience when life seems to doom to the downward spiral into oblivion.

I comply with the laws, and it is made to ensure social security, to me personally, it tampered with my life choices. The lack of information and guidance made me opt for a job seeker visa which eventually did not work. Preceding to uncertain conjectural choices in the midst of a pandemic- the period of uncertainty. I risked my work status, as the law demanded temporarily cease from working with any of my employers to leave the country. I took a leap in the dark and ventured many hurdles and managed to find little jobs to survive, but the game is on. 


Yes, it is tiring of waiting, of having patience, of believing, sometimes I do think about quitting, and then I remind myself the reason why I want to stay. I do not have much or any support. I have been primarily providing for myself and not giving up on my little dreams. I do not have a lot of friends, and none could fully comprehend my life choices, nor I can share them with my family. I articulate in my blog posts, and I have no clue who is reading this, but I want to tell you that, be kind to yourself. I believe you have found yourself all alone and yet did not give up on your dreams. 


When something positive walked through my door, I found myself acquainted with unforeseen ultimatums. I do not know if the workplace will make it through pandemic crises or the landowner ostracises our office. I do not know if there is any company that would hire me. I have too many unanswered questions raising, and I want to shun this dubiety. For I know, and I am grateful to have a work permit and taking one step at a time because I believe in myself. 


Somewhere, I believe 2020 has trained me for the best to face the worst and to be honest. I do not know if there is something more to vanquish. I want to read all the terms and conditions of the year 2021 before I sign up for it. Life is a game of chess. Trust the process when the movements or decisions are restricted to the squares on the board. In the silence, the answers will come about, what pieces of me are worth saving and those that are worth sacrificing. 


The year 2020, has put us through different shades of impugning and the face-off is still on. I know 2021 has got its own fine colors, I will be completing five years in this country this coming January. The experiences I have had so far so molded me to be the person that fears nothing in life. Focussed on being very mindful of the passing moments, I am ready to accept the abundance coming my way. I wish you good luck, success, and love in your life. And I request you all to be kind to every soul and be accountable for your actions. Stay safe!