God riese means bon voyage in Norwegian.
This is officially my last post for Stamp NC Blue, and today is my last day as a resident of the USA.
When I moved to the USA with my American husband (I am from the UK originally), the decision was highly rational. We made a spreadsheet of cities we thought we could live in, with a long list of variables, and took a cross country trip to check them out. There is no doubt that we picked Durham for all the most sensible of reasons.
But, we truly are leaving part of our hearts here. I never thought I would live in the USA, and certainly not in the South. We have met the most incredible people and Durham, and North Carolina has become home.
Moving back to Europe became almost inevitable after the election, and although it is a huge wrench to leave, everything that is happening, both at a federal and state level, makes us quite sure that we are making the right choice.
In the months and years following the election, I did my best to learn more, open my eyes and ears and understand what was happening in the USA. I am not sure I have found much in the way of answers, but what I do now know is that there is an incredible network of activists and organizers in this country, and it has been a privilege to work with some of them. If modern politics is the disease, activism is the cure.
In my particular case, I have discovered that working in a women-led organization is a great joy. Sitting in a room with a group of committed, intelligent, hilarious, passionate and creative women, seeing how much we could achieve in an hour, feeling that sense of solidarity and equality has been absolutely inspiring. I am so happy I met my fellow Stamp NC Blue members and I hope that if you are reading this, and your paths happen to cross with theirs, that you buy them a coffee or a beer and tell them how wonderful they are. I hope you all find a tribe as powerful as the one I was lucky enough to join.
And in the meantime, thank you for reading my posts, thank you for writing postcards and gathering communities together to take small but meaningful actions. America is a land of activists and activism, and a country that was founded by committed citizens looking forward and imagining possibilities. Every single great change that has come out of this country was built by a coalition of passionate people. I am so very honored that I was part, in my own small way, of this grand American tradition.
All of us on the Stamp NC Blue team are very sad to say goodbye to a woman who's become a friend as well as a fellow activist AND happy that she's found her dream job in Norway. Natasha showed up at the first Together We Will NC meeting in late 2016 (before it was TWWNC) and volunteered to work on the action team with Patti Rieser. She's been a stalwart researcher and writer ever since, and her humor and calm demeanor have helped us stay sane in these crazy times. Natasha, we wish all the best for you and your family in the next phase of your journey. Maybe you'll send us a "view from abroad" blog post now and then! Til vi møtes igjen, until we meet again.