I would like to take some time to contemplate now that I am about to leave Shanghai and fly back to Norway where I will be spending 10 days before heading home to London. When I first arrived I regretted having signed up for a two month internship, leaving the peace and tranquillity of Northern Europe for the…extreme massiveness and 20 million people that is Shanghai. However, as time progressed I realized that coming here was the smartest decision I had ever made in my life, both socially and professionally. I have met some some people here whose roads I think I was almost meant to cross, and working in an art gallery being surrounded by paintings and artists has made me realize that a life dedicated to the arts is the only thing that can ever make me happy, no matter how rich my life is in terms of other things. As the extremely competitive person that I am, I have finally come to understand that I have been distracted by focusing too much on what others have achieved in their lives, admiring their success and trying to compete with them in their field, rather than thinking about whether or not it is going to take me any closer to my own goals. I have my own talents which I should embrace, and while I will always strive to do my best in everything I do, for once I will let others excel in their field, and stay focused on excelling in mine, which I have determined will be painting.

Shanghai messed up my mind in all sorts of ways imaginable. I’ve been exhilarated, depressed, scared, confused, challenged and fed up. Everything that was in my brain was rearranged, and rearranged again. My body is physically exhausted – this intense lifestyle I have been leading has caused it to age at least 30 years. But in my mind – in my mind I feel so delightfully inspired, so passionate and so hungry for life. A hunger and spark that I had been losing several months ago has come back, and I am not letting it go this time. I know exactly where to take my life from here, and it all starts with a new, powerful laptop waiting for me back in Norway. I am determined for it to define the rest of my life. (But more about that later…).

It has been the most amazing summer of my life, but it is time for me to go home. I love China, but even more so I love Europe.  I have a life there that needs to go on, and I can’t wait to be back and continue where I left off, because I know it is going to be epic.

And Shanghai…I will miss you like hell, but hopefully I will be seeing you next summer!