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The journey here

The long way around

Hang tight, this is going to be long. 

On the 13th of July 2017 I gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy. I was in awe of the tiny miracle which had chosen to come to me and my husband. He was beautiful. He took all of our time. He was our life, our days, our everything. 

I was  33 years old. Pregnancy is hard the older you get. I had my issues from before, struggling my way through life as a priest in the Church of Norway, moving alot, but finally settling with the two men in my life – my child and my husband. 

We live on a farm. No animals exept a cat. Still a lot of work with a large house and a large garden. The time after birth, with a child who slept no more than two hours straight and needed breast feeding ever so often, made us both sleep deprived. I was so exhausted. It sent me spiraling down into moderate depression and when it was finally time to go back to work, my body and mind said no. I needed time. I needed so much time to get well again. So what was supposed to be a regular maternity leave, became almost two years away from my job. I eased my way into working again. And realized that something was wrong. The work had it’s effect on my health. I did not get better, I actually at some time got worse. I had to stop working again. my doctor helped, and after some time I was diagnosed with sleep apnea causing me to stop breathing over 30 times per hour. No wonder I was a wreck. 

In December 2020 my sick leave year was coming to an end. I had to make decisions for the future. I realized that going back to my job for 12 years at a priest was no alternative. With help from my doctor, psychologist and from NAV, I applied for work assessment allowance, and got approved. Finally, I could relax and focus on my health and my family. I could rest in the structures that gave me the opportunity to figure out what my possibilities are and what is doable for me in my situation.

I have always been a creative soul. I was, at some time, supposed to be an opera singer. Well, that did not happen, I became a priest instead. That being said, my backpack is full of drawings, music, handicrafts, paintings, writings, yes, almost everything creative. Fountain pen and inks. Creative journaling. Bullet journaling. And finally, what has become my darling float activity: leather crafting. This is why you are reading my reflective journal at Niinni design. I hope, some day, to make this a living, if not full time, than most certainly part time. 

This is where Noroff comes in. With all my limitations and all my possibilities, I sat down and asked myself: What is important to me. What do I have to do to become content and happy in my life, where I am, with my family on this place. 

There was no answer more clear. I need to pursue my creative side. I need to be creating. 

So I started searching for educational possibilities. There it was. Noroff Graphic Design two years. Online. NAV said go for it. My husband said go for it. And here I am. Bent but not broken. Alive and breathing, seeing light at the end of a very steep and dark staircase. I hope you appreciate my honesty and my participation. 

– Maren Ninni – 

PS: I did create a self portrait. I have much to learn in the Adobe world, and figured there is no reason not to start. So my self portrait became my first real drawing attempt in Adobe Illustrator. Not perfect. Not straight. Work in progress maybe. I am excited to see how my self portrait will be after three years (part time first year, full time second year)!

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