GLAD I GREW UP WITHOUT A PHONE IN MY HAND

In Pakistan I`ve been surrounded by little kids and I`ve been noticing the difference between kids here in Pakistan (especially in small towns) and in Norway. More kids in Norway have access to mobiles, computers, Ipads – the internet world, in general. Here, the world is different for many kids, but my cousins have asked their aunts about their phones because they`ve been wanting to play games and that reminds me of what my own childhood was like.

I didn`t know what a phone was when I was little. It wasn`t that normal to have phones in your pockets when I was born, but look at how different things are now. Eight years old kids have big phones in their hands. I`ve seen little kids playing on their phones instead of talking to each other, on the metro. Less kids play outside now, it`s become less common to ring on each other`s doorbells and it`s become more common for parents to exchange board games with iPads.

I remember my brother and I used to watch TV with excitement. We both had our favourite shows, but nevertheless we weren`t picky. I loved Winx Club and used to get up early on Saturdays, to quietly go downstairs and turn on the TV. But, we weren`t allowed to watch too much TV and we were okay with that, because there were so many other things to do! Jumping on the trampoline, playing with my dollls or with Lego, using chalk in front of the house, playing hopsotch, football or hide and seek. I also enjoyed drawing. What do kids do today? And what do parents do? Way too many give an Ipad or a phone to their kids so they will be quiet and not irritate them. It`s easy to do, but the consequences are many. Childhood isn`t supposed to spent inside, staring at a screen for hours and hours. A child`s supposed to play with other children, get to know the world and play games outside.

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I`m glad I didn`t grow up with smart phones in my hands or with parents who handed me an iPad whenever I was annoying them. I`m glad we were many people jumping on our trampoline and I`m glad I got to enjoy a world without internet. Kids don`t need smart phones, they need attention, love and people who see them. It`s also important that parents put away their phones when they`re with their kids, because Facebook and Instagram won`t disappear, but the time you get with your kids will.

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WOULD I LIKE TO LIVE IN PAKISTAN?

I`ve been asked whether I would like to live in Pakistan or Norway a few times now, and I think it`s an interesting question. Mainly because my opinions are divided. Norway and Pakistan are different countries in so many ways, that I don`t know where to begin. And yes, I haven`t lived in Pakistan but I`ve spent enough time here to know that my life in Norway suits me better.

I like being in Pakistan because of my family. Two of my aunts and their families live here, along with other family members as well. But the way of looking at things is too much for me… I like some things with the Pakistani culture, like the food, clothes and the idea that family`s important. But there are many things that annoy me, as well. One thing that has gotten to me for quite a long time now, is the phrase “what will people say?” God, that one sentence ruins my mood, because I know it kills more dreams and ideas than people will ever realise. It`s worse in small towns – people are more tensed about what people will think about your dressing, appearance and the way you act. As a “foreigner” in one way, it sometimes looks like everything`s okay on the surface, but I know that`s not completely true. I`m glad this idea isn`t stuck that much in people`s minds in Norway, because I don`t care that much about what people say. I`d be wrong if I said that I don`t care at all, but I believe in individualism more than many people here and I value feelings, thoughts and emotions more than what dress someone`s wearing.

This might look like a negative post, but I just want to share another thing that bothers me and makes me appreciate my life in Norway more. The women`s situation here in Pakistan makes me very sad… Women that get married when they`re 17-20, without having a little of their lives sorted out. Some want to, but many don`t and I know that. Don`t tell me women in Pakistan are living a good life because many more study now, because education is only a part of it. I`m glad more women seem to attend college and university now, but there`s still this idea that it`s more important for men to study. Some can`t leave the house without their husbands. There`s this idea that woman should stay at home and take care of the house and their kids, and act a certain way. Pakistan`s one of the worst countries to be woman in, according to some research done by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo. I guess that says a lot.

It`s not that I absolutely can`t live in Pakistan, but I don`t think I could live in Pakistan AND live the life I`m living in Norway. I`m more free in Norway and it`s where my life is. I`m able to go to the mall alone and I can finish my studies. Also, the way of thinking there is different and makes it easier for me to live my life there as I want to live it. 

I don`t know what to say, which explains how I`m feeling right now. maybe I don`t even know what I`m feeling.

in three and half years, I`ve lost three family members. all due to cancer. almost two days ago my grandfather took his last breathe. I was right there.

it`s weird to think about that. my ticket was booked for Monday, but when I found out my Pakistani passport had expired, the departure date was changed to Thursday. I got my Pakistani visa and had at least a houndred conversations with myself about whether I should change it or not. in the end I made the telephone call and changed the departure date again.

let`s just say I`m glad I did that. if I hadn`t, the plane would`ve arrived today and it would have been too late.

it`s weird and shocking to think about how much difference one decision can make. I`m glad I at least got to meet him one last time, but I`m also in shock. when did this happen.

rest in peace, my Dear Grandfather. you`re deeply missed.

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I`M GLAD I`M DOING IT

Right now I`m sitting at the airport and it`s now that it`s sinking in. It`s now that it feels real. We booked my ticket on Friday and realised the day later that my Pakistani passport is invalid. Well, guess who started stressing out. My mum changed the date of the ticket, since we weren`t sure if I`d be able to get an urgent visa by Monday. She changed it till Thursday, and even though it`s not that far away, it felt so far away. I didn`t want to wait for that long, so once I got to the urgent visa I changed my ticket again and here I am. It costed quite a lot of money, but I`m glad I`m able to do this for my grandfather.

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My plane goes to Turkey and from there I`m going to catch another flight to Pakistan. Ah, can`t wait to meet and hug everyone, especially my grandfather. 

AN IMPORTANT DECISION

I thought about it for a while. Back and forth. With tears in my eyes and a voice that was about to crack I said to my mum who was getting ready to go to Pakistan “can`t I go too?” Now I`m off to Pakistan. Yep, it`s a decision I had to make to at least get a little peace of mind. To not regret anything. Several family members are already there and I`m going too tomorrow. I told myself earlier this year that if I was going to Pakistan, I`d be going in December, because it`s “colder” there then. I can barely handle the heat, it gets too much for me, I feel sticky, uncomfortable, it literally gets inside my mind especially during Ramadan. I can`t drink water. But I`m going, because the cause is so much bigger and more important than that. I`ll survive the weather, I know very well it`ll be a struggle, but I`ll survive. I feel exhausted right now, but I`ll survive. I need to meet my dear grandfather. I need to hug him, I need to see him. I need to know that I was there. I`m done with my exams and I have a three months long vacation now, so I have the opportunity to go. And I`m going. Regrets are harsh, knowing that you could`ve done so much better can tear you up. I don`t want the regrets to eat me yp, so I`m going to try. It might be easy to stay right here now, away from the hot weather and struggles there, but I know deep inside my heart that if I stay here, I`m going to regret so much. And I can`t let that happen. I can`t wake up tomorrow and think “what about the one last time we never got”

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So? I`m catching the plane tomorrow afternoon and going to spend some time with my family, and then especially my grandmother there. I`m not sure exactly when I`ll be back, but I should be back before by the middle of August.

Thanks for your prayers, I hope you keep sending them to him. Take care, everyone. Hopefully we`ll talk soon. 

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FEEL

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I don`t know how to write this post, but I think I`ll just begin somewhere.

One week ago I got some awful news. A girl who went to the same high-school as me, who was in my class, isn`t anymore. It was completely unexpected. We weren`t friends, we actually hadn`t spoken to each other since the graduation day, but I feel so sorry… I thought about her sometimes, but how does saying that change anything? She`s not among us anymore. How weird to realise that I`m never going to see her again, ever. Rest in peace. ❤️

As if this wasn`t enough, my grandfather`s health condition has gotten very serious and I`m just hoping that God helps him. We`ve been worried about him for days now and I feel so helpless since I`m so far away. I also can`t believe this is happening again. I`d really appreciate it if you guys prayed for him, because he needs it.

I`ve been away from the blog for some time, which was something I needed. It`s been too much the past days and I don`t exactly know how I`m supposed to feel right now about everything that`s going on. Not that I need to feel or think a certain way, but there`s so much insecurity right now that I don`t know what to expect. How unpredictable isn`t life, and here we are doing things that perhaps don`t really matter that much.

Take care of each other, guys.

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