WE DON`T NEED FILTERS, WE NEED CONFIDENCE

Today on the train I was on my phone (no, I don`t want to be one of those who looks like she`s always on her phone) and I checked out this app called “beauty filter” that I had downloaded some time ago. I enjoy editing photos, therefore I downloaded it. But, suddenly I saw a few features which can make your face look more “beautiful”. A little surprised I checked two of them out a little and apparently, you could make your face look more thin. That just made me sad and I deleted the app instantly.

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Because WHY do we even need filters like that? I know some are going to say it`s for fun, but isn`t it more fun to appreciate how you look and accept it? The worst thing about apps like these ones, is that people use them and upload their photos on social media, like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We know it`s not reality, but yet many of us compare ourselves with others and think “I want to look more like that!”. Think about it: If you have to take photos of yourself and for example edit them by making your skin look more white and by making your face look smaller and put them online, doesn`t it usually mean you think you look prettier that way or doesn`t that mean that`s how you want to “present” yourself to the world? Still, I didn`t feel so annoyed on behalf of the users when I deleted it, I felt more annoyed because something like this even exists.

We don`t need “beauty” filters like that, we need more love, confidence and acceptance. We need to start loving ourselves, instead of putting on 7 filters. 

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LONG TIME NO LIST

♥ Pakistan is different than Norway in many ways. The way people live, the roads, the houses, the way of thinking and looking at things, the atmosphere. I`m glad I spent a month in Pakistan. I know I`ve said that my life`s in Norway, but I sort of miss what people are like in Pakistan. There`s more hospitality there and people will be nicer to you in a different way, even if they don`t know you. Norwegians are… weird. There are many nice people in this country too, don`t get me wrong, but there`s a difference that I notice.

♥ The heat didn`t annoy me as much as I thought it would this time – yes, we had two air conditioners most of the time and two air coolers, but it wasn`t that bad? It was quite bad when we were outside, though, but I tried my best not to complain, haha. Going to Pakistan during summer isn`t that bad, hopefully I`ll be able to visit my family there very soon!

♥ Weird to think that I only have a grandfather left. I feel like I`ve been “luckier” than many of my cousins when it comes to that – some of my cousins are 5 years old and younger and haven`t spent that much time with their grandparents. Two of my cousins are less than 3 years old and only have a grandmother left.

♥ I want to say a huge thank you to aunty Bano and aunty Samina (we call almost everyone either “uncle” or “aunty” there, haha) who came to our house most of the days and did the dishes, cleaned the rooms, washed our clothes ++. They managed to do so much work so well in the heat, especially aunty Bano. She got ill the last day, so I didn`t get to say bye to her, but I really hope she`s doing okay. May God give both of them and their families peace and an amazing life.

♥ I have so many great memories from this trip, even though my grandfather died. Many of my cousins, my uncles and aunts were there and we had a great time, despite everything. It all would`ve been even better if my grandfather still was there, but I wanted to think that he would`ve wanted us to have a pleasant time, which I know I at least did. Throwing water on each other, having a pillow fight (which ended with a cup getting broken, ooops), conversations, several rounds with ludo (that game never gets old) and eating Iftari together. It was very nice to break the fast and be together during Ramadan too.

IMG_1364an old picture.

♥ I don`t know if I`m enjoying the fact that I`m off to the Netherlands in less than two months as much as I did before my grandfather died. I`m happy that I`m going, but I don`t know..? Speaking of that, I received my letter of acceptance from the Maastricht University the other day.

♥ On my way to Pakistan there was this couple in Istanbul. During the boarding something was announced, but I didn`t really understand what they were saying so I asked them. The lady looked at me and asked “are you travelling alone?” I said yes and I could tell she didn`t quite like my answer, haha.. The same happened to me two times on my way back, and I just wonder: why did I as a women receive that reaction? Why can`t women travel alone? I get it if I was going to a country which isn`t that safe, but imagine if I had stayed at home and not been able to meet my grandfather one last time? That woman can shake her head as much as I want to – I`m off to the Netherlands very soon on my own anyways.

PEOPLE NEED TO CHILL

It`s so interesting to hear your thoughts about this year`s Eurovision Song Contest! I get so engaged when people talk about Eurovision – it`s a show I have quite a lot of opinions about. 😃 Right now I`m even listening to the Eurovision radio, that`s what you got to do when the contest is over for now. I`m still in love with Italy`s song, it`s so beautiful! I still like “forever”, which was Belarus´ entry, but I liked the vibes the music video gave me better.

Speaking about Eurovision… what`s up with people jumping to conclusions when it comes to Netta, her performance and her song? It`s as if people all of a sudden know her and have an opinion about her because she won. Throwing the conflict between Israel and Palestine on her, as if it`s her fault. Netta represented Israel, just like Alexander Rybak represented Norway. Celebrate that she won and if you can`t, at least don`t be mean. And don`t bring politics into her victory, “just because”. What the Israel as a state does isn`t really in her hands, anyways. This makes me sad and also disappointed on behalf of the other participants. I`ve been following this year`s contest for several weeks. I`ve watched videos of pre-parties and meet and greets, in which the contestants had fun, made amazing memories and celebrated music together. That`s what Eurovision was and is about for them and now people are fighting and calling each other ugly names because Israel won (and because the contest might be held in Jerusalem).

As if that`s going to change everything.IMG_2409IMG_2405

Enough about that for now. I went to school this morning and spent some time there reading about the Cold War and Middle East. Curious about what assignments we`ll get to choose between on the exam next week, but I`m also worried because I have two exams straight after each other. More nervous about anthropology, to be honest. Wish me luck!! I for sure need it.

THE SKY IS BLUE

The sky right now. It`s so beautiful, when it`s about to get dark. Honestly, sharing other pictures seem so pointless right now. Maybe because the blue sky can describe at least a little of how I`m feeling. I went to the university today and was relived when I got home. I`m glad I have a day off tomorrow. Right now books can comfort me more.

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The end of April is here and as if there aren`t enough problems already in this world, people are now shaming Avicii`s girlfriend… God, it makes me frustrated and so so sad. Someone has died and some people (most of them claim to be Avicii`s fans, but I`m pretty sure he wouldn`t be proud to call them that) are calling her “shameless”, because she posted a video in which her son was crying for Tim and because she posted a (very sentimental) letter in which she describes her relationship with Tim. Whether that was a good decision or not, is another discussion – but WHY can`t people be respectful, especially during a time like this and be kind to each other? Why can`t we pray for Tim, instead of calling others bad things? People are saying she`s doing it for fame and “poor Tim” because all she is is a “gold digger”. She never loved Tim and she should “die in the most horrible way”. They`re also literally shouting at her because she went to a concert a week after his death, instead of sitting at home, mourning. Very nice things to say to someone when they`ve just lost someone they loved and still love. This is why we`re not doing any better today.

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When are we going to learn? When.

A LITTLE KINDNESS

 

 

girl.jpg//photo: here 

Have you ever thought about how hard it is to be a human being sometimes? I`m sure you have. The last time I thought about it, was yesterday. I started thinking I should move to an island and stay there for a little while, because I don`t understand human beings. I don`t get them. I think I know them, but they keep surprising me so I`ve ended up thinking I don`t know them. Maybe ironic, considering I`m studying social anthropology. Trying to understand humans, but not really able to. It took me a small action to change the direction, though.

On my way to the lecture yesterday, I found a studentcard. It belonged to someone, and I told myself I was going to find the contact details online and contact the girl. At home later I found her number, and sent her a message. “Oh, thank you so much, I`m so relieved now. I looked for it everywhere”. I smiled, gave her a short reply. “You`re welcome, see you tomorrow”. So today I met her. She was already standing there and I could see it in her eyes. The gratefulness. She was so happy and said “thank you” many times. I said “you`re welcome, it`s the least I could do.” I was standing in front of her, and for some seconds it seemed like she wanted to hug me. I wasn`t sure if I should hug her, but I did want to hug her. Suddenly she said “I bought something for you, as a thank you”. She gestured towards the bag in her hand, took out a packet of chocolate and gave it to me. “Oh, how kind, but you didn`t have to buy it!” I hadn`t seen it coming, but seeing the kindness made me happy. I had cared by picking up the card, taking care of it and giving it back to her and she had cared by not only saying a “thank you”, but by giving me something. I said “thank you”, we said bye to each other and went our seperate ways.

Only a small act of kindness and I thought that maybe I`m where I should be. 

THE QUESTION IS

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“The question isn`t what you`ve been through, but what you`ve done with what you`ve been through.” 

I found this on the back cover of a book written by Helga (the founder of “Aktive Fredsreiser”, which we travelled Poland, Germany and Czech Republic back in 2012)). The words got to me. I don`t necessarily believe it`s not about what you`ve experienced, because what really matters is how you handle the situations that come your way. And perhaps that`s what these words are trying to say to us.

Life can be difficult and life will be difficult. You`re going to fall on your knees at least once, if not several times. You`re going to cry and feel like nothing`s ever going to be the same again. THAT`S OKAY. It`s sort of weird to think of how I used to be there once. I had my moments where I asked myself “is this ever going to end?” Not to forget when my grandmother died. That`s one of the times in life I`ve really fell down. I was down for quite a while and didn`t really understand much. Not that I understand more now, but at least life has moved on and somehow I just learned to live with the pain. The pain still hurts, but it just doesn`t hurt that much all the time, I guess.

I believe it`s important to think about what you`re doing with everything you`ve been through. Don`t let the bad and traumatic things you`ve been through, take over you and define your life in a negative way. Instead, accept your war because it is what it is. I remember I read that in a book some years ago. You can turn pretty much any situation over to something positive. You can use it to strenghten yourself, to inspire others, to do something creative in life. Start an organisation or an union, or travel around and arrange speeches. Write a book, share your experiences. And if you don`t want to talk about it, at least help yourself. We can learn something from everything in life and from here you can decide to only get stronger.

It`s okay to fall, as long as we do rise up.

SOME THOUGHTS IN MY HEAD

I don`t exactly know what to blog about today, so I`m just going to write down what`s in my mind right now, hopefully without a filter.

I`m going to stay in Maastricht for longer than I thought I would. Or, that`s a little wrong because I sort of knew it already, but I guess I just didn`t realise it. So, I`m going to spend the beginning of next year in another country. I don`t think I need to say I`m excited and happy about that, but I`m still going to say it: it feels awesome. I need it. Yeah, I`ll have to spend more money than I thought, but the feeling of more freedom and the feeling of being where nobody knows you is going to be worth it.

The “beauty standards” that we have set, are sort of… annoying me. I just feel like I sort of get that people have their perspectives when it comes to what`s pretty or not, but I can`t completely wrap my head around how some people judge other people based on how they look. And what`s “normal” and “abnormal”? Do we ever think about how these beauty standards are something we have made? I guess it`s not completely realistic of me to tell people to not care about the way people look, but it`d be nice if we focused way more on people`s personalities and how they treat others.

Something else that`s annoying me and that`s probably going to annoy me for a long time, is how fast certain people can turn against you. Out of pretty much nowhere or because of little things. It`s sad and a little too crazy. I mean… I just don`t get it, perhaps because I know that`s not the kind of person I am and I never want to be like that. Don`t people think about the things they do when they go to bed at night? Don`t they feel bad about how they make others feel?

//photo: source 

Phew, Friday tomorrow and everything. Bet I`m not the only one who`s happy about that. I`m off to bed soon, it`s become way too hard to get up at the morning. Take care, guys. ❤️