DOES IT EVEN MATTER

Sometimes I think that being kind isn`t as good as promoted.

Don`t get me wrong, I recommend people to always be kind, to always treat others right. Kindness is a good thing, but the outcome? It can be pretty… bad sometimes.

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They tell you to always be kind, to treat others nicely, to help people. I haven`t always been kind because someone else has told me – it`s just who I am. It`s just in me. But God, I have been starting to understand more and more why some don`t bother. Or why some give up. Why it might be easier to not give a thing and just walk away, because the reality is that sometimes someone you care so much about, just walks away.

I keep scolding myself for helping people who wouldn`t do the same for me, or who don`t even bother saying a single “thank you” to me. I try to tell myself to not say anything and just let it be, but can I? No, and when I way too many times get treated the way I do I start scolding myself again.

People will say bad things about you when you`re nice, so you might as well just not be nice. 

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IT MADE ME THINK OF HER

A few days ago my mum told me about a friend of her, who I also know and who`s mother-in-law was seriously ill. She had cancer.

Yesterday I got to know she died last Thursday.

It all brought me back to when it was my family who were in that situation. When my own grandmother was hospitalized. When the doctors said that we should get ready to be ready. Maybe this is weird to say, but now as I`ve been in that situation I understand it more. My heart now aches more for those who are in a situation like that, because I know what it can be like.

It`s weird how I sometimes find myself knowing where I was at this time two years ago. I can see myself sitting in a chair, next to my grandmother at the hospital. To be at the hospital can be difficult, to see someone you love ill and not being able to do much or anything at all about it can be extremely difficult, so I guess I understand those who don`t want to go to the hospital often. But I`m so glad that I spent that much time with my grandmother, because now I`ll never get to see her again. It was a painful situation to be in, but now is less painful than it could have been, because of the last memories that I have. Because I have less regrets than I could of have had.

When she died, I was shocked. I don`t know if it was because I had spent so much time beside her bed or because I had tried to be as hopeful as I could be. Nobody really knows how much I miss my grandmother. I strongly wish she had stayed longer with us and that I could call her from Maastricht just to ask her how she is.

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I understand what it must be like for my mum`s friend and her family and I`m very sorry for their loss. It can be unbearable to realise that someone who has always been there with you, all of a sudden never will be there with you again. And please take care of each other. It`s when it`s the most difficult that it gets more important that we are there for each other and show each other love. Tell the people you love, that you love them. Give them hugs, give them time. Because before you know it, it could be too late.

SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO BACK AWAY

I`ve been trying to write something, but it just hasn`t seemed like it was worth it. I`d just close the tab and end up doing something else, instead.

It feels a bit weird to say what I`m about to say, because sometimes I think it`s all in my head or that maybe I`m over-doing it. The past days I`ve had days where I just don`t get humans and have found their behaviour too disappointing. Nothing particular has happened, it`s pretty much about the same old things and sometimes I just need to back away a few steps and take a deep breathe. I keep getting “surprised” by what people can be like, how they do certain things without realising that their actions can affect other people. Sometimes I scold myself for thinking so much about others, for the effort I put it trying to help, because of this. I try my best to be there for others and perhaps therefore I get surprised by how people don`t even take into consideration others` feelings. I feel bad if I know I`ve hurted someone unintentionally, so bad that it makes it hard for me to sleep at nights. I wonder how other people sleep so well at night.

This isn`t anything new, but like mentioned earlier I guess I just needed to back away and distance myself from people. I bet I`m not the only one who feels like I don`t know where I have other people at and therefore need sometime alone. The other day I was thinking about how we, after so many years of trying, still haven`t been able to completely grasp human`s nature,  behaviour and way of thinking. That says something about the complexity and perhaps it`s that complexity that gets to me a little more some days.

Anyways, I`ve missed writing on here so I`m glad to be back after a short “break”. ✌️ I`m thankful for having a space where I can share my thoughts and also hopefully inspire other people.

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WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE AN EXCHANGE STUDENT?

It`s been a month since I came to Maastricht, so I thought I`d write a little about what my time here has been like so far. Whenever people ask me “how`s the Netherlands?” or “how are you liking it?”, I don`t exactly know what to say. I`m enjoying my adventure here, it`s nice to be somewhere else and be part of something different and new. New school, new culture, new society and new place. Even if it`s just for a while. But saying those things are somehow not enough, because I feel like it`s hard to explain what it`s like if you haven`t been on an adventure like this yourself, even though we all experience it differently.

Living in Maastricht is chill and cool. It`s a small city and I have everything I need nearby. The buildings and streets look so elegant and I ride my bike everywhere I go, because that`s faster and that`s also how most people get around in the city. I live about fifteen-twenty minutes away from the centrum with the bike, which is something I`m okay with. It`s not like I miss anything, there`s a grocery shop 30 seconds from here that`s pretty much what I need on a daily basis. The people here are also quite helpful. My experience is that not everyone speaks English so well, but that`s not really a big issue.

The best part about doing an exchange semester, is definitely that – travelling. It`s faster and cheaper for me. Whenever I`ve been in Norway and have wanted to visit my family in Germany, I`ve had to take a plane. I could take the ferry and then the train, but that takes more time. It`s either time or money. Being in Holland makes it easier for me to just catch a train to different countries like Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany for a cheap price. I`m definitely going to take advantage of that. The most travelling I`ve ever done, has been this year and it`s only going to get better.

I`m also enjoying the fact that I`m somewhere else. Away from the life I`m used to in Norway. I meet people from different countries with different backgrounds, I have got to know another teaching system and new places. Even though I`m here as a student, the best thing is being able to visit new places and go anywhere without being recognised by anyone. It`s being lost and being okay with it, because that`s the point. Visiting new corner, exploring new things, meeting people you`ve never met before.

I can already tell it`s going to be weird to go back to Oslo.

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STANDING BETWEEN TWO CULTURES

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Ever since I came back from Pakistan, I`ve felt the differences between the Norwegian and the Pakistani culture even more. I remember when I was at the airport in Istanbul in Turkey and I saw Norwegians standing at the gate. I immediately missed something. Maybe the Pakistanis that looked more like me when it came to the clothes. I was wearing a blue kurta with blue tights and a yellow scarf. I didn`t exactly feel like an outsider, but I didn`t feel like I belonged there either.

It can be hard to come from two different cultures – especially if the two cultures in many ways are different. Being in Pakistan I saw the differences more and more. The little things, that weren`t that little anymore. The clothes, the food. Bigger differences, such as the way of thinking of how you`re supposed to behave. I`m not going to say anything about what culture is right or wrong, because I frankly don`t have many answers myself. But if this isn`t about what`s right or wrong, then what is it? What do you do when you`re standing between such different cultures? It`s not even about what I`m supposed to eat or what I`m supposed to wear, I can handle that. What does a person do about the bigger decisions in life?

I don`t know if people who don`t belong to two cultures at the same time can understand, but perhaps they can`t. Perhaps they can. The Pakistani culture and Norwegian culture sometimes seem like two completely different worlds. Being born in Norway but having roots from Pakistan can be difficult, and it definitely is difficult for me right now to figure out something I don`t know what exactly is. What direction do I choose? Which world is the right one for me, or is there a right one in general? And if there isn`t a right and a wrong in this matter, how do I know what to do? I`ve been told to follow the good things from both cultures, but who decides what`s good and bad? Don`t these things depend on the eye that sees? Not only is it difficult because you don`t know what to do.

Sometimes following your own head or even heart can be the most difficult thing to do, because you`re torn between two different worlds. Sometimes listening to yourself can be the hardest thing to do, because you don`t want to let someone you care about down but you might end up doing exactly that no matter what you do.

 

 

AUTUMN, BE NICE TO ME

The nights get longer and colder. The air gets more fresh. The leaves change its colour, they know their job well. People throw on coats, jackets, scarves and boots. People change their direction too. It`s almost as if autumn is like New Years, people wake up from summer and try to come back to the old routines. The gym, school, work, kindergarden. People rushing from one place to another. On the go all the time.

My favourite season of the year is autumn, but there`s something special about this autumn. Not only am I in another country, but there`s going to be some travelling. I`m going to turn 21 soon. Usually I start getting worried, but this time I`m doing good so far. More excited than nervous. I`m going back to Amsterdam. Maastricht reminds me of Amsterdam, but Amsterdam is a city for itself. There`s a vibe in the capital which is relaxing and chill. The water, the old buildings, the streets. Oh, and the Anne Frank House of course. Did I tell you I`m visiting it again? Well, I am. A birthday present to myself among many. Did I also tell you I`m going to Amsterdam on my own this time? Ah, imagine that. For so many years I wanted to go to the city and I did last year, but soon I`ll be there on my own. Dreams really come true and this autumn it`ll almost be as if it`s all happening again. Perhaps it`s the fresh air, or the smell after the rain.

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Autumn, I believe so much in you, please be nice to me.

IT IS NORMAL TO FEEL LONELY AT ONE POINT IN LIFE

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It was when I walked into August that I started feeling lonely, I started feeling more sad about something. Something that I still don`t exactly know what is. It would go up and down, but at the end of the day I had this loneliness inside me. It`s weird, because it wasn`t like I wasn`t spending time with people. In fact, I was a buddy for a couple of days. I met new people, talked to them, listened to where they came from and looked forward to another day with them.

But does it matter that you`re with people, when you still feel lonely on the inside? 

Maybe. I don`t know. All I know is that it kind of felt like I was thrown back to high-school. You know the days where I was lonely, where I`d see people walking out and in of the classroom but barely anyone would see me. The days where I thought I should care less, but you can care less and still feel lonely in this big but little world. High-school is an odd place, by the way. People tell you it`s going to be epic, you`ll meet your best friend forever there, you`re going to have the time of your life. Be honest with yourself: how many of the people you met in high-school, do you talk to? That reminds me of something I`ve been thinking for a while. Life`s odd too. After my grandfather died, I wanted people to reach out to me. The ones who`ve been saying they`re always there for me. Some of the phases in life where I`ve needed people the most, have been when someone in my family has died. We`ve come so far, we have phones in our hands which we can use to send a quick message and still it`s as if it`s too much to ask for. I tell myself to be tough, to not let it get to me but of course it gets to me. “How are you doing?”, he said. Fine. I say it automatically, my toungue knows very well how to pronounce that one word. Don`t know if I`m trying to assure the person in front of me or myself of that I`m fine. And if I`m not, I`ll be fine one day. That also reminds me of how much there is that we humans don`t talk about. The loneliness, the bullying, that comment from someone which tore you apart, the break-ups, broken relationships and friendships, arguments, the tears. Because you know; there are some tears you can see but there are also tears you can`t see. We all have our secrets about our own story that we don`t really talk about, we all act the way we do for reasons we don`t explain. God, I don`t know what the point of this post is. Even though it may seem like this, all my recent days haven`t all been good. Maybe that`s what I`m trying to say. I`ve been going back and forth in my mind, asking myself whether I should be personal on here once again or not. It`s so easy to post an edited picture of yourself on Instagram, but it`s hard to explain how you feel. Oh, the irony.

But posting this shouldn`t be such a big deal, because we not talking about our feelings doesn`t mean nobody among us feels lonely at some point in life.