SUNSHINE BEHIND A CLOUDY SKY

It`s weird how I remember where I was this very day exactly four years ago. I was in Berlin in Germany, with my German class. I had a nice time, but at the same time I felt quite left out and I was clearly not “one of them”. We spent some time together, I and some of the other students, but when the sun went down and the evening came, I felt very lonely.

But that was four years ago. Four years. Within that time I`ve managed to graduate at high-school, started studying social anthropology, almost completed my bachelor, met so many cool people, gotten new friends, lived five months in the Netherlands, visited six new countries, been five times in Amsterdam, seen my face in the newspaper, worked, been told I`m an inspiration and learned so many new things about the world and myself. Four years ago I didn`t know all those things. I did know that I would finish high-school and study one day, but it`s when you`ve accomplished what you`ve planned that you suddenly stand there and think “oh, wow, I`m here now”. I was thinking about it today; how I waited for years to visit Amsterdam so I could go to the Anne Frank Museum and all of a sudden I`ve been there five times within two years. I`ve visited the museum three times and I`ve also lived in that wonderful country for some time. Who had thought that? I know I hadn`t. I know I would go someday, but I didn`t know when and I didn`t know I was going to do all these amazing things on the way.

I think we imagine so much in our lives. We imagine what we`re going to do, how we`re going to react to certain events, where we`re going to go, but nobody forreal know exactly what`s going to happen. And sometimes you might know the goal, but you don`t know the journey. It`s this journey towards the person I`ve become today, that I`m so amused of. I think of everything great I`ve done that I didn`t know I would do. I think of how I was put down by people around me and how some people didn`t believe in me and how life has taught me that at the end of the day, you define your life. Nobody can do it for me, no matter what. My life is my life.  When I was being bullied and when it felt like the loneliness was never going to vanish from my life, it was easy for me to not think about the future. It`s like a sky full of grey clouds – you know the sun is behind there somewhere, but you can`t see it and you forget that after the rain always comes the sunshine. After a long winter the summer does come.

That`s what it felt like for me. I knew I was going to be somewhere great one day, but I didn`t know when, how, what or why. And because of the pain, because of everything that was happening in the moment I wasn`t able to imagine a future properly. It felt like the road was so long and though. I feel like I`m not able to properly explain what it was like and what I felt, but those who understand, they understand.

There are so many kids out there who are going through something though or who just want to be older. To them I would like to say: enjoy your childhood. One day it`ll going to be over, you`ll be thrown into adulthood and you`ll miss so many things. And it does get better. It really does. I hope you believe me, and if you don`t, it`s okay. You`ll see for yourself, just like I did.

What a great time and journey I`ve had. I don`t like growing up and it`s scary to think that I`ll be 22 years old later this year, but at the same time I`m excited to see where I`ll be in four years time.

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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. 

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.

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.

 

 

EVERYTHING, BUT NOTHING

During my exams, I thought about everything I was going to do after the exams, when I finally had a three months long vacation.

I was going to make sure I got the room I wanted to and get myself a place to live in Maastricht in the Netherlands.

I was going to get everything sorted out for my stay there.

I was going to watch movies and documentaries.

I was going to read some of the books I had borrowed from the library and that were waiting for me.

I was going to celebrate Eid with my family here. I already knew what I was going to wear for Eid – one of the two white kurtas my mum had bought for me when she was in Pakistan. I was going to wear it with either my pink or white palazzo.

I was going to meet Sara when she came back from Australia and spend some time with her and Thea.

I was going to apply for some summer jobs.

I was going to clean my wardrobe, put clothes out for sale online and give my desk a makeover.

I was going to visit my cousin on his birthday, which was the 26th of May.

I was going to visit the library to explore it and borrow some new books.

I was going to sleep more during the mornings and not have to worry about having to go early to bed because of school.

I was going to chill.

Who knew I wasn`t going to to do any of that, but instead end up in Pakistan to meet my grandfather one last time. 

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A MESSY HEAD

I don`t think people realise how the things you go through, can make you strong and also get inside your bones and remind you forever of what you went through.

I`m not a person to stay mad forever, nor do I have the need to forgive others. But I can`t help being affected by what people do to me. I wonder if they`ve realised that the things they`ve said and done to others have affected them. Do they know that actions can hurt and do they know that words can hurt even more? I wonder if they`re okay, if they`ve all moved on, if they ever think of the pain they threw at me and then claimed it was “just a joke”. I wonder if they regret.

It`d be easy for me to sit here, be angry and think “why me?” And maybe I`m angry on the inside, because even though the storm is over, I`m dealing with the pain they threw at me. I remember a while ago I thought the bullying hadn`t really affected me that badly, all it pretty much did was make me stronger. Now I`m thinking that`s entirely not true – the bullying, along with other things, made it harder for me to trust people, rely on them. It`s become difficult for me to not be sceptical to what others are saying. The words “I care about you” mean something else now.

And just now I thought “oh, life`s weird, I`m off to another country, I`m going to stay there for some months and most likely be sceptical to others there too”. But I tell myself the next adventure is going to be different. Yeah, I`m going to another country, but that`s the whole point. No drama, I won`t know anyone and even better: nobody will know who I am.  even though the pain will be inside my suitcases and remind me of my story, it`ll be nice to get away from everything and everyone for a while,

Something inside me is telling me that`s what I need.

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THE WALL I MADE ON MY OWN

Imagine how there`s so much in our heads and hearts that we don`t tell each other. Some of us are drowning in our own feelings and I am one of them. I`m so glad that nobody else can see what`s going on inside me, but at the same time that`s what hurts the most. That no one can see the real me. The burdens on my shoulder that seem to get heavier sometimes. The eyes that are full of tears that can`t be seen. The things I`ve been through that are in my head. Let`s please not forget all the feelings I feel too much. I can start crying by someone giving me a hug, I can start crying by seeing someone else cry. I feel the pain others feel and I feel the pain I feel. All alone. I wonder who feels my pain. I wonder who even can see my pain. I can`t really blame people for not seeing it, because I`ve become an expert at hiding the things I don`t want anyone else to see, but yet I`m hoping that someone might break down the wall I made on my own. No, hold on, that`s not completely true, but it is a little true. It`s crazy how much there is that a person can hide. All these little stories that changed my life and are burned at the back of my mind. Nobody really knows and every day I go around, acting like barely anything. Maybe it`s become so easy because I know I`m not alone at doing that. Maybe it`s become a little easier to carry the baggage because it doesn`t feel that heavy anymore. I`m used to my mind, even though it sometimes tends to annoy me too much. Or maybe it`s become easier because I have words. Paper. A blog. This blog wouldn`t mean that much to me anymore if I wasn`t allowed to let the feelings out. My feelings. I need to write down deep, long texts. I already do that for myself, but I hope that sharing the mess I have can help others. Maybe a piece of my puzzle can help a stranger out there. I already hope it does. I`d like to believe it does. What if it doesn`t? It`s okay, because the words are mine and most of all I write them down to comfort myself. Me writing them down every day is proof I`m alive, it`s proof I`ll be okay. It just hurts too much and I… I just don`t know. Why can`t we all chill more?

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I don`t know.