We are all mad here
Posted in Life, Thoughts on

“The world is beautiful, but has a disease called man.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

The other day I woke up and tuned in to the news, as I tend to do every morning. The news then informed me that there had been another episode of  violenceonly a day after the tragic attack in Nice, this time in Turkey, and I realised with growing unease in that moment, that horrible news like that hardly even affect me anymore. Any news of terror and unnecessary bloodshed, shootings and rape, or any other sort of violation against human rights, they no longer get me riled up in anger as I used to. I’m not even surprised or fazed by them, I’m actually used to it. And that realisation absolutely terrifies me, while also making me truly pessimistic about humanity and the future of man-kind.

Where is our humanity? Did we ever have one at all? As far as I’m concerned, looking back through the years, our history is uncommonly bloody. Us humans apparently have a perpetual predisposition for violence and gore. We have always been like that. Driven by greed and power hunger, and yet we still consider ourselves better than animals. We sit here on the throne, on the top of the food chain, looking down upon animals for their lack of intelligence and primitive behaviour, when we are the most animalistic species of all. Most animals are more or less basic. They live to hunt, and hunt to survive. Rarely will animals kill just for the sake of killing or just for perverse amusement, nor do they kill for other desirous reasons. Unlike animals, WE have the awareness, the conscious mind and the intelligence that tells us these things are WRONG, and yet, we never learn nor endeavour to be different.

“Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.”James Anthony Froud

And furthermore, it’s not just the wars and blodshed that leaves me despondent about the future, and the present. It’s everything I see everywhere around me on a daily basis. The lack of humanity from normal people. It’s evident in the small actions and utterings of regular people in our western society. How we judje each other ruthlessly and bully each other into misery. We delight in bringing each other down to feel better about ourselves, mock each other, and measure each other’s worth in fortunes and immaterial accomplishments. Whether it’s in a small town community, or on a global scale through social media and other outlets, we are so unfathomably INCAPABLE of building each other up through encouragement and support. Instead we tear each other down with criticism and penalties for being different or for being weak. Where is the compassion for fellow-kinds? Where is the “love thy neighbour as thyself”? I think perhaps the “love thyself” is the problem.

To me, and the idealist in me, it’s so simple. Just. Be. Kind. Care a little less about judging others, and look to yourself instead. Try to improve yourself instead of putting others down to feel better. It won’t make you feel better in the long run. You’ll only contribute to the ever growing dark circle where people are drowning in despair and self-doubt, desperately clawing at the walls of the hole we dug ourselves in our heedless search for perfection. To be good enough. Don’t compare yourself to others, whether it’s their physical attributes, their social success or their professional accomplishments. Celebrate each other, encourage each other, and be proud of each other’s advances. Rather than being envious, why not try to be inspired by other’s instead. Know that if they can do it, so can you. Nobody has a perfect life, it only appears so through social media. Keep in mind that what you see on social media is other people’s highlights. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. Everyone is struggling with something. So just be kind, please.

To the idealist in me, these wars and the bloodshed all around the world, whether it be motivated by political, religiously or other trivial reasons, it just seems like such a mindless waste of time. We send our young men and women into war to lay down their lives, their lives (!!). The only life they have. And for what? For a piece of land? For oil? To prove that “my religion is better than yours”? Can you not see how incredibly brainless this is? That thousands upon millions of more or less innocent people must DIE, all because we are incapable of settling such trivial matters in a peaceful, democratic way. At the end of the day, God is God for those who believe in Him, and for those that don’t, it really doesn’t matter. What does it matter what someone else believes? You keep your fate, I keep mine, we all go about our own lives and respect each other. How does that sound? Ernest Hemingway once said: “Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.” We are a sorry excuse for a species, truly, if we cannot settle negotiate our differences in a better way than that.

To the idealist in me, this refugee crisis storming on right now is so ridiculous and simple. In an ideal world, perhaps if we weren’t humans, we would be able to share the world equally as a species, peacefully. It just seems so petty and narrow-minded to me when my fellow norwegians say to me: “we cannot allow these refugees into our country.” WE cannot allow? OUR country?? Excuse me, but who the hell are WE?? Who decides what biological characteristics make up a “pure-blooded norwegian”? Must you have blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin, or does that seem a little too close to naziism for your comfort? Must you be be born and raised in Norway, does that make the cut? But what if your parents aren’t pure-blooded norwegians? How far back in the family roots must we rummage in order to determine whether a person is allowed to be a part of that self-entitled “we”.

And our country, really? Do we own this earth? We are not the only species occupying this particular planet, even though we are the conclusive sovereign on top of the food chain. Mother Earth could wipe us out like a particularly vexatious termite infestation with a couple of well-aimed natural disaster, if she had the consciousness to do so (and indeed, if she did, I’m sure she would have a long time ago). So what gives us the right to draw up lines on a map to divide the earth into little pieces of property that only belong to a certain category of people? The earth was here, prospering and blooming on its own, long before us humans came along.

You may call me a naive dreamer, and tell me that these ideas would never work in practice – that it’s just an idealistic fantasy. Perhaps. Perhaps you’re right. And perhaps it’s just my oversensitive nature, but I don’t see how anyone can observe all of the violence and malevolence, the unfairness and injustice in this world, and still manage to be hopeful for a brighter future with humans in it. I cannot. It leaves me despondent deep within the root of my being, I just can’t fathom how we will ever evolve to something better. I’m not sure we’re capable of it. And there goes the dreamer and idealist, only to be replaced by a realist and a pessimist. He makes me want to throw my hands up in defeat and give up. I don’t want to be a part of this. If this is what humanity is, what it’s become. If this is what it means to be human? Then I don’t want to be.





Don’t dream, it’s over
Posted in England, Life on

I don’t know where the hours disappear to every single day. I know days go by quickly when you are busy, but my days just fly by without me really doing anything! I get up quite early every morning, normally around 8 in order to have the table ready and set, and the newspaper collected from the little Tesco store down the street, before he wakes up. And today I didn’t even have to accompany him to church, his neighbour took him, so suddenly I had the whole Sunday free to do as I pleased!

So all I did today, really, was to stroll the short way from where I live to the Kensington Gardens, where I sat and read “Room” by Emma Donoghue for a little while. Then I moved on to Starbucks down in Gloucester Rd, where I sat for a few hours with my Coconut Iced Caramel Macchiato and did a little damage in Photoshop, stretching my creativity skills. After that I just tested out a new route on my way home again, stopping at the Tesco Superstore in Cromwell Rd to buy a couple of things for breakfast tomorrow. All in all, a very nice, but absolutely stunningly uneventful day. But I suppose that’s what Sunday’s are for, right?

Still, I love to just walk around the different parts of London. The area around where I live, Kensington, is so beautiful. Every time I turn a street corner, I’m mesmerised by something new. So I thought I’d share the beauty of London in the form of a few pictures I snapped in some of the many streets I passed on my way home.

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I love the contrasts in this picture, from the gorgeous white house, to the vivid green and red plants in the garden.

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Londoners, or perhaps Brits in general, are so good at decorating their houses with plants! I adore it.

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This is what I want my future to look like. I want to live in this building and I really want this  cute, blue car.

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Oh, the perks of being rich… Let’s be real, I will never be able to afford living here.

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A cute, tiny little dead-end street.

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And last, but not least; Glyn Mansions, Hammersmith Rd, where I live on the ground floor.

I feel a little bit melancholy walking around like this, because I have officially decided that I’m going home by the end of the summer to study in Trondheim instead. I feel like that’s what I need at the moment. Something stable and easy, and just to be surrounded by my friends. Although I am absolutely in love with London, and I’m still determined to move here some day, I know that it takes a little bit more pre-planning than I did before I came. So I will try again, probably next year, but I’m very glad I spent the summer here either way. It’s been absolutely lovely to get to know the city, I’m even more convinced than ever that this is where I want to live, and I’ve also familiarised myself with the process of applying to universities here, as well as how to find a place to stay. So it has definitely not been a waste.

Even if I had decided to push my luck a little bit further and see if I could get into university on Clearing (which is the same as being waitlisted in Norway), I still wouldn’t want to live the way that I do now. Although the people I live with are absolutely lovely, and it’s an amazing deal, which I am certain I get a lot more benefits from than they do, the problem (like I wrote in my previous post) is me. I can’t live in a place where I’m not 100 % comfortable, I need a place where I can unwind completely and properly retreat to my room if I want to. Also, I don’t want to live in a place that limits me in any way. I don’t want a curfew, I don’t want anyone to be dependent on me and I don’t want to be bound to do certain things every single day. I’m very grateful, but it’s just not what I wanted.

So now I just have to find a way to break it to them. Ugh, I hate that. I don’t want to cause them any problems or extra headaches, and I’m sure it won’t be easy to find a new person to come and stay here in such a short time. I feel awfully guilty about that, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Better to tell them sooner rather than later, right? Right.

 





Why am I like this
Posted in England, Life, Thoughts on

Keeping true to tradition, I am once again writing this post from *drum roll* – you guessed it! Starbucks. However, something has changed. I no longer sit at Starbucks because it’s the closest thing to home, now I sit at Starbucks to get some time away from “home”. My, how things have changed…

Although I have been very lucky to find this place where I now live, practically for free, practically in central London, I must admit that the situation is… difficult for me. It’s quite uncomfortable moving into someone else’s home in general, but the feeling is heightened by my never knowing quite what is expected of me. And I really don’t like it. I like to have my work load, and what is expected of me, written out crystal clear. I like to know  what I should do, when I should do it and how it should be done. And this situation is so… diffuse.

When I’m in the house, I can’t really seem to relax one hundred percent, as I always feel like I should be doing something, doing more, to “earn” my staying there. Like I’m constantly at work. And when I do my chores I feel like I’m not doing them well enough, as the gentleman I am living with is very particular about how he wants things done and where things should be. Very particular. So most likely when I perform a task, he will come around later and do it all over again, because I didn’t do it right. Or I didn’t do it well enough. I really hate that. It’s like staring in a new job and not getting any training, you only get told off every time you make a mistake.

Of course, I know he’s an old man who is set in his ways, and I know that when you’re older you appreciate routine and familiarity. And some people are just more detail oriented than others, which is absolutely fine. 

The problem is me. I just have a serious dutiful-good-girl syndrome that makes me unable to handle being anything less than perfect. I’m not very good with criticism, although I would like to be. I know constructive criticism is good. I know it’s meant to be helpful and something to learn by, but truthfully it makes me feel like a total failure. I need to be perfect. I need to be good enough. I need to master everything immediately. I need to be efficient and faultless. And of course, I’m not. I’m only human after all. It’s ridiculous, but I’ve always been like this though.

The problem is me because I’m not very tidy or fussy. I’m not squeamish and I don’t have an eye for that sort of detail. I don’t see it. I couldn’t care less if the spoons were sorted by size in the cutlery drawer. It makes no difference to me if  a dirty stain is left on the kitchen bench over night. I never notice if the hand towel hangs a little crooked on the peg in the bathroom and I don’t see why certain plates need to go certain places in the dish washer, when they clean all the same anywhere. I just don’t see it. I am sort of proud, by in this case a little frustrated, to say that I would make an absolutely atrocious housewife. I was not made for that life.

WHY AM I LIKE THIS? The one question I ask myself an infinite number of times every single day. I just need to pull myself together and stop focusing on the negative. Keep telling myself that I’ve only been here a week, and nobody expects me to be fully accomplished in that short a time. Just need to get that super memory that got me effortlessly through 13 years of school without ever breaking a sweat back into gear and memorise all the ridiculous, tiny details so I can get it right. Think of the perks and benefits. Suck it up. Get your shit together. 

Yep, that’s what I’m gonna do. Because what’s the alternative? Give up and go home?

No.

On top of everything, the weather has gone from this

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to this

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The lonesome traveller update
Posted in Life on

I am currently sat in a very nice, but slightly busy Starbucks cafe on the corner where North Rd meets Jubilee Street in Brighton, United Kingdom. It’s actually a rather nice day today. The sun is shining, there’s only a slight breeze and the temperature is more than comfortable, considering it’s a city situated by the seaside. As it is a Sunday, there are quite a few people out and about, but in true Sunday fashion everyone is strolling down the streets in a relaxed tempo, enjoying the weather and all the charming markets and attractions that Brighton has to offer in the summer.

I feel bad for wasting away a beautiful day like this sitting inside, plotting away on my laptop, instead of sitting down at the beach, soaking in the sun and relishing in the beauty of the seaside on a day like this. But I have spent quite a few days down by the seaside and beach already, and I keenly felt the symptoms of withdrawal from not having been properly online in a while. Okay, that’s a lie. I have been online every single day, and I am more than updated on the ongoings of the internet. I guess I just wanted to be doing something productive for once, instead of just dallying around watching beautiful views and sunsets, while listening to music.

There’s only so much you can do, I feel, when you’re travelling by yourself. Although I really don’t mind being by myself, there are so many fun activities to do that aren’t really enjoyable when you are alone. Especially when you are so socially uncomfortable as I am. I’m not shy, not really. But I do feel uncomfortable doing things on my own, such as eating out, going to the movies, or amusement parks. I always feel like people are staring at me, wondering, judging; “does she not have any friends?”, “why is she alone” or “how sad, she doesn’t have anyone to be with”. Of course, that’s all in my head. I don’t think anyone really thinks that, nor do I think anyone really thinks about me at all. Or notice me as I walk down the street or sit in a restaurant alone. It just feels like it, you know?

In any case, I’ve had a good time in England so far. Tomorrow I will officially have been here for two weeks. How crazy is that? I’ve spent one week in London, and one week in Brighton so far. I love London. There is so much to see there, so much to do. So much history, so many beautiful buildings and so much activity and charm in the city itself. I would very much like to live there some day. Brighton is lovely as well. With its charming lanes bustling with small coffee shops, markets and small boutiques, and the beautiful seaside with the lively Brighton Pier full of rides and attractions, as well as the charming little beach huts that ultimately made me fall in love with the place.

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Beautiful and busy Oxford Street, London

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The Brighton beach, with the remains of the West Pier in the horizon

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The cute and charming beach huts by the seaside in Hove

I do feel, however, that a week in Brighton was more than enough. In London I was content to just walk around for hours every day, always finding new, unexplored areas and streets, always something new to see. But Brighton is a lot smaller than London, and although I’m sure I have only scratched the surface of what Brighton has to offer, I find that Brighton would no doubt be more enjoyable if you were travelling with someone, or knew someone, and although I have met some really nice people at the hostels I have stayed at, I haven’t really made any proper friends yet. I’m starting to realize that I’m quite bad at that. Making friends.

But today is my last day in Brighton in any case, and tomorrow I will return to London again, as I have a second interview at a job/carer position. I’m quite excited about it actually. It would be a great opportunity for my plans to move to London, as it means I will have accommodation in central London in exchange for a couple of hours of “work” every day, which consists of helping an old man with daily chores. A lovely old man he is as well, so I really hope they decide to take me in. But I’m still in two minds about it, as I was planning on doing some more travelling before settling down anywhere. However, it is a golden opportunity that isn’t likely to happen again anytime soon, I’ve been very lucky, so I think I will have to seriously consider altering my original plans.

In any case, that’s enough of an update for now. I’m hungry, and I’ve been sat in Starbucks for more hours than what is  socially acceptable, I’m sure (I’ve sat here since around 11 and it’s now 3.45 pm). So I’m gonna go and try to find somewhere to eat some dinner.

Until next time!