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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Should I stay or should I go?
Posted in Thoughts on

Everybody has flaws and strengths, and I consider myself one of those people who are quite aware of them. As I am introverted and spend a lot of time “inside my head”, alway examining the workings of my own mind, as well as trying to understand others, I know that I am introspective enough to be brutally honest with myself. I know that I am kind, loyal and smart, some of my better qualities (not to toot my own horn or anything), but one of my less profitable qualities, is that I am very little ambitious. In fact, I would almost go as far as to say that I have none. I’m a dreamer and a drifter. It doesn’t mean that I’m not hard-working or that I don’t have dreams or things that I would like to accomplish, but I have no drive.

Now I suppose it could have been worse. It’s not really a quality that harms anyone other than myself, and it’s not really a quality that’s demeaning in any way, at least I don’t consider it as such. It just means that I’m not very good at sports, at all, because there is not a competitive bone in my body. It also means that when I face challenges, or things get difficult, I tend to choose the easier option or to give up altogether, rather than fight my way through it with claw and nails. Not necessarily because I am lazy, although I think many would mistake it for that, but simply because I lack the motivation. I just doesn’t matter that much to me. I have no drive to get things done, like I said.

I am also one of those people who makes more often than not makes decisions based on intuition and gut feeling, rather than using common sense and practicality. I have a very good intuition, it very rarely leads me astray or lead me to make a decision that I regret. But sometimes intuition can be clouded by other things that could potentially lead to bad decisions or regrets, such as boredom, fear or insecurity. I am trying to change that now, however.

Everybody kept asking me before I left what I was going to do in England, where I was going to live, what was my purpose or plan, and every time I just sort of shrugged and said “I don’t know”. I didn’t have a plan, I still don’t. I had ideas and dreams, of course. But nothing set in stone. I just went. And hoped for the best. I’m not very much of a planner either, I like to keep my options open. See where things go. Go with my gut feeling and whatever feels right at the time.

So now I am faced with a dilemma, or a challenge if you like. I need to find out what I want to do. I have found a place to stay in London, you see. It’s a very good deal. I will get to live in central London, in a very nice neighbourhood, basically for free. In exchange for accommodation, I only have to help the old man I live with do some basic house chores, nothing too time-consuming or taxing. It’s a great deal actually. And I can study or work on the side. I could take a job, of course, and because I have no real expenses, I could live rather well on the unimpressive wages in The UK. Or I could study, which is the smartest option to be sure, but here is where I face challenges.

The only way I would be granted financial support from Norway and Lånekassen, is by starting a degree. It’s not possible to do a year of study, as you can in Norway. Which is fair enough, I suppose. And why not do a Bachelor’s Degree? The only problem is that I don’t necessarily fill the entry requirements to study in The UK, as I am international, and in order to be accepted anywhere, I would have to do a Foundation Year first, which is not funded by Lånekassen. And when I found this out, I immediately started thinking how much easier it would be to just go back home, where it’s easy, and I can study what I want with support, I can move to a nice apartment and live with other students, rather than living with an old man with a curfew, and I would even have my friends there.

Sounds tempting, right? Safe and sound, fun and familiar.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like the place I am staying at, I really like it. And they are truly lovely, both the man I live with, and his daughter who lives there on and off. But it’s always awkward moving into someone else’s home, you never really feel quite comfortable. I’ve done it before, as an exchange student. And you can imagine it yourself, I’m sure, being a permanent guest in someone else’s house. When heightened by my insecurities, it’s very tempting indeed to go home, or even to pay the huge expenses that comes with living in a flat in London.

So this is where I really have to keep myself in check and tell myself to pull it together. I can’t give up now, I haven’t even tried! At times like these I really wish I had some ambitions and a little bit more guts. I don’t want to be a quitter, and I know I would always regret it if I went home now, without having really tried. So I am going to stay. I am going to try. Try to find someway to get accepted to school. Try to get comfortable in a home that’s not mine. Try to not let my insecurities get the better of me, as they so often do (damn them), and hope that in the end everything will sort itself out and end well.

On a more positive note though! I may have found the love of my life

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No but seriously, wish me luck!





Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true?
Posted in Uncategorized on

A lot of people ask me all the time why, out of all the places in the world, I chose to travel to England. A fair question, to be sure. It’s certainly not the most exotic of all travel destinations, but I have always felt particularly drawn to England. I couldn’t tell you when it started, I just know that for as long as I can remember I have preferred English to Norwegian, and I always dreamt of one day moving here. For some strange reason I have always thought in English instead of Norwegian, and I am fairly certain that my English vocabulary is decidedly bigger than my Norwegian one. Call me strange, but for some very peculiar reason, England has always felt more home than Norway ever did, and I have only been to England once before! Man, I probably need therapy…..

The one thing I love the most about England though, is that it’s so beautiful. I love all the old buildings and architecture in England. It’s like every time I turn a street corner here, I’m mesmerised by yet another stunningly glorious house, or castle or monument. It may be because they are so aesthetically pleasing with all the million tiny details and intricate designs that come together to create a marvellous masterpiece of a building. So elegant and ornamental with their statues and pillars and elaborate embellishments, and all the dandy little flowerbeds. It’s romantic and it’s pretty. But that cannot be the only reason, I’m not that superficial. At least, I like to think so.

It may be because I’m an old soul. I always have loved everything old and full of history. Anytime I see something old or abandoned, I can’t help but wonder and let my imagination run free. How? How did it come to be there? What was it for? When was it used? Why was it abandoned? Who lived there and what happened to them? I could marvel for hours like that and make up stories in my head. And when you actually learn about the history of a place, it’s so fascinating. To imagine that years ago, long before I was born or my mother was born, that in that place that particular building stood in surroundings completely different from those today. And it’s stood there since.

Or perhaps it’s because I’m such a romantic? I have always been in love with England in the olden days, like the Victorian Era, with the polite manners and sophisticated society. All the etiquettes and propriety. Jane Austen and period dramas. I’m secretly in love with Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley and Captain Wentworth, the fictitious gentlemen in romantic novels that are too good, too perfect, to ever have been true, and that I hope to find a courteous english gentleman to sweep me off my feet and ride my off into the sunset. Maybe in my former life that is where I lived, as an upper-class lady in a fine castle, and I just long for it because it’s where I feel home?

To be fair, I would have hated it though. I am probably above averagely concerned with feminism and women’s independence. I would have resented living in a time when women had no rights or opportunities, no matter how romantic the gentlemen were. And to be fair, the realist in me knows that it’s definitely been romanticised beyond belief. I’m sure it wasn’t nearly so charming in real life at the time. I often wonder how I can be made up of two such polar opposite traits; the romantic, kind-hearted dreamer and idealist vs. the man-hating, realistically cynical pessimist. I’m a complex character, for sure, and I may never understand myself and all my contradictions. Perhaps I’m schizophrenic.

In any case, I cannot say for sure what it is that draws me to England like a moth to a flame, and perhaps I will find that it’s nothing like I imagined it and not at all what I dreamed it would be, only disappointing. Or indeed, maybe I will find that it’s my true home and I’ll find my happily ever after here. Who knows? Only time can tell. For now I am merely in love with it though, and enjoy it immensely for all the reasons above and many more. And hope I will continue to do so for a long time yet.