A blank page

A blank page. Blinding. They say white is not a colour, yet it lights up the screen in front of me. Not polluted by a single black line. Only a page, whiter than the snow. This blank page is often used to symbolize new beginnings, so why does it feel so threatening? Perhaps it is due to all the deadlines in the past. All the expectations that you had to fill the blank page with meaningful words, even when it seemed impossible. Writing not for the sake of writing, but for the sake of being evaluated. A blank page. A possibility to convey your inner feelings, your hopes and your opinions. But the words, they fall short. They always do. No matter how hard you try, the words do not convey what you wanted. That does not mean that it won’t mean something to others. Every great piece of literature started as a blank page. An idea. An endless will to make the words something else than just random lines on a piece of paper. A will to provoke, to engage you, to make you think. A plank page. What does it mean to you?

Redefining the standards

In today’s society, it is almost impossible not to compare oneself to others. It could be the picture of a fit person on Instagram making you feel as though you don’t work out hard enough. It could be the person next to you delivering amazing results at work. Last, but not least, it could be the pretty models covering every surface of a magazine. Whether you have a conscious awareness of it or not, the never-ending stream of information makes it difficult to be pleased with your own results. That is why I believe it is important to redefine how you look at yourself and your achievements.

The goal: To be pleased with yourself even though you’re not the best, the fittest or the prettiest person alive. By changing the way you look at things, the things you look at will eventually change, making everyday life less stressful and easier to enjoy.

Karpe Diem

Music that means something

From a young age, my relationship with music has been a special one. I remember lying in bed for hours and hours just listening to the words and melodies. Since then I have spent countless days wrapped up in my own little musical bubble.

My taste in music has varied a lot over the years, however, there is one band that I always return to. Last week Karpe Diem released three new songs, and I am thrilled. I have listened to their music for years, and yet they still manage to exceed my expectations. They do what great musicians do, namely shine a light on social or political problems. They provoke. They make you think. Combine that with chilling and beautiful melodies, and you have a winning combo.

Music is, in my opinion, a form of art that can contribute to discussion and raise awareness around important subjects in our time. The power of words is therefore something that should not be underestimated. “A word says more than a thousand drawings” is a quote taken from the song “Tusen tegninger”, and Karpe Diem prove it over and over again. They have the ability to find the words to describe feelings that you could never have found yourself. And for that, I truly admire them.

So if you want to listen to something new, I would recommend Karpe Diem. If you are not Norwegian, then just listen to the melodies.

– Kristin

Visit Iceland

Reykjavik – Landmannalaugar- Vestmannaeyjar- Reykjavik

This summer, my destination was Iceland. Together with some friends, I travelled around the southern part of the island. Everywhere I turned the nature was breathtaking. As a volcanic Island without trees, the sights were different from what I am used to, but that made it ever more stunning in my eyes. And as if that is not enough, I have rarely met nicer and more helpful people than during my 10 days there.

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The trip started and ended with a couple of days in Reykjavik, a city I fell in love with. The city center is colorful with many small independent shops and good food. Under you find my favorite places to live, eat and shop:

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Live here

Loft Hostel

DSC03239We stayed at Loft Hostel in the main street. The standard is high even though it is a hostel. Another big plus is the rooftop where you can sit and enjoy life cuddled up in a blanket.

Eat here

...The Laundromat

The Laundromat is the café/restaurant where we ate most of our meals. I
recommend going there for a brunch on Sundays, as it was mouthwatering. The restaurant is also worth a visit simply because of the interior, a mixture of shelves with colorful books and old maps on the walls.

Ísbúð Vesturbæjar

This place is situated a bit outside the city center, but it is known for its traditional Icelandic ice cream. It is open to around midnight, and when we arrived around 23, the shop was full of customers.

Shop here

The Kolaportid flea market – Tryggvagata 19

Every week- end, people from different parts of the city gather in a hall to sell their goods. If you are interested in vintage clothes and traditional Icelandic food, it is the perfect place. If you are as lucky as I was, you can find some vintage treasures. Remember to bring cash, as they do not accept cards.

Too tired to think

Her eyelids flutter like the wings of a butterfly, threatening to close. They get heavier and heavier, yet she pushes through. Half awake and half asleep she does her best to prepare for the following day.  Still, no matter how hard she tries, she can’t remember what she just read. In one ear and out the other. Day after day, week after week.

In today’s society there is especially one thing that people, in particular the younger generations, struggle with, namely the pressure to be perfect. It is common knowledge that you should be good looking, healthy and successful, both in your private and your public life. Speaking of private life, does that exist anymore, now that people share pictures on Instagram, their life story on Facebook and their thoughts on Twitter? The pictures and stories from magazines and the internet reach us every day, adding to the pressure, not letting us relax.  Being the perfect student, the perfect employee and the perfect girlfriend/ boyfriend is more than a fulltime job. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Look your best and do your best.

You can say what you want to yourself, suppressing the signals from your body. In the end, however, you reach a point where you cannot push your limits any further. There is a point when the body shuts down and refuses to be abused. Reaching that limit is a terrible thing, as you no longer feel in control of your body. From being able to always pay attention, you can fall asleep in class as you no longer sleep during the night. The concentration is gone and it feels as though your brain is full, yet so empty. Walking around constantly stressed and in panic mode leaves you with a tunnel vision. There is simply no way to collect yourself in time to access the part of your brain that stores the facts for your test. Just imagine what it feels like to have your heart pounding at every sound, as if you are about to be attacked. Simultaneously, imagine what it feels like to be so tired that you cannot sleep, only focus on a spot on the wall.

Pressure is something that can challenge people and help them to grow as a person. Yet, when the pressure gets so big that it crushes even the stronger ones, it is time to react. We can only take so much, people are not perfect, and it is time to accept that. School is meant to prepare us for what comes later on in life. However, the focus has shifted from achieving new knowledge to testing students so often that they have no way of learning everything they are supposed to. Am I the only one who does not get the point in removing the joy of learning, only to replace it with stress and more pressure? It is not accidental that young people get burnt- out before they even reach the proper work life. Students are expected to do well at school, be social and look their best, alongside having a job. And grownups call us a lazy generation?

She looks at her paper, but the numbers and words do not make any sense. Her eyes get wet and tears come streaming silently down her face. In order to feel like she is doing something productive, she starts to draw on the other side of the test. It is simply too much to handle. She is too tired to think.


Coldplay- fix you

When you try your best but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

– Kristin

#MEDSYRIA

Hello!

This post is intended for my Norwegian readers and is an attempt from my side to encourage people to do something good. Today I read about a new movement by the “Norwegian People’s Aid” (Norsk Folkehjelp) where people can donate money to help the Syrian population. By sending Syria to 2160, you give 50 kr which will be spent on food. You can also do as me, and write “#MEDSYRIA send Syria til 2160” on piece of paper, tag three friends in it, and help spread the word.

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I have earlier written about the conflict in Syria, and I was therefore very glad to read about this new, easy way to help. It might seem like it is nothing, but just think of the difference we can make and the people we can help if we try.

Here are some pages and a YouTube video if you want to know more about this project.

http://norskfolkehjelp.no/Vaart-arbeid/Utviklingssamarbeid/Med-Syria

– Kristin