Personal

Things aren’t always as they seem: 5 lessons I’ve learned in life and how I cope with anxiety.

You might not know this about me, but I suffer from anxiety. It’s not life threatening or something that I deal with every day, but I have moments and periods of time where I really have to work myself out of mental situations which are very challenging. It hasn’t always been so or been this severe, and it’s not something that I’ve shared with many people, but it is a part of my reality. Today is one of those days. These past days have presented a number of challenges to me and even though I have a positive mindset towards them and see a number of possibilities that I am excited about, I do get small cracks that in the end puts my physical and mental state in a sort of hibernation. It’s these days I struggle to get out of bed and to bring my energy up to a level where I can push myself out the door and into a (un)comfortable situation to get over it. I’ve accepted this part of me and I don’t dwell to much over it. And even though this has nothing to do with other people, I thought I’d share some life lessons with you that’s made this acceptable to me and how I cope.

Lesson 1: People see what they want to see.

No matter how much you share or the amount of work you put into your success and failures, people choose to see what they want to see – or believe your story from other’s lips. Somehow I think this is a result of others lack and their denial to face it rather than about you, and that’s OK, but it’s not something you need too deal with.

Lesson 2: Be a scissor, cut bad energy out of your life.

Remove those people from your life. In my case, some of them removed themselves and what a blessing! Spend your time with people who genuinely wishes you the best and cheers you on. Once you notice the difference, you will never bat an eye or hesitate again.

Lesson 3: You are not obligated to do anything. Loose that word from your vocabulary.

You choose what you want and don’t want to do. You are not obligated to do anything. It’s your choice and there is power in that.

Lesson 4:  You are alone.

We come into this world alone and we leave it alone. We are alone in our feelings, our mind and in our body.  I don’t mean loneliness in this case, it’s simply a fact of life and the sooner we realize this – the sooner we can work on our relationship with ourselves.

Lesson 5: Be fearless.

This might sound weird, but even though I suffer from anxiety I try to be as fearless as possible. I do things, go places and try new stuff all the time, especially those things that scare me a bit. Why? Because it’s inspiring,  it makes me grow and gives me good pieces of reflection that move me forward in this life. To be stuck is not to live and if you’ve never failed- you’ve never challenged yourself.

I’m not saying any of this is easy, because if it was we would all live wonderful, fulfilling lives all the time. I’m not gonna say that my anxiety is a blessing either, but it sure is something that I made a conscious choice to use as a tool to push myself. I have days where it’s absolutely inhibitory, but most often it’s a reminder to, as Taylor Swift put so perfectly;”shake it off” and go do something challenging. I know there are people out there who think that everything just comes so easily to me and that my life if a garden of blooming flowers all the time, but this simply isn’t the case.

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So there you go. Things aren’t always as they seem. I wish you a wonderful Saturday wherever you are and I myself are gonna shake it off and get out of my PJ’s.

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Personal

Goal digger.

Today is a great milestone for me. Today is the day I get the keys to the apartment I bought some time ago and to be honest it feels effing good. There is one habit I’ve learned and kept, and that is to reschedule and feel my life goals from time to time. I review them and take time to reflect appreciation and gratefulness for the things I have achieved and to picture my dream-life for the time to come.  This is one of the big ones. An apartment own fully by me, and only me – and the bank of course. This one is the impossible made possible. It also reminds me that the work I do with myself every day has such importance in how I achieve my goals. And how fast I get from A to B.

My life wasn’t always on track, even if it might have seemed that way to the outside world. A few years ago my life got turned upside down. Everything I knew was pulled from under my feet and I was forced to rethink my life completely. This made me realize that I had been living my life in regards to what was expected of me: from my social relations, from society, how I myself and how others thought I ought to live it. Not how I wanted to live it. The truth is that loosing everything gave my life meaning and was the greatest gift I ever received. It was a revelation that changed my view on what life has to give and how we go about to get it. I wasn’t happy and I didn’t even know it. Most of us go about every day the same and we forget this precious gift of life that we are given. I often think of this when I view this picture from my trip to San Francisco:

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Get in that little yellow, vulnerable car and learn how to drive in the traffic of life. I had no clue what I was doing, but I sure as hell learned how to drive – and enjoy it!

Today is one of those days where I am super grateful for everything that life threw at me, no matter good or bad. Everything shapes us and it’s your choice if it’s for the better.

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Life is a gift, wake up every day and realize that.

 

Norwegian culture

Norwegian trends: Fitness

Good Friday to you, fellow human on planet earth.

I was hovering over the smoothie blender the other day and it crossed my mind that I should let you in on some Norwegian trends: Fitness to be more specific. I mean, Norwegians has always been considered a sporty type of people in connection with skiing and other winter sports, but then something happened which resulted in a fitness wave across the country. I’m not sure what exactly, but I suspect social media – it’s always social media right? And I did let you in on this before: when something’s trending in Norway, it trends hard. Our entire country is populated in the same capacity as a small village other places, so that kind of speaks for it. Anyway, let’s get on with it.

I’ve never been the winter-sporty kind of girl myself, but in Norwegian spirit I did join in on the fitness wave that hit our country about four or five years ago. The phenomenon was actually more of a “girls who lift heavy”-thing and girls took over gyms all across the country – still owning them by the way. The trend is a fact and you are more likely to be looked at with disbelief and suspicion if you say that you do not work out than if you do. I’m pretty sure that if we measure the amount of fitness clubs against the population, that we would have more clubs per resident than any other country in the world. And everyone is educated as a personal trainer. So why is this? Well, there are three factors that comes to mind:

  1. We are a very competitive people, even if we try to hide it.
  2. Sports is a cultural value than runs in our bloodstream.
  3. We have 8 months of winter and let’s be honest: Training produces endorphins than makes life bearable.

The trend does not stop there though, the Norwegian fitness trend is complex and involves diets, food products and a business like no other. Which is why everyone is educated as a personal trainer. But let’s be honest, too many Chiefs and the lack of Indians makes that business kind of hard right? It is a very competitive business in our country, but it doesn’t stop anyone from trying. I remember when I could get a box of cottage cheese for like ten kroner, then this whole fitness-thing happened and they tripled the price. Yes, tripled. And now our stores are full of stuff like non-fat-high-protein milk, bars, high-protein ice cream, fitness yogurts and you name it. Every inch of this trend is being squiiiiized to it’s maximum. And what gets me is that it’s a trend that is supposed to radiate health, but at the same time it’s all about unhealthy products being turned into a fitness-business must. Remember that time when we ate food and that was enough? No foods for you anymore mister, eat this instead:

I must admit that I buy all of this stuff, but it’s not in my everyday diet. Hey, I like options and I’m colored by the trend too! It is hard to keep my head on at times, honestly, I do get affected. Like with fitness clothing, I used to buy a lot. The clothing industry sees a goldmine and yes, it is. I made a decision to keep it at a minimum though. Environmental reasons and of course I don’t need to spend thousands on clothing I wear once. What a waste and a bad sense of economy, right? Anyway, it paints the picture of what a trend does to little Norway and its inhabitants, myself included.

That’s the Norwegian fitness trend and all that comes with it – even if I might have forgotten something. I mean, personally I love fintess, so I don’t mind. I just think its necessary to keep your feet on the planet and don’t get carried away. Does trends like this hit your countries in the same capacity? I’m curios to know.

Thanks for stopping by! And please let me know if there’s any specific topic you want to know about. 🙂 Enjoy your Friday!

Personal, Travel

Post vacay depression: Coping skills.

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Am I the only one who suffers from post-vacay depression? Ever damn time. It’s like a soul-sucking void that leaves your heart to bleed out. I know it’s coming and I try to prepare myself, but it gets me every time. I thought I’d share my coping skills with you and how I get back to normal habits after borrowing funloving time from the future. Here we go:

Day 1: Sleep and weep. Let’s be honest, I’m usually worn out AF. I sleep and then morn the end of a relationship with my travelling alterego.

Day 2: Gym. I also add berries to my proteinshake to try to make it more tasty. Does it work? Meh..

Day 3: Gym.

Day 4: Gym.

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Day 5: You see the pattern. Then I don’t feel like going to the gym and I remind myself that I have a new trip coming up. So I go to the gym and start getting excited about a new trip for sucking funloving time out of the future.

I add friends and family to the mix as well, a long with browsing the internet for new and old destinations.

….And that’s how I cope. Have you got any actual good coping skills, please share with me! I beg you.

På gjensyn!

Personal, Travel

Visit Israel part 2: My top 5 favourites!

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There is one thing I love about travelling and that is the authentic experience. Although Israel in itself is super fascinating and that I had a great experience doing touristy stuff, my top 5 is a bit different than the usual touristy thing. I love it when I get to hang out with locals and I want to share what I appreciate while having amazing trips like this one:

img_0133The numbering doesn’t really matter. These are all great things that I will appreciate and be grateful for, for the time to come.

I tasted a lot of different foods. I was lucky enough to come along for shabbat dinner as well. Thank you so much for that. Even if I thought I was going to die from overeating that night. Seriously..

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I also got to attend a Jewish wedding, which was such a fun experience! It’s so very different to the weddings I’m “used” too and it was refreshing to see it from another cultural perspective.

I went to two concerts. One was mostly CHRCHK for me because it was in Hebru, but I really enjoyed it. Second one was a Jam Sunday at Jimmy Who?, which was a lot of fun! The music scene in Israel is great and there is really a lot of amazing musicians – so much so that an American basketball player is actually chasing his music career there as we speak. Weird huh? I would have never thought..

The people I met was super funny. It’s been a long time since I laughed as much with strangers. Their humor is amazing and I love the self irony. My kind of people. If you don’t find Israelis funny, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

And of course the country in itself is absolutly stuinng. Everywhere I went the view was amazing. There’s not a lot of places in the world that happens. I mean, usually there is some ugly you know.. But no. I’m actually a bit jealous.

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Thank you so much for a wonderful time Israel. See you again sometime in the future. ❤

Travel

Visit Israel part 1: 6 things you must do!

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As the social outkast-Norwegian I am I made very spontaneous decision to book a trip to Israel two days prior to leaving. Alone. It might sound crazy to some, but then again completely normal to you fellow Globetrotters out there. I did have a person waiting for me on the other side of customs though, so I wasn’t going completly bananas. Even so, it really was a trip of a lifetime. I never thought Israel to be a destination I would visit, for reasons unknown, but then again it really surprised me how wonderful this place is. In many ways it was like coming home – I will get back to that later in this post. First, lets get in to the practical stuff:

It takes about 8 hours to travel from Norway to Israel, with one stop. I chose to fly with Polish Airways simply because it was 1. Cheap and 2. A shorter amount of traveltime. There are many hotels to commit to, so you might want to set your intentions for your trip before you pick one. Prices are high and therefore staying at a beach resort might be a waste of money if you plan to travel around. Relax, there is enough beach for you to spend time on anyway. I chose the Leonard Boutiqe Hotel, which was really really great! The room was super nice and the staff super friendly. The only thing that weirded me out was the whole kosher thing about not pushing buttons on Saturdays. What – no coffee machine?! Crises! You must know that I knew absolutly nothing about Jewish culture piror to my trip. Anyway, I survived that as well. They did have coffee after all.  There is no need to panic about booking hotels in other cities if you plan on staying over somewhere either, you can do that when you arrive. Now, with the practical stuff out of the way let’s look at 6 things you must do!

You can go pretty much anywhere and it’s all beautiful. I also love that Tel-Aviv is full of chill zones where people just lay down and feel life. Isn’t that just great?! It’s unusal for me to see people spend so much time outside with friends and family, mosty because Norwegians do that in remote places like the mountains or in the forest. And even though we come out of our winter hibernation during spring and summer, you usually find us in a bar or in the park that we turned into a bar. In Tel-Aviv people are just everywhere – which is great!

I spent my 7 days travelling around seeing all that I could see. I feel very honored though to have such a great tour guide to rely on – because I had no idea what to do. As you can see we spent time by the Dead Sea, in Tel-Aviv, the Bahai gardens, Jaffa and Jerusalem. Everything is just an hour or a couple away, so you really can make it all in good time. I was very astonished by the fact that what I though was so different actually reminded me of home in many ways. I mean, Israel is different, but the whole vibe of people are very similar. With that I mean the temper and behaviour of people. I didn’t feel out of place at all. Take away the chill zones and Sunday on Saturdays and voila: home.

If you’re tempted, go for it! I’ll share my personal top 5 and why with you inmy next post.

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På gjensyn!

Norwegian culture

May and 17th of May.

Hi there!

Yes, I am still alive – I’ve just been busy being Norwegian, which in this case means spending time outside for all intents and purposes. You see, when the nights get lighter and longer and the sun is shining we all move outside for the season. After what feels like a 100 year long winter, it’s a blessing to the soul to feel summer upon our see-through, D-vitamin hungry skin. Even if I have to restrain myself from complaining about the heat at the moment. It’s been a month since my last post and I know I promised you a peak into my 17th of May celebration, so I will start of by doing so. The normal family person would, as I mentioned in my last post, be up at the crack of dawn getting ready for the school parade, eating ice cream, playing games and wave their flags. I on the other hand choose to go with option number 2: sleep in for a bit (which was lovely this year since it was raining in the morning) and then have to kick myself into getting dressed and be off to bubble lunch. Yes, champagne for lunch (my case: breakfast). With friends. That is what I do. It usually last for 4 hours before we move to a bar to drink some more. I took some pics to show you:

 

I captured some Russ for you too, even if they are half dead after a three week binge.

The thing about our Independence Day is that it’s pure joy. It’s the one day of year everyone just enjoy themselves. Not only was the 17th a great day, but summer came early this year. Since that day we’ve had up to 30 degrees Celsius almost every day! Can you believe? So I’ve pretty much been outside in the sun with friends, enjoying myself. I also took a very spontaneous trip to Israel, which I will post by it’s own. So you see, May has been busy. But I promise to update more often throughout the summer. Even while on holiday.

I hope your May has been as good as mine.

På gjensyn! .