Feelings, nothing more than feelings.

I haven’t written a post in a while ’cause I’ve been a bit down. It’s nothing big. It’s to be expected. I’ve been here for more than a month and my days are getting into a routine. It doesn’t feel like a vacation anymore, and I have a lot of free time. I might feel sad about not seeing my friends and family. I might feel annoyed that I can’t play basketball for a while. This made me think about how we feed into our feelings. We let them tell us how we are doing. We let them be in control.

It has been a problem for me in the past that I feel guilty very quickly and over the smallest things. I even feel guilty when It’s not my responsibility. When I was feeling really stressed for the first time in my life it was mostly because of my feelings of guilt. I felt I wasn’t doing all I could in the projects I was running. I felt guilty about finishing group assignments first at the expense of my own tasks.
I went to see a therapist. I needed someone to help me put things into perspective.

He told me that whenever we’re feeling guilty, no matter what it is, we should try and figure out where the responsibility lies. Is it really on us? Half the time we feel guilty for things that we cannot control. Things that shouldn’t have anything to do with guilt. Sometimes it’s not our responsibility even though our body is implying that it is.
Then of course there are those times when it is our responsibility. Then we have to work through that. Can I learn from this? Can I prevent this from happening in the future? What part of the situation can I control?

Sometimes when a feeling comes up we jump on board and consider them truth. But that’s where we’re wrong. Feelings aren’t always the truth.
You can feel sad for a moment, but be happy in general. You can feel good, but not be happy.

You know when you put off a task and you watch TV in stead. Classic. You might feel good while watching the show, but the good feeling is short-lived. Completing the task and succeeding with your work will, in the long run, bring you joy. You’ll feel a sense of completion. You’ll feel accomplished after having put in the work. You’ll be happy.

The short-lived good/bad feelings in our lives are the ones that play with our mood the most. After a lost basketball game, or even just a missed shot, you might feel annoyed or disappointed. It might have a negative effect on your whole day, and now this minor thing gets blown way out of proportion just because you let the feeling take over.

We can’t suppress our feelings. That doesn’t help us. I don’t even know if it’s possible. We shouldn’t feed into them either though. If they come then they’ve come. All we can do is ask ourselves if they have a right to be there. Is this feeling going to help you in this situation? If not, let it pass through.

When writing these blog posts I usually wait for an interesting idea or experience that I want to write about. I’ve done a lot of fun things since the last time I posted. I didn’t want to write about them because, for some reason, I was feeling more down than in the past weeks. Turns out this subject was an important one for me. I was trying to make sense of my thoughts. These thoughts needed to go through the writing process and be written down.

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I was walking down the street earlier today with my headphones in listening to “Love over Gold” by Dire Straits. It was one of those moments where you feel like you’re the main character in a music video or movie. You feel like “the man”. I’m sure it’s easy to relate. I felt a rush of joy. I am happy.
I decided it was time to stop delaying this topic. This ‘movie’ has its ups and downs like all good movies do.

 

The post’s artist/band is Dire Straits. This band was also introduced to me by my father, Mr. Holton… shoutout pabbi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cats vs. dogs

After having lived here for a couple of weeks now there is one thing that I know for sure… dogs run this town. Everywhere I go there are dogs. You would think that in a big city like this not too many people have room for a dog in their tiny New York apartment. But dogs of all sizes rule these streets.
Where are all the cats? Those of you who have ever lived in Reykjavík know that cats basically own it. Downtown Reykjavík is filled with cats. I miss them.

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New York dog toilet

Now here’s the real question. Which animal do I prefer? Cats vs. dogs. It is impossible to answer… I haven’t had a dog (“thanks mom!”), but I’ve had quite a few cats. Dogs love you so much, they are always excited to see you and would like nothing more than to hang out with you. They do however need a lot of attention, you have to walk them and make sure they aren’t by themselves for too long.
Cats are way more self-reliant. They go in and out as they please. If they want contact with you it will be on their terms. They can however be dicks. Because of their need for independence they do not care about you if you piss them off in some way. Which actually is kind of fair. Well, in conclusion: I have no idea.

The reason this post is dedicated to cats and dogs is that I am in the city of dogs but I have found the cats. Here is the best cafe in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Cat Cafe.

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To be fair it is not really great for getting a cup of coffee or something to eat. I was just there I don’t even know what they offer, I was more interested in the CATS I guess.

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A couple of days ago I stumbled upon their website and I knew I had to go there. They are a non-profit organization that holds a great deal of adoptable cats.
Before I visited I even filled out a form applying for a volunteer position at the cafe. I am currently waiting a response. This means I might get to be around these lovely kitties some more. Hopefully I’ll be able to help out there a couple of times a week!

I’ve never considered volunteering before. Usually you look for a job that pays. I guess we humans are selfish in that way, like cats.
Now, of course, is a great time to volunteer. I’m not allowed to work here and I have a lot of free time on my hands. What better way to spend my time than to snuggle up with a bunch of cats!

Since Reykjavík is the city of cats, maybe I should open up a cat cafe there! Nobody steal my idea please. Or maybe do. There are so many cats looking for a home in Iceland, we could do with some cat cafes.

I want to give a special shout-out to my favourite snuggler today, I don’t know his name but here’s his cute face. He was a dick to the other cats when they tried to get my attention. It was sweet. Come to think of it he looks kind of evil.

If you decide to comment your opinion on cats vs. dogs please give specific reason as to why you prefer one species over the other.

For this post I have picked a soundtrack from a film. It is Awesome mix vol. 1 from Guardians of the Galaxy. I have listened to it countless times. It is amazing.

Paying attention to detail

You know when you haven’t been a student for a while and you feel the urge to do an assignment? You think about all those english classes/Icelandic classes you had and you think “I would kill that assignment now!”.
I just realized this is probably the reason why I’m blogging while I’m here. It is primarily for me to be able to write, but what’s even better now is that more than one person will read this (I hope), as opposed to one teacher.

While walking my street back to my apartment I was admiring the buildings along the way. We all know that “Friends” apartment building look, well that’s what my street looks like. It’s not only beautiful to walk by them, if you really pay attention there is so much detail!

 

So now, since I wasn’t required to I researched the neighbourhood a little bit! Brooklyn Heights is a very wealthy neighbourhood, it is said to be one of most expensive places to live in all of New York City.
As I mentioned before, one of its best qualities is the Promenade, but its streets are also amazing. After realizing how much architectural detail there is I have begun to appreciate this neighbourhood even more.  Just look at these carvings into a now regular apartment building on Ramsen Street.

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My favourite street is of course Love Lane. It is a small street we used to walk pass daily when living at the dorms. Very popular for shooting stuff for movies I hear! This was written about the street in an 1894 New York Times article:

“The oldest residents can remember a time when there was a cool and shady path leading down “Lover’s Lane,” where plump, rosy-cheeked Dutch maidens, with their sweethearts, meandered on summer evenings out through the turnstile and down the grassy bank to the water’s edge.”

I’ve been working at a tourist information for the past three summers in Iceland and I always tell people to check out the oldest part of town and to not miss the oldest street, Grjótagata, but I can’t say for sure if I’ve been there. I know for sure I haven’t appreciated it or taken it all in. I’ll have to do that.

My goal from now on is to pay more attention to detail. It will help me appreciate things even more.
It will also just help me to be mindful. I have a goal to meditate more. When I say more I mean some, because right now I don’t really. But this I think is a form of meditation. Meditation is clearing your mind and the two easiest techniques to help you get started is to focus on hearing and breathing with your eyes closed. But what about when you’re out? When you’re walking to the store or on your way to work? I think paying attention to detail can help anyone feel more calm and mindful.

I want to end this post with this picture I took in Svarfaðardalur last year (a valley in the north of Iceland). On the sign it says “Sæla” which means “Bliss”. I am so happy living here. Getting to live with my boyfriend for a while after some years of long distance. Getting to live in yet another place that is different from my home. My generation has the opportunity to do anything, and it is overwhelming sometimes, but it is so important to enjoy what we are doing now.

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This post’s artist or band is Rush. They rock and shoutout to Mr. Holton for introducing them into my life.

 

 

All roads lead to The Promenade

Being from Iceland I am definitely enjoying the extra 10-15 degrees in September. I have now been here for almost a week and I realized that almost every day I have ended up going to the Promenade. The Brooklyn Heights Promenade is a pedestrian walkway where you get a great view of Manhattan.

Whether it is just to walk the “nicer” way home, to get some sun, or to go running, it never fails. While I’m here I want to explore New York and especially Brooklyn, The Promenade will however always be my first favorite place.

At the end of the Promenade we’ve found the best pizza place in Brooklyn. Granted we haven’t been to all of them, but after this one I feel like we don’t need to.

It is the lovely Julianna’s!

This is a small pizza place in the best location.. right by the Promenade. It’s a walk-in only restaurant so there will be a cue, but it’s worth the wait. What’s really special about this place is that the 84 year old owner, Patsy, is often there. He was last night and you can see how much he cares about his little pizzeria.

Of course after such a great meal you always need something sweet. Just a few steps down the street you’ll find the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Even when I’ve been here during winter, when the humid air freezes up your hair, I still get a scoop. It’s so delicious.

Now the blog might start to seem like I’m posting to advertise for certain places.. but it’s all just for me to remember them.

At the end of every blog I’ve decided to dedicate it to an artist. As you can imagine I like to listen to some music while writing.

This blog’s artists are JóiPé and Króli. They are taking Iceland by storm right now. The hottest in Icelandic Hip Hop at the moment. Keep it up. Their latest album Gerviglingur is good. Listen to it.