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.

Street

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.