“I value realness. Aspiring for a world where we forget about displaying our "perfect facades" and rather focus on building genuine relations. Our lives are already full of external pressure; we're living in societies creating the frameworks for how we are supposed to live our lives. But I refuse to conform to that pattern. I refuse to make my own life's decisions based on other people's opinions.
I grew up with a sick mother, and had to care for her even at an early age. I used to be so pessimistic, focusing only on how unfortunate I was. It exhausted me. But my troubles only grew stronger, and it eventually forced me to take my emotions seriously. As I tried doing so, I realized that I had a long journey to embark on. It all started when I traveled to India. I had this great urge for new impressions; new perspectives that could give me the answers to my unaddressed questions. In India I got to meet people who were thriving contentedly while living in extremely difficult and scarce conditions, and it changed my whole perception of gratefulness. These people taught me that quality of life is not about how much you own or how many people you can get to envy you. The pursuit of happiness is all within your own mindset.
Becoming thankful - constantly reminding myself how privileged I have been growing up with all the resources I need to flourish and be healthy - it changed my life. It made me forget about the superficial and materialistic things my life once was colored by, and my capacity to show love and radiate positivity is growing as well. Through this journey, I found that the only way for me to truly be happy was to free myself from all external definitions of who I am supposed to be. I guess I've just decided to be whoever the hell I want. Learning to be completely comfortable with myself. I wear whatever I feel like - crazy colors and home-made graffiti-pants, I put on whatever makeup I feel like, and my hair pretty much changes drastically from week to week. It’s become my hobby - expressing my feelings and personality through my hair; one day I color it purple and braid it, and the next day I might shave it all off.
As I please.”
- Mari, Norway