Some days

IMG_2915

My classes were cancelled today, and I didn’t get up until late, though still on the right side of 12pm. I always set ten or so alarms, and this morning I remember turning each of them off, because, you see, I just wasn’t ready. Ready to leave my dream, my bed, and my bedbug-friends. When I finally did open my eyes, the air was ice cold. Like, freezing. Like, at the end of my bed stood the iceberg that sank the Titanic. That’s how cold it was. And the shit wasn’t melting. THAT’S how cold it was.

What the hell, April – you gave me the sniffles!

My mother came by in the afternoon to drink tea and keep me company. I needed the tea and I definitely needed the company. She also did the dishes I had piled up in and around my sink, while I provided her with some quality audial entertainment: myself, and my witty stories. I don’t know what I will do the day my mother grows out of my witty stories… sometimes I think my stories are the stories only a mother can love.

This week has been rough for different reasons, but none of them useless. There are some things I need to take care of, some patterns I need to deal with, and some parts of me I have to learn how to accept (and perhaps even love). Next week I am going to look into getting help to do all of this somehow, because I think it’s time. I hope it’s time. But I can make that call, right? I have that power. I think I have spent too many years trying to fix my own shit.

But Tonight I have a few things to celebrate:

- I’m finally out of one of the worst PMS-hazes of my life.
- I figured out how to watch the American Netflix on my laptop. I’m going to bring it with me to bed in a little bit.
- I did not give in to my extreme urges to stuff my face with junk food (and such things).
- I did however treat myself to a bowl of Greek yoghurt with granola.
- I had very few mess-ups when I painted my nails this evening.
- I’m on vacation. And soon, I will have a cardboard egg full of things that taste good.

Tomorrow will be a good, productive day. Say it with me. Tomorrow will be a good, productive day.

Older, braver, wiser, and all that jazz

IMG_3018

This week my blog gained a new reader: my grandmother. My lovely, loving, charismatic, warm, and hilarious grandmother, who by virtue of our familial relation has known me for all of my nearly twenty-five-years of existence on this planet. I still haven’t worked out how I feel about the concept of past lives and old souls inhabiting new bodies, but if there is any reality to all of this new-age talk, I know that we must have been together; souls conjoined, just like now. As I wrote in my speech for her 70th birthday, “Only in a dystopia of a world would there ever be a Sofie without her grandmother”.

Years ago, I would have been mortified by the mere thought of being physically confronted with what I had written in my online “diary”; because where my voice would continuously fail me in the “real world”, I could with the aid of my fingertips and a keyboard give life to thoughts and feelings I would never otherwise have uttered to anyone. The word “censoring” was not a part of my vocabulary, so all of it came out raw and unfiltered – like word vomit, with lots of big nasty chunks in between (Sorry, were you eating?). My main focus was not just to reflect but also to just get it out of me. I needed to empty myself from all the feelings I had inside that were sometimes too much for me to deal with. So I penned them down, figuratively speaking, and never had a problem sharing them with strangers because I knew it would stay in here, tucked away in this box, and there would never be any repercussions, because no one outside this universe knew.

I think we are all completely entitled to our own safe place, wherever that may be. Whether it’s a paper journal or one that only lives online, I think we have that right. For me, I have said it before and I will say it again – I don’t know what I would have done without the Internet. It got me through some of the worst years of my life. It also brought me the love of my life, Bugsy Boo (trying out some different nicknames for him here – hope for the best but expect the worst).

One of the benefits of growing older is that I have become significantly braver – and wiser. I use the Internet differently now. I still, like so many years ago, keep an online outlet that I invite others to read, but it no longer contains feelings or thoughts that I wouldn’t dare to say out loud to others. This is not a personal diary where I would write about my period having a funny color (oh come on, you have to be done eating by now) or a serious argument between my parents and I. While my blog is still personal, it just doesn’t have that function for me anymore; I just don’t need it. Gone are the days of teenage-anxiety and photos of tears; now it’s just a lot of mid-20’s mellow-drama with a pinch of hyperbole.

What I need now at this point in my life is to let it all out in a different way – to have a place to muse, and a place to archive memories of these years of my life. And I have that here.

To tell you the truth, I am proud of this little space that I have created. I am proud to have my family members reading along, and I am happy that I have found a balance that makes me able to sleep at night. I am no longer afraid of being found (oh, the anxiety attacks), and I love it when someone in my family comments on something they have read here, because I stand by all of it – every single word. And I didn’t before.

Anyway, this was a very long way to say that I am very, very happy that my grandmother is now reading, and that anyone is reading, really.

PS: HEJ FARMOR!

The Dinner Guest (and other tales)

IMG_0013

Yesterday was an absolutely stunning day in Copenhagen. It’s such a cliché, but all of nature’s prettiest components worked perfectly together; creating a perfect spring day for me, and everyone I met on my way through the city. Spring brings everyone out of hibernation, it seems – even me. My rather inconsistent foot situation has turned me into somewhat of a recluse. Every day is different, and it’s difficult for me to plan ahead because I don’t know what the days will bring. I very rarely do anything social. I know I have friends, but right now it all feels very peripheral.

I am currently in the midst of quietly dissolving one friendship, and the loss of that person (naturally) also means losing everything we did together – sushi, lattés at cafés after dark, hearing wonderful stories about her wonderful child. And yet, I am willing to give all of that up to never again feel the way I did in her company; so small, so belittled, so misunderstood, so transparent, so inexperienced, and so unimportant. There was nothing going on in our respective lives to warrant that imbalance, but I was never able to be myself, and I was ultimately overpowered.

That experience has given me some scars that were perhaps necessary for me to realize what I want in a friendship, or perhaps more importantly, what I definitely don’t want.

But I never had many friends to begin with, so the loss of one is something that can definitely be felt, and sometimes it makes me sad – but then it makes me happy that I have set myself free.

Yesterday was the first Saturday in a while that I have spent in somebody else’s company. My sister and her boyfriend invited me over for dinner, and I got to see his place for the first time. He lives with his parents, but they were out of town till Wednesday, so these two lovebirds had the whole nest to themselves, and boy were they thrilled. Their first act of “independence” was to invite yours truly over for dinner – did I feel special or what.

Here’s a selfie to commemorate this first time I was invited over for dinner by my babywista:

IMG_0015

May there be many more dinners to come.

IMG_0014

I just wasn’t made for these times (I guess)

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 11.35.16 AM

One of the many aisles of gold at the Copenhagen Archives

As a part of this course I am taking, I have to spend the next three Wednesdays at the Copenhagen Archives. We have been divided into groups of three, and whatever paper comes out of it will act as the basis of our oral exam this summer. It will also count as 50% of our final grade. We will be judged individually, which is always a good thing; it’s less nerve-wracking when you know you won’t be dragging anyone down with you.

It was really special being there, and actually getting my hands on these old documents that we have heard so much about. Last week we were informed of the law of handling these types of records, and what I gathered from it is that I should probably not be drinking tea anywhere near it. I guess that’s the reaction they were going for, right? That’s a pretty serious reaction in my book. Anyway, for now (and until I do something stupid) I have graduated from photocopies and on to the real thing, and honestly the real thing feels so much better (it almost always does, don’t you agree?).

My perhaps favorite things were the old books of records. Considering how they were centuries old, they were surprisingly well kept. On several of the pages I would run my fingers over the beautiful handwriting that was written hundreds of years ago with a pen and ink, and I would think, “I belong here”; among these treasures that have been tucked away for future assessment and admiration. I couldn’t and can’t read about half of it, but that’s nothing that the two P’s can’t fix: Practice and Patience. Those two P’s are a Historians best friend, I think. What’s also incredible is how you can conclude so much from so little material. I can’t wait to get my little hands on all of it. (To the guard: I promise said hands won’t be greasy.)

Finally, I get to be my own little version of Nancy Drew.

Aside from this little personal affirmation that I am just where I need to be (and perhaps because of this), the rest of the experience was somewhat of an anti-climax. Why? Well, honestly it was somewhat of a social failure for me, I think. It’s hard to be three people in a group, we all know that, and I knew that going in, but I was hoping that this constellation of people would be the exception to the rule. It’s nobody’s fault – except perhaps my own. I am sure I subconsciously contributed a-plenty to own experience of feeling a little left out. It kind of confirms what I already believe to be true about myself, so why wouldn’t my subconscious do that to me?

The way I see it, there were several problems. Firstly, we were seated rather awkwardly and I had to strain my neck to be able to get a glimpse of whatever document we were attempting to transcribe. That meant that I at times had to lean back and kind of withdraw myself from whatever we were doing because I just couldn’t sit in that position for minutes on end. Also, my vision has gotten progressively worse, and I just couldn’t see unless it was close to me, or at least closer to me.

Secondly, l have a feeling I made somewhat of a bad impression on one of my group-members, whom I have met before, but whom I have never worked closely with until now. Mind you, this might all be in my head, but I had a strong feeling both during and after that I had messed up somehow, and see; this is when it would be awesome to get to be a fly on the wall for a day to observe yourself in action, because I honestly have no idea what I seem like to others. Anyway, I’m a big believer in structure. I am not the most structured person in my private life, and I often struggle to keep my overview, but when it comes to projects and group-work, I truly believe in the power of structure and organization. So, I was kind of that person. If you know what I mean. The one, who wants to set aside some time to figure out a work-schedule for the next four weeks – the one, who wants like… a strategy of some sort, on how to deal with what and when. I mean, we have been told we have to spend 18 hours on this a week AND keep a logbook of everything we do, so to me it seems perfectly logical to figure out a plan for our work.

On top of that, I had a lot of inputs. I wanted to be visible, to be a contributor. When I was younger, I wanted to be a part of whatever tapestry was covering the walls. Perhaps I am trying to compensate for that now, because I just couldn’t seem to hold my tongue. For that reason, I might have seemed dominating. I will say that I was on a lucky strike yesterday. I mean; I was really on a roll – for once. It’s the first true success-experience I have had with all of this, I think. Even the transcriptions I feel I was good at, which I have always found to be so difficult.

However, I felt like he, the aforementioned group-member (who was kind of unofficially in charge because he was handling the computer), thought I was being too much, so I tried to hold back a little bit, but by then it was like it was already ruined – his picture of me, I mean. I think he felt like my suggestions were domineering, and perhaps it did come off that way – but that definitely wasn’t how I intended it.
Anyway. He consistently turned to our other group-member, and kind of ignored me, which to little sensitive ol’ me spoke volumes. I felt like I had a neon-sign on my forehead that said, “Bossypants”, and I felt misunderstood. I also felt that my efforts were being devalued, and unfairly so.

Now I have had some time to think about it, and I honestly don’t believe I did anything wrong. I don’t feel like I overstepped any boundaries. I feel like I contributed constructively, and that my contribution bore fruit, just like was the case with that of the others. I feel like I gave credit where credit was due.

And, you know, I’m going to go out on a limp here and say that I think my being female has something to do with his reaction to my behavior. I don’t know what kind of expectations existed to begin with, but I clearly didn’t meet them. I voiced my thoughts and opinions, but I didn’t overrule him in any way. I let him try his stuff out and then if that wasn’t working out, I chimed in. I didn’t just sit idly by, twirling a curl around my finger. Would that have been easier? Totally! I would most likely be more liked then I was, doing what I was doing. But, hello, when has that ever gotten us anywhere? It was like I had to incept the idea into his head for him to think it was worth trying. I had to make him believe he came up with it. And you know what; that’s BS and way too complicated, and frankly, demeaning to the both of us. I can’t work like that. I won’t work like that. I want credit for my own ideas. I am entitled to participate on an equal level.

So WHATEVER.

A little tale about my father — and the 1980′s punk-movement

10528_1239717954022_2950407_n

This photo is from 1981, and that’s my father up there. He’s the second from the left – black hair, arm in sling, leather jacket; in deep conversation with some chic redhead, who would probably be happy to know that boho is back.

My father was 16 in 1981, and completely devoted to this subculture that was the punk-movement. He was a huge Ramones-fan (still is), and would travel all over Europe on the weekends with his friends, attending concerts, and spending the nights on floors and couches belonging to other European punks, who he had sometimes met once or twice before – and sometimes not at all. But that didn’t matter, because there was a genuine trust between them due to their deeply rooted shared values and resistance towards the petit-bourgeois attitudes of their parents and their peers. They were fighting a fight together that was not unique to any European country, and together they dealt with the harassment and attacks that came with belonging to this particular subculture that was very radical and hard to comprehend a lot of people. Their Mohawks, piercings and leather jackets, were all seen by many as a direct provocation, and these kids went through most days being spit on; sometimes even assaulted, for dressing differently, for dying their hair crazy colors. The more resistance, the more piercings.

The reason why my father is wearing a sling in the above photograph is because he was run over. And the reason why he was run over was because he was a punk, and the driver thought it would be funny to scare him a little – to teach him a lesson. He didn’t mean to actually hit him, but he did, and my father almost lost his life. He spent in 9 months in the hospital, with metal poles through his legs, and it took him a long time to be able to walk again. He had also lost about half of his vocabulary.

The driver of the car came by a few times to visit him, and brought him a television, so he would have something to do. I bet his life changed forever, too. I wonder what it does to a person to know that he almost killed another person, and only somewhat by accident.

Despite his detest of mainstream society, my father was a very serious student. After his accident he attended a liberal high school, where his main subjects were Math, Psychology and Spanish. He became a drummer in a band, Anoxia Cerebri, which in Latin supposedly means “no oxygen to the brain”. After he took up this rather noisy hobby, his parents promptly suggested he’d move down to the basement. Here he covered the walls in shiny gold tapestry.

My father never became a rockstar, and I don’t think he ever wanted to. In fact, he was kicked out of the band by the others because he didn’t take it seriously enough, and also he kept breaking his drumsticks. In the late 1980s, my rather autonomous father decided to go into business and economics; so much for sticking it to the man. I have a feeling most of his punk-friends eventually went down the same road. Perhaps it was just time for it to end – for them to take responsibility. All phases have their time. Some remained in the environment, and still dress like they did back then, even though it’s been 30 years. What seems unique for this particular group of people is the fact that they all still remember each other, and still meet every once in a while, putting on their old leather jackets or army jackets and leaving their business suits in the closet.

I chose this photo of him because it is fitting, but also because I know that is how he sees himself still. I think he identifies much more with this boy than he does with who he is now – and I think he feels proud of that boy’s accomplishments; of his guts. I have always loved the stories of my father’s time as a punk, because he stuck to who he was. He wasn’t ashamed. He expressed himself, and received a lot of grief for it, but he turned the other cheek time and time again — they all did. And by doing so, they contributed to an fascinating chapter in history.

Tag, you’re it!

Thank you, D! I love this stuff.

1. What’s your motto?

You can’t control the hand of cards that life has given you, but it’s up to you to play them the best way possible. Basically, make the most of what you have.

2. What’s the first memory you remember having?

I think my first memory is from when I was around three years old. Our apartment had a layout where it was possible to run through all the rooms, like in a circle. I remember running through the apartment over and over, each time knocking down one of my mom’s laundry piles on her bed.

I also think I remember going to sleep in the baby-carriage, looking up at the inside of the folding-top that was covered in stickers. But maybe I am just imagining that.

3. Is there a word you seem to say a lot?

I try not to say “Uhm” too much (or the Danish equivalent, “Øhm”), but sometimes I need to think long and hard before answering, and that’s a way to let people know that I am processing.

4. If you could live anywhere, where would you choose?

New York, I think, but I honestly don’t think Copenhagen is such a bad place to be.

5. What’s your favorite indulgence?

Coca Cola Zero, but I’m trying very hard to cut down.

6. What’s a song you have repeatedly stuck in your head?

Lately, it’s been “Crazy” by Patsy Cline (you can imagine how great that sounds), but it changes. I have this shower song that I can’t remember for the life of me right now, but it just comes to me when I’m out there. I think it’s a power-ballad.

7. Think of something soft. what is the first thing that comes to mind?

This is going to sound so self-absorbed, but here goes. Okay, so, last night I wanted to do something -special- for myself, which began by me ordering takeaway, and ended with me adding a glitter coat to my pre-existing nail polish. In between these two things, though, I decided to use this facial peeling creme (is it a creme if it’s grainy as shit and it feels like you are rubbing sand on your face? I just don’t know), and then I followed it up by adding a thin layer of facial creme to my freshly-peeled face; and I swear to god, may I drop dead If I’m lying;  my skin was so soft that I couldn’t stop touching it. I basically spent my friday night touching my own face. I would’ve called my sister and told her she was missing the softest thing ever, but she was out, and also it would’ve seemed weird, so, I didn’t.

So yeah, my own face.

8. When you were a kid who did you look up to and why?

Possibly some pop-star…

Don’t worry, I cringe daily at my younger self.

9. If you could communicate with any animal, which would you choose?

I cam honestly say that I have never really felt the desire to communicate with any animal. I just like to pet them, and I don’t mind the dialogue being one-sided.

10. What do you like to do on rainy days?

When I was younger, I loved being outside in the rain. I would run outside when I saw the first few drops, and the more it poured, the more exciting it was. The best was getting absolutely SOAKED — it made my hair look so great. What was not so great was the cold that usually followed. But now… I don’t know, maybe I’m afraid of melting or something, but I tend to find it more appealing to snuggle up under a blanket with a cup of tea. I’ve reached a point where I think I’ll leave the running around to the kids. Also, wearing glasses in the rain makes it a lot less enjoyable.

11. What do you hope to achieve this year?

In 2014, I would like to pass the second and third semester of my studies, and… maybe make some new friends.

—–

I tag Alice and Angie!

Words of Love #1

cupid+silhouette+Image+GraphicsFairy7sm

A typical romantic Skype conversation between Andrew and I. He goes first:

- What the hell was that face you just made?
- It was my stretching-while getting comfortable face. You should know it well.
- You looked like Cartman.
- That is pretty much the most insulting thing you’ve ever said.
- Why?
- Because no one wants to look like Cartman?
- No, no.
- Well–
- It’s just your face.

It’s okay, he’s my favorite character.

Image source.