Parenthood

It’s not possible to prepare for the probably biggest thing that will ever happen to you, when expecting a child to come to this world. The endless books and articles written on the topic, the many generations before us, none of it has really been able to prepare us for something so scaring, terrifying, traumatising, overwhelming, wonderful and mind blowing, yet, such a natural and biological thing as becoming a parent. Those big eyes in that little body, the smell, the heart warming laugh once my child starts to make noises, its first steps, its first word… all of these moments which means the world to me, and no only me.

Feels like yesterday, when I was seven years old, playing out in the garden of my parents, and now I am all grown up and am your parent.

I am responsible for a life, which I brought to this world. With all the issues, problems, questions and fears I have for my own self, not to even mention all the horrible evil in the world, I am to ensure that you lack nothing in your childhood. I’m always here for you, emotionally, physically, financially… you are to get the best upbringing one can possibly get, much better than the one I got. I have to ensure that you grow strong, healthy, believe that the world is at your feet, that you’re brave for yourself, that you won’t hurt others, and that you learn from your own, as much as from other’s mistakes. You are my world. You are my everything. I love you. You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me. Even if you were not planned. Even if I had moments where I wished differently for myself… I love you. I adore you. You are my miracle. And you grow up to be a teenager who is embarrassed by me. There will later be moments where you slam the door and scream at me to leave you alone. Despite you running away and making all those mistakes I begged you not to make. I love you, even when you make go mad.

I am your parent. I gave you life. I did my best to make the beginning of your life as amazing as I could. I tried to give you the best childhood I never had. I forgot myself in the mission I created, conscious or not, planned or not, no one told me how difficult it will be. I never wanted you to lack anything. You are my miracle in this world, so innocent, so precious. I gave up my life for yours. My every breath was and is for you.

I hold your hand, and wipe away your tears when your heart breaks for the first time, and the second.. in fact, I will hold your hand every time you need me to. There is no way I can protect you from the madness out there. You are eager to see the world, travel, meet new people, make your own experience, write your own history. At some point in time, I find myself to no longer be a main character in your story, but a bystander, which you occasionally call, to ask for help or support, financially, emotionally… oh, and don’t forget to ask me how I am doing – I raised you to be polite after all. I no longer see you every day, every week or every month even. You grow up, and move out to the big world. Eager and full of hope, to accomplish big things in this world, to make it a better place, for others or just for yourself. My little miracle standing on its own legs and makes a living far, far away from me.

Every once in a blue moon we meet up. Holidays, maybe vacation or sometimes when you miss my homemade food or pass by on a business trip near me. We have coffee, maybe dinner if I’m lucky and you have enough time for me. I miss you every day, all day of every day. I wish time didn’t pass by this quickly. At some point I thought life played a trick on me. It felt like yesterday you were small enough to fit in my arms, and now I am the one getting smaller and tinier by the years. I grow old, yet, you are much too focused on yourself growing up. All the pressure that is being put on your generation. I don’t know how you keep up with it. All the requirements, all the musts, the competition to just make it anywhere these days… it was different back then, “a thousand years ago”, when I was your age. Since you moved out, I’ve tried to pick up the pieces that I once dropped to make your life the best life one could have. Those pieces are a couple of decades old now. They haven’t changed much since then. They are not very useful now though. I feel lost, and I no longer have you,  my little miracle, close to me. You must know how proud I am of you. You’re the best thing in my life. Nothing compares to you. Nothing at all.

I suppose that I’m not replaceable for you either. Nevertheless, you’re too busy with your own life. You grow up, and I grow old. Somewhere along that road, I lost my own parents, so I don’t have that comfort to call, to ask for help or support. I am completely on my own. And you are far away. I cannot hug you, smell your scent, and feel your heart beating. Just like I did when you were small enough to fit into my arms. I lost my own support, and I didn’t realize how fast that passed by, because I was busy creating my own life, writing my own story, where you became my main star of the show. I grew up, and my parents grew old. Probably feeling and thinking very much the same, that I am feeling and thinking right now. Abandoned. Lonely.

I try to not show you how I feel when we meet, and that is already less often than I would like to. All the sadness I feel when you’re gone, I don’t want you to know how much I hurt, because I am so happy when we finally meet, I want to freeze time, hug every moment I get to spend with you, even if you’re constantly checking your phone when we’re together. If I could choose, I’d like you to live just around the corner, not in some metropoly of a city, thousands of miles away, with millions of people who don’t understand how lucky they are to be close to my miracle, to you. They will never understand how precious you are. They will never love you like I love you. You are my heart, my soul, my sunshine and the best decision I ever made.

By the time you realize that I am old, you’ll be torn between work, friends, a partner, yoga classes and maybe you’ve created your own little miracle, and made me a grandparent. That special bond we shared is now secondary, as you focus on giving your child the best beginning of its life. Ensure that your child doesn’t lack anything and get’s the best upbringing one can get, much better than the one you got. I am sorry I was never perfect, I did my best, please believe me, I gave my all for you.

And then comes that day, where I no longer will be around, and at that moment, you might notice how quick the time passed by. Perhaps then you realize that just as I only had you on loan, you had me on loan as well. Whatever disputes we had, different opinions on any topic, none of that really matters any longer. I will be gone, and you will have to be the adult, no longer anyone’s child. Please remember what I taught you, to be strong, to be brave, to have courage and learn from your and other people’s mistakes. Please don’t forget me. I did my best. I know you wanted and wished for more. I could only give you so much. Please keep the memories we created together in your heart. You were the best thing that ever happened to me, and I was always so grateful to be chosen to be your parent. I missed you every day, all day, especially after you moved out from home to make your own life. I tried my best to give you everything I never had, so that you never lacked anything in your life. I know there were moments you were embarrassed about me, moments you were angry at me, for whatever reason, if only for the mere fact that I was your parent. I know there were moments you wished I was gone, a pure pain in your life, and that I would stop talking… but love, you must know that all I wanted was to show you how much I cared for you.

Now I’m gone, and hopefully all that needed to be said, has been said. I hope I taught you everything I could to prepare you for the life that awaits you now. Maybe you’ll understand how I felt once your own child leaves home to write his or her own story of life. You’ll have to stand the pain of becoming a bystander of your own miracle’s life. I realize that there is a time for everything, and every day people are born and people die. I don’t know what happens next, but I hope that I will be able to hold you in my arms one day again. Because I miss you, every day, all day. Even if I’m no longer around to bug you on the phone or in a text message, which you see while being in an important meeting at work and then forget to answer. Even though that business trip requires you to work over Christmas and not come home, again. My heart beats for you, even if you find me to be a nag for asking you to please go to the doctor’s with that aching elbow you hurt while playing tennis the other week. I never realized how important my parents were to me until it was too late. I don’t want you to feel that way. But you will. Because it is not possible to prepare for one of the saddest thing that will ever happen to you, when losing your parent. The endless books and articles written on the topic, the many generations before us, none of it has really been able to prepare us for something so scary, terrifying in fact, traumatising, yet, such a natural thing as losing a parent.

I loved you long before you were born, and I will keep loving you long after I’m gone. Although it feels like yesterday I had you in my arms, that little body with large eyes looking at the world for the first time… The years pass by much faster than… much faster than anyone of us wants.

All my love, your parent

Dear mother, this is how I believe you are feeling and thinking. I don’t know for sure, because you have never spoken about this with me. I want you to know that our special bond is not gone, and this is what I feel that you are carrying with you. I love you, for everything and anything you have done and given me. The sweet memories that we created will not be forgotten. I miss you every day, all day. 

 

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Let’s Catch Up

It’s a funny and yet weird feeling to be back in the city where it all started, some years ago. A tie when you were growing up, making plans, trying boundaries and breaking your own rules, only to find that the life you’ve created for yourself, is not at all what you wanted or wished for.

Let me give you a tour around my life so that you can follow me.

Four years ago, I was fed up with dating. I spent every day in the dance studio doing what I loved the most, dancing, and late at night, when I was too tired to go to bed, I would sit at my kitchen table and write my fingers off in a blog, which I set up only to prevent my head from exploding and save money from having to actually visit a shrink – this way seemed much cheaper and more efficient… kinda.

I graduated from university, and stumbled upon a homepage of a postgrad program that sounded like just what I was looking for, taking me abroad. A few weeks later, I was heading to Berlin, to start my next adventure. Little did I know, what was suppose to be five months, ended up being four years. For roller-coaster-love-hate-relationship-heartbroken-fulfilling-terrifying-wonderful-disappointing years in the German capital. At some point, after many months of being ignored by my own boss, a window opened, and I decided to sneak out through it, and try something else. This time, the adventure took me back to the city that I once left, being fed up with the limitations, the templates and boxes one should fit into in order to actually fit in. The fitting in part was never very suitable to me. I never really felt like a person who could do that. Arrogant to say, or more so, to write, but I somewhat always knew that I would stand out. Nothing about me is ordinary, not in an ordinary way. Perhaps that is also what my mother wishes for me choosing a name for me which in this part of the world, sticks to your mind just because it is so untypical and uncommon.

Anyway, coming back to the point, I ended up where I started and have never felt so out of place ever in my life before. As if I was some alien that just landed on a new planet, trying to fit in, when all I felt was that I needed to return home, however, my space ship which landed me here was long gone, and I spoke a language which no one understood.

The first two months in my new-old city made me feel sad, stressed and exhausted. Not only because of the long hours I chipping in at work, but all the social awkwardness that once was so natural to me, now felt like a game I no longer knew how to play, or even worse, wanted to take part of. The friends I made years back, and still was in touch with, now felt even more distant than when I was living abroad, as if suddenly living in the same city made it so much harder to stay in touch, or better yet, to meet up in person. The city here is not easy to live in. It’s a hard world out there, and with my expectations from life, and especially on my self, this was not going to be an easy journey to make. Needless to say, I soon found myself being in a hole so dark and so cold, I had no idea where to go, or what to do with myself.

In a certain way, I am still down in that hole. I am still clueless of what to do or where to go, one this internship ends – and it will. Sooner rather than later. And to be perfectly honest, at this point, I am welcoming this ending. Because, just as much as I was telling myself, that this would be right for me. I am now not so very sure any longer. In fact, sitting here with my computer in my lap, writing my fingers off, makes me happy. I am close to tears when writing this post, still uncertain if to post it online and share with you all, but the mere fact that I am vocalising my thoughts, my feelings, my fears and joys on paper again, is a physical relief to my body. As I’m writing this now, I cannot remember why I stopped doing this in the first case. Was I scared? Was I so afraid to make something more of my hobby and potentially fail? (I kinda know that the last question is a “spot on” but let’s save that for a later discussion).

Being in this moment, I am looking forward to start over. To make something new. And although once can claim, that every day you’re a blank page, and you have the power to change your life, every day. One has to believe it in order to live it. And in fact, that is what I want to do. I want to be able to change my life, in the direction of my dreams, and I want to be able to do so, every day. Whenever I want to. Yes, I am a dreamer. Yes, I know for a fact that life has its up’s and down’s, and I am perfectly aware that not all can be covered in rainbows and butterflies, but I still want to be able to believe that it can. That I can create the lifestyle that I want for myself, and find inner peace and harmony, and not ask myself “what am I doing here?” every second day of my life.

The best advice was given to me today; make decision that you believe can be right for a year or two, and then, make new decisions.

This was exactly what I needed to hear, in order to silence the power stations I have in my head, stressing me about every single vital question I am asking myself, every day, and every hour of the day.

I don’t believe that it is a coincidence, that I am back where I started, just four years later, only to ask myself the same questions, where to go? what to do? who am I? who do I wish to become?

Is it possible that I lack the ability to make a decision, or to focus, or even to stick to one identity or goal? I feel like I am still trying things life, trying life out, finding out what life could be like, and then – at some far away distant point of time – possibly finding a path or a little trail… perhaps, needing to create one myself, and be content with that direction. At this point, that seems very distant, yet, the more I think about it, the more I feel as if I need to go even further. As if I’ve been given a chance to “try again”, after my four years in Germany. Maybe I am not good at settling down, or sticking to one place or goal, and finding out that there is so much more to life than one path… maybe that is what I am suppose to do? Finding my place in this world, or better yet, creating it, is harder than I ever thought. I just really hope that it is worth all the pain that I am going through, because at times, it feels very much different than that.

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Lifetime Apart

Sitting at the bus the other day, I saw a young mother coming in with her little child in the stroller. The mother sat down on a free seat next to the parked stroller, pulled her cell phone out and started to text with someone. Completely uninterested in what was going on around her, or her baby, the young mother kept smiling to herself as she was on her cell phone.

A couple of stops later, an elderly woman walked onboard the bus. One could tell that the lines in her face were traces of a lifetime of joy and laughter, but also sadness and fatigue. As she was about to walk by the stroller with the child she suddenly stopped. The bus started to move, and the old woman just stood still, watching the child in the stroller.

From where I was sitting, I observed the whole situation with a little bit of sadness in my eyes, thinking that this is what life looks like. From a baby in a stroller, to an old woman on the bus. Their eyes met, and the little child smiled to the woman as she stood crooked next to the stroller. Watching how this little human being who just entered this planet had so much to look forward to, so much to learn and so many mistakes to make. A lifetime apart, was standing just next to each other on a bus. And it was the most natural, yet remarkable situation. The little child is most probably going to have a complete different childhood than the elderly woman was ever given. Not because of the family, religion or ethnicity that the happen to be born in, but the time. The time that they two were born are completely different, and so is the world that they will live in.

Is it fair? Is it a choice? Who decided which year the two should be born in? Who decides what the world is suppose to be like as they grow up? Can one really say that growing up and growing old in one time if better than another?

Is it not amazing how two people that meet in the same time, will really have lived in two completely different worlds? Perhaps a little bit too philosophical, yet, I was stunned by the look of them two, as their eyes met. Although the little child most probably sought for attention, as its mother was too busy texting on her cell phone, I am pretty certain that there were a lot of thoughts running through the mind of the elderly woman.

Two eyes met, shared a smile, and a bus ride away they parted again. Just an ordinary day where extraordinary things are so small, that you might miss them if you don’t look up from your cell phone screen.

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Love More

Have you ever ended up staying up until early hours with a dear friend or random person, jumping from one topic to another? It happened to me a while ago, where a dear friend of mine and I discussed relationships, true love and the concept of finding your “one and only” person. Often I hear that couple stay together for different reasons, although the love or the bond is gone. Fear of being alone, children, rough finances, impossible housing situations and so on, are the most common reasons. Yet, one of the worse things in my opinion is when one person is “waiting for something better to come along”. For some reason this makes me rather upset. Why would you not have the courage to face the truth or even share your thought or feelings with your significant other, and admit that you are deeply wishing to meet another person to create butterflies in your belly, or make your knees weak… I keep asking myself if it is just a matter of perception, where one says “I love you”, and the other replies “I love you more”. Maybe this is the point. We cannot love each other equally, ever. Perhaps for the very simple reason we love differently begins with the purposes, or different levels of our emotions, or even different depths… Maybe we want to be the one who loves more, and when that is not the case, we believe that we have not found “the one”?

I have been wondering many times before abot the concept of love, some of it you can read here; what is love. If you now find yourself to be in a relationship, do you ever wonder if you love this person equally much as (s)he loves you back? Does it matter? I don’t mean the love one has for your child or parents, as that is perhaps something different, where the emotions are connected to a fact or understanding that you share blood, heritage or history. I am referring to the kind of love you develop towards a person who was a stranger to you at some point, where you had to learn his or hers name, maybe you began with an introduction and spend some time with each other, dating, candle light dinners, hanging out on a sunny beach, travel around the world, or it all began as you had to share a table at the cafeteria as you both work in the same office building?

In whatever way you met and ended up loving each other, do you love each other equally much? Is your love based on the same foundation? Does it span over the same radius? Do you love each other in the same way? Does it matter? As we grow older, some – perhaps even most – people start to reflect on whether on not the person they call their significant other “the one”, is this the person you want to grow old with? or even spend a little time together with… Let’s assume for a moment that there is no way that two people can love each other equally much, due to background, experiences and expectations, would you rather be the person who loves more, or the one who is more loved? Perhaps a rather complex or even silly question, but come to think about it, what would you choose?

Continuing the debate with myself, I keep wondering what I would desire more… Is it a matter of not letting in, not letting go, or simply not wishing to be the blinded by emotions? Which one are you in your relationship? Does it vary? Do we love more and less over time? Do we grow into love as we care more for the person on the other side of the breakfast table? Would it make you feel more safe and secure if your significant other was the one to love you more? Would you find it unattractive if your partner is the one to love you more, make those grand gesture, more often wanting to be together, sending sweet messages, always be the one to suggest you meet up, calling or woo you whilst looking at the world through pink-coloured shade and a dreamy smile? Is it a fact that love grows over time. And also fades the same way. Are we to look at who we care for instead of who we love? Maybe this is the lesson to learn, that one shouldn’t focus on the concept of love, but instead on the feeling of caring for someone else? Just like you either care or not, can we say the same for love? I love more, I love less… I care more, I care less. Either you care, or you don’t. Can you limit yourself for caring? Then the question should be if you can limit yourself of your loving emotions. Can you?

At the end of the day, you might want to think about the person who you care for. And who cares for you back. I suppose most of us have been hurt by love, yet, if you are with someone who cares for you, then why would that hurt you? As the simple definition is to “take care”. Could be that caring is a part of the concept of ‘love’, yet the love part hurts, and the caring part – in my view – doesn’t. Should we aim for being with someone who cares more, instead of loves more? And if so, can you care less? Or do you want to love more?

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Prove Me

Will it prove me right, or will it prove me wrong? Love. The more I look around, the more I see couples, pairing up to be two, together, claiming their ‘forever’ to stay the way they are right now. I too wanted that once. Perhaps I still do, however, there is a rather large part of me that wants to be proven wrong. That there is no such thing as love, forever lasting or even true. A part of me wants to fall in love again, only to be left heartbroken, alone and crying. To prove to myself that this is what happens when you believe in words, when you follow your heart and trust in the happy ending. Truth is, that I am not certain what I want most, to be proven wrong, or right. To find that one smile that will keep smiling with me until I close my eyes for the very last time, or find out that we really are alone in this world, walking side by side, filling out life with the most or least meaningful thing we can afford or receive. Does it need to hurt in order to be real? Does it have an ending if it is true? Are we all seeking for love and affection? Understanding and intimacy? A feeling of belonging and purpose? Something we are not able to provide ourselves with?

Are we unfaithful to life when we give up the search for love? Are we cheating on love when we settle for something that it is not true in our heart? Is it right to not believe in it? In love. Is it a crime to wish it was not an option or possibility, only to make life easier? At what age or what stage does one accept that there will be no happy ending together with someone special? Perhaps the dark season is speaking, with the sound of the wind that blows all around, and we cannot find the sunshine to warm up our icecold hearts before the cold reaches our souls.

As for me, I keep being torn apart between wishing for it to come true, yet, avoiding it at all costs, only to find that it has no raison d’être in case it would find its way into my life. Until then, I keep filling my life with all those most or least meaningful things in life, sharing smiles with people that enter my life. So, will it prove me right, or will it prove me wrong?

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Holiday Season

It is once again time to end a year, finalize a circle only to start over again. Lucky are we who are able to dream, plan and wish for the new year to come. Many are those who can not do so. Regardless of family reunions being painful, filled with arguments, or lacking smiles around the dinner table because they are far away or never to come back, we should still remember how fortunate we are to see another day. We tend to forget the beauty of the sunshine, of daylight or the star-dust at night. We tend to forget the impact of smiles and the pain of words. We leave each other scattered abusing our thoughts and mouths, not spending a split of a second wondering about the consequences.

We think “I” before “we”, “us” or even “you”. Have we become this ignorant that there is no action made, or words said and no thoughts shared if there is no benefit for the “I”? Can we make a promise to someone, to anyone, and let our own self, step aside and walk hand in hand with “us”, and share gratefulness for its pure existence?

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I’m Done

I’m done. I am absolutely, without any doubt in my mind, hands down, no questions asked, done. Found myself in a dejavu position in my life, where I no longer intend to play the fools game. I simply cannot. Where the faces, the smiles, the places and the sounds all remind me of what once made me scream and run, now forced me back to face my fears and the pain. The feeling of being trapped in my own life has never been so spot-on as it is in this very moment, and the options for actions are close to none, as they would only solve the symptom but never the illness. 

Walking down the actual memory lane is not only uncomfortable but also crowded, as it all comes down to bringing me to the same conclusion. Does that mean that the action I made then, the choice or handling the situation was wrong, as I ended up in the same situation, in the same place, with the same thoughts and illness as before? Where does it go wrong when you end up on square one, only after trying your hardest to climb up the mountain believing that you almost reached the top, only to find that you kept walking around in a cricle, not even close to reaching the peak?

It is exhausting to know that the efforts being made were good for nothing, or somewhat close to the same. It is painful to be let down by the people who you believed wanted to be there for you, together with you, regardless of the weather forecast or the day of the week. It is not easy to face the same hurtful situation, more vulnerable than before, just to realilze that you were never close to actually solve your own equasion, only the illusion of it. 

We live and we learn. Nevertheless, we sometimes find ourselves in ridiculously similar situations and circumstances, time and time again, and it makes me wonder, where was the mistake made? Was it a mistake? Were we not to move forward, instead of finding ourselves in the same situation, although efforts were made to improve, change and move on? I try to find the reason, the conclusion or meaning in the pointless dilema of being back in the same place, with the same feelings, and wishing to be somewhere completely else. Perhaps this is simply life’s way of showing that you can never run away from your problems, and you have to face your fears. 

Perhaps, we all re-live life in one way or another. Where we have said it all, we have heard it all, nothing will really change, only our own mindset. Maybe it is all in the deepest of thoughts that we are able to move on with life. Unsure if this makes any sense, as the thoughts are spinning much faster than usually, I wonder if there is ever an answer to all the questions falling down on me, or if we are to enjoy the confusion and laugh as we cry?

When does it ever end? Will it dissapear with the last breath, or do we need to let go, in order to move on? 

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