Monthly Archives: July 2011

Simple Equation

It’s (unfortunately) too often that I get disappointed by the people around me. This time, I don’t mean anyone in particular, but people in general. I came to think about flirting. How two people get to that point. What is it that makes us fall in love?
Now, it’s kinda late right now and the subject I aim to write about is something I could go on for hours and hours to talk (and write) about… and maybe that’s also what I am going to do. For, in fact, I have been wanting to write about this for a long time, but waiting for the right moment. And tonight, I think it’s going to happen. In some extend at least. So, I will stick to how people pick at one another in my part of the world. Or what they are expecting from each other. Or… I don’t know. Lately I have been ending up discussing this subject with several people around me, so I suppose it’s time to bring it up here as well.

Let’s begin with men. These great creatures who John Gray suggests come from Mars. (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? Anyone feel like they don’t know where they come from, this is the answer. Abroad!)

Men look (with their eyes) for something that is beautiful to look at. Someone that catches the eye and (hopefully) makes it stay there. Judging the book by its cover is really the case here. BIG TIME! If you ever have the occasion to go out on a weekend in Sweden (I hardly think that this is the only place in the world where this is the case, but let’s just stick to Sweden for now). All you see are people dressed up to their teeth, holding a drink or just something, so that you don’t have to worry about what to do with you hands, since they will be occupied with a glass. And don’t forget (and please make a mental note on this one) don ‘t you dare smile. If you smile, you seem like a happy fool! No, no. Better to hold a stone face. This way, you seem like an important person. When not smiling, you believe (and make others believe) that you are someone who is hard to get to. Regardless if that is the truth or not, you don’t want to smile. So, forget about a happy face. That’s for amateurs. If you want to be appealing to others, do not smile.

And then when it comes to women, that’s pretty much the same thing here. Look good, and act hard to get. The more distant you are, meaning the less available you seem, the better for you. As a woman you are expected to look good and know when to smile, and occasionally laugh. Actually, don’t laugh, it’s better to giggle. No need to have the skills to communicate, you don’t need to be able to say anything clever (Note! Better not to say anything that will make your company surprised; such as knowing what is happening on the stock market, about the new treaty between the US and China, or who will play against whom in the next World Cup series).

Once you are finally out, at the club or wherever, you will get judging eyes. As if everyone around you, when looking at you, they are scanning you. From the bottom and up, and then (maybe) down again. So, what you are waiting for is if the eye of the observer is positive (as if the eyes stay on you for more than a second or not). That is what happens. All the time you are standing there, looking around, not smiling, (only if necessary) talking to other people and scanning other people around you. If you happen to look someone in their eyes, you can expect someone raising their eyebrows in a very arrogant way, or eyes that will look away the second your eyes meet. Since, if the two of you would happen to actually look at each other, that could force someone to smile (and remember, that is something we didn’t want to happen). So, best case is that you look at people when they are not looking back at you, and vice versa. What is going on, is that people go out to get judged, graded by others if you prefer, and to judge others. To see how attractive they are, and others are (not?).

And this is also what men expect from women. Men want something nice to look at. That’s it.
Women want someone who will worship them. Someone who will tell them beautiful words so that they will feel comfortable and safe. That’s it.

Easy equation, right?

Now, this is what makes me question the whole equation.

Maybe it’s because I do not see myself reaching up to the standards here in this part of the world. Maybe I want to have someone who will appreciate my personality, my knowledge and that I actually AM able to talk about issues in the world, more than make-up and clothes. (I am so sorry for offending all of you who disagree with me, but I feel as if people around me are just too simple!) in their way of judging others.

What just happened to all the modernity in this world? Where is all the depth? Are we still locked in the conservative norms? I am not talking about gender equality, I am talking about humanity! How is it possible that we are so simple in our way of thinking (and acting) in this matter?

I was told that everything a woman needs to do is “Look good. Join a gym, and stay there for a month and you will find the love of your life”. I got furious. Is that it? IS THAT REALLY IT?

Are my looks the only thing that I will be judged by, when meeting men? For real, I cannot believe that this is what it all comes down to. That a girl needs to look good in order to find the love of her life.

At the same time, men seem to have double standards here. Because, when I talk to them (Yeah, you read right. I go against all the norms here. I (woman) talk to men! (Tada!) And hey, listen to this, I even say things that they don’t like to hear. Surprising, right?!) So, I ask them if this is what they want – A beautiful lady by their side who does not need to do anything more than to look good?
To my (not that very much) surprise, this is exactly what they want. All the personal qualities that I believed (silly me) were just as important (if not more), did not have that much of a meaning. Kindness, humility, ambition, interests, communicative, caring and so forth. A personality! No need for it. What. So. Ever.

But what surprised me, is that some men (who tried to go for the beautiful women, and believe me, there are a lot of them here) wanted to have someone who they could talk to. Someone who could do something more than just (!) look good, sit in a corner, blinking with her eyes, and giggle from time to time from the jokes he’s been saying (way too many times before). So, my questions is, what do people want from one another?

Going out on a friday night to a club is always the same. You know why you, and all the others, do it. And you know exactly what you will meet and what you will get. Makes me sceptic just thinking about it. It’s like a hunting-market. Whoever looks best and smiles the least, wins. Wins what? The “You-are-the-coolest-thing-ever-entering-this-place-without-smiling award”? I might be to old for my biological age, or I should have been born like a hundred years ago, or maybe a thousand years ago. Or maybe I was born too early? I don’t know… this world just does not suit my way of thinking or acting from time to time.

What I do know is that I don’t like that way, this way, that people act. It’s way to simple and makes me uncomfortable and ashamed of how spartan people are in some situations. We educate ourselves to get a job, to create opportunities for ourselves and to accomplish and reach or own (and others) goals. Yet, when it comes to private issues, as choosing a partner, some men (please let this not be the case for everyone. Because if it is, I will be an old lady, living with my twenty-five cats. In a  huge appartement. And I don’t like cats. I even have fur allergies) go back to a very basic and (for me) empty-headed ideal, that – for me – makes no sense.

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Family Affair

Dear family member!

We have known one another for our entire lives and (hopefully) things will stay that way. Since we are really, really close, that also means that we know each other pretty well by now. And for sure, for better and for worse, we know each other THAT well, that we know exactly what to say or which button to push in order to get to each others Achilles’ heel. And this, dear family member, is a very powerful tool.

Because you are aware of mine, does not (!) give you the right to use it, whenever you feel like it. Or even by accident.
Did you not notice the sign? “DO NOT USE! EVER!”

And what is even more important (or maybe “just as important”… Yeah, make it just as important!) is that since we are family, we believe that we can be less careful with words. When in fact it should be the other way around. (I’m not saying that I’m not making the same mistake, but I am aware of my mistake and trying my best to correct it).
So, since we are family, connected by blood, we have this idea that we don’t have to be just as polite, kind, sweet, diplomatic, etc. as we are to our friends, business colleagues or acquaintances. This (!) my dear readers, is totally wrong.

I don’t know how about you, but for sure I have made the mistake so many times before. Somewhere I simply trust that my family “can take it” just because they love me (they have to, don’t they?) since they are connected to me, by blood and history, I don’t have to handle them with the same care as I do with other people around me. “They will forgive me anyway”. Family must hold out. Since I am not going nowhere, and neither are they. But indeed, this doesn’t really make sense to me.

Now, I came to think about why we are like this?
Why is it that we are somewhat always hurting the ones who are closest and dear to us?

Should not these be the people who we REALLY handle with care? The people closest to us are the ones we should be kind to, make sure that they feel good and help them out. Not taking out our aggressions on (especially when they had nothing to do with it in the first case?)

Have you ever heard the saying “Don’t shit in your own nest”?
I am telling you, it’s a good saying.

But regardless if you will remember it or not, I would ask you to keep in mind, that your family members might be a somewhat “randomly” chosen number of people, who are more or less dear to you. But you are family! And not counting people who will become your family by law (marriage or similar) these are the people who (might have) held you when you were learning how to walk, or bicycle. When you were a little child who could not take care of yourself, very fragile and exposed to everything in this world. Good and bad. They were there to take care of you. The ones that heard you say your first words and held your hand crossing the street going to your first day in school.

To make mistakes is human… but try not to make them. Learn from your mistakes. For even though they are “only words”, they hurt. And coming from someone dear to you, they hurt even more. And the scar lasts longer when someone close to you makes it.

So, what I am putting on my “to-do” list is to be a better family-member. Meaning, that I will handle my family-members with greater care. And keeping in mind that these are the people that I love. And that love me back. It does not give us the right to treat each other carelessly. It’s the other way around. It means that we should be MORE gentle and cautious with one another.

So, dear family member… I am sorry. And want you to be too. And let’s take care of each other from now on!

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Tears for fears

And so it’s happening again. People are consciously hurting eachother. This time in a capital not that far from where I happen to be. Shocking news, paralyzes the world. For what reason we might ask? What could be that important that it’s worth taking other peoples lives for it?

I simply cannot believe how much hatred there is in this world that we live in. At the same time, I do my best to keep up my faith and believing that people indeed are good, and most of them are (are they not? Please let them be, because if not, how did we all end up like this?)
We all know feel something when one says 9/11.  Terrorism. Fear. Victims. Blood. Death… my thoughts goes in that direction when watching the news today.

Why on earth are we doing this to eachother? How are we even capable of doing it? And how come we haven’t been able to stop it yet? All the cruelty going on in this world… Makes me scared of the dark, just closing my eyes and thinking about it.

Last year you might have heard about a man who blew himself up in pieces, here Stockholm. It was winter. It was a Saturday. I was just around the corner. I want to belive that it was just a bad dream. I don’t wish for anyone to be in the same situation. Ever.

There was a smell of rubber tires burning in the air, seconds later I heard the boom. Suddenly a flock of people came running towards me, screaming “run for your life!” So I ran. Snow on the ground. I was really scared. Not knowing what to do. What happend. What I’m running away from. And when I thought I was safe, I stopped running.
I never in a million years thought that such a thing could happen in the country where I lived in. Who would do such a thing? And it got me thinking, that we are never safe from cruelty, really. It could be just around the corner (in my case, it was) But I realized pretty soon, after shaking as a leaf for the rest of that evening, that I cannot live in fear. It might be easy for me to say, since I don’t have to live with this every day. In the sense, that it does not happen to me every day (thank you, Lord!)

I did avoid bigger crowds for weeks and weeks after that. Just as the police recommended the people to do. But it’s not how I wanted to live, in fear. Isn’t that what makes the bad win over good? Letting the bad people making you live in fear? I don’t know for sure.

What I do know is that I feel sorry for the victims in Oslo today. Family to my friends and all the people who I don’t know, that are in Oslo. From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry that you had to live through this disaster. Please stay safe!

Let there be no more blood. No more fears. No more tears!

 

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Even time takes time

Do you know the feeling when a minute feels like an hour? And an hour feels like a week? That’s just how it feels right now.

I keep staring at the clock hanging on my wall (it’s a ridiculously big clock, that I simply fell in love with some years ago and I don’t think that I will ever get rid of it. Infact if you ever see it, you will ask yourself if it is the missing clock from the central station, THAT’S how big it is!)

So anyway, waiting for a message is so uncool. I mean, sure, I do (for sure, I do) miss this one perticular, little, teeny-tiny capacity… called patience. In fact, I am really bad at it (trying not to use any bad words here, but you get the picture). I simply have no patience-skills what so ever. When I want something, I want it now. Not soon, not “any day”-now, I mean now-now! Or even better, yesterday!
I simply don’t want to wait. For anything. What’s there to wait for anyway? I really dislike waiting for the sake of simply waiting (does not even make any sense to me). You see, I prefer NOT waiting!

Have you ever heard the expressions; “give it some time”, “it will happen when you least expect it” or “all in time”?
I sure have heard it too many times (!).

You might need to know, that I am a kind of person who would (really) choose NOT to sleep AT ALL (!) just becasue there are so many things that I want to do in life that sleeping is seen as a waste of my time. And when somebody tells me to “slow down”, “let some time pass away”… I get really frustrated. I believe in taking things into your own hands, driving your own car, choose your own roads. I am just not a big fan of “letting the road be your driver”. (Well, I might not have taken my drivings license for the first time I tried… or second… or even third! (fourth time lucky, isn’t that the correct quote?)) But I want to (and will, since I finally passed the driving-exam) drive on my own, thank you very much.

The other day I read a book written by a brittish author that has been living in Sweden (that’s where I live by the way) for years and observed swedes during the time, and he wrote that there is something peculiar about swedes and how they interpret the word “process”. A simple word really. Translated into swedish, meaning; “it will take some time, simply because it can do so. For no reason really. So deal with it.” For what reason I ask? Why do things need to take time?

Waiting is not my cup-of-tea. But you can’t win over time. You might cheat for a while, but at the end of the day, time will win. 1-0 to time. Beat that!? Somebody? Anybody? No, didn’t think so.

I believe that the only way to save time, is to use it. And that is also what I wish to do. But when things like these happen, that you need to wait (!) that’s when it becomes complicated. And I don’t want any complications. Life should be simple. Not waiting around, for whatever it might be.

But for sure, even time takes time.
So, I’ll be sitting here, looking at my – exaggerated – big clock, waiting for time to catch up with me.

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Crushed and Beaten Down

Weekend. The summernight was about to come over the city. It was past 9 pm and it is about the time when everybody begins to prepare for a night out. Meeting up friends, getting all dressed up, putting make-up on and pump up the volume to prepare the dancesteps they are going to be dancing for hours. Everybody… but me.

One of the best things about this city is that the summersun is up late, and so it still was. I decided that it I wanted to take a walk, to clear my thoughts and just get outside in the fresh air. Living on an island, in the middle of the city, I have the priviledge to live really close to a great promenade, along the coast, being able to see the citylights reflect in the peaceful water that surrounds the city. (For the very same reason I fall in love with my city every year, as I realize how beautiful it is, especially in the summer).

Passing by one of the many bridges that heads out into the water, I took a pause in my walk and I sat down on the brigde, all alone, with my legs hanging outside over the water. The sunrise was there, the water was calm and every once and then it followed the movements from a yacht that passed by, but it was one of those moments that you could simply breath in and relax in the lull atmosphere. Cars on the other side of the water, people passing by were a couple of meters behind me so I didn’t really notice them. I was listening to one of my latest favorite songs that I had on replay.

For you to get into the feeling, this is the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K_51Dbs6-s&feature=related

And I was completely lost in my own thoughts. Surrounded by the citybreeze, trees around me, water under my feet and sunset infront of me, I listened to the lyrics that filled me up;

I never thought that you could be this reckless
I can’t believe you’re doing this to me, oh
Strip me down
I’m naked now
And I wanna leave but I’m lost
So now I can’t break away
Although I’ve made up my mind
My heart is refusing me

I’ve been crushed, beaten down
Still I’m hopelessly in love

These words filled me with questions about life.
How many times have I doubted myself? Being overwhelmed with the feeling of being lost, being hurt… Feeling that the world is against you, and there is nothing you can do about it. Questioning why you even care?
When the world, and everything in it, feels meaningless…

It was us against them all
But slowly it came to me
What was underneath it all

Yet, for some reason I realized that despite all of the bad things, I am still hopelessly in love with my life.

All the wonderful memories I have, with extraordinary people that have crossed my path through life. Family and friends. The laughts, the tears, the fears and all the joy I have experienced so far, that are all written in the book of my lifestory. They are what makes this life worth living! And I am in love with my life! Even thought I fear and doubt what the future holds for me, I put trust in life, that it will be alright. Great even.

Seeing life from this perspective, tears of joy fell on my chin and I looked up to the sky and smiled. It was such a relief. From the bottom of my heart I felt that I am in love with my life, and above all, I felt very greatful for all the amazing things that I have done, the people that I have met and the memories I carry with me. In good times. And even in the bad times. To remind me, that this is my life. And I love it.

No matter where life takes you, how devastated you might be, for whatever reason, I put faith into life. And I would wish for you to do the same. I am sure that things happen for a reason.

And even though it might not really make any difference to you, or to me even, but when you think about it, no one has the answers about life. How a life should be lived, how your life should be lived, the choices you should and should not make…

We are all beginners in life.

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Sweet, sweet memories

Earlier this year I was on a real adventure. I left my comfortzone more than I have ever done before, packed my bags and went to the other side of the world for two months to live on a ship with people I have never met before. Strangers who did not speak my language, who questioned my culture, who had other values and lived a totally different life than I did.

Two months passed us by in a blink of an eye and suddenly we were saying “goodbye” to eachother.

The pain in my chests came from knowing that some of the faces that I saw every day for such a long time, will no longer be around for me to see every day like I have been doing – wanting it or not. We cried and huged, kissed and exchanged adresses with eachother, not knowing if we will ever meet again.

Closing my eyes, even now, I can quickly get a stomach ache just thinking back to the situation.

There we were, all together in one big hall. With all out new-found friends, love and friendship was all around us. Together with all the memories we shared. From the first moment that we said “hello”  for the very first time to eachother, we started to write stories together. The blank pages that we had infront of us begun to be completed, we colored them with all colors you can ever imagine. All the wonderful experiences we had; Sitting until early hours discussing, playing pingpong, eating noodles in the middle of the night, learning from eachothers, dancing on deck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to the moonlight, singing, laughting, feeling seasick, visiting isolationrooms, complaining about the food, drying eachothers tears, never getting enought sleep, trying out eachothers nationalcostumes and taking pictures, clapping hands together and shouting in a language most of us didn’t speak  ( وحدة ), we competed together in several sportactivities, we shared cabins (some even shared beds, no names – you know who you are!), some never slept in their own cabins (Sakurasaloon anyone?), learning new words then shouting them out loud whenever someone entered the big scene – URO! – learning how to undertsand eachother even though the language was a barrier for many. We created new ways of including everone in conversations, communicating without using words.

We managed to overcome all the difficulties that were infront of us. All this, and so much more, created a bond so strong it felt like we were family. And that is also what we became.

All the moments that we shared during the two months we were together are forever going to stay in each person’s memory… and heart. With all our differences, cultural, religous, personalities even… we learned to accept it all. We begun to like them. Even love them.

And now… even though it’s been months and months since we hugged eachother for (maybe) the last time, I still feel as if  all of it happened yesterday. All the emotions start rushing towards me as soon as I stop for a moment to think about it. And even though, it sometimes hurts me… I would never trade that feeling for anything in the world.

I know that with every “Hello!” there comes a “Goodbye!” But in this case, I not only gained friends from all over the world with my “Hello”. I now have a new and big family to whom I can turn to, whenever I feel lost, sad or in need of someone listening to me. (Ofcourse, not only do I turn to them when I am sad, but I am more than glad to share good moments with them as well, for I know that they will be honestly happy with me).

To each and every one of my amazing familymembers, spread all around the world, there is a song that I’d like to dedicate to you.
It reminds me of all the beautiful smiles that you gave me and I keep dear to my heart.

Leona Lewis “Yesterday”
I just can’t believe you’re gone,
Still waiting for morning to come,
When I see if the sun will rise,
In the way that you’re by my side.
When we had so much in store,
Tell me what is it I’m reaching for,
When you’re through building memories,
I’ll hold yesterday in my heart…

We might not have the same skincolor, or speak the same language. But regardless of the surface, we are all the same.
One ship, one heart, one world.

With all my heart.
To my family. Always near, no matter how far.

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Cleaning out my closet

Do you recognize yourself in not being able to focus when there is a mess around you?

Now, I don’t state that I am a (ridiculous) pedant person, but when my closet is a mess, I really can not focus on anything. And I mean ANYTHING! Not even my life. Actually, especially on my life. So, since I’ve felt that it’s about time to make some decisions, make some action happen in my life, I decided to clean my closet today. Not that it’s that big (for sure, it’s NOT big enought for all my clothes… still, I have the same problem as most of my fellowwomen. I never have anything to wear!)

Anyway, I started picking, folding, throwing and then hanging up my clothes. It took me forever (more than it really had to, but you know how it is, phonecalls, checking communities online while doing it, listening to music at the same time, add some dancing and singing to that (good thing it was in the middle of the day and most (?) of my neightbours weren’t home) so it sure took longer time than it should have done if I focused on one thing only) But that’s just it. If my closet isn’t tidy and neat, I can not focus!

In my case, it’s some sort of therapy. As if I need to clean something in real life, something physical, something you can actually touch, in order to clean up the mess I have in my head and/or heart. As if my blouses, skirts, jeans, dresses… everything, represents the several issues in my life, different fields and questions that I have to deal with. The socks are family-issues, T-shirts are friend-issues, lingerie is love-issues (clever choice, right?) Thing is, that when cleaning up, I am in fact making a greater mess than it was before I even started. If you ever enter my place while I am cleaning it up… you will ask yourself if there was a housebreaking a minute ago or what the heck is going on?! Because that is exactly what it looks like. But (!) I have order in my mess (now, wouldn’t that be awesome if it was true?!) but for real, I do have some kind of “systematic schedule” or “order” in the mess that I make before I am ready to clean it up.

All in all, it took me about five hours to clean my closet. I have to go through piece by piece to see it, feel it, consider it, and then make sure that I know how to deal with it. Just as I do in life. I consider myself to be a rather rational creature, and I rarely (well, maybe not that rarely… guess it depends on the situation) take spontanious decisions without thinking them through. I want to make sure that I will not change my mind a minute later (although that does happen once every full moon), that is how I work.

I need time to clean my closet, just as I need time to clear my head. It’s not a 10-minutes action I do just to make it look tidy, when I know that it’s not. I might be able to fool you with my good-looking closet, but I am not able to fool myself. I know that the sweater in the back of my shelf is not properly folded, and it will ruin my entire picture of how clean my closet (read; life) really is.

So, once in a while, I need to clean out my closet. To get my life back on track.

Symbolic? Maybe it is. I need to clean something, something I can touch, in order to clear out my mind and thoughts. It works. And as a bonus, I’ve got a really neat closet. (But still, I have got nothing to wear!)

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