The dog days are over

 

I’m sitting on a train again. And I will not make myself short. I’m bad at it. To limit the amount of words I use.

Sometimes I think that I should write something fast and do it more often. But when I sit down to write, it just starts pouring out. Just like that.

But it’s not only because I have a problem limiting myself that I write long posts. I think there is a point in doing so too.

More and more we do things quickly, our attention span sucks. Everything is consumed fast, only touched on the surface. Ten easy steps to do this and that, speed cooking. Short Youtube videos, newspapers made for commuters. Quality time with our kids.

We belong to a generation that has forgotten how to wait. Who hardly knows what it means to go deep or spend years and years mastering something. We change jobs quickly, multitask, work less hours but do it twice as fast.

Of course there is positive things about that, but I believe real satisfaction  is to be found in the depth of things.

I like tv-series better than movies because you can get to know the characters better. I usually prefer books to movies because you get a more thorough description of things. I rather hang out with a few people for many hours than grab a quick lunch. I rather read a blog in a specific subject than read a newspaper. Food gets better the longer it cooks. Slowly prepared.

I believe kids feel better if you spend a lot of time with them instead of running around from activity to activity. I rather have five close friends than a hundred aquantancies.

Quality time means to do a specific, chosen activity together. And that’s great. But I think it is incorrect to call it quality time. Quality for me is rather to spend hours and hours together just by being in the same room. Not doing anything particular.

But to be able to do this, we need to create the time and space for it. If we always make plans, always doing something, we never have the time to create real quality.

I believe it to be valuable to own less, get rid of things. That life because better when it is simple.

I believe even more to create space in our lives, to cut out activities, focus on less things and do it longer.

But I believe the most on clearing out our mental clutter. Let go of old ideas, habits. Allow ourselves to not have so many opinions. Not set so many goals, always thinking about where we are going.

The paradox is that I feel more inline with myself than ever before. I carry less mental baggage and at the same time have never before in my life been so active and productive.

You would think I’m really tired when I get home at night, but I have an endless amount of energy. It’s like I could take on anything.

It is like waking up after a very long winter, having been dead and suddenly being reborn, ready and willing to take on life and explore it with the curiosity and enthusiasm of a child.

I am compelled to live a simple life. Straight and honest. Not entangle myself in problems and negative thoughts, just turn my back on those things and move on. As if there was no problems in this world at all.

Spring is here. The dog days are over.

 

Say what is on your mind

 

I have always had problems being completely honest about who I am. To say exactly what I think and feel in every situation.

It’s not that I lie, I can’t remember when I conciously did that the last time, but I find it hard to be straight with people.

Part of that is because we don’t want to make people upset or sad, that they will think less of us or suddenly don’t want to be our friend. The fear of being alone is probably one of the greatest fears we encounter.

Part of it is also that I’m afraid that people will think I’m strange, but if you think about it, isn’t that the same thing? The fear of being pushed away by the herd. Isolated. Abandoned.

But the older I get, the more honest I get. Maybe because today more than ever, I’m ok being alone and abandoned. Maybe because today I trust that whatever I do, I will never be completely alone or abandoned.

We only become afraid of being ourselves with people that we think we need, or that we think can give us something we want.

That is why we play so many games around people we want to have sex with, or with people we are in love with. We play games with our managers, teachers and parents. People that have some kind of power to give or take away something we think we need.

I have found though, that honesty is great. To just throw out whatever’s on your mind without thinking too much about it. Being around people with whom we must carefully choose the right words take a lot of energy.

We must be ourselves and let other people worry about their own emotions. It’s really the only sane way to be.

It’s a new experience for me.

The weird thing is also that I feel that my relationships has improved because of it. Maybe because you can see that their is no hidden agenda. Sure, sometimes it makes sense to avoid saying certain things, especially if it makes someone elses situation worse, but being straight and honest gives a really nice feeling inside.

The really nice thing about being honest is also that it makes life easier. You don’t have to keep track of things that you have said. You don’t have to waste energy thinking “can I say this to this person or not?”. “Have I said something about this before?”. You just say what you think and sometimes people will get upset, sometimes not. The only way to avoid it completely is to not talk.

Also, I think people deal with honesty easier. Maybe they will feel hurt but it will pass much quicker. Because they intuitively feel that you don’t really want to hurt them, that you are not hiding things or trying to manipulate them.

Writing this blog has in many ways been a kind of therapy for me in that sense. In the beginning I was really scared what people would think, how they would react, but every time I published something personal, that fear became less and less. I felt a new sense of freedom. Pushing my boundaries. Trying my wings.

One day, maybe I will provoke people so much that I end up having no friends. But right now, that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

There are things I have avoided writing about here, even though you can probably figure it out if you read between the lines. But I will write about that some other day.

If growing up means to learn not to trust others, becoming an adult means to be ourselves anyway.

 

In Rainbows

Have you ever considered how we find out new things we like sometimes?

 

Like with music for instance.

Sometimes you hear a name of an artist or a band millions of times. But you never listen to them.

My ex-girldfriend said to me years ago, that I should listen to Radiohead, that they were my kind of music, yet, despite having already heard their most famous songs Creep and Karma Police, I had never really cared about listening to them.

It would take me several years more, until the realease of their latest album In Rainbows 2007 before I gave them a proper try. By then they hade been one of the greatest alternative rockbands for over ten years.

 

With In Rainbows they tried something new, you could download the album from their website and choose yourself how much you wanted to pay for it.

I chose 0kr and downloaded the album.

 

The winter of 2007-2008 came to be a time I will most likely always remember.

Grey seats on the 06.23 train every morning to work. To step out on the empty silent city streets outside my house, long before people go to work. To imagine how many books and movies you can consume when you commute three hours a day and then realize that those pitch dark mornings would instead be about In Rainbows and gazing out the window on a winter landscape, a country in hibernation.

 

Inevitably my thoughts turn to that period in my life when I hear that album. Remembering the new, to be in motion, giving up the old.

I remember that period in time, but it feels more like it happened to someone else, because I can no longer relate to a person with such bad taste in music, always resisting change or that which is different. Sometimes I think about what would have been if I had discovered all these things back then, fifteen years earlier like so many people. What would my life have looked like today then?

 

That person seem so distant from now that it can’t have been me at all. It wasn’t.

 

It was just a dream.

 

That’s how things work. We hear about things so many times before we actually check it out and sometimes you hear a word once and you are stuck.

 

Sometimes, our lives make a very sudden turn.

 

We are so proud of our values, our interests and our taste, but really, they are just like those words that hover around our lives and suddenly stick to us. I don’t think anyone can tell how that happens or why at a certain time. So all these things we think and feel is just a consequence of our history, our experiences and what we have learnt and how all these things mixed together react in relation to our current situation.

And all those things showed up just like that too.

 

Free wil is therefore an illusion, but since we have no clue what is going to happen in the future, how we will react to what happen, we have to live our lives as if free will really did exist.

To live with the idea that I chose to listen to In Rainbows, when in reality it just happened a day like this.

 

Sitting on a train going forward.

 

Forward towards another thing I think I have chosen.

My best friends wedding

My best friend got married last Saturday. To one of my other best friends.
Congratulations Ellinor and Andreas and thank you for a wonderful day.

There are several stories of how me and Andreas met the first time. Some say that he used to beat me with a shovel on the head when we were kids, playing in the playground outside our house. I deny this.
Instead I remember my first year in school. Every break we all used to play soccer or hockey and on the field there was this guy they called Pesen.

I don’t think we ever talked to eachother back then, but I was aware of his presence.

Later in life, when it was time for confirmation I was surprised to find that it was his older brother who was called Pesen and not him. Instead everyone called him Acke. Strange, but that’s how it was.
Since then I call him Acke.

I was fourteen years old. I was probably already a bit  different then back then. And Andreas could still not grow a beard.

Somewhere around there we started hanging out together, getting to know eachother and we have seen a lot of ups and downs since then. Parties, girlfriends and friends coming and going.
We had our days of guitar playing in my room. The mindless wanderings downtown, walking with determination without a goal. Kebab and Enchiladas. Raspberry “mumrikar” and watching “Alla ska bada”. We’ve had absurd amounts of vodka and red wine. Played hours of Texas Hold’em and Settlers of Catan.
Many times we have asked eachother how come two people like us, complete opposites, has remained close friends.

I don’t think that is possible to define.

I met Ellinor during my college days. Probably on one of those nights at the Student’s Pub.
We have mixed drinks together wearing those ugly orange shirts. Hour after hour of hard work and after twelve hours we have sat down in the early morning drinking Falcon Bayerskt, playing threeman armed with two dice and wearing a green wig. We didn’t really know eachother back then. But that has changed since then.
She got me my first real job. But I think I deserve it, because I got her a husband in return.

I don’t know if I’m allowed, but I take the blame for them meeting eachother for the first time and because of that causing the level of humour in Ellinors life to drop considerably and forcing Acke to share his home with a cat for so many years.

I invited Acke to Ellinors 25-years birthday party and had to take a lot of criticism for not telling him beforehand that it was a birthday party and not an ordinary party. Luckily he was the only one who thought it was embarrassing not to bring a gift and to be honest I don’t think he cares much either, but I like to repeat it just to have a story to tell.

I’m also to blame for making them meet the second time.

But I can unfortunately not take responsibility for that magic moment that evening that was to change their lives forever.

I have spent my entire life trying to understand how those moments occur, but I can only acknowledge that they do. You can’t predict them, not plan or force them to happen. We can only observe them as they happen. The one saying anything else is lying.

Still, those are the moments that changes everything.

We think we are in control.

We don’t.

Those tiny moments are in control.

And when they occur, we can either say Yes or No.
If we want to, we can find thousands of reasons to say no, or maybe. We can always find problems or obstacles. Reasons why it’s too hard or not a good idea.

But it is not about obstacles. It’s not about having all the pieces fit together before we can make it work. It is only about saying Yes to those moments.
Everything in life worth anything starts with one of those moments.

To say Yes to another person taking up space in our lives. To challenge us. Bring new influences and a new perspective. To allow someone else to see who we really are, our fear and our weakness.
Give them the oppurtunity to love us anyway.

Just the way we are.

This Saturday you said Yes to each other.
And despite that life doesn’t hand out guarantees, you will live through ups and downs, this Yes will carry you as far as you are willing to go.
No matter what happen, remember this. Remember this Yes.

And remember that I’m here for you.

Together, or oen at a time.

I have known since the day you became a couple that I would stand there as you Best Man, but still I can’t really express using words what an honour it is to share this day with you.

There is nothing more natural than to see you two together.

I wish you all the best, with all my heart.