I am not made to be social

«How come you do not have friends over?» was the question she asked me.

Honestly? Because I’m too tired to be social. My work is so socially intense that the last thing on my mind when coming home is having people over. It completely drains whatever energy I have left. And when weekend comes along, I’d often rather be left alone. Alone with my child, a good TV documentary or a long walk/bikeride.

I spoke about this (social life) with one of my friends the other day. Our social relationship doesn’t revolve around social gatherings at each others houses drinking coffee and talking about people we know and do not know. No, we are social on the football pitch – talking football, discussing light matters that both are comfortable with. We don’t need more than that for our friendship to work. It is, in fact, the only thing we need. With other friends I have other «deals». Sports, music, drinking, online discussions. I don’t need more. I don’t want more. I don’t want to sit around with my brother doing nothing than talking. No, with my brother I go on bike rides talking about Strava. That’s all that I need. Or go to England in July discussing aviation.

I come from a house (where I used to live) where there was no huge social activities going on. The odd visits from my parents, maybe some people over now and again. Not often at all. Maybe no more than once a month. I was pleased with this. It meant I could recharge my draining batteries. I understand now that I was extremely lucky considering how my energy levels drop like a stone these days. It fit me perfectly. Perfectly. I like to endulge myself into my hobbies and thoughts, not to sit around talking with others at all times.

A social life is not something everyone needs or wants. I like my friends, I enjoy their company, but from time to time I often find online friends where I can simply type up a few sentences and have a proper conversation much more convenient. Where I don’t need to continusly try to make up conversation topics (of most which usually bore me). It is more straight to the point, more honest and more relaxing.

It is often the undefined and the things you are not aware of that comes and suckerpunches you. The dramatic increase in my social life is exactly that. I am just someone that have to go along with this ride and adapt. A Mother and father-in-laws (two mother-in-laws actually), her friends here and there – people over, people staying for too long too my taste. Sometimed 16 hours of non-stop socializing. It wears me completely out.

I am not made to be that social. Not in this field of work.

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Do not attack the core of me

We ended up in a heated discussion the other day. In front of parts of her family. I just couldn’t help it. Enough is enough. I could not tolerate her attitude towards computers and social media like it’s all the devil works. Like nothing about it is positive. I know where she got it from (her mother) and I know her level of knowledge of this subject (none).  I was pissed because she buggered into a subject she knew nothing about, and I was pissed because she even had the nerve to suggest I lacked friends because of the internet. I was pissed because she suddenly tried to put words into my mouth, and be the judge of things she knew nothing about. In fact, I am still pissed off, but I try to act content. The self restraint I have to be in charge of when she sets out in one of her uneducated and prejudice rants towards the internet and social media is beyong anything I have ever experienced in this matter before.

I know she’s wrong, and I have the data and the research to back it up – but she won’t listen. And when she makes it personal, I explode. I can’t handle it. I have always lived under the rule of not trying to have strong opinions on subjects I know little about –  but rather learn about it before talking and having an opinion.

But there’s more to it than that. With everything unravelling in 2016-2017 I lost much of myself. With this relationship I have gained so much, but I am holding for dear life onto what makes me being me. I lost one dog and partly another dog due to all these circumstances. My greatest interests have taken severe blows. My interest in music is being attacked (and I feel it is almost being mocked) yet again by opinions of the uneducated. My interest in history is present, but not understood – only accepted.

Football is not understood. I have explained that football is part of my social life. There’s very little coffee and sofa conversations in my life as part of my social life – it is often found through an activity. Football, aircraft, music. I have explained this several times.

I have told her several times I am not typical local or Norwegian even – I am through the internet and past experiences – international. She referred to both her ex boyfriend and her sisters boyfriend to underline her argument that it is more normal to have social life where people “stop by”. But, I don’t want them to stop by. I work in such a social job that I want time off being social. And simply to use an ex boyfriend to underline a point is not what I consider good behavior. But now I’m venturing off topic.

I think one of the main reasons why I react so vividly to these types of opinions about social media and the internet is because I am fighting for the core of myself. What I am. I am not to loose anything else that defines me as a person and what I am. I have lost enough as a it is, a complete change from 2015 to 2019. Four years. A complete change. I don’t want to loose anything more of what I was. I want only to gain, not to loose. Many of my biggest achievements have come through the internet. I am extremely proud of my achievements, and if they come under attack I will respond with all guns blazing. Do not touch them.

Watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Her: Do you like that show?!

Him: Yes I do

Her: – Points to screen. Two men are talking in the kitchen.

Her: Look at them. So disgusting.

Him: Excuse me?

Her: They are fat. Disgusting food. It’s just fat. Look at that. Just a piece of meat with fat around it.

Him: But these are all kinds of restaurants. From steakhouses to italian mexican to caribbian places. It’s not all fat.

Her: Yes it is. And this channel is garbage.

Him: How do you know? How you watched this show before?

Her: – Ignores the question

Him: This is a fun show. He visits all kinds of places. This is good food.

Her: Do you LIKE this type of food?

Him: Yes!

Her: I don’t. It’s fat. Disgusting. American food. They are all fat. They eat breakfast at McDonalds.

Him: Not all Americans are fat. Not all Americans eat at McDonalds in the morning

Her: I have been there. They are fat.

Him: I have many American friends. Are you saying my friends are fat?

Her: Not all I guess, but look at this – points to screen – a big piece of meat. Yuck.

Him: That is caribbian food!

Her: No, it’s not. It’s just fat. I like healthy foods.

Him: I am sure you do, but I am a strong supporter of a lifestyle where you can eat both healthy and not so healthy food, exercise and not feel bad of eating some fried food.

Her: Yuck, fried chicken

Him: I love fried chicken. KFC is my fave fast food.

Her: Disgusting.

Him: Have you ever been to KFC?

Her: – ignores the question

Him: Have you ever been to KFC at all? Do you know what KFC is?

Her: It’s like fried food or something. I never want to eat it.

Him: But I want to eat it, and I don’t judge people that eat it like you do.

Her: How can you eat that, so disgusting.

Him: Because I like it. Sometimes. Not often. You’re not a bad person if you want to go to McDonalds once every month.

Her: I’ve been to New York. They were all fat.

Him: So you’re saying my friends are fat?

Her: Well, I don’t know your friends.

Him: I’ve been to the States way more than you have by the way. They are not all fat!

Her: Lower your voice

Him: Don’t you like Mexican food? You fucking eat Tacos every fucking Friday!

Her: Yes, but I don’t use grinded meat.

Him: They also visit Mexican restaurants on this show.

Her: It’s a garbage channel. All bad series and too much commercials

Him: – Flipping through the TV Guide

Him: You do know this channel is owned by TVNorge?

Her: Yes, it is shit too.

Him: – Finds a feelgood series about house renovation for poor families – reads the synopsis.

Him: Are you saying that THIS is a garbage TV show?

Her: Yes.

Him: But you like house renovation programs!

Her: Not on this channel. Only TV2.

Him: But they are almost identical, only with a more of a social factor included!

Her: It’s a garbage TV channel

Him: Yes, I’m sure some of it is like all channels, but you can’t possibly say that everything on this channel is garbage!

Her: I don’t like it. I like NRK. They have quality shows. Only quality. British. Not American.

Him: But not all shows on NRK is quality, and not all American shows are bad!

Her: Yes they are.

 

End of discussion.

Does she really know me?

I’ve been with her for 1,5 years now. Going on two full years. It’s not a lot, maybe, but time is more precious once you grow older – and you try to do a lot more with less time at your disposal. You sort of stop and suddenly realize that time is not infinte – you actually see a start, a middle and an end to it all. However, I’m already drifting off course.

I am sometimes wondering how well she actually knows me, and how much she actually tries to get to know me. Does she actually show an interest in me and my interests/hobbies? Does she support me in my doings (and wrongdoings)? Does she actually understand who I am? I am tempted to say; no.

She doesn’t understand aviation and my interest in aviation. She doesn’t ask about it, or show any interest in it. She doesn’t really need to understand, I don’t need much, but I do need her to accept it.

She doesn’t know anything about my taste in music, and shows no interest in digging into my archives of music. She doesn’t know that my knowledge of certain bands stretches incredibly far. She doesn’t want to listen to my music, and doesn’t ask about my music.

She doesn’t want to know about my interest in the paranormal. She gets upset when I speak about UFOs, and gets embaressed when I mention it. Embaressed as in thinking it’s all nonsense. She gets faith mixed up in the interest of mysteries and the paranormal and even I’m the one with the knowledge I’m still being treated like someone with no clue.

There’s so much I could tell her – teach her – but she just don’t want to listen to me.

She doesn’t like certain TV shows – I haven’t even bothered, but I know she would hate a show like The Curse of Oak Island (I love mysteries). She hates Sci-Fi, and when I try to argue that Star Wars is actually a lot like Fantasy but in space (she likes Fantasy for some reason I don’t get since she hates Sci-Fi) she gets annoyed. When I say The Handmaids Tale (we both love it) could be defined as Sci-Fi is you stretch the term a little – she objects vividly.

How well does she actually know me? She doesn’t. And I don’t understand why she doesn’t want to understand why I like certain subjects. Why so narrow-minded? Why so set in her ways? If she plays a song, I listen. When I play a song, her mind wanders off.

Does she know the name of my fave football team? My favorite TV show? My favorite city? Why I love aviation so much?

I don’t know.

I just don’t understand. She can get to know me and my interests in so many ways, and it’s like she chooses not to. Why?

Like heavy, polluted air

I visited my old neighbourhood lately. I’ve been driving around there a few times before, but this time I was walking with my daughter in a baby trolley. It literally gave me the chills.

I can best explain it like this; do you know when you’re in the bathroom and putting on your deoderant, then leave the bathroom but only to come back a few minutes later. The deoderant you put on are still lingering in the room, and you can smell it. That’s what it was like.

It’s like I have been walking around the neighbourhood in late 2016 and early 2017 leaving a scent of some sort. A scent that is sadness, frustration, anger, loneliness, and desperation even. It has filled the air around there like a perfume. I walked around with my daughter as a different person. Just two years later I am walking around my old neighbourhood as a completely different person. I could almost feel everything that I had been through when I walked there. Like some sort of heavy, polluted air. It was like a mix of two worlds that shouldn’t really mix at all. It was eerie as hell.

I expressed my gratitude out loud. Everything went okay after all.

However, the battle is never really won. Around the corner waits new battles to be fought.

A bleak, February visit to Edinburgh

I remember giving her the airline tickets as a Christmas present. It was her first Christmas with me and my family, and only four months since she moved in with me (and for her – to another country). The start had been a bit rough, but I expected as much. We were slowly coming to terms with living together, and living in the same country together. And, so I decided to buy two tickets to Edinburgh, Scotland as a proper Christmas present. We would spend five days in the Scottish capital in mid-February 2010. Couldn’t have been more off-season if we had tried. I wanted it like that, besides, it was also cheaper.

The look on her face was priceless when she opened the present. She didn’t really know what to expect from a Christmas Eve and what presents she would get. For once she was at loss for words. It’s the best gift I have ever given anyone.

I feel that Edinburgh in February of 2010 was almost a peak in our relationship. Everything was still very fresh. There were no IVF, no issues with finding work, no immediate money problems. No focus on depression, anxiety or OCD either. Just two people going on a trip to abroad to a country we both loved. The weather at home was bitterly cold. In Edinburgh there were no snow, no sub-zero temperatures. Just a mild winter. It just felt good.

There were tourists, but not many. The weather was bleak with heavy clouds, but we loved it. No sunshine, no heat. Just a regular winter in Britain. We walked around the streets of Edinburgh being happy. Just happy. «If only more people knew!» she said while we climbed up some steep stairs towards the castle. She was thinking of the lack of tourism. But, hey, it was February. It was like we were all alone in this magnificent city.

We walked up the Scott Monument, visited her university (she had started an online degree there), visited pubs and ate unhealthy English food. She bought herself fudge and claimed that any time of the day was «fudge o’clock». She was almost like a child in a an amusement park. We didn’t really do selfies back then, but I had my video camera, and she had her handheld Sony camera. I videotaped, and we both took photos. Photos of us on Princess Street, besides the statue of Hume, at the castle or around some high point look-out spots in the city. On almost every photo, we are smiling. She’s smiling. In some photos I see that she has taken off her glasses before the photo – something she often did. I may not always smile in the photos, but I am happy down to the very core of myself. I can tell. There’s not a single worry in my eyes and posture.

In one photo there’s just a bunch of KFC food. Not understanding the Indian accent added in with the Scottish dialect, we didn’t understand a single word of what she asked when we ordered, and we ended up with a huge meal we couldn’t finish. We laughed. It’s funny what you remember and what you forget from a trip like this.

We went to St. Andrews in the rain. We saw the ruins – completely alone. I videotaped while we were walking around studying buildings and architecture. Looking at the North sea and holding hands. It started to rain even more heavily. We only had one umbrella, and we both tried to get room under it for cover while we crossed an ancient church yard. In the distance, an RAF Typhoon did circuits at RAF Leuchars. There was no one else about. The photos clearly shows it; not a single soul. Just us, a couple of sea gulls and the sound of a jet fighter somewhere in the background. And the rain. Heavy rain.  My video camera stopped working due to the heavy rainfall. I didn’t really care. The trip was almost over anyway. It stopped raining shortly afterwords.

I write this because I was just asked what my favorite vacation was. There was no hesitation when I answered. It’s not my trips New York, San Fransisco or Texas. It’s not Cambridge, Munich, Prague or Krakow either. No, it’s Edinburgh during a bleak and rainy February 2010.

It all felt like it was just us (sometimes it actually was just us!). We were in love, we were together, we were still fairly young, and we were out exploring the world. It was exactly as we had envisioned the start of our lives together.

Sometimes I truly wish I could go back and do that trip with her once more.

 

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Looking for my shoes

My football (soccer) shoes broke last Monday. My thoughts immediately go to that new pair I bought two years ago I still haven’t used. Now is a perfect time to throw away the old and start using the new ones.

Only thing is, I can’t find them. Just where did I put them? I know I took them with me from my old house (and from then house before that), but where I placed them in this house I don’t know. I look in the closet where there’s shoes stored but I can’t find them there. I look through some closets, but I can’t see anything.

I honestly don’t know where to look. I walk into a small room full of stored things (including my computer that I wrote seven books on). I have yet to unpack three large boxes of things. Things wrapped in newspaper. Most likely

fragile things. Stuff I bought, stuff I got as gifts through the years. Lots of things that have a certain meaning to me, but a lot that doesn’t as well. I start to dig through the first box. I reach the bottom of it, and discover photo albums that I made. I open one of them and look at the photos. 2009 maybe. Pictures of travel. Prague, Israel, Munich. Happy times. So many photos of my ex wife. Our dogs. Our home. I stare at a photo of myself in Israel in front of a desert colored wall. Most likely in Nasaret in 2009. My hair is long, my brown sunglasses looks rather out of fashion in 2018, but I don’t really get why  think so. My sense of fashion have changed as well. A t-shirt that says «I’d rather be watching Stargate SG-1». A bit childish.

A somber feeling of nostalgia and melancholy grips me almost instantly as I look through it. So this is where my past life ended up. In boxes. I know there’s more of my photo albums up in the attic. This new home isn’t really my home. It’s hers. My stuff have no place here, altough I am sure that if I told her I feel this way she would make a bit of room for it. But I also know that no woman would ever accept that her things would be stuffed away in this matter. Intentionally or unintentionally. I look further on at my photos. It’s like the guy I’m looking at is dead.  A life project that went south – a failure. A video game campaign that just ended because the choices were poor. To no fault of my own. My past life, all of it, now stuffed away wherever there’s room. That’s how much value it has. Her photo albums are in the living room. Photos of her daughter. Her time in Africa. Tons of photos of her ex-boyfriend – the father of her child. Why wouldn’t there be? He’s the father after all. An intregral part of the household even if he never sets his foot in it. But he’s there – in the photo albums. I am not. I’m stuffed away in the attic and at the bottom of boxes. And it’s gonna be like this for a long time.

I decide to forget about those damn football shoes, and attempt to fix the old ones.

Objects in Motion

This will be “problems of the western world” type of post. I ask for forgiveness for it before I have even written more than a couple of words.

I often feel like life is like a train journey. Some people get on one train and stay onboard the train for the duration of their journey – until the end. Other may change carriages on the same train a few times. Other may get off the train, board another and then stay onboard. Others may change trains numerous of times. Maybe even going different directions. Getting off one train going north, and boarding another going east. You get the picture.

I feel now that I have changed trains and carriages so many times it wears me out. My traveling is getting harder and more difficult. I am not as young any more, and all the changes have taken its toll. My legs are sore, my clothes are dirty and the smell of Diesel oil have filled my nostrils. I am travel-worn. Tired of changing directions in my travel, and constantly trying to adapt to trains that goes quicker and quicker towards the end station where it all terminates. I have lost a few of my bags along the way, left on several stations. I have no more drinks with me, and a bottle of beer is left at the station two stops ago.

Yet again I am now on a journey on a train going somewhere. Maybe I just changed carriages this year, but is a new carriage with new people, new faces and new customs and culture. And I am trying to adapt, not loosing myself in the process. I have left parts of me behind, and I can’t go back to pick them up again. I am constantly moving forward. And like many people on the train, I feel like a lonely traveler. I am with many people in my carriage, even someone new I care deeply for, but it is me – and me alone. No one will ever stay with me for the duration of my journey. It is a lonely feeling, and I have not felt it before. It is even scary, and I wish I could do like children do when they are going somewhere without their parents – put a sign on myself that says “I am traveling alone”.

In the end I guess I am just hoping that I will keep most of my belongings and personality once I depart the train at its final destination. And perhaps to trust someone enough to take the rest of the journey with me – or perhaps understand and accept that I have to do it myself.

Signs and Portents

If you have challenges in your life, and most people do, here’s something you might find soothing. Be creative! I created art. Posters on my wall. Framed.

I find being creative comforting in trying times and situations. Many people find comfort in music or lyrics. Perhaps books, movies or art.

For many, playing an album and reading lyrics might be enough, but I found combining lyrics to my own art or expressions to be a very positive experience.

While not all of these posters are my own art, some are. I will explain more below each photo and what they represent. The peculiar thing with lyrics is that they can mean anything to you – even though the original writer meant something else. I am confident that most of these lyrics means something totally different to the writer itself – but to me, it’s about specific situations or life experiences.

This idea came to me after being sent a photo of a friends wall in his house. It was a photo of a certain lyric written by Axl Rose. The song is Estranged by Guns N’ Roses, one of the songs by GNR which means a lot to the hardcore fangroup. So I decided to do something like that myself, but adding more of my own creativity and also including several other bands that I keep close. This whole collection is now on my wall in the second floor – and one of the things I am most pleased about in my house.

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AEROSMITH: Seasons of Wither.

One of my fave Aerosmith songs, “Season of Wither”. Much better than any of their other ballads in my opinion. For me, this represents my ex-wife. While not everything is something I can relate to (I do not feel I am any devil really). However. My ex was always sleepy. She slept until noon sometimes. Maybe hours longer. I would always get up early, walk the dogs and spend the next hours writing on a book while she was sleeping. She was always blues hearted as she was perhaps more depressed than I understood her to be. She often said “this year has been the worst for me” and she kept repeating it every year. I reacted the wrong way, by being annoyed, upset or even angry. I took it as a personaøl insult as I went out of my way to make her happy. I often replied to her that I had had a great year and didn’t understand why she felt like this. And this kept going on for too long. We fell into decline. Our relationship dwindled. Wither.

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GUNS N’ ROSES: Estranged.

Almost self-explanatory. It covers everything. From trying, failing and trying again. Maybe Next time I will get it right. Every persons life has certain Seasons that keeps changing. Nothing is constant except change. Axl Rose have a way with lyrics which most lyricists can’t compete with. It’s depressive, but yet optimistic. Never give up hope that next time you will get it right. Whatever that may be. That being a relationship and exploring why it fell through or whatever it may be. Do some soul-searching, and try again next time. Maybe then you will get it right in the end. The image itself is one I am very proud of. Axl on the rail of a big oil tanker about to jump off. Taken from the video. Axl and GNR was very hooked on symolism back then. I think he still is. This sole lyric means a lot to me.

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WESTWORLD: Limbo

An almost GNRish epic ballad by Tony Harnells Project called WestWorld. To me it deals with loneliness, being in a limbo. Not either here nor there but simply waiting for the next chapter in ones life. I think this is where I am right now. The song is extremely personal to me. And it must be to Tony as well. It’s a wonderful song of what I believe is about his first divorce. I can feel like I have nothing to show. I have no girlfriend, no wife, no children, no family. I keep myself up and I get tired of it because I have nothing to show and feel below everyone else and their more fullfilling lives. So for me, it’s about both my divorce and not being where I am supposed to be – but in the middle neither here nor there.

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SISTER: Let it bleed.

To me this is about my last, short relationship. My request of wanting children, and she agreeing to it – but later changing her mind. It was an absolute turmoil in my head. My request of children turned into weakness in her eyes as she thought I had mental issues dealing with lack of fatherhood. I was very depressed then I must admit, and with the season being dark and cold – it truly felt like darkness was covering me. With her changing her mind over what I call “a dealbreaker” (children) I broke up with her. I guess she broke up with me too. She thought I was weak and sent me some nasty accusations my way. So instead of going along with something I couldn’t do any longer, I let her go. I mentally bled for a week or so, but I set it right. If I am to go be with someone, they have to open for children. I let it bleed and I set it right.

There are a few others as well, but I thought these were the best.

 

What goes up….

My ex-wife had a poster in her bedroom that said exactly that. A picture of a hand drowning in pills. What goes up, must come down. It’s funny how something sticks to you. That poster stuck to me, and I still remember it vividly. I often picture it, and those excact words. 

It was those words that stuck to me when I was walking down one of England most historic airfields, minutes away from reaching another personal pinnacle I never thought would happen to me. I somehow had managed to manouver myself in a position to fly for free in a P-51 Mustang from the second World War. Something every historic aviation enthusiast dream of, but for most people can never be achieved. My father had spoken of trying to be given such a chance for three decades. He never got close. Suddenly, before even being 35 years old, I was about to go on that ride. And I would be doing it over the English countryside pulling 5 G’s in the backseat of one of the most famous aircraft ever made. It was at that moment I thought; “when will I ever come down?”

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In all honesty, looking back, it feels like anything I wanted between 2005 and 2015 came true. I always wanted to travel the world. Suddenly I had racked up 24 trips to England, three trips to the USA, 11 to Israel as well as all of Scandinavia, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and more. I finally got to see my fave football playing live, I wrote books and published them with ease. Further; I befriended a childhood rockstar-hero of mine, signed books in England sitting beside WWII veterans, held lectures on historic aviation, got tenure and married a knock-out dark haired exotic girl. I turned 30 and didn’t think one bit about it. I felt at ease with it. I wasn’t an insecure 20 year old. I was reaching beyond anything I could have imagined within my hobbies and interests. All this may not sound much, but for me it meant the world. Everything I hoped when I was growing up was coming true. If this was getting older, I had no problem with it.

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With my head slightly banging on the canopy, upside down over Duxford Airfield, the thought of coming down came creeping to me again. Reaching this level of what I considered personal success; what will come next? Could I possibly continue on like this with what I felt was never-ending success?

Fact is, coming down again was creeping up on me. I just didn’t know it yet. A year later down the road, and my world would look very different.

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