Ghosts of girlfriends past. Part 4.

Right, I’ll do something else now. I’ll re-visit a few of my short-time and long-time girlfriends (don’t worry, there’s not many of them!) and do a short summary of it. I might turn out anything from hilarious (mostly the first ones) to very serious crap. Anyway, I’ll do it because it feels like something I want to do.

Girlfriend #4: The girl next door

Who was she?
She was a cute, somewhat naive 18 year old girl with long curly brown hair and (at first) braces on her teeth (when she took those off she was a knock-out in my eyes). She lived just five minutes by car away from me (I lived with my parents then). Not only did she have a “girl next door look”, she was basically from the same place as me. I met her in January 2002 at one of the first parties I really ever attended. Sober. She had never had a boyfriend before, so I thought I was quite experienced. I truly wasn’t. Spring of 2002 and especially the summer of 2002 stands out as one of the best summers I’ve had ever. I was making out and fooling around with a really cute girl. I actually had a girlfriend and a proper network of friends. We stayed together for about two years. I still have fond memories of her.

Why did you date her?
I was attracted to her. She was everything I looked for in a girl. Down to Earth, lovely smile, nice to talk to. Very pretty. We stayed over at each others houses, did social things with our common friends. Made out. Made out some more. Went to the movies. Made out even more. Met her parents and family as well.

Why didn’t it work out?
After she graduated high school she wanted a year off before college. She found this big farm about 2,5 hours drive south with lots of horses. She loved horses. So, she moved there to be part-time babysitter and part-time horse trainer or something. And, she was never as into me as I was into her. We stayed together for another year. I drove to pick her up every other weekend, and had a great time when she was home. But, I wasn’t as interesting as horses and travels going to all kinds of horse races in Norway and abroad. And she lacked empathy. I remember I spoke to her mother about empathy. She just didn’t have it. It’s a nasty thing to say, but it was quite true. Anyway, we had to fantastic summers together. Then she cheated on me with some horse trainer guy in the fall of 2003-early 2004. So she broke up with me. It’s the only time I have actually snuck around and looked at someone elses phone – which confirmed it all. After she broke up with me, I had serious issues getting over her and missed her dearly for a long time. One night on town, I saw her making out with a new boyfriend which put an end to me missing her.

Where is she now?
She met this football fan guy from way down south at some point. To me, he always looked like he was 16 years old. Odd face. Odd chap really. He moved over here and she got pregnant. Twice. So she got two children and she’s still with him. Good for her. She has a good education as well. Still got her on Snapchat. Lovely looking kids. Odd how she ended up with a more “normal” life than me, when it was me who longed for it the most.

What would you like to tell her?
I wasn’t stalking you, honestly (lol), but I am sorry I could not get over you as quickly as I should have. I still have wonderful memories of our time together, and say if I had been coming into your life at the time you met your current guy – I think we would have worked out well together. Hey, I am being rather nice about the cheating part aren’t I? It’s fine, people make mistakes. Don’t matter. I just met you too soon, and we couldn’t simply settle down so early could we. So, it was a bit too soon. A pity really. I really did love you. First time I have ever loved someone. And why do I get the feeling you would have liked me more if I had been more of an asshole or dangerous?

She liked the song, I liked the song – and it reminds me of her. Especially those first dates.

Ghosts of girlfriends past. Part 3.

Right, I’ll do something else now. I’ll re-visit a few of my short-time and long-time girlfriends (don’t worry, there’s not many of them!) and do a short summary of it. I might turn out anything from hilarious (mostly the first ones) to very serious crap. Anyway, I’ll do it because it feels like something I want to do.

Girlfriend #3: The one out of desperation

Who was she?
She was a collegue at work ca late 2000, early 2001. She had blue eyes and semi-short brown hair. She was 17, I was 20. She wasn’t very attractive, and not very bright either. But, she was quite experienced for her age. If you know what I mean. She had just broken up with a boyfriend of hers, and turned to me. I wasn’t attracted to her, but convinced myself that I was.

Why did you date her?
I was lonely and sick of having no one. I was 20 years old and had not been in any form of relationship or having had any form of physical contact with any girls except during the summer of 2000 when #2 was visiting. I was tired of everything. So I went for it.

Why didn’t it work out?
Well, she quickly got bored of me and went back to her ex (or was it someone else?). I can’t remember it bothered me that much really. I was more pissed off that another female collegue which I considered a friend immediately pulled back from hanging out with me when I wasn’t with her any longer. I felt that was a shitty thing to do. We stayed in contact for a while, and then it fizzled out.

Where is she now?
Oh, boy I have a few stories to tell. I called her once a few years down the road, and she bluntly told me she just had an abortion due to a “two-night-stand”. I think she told me the guy she met after me was abusive as well. Then years after that she suddenly appeared on national TV because her family (two kids, husband) had massive financial issues. No idea how that worked out. Very embaressing stuff. I remember thinking; imagine if she had gotten pregnant with me. I would have been stuck having to relate to her for the first of my life. Jesus Christ!!

What would you like to tell her?
I will be as blunt as you were; you’re not terribly bright and I am very pleased you dumped me quickly. It would have been a bloody nightmare otherwise. I hope you make sure your children stay in school, get the right education, and learn a couple of things from your poor life choices. I dodged a bullet there. Good luck.

She had a thing for this song – and I couldn’t fucking stand it.

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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Lonely Nights

In my field of work I meet a lot of lonely people. The state of loneliness is something I care much about as it got much to do with the fact I’ve seen what it’s about. I’ve been there, and experienced it.

Loneliness comes in many different ways. I can honestly admit I am lonely as I write this. I am lonely in the sense I do not have my own family. I do not have a wife or a girlfriend, and I do not have my own children. But I am not lonely in the sense of having friends or family or being busy socially. I am. I have always had a family for example. I know many people who do not even have that. What I do know is how it feels like not to have any friends. If you feel lonely, and an increasing amount of people do, I hope there is some comfort in this little break from my usual chapters.

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If you find yourself lonely, it’s up to you to get out of it. How to get out of your state of loneliness is up to you. I ended up lonely because of a poor mix of education, shyness, low confidence and other unfortunate choices. It can happen. If you have friends and ignore them for whatever reason, they will in the end forget about you and move on. If they are not to your liking, that is fine, but then you need to find someone else. Otherwise, you might end up lonely.

I realized I was terribly lonely at some point. At first I didn’t know what to do with it. But I knew why it happened. Not being accessible to friends and pushing them away, not taking the same path as them, not going to the same school or taking the same course. Moving away to work in a heavily female oriented choice of work. Using the internet way too much, spending long hours in front of the screen. The reasons were many.

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I blamed the internet first and foremost. But in a moment of clarity I decided that it could also be the internet that would get me out of the mess. So, I started to hang on out in chat rooms specifically for my home town – daily striking up conversations with locals. Up until that point I had kept my chats worldwide, focusing on finding people with the same interests – which I could only find in other countries. I lay that to rest. It was through these (now) vintage social media channels I developed friendships. I soon got invited to parties. I had never really been to any parties before, but I decided to suck it up and go. From there on I met my first girlfriend and made friends I still have to this day, 15 years later.

Creating a social network from scratch takes time, but it’s doable. In 2016 you can use Facebook to connect with old friends. I’ve done that too. Many friendships have blossomed due to my usage of social media. One of them was a childhood friend which I had not spoken to for almost 20 years when we started to hang out again. Friendships can be created at your work as well, if you let yourself be accesible to it. One of my best and trusted friends is a co-worker. And let it be know that friends online you have never met but know and trust are also your friends. Why don’t you buy a ticket and go see them? You don’t need anyone to take you there – you can take yourself.

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Even if you can’t seem to make friends right away, don’t let that stop you from doing things you want. Like travelling, going to the cinema, or seeing your favorite band on stage. I’ve done all that alone several times. Not because I am lonely, but simply because I want to live and experience stuff. If no one wants to go and see a rock band with me, I will simply go alone. Do not let anything stop you from doing what you want. Dare to put yourself in a situation you may at first find awkward. If you feel uncomfortable, bring a book. I’ve done several trips alone – foreign and domestic. When I told a previous girlfriend that I’ve been going abroad alone she was shocked. She would never have dared to do it. Why? Screw it! Just do it! You won’t regret it. Some of the best travel experiences I’ve had – I’ve done on my own. It doesn’t mean I’m lonely, it simply means I do not need others support or companionship to have a good time.

I travelled around Norway last summer and decided to talk to a girl on the same sightseeing boat as me. I admit I was hesitant at first, but I did it and did not regret it. She was from Atlanta, Georgia, and we ended up having dinner together that evening as she was also travelling alone. You simply need to step out of your comfort zone. Many will think none of all of this, and talk to anyone. Others will be physically sick by only thinking of it. Instead of withdrawing, accept that you feel this way, and mentally prepare yourself to do it anyway. Take that step. Next time it won’t feel as bad. Then do it again, just don’t do it once a year. Being social takes practice and you just lack training. You may have that sort of shy personality, but remember; you can alter your personality traits – it just takes practice. I used to be quite afraid of talking in public until one day I decided to see if I could leave that behind and simply talk in public without being afraid. It took a few years and it took practice, but it was doable and it was far from my hardest project either. It pays off. I can speak in public with ease now.

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Stop comparing yourself to others. Show them the finger (mentally) and understand that they are just jerk offs like yourself in one way or another. Be up front with how you feel, and accept it. Decide what to do with it, and make a plan. Loneliness is common. Do not be a perfectionist – I know I’m falling into this trap many, many times myself. I demand much of myself. So do you. Don’t let it become something that pulls you down just because you haven’t reached to where you want to be yet.

Do what feels right for you. Do not be afraid to fuck up. Everyone does. So you speak to someone, and then they shy away from you? Not your fault. Try again. Accept a no and move on. Greet yourself with compassion. You fucking rock in your own way, and you know it. And if you suck at first, just try again. And again, and again.

Chapter 2: What can I say – I come from Tuborg and Sleaze Rock

Between early 2004 and the summer of 2006 I tried to be more traditional. That is, if binge drinking during weekends are traditional. I have a feeling it actually is in this country. I was never too keen on drinking when I was in my late teens or early 20’s. It was another thing where I deviated from my peers. After my girlfriend dumped me in January of 2004, I decided to re-think a couple of life choices. I felt my way of doing things wasn’t not working out.  So I decided to start drinking like the rest of the country. I was drinking to get over her, to get over myself and to change myself into something else. I was tired of being me.1280666-16

I was 23 and obviously had issues getting over her. I grew my hair long, tried to look “rock” and even sported the odd drunk eyeliner-look once I was wasted and started to feel inspired by Motley Crues book “The Dirt”. Heartbreak and drinking; what others experienced being a teenager, I was experiencing for the first time in my early to mid 20’s. I was catching up. Was it the raddest time I’ve had or was it the sadest? I am not sure. My best friend was 18. We went nuts, but usually never in danger of wrecking ourselves or anyone else. Perhaps just normal Norwegian weekends for young people. Except for the eyeliner and the hair. People had trouble understanding that part. I once entered a room full of countryside stereotypes in the middle of nowhere with my hair spiked up, and black eyeliner smeared across my face. The room went dead silent. I liked it.

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I started college August 2005, and drank more than I studied. Surprisingly, it didn’t really make my grades suffer. Considering the amount of time I invested in my field of study, the two-year course was either too liberal and easy or I was simply much smarter than I thought. I have a sneaky feeling it’s was the first, but I will pretend it’s the second.

Girls wasn’t going my way. I had a few offers, but I didn’t find them interesting. One had a boyfriend but had a strong interest in cheating on him. With me. I said no. I actually have morals. Another was, to be blunt, dumb. I was quickly done with my business there. Another one was so desperate for a boyfriend she could have picked anyone. I aborted that one too. In early 2005 I met a very cute girl from the other side of the country. She was a student in my home town. She sent all the right vibes and the more she drank, the more clingy she got. Up until specific physical contact. I should have smelt a rat when she pulled out when I tried to kiss her once. I had gathered up all confidence I could find up until that point and was 99% sure she would kiss me back. She didn’t. She was a new type of breed for me – a tease. I understood later that many female students around 20 years old have often gotten involved in serious relationships during their teen years and have no interest in doing that again now that they are free and off to college on their own. So they like the flirting, but pull out once you actually make a serious effort. That happened a few times those years.

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The more time went by with trying my luck and failing miserably, the more bitter I got. One of the more nasty mistakes you can make as a single guy. But who can blame them when I was so wasted I could hardly mutter a decent sentence when I met someone out on town. So, I gave up and went back to being untraditional. I went back online (but I was never really away). MySpace was cool and so was this foreign girl that got in touch with me. Considering my experience with American girls, this felt instantly right. She was foreign after all. Foreign meant foreign and not Norwegian. I was truly convinced I did not understand Norwegian girls or how to talk to them. And I was just as convinced they did not understand me either. We just didn’t get along. Nothing had changed since high school. If I was to go somewhere with girls, I had to go foreign again. And so I did.

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