You can laugh, but I don’t care.

People think I don’t know when they’re making fun of me. But I know. I just no longer care.

I know I’m a bit weird. Quirky. Odd. Strange. I don’t always pick up on irony and sarcasm, I too often take things too seriously and believe stuff that’s not true. I’m book smart, theoretical, and don’t always understand right away how some of the things that are obvious to a lot of people work. With a lot of things, I’m a bit slow, and I need things spelled out to me.

But I know when I’m being made fun of, laughed at behind my back… I know it. I’m aware that it happens.

But here’s the thing. The thing is, I don’t care about it. If people have nothing better to do than make fun of me, then I feel sorry for them. If that’s what they want to spend their time on, then that’s their time being wasted, their life. I’m not gonna waste my time caring about it, because I lose so much precious time that way. Life may be long, but it might be short. We never know how much time we’re gonna get and I don’t want to waste mine. I want to focus on doing things that are good for me, that bring joy to my soul. I don’t want to care about people who have negative opinions about me.

And I want to share a poem with you. It’s one of my favourite pieces of writing, I’ve copied it down so many times, and I might have shared it on my blog before, but I wanted to share it again:

I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, Kiss me harder, and You’re a good person, and, You brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible.

Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.

But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.

And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.

We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.

We never know when the bus is coming.”

—Rachel C. Lewis, Tell The People You Love That You Love Them

Xoxo

Julie

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Mission First, People Always

So, I don’t know if you guys know this, and I don’t remember if I’ve ever blogged about this, but I know I haven’t recently, so here we go. My dad is a Major in the Royal Norwegian Air Force. He joined the military when he was 18, met my mom when he was almost 24, and they had me, and my brother. My parents are still together, a rarity these days, so I consider myself lucky.

For the last few years, I’ve noticed it especially since I moved to the city and started uni, every time there’s something involving military families on a TV show, whether it be good or bad, I always tear up and get emotional. Every time I rewatch Army Wives, it’s really just me crying my way through 7 seasons one episode at a time. But occasionally there is military stuff on other shows too, cop shows, medical shows, even comedy/family type shows do episodes dedicated to the armed forces. In Norway, life in a military family is quite different from that we see on shows like Army Wives; I didn’t grow up on a base or post or anything like that, but there are still things that are true for every family, regardless of where they live.

And that is your loved one being away. Whether it is your dad, mom, brother, sister, son, daughter… being away from someone is never easy, especially when you know that they are in a dangerous situation. Thinking back to my childhood, I remember my dad being away three times. Once to Turkey, twice to Italy. I know he was in Italy during the Kosovo war, but back then I didn’t know what that was or meant. I just knew that my dad was away and we didn’t know when he’d be back.

There is particularly one morning that I remember from when my dad was in Italy, and that was the last morning we had together. I remember because I’d had to give my teacher in school (I was in the first grade)  a note beforehand, notifying her that I would be late for school because daddy was going to war and we didn’t know when we’d see him again, so we were gonna have a family breakfast together. And I remember eggs, which we normally only had on Sundays, and orange juice.

I don’t remember much of my dad being away. I remember before I started school, when I was in daycare, my mom was driving me and she let me eat breakfast at home before we left, whereas when my dad took me there on his way to work I had to take breakfast with me and eat it there. I remember my dad coming back. Once, I got a pink kitchen for my Barbie dolls. I think that was from Turkey. I know I have some jewelry from Turkey as well, but I don’t remember getting it. Once, I got roller skates. And my brother got a tiny bike with Mickey Mouse on it that my dad had in his suitcase, which was crazy! I remember ridiculously green aloe-vera. And a giant plastic bag of coins – most of which have disappeared, some I still have in my room at my parents’ house. But I don’t remember asking my mom about him. I don’t remember whether he missed any holidays or birthdays. I don’t remember much of him being gone at all.

Maybe that’s just the way the brain works. Defense mechanisms, blocking out painful memories. After all, this all happened before I turned 7, and how much does one really remember from that age, apart from select memories, good or bad, that somehow made it through? I remember one thing from back when I was 2, my earliest memory is from after I fell off the slide in my back yard, and my mom had to call my dad to take me to the ER to get stitches on my forehead – I remember holding a washcloth to my head, it was red, but I don’t know if that was the washcloth or blood. That was probably traumatic. But that was a single event, not weeks and months at a time.

A few years later, my dad got a job in a different part of the country. I think my mom didn’t want to move, didn’t want to uproot our lives in our hometown, because it was decided that my dad would commute. Apparently he was gone for 2-3 weeks at a time in the beginning, but I don’t remember much of that either. This was towards the end of my mandatory education, I know he had this job for a few years and got a new one while I did my exchange year in high school, so it was at least most of my middle school years, if not all. Towards the end though, he left at 7am on Tuesday mornings and arrived back home around 7.30pm Thursday nights. I remember that time a lot, especially when I was in middle school which ended at 2pm, because I would have a larger meal after school because dinner would be late on Thursdays (we usually eat dinner between 4 and 5). Funny, how many of my memories are related to food, isn’t it?

My dad’s new job required travels to the US, but at least that was only 2-3 weeks every time and only a couple times a year at most. But now he doesn’t have that job anymore either. He did go to the US before Christmas though, I got some nice presents, including a coffee mug and some lovely tea!

Where my dad works now… it’s closer to home, but he has to travel a lot. Sometimes just for a day, sometimes for a few days or a week… but now he’s been gone for 3 weeks and not been able to come home on weekends even. I thought that it wouldn’t affect me, since I’m not home either, but I think a lot about how it affects my mom. My brother lives at home, but he has school and friends and social stuff so he’s not there all the time, and my mom is home alone, which makes me feel bad for not being there. But he got to go home yesterday, and I’m going home on Monday, so at least I’ll get to see my entire family then. I haven’t spoken to my dad since Easter, except for a few text messages, which feels weird. So I’m happy I get to go home and spend our Constitution day (May 17th) with him and the rest of my family!

I wanted to write something earlier this week, as last Monday, May 8th, is a significant day for Norway and for military men and women present and past. We call it Liberation Day, because it is the day that World War II ended and Norway was no longer occupied by the Nazis. It’s also our Veteran’s Day. Some say that the focus should be exclusively on the Veterans of WWII, but I am among those who believe that ALL Veterans should be honored on this day. War, no matter what you call the war, is gruesome, and it affects the people in uniform as well as their families. Happy late Veteran’s Day, dad.

Now, you might be wondering what’s with the title of this entry. It’s a military quote, I first heard it on Army Wives. As I am writing this, I am remembering that I’ve definitely written about this before. I thought at first it was on tumblr, but I couldn’t find it, and then I realized that this will actually be the 2nd entry on my blog with this title; you can read the first one here. You don’t need to read the whole thing, the most important bit is at the top, which I’ll recap for you here now:

This is a quote I learned when I was watching the Lifetime TV show Army Wives. However, I did grow up with a father in uniform. And this is one of my all-time favorite quotes. When I told a friend about it, he didn’t get it. But then I explained.

To me it’s like, people are what matter, people are what’s important. Not all people – but like, the people that matter to you. Your friends, family, who you love… They’re the most important thing in your life. And I’ll always choose them over doing something. Not like, use them to avoid doing something I wanna do but like, if/when they need me, I’ll choose them over sleep and I’ll ditch a lecture and I’ll drop what I’d been looking forward to doing on my day off to be with them because they’re more important than things. Mission first. People always.

The quote within the quote is a bit messy, because that was copy pasted from a conversation I had through some social media or other, and my thoughts aren’t always coherent when I’m trying to explain something. But I hope you get the gist of it.

And speaking of incoherent – this entry might be becoming it. So I think I want to end it here.

Have any of my readers got people close to them in uniform?

~ Julie

Just Not My Night

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! Or, it’s 2am here, I don’t know how you greet people at 2am… Anyway, story time! 

Today was supposed to be a good day. I watched some TV, called my boyfriend, ordered plane and train tickets to visit him, and then I was supposed to visit a friend who turned in her Master’s thesis today. 

On my way out of the door, however, my beloved Hedwig key chain from the Platform 9 3/4 shop at Kings Cross Station in London, broke. 

And now I can’t get my key back on it at all. I’m considering putting it all in a ziplock bag and taking it with me when I go there at the end of the month, since I only bought it a few months ago, and ask if it would be possible to exchange it for a new one, since I’ve not been abusing it and it just snapped, which it shouldn’t, considering their stuff is quite pricey. Can’t hurt to ask anyway, worst they can do is say no… 

All was well at my friend’s house, we made cupcakes and had a lovely time. She gave me a present for helping her proofreading: a bottle of Riesling white wine with butterflies on the bottle, and three books she knows I’ve been wanting for over a year: The Selection, The Elite, and The One. I’ve read them on my Kindle, but I really enjoyed them and they’re so pretty. I really didn’t expect it – I would’ve been happy with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. But I’m beyond happy with my present! As I was packing my stuff to leave, she asked if I wanted a plastic bag, but I said I was alright because I had my handbag. In hindsight, I should’ve accepted the bag. 

I’d only walked a few houses down her street, when the shoulder strap on my handbag snapped. The bag hit the ground, and the wine bottle smashed, all over the stuff I had in it. Since it was nearly 1am and not a soul was in sight, I left my stuff and ran back to my friend’s house, knocking frantically on her door. I briefly explained what had happened and she gave me a plastic bag. I ran back. My handbag was full of wine and broken glass, but I managed to get all of my stuff out and into the plastic bag. I carried the handbag all the way home, stopped under a street lamp to make sure I’d got all my stuff out, and then threw it in the trash. 

The books my friend gave me were mostly intact – just a little bit of damage to the edges, mostly due to the other wet stuff in the plastic bag, as they had been wrapped in the wrapping paper when the bottle smashed. Everything else, however, was soaked. My wallet, the little bag I keep my most essential essential oils in, a pack of ibuprofen, sunglasses, powerbank (portable charger), and the bullet journal I’ve only been using for a month. My oils were fine, it’s been proven before that it’s apparently not easy to smash Young Living bottles! My compact powder looked completely untouched, I threw out the powder puff thingy though – it was cheap and from H&M so no huge loss there. Everything else has been rinsed out, and I didn’t have any cash, only cards. It remains to be seen if they will work tomorrow. My powerbank will probably need to be thrown out as I’ll need to get a new one, but I’ll consult my brother tomorrow. I once had an iPod that survived a washing machine and worked for years after, so we’ll see. 

Worst off, then, was my bullet journal, especially this week’s spread and next week’s, that I only made earlier today. 

The following two pages don’t look so great either, so I guess I’ll just skip those, or write this story on them, or something. 

The strap of my handbag was already one being shared by two different bags, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it broke. But I guess it was about time to get a new one now, then, anyway. It sucks that I’ll probably need a new powerbank, and that I lost a bottle of wine and one of the two CapriSuns I had in my purse, but my books are okay and and the rest of my bullet journal isn’t so bad – it’s mostly just the few pages around where my pen had been left inside it. My pen still works. Everything else will be fine. Depending on the wine smell, I might need to get a new wallet, but that one was old anyway. 

And I’m okay, and thats what’s important, my boyfriend said. Poor thing, I woke him up by calling him after this happened, and he didn’t sleep much last night or today. I feel bad. But I also feel grateful to have someone like him in my life, someone I want to call while walking home in the middle of the night, being upset and annoyed, carrying a handbag full of broken glass and wine. Someone who answers when I call because they know I’m calling because I need to talk to them. Sure, some crappy things happened in the last few hours, but I also spent it with and talking to wonderful people, and for that I am grateful. 

Until next time, 

~ Julie 

Harry Potter and How it All Started

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, and it started before I even reached my teenage years. I think I was 10 the first time I attempted to read the Philosopher’s Stone (and I’m using the British English title here not only because it’s the original but because there is a significant semantic difference between a philosopher and a sorcerer dammit) – attempted, and failed. There were too many difficult words in the first chapter, and too many things that my head couldn’t understand – the cat with the map, and names such as McGonagall and Dumbledore. But then I was visiting a friend who had the movie on VHS, and I watched the end of it (she and some others had started the night before). I convinced my parents to get it for me (I no longer remember whether they bought it for me or if we borrowed it from the library) and my dad and I watched it together. It was a little bit scary, so it was good to have him there, but I ended up loving the magic. And then I read the book, and had no trouble getting through the difficult names from that day on.

I remember reading the first four books, borrowing them from the library over and over again. Goblet of Fire came with me on summer vacation one year, and I remember laughing in the car a lot because of all the funny moments and my brother asking me “what?!” and I would always tell him he’d have to wait until he reached that book too. That’s what I think about, every time I reread  the series and I finish Prisoner of Azkaban and dread starting Goblet of Fire because of how little I enjoyed the film by comparison – I think about that moment in the car and I know that I will enjoy it a lot more than I initially think every  single time, because of that moment that summer in the car.

When I heard that The Order of the Phoenix was out in English I ran down to the library to put my name on the waiting list for the Norwegian translation to be sure I got it first (it was still two months away and the librarian thought me weird and said it wasn’t necessary but I insisted and he did put me on the list). The hardback book was so heavy that the shelf above my bed actually bent a little when I put the book on it. I kept reading one through four, one through four, five, one through five, one through five, one through six – and when the Deathly Hallows was about to be released in Norwegian I somehow managed to talk my mom into pre-ordering the series for me and my brother after seeing an ad on the back of a book club magazine. I wasn’t a very fast reader, but I would not put the book down until I had read all of the pages and finished the series.

At this point, I have two complete sets of books – Norwegian hardback books, and American English pocket books. I also have PS and CoS illustrated, in British English (presents from my boyfriend, and I hope he keeps it up, because I want all of them and I want them in British English). And I have the audio books, read by Stephen Fry, although I only have them in downloaded form, thanks to a friend of mine. I would love to have a set of the books where the spines all put together make up Hogwars, that would look so pretty in a bookshelf… And have you guys seen the black leather bound ones with the book marks on the front cover that you can take out and use in the book? So beautiful! I want those as well. It’s actually kind of sad that both complete sets that I have look the same, because there are so many different and beautiful versions out there…

I’m listening to Order of the Phoenix right now. Last year, I started the audiobooks three times – I finished PS on the 5th of January, and DH on the 24th of May. By the 6th of June I’d finished PS for the second time, and completed DH on the 2nd of November. On the 6th of November I finished PS for the third time, and by the 6th of February this year I had finished the series three times. I told myself I was going to take a break, but I lasted barely a month, because by the 17th of March I’d finished PS again. And now, on the 21st of April I’m working my way through OotP. It’s kind of like a compulsion, and it’s probably not healthy. But if I can’t sleep because something is bothering me or I can’t relax, I put on Harry Potter, resuming from wherever I left off. I listen when I go to town, when I’m on my way to and from uni… I can’t stop. I tried to, but I couldn’t.

I love the Harry Potter series, and I love J. K. Rowling for creating this magical universe that I feel that I get to be a part of, no matter how old I get. Harry Potter got me into reading books on my own. Harry Potter encouraged me to continue reading. Hell, I even had my first fictional crush on the character! In many ways, Harry Potter saved me. And therefore I would like to start a series on my blog where I talk about things related to Harry Potter. The books, the movies, the sequel, prequels, fanfiction, AUs, fan merch… Really just everything. So if anyone has anything they want to read me talking about, please leave it in the comment section down below!

~ Julie

My Little Hair Problem

People have a lot of complaints when it comes to hair. Their hair is too short, or too bushy, or too heavy, too thick, too thin… I don’t have any of those issues. Well, sometimes my hair is too thin to do some hairstyles, but hair stylists add clip-in extensions for thickness all the time, so that’s not my main problem. My hair is super straight, and main problem is that my hair is too silky.  It’s too smooth and silk-like. It’s smoother than my satin bed sheets, which is really frustrating.

Have you ever tried braiding hair as silky as mine? I promise, you haven’t. But if you want to try, get out a silk/satin ribbon, and try to braid that. It’s possible, if you braid it tight, but that doesn’t look good when your hair isn’t very thick, so try pulling it apart to add volume. Now that doesn’t work, does it? And if it does, I guarantee you it won’t last for more than a few minutes, an hour, top. That’s my hair.

Some people think it’s gross, but I hardly ever wash my hair more often than twice a week. Tuesdays, usually, because I usually attend a step class, and then either Friday or Saturday, depending on my weekend plans. I’ve trained my hair to not need washing every day, and I use dry shampoo in between, so I think it’s okay. It’s healthier for my hair, and it saves shampoo (I only use salon products) and time. And, when my hair isn’t just washed, I can do stuff with my hair. Like braid it, put it in a bun, or even just a ponytail! I can’t do that when my hair is just washed, because it is too silky. Too silky! Who ever complained about their hair being too smooth? Me. I could stop using conditioner, stop using oil in my hair, but then I’d get split ends and have to cut it off, which is what I’ve been trying not to do for the past three years.

 

What’s the biggest annoyance about your hair? 🙂

~ Julie

The Great Bikini Problem

Two posts in one day – what a treat! Well. Depends on whether you like long rants and text that’s not accompanied by any sort of pictures. Anyway. Like I said in my previous post, I’ve spent this weekend with my parents and brother in my childhood home. I also said there were four reasons why I went home, not counting the fact that I like spending time with my family and given the options of doing that or sitting in my bedroom in the city, there wouldn’t even be a  discussion on which one I’d choose. My last post was about one of the reasons I went home, this one is another (or, at least part of it).

I needed to get my swimsuits. Bikinis. Two-piece swim suits. Beach wear. Whatever you call it. The stuff you wear to the beach when you want to go swimming. I needed to pick up some of that, and I knew I had several here.

One of them, a very patterned bikini from a few years ago (read: 7 years ago), was completely ruined. The elastic in the waist on the bottoms and the part you tie around your body on the upper half was completely gone, probably due to bad washing after swimming pools and lakes and oceans. So that had to go in the trash.

Next up was a purple one with white polka dots, bought at the same time, but used less. That one had a safety pin put in on the side of the bottoms to hold it together. I removed it, and the bottoms fit better than they ever have (I should mention that I probably weigh more but I am a lot happier with my body now than I was a few years ago and I know I’m healthier than I was when I bought these). GREAT, I thought, I have bottoms that fit. The top however – can I just say OW! Much squeeze. So ow. Not very nice looking – or comfortable. This one used to be too loose, just like the bottoms, but the bottoms now fit and the top is too tight. Oh well. Next bikini.

I found a dark blue bikini I also bought a few years ago, although I don’t remember when. This is the kind where you have to tie everything, and a naughty person pulling on one piece might make everything incredibly awkward for you. And what do you know – another bottom that both fit well and looked good! The same situation happened with the top here, which also had the same style as the previous one… However, I was in luck – my mom had given me a top that didn’t fit her that was exactly the same color, and that one wasn’t so bad! At least I can wear it without being squished. But I would worry about it falling off, going up or down… Either way, moving on.

I have a bikini top that I bought less than two years ago to wear at home with shorts if it got incredibly hot that summer – it didn’t. The top was only ever tried on in a fitting room where I decided it looked good. Who knew that breasts could change size so quickly in your early 20s, when you haven’t really changed much else in your life? Back then, I’d been working out quite a bit. I’d gone from a B cup to a C cup, and down in the size around the body. However, in the last year I’ve gone up yet another cup size, and I don’t know what’s caused this, about 10 years later than you’d expect! Either way, the beautiful top I got a year and a half ago is way too small and going onto my donation pile as it’s not visibly used (as it should be, since I haven’t used it)!

That left me with one more set to try on, a tankini I bought about three years ago. Back then I didn’t think I was that unhappy with my body, just that I didn’t like stuff too revealing, but in retrospect I can clearly see that I was not happy with myself at all. This tankini is kinda cool – it has a halterneck top, but from the breasts and down there is a crochet kind of material that covers your body down to your hips. The bottoms are high wasted and cover up all the things I usually cover with jeans, at least in the stomach area. And I’m not throwing this one away – however, it’s not what I want to wear to the beach on vacation now, I want something a little less covered up.

So that leaves me with the dark blue bikini from three paragraphs ago. But my mom told me of a shop in the city where they sell pieces separately, in other words the more body friendly way of doing it, and the staff are comfortable and helpful as well. My mom told me to go there, as I haven’t bought anything new in three years (that I’ve used) and I also haven’t gone swimming since then. She told me to indulge myself, to treat myself to something new. So at some point this next week I’m going shopping, and trying to resolve this ever-lasting bikini problem.

Anyone else ever experience fashion crises like this? Anyone got any stories they want to share?

~ Julie