Story Time!

Let me tell you a cheesy story!

Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I fell in love with my first love this year

I promised you guys the cheesy story of how I met the man that I’m now sharing a home with, and it’s quite the story.
It all started the summer before 7th grade. One of my good friends in my class had a cousin that was moving to town and he was going to start in our class. Now, it’s been 20 years. I don’t remember our exact first meeting, and I don’t remember who asked who, but somehow we ended up being girlfriend and boyfriend that summer before school started. One day I will find my old diaries and see if the whole detailed story was written down way back when.

Mikael was the first boy I kissed. Not just a peck, but really kissed. That happened when we were at a school dance. I remember being all excited about the prospect of the big first kiss happening, and I even told my best friend Kirsti all about how it was going to happen.
He and I went outside and sat behind a big mound that everyone used to play King of the Mountain on recess. We nervously looked up at the stars, I told him I was a little cold and he offered me his jacket, and then it happened. The very first REAL kiss! I was all nervous, giddy and sweaty-palmed.

Sounds like something right out of a way too cute movie, right?! But I promise you that it’s all true!

We were together for about five months. There were monthly anniversaries, making out in the dark while listening to R. Kelly’s “I believe I can fly”, and lots of emotions.

Then, (cue dramatic music) disaster happened!
His parents decided to move. He had to change schools, and it was over 20 minutes to drive there. That doesn’t sound so dramatic, right? But at the age of 12 and extremely few amounts of buses that could easily bring us to each other and back again, we decided to end the relationship. We both cried.

Many years went by, and we met now and again. When we were seventeen, we went to the same school once again, but not in the same classes.
I moved away from home after that year, and I didn’t see him for quite a few years after that, but (as we’ve discovered later on) we stayed in touch. He was much better at keeping in touch than I was.

He also started to spend a lot of time with one of my brothers as they had a mutual interest in music production and DJing. So, for many years he was still close with my family, but not that closely connected with me.

There was a birthday party of mine quite a few years later on that he attended, but I had a boyfriend at the time.

I turned 18, and I started doing some photoshoots here and there. Because of a modeling job I did at 18, I was invited to a specific party some years later. I brought three of my girlfriends with me. Apparently, he was there, and I didn’t even see him, but he saw me. And he has later on spilled the beans and told me that he was too nervous to come up to me for a chat. Silly Mikael!

Quite a few years went by after that were we texted now and then. Mostly Mikael trying to get in touch with me, and sending reactions to stuff I posted online, and me thinking that he was being a total dude who was only interested in me for one single thing, I paid little attention to these messages, and politely chatted with him if he started up a conversation. Oh yeah, way to make myself sound like somewhat of a judgemental sourpuss. I blame a lot of the men I’ve dated over the years for that.

We did, however, text a bit about the challenging times we both experienced in our relationships. Mikael had moved to Copenhagen in 2012, and I moved back to Oslo around the same time.

Then came 2018. Jason Mraz posted the schedule for his European Good Vibes Tour in 2019, and he wasn’t coming to Norway. But not going was not an option, so if Mraz wouldn’t come to the Norwegian, the Norwegian had to come to Mraz.

After going through both the tour schedule and my schedule, I was left with three options: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Vienna. I found out that Amsterdam had already sold out, and flying to Vienna was a lot more expensive than taking the bus to Copenhagen. I had also been looking at a tattoo shop in Copenhagen where I wanted to get my next piece of ink. The decision was made, and the tickets to see Mraz in Copenhagen were booked, and several months of waiting began.

The end of February arrived and I was sitting on an overnight bus to Copenhagen when Mikael and I started texting, and we talked about meeting up while I was in town.

“I’m headed to the Jason Mraz concert tomorrow, and there are still tickets available. You’re more than welcome to come along if you’d like!”

I didn’t think he was going to say yes, but he did, and then he booked his ticket. Then I started to get a little bit nervous.

What if it got super awkward? What if it turns out that we have nothing to talk about?

All of a sudden, I was 12 years again, with a belly full of butterflies that didn’t really make sense to me.

I had a few hours during the day where I checked in to my hostel, walked around the city and just enjoyed being the traveler that I am.
And later that night, we met at the train station. We hugged, and it was obvious that we were both a little shy and awkward, but it turned out that I had nothing to fear when it came to conversations. We talked and talked. We had some wine, and then the concert started. Mraz got up on stage after the warm-up band, and a little while into the concert, Mraz turned into the greatest wingman ever.
“Put your arms around the person standing next to you.”
And he did. I leaned into him and it all felt so new and known, exciting and safe, all at the same time. We stood there, swaying to the music, and his arm stayed in place around me.

After a little while, my mind started to race:
Is he going to kiss me? Why hasn’t he tried? Why do I want him to? Why do I feel like a nervous 12-year-old again? Why am I freaking out? IS HE GOING TO KISS ME ALREADY?

I’m usually not the one to make the first move, but right then and there, I decided to kiss him. And again, I had all of those feelings. It felt so familiar, but then again, it also felt totally new to me.
It was a night of swaying, kissing, blushing and beautiful music. We both cried.

I went to the hostel, and he went home, but before we went our separate ways, we made plans to meet for dinner the next day.
I remember going to bed that night (slightly tipsy and surrounded by 10 other snoring people) wondering if I might have made better choices when it came to love at the age of 12 than I had in the years after. Or could it all just be unfinished business that made it exciting? My tipsy self was confused and didn’t know what to think. My sober self the next morning was none the wiser.

We met for dinner the next day after I had gotten inked, and we were both acting like nervous teenagers. Both unsure of how to act. None of us daring to kiss each other. Both regretting not to after I got on the bus to go back to Oslo.

We texted a lot in the weeks after that visit, and we agreed on the fact that there was something there, but none of us felt sure about exactly what that something was. Both worrying that it might have been just unfinished business that made it all seem so exciting, or if it could be something more than that.

But what we did know was that we wanted to find out more about what that something could be. So we decided to spend Easter together. He booked a bus ticket to Oslo for April, and then life went on while we waited.

Easter came, and we were both quite nervous. It turned out to be the most wonderful time. We spent hours talking, day and night. We cuddled. We took things slow. And it felt so comfortable, so right, and so exciting, all at the same time. And when the time came for him to go back to Copenhagen, I didn’t want him to. I also didn’t feel like dating anyone else. He was my guy if he would have me. He did!

Trips back and forth. Phone calls for hours. And texting… So much texting!

And I realized one thing. Long distance relationships are tough! Especially when you live in different countries. I didn’t feel like missing him all the time. I wanted to look him in the eyes, not stare at a screen.

So, we talked it over, and he decided to move back to Norway. Not just that, but move in. Normally I would freak out at the prospect of moving in with someone that quickly, but for some reason, it just felt right.

And because this post is way too long already, I will just say that the rest is history!

Adjusting to living together has been interesting, challenging, but also fun and wonderful! I love him more and in a different way than I’ve loved any man before him. My plans for the future have changed as we’ve made plans together, and I’m so excited about all the new memories we’re going to make! And we’re bringing you guys along for some of it as well!

I’m so grateful, and I feel so incredibly lucky! And I guess that fills my cheesiness quota for a while.

Wish you all a wonderful week filled with love, laughter, experiences, and adventure!

You Can Miss Someone and Not Want Them Back

“I miss him.”

“Why? He broke your heart? You know he’s no good for you!”

Sounds familiar?

Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly okay to miss someone and not want them back! If you need it, then I hereby give you the total freedom to miss that someone. Just try to not get completely lost in it, and make decisions that you know aren’t good for you out from that feeling. Because the missing someone, we can’t really control, no matter how much we’d like to. But we are in control of our actions based on the feelings we feel.

And even though a relationship ended for all the right reasons, or all the wrong reasons, there is a good chance that you can still look back on that relationship and see some of the parts that was good about it. You’re allowed to miss that. Often it isn’t really about missing that someone anyways, it’s usually about missing what that someone made you feel.

How you smiled more, how your heart skipped a beat, how you impatiently looked forward to the next time you would see each other again, and how your body reacted to that other person’s touch, sounds and/or smells. It is only human that when someone or something that took up so much space in your everyday life, suddenly just doesn’t, that it takes some adjustment.

I believe that we find ourselves again after every breakup, and that someone we find is naturally different from the one we used to be.

Because who are we are tend to change when you and I turns into we, and as a couple we tend do evolve together as well as on our own. And when that evolved entity breaks apart, we are left with a part that feels unfinished. We feel broken, and after the grieving and the worst of the pain we start the search, not for the one, but for the one we want to be. And that someone isn’t always the one we used to be. Sometimes it’s someone entirely different. Sometimes it’s finding a whole new you.

Well, I guess everyone’s path to walk and way to process is different, but this is how I usually experience going through a breakup.

And even though I am very grateful and happy or all the experiences that I’ve had, and how much I’ve learned from them, I still find myself missing the good parts of relationships that obviously wasn’t meant to be.

I used to beat myself up about it, but I try not to do that anymore. Instead, I let the emotions go through me, then I remind myself of the thing that I don’t miss, and afterwards I make a mental list of what I can take away from the experiences. What have I learned about the things I want (and don’t want) in my life and in my relationships.

Life is a constant education, and we have to try our very best to make the most of it. Because life is short and love is precious. People can be cruel, but they can be pretty awe droppingly amazing too.

So, don’t beat yourself up for missing someone you don’t want back. Acknowledge the fact that after everything you’ve gone through, you’re still able to see the good things in all the hurt. You love yourself enough to miss the warm feeling of your own happiness.

Give yourself a big hug (or imagine that I’m giving you one) and then get out there and make some new memories.

You deserve that happiness❤️

Sometimes Friendships End In Breakups

Friendship is a funny thing. Some last for years and years, while others for only a shorter period of time. Sometimes those who start out as acquaintances turn into friends, but other times it goes the other way around. Friends are so important to us all, but we also live out our own separate lives outside of the friendships that we have, and the time we spend with our friends will vary depending on how much time and energy we have on our hand.

Sometimes we will spend more time with certain friends than with our own family. Sometimes our friends become our family. Other times we are so wrapped up in work, kids, projects and such that we don’t get to see our friends nearly as much as we’d like to. There are even times when we don’t have what it takes to see them. When the state of our mental health is at a place where social interaction with even the people that we love the most feel like a struggle. And all of this is completely okay. It might be hard to deal with as the friend on the other side at times, just as much as the friend who’s struggling.

One thing that I find to be really hard is when I can’t really tell if a friend wants to stay a friend, or they want to move on. Just as romantic relationships sometimes come to an end, so do friendships at times.

But telling the difference between having a friend that’s just super busy, and a friend that maybe wants to move on without you, it can be hard. Maybe it’s mostly hard because it’s hard to let go. Especially when there’s a friendship that’s taken years to build. It’s hard to come to terms with all of that just going up into smoke.

Even so, there are times when the only right thing is to do exactly that; to let go.

It doesn’t mean that you would never let that friend back in, but when you’ve tried and tried again to keep the connection alive, there comes a time when you have to say;

“Look, I love you, but it feels like you’re not that interested in staying in touch at the moment and I don’t want to have to feel like I’m the only one trying. So now the ball is in your court. I will be here if you ever feel like doing something, but you’ll have to let me know if and when you want to.”

It might feel like a breakup. It might even be a breakup. But your life is short, and your time and energy is so, so valuable! Make sure you do not waste it. Set boundaries, and be honest while still being kind, not only to others, but to yourself as well❤️

Why I Deleted My Dating Apps

So, it’s been three years since I had my last long term relationship. Three years of self-discovery, dating, heartbreaks, experiences, new friends, lost lovers and dating apps.

But over a month ago, I deleted the dating apps on my phone, and today I’m going to tell you why.

But first, let’s talk about dating apps in general.

Did you know that a university in Texas did research on dating apps and mental health? And what they found was that a steadily increasing number of users experienced feeling less satisfied with their face and their bodies after using dating apps!

Dating apps have also been linked to depression and increased levels of anxiety.

And the worst part about all of this is that I’m not even a little bit surprised.

I’ve had an on and off, love/hate relationship with Tinder for the last three years. I’ve lost count of how many times I have deleted the app, just to end up reinstalling it a week later after a couple of glasses of wine and then finding myself swiping my way to sleep.

Now I’m not going to say that Tinder is all bad. I’ve met some amazing people through the app and had some incredible adventures. I also learned a lot about myself and what I’m actually looking for.

But the increasing dissatisfaction and lowered self-esteem, I felt that too.

After several let downs by people who claimed to be looking for something serious and later admitting to not be ready for something serious (which is a bullshit excuse to try to let someone down easy instead of being honest), ghosting, and downright weirdness, I was starting to feel my self-confidence drifting away.

I found myself feeling lonely and down more often. Going on first dates no longer felt exciting for a possible good outcome, but more of a complicated track to a potential letdown. My positivity to love and dating almost disappeared completely. And when I found myself not having a natural skepticism to new people, but having the expectations of them going to hurt me in one way or the other, that was the time when I knew I had to make some changes.

To be completely honest with you guys, the night I deleted my Tinder, I sat on my kitchen counter eating peanut butter straight out of the jar and crying my eyes out because I felt lonely. I poured myself a glass of my favorite whisky, started writing down a list of things I wanted to focus and use my energy on, and then I found my phone and deleted Tinder and Happn. I felt so relieved!

And because that was a low, lower than one I had ever reached because of dating, there was a feeling of that choice being more permanent than any of the other times I deleted the apps.

So, what happened after that night?

Firstly, I haven’t been tempted to reinstall it once!

Secondly, I felt my confidence and happiness levels slowly and steadily rising again.

And thirdly, my creativity flourished!

I found myself focusing more on the things that I truly love. And without the mood swings and hours wasted on trying to search for connections, I got so much more work done than I had in a long time.

To stop pursuing dating was the best decision I have made in a really long time!

Now I’m not saying that I will never date again, but I’m not spending my time searching for that next first date, the next potential connection. I’m done with dating being a way to pass time by swiping left and right. Life simply is too short for that!

So instead of spending time on dates that goes nowhere, I’ve traveled more, written more, and met some freaking amazing people! I’ve started taking myself on me-dates again like I used to do. I’ve found my confidence back, and I find myself smiling for no reason so much more often, just like I used to. I feel like I’ve found my way back to the me that I love, and to the creativity that I’m so passionate about.

I know a lot of people find their partners through Tinder and other dating apps, and I think that’s absolutely fantastic! The world needs more love!

But I have found that my life is better without dating apps in it❤️

How Easy We Take it for Granted

Let me tell you a little story…

Today while I was sitting at a cafe in Copenhagen, I sat next to a woman and her father. The woman was crying, obviously frustrated and distraught. Her dad stroked her shoulder, and then he stood up to go and use the restroom. She then picked up her phone and called someone. I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation, or at least one side of it.

Her voice was so sad, and she told her love on the other side of the line the long process they would now have to go through because of complications, before they can potentially start a life together in Denmark.

With tears running down her face, she explained how they wouldn’t be able to see each other for the next three months, just to make sure that everything was being done according to the rules.

They agreed on that being the best thing to do while another tear rolled down her cheek, and they finished their phone call with;

‘I love you.’

Three months away from the person you love, that’s a long time. I wanted to hug her, to let her know that everything would be fine, and that love always finds a way. But who would I be to say such a thing? I’m not even sure I believe that love conquers all anymore. I have no idea if they will be fine.

But it did hit me that getting to see and hear this kind of fighting for love is the complete opposite from what I usually see. It is the counterpart to my experiences of having something great and then just give it up. This is choosing to stay, choosing to not give up, to fight for the right to be able to be together.

How easy we take that for granted! Most people meet, fall in love, and then choose if they want to take it further or not, with no other complication than their own thoughts and worries. But out there, some people have to fight to be together. They have to go through months (or even years) of struggle and time apart, before someone else makes the decision for them, or they have to start all over with another new process.

This is why I stopped dating. Why I deleted all the apps. Because so far it has not lead me even close to something so real that both parties are willing to truly try, and to fight for it. And no, I’m not saying that everyone else is the problem, because I’ve found myself in the situation where the other party wants to jump, but I wasn’t ready to take the leap because it didn’t feel right.

Now, if I find love, I hope that I won’t have to go through all the trouble that the woman crying beside me in the cafe has to go through, but to find a love that is so strong that we would both be willing to fight that hard to be together. That it wouldn’t even be a question of if we should, but only a question of what has to be done, and how do we do it?

Let’s try to not forget how hard some people struggle and work out there, just for the right to be in the same country as the person they love. Let’s not take the love around us so easily for granted❤️

So that’s it. A little story time, and a bit of a pep talk. Wish you all a wonderful day filled with love and wonders!

Love is Still the Answer

If it’s one thing that will never cease to amaze me, it’s how much hurt people can experience and still be able to dare to love afterward.

We all go through so much with our hearts in our hands, outstretched and vulnerable. Sometimes we experience that heart to meet another one, and they wrap themselves in each other. It can last for a few minutes, weeks, months, or maybe even years.

Other times, that vulnerable heart takes a leap of faith out of your hands, headed straight for the ground with no one to break the fall, just you to pick up the pieces.

Our hearts they bleed, and they scar. They wrap themselves in layers of protection, but somehow they always find a way to strip the layers, sooner or later. Sometimes they need a little help to get those layers off, other times, it’s just self-love that removes those layers, one by one.

Isn’t it amazing how most of us choose to go back to love over and over again, no matter how badly it hurt the last time around? One can sometimes wonder if that makes us the most stupid species of all, or the most wonderful. I choose to see us as wonderful.

For if we don’t choose love to guide us, what does that make us? If the experiences and pain of our past would make us unable to love another, how wasted wouldn’t our lives be?

But the way that we trust and love, it changes. The way we love when we are young and naive is not the same way as we love when we are older and more experienced. I’m not sure that this is a change for the better. I guess it depends on the situation.

I sometimes long for the naive kind of love that I could experience as an early teen before I knew what real heartbreak felt like. Before I learned to fear a possible outcome before I even allow myself to fall. But there’s also a beauty in all the pain one has gone through. The way I’ve learned to pick myself up again, to set boundaries, to love myself enough to say no and to see the love of friends and family to be the purest love of all.

I don’t think I would like to love naively in the world of modern dating. I’m pretty sure that would set me up for disaster. But I do hope that no matter how far away from love I feel like I’m drifting, I will always find my way back to it. That I will always allow myself to trust love again, no matter how much it scares me. And that I won’t be blinded by the layers of past events, so much so that I won’t be able to see new and real love if it crosses my path.

We, humans, are extraordinary in the way that we love when it’s done without games or hidden agendas. When it’s real, pure, and raw. When it’s done from a place of not being able to choose anything other. When we love enough to want the other person happy, no matter if that takes them away from us. When it’s kind and giving. When it’s just love❤️

Love is Still the Answer❤️

This post was inspired by one of my favorite songs from Jason Mraz’s latest album. It’s a song that has brought tears, smiles and moments of me singing out loud and dancing around, hugging myself in my living room❤️

Underneath You – POEM

Looking back on the time we spent together

I remember who you were to me

What you meant to me

The feelings you sparked in me

The touches I felt from you

But who was I underneath you

Other than a place of comfort

A sense of relief from the loneliness

And sparks of desire

Sometimes I still wonder

If I was ever more

Than meat and bones

Served on a convenient

Plate of bedding

*

©️Christina de Vries

I Get Lonely Too…

I love spending time in my own company.

But don’t you get lonely?

Of course I do!

So, this is a question I often get when I talk about self-love and being single. In a modern world where everyone is in such a rush to find the perfect job, the perfect partner, and to build the perfect life, I find myself in less and less of a rush to settle down.

Now don’t get me wrong, I would love to meet a partner in crime. I would love to have someone to drink coffee with in the morning, travel the world with, and make memories and have new experiences with. But even though I don’t have all of that in a man in my life right now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I feel like something is missing in my life. I’m very lucky to have the wonderful people in my life that I have, to be able to travel, have food on the table, a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head. Even more so, I’m incredibly lucky to be able to have new experiences and make memories with my son!

But being grateful with my life as a single woman doesn’t mean that I never get lonely. And feeling lonely at times doesn’t mean that I’m unhappy.

My happiness isn’t solely based on the romantic relationships that I’m in, or in my case aren’t in at the moment. I work hard and I’m very mindful about how I treat myself and what kind of energy I surround myself with. Being happy isn’t something that magically happens when you get a partner. Being happy comes from gratitude, friendships, mindfulness, and self-love.

I love my life, even though I’m constantly working on reaching the goals and dreams I have set for myself. But the reason I find so much happiness in the life that I have is that it’s all I have. This, here, RIGHT NOW! It’s all that matters, and the only thing that’s for certain. We don’t know how long we get to stay, how many people we get to love, how many times we get to hug our friends and family. So why do we live in the past that has already left us, or the future that we have no guaranty of?

So yes, I am lonely sometimes, but this is all a journey, and is equally as much one, with or without a partner ❤️Make sure you enjoy it!

The Blind Leading the Blind

To be the mom of a soon-to-be teenager is a bit scary. I remember very well how difficult a time that can be. The hormones, the changes, the challenges. Just being comfortable in your own body that seems like a strangers vessel is challenging enough on its own.

And then you have the introduction to love, in some way or another. It could be a crush on someone, a relationship, or a friendship that evolves into something new and unfamiliar.

I find myself in the position now where I will be giving advice and hopefully help guide my son through some of the challenging bits of growing into an adult male.

The part I find the hardest, is giving advice on love. I would love to be able to tell my son that it gets easier as you get older, but the truth is that it doesn’t.

You learn as you go, and you find ways to cope with the darker sides of love, but it never really gets any easier. To be brokenhearted can be just as devastating when you’re 78, 45, 31 or 11 because the feelings you have at that moment is so raw and unfiltered. They flood you and take you by surprise no matter how much you ever might’ve thought that you were prepared for it.

As his mom, I will try my very best to be there whenever I can. To help him get through the rocky parts. Help him to see through the darkness that might come. I hope I get to be there for plenty of bright and good parts as well.

No matter how blind I may feel, and how difficult love is even at the age I am at now, at least I have a lot of experience. I’ve experienced the pain and the confusion, but also the joy and the magic.

I guess it’s unrealistic to expect of ourselves as parents to be able to give solutions to the problems that are far too complex to ever have a definitive right or wrong solution to it. Love is messy and weird, and in the end, the best thing for us all is probably to just work on communicating more. We need to talk about the things we experience and help each other.

We might all be blind leading the blind when it comes to love, so how about we stop leading, we sit down and we start talking and listening instead.

My dear son, I can’t promise you that I’ll always be able to fix your problems, but as long as I’m here you can always come to me, and I will listen. I will share what I know and what I’ve experienced, and then it’s up to you to choose what you want to do with that information, move onward, and then get your own experiences❤️

It’s a tricky ride, but it’s also a wonderful one. It is one that we all fear and love all at the same time. Blindly we are all in this together ❤️

Backtracking to Make New Memories

There are places, sounds, smells, and sensations that are linked to not only specific timeframes and memories but also to people and feelings. Places in particular that I avoided for a long time because they were just too painful to revisit. And when I first started to go back, I saw the past everywhere.

I saw his face, the way he looked at me, and I could almost feel the way he’d touched me. I could taste the food we’d shared, smell the snow even though it was gone, hear the music and his voice. It hit me like a giant wave of the past. I felt everything all over again, and for a while, it was almost too much for me. I felt like I was invading on spaces that no longer belonged to me.

But as time went by and wounds healed, things changed. The waves turned into splashes, then heavy drops, and finally no more than a drizzle. And by then I saw so much more than I had before. I was revisiting the now of the places, and not the past. I was experiencing the moments that I was in, not all that once was.

Little by little, the places that felt like belonged to something once lost, started to feel like my own. In my backtracking, I found new spots, new faces, new smells, and new sounds. I made new memories that made me smile in places that used to bring nothing but tears.

It’s like repainting a canvas. Making new patterns out of those who are already there. And as I backtrack and make new stories in old places, I’m learning to love them in a totally new and different way.

Sometimes, journeys go backward a little before they can move on, but that does not make it any less of a journey❤️