Archive of ‘Life’ category
Here’s to crossing another item off my unofficial bucket-list: Flea-market saleswoman.
When I was little, it was a yearly tradition for my grandparents to buy a stand at a flea-market, and I would come help by selling cake. I have a picture where I am standing behind piles and piles of things, trying to sell a piece of cake. And, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I am pretty sure my overalls and braids contributed to at least 50% of the sales we made. And my overall winning personality, of course, which was prevalent even back then. I remember telling several ladies that they looked “fabulous” and “beautiful” in my grandmother’s old coats, and most of them bought them! So to me, flea-markets have always equaled SUCCESS EXPERIENCE, where you leave with a lot less shit and a ton of cha-ching.
However, that was many years ago, and my grandparents eventually stopped going. But I have always held on to my things thinking that one day I was going to do that again, on my own, and get rid of them that way. Fast forward to yesterday, where I, after a spur of the moment decision made last week after seeing a poster advertising this flea-market, decided to spend four and a half (cold, windy) stiff hours on the lawn in front of my building along with ten other people, including my sister, who, like me, had chosen to defy wind and weather in attempt to sell all their old no longer wanted
It took my sister and I twenty minutes to carry out a table, four chairs (two of them were used to showcase our items), and at least one hundred pounds worth of
bullshit things, like books, DVD’s (who even uses those anymore), shoes, and clothes – and an electrical heating blanket, which I wanted to be our centerpiece. I do have some experience, after all. However, I was sharing a stand with a rookie, and it was veto’ed.
Our view from behind our stand.
So, we waited. And we waited. And we waited. And the wind blew all of our things on the grass. And this was pretty much the circle of events. Lots of waiting, lots of attempting to keep things from flying off the table, lots of tea-runs. No one bought anything, except for me, who kept going to our competition to buy things out of absolute boredom.
Someone was selling store-bought cake that was still in the wrapper for twice the original price — I thought that was pretty ballsy. And before you go think the worst of me, no, I didn’t buy it! But someone else did and was snacking on it for an hour.
Eventually, more people came, and a lot of people were interested in our things, at least it seemed that way; but it never really took off. It rarely got beyond, “How much is this?”, and even though our prices were in no way unreasonable, it just wasn’t interesting enough, I suppose. My sister sold a lot more than me, which led to a looooot of tension behind our table, let me tell you. Every time she went inside to pee, I contemplated setting her things on fire.
So, what DID I sell? I sold a copy of Michelle Obama’s autobiography, and a jewelry tree — and made a grand total of 8 dollars. Ergo, Totally Epic Mega Fail.
The flea-market was supposed to last till 4p.m, but at 2:30 I looked at my sister and said, “It’s cold, it’s depressing, I am hungry, and I have spent more than I have earned. How about we say fuck it and go watch “Twin Peaks”?”. And because my sister is the best sister in the world, she responded with the words I most desired to hear at the moment. “Oh my god, yes!”. So we packed up all of our things, again, which was pretty much everything we had carried out earlier in the day, and that was that. I was going to take a picture of our stand before we packed everything up, just to show you that there was practically ABSOLUTELY NOTHING MISSING, but I forgot. Sorry. Just look at the first photo and pretend it’s the end result, because it was.
It was SO demotivating. But, I have decided to not let this be my last time flea-market’ing, because I don’t want to have my last experience be a bad one. And also, it’s so circumstantial. You can be lucky, you can be unlucky. Either way, I will try again. At some point. When it’s at least 25 degrees celsius outside, and if the flea-market is held near a hotdog-stand.
I am sure I have mentioned this before (I am getting old and my memory is failing me), but I love walking. Going for walks is probably one of my most favorite things in the world. Maybe it’s because I know I should never ever ever take the capabilities of my legs for granted — they are not exactly the most reliable part of my body. When I walk, I feel like I am defying everything. With every step I take I am breaking down a barrier, and I am telling the disease that is causing my bones to be frail to go f itself. Every night, I sink together on my couch after a long walk and I feel like I have done my job — I have made myself physically exhausted, just like those jogging away on treadmills for hours in the gym. This, walking, is what I can do to feel normal, healthy and alive, within my body’s realm of possibility.
And it’s all I need. I am happy, I am content. I am walking, breathing, and I go home with a set of lungs full of fresh air and so much hope that I feel like I could burst. I am a flower blooming along with the bushes, trees, and everything else living that is cared for and nurtured by the sun and the earth’s natural resources. Unstoppable, invincible, every walk is like leaving the nest for the first time; brave and with wings that have been neatly patched up by those who love me, those who cared for me when I felt like I would be broken forever. For ten months, my grandparents held my hand and guided me through the fog of a situation that seemed so meaningless. Now, here I am, their babybird. Hope is the thing with feathers…
Sometimes I am joined by my sister, who clearly could have been a prima ballerina assoluta. Such grace, such style.
And sometimes we play. And sometimes I hide in crooked little houses and wave to the camera.
It’s all out there waiting for me.
The summerhouse season has officially begun, and I guess someone forgot to pass that memo along to the weather, because I have spent the last two days in a sweatsuit doing crosswords in front of the fireplace.
Actually, that’s not true. Friday evening I ventured out on a bicycle-ride for the first time in nearly a year, thinking that the little rural roads and paths would be a good, safe place to start; plenty of bushes on each side to lessen potential crashes, etc. You may never forget how to ride a bike, but it’s the act of balancing myself, twenty pounds heavier than last year and with absolutely no thigh muscles that I was worried about. You would think that after two years of classical ballet training and ten years (still counting) of having a secret fantasy about being a member of the official Riverdance team and practicing in front of the mirror would have done something positive for my balancing skills, but no – at 23 I can say that life has taught me that self-denial does nothing for one’s tushie.
So, the act of my getting on the bike was anything but graceful, but I told myself that it’s not about how you get on it, but rather how you ride it.
The first 400 meters went great. I felt healthy and vibrant and alive, albeit a little bit worried about all them rocks and bumps and holes in the road, but I have to admit that the 400 meters of easy riding had gotten me to the level of self-confidence to where I felt equipped to participate in the Tour de France. And see, that is my problem. Give me one bit of success and I will believe I can do it for a living. Anyway, I was flying, the trees went by in a flash, and I was treading those pedals like an iron(wo)man. In my completely unbiased opinion, of course.
And then, then it’s like my legs caught up to my dynamic spirit and realized what was going on, and about thirty seconds later I was SO DONE. Like, I was huffing and puffing and swearing and my thighs and gluteus maximus were screaming for mercy, and even 5 degree slopes felt like the Himalaya. I went from soaring on my iron horse to it suddenly taking me three years to get past one tree; a tree which I can tell you every detail of because I spent three years looking at it.
At one point about 75% through I had to get off and walk for a little bit, because a) it was faster, let’s be honest, and b) those 3,5 degree slopes were merciless. The relief I felt when I finally made it home, man oh man, it was just as overwhelming as the embarrassment I felt that it had been SO hard for me. Like, I knew I was in bad shape after a year of inactivity, but holy shit, I didn’t expect for it to be this excruciatingly exhausting. So, I am not saying that I will wait a year with my next attempt, but I think my backside has to get over the trauma of having swallowed a bicycle saddle whole first. It seems like the more humane thing to do.
On a side-note, my office is almost done! I have decided to make it an office slash guest room, and have bought a used chair futon from IKEA, which has the softest mattress ever. I love buying second-hand things, it’s like a kick I get. This one I got for 1/4 of the original price. Splendid, just splendid. Can’t wait to show you the result!
It feels like the last 7 days have gone by in a flash. I can tell each day apart in my head, and each day has contained some big event that has either taught me a valuable lesson about myself or about others. It’s been exhausting and energizing at the same time. I have started various posts, but have never hit ‘publish’, because with all of the BS that has been happening, it made everything else seem pale and trivial in comparison.
I want to write about the big things, the ground-shaking things, but almost everything that is now coming undone by the seams is part of a larger, much more complex story; a story that continues to progress, and each day adds a new shade or nuance to the story, and every day I try hard to hold on to my version, the story that has become me, because I know there has to be some truth in there somewhere. But I am not sure if this is an ultra-private battle that needs to remain under the surface. I am not even sure if I am a good enough writer to write about something that is unfinished, unresolved. I prefer when I can tie a knot on things, because then it has been fixed, and I can reflect, and hopefully not come across as a hurt kid. I am almost 24, after all.
I know this sounds awfully cryptic, and if there is anything that can really annoy me, it is when people don’t just flat out say what the hell is going on. Seriously, You can take away my brownie if you want. Actually, it’s more like an apple, because I am currently trying to shed the twenty pounds I gained during my ten months of complete immobility.
Anyway, now that I got the awkward, “Here is why I have been M.I.A”-post out of the way, my regular posting can continue. It’s funny, but the more days that go by, the harder it becomes to pick up the computer and write again. And then, once you get through that first paragraph, it’s like you are right back where you belong.
First, I would like to sincerely thank everyone who read and commented on my last post. Everything you said was so thoughtful and empathetic and warmhearted, and it reminded me of why I fucking love the internet, and why it has played such a pivotal role in my life for so many years. I have found so many likeminded souls in the eleven years I have spent sharing and reading stories. This kinship is something I have never found offline. So, thank you internet, or rather, its habitants for having made me feel less abnormal for so many years. Sincerely.
Okay, that’s enough sentimentality.
Yesterday, I threw a housewarming party for my father’s side of the family. I turned my dining table into a buffet holding a several plates of mini-sandwiches, glasses of vegetable sticks, chips and dip, and of course a large mountain of different kinds of cupcakes. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it; the whole thing turned out exactly how I had hoped it would. I would never have been able to pull this off at my old apartment – I am not even sure we could have fit 1/4 of the attendees in there. I love that I can open my home to others with no limitations, and it felt so great to be able to say, “Look, this is how I live, this is me”. There is something deeply intimate about the place you call home.
Speaking of the place I call home, I am in the midst of changing things around a bit. I have decided to get a new couch, a three-seater, which can also be used as a spare bed. That means that I have decided to put my beloved two-seater up for sale on the Danish equivalence to Craigslist. I am hoping, wishing and crossing my fingers that it will be bought soon. I also have some other things that I would like to get, but that’s for another day and another post.
A couple of years ago, when I was taking a psychology class, we spent a couple of periods talking about the theory of multiple intelligences. As part of this theme, the teacher had us do a test online to see how we scored in each of the 7 fields.
The test results pretty much confirmed what I already knew: I suck at everything mathematical (waaah waaah waaah waaahaahaah) not really a crushing fact. I scored pretty high in linguistics and interpersonal, but out of all the intelligences, I scored the highest in the intrapersonal intelligence. At first, I thought it sounded like a bullshit intelligence made up by a kind-hearted person who believes in affirmations for people like me who apparently are not too bright in anything else.
Imagine a job interview. So, Sofie, what are your strengths? “Well, Sir, my smarts definitely lie in the field of ME. I am really outstandingly intelligent when it comes to myself as a person. If you want to know something about me, I am probably the person in the world who can give you the most qualified answer, because my intelligence in this field is overwhelming.” After silently sourpussying for a bit, I decided that this intelligence probably wasn’t half as bad as I initially thought. I mean, I am doing okay, right? It’s who I am, can’t run from it. Also, if I have the ability understand myself so well, that must mean that I can eventually, when I am done being self-obsessed, turn the focus away from understanding ME and on to understanding OTHERS. And according to my scores, I was already pretty good at that also. So, maybe it wasn’t so bad. The ability to self-reflect is honestly underrated.
Anyway, you probably think that this post is over, but it’s NOT. No, this titty-tatty still has some drops of milk left.
A couple of days ago, my sister and I were doing the dishes while simultaneously making tea, and right in the middle of the dirty dishes, soap bubbles, teabags and boiling water (which I am still reluctant to be in close proximity of), we got to talking about zodiacs and ascendants. I have always found astrology endlessly fascinating, and even got a giftcard to a session with a numerologist for Christmas last year. You see, I have a feeling that one of my three names is bringing me bad luck, but I am not going to tell you which because it may or may not hurt a particular reader’s feelings (HI MOM!). ANYWAY, the numerologist passed away a month after Christmas, so I missed out on a name change to Szophfy. God bless, and DAMNIT.
Okay, that was going off on a tangent. Back to the topic at hand.
I am a Gemini, and have always identified tremendously with the description of my zodiac. I love reading about it, and I love having the description read out loud to other people because I am just that into myself, remember? I am very intrapersonally intelligent.
First, my sister read her zodiac description out loud. My sister is a Leo, and most of it was spot on. At least I could recognize most of what I heard in the person I know. Then she read the Gemini description, and I went mmmm, me me me. Then I heard something I hadn’t heard before, something that nearly made me choke on my tea, which was “(…) The Gemini is Emotionally shallow (…)”. After she was done reading and I was done coughing up tea, I said:
Me: Okay, everything fits except for the emotionally shallow part. If there is anyone who is all about da emotions, it’s me.
My sister: … well…
Me: Well what? I am great at talking about my emotions and other people’s emotions and emotions in general. I am like MISS Emotion. I am always honest and open about how I feel.
My sister: Actually, I think it’s pretty accurate.
Me: (Stunned, shocked, disappointed, confused). What do you mean?
My sister: Well, it feels like there is a shell around you. Like, no matter how much we talk, I don’t really get to see the core of you. You don’t tell me things that are deeply personal, and I only hear about big things after they have already happened, even though you know it way beforehand. You keep things to yourself that I would be really excited to share.
When I heard her say this, I remembered that my (beloved) grandmother has once said that she thought I was a very private person. I remember thinking that no, I am not a private person; I just don’t blabber out to everybody about how I feel all the time. Which is BS, because I have a BLOG full of blabber about how I feel.
And… the truth is that it is probably more accurate than I thought. Especially if it comes from my sister. I can’t remember the last time I told anyone how I honestly no-bullshit feel. I was very emotional as a child, very outspoken, and as I have gotten older, I feel like my honesty back then (or frustration with how dysfunctional things were) hurt a lot of people. As I hit my teen years, I became everybody’s best friend. I felt privileged that my parents shared confidential information with me, and I had to be mature enough to handle it. I couldn’t be honest with them about how their actions made me feel, as I would lose the privilege of being their confidant. It’s still this way. Absolutely. And, never mind me, who would they talk to? Who could they talk to?
So. I shut up, I nod, I say “I understand”, and every time I do it feels like I am stuffing myself with something that is not meant to go in the stomach. Something that is little when I eat it and grows inside of me to the point that I feel like it is too big for my body to handle. Now, I can’t even really feel myself. I don’t know when my boundaries are being crossed until way after it has happened.
And I had no idea that it had come to this. It’s like all my self-insight has just gone POOF out the window. That’s what happens when you spend ten years of your life eating compromises.
Maybe my mathematical intelligence has increased in return.
The weather status in Denmark right now is that it is sunny while also being as cold as a tongue stuck on a frozen metal pole. We’re a spit away from April, the second month of Spring, and supposedly there is no Spring in sight. There are big chunks of ice and snow lying on the sidewalks, and some places it’s so slippery that walking with a crutch is actually a bigger disadvantage than walking without one. God, I hope I can ditch the crutch soon. On the other hand, I am so thankful to only be feeling 10% of the pain I felt before.
Yesterday, I went for an hour-long walk around the neighborhood.
Isn’t the sunshine just so pretty? MORE OF THAT, PLEASE.
There are so many apartment-buildings like this in Copenhagen, and I think that has to be my favorite part about living here. There is so much eye-candy all over the city, and sometimes it’s just feels overwhelming. I have always felt so proud when showing Andrew around, and it’s like my appreciation and love for this city increases the older I get. When I move to New York one day, I will try my best to put money aside so Denmark can be a kind of sanctuary for us (and our little half-Danish/half-American babies, of course), a place for us to spend our summers. It’s hard not to feel peaceful here.