Posts in Personal
Dear you, my dearest

Mum, do you remember that time you decided to chaperone my school trip in 10th grade? I was terrified of being embarrassed. Turned out you got along so great with the rest of the parents that I had to beg for your attention. It was also quite handy having a parent-wallet with me. It was all good, you played it quite cool.

Dad, do you remember that time I helped you out fixing the car? I felt like such a good, little helper though I am unsure how much of a help I actually was. I was like the son you didn't have. Until your actual son was born that is.

Monica, do you remember that time (or should I say times) where I claimed you likes so-and-so and you answered that you most certainly did not? I told you I knew for sure as I had read it in your diary. What can I say, it kinda was my job to be the annoying little sister.

Odd-Levi, do you remember how you always watched me and Monica jump rope and wanting to be just like your sisters, as we were and will forever be your heroes? You would stomp one foot at every line you found on the ground, as you had not learned how to jump yet.

Ida, do you remember that time we drank Mickey Finn out the bottle and I threw up over the rails on your balcony? We had eaten chicken tikka masala and I kept coughing up one grain of rice at the time for hours after. I never had Mickey Finn after that.

Camilla, do you remember that time we were lying next to each other on a big rock getting our diapers changed? I don't, but I remember seeing a picture of it. Thanks dad.

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Snippets of a vast amount of memories. Good and bad, but mostly good.

Untill next time, Renate.

Dictatorship: part 4

Read the previous parts here;
Part one
Part two
Part three

Early spring 2015. I had been a “prisoner” in my own home and relationship for over one and a half year. In November I found out he had been flirting with a colleague for a while and not that innocent kind of flirt, but the “I wish I was at work talking to you” when spending the day with me kind of flirt. How ironic is that? Him being so terrified of me even speaking to another male, only to go and do what he fears the most himself. Maybe that is why he was like that with me, because he knew what he was doing?

What a total ass, excuse the language

I went home for Christmas. I was miserable. I cried and talked a lot with my sister, which was wonderful. I had at that time started opening up about my situation to her and also my friend Maria who also lived in London. I think the whole situation was the final push I needed. I came back to London and when he was done apologising (which happened almost immediately) he would get angry at me for bringing it up, for being sad, for not letting it go. Angry with me because I was hurt by his actions. What a total ass, excuse the language.

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So I stopped being sad. I stopped bringing it up. I stopped caring. When I looked at him I felt no love, I felt hate. I hated him for allowing me to waste so much time on him. I hated him for who he made me be when we were together. I stopped caring if he got upset with me staying out drinking with my colleagues. I stopped answering all his questions when I came home. I stopped his access to my accounts. No more big brother.

I stopped caring

It was Friday, early May. I was in the office drinking after work having a jolly good time. Then a colleague of mine said “there’s someone standing outside looking in through the window”. Our office was a bit lower than ground level, with windows all the way on one side so you could easily see the entire office from the street. It was him. I went outside and he was crying, asking me to come home. I almost did. But then I didn't. I started yelling at him instead. Saying everything I had been carrying around, before leaving him to continue my evening. I went home that night, slept, woke up, broke up, moved out.

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Until next time, Renate

My goals for 2018

I made a list of goals at the beginning of the year (posted on my old blog), where I stated six things I wanted to achieve in 2018 to make it a good year. I thought now would be a good time to to a check in to see where I'm at with these goals. Read the original blog post here.

Improve as a photographer

I have watched countless of youtube videos of behind the scenes on photoshoots, photo editing etc. and done a lot of photoshop and Lightroom tutorials. I have actually never used Lightroom at all before this year, so I have come a long way there. Now I couldn't be without it. I still need to do A LOT more shoots, I am a bit behind on that due to the dog, but I am sure that will come so I think I am on the right path to achieve this goal.

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Learn everything I need to know about owning a boat

So the boat is finally in the water, yey! I have learned bits and pieces about boats when Erik has been doing it up, but the real lessons and learnings will come during the Summer when we take it out.

Become a great dog-owner

We are doing the best we can. It is super challenging having a puppy, but we are doing what we can to ensure a good upbringing. We question ourselves a lot, probably too much, but we are taking puppy-lessons and training her the best we can. At the same time, we ensure she is fed, happy and safe at home.

Seize the opportunities that lays in front of me

I think I have done quite well on this point so far. When online store Briosa posted in a facebook group that they needed to team up with a photographer to do some shoots, I responded and got the gig. Now we have worked together several times and more to come. Fun!

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Become a better cook

I make a lot of food and think it is fun being in the kitchen, but I can definitely challenge myself more here. Need to up my game!

Take care of myself, both physically and mentally

Very up and down I'd say. Been better at taking care of myself physically than mentally, even though it has been difficult to find time to go to the gym between work and puppy. Mentally, things have been rather difficult the last couple of months. I still lack confidence in myself and I do worry way too much what others think of me, even if I know them or not.

Until next time, Renate

In June I want to...

...eat shrimps on the boat.
...drink red wine in good company.
...try out a ton of new, delicious recipes.

 All images taken June, 2017.

All images taken June, 2017.

...take a lot of pictures.
...work out regularly.
...enjoy late nights on the balcony.

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....go on a date.
...celebrate midsummer with friends.
...be really, truly happy again.

What are your wishes for June?

Until next time, Renate

Dictatorship: part 3

Read part one here and part two here

If there was one thing my ex was particularly good at, it was making me feel shit about myself. He would make it his mission to ensure I would never feel good enough for him and therefore not anyone else either. Ha would break me down on my appearance, I guess just another way of having me under his control. When I look at the pictures below, taken the year we lived in Oslo, I can now recognise I was quite cute and pretty back then (I am Norwegian, so I am not even sure you are allowed to say that about yourself), but at the time I had the shittiest image of myself and my confidence was at its lowest point.

 I smile, but don't I look tired?

I smile, but don't I look tired?

He was very into working out, had been for years and years building muscles. I had in the recent years started enjoying going to the gym. I had not really been that active before that, so obviously our levels of fitness could not be matched. 

He was at his worst when we lived in London, as we had separate gyms so we never went together. I would get up early so I could go to the gym before work, almost every day. At first it made me feel so proud that I managed to get up early and go gymming it before a long day at work and the way that made me feel boosted my motivation to keep it up, but... 

Then he became sceptical. He would say more than once that he didn't really see much progress and therefore were questioning whether or not I actually went to the gym when I said I did. I did. He had created some crazy idea of me going off in the morning to hook up with some dude every time I said I went to the gym. He even smelled my hair and pointed out it smelled different. (Well duh, I had a different shampoo in my gym bag than home in the shower). That is obviously fun to hear for someone working out doing their best, feeling the results. Thanks for the confidence boost.

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One time he wanted us to go out running together. I have never been much of a runner, especially not outside. I had just started getting into jogging on the treadmill, but that is a completely different thing than outside running. He had been running for years and was obviously much fitter than me. When I couldn't run for a longer period without taking a breather he started yelling at me for being useless and that I sure did fuck all at the gym, if I even went to the gym that is. That was the first and last time I agreed on going running with him.

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I was under surveillance when it came to what I ate. If I wanted candy, crisps, chocolate whatever it was, he would make me feel bad about even just wanting a snack. And if I got anything, I would get to hear how 1. what a waste of money that was (cheap bastard) and 2. how I would never get fit if I kept eating like a pig.

I remember I used to buy a chocolate bar now and then when grocery shopping alone and eat it on the way home so he wouldn't know. I laugh about that now, but how sick is that?

He would make me feel fat and ugly on a daily basis and I was always on a mindset of trying to "improve" everything about myself. What a bunch of baloney! Look at the images above and tell me that girl is fat?! I felt like I was because I was constantly indirectly told I was. (He would never say directly "You are fat" but with his ways he never had to to make me feel that way and he knew that). Crazy how much your surroundings can poison your mind.

To be honest, I still struggle with my self confidence today. It is a difficult thing to build up when it is broken.

The final part will be out soon and will be about how I got out of this relationship.

All Until next time, Renate.

Dictatorship: part 2

Read part one here and part three here.
All images below were taking during these years.

We lived together since day one and had therefore a lot of joint expenses like rent, bills and food. My ex was an extremely cheap guy where spending money on unnecessary things was the biggest no-no. I ended up paying for the most of our expenses, after all that was only fair seeing I earned more than him, he reasoned. That could’ve been fine, but that fact that this enabled him to save thousands (NOK/SEK) a month, surely meant he had more than enough money to contribute towards our shared economy. I wouldn’t argue it though, mentioning it only made him see red and I had to deal with him in that state more than enough as it was.

 Fake it till you make it. There is no happiness behind these fake smiles

Fake it till you make it. There is no happiness behind these fake smiles

Despite me more or less paying for him to live, he would get mad at me for not saving as much as him. Once he flipped out on me when he saw on my bank statement (still no privacy) that I had bought a cup of coffee at work. He would scream at me for not caring if we ever got to buy a house and that I didn’t care about our future. Because of one cup of coffee. 37 kr. There our future went out the window surely.

 Me trying to get out of the relationship be like

Me trying to get out of the relationship be like

I love interiors and decorating and would love making a place a home. He would hardly spend money on furniture. What was the point making it a home when we were only renting… So I lived for years in apartments with the bare minimum of stuff to get through our day to day life. When we lived in Oslo, we didn’t even have a bed, just a mattress.

Speaking of living in Oslo, where I for once lived close to my sister and my best friend. I saw my best friend more living in the UK than I did living in the same city as her. I wasn't allowed go out spending money, so we never did anything. And he never really wanted to hang out with anyone but me, because he didn't really know them and did not seem to eager to get to know them either. Those few times we did hang out, he never said anything. Maybe he was afraid they would see what a douche of a boyfriend he was and then talk me into leaving. That was after all his biggest fear.

 These were the only new friends he was fine with me making whilst living in London

These were the only new friends he was fine with me making whilst living in London

Imagine moving to an exciting, big capital city such as London and after a year realise you haven't experienced anything the city has to offer. There I stood, with my suitcase packed, ready to move to Stockholm without really getting to know London. He never wanted to do anything. After all, everything costs money. And I couldn't spend my money and I couldn't go out with anyone else. We could've just as well lived in a tiny little cottage in the forrest, it wouldn't have made much of a difference.

To be continued.

Until next time, Renate.