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Answer for question 4499.

How much of a "planner" are you? Do you like to have everything mapped out in detail in advance, or do you just wing it most of the time? Tell us about a time you had something all planned out but it ended up going completely off the rails.
Here we go again: another wishy-washy answer because I will always be a walking contradiction.

I am not a spontanous person. There, I said it. Several of my friends have at some point - usually when it comes to partying, as if that's the only form of spontaniety (how do you even spell that?) that exists - complained about how rigid I am. The thing is though, I'm really not. My life is pretty winged. Meaning that most of my decisions in life are so out of the blue that *I* didn't even see them coming. Is this making sense? Okay, let's try to break this down somehow:

Not having clear plans gives me MAJOR anxiety. Even to the point that I will cancel plans that are too hypothetical, just because the level of anxiety brewing inside of me won't even allow me to leave the house. Now, that does in no way mean that I have to stick to those plans. No, the thing is that I need a time and a place to function. If someone calls me up and says they're swinging by soon and asks if I want to do something (which never ever happens in real life, btw), I will make up a fake excuse. That qualifies as trespassing, in my world. But if you give me a time and place, but no specific activity, I'm perfectly fine with that. The same goes for changing plans, AS LONG AS IT'S NOT THE TIME OR PLACE THAT IS CHANGED.

That cleared things up a bit, didn't it?

Happy List

- bonding with your best friend's boyfriend
- the desperate begging of a friend trying to get you to come to their party
- a pleasant blast from the past
- finding your great grandfather's unfinished memoirs
- someone who gets your random references
- "I miss you"
- a friend's lap when the train is overcrowded
- pajama shorts
- gag reels
- staying out late with friends
- your best friend's birthday wish being a day spent with you
- helpful salespeople and how they can make you save money
- realizing and appreciating how far ahead Sweden is in terms of mobile internet
- city festivals
- the weather suiting the month
- being blessed with a mother who will do anything for you
- the strange spelling suggestions your phone makes: Benji - genius, Stu - dry, pepp - prop, etc.
- good ol' snail mail
- the look of someone who just woke up
- agreeing with a stranger, complaining about how boys are disgusting to miss the toilet when they pee

Hmm, this was a bit of a downer. Several things in this batch are what I crave right now, but don't have.

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New beginnings

This year I've been going through a transformation. I know we all go through one at age 27, but I guess I wanted a head start on everyone else. So not only is my attitude different now, I'm also blonder, more muscular, and I've cleaned out my closet and now I'm working on my bedroom. And adding to my Happy List.

- being told you're just like your great grandfather
- pretending dark clouds are mountains
- fiber pens
- thinking about various possibilities as to how that snail got into your mailbox
- your reaction when your favorite sports team comes jogging towards you: "ojojojojoj..!"
- funny autobiographies
- your clothes matching your bed sheets, making it possible to simply vanish
- when texting fails, we'll always have mobile email
- the trailers before the movie on Disney DVD or VHS
- that point you reach when all you can do is laugh at how insane traffic is
- going to the cemetery to visit loved ones you never even knew
- sharing a name with an inspiring ancestor
- someone to keep you company on a train or bus
- strangers walking up to you, asking for directions; presumably because you seem friendly and approachable
- knowing all the shortcuts
- being trusted with a major secret
- re-reading your diary
- liking your friends' partners
- sunny, windy days of early fall
- dancing to African music in the town square

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Answer for question 4473.

What is one life experience most people around you seem to have had that you haven't (marriage, kids, work-related, etc)? Conversely, what is one life experience you've had that most people around you haven't?
Well, not that you mention it: there's a major baby boom going on around me at the moment. Four people I know are having babies (although only one will be a baby that has any impact on my life). A year ago, this boom would have broken my heart even more; I could not even see a child without having chest pains because it felt like I was missing out. Today, I am fine. I'm more than fine. I'm so excited to be an honorary aunt, you wouldn't even believe it if I tried to explain! Although I still walk around with a broken heart, I truly feel like now is not my time, and that's okay. I wouldn't not want to bring a child into my current life situation. I guess I'm thinking more clearly. Not ready for babies of my own, but more than ready to babysit and brainwash (you can pretend you didn't read that last part, but I have the mother's full consent).

What have I experienced that they have not..? Sometimes it feels like the answer is simple: everything. It's strange to even talk about, but for a very long time, I have felt as though I must be very much in touch with previous-lives-me. Not everyone gets to see this side of me, but those friends that are closest to me usually describe me in the same way: wise beyond my years. Although plenty of my friends have gone through things I shouldn't be able to relate to, I can. Also, it has recently become quite apparent that my struggles with anxiety is allowing me to help friends that are now in the position I was once in. Whereas other friends have moved past that phase and forgotten the struggle, I still remember and try to offer support, because it's a lonely place. I like to say that I went to the School of Life and majored in Common Sense.
Sometimes I really miss making daily updates, while at the same time, I don't think I'm that person anymore. I love writing, but not in a journal kind of way. I don't update my diary either. Most of my writing these days is poetry style. And the Happy List (excellent segue):

- someone to talk to when you're upset
- being 100% honest
- offering support and condolences in hard times
- movie marathons
- finally seeing one of your biggest idols in person
- seeing someone who looks like they could be the child of a friend of yours
- an empty public bathroom
- entering through one door and exiting through another
- going down the river on a raft
- people waving and honking for the fun of it
- online actions such as "Holding Hands with Norway" and "We Like Difference"
- a sweet text message from a friend saying how much they've enjoyed spending the summer with you
- digging into the family history
- the detective work it takes to track down an old relative that went off the map
- buying electronic equipment online and the law that allows you 14 days to regret your purpose
- "Who Do You Think You Are?" (TV-show)
- whiteboards
- ancestry.com
- understanding your new cell phone
- the moment you realize how old you will sound when you tell your kids you grew up knowing four ways of writing: longhand, cursive, typing and texting

Speaking of nothing, I think it's pretty amazing that Microsoft are offering free Windows10 updates. And yes, my old laptop is compatible. It's insane how little computers have progressed in recent years, considering how fast technology is moving. Paradoxal, I know.

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My body never fails to disappoint me. Over the past couple of weeks, my sister and I have been on a workout plan that will eventually enable us to run 5k. But of course, now that we're halfway through, my knees are saying "Nuh-uh. No more." Thanks a lot.

So here's a happy batch instead:

- "Midsomer Murders"; a summer tradition
- catching a glimpse of yourself in a mirror or window; realizing you're smiling
- writing novels and short stories to anonymously deal with your emotions
- building up the courage to ask if someone is single
- guys wearing engagement rings
- hugs
- laughing at your own jokes
- that strange habit of always craving something to drink after peeing
- burnt grass
- remembering the right code
- grown men running and hiding from the rain
- the way trees double as huge umbrellas in light rain
- friendly ears
- the secret wonders of vitamin B
- a new song from your favorite band
- listening to someone telling a story; doesn't matter if it's happy or sad
- a simple "How are you?" after an allergic reaction
- how a long phone call with a friend feels much shorter than it is
- calling your best friend to complain about boys
- evil scheming

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Answer for question 4368.

What is the biggest turn off for you when you're dating someone?
Generally speaking, I'm very open minded about what type of guy I date. But I do remember this guy I met on the train, and when we exchanged numbers, I realized he used pretty weird punctuation... So, strange language use/bad spelling/odd ways to do smileys (like, backwards) is a turn off for me.

40 Days of Dating

Have you heard of this experiment? I read about it in a magazine I found at my sister's. Today, I read the blog - all of it.

So many things are rushing through my mind right now. I feel like I've lived this experiment and it adds to the cracks in my already broken heart.

The experiment itself feels like a mash-up of two of my past relationships (I use the term loosely), and that's why I felt like I've lived it. That feeling doesn't exactly get minimized by the realization that apart from her love of high heels and the fact that she's a real artist, I am Jessica. No, really. Everything she's described; everything she is, I am too. Oh, one more thing we don't share: I don't think I have it in me to stay on such friendly terms with my exes. I'm just too jealous and possessive: two traits I am not proud of, but they're a part of me, so what can I do?

I feel like this whole experiment needs to be dissected into a bunch of posts. I want to discuss it with someone, so desperately (most of all, I want my exes to read it!). But my friends shy away from anything written in English if its length exceeds a standard paragraph. Come to think of it, I don't think most of my friends even read... Maybe a book or two a year, but that's it. How sad. I really want my Soul Sister to read it, and I'll probably email her the link as I wrap this up. But I want to discuss this for hours, over coffee or drinks: in person.

Honestly, the person I think would appreciate/understand this the most, is the most recent ex who shattered my heart into a million pieces. If he ever agrees to meet up with me, I might tell him about it.

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Answer for question 4246.

Are you generally a good judge of character? What's a time you felt you had a good sense of someone, only to have it turn out you were completely wrong?
Yes. That's the short and honest answer. But, there is always a but...

Whenever the topic of judging of character comes up, one person comes to mind. She is the ex-girlfriend of a friend of mine, and she gave me a very bad first impression. First impressions are so important! An no, I don't mean the kind where you go out of your way to be nice; I mean the kind that you don't even know you're making.

So this girl didn't even come to greet me at the door when we first met. I had to go over to her, as she was just standing in the next room, staring at me. We shook hands and exchanged the classic pleasantries "Nice to finally meet you, I've heard so much about you". Yup, that sentence came from me. She claimed to not really having heard of me until a couple of days before my visit. Although my friend has been known to keep me a bit of a secret (Why? You'll have to ask him, as this is an ongoing fight in our relationship), I still find it hard to believe I was really a complete shock to this girl my friend had dated for a year.

After those awkward first few moments, the ignoring began. She wouldn't even look at me, and kept talking about me, not to me, as if I weren't even in the room. And no, I did not imagine her rolling her eyes when I spoke when she thought I wasn't looking at her, she really did just that. I may be a lot of things, but I ain't blind.

Needless to say, I was not impressed with this girl, something which I expressed to my friend. He, of course, defended her, saying she was probably just shy and a little uncomfortable meeting this girl who was suddenly spending a lot of time with her boyfriend (we go through phases when we barely speak at all, but this was not one of those times). "Just give her a chance, and I'm sure you two will hit it off", my friend said. I'm generally stubborn, but I always give second chances.

We met a few more times, and I saw a completely different girl - she was almost too nice. It was suspicious. Yes, I was still set on giving her a second chance, but there was still that bad first impression in the back of my mind.

They eventually broke up, and I confessed to my friend that I'd never really trusted the face she'd put on when I was around. He confirmed my suspicion: She never liked me. She was jealous and thought I was after her man. Nevermind the fact that he and I had been friends for years, and if I were after him, I would've made a move long before she entered his life.

As modern fairytales go, they got back together. Without my knowing it. So I was very surprised when her name came up in conversation. I wasn't nasty (I really wasn't!), I simply expressed my surprise at their rekindled romance. This sent my friend over the edge and he called me some of the most horrible things anyone has ever called me. I thought for sure our friendship would never survive that fight (mind you, it would never be the same).

Just a few days after that massive brawl, we were forced to meet at a friend's wedding. We'd tried to talk things through, but I was still extremely hurt by the things he'd said. For everyone else's sake, I tried to act normal, but I did tell my friend how hurt I was. Something which, of course, he didn't understand. But being the amazing person that I am (...) I made an effort to talk to his girlfriend, because she seemed to feel a little left out, not really knowing many people there (in reality, she knew more people there than I did, but from what I hear, no one has ever gotten a really good impression of her). We did hit it off that night, I thought "Why the hell didn't she show this side before?" and I thought maybe I'd been too harsh in judging her.

Now, in order for this next thing to make sense, I have to reveal that I had developed feelings for my friend's friend. My friend's girlfriend knew this, and asked what was happening with that. "Nothing", I said. "You have to go after him, you'd be so cute together", she said. It felt nice to have backup, and we talked a little about what had happened between he and I before.

Fast forward a few weeks and we were on that topic again. Seeing as she and I were getting along now, bonding almost, I thought I should ask if she would mind maybe hinting to my crush that we'd be good together, and report back to me. You know, like girls do. She was more than up for it. (To be honest, I think she was pushing me towards this guy so that I'd leave hers alone.) A week or so later, I told my friend that his girlfriend would help me with my crush, and he awkwardly revealed that his girlfriend had told him how she didn't appreciate my trying to force her into some sort of espionage. "She doesn't want to get involved in your love life, and she doesn't understand why you keep pestering her about it." WHAT?! That was NOT what she'd told me! After that, I realized what a conniving little bitch she really was.

As I write this, she has been our of my friend's life for about six months (at least I hope so; breaking up and making up seems to be their thing, but I honestly don't think our friendship will survive another rewind). Since they broke up, I've been told a lot of secrets about her; what she's really like.

So long story short (SARCASM): my first impression was correct and everything after that was a complete sham.

Now, men on the other hand... I think I'm a good judge of character there too, but I have a knack of picking the ones who will run at the first sign of the relationship getting serious. By that I mean that I pick truly good people, but they all have an invisible suitcase packed and ready. That might say more about me than them, though. I'm trying to figure it out.