Having just finished my exams, I thought this would be a good moment to share my groundbreaking knowledge on how to procrastinate. I have indeed learned a lot from my studies this far; I have gained a profound insight into arts management and more or less mastered the theory behind project management, and, – I have once and for all got a confirmation on my insanely well-developed ability to procrastinate. My talents are indisputable. She’s born with it.

(This text will be absolutely life-changing for productive people. You should sponsor me.)

• First and most importantly; wait until the very very very very last minute to do just about anything other than what’s on this list.

• Make sure to always snooze when your alarm goes off. One hour, two hours. There simply cannot be too many snoozes.

• Have insomnia. If you don’t, think about that thing you said fifteen years ago that might or might not have offended someone.

• Have cats (I cannot say this enough times). They tend to lie on you, on your books, on your computer. Follow the house rule of any decent cat household. ~Never~ move the cat.

• Make sure to have access to Netflix, HBO, and absolutely every other streaming service that exists. Side note: documentaries are technically like reading a book.

• Have a messy house. This will require you to do chores, and you will enjoy doing them for the first time in your life. (The same rule could be applied to working out.)


• Contact friends you haven’t seen in a while. Your guiltiness will justify prioritizing to go out for a coffee (slash wine slash vodka slash drugs) with them.

• Make sure to rest and reward yourself after each goal you reach, which makes it totally logical to put very.many.goals.everywhere.

• Social media is your friend. Buzzfeed is your friend. Google is your friend. Memes are your friend. This site is your friend. The quiz What kind of butter are you? is your friend.

• Forget your glasses. Or lose them completely (you may prefer stepping on them by accident). If you don’t wear glasses, poke yourself in the eyeball with a fork.

• Spend months organizing your future progress. Buy fancy folders and other inspiring office equipment. Make sure to never be inspired by them.

• Call your mother. No further elaboration needed.

• Share a bottle with a random child or lick the used cup of your colleague that isn’t in today.

• Have daily selfie sessions for your resumé. Tell yourself it will help your future job search.

• Do some volunteering. No one can argue with volunteering.

• Make your husband/boyfriend/parent/friend/cat dinner. Disguise it as a simple act of love, but know better. Laugh like Dr. Evil within yourself.

• Make a blog that nobody reads. Write stuff like this, and tell yourself it’s educative.

Told you I’m good. Thank me later. Later.

Some months back I made a friend. I was out on one of my well-known karaoke sprees, harassing the good people of Oslo with my singing when I started talking to a girl. She was sitting outside having a cigarette with a bit of a creep next to her, so I sat down beside her pretending to be her friend so the guy would leave. It worked.

It was way past one, and (I’m not gonna lie to you) our current states were exactly what they sound like. Anyway, we started talking and we got along great. We laughed our butts off and exchanged numbers to meet again.

So we did. It was autumn and still quite warm, and we had some ciders in the royal park. Still having a really great time, and as I like to meet new people, especially those with stories different from my own, I was rather intrigued by this person. I was looking forward to introducing her to my other friends, and I thought I was seeing the beginning of a new and long-lasting friendship.

It soon became obvious to me that she was a troubled person. I don’t feel like I should give any details, but you name it, she had lived it, or claimed to have. I did not let myself be frightened away though; I found her openness brave and admirable and thought (and still think!) people with such experiences should follow her example.

We met again, this time with some other friends of mine. She had forgotten her card at home and I bought her some drinks. She assured me she would transfer me the money the next morning, but I told her not to be bothered, – I was in a good mood and I honestly didn’t mind treating her to a few glasses. We had a great time as always until she ran out of cigarettes. She asked cautiously if I would mind coming with her to the nearby kiosk to get a new package. No problem, of course, but being the lazy asshole I am, I gave her my card. She resisted at first and told me she couldn’t do that, but I have never really guarded my valuables around my friends, so I insisted. Take the card, here’s the code, get your smokes and come back, no biggie.

It was already quite late and our states were starting to look just like I was previously describing (someone call the AA?), but as usual I’m quite clear-minded although my body might seem even clumsier than normally. I can still clearly reflect on what I’m doing, and had I been completely sober I would have acted no differently.

Time passes. Half an hour, one hour. One and a half. I have already phoned her several times, mostly because I’m worried something has happened to her. I go out and look for her. Nothing.

The bar closes, we give up and find a taxi. My husband suggests that I check my bank account. I hesitate but give in just to be sure. It turns out to be the biggest punch in the face I’ve ever got. Six thousand NOK (about six hundred euros) are gone, taken out in an ATM. Not at once, but two thousand three times. My jaw drops to the floor. My heart breaks. I’m not even angry, just devastated.

A few days go by, I talk to her ex-boyfriend and he tells me it’s not the first time. I even call her father, he says he has given up on her years ago. At last, I manage to get hold of her and she apologizes and says she will give it back. More days pass by, weeks even. I text her again but there is no reply. She doesn’t pick up the phone.

I tell her she can pay me back month by month. I don’t even want to punish her, I just want my money back, being a student with a student’s economy. My teaching job pays one third of what I need and I’m down almost a whole salary because of the theft. I wait. My sadness turns to embarrassment and shame. That finally turns to anger.

I start seeing a version of myself that I don’t like, so I decide to forget about it for a while. It helps, and when I wake myself up again, it’s like I’m a wiser person. I send her one last message to tell her I will report her to the police the next day, and that’s exactly what I do. A few weeks later I receive a letter; because of lack of resources, there is nothing they can do, even though I have her full name and address. She has a record, but it doesn’t make any difference.

So I decide to let it go. Money is just a number. I sum up my life and find that in the long run, it means nothing. I will survive without that six thousand, I’m lucky enough to own a place to live, to have healthy and warm relationships with my family, husband and many friends. I’m happy and I have a pretty great life. I cannot get it back, so I’m moving on.

Time to contemplate whether I should take this as a lesson. I already knew about my naïvety, but it actually hasn’t hurt me until now. I have always trusted my friends and I tend to leave my stuff unattended even in public places. No one has ever stolen anything from me, even abroad, in significantly less safe countries than my own.

My only lesson will be (duh) not to give my card and code to people I have only known for a few months. I hereby promise myself I will never do that again. But I refuse to become a cynical and suspicious minded person, looking for the worst in people. I even refuse to be embarrassed about what happened; it happened because I am trusting. Because I believe that people are good and wish me well. And having lived twenty-nine years before being burnt only shows that statistics are on my side.

It is she who should be embarrassed and sad, for herself and her choices. I was stolen from, but I know that it was done by a ruined human being, and I’m not even angry anymore. Maybe a part of me wanted to save her, but that’s not the worst instinct one can have when seeing someone in trouble. I can even be proud of that, the result being as it may.

I will be fifty-eight next time someone manipulates me. I can live with that.