Sometimes it seems like life is just a vast endless sea with constant storms and enormous waves that rock your boat and splash water on the deck, making you afraid if you are going to make it to the next safe harbour. But steady waters don’t make a sailor, at least this is what I keep on telling myself. Maybe I seek discomfort and new challenges, to feel like I am developing my sailing skills and enduring bigger waves when ever they might hit me?
A year ago I had but a thought in the back of my mind to go to Melbourne to discover what life so far away from home but yet in so familiar culture would feel like. Now I am pondering whether I should really settle, at least for another year, making compromises with my life (studying mainly just for the sake of getting a visa and to have some steady foundation in life), staying in the ah-so-familiar and already a tad numbing hospitality work, or to sail away to the unknown waters. This decision making and endless see-sawing back and forth has made stressed, anxious and feeling low at times. I have never been one to jump to things head over heels, without using excessive amount of energy and brain capacity to try and see the matter from different perspectives. Sometimes this approach bites me in the ass, like in this case when both of the possibilities I have ahead of me are wonderful (or potentially equally miserable), no matter what happens.
Sometimes in life you have opportunities that present themselves only once. Other possibilities are possible to go back to at different times. I love Melbourne. The city will stay there for me. Maybe not the same, maybe not from the same perspective, but I will have the opportunity to return, with one visa or another. The opportunity to explore, the world and myself, will also be there. Not in the same form, and less likely to actually happen, but I am the captain of my boat and I have the power to decide where I steer myself. Life will figure itself out, and going with the flow and surfing your own wave is something one should always keep in mind. You can only trust that the waters lead you to where you’re supposed to end up in.
Oh, I have actually never been on a real sailboat, I can only hope to experience it at some point.
Spring is officially (finally) here and today the weather was very much like Finland in September. This is very confusing, but also a bit amusing. In celebration of the last day of winter (or summer for you Northern hemisphere folks) I wrapped Christmas gifts to send home, and also received a package from Finland – my very first letter and goodies from mom since I left! About time, if you ask me. Not the smartest idea to stuff your face with salmiakki (candy) before intensity workout, but maybe I learned from this experience not to do it again.
Spring and summer things are pretty open, which is both a good thing as well as a cause for losing my hair and finger nails. I do have new work opportunities, but I don’t know which direction to take. I am constantly surrounded by uncertainty, whether it be for work or what to do on my days off, or next February. Deep breaths and small steps, I suppose…
I suppose no matter how rainy and gloomy, things are going pretty well and running smooth: I even managed to wiggle my way out from the tram inspector without having a valid ticket. That’s a sign of success like no other! I also should be glad I spent 70 dollars on a doctor who told me I do not have an ear infection. At least now I know! Now I only need to figure out what is wrong with my ear.
One year ago I was moving to yet another temporary apartment, getting ready for my adventures in Asia. At that point, I had no idea where I’d be in the next 6 months, let alone in a year. Six months ago I was walking on Wategos beach in Byron Bay, trying to decide where my journey would take me next. And here I am today, not sure where I will be in half a year, or the next 12 months. Exciting, scary, promising, frustrating? All of those feelings, and several others, I have to admit. Clearly my path is not the usual kind, where answers come automatically or at least easy. I don’t own a couch and I’ve never had a hair dryer (fun fact I noticed the other day), which definitely makes my life easier to jump from one adventure to the next.
Now it is the time for me to start planning the future, or at least be aware of the possibilities I have. In February I could be in India or in New Zealand, or if I really wanted to I could leave melbourne and move to Tasmania to do my 88 days of rural work. I don’t know, I can’t decide. On the other hand I want to have a fulfilling career that allows me to have that couch and maybe buy a hair dryer as well (yes I know you can travel with one, but I don’t really need one), and a part of this scenario would be not having to return to the motherland. But there are all of these doubts. How will I get the job? Which country do I go and try? How will I survive when I’m all alone and start eating way too much chocolate to drown my sorrows? What if what if and then what?
The answer to all doubts ever: You don’t know how it will be unless you try. I might have an idea what it could be like going to Germany and not speaking the language (with no real passion to learn it) and trying to find a job that is not in hospitality. But unless I try the scenario, I don’t know. Perhaps that would be it for me, the place where I find peace. I have found peace (and dozens of great cafes) in Melbourne, but the immigration policies of this lovely country sure don’t make it easy for people to enjoy their stay. I am still looking for that Aussie husband, by the way, and now we’d have to live together for 12 months in country x. No worries, I’m pretty flexible on that!
Friends – I am still alive! Almost a year without writing here, since I have been (pretty inactively) writing elsewhere. But now it’s time to rise from my ashes and face new adventures! I have booked flights to my next destination, so I feel like I have something to share again. Not that life in Helsinki has been boring, no way! So much has happened during the previous 10 months, I am actually leaving this city with warm thoughts and feeling at home. Though I don’t have a home. So my home IS where my heart is, ha!
I have gotten rid of most of my material possessions; all I have left now is a lamp, Vitamix, coffee grinder and aeropress. Minimalism rules! I moved to my last temporary apartment last weekend, and I did it with a bike. 5 rounds back and forth, that’s all.
This summer has been weird, awesome, fast and hot, filled with laughter, baking, coffee and friends, just to name a few. I enjoyed a brief holiday at the cottage (!!), eating 15kg of strawberries, and went to Tallinn for lunch.
What else…lots of great things happened, I think I also learnt something, not yet quite sure what. Yesterday I learned that women can’t dunk in basketball. Go figure.
Oh, Helsinki. I will miss you (your people, at least!) during my Asian explorations. But no worries, I will come back.