I turned 26-years-old last week. My birthday is not my most favourite event of the year, particularly because I have never enjoyed growing older and each time the day takes place I seem to look back at my life and wonder all the things that I was supposed to achieve but still have not accomplished. I build so many expectations for my birthday and set the bar so high that I have rarely been able to enjoy the day the way I should.
But this year it has been different; for the first time I decided to let go and embrace the amazing things I have in life. I have been blessed with an amazing loving family, I have friends who love me like regardless of my flaws, I have a job where I feel I make a difference, I still travel and experience new countries that keep capturing my hearts and let us not forget all TV-shows that take me another place whenever needed.
I might have not published my debut novel yet or visited all the countries in the world or in love with a person who loves me back, but I am not worried or anxious either as I would be on my birthday. Rather I am happy with the abundance of great things I have in life and I am certain I will continue to doing great stuff this year as well, not just because I am an amazing person but also because I have lovely people supporting me on my journey.
Letting go is perhaps one of the hardest thing to do, at least for me but last week it finally happened and I had perhaps the most splendid birthday week one could ever imagine. Without expectations and with unsuspected events I experienced this comforting feeling of happiness that gently embraced my soul. Not only I enjoyed the world beneath my feet, but I also took a full advantage of all the treasures yielded in my life.
I visited cherry blossom celebrations that I have yearned to see for a couple of years now, but always missed for apathetic excuses that you make when you wish to skip a class. Visiting your Eastern suburbs where the pink flowers beamed against the blue sky and presenters spoke both in Finnish and Japanese kindled a feeling of belonging to a world without borders. Then the sky became grey and it poured rain, but my friend and I decided to cherish the situation and take pleasure in watching the art of melancholic Japanese dance.
Another evening I met this boy for a drink. We had not met before, although we had talked on and off for a year but had never quite succeeded in arranging a coffee. It was partly because our schedules kept clashing, but also because I was reluctant to let go. I have never been keen on meeting people from applications, except once a year to fulfill my promise to myself (go on a date at least one time every twelve months).
He sent me a message congratulating me for my birthday and out of nowhere we managed to schedule to meet on Friday. We met in my favourite bar, ordered a glass of wine each and got to know each other better with questions such as what places under your care we like the most, had we ever been in love or our reasons behind moving to a foreign county. It was casual, effortless and the flirting of the book shelves with the dim light conceived this gentle sense of kind warmth.
We had had a couple of drinks when I noticed that sitting opposite to each other with the table between us our legs were lightly brushing against one another; I was not sure enough how long that it had been going on but I had noticed that there had been this tingling sensation rushing through my body for some time. I had just thought it was the smooth music caressing the shades in the bar, but had not been just that.
It all happened slowly, softly. His fingers were gently sliding down my forearms, the bare touch against my skin made my collarbones tremble, the soothingly rusty voice of his massaging my ears. Then,
we decided to sit next to each other.
We held each other’s hands, talking about our different aspects of our lives and began to kiss with tender passion. It did not until the bar closed and we had to leave, but the bartender told us that we looked like an exotic couple and recommended to visit them again. We walked to the city centre hand in hand, stopping every two minutes to continue with kissing, we talked, we smiled and it was all just picture-perfect. I had a crush for the first time in years and I was head over heels about this boy. He stayed to enjoy your night life, but I had to wake up early in the morning so left home to sleep and enjoy what I just had experienced. I was in the seventh heaven.
On Sunday the sun had decided to pay you a visit so obviously my friend and I decided to go to a café next to the sea. Cafe Regatta is one of my favourite spots in you, it is as if someone brought the countryside to the city and you feel completely disconnected with the bustling and rushed life that too many of us must experience on daily basis.
We swam in the pool of sunshine while having our refreshing drinks and talking good and bad, sad and happy, serious and light and sometimes we just took pleasure of the silence between us. The blue sea and the blue sky sang serenades to the sun, she smiled and glowed stronger. It was beautiful. I did not care the previous night I had gotten so shamefully drunk that I had written so many messages to the boy, telling him how much I liked him and how gorgeous and handsome he is and what a crazy crush I had on him. My friend just laughed at me and so did he and kept writing to me despite my insane writings.
But perhaps the best what happened to me when I came to my place from the café. I moved to a new apartment last month, but I only started living here a couple of weeks ago because as you know I hate being alone, utterly. Last time I felt I lived at home was in Croatia, about five years ago and since then I have just wandered and searched a place that I could call home.
It was quite late when I arrived to my place. I put the TV on and sat on the sofa. There were still some boxes that needed to be unpacked and the apartment was rather messy with clothes, books and other items all over the studio. I do not know what happened to me, but Will and Grace on the background and sipping a cup of sweet Earl Grey tea with honey I decided to stop resisting the fact that I was alone. So I stood up and made myself a home.
First I cleaned the apartment, placed the cloths into the wardrobe and threw out the trashes. Then I took out the vintage feminist cards I had bought in this lovely bookstore in Tallinn where I had also shopped decorative tape and stickers and use all them to embellish my wall. It was a wonderful feeling, just putting up the cards and slowly realising that even though I was alone at the apartment, I was not lonely. For years I have been roamed in the world, more or less aimlessly, and while I do not think I have still discovered a purpose to my life, I felt at home. I embraced the life I have and stopped to look for something better.
It is a strange feeling, my Helsinki, a good but unfamiliar one. One morning this week I woke up in the sunny morning, went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and found myself smiling to the reflection in the mirror. I am not sure when I have done that last time, if ever.
But it felt nice.
I know now I’m capable of being happy on my own.
And I’m proud.