Happiness, oh dear the happiness I have experienced

Dear Helsinki,

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. Continue reading

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Ever-lasting friendships & a new job

Last two weeks near Amsterdam with family were great fun, somewhat surprisingly. One and half years ago when I graduated and moved out of the Hague, I promised myself that I would not visit the country anytime soon. I guess I was desperate to leave that part of my life behind and not relive the bittersweet memories that I still occasionally recall unwillingly. I visited the Hague last spring as well for two days, but it was a quick trip during the country’s craziest festival (King’s day) so it went by without me even realising that I had ever actually been in there. This time it was different. I guess two weeks is enough for me to realise that I am no longer in Helsinki where people speak language that I understand.

I did not do very much during my holidays. I ate a lot, because my aunt loves cooking and she makes great food. I also visited Amsterdam quite frequently and as I wrote to her, I think I might have fallen in love with her again and this time permanently. Every visit required me to take a metro 51 from one end to another end and the ride lasted about fifty minutes. Obviously with a foreign SIM-card my iPhone was a useless piece of shit as I do not own any games, but it did not bother me. I had a book or journal articles with me and every time on my way to Amsterdam, my heart was beaming with excitement. Mostly because every time I went there, I got see a friend that I would have not seen in a long time but even the two times I visited the city just on my own my heart could not hold back the exhilaration.

Those metro rides were pleasant and when I think about it, I think I really miss sitting that fifty minutes in the blue/white wagon, reading my book, listening to the music that caresses my ears and once in a while look up at the people and wonder what their stories are. Sometimes I’d get lost in my mind so deep that the person I was thinking of would had already exited the metro without me even realising he left. At times like I think it was mostly because he was so handsome that perhaps I was thinking our wedding or something silly along those lines…

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I was really happy to see so many of my friends while visiting the Netherlands. I saw Marianne, well, in all honesty I have seen her quite frequently this year but every single time in a new place (Helsinki, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Brussels, Lisbon and now finally back in Amsterdam!). I cannot believe she is moving to Australia next year, though. I know I should be happy that she gets to fulfil her dreams, but it doesn’t have to stop me feeling a bit selfish that I cannot have her in this continent. Luckily she will come back after a year. Continue reading

I can feel you are happy

Dear Helsinki,

I know I have not written to you in awhile. Honestly it has been so long that I am not even aware of where to start from. I could go back all the way to the time when I re-fell in love with you. Though I do not think it is an accurate way to describe the moment as I do not believe I had ever loved you before. Regardless how to paint that period, it already happened a year ago and there is so much between then and now that I cannot go through it all. Perhaps I should stop explaining myself and write.

I think too much as you know. I have tried to unlearn it but without much success.

My friend from university visited me last week and I had a really nice time with her. Thank you for being so wonderful and beaming while she stayed with us. I think she really enjoyed you, everything about you. We had a delightful brunch at Pacisifico and even I had forgotten how different you are from all the cities when it comes to brunch. On weekends all your caf├ęs and bars become this sort of a safe haven for all the foodies who have been smart enough not to drink too much the previous night. And she particularly noted grocery stores, my darling. It is amusing whenever my foreign friends visit me, they all are totally mesmerised by the range of products in the supermarkets. I do not know why you are not famous for the cosmopolitan culinary experience.

The morning after night out
The morning after a night out

She left last Sunday and since then I have had too much time to be on my own. It has been rather difficult to adjust to a routine after visiting Bologna and my friend coming over, partly because there is no routine to follow. My bosses are on summer holidays and I am all alone in the office without many tasks. The mornings, days and evenings are dreadfully slow and due to the apathetic environment, I lack any sort of energy to things besides related to work. I am glad that university will start in less than two months but I am afraid student life does not really create a routine. We will see how glad I will be in fall. Continue reading