V -How I changed
Thus came the day I was to have my second conversation with the social worker at our local healthcare center. I had it planned out how I was going to build my stories because let's face it, a mere 45-minutes is not nearly enough time to talk about your problems. Not for me at least. Thankfully, both times she would give another twenty minutes of overtime. Not sure if it's more common than I'm imagining right now, or perhaps because the session itself was so engaging.
I don't hear this from many people, but I acknowledge my bad habits of dragging my points and getting off topic more often than I want to admit. When your conversations have a time limit, you must keep your stories on point. She asked me at one point,
"You seem to mention things like "two years ago" and "three years ago" in your stories, did something occur during those times?"
That made me realize. After I finished junior high in summer 2013, there's been a consistent tide of change, which I never really took into notice. It's hard to see yourself aging in the mirror if you look at yourself on a daily basis. For example...
I started practising minimalism. It helped me to get rid of clutter that served me no purpose and to enjoy life's other aspects as well. Minimalism is not about throwing away your things but learning to enjoy life itself with less possessions. All the way to present day, I've been practising this new lifestyle. With about 60% of all my material belongings gone, I don't feel like I've lost a thing. In fact, it's the opposite.
In 2014, I got introduced to the true joy of exercising. Of course, I've always had hobbies such as discgolfing, which has served me great purpose during junior high school. However, during end-summer in 2014, I found excitement in bicycling like never before. With a rough estimate of about 4000 kilometers behind me in the course of the last three years of biking, I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. We've had it planned with my father to head up to Finland's northmost town, Nuorgam, and have me riding all the way to Helsinki. This year and the year before, even more physical activities have caught my attention. Recently I've been really interested in parkour and free-running. Aside from these mentioned activities, things like bouldering and skydiving have piqued my interest.
In 2015 I was introduced to the world of dating. The idea of that special someone was far away. The old me was that guy who thought talking to girl was always like an interview. Those beautiful creatures that needed some kind of higher social status just to communicate with, let alone dating. When I grew older and wiser I realized how ridiculous that whole mindset must've been. We are all just people. No matter who, that's what we are. Equal.
Going back to Autumn 2015, there was this girl I've known quite a while. I never found her particularly interesting, until certain series of events led to us spending more time together. This was finally my chance to have everything I ever wanted. We didn't have that much in common, but had that spiritual bond growing by the week. Then, after a thousand tears and difficult moments, we started dating. It felt like forever as it led to that point, but all this happened in the timespan of about two months.
I was never that keen on travelling anywhere. Each of my parents live one town away, so it could be several months when I wouldn't travel anywhere but between those places. Usually I spent my schoolweeks at my mother's place but got to my father whenever there was a holiday and on weekends. It was about 2012 when I started to realize this and heard many of my friends travelling abroad and showing me these awesome pictures. My family has never been that much of a tourist, depriving the chance to get me an opportunity to see the world.
We visited the Canary Islands in 2010 with my pa and uncle, which is even to date, the longest distance I've been from home. Today, I have a long list of places I'm longing to see with someone. Just recently I've dreamed of becoming a pianist and circling the globe doing small gigs here and there. A man's gotta dream, right? I plan on working on that dream to hopefully make it true one day.
In 2016, the traveling spark in me started growing into a flame. Just the little things, like visiting new cities not that far away but not familiar either got me wanting for more. This Summer we took one hell of a road trip to mid-Europe and passed through around ten different countries and numerous breathtaking views. I had to make the desicion between this journey or going to my girlfriend's party which was really important for her. Even though it was shattering to see her so down, there was no way I was going to let this opportunity slip by. The vacation was hosted and funded by our grandfather who is already in his 70s. He's known for his temper and we had some turbulence along the way. The journey still remains the most eye-opening experience to date. That's when I realized how much there is to see and experience in the world.
If you've been in a party with me included, one genre of games which I hesitate to play with anyone is trivia/quiz. Let me confess, I suck at common knowledge. Always have. I'm going to use video games as a scapegoat. You see, I love gaming to death. Although today my priorities have rearranged, I've been a vivid games for as long as I can remember. Back then I used to be very sensitive about it. I knew I was playing too much, and tried to avoid the subject whenever possible. What comes to my parents, dad was usually the uptight one. We have some history discussing about it.
So despite the fact I was getting good grades throughout my schoolyears, a solid 8 in our numeric grading system (0-10, but 4 is considered failure, so it's commonly known to be 4-10) which stands for "good", or "B" in letter grading. I was still learning barely nothing. Whenever there was a test, I'd study with haste to learn all the key points. After the test I would eventually forget most of what I've learned because I stored the information in my short-term memory.
Never in my life have I regretted anything more than my lack of interest to study. Just recently the huge world of information has become so fascinating to me. Plus, it just feels plain awful to be so ignorant. "I don't know" or "I'm not sure" have become an overused response.
In Finland, military service is mandatory. If you have ethical reasons or just dissenting preferences, it's also possible to participate in the civil service program. In short, it's a choice for people like me who prefer not to get killed just because a higher rank officer tells me to. That sounds naive but when a war breaks out, that's exactly what happens. Call me disloyal to my country and I'll agree with you. So what happens when you take this path, you ask?
Well, first of all you're sent to this educational period in Lapinjärvi, Finland. That's where the civil service center lies, exclusive to it's location. The period lasts for four weeks and includes things like CPR-training, lectures about the history of weaponless conflicts and famous people like Gandhi. The class I ended up in consist of environmental conservation, using herbs for recipes and lots more. Our batch of newcomers had around 200 young men in it. Being that we're all here for the same reasons, it was really easy to make friends there.
Now, year later, my service duty done and gone, I still keep regular contact with about five friends all over Finland who I met in Lapinjärvi. After you're done with the educational period, it's eleven months of no-pay labor for a department of your choosing. The only basic rule is that you must work for the government. I personally worked as a building supervisor in our local town hall, library and older high school. I enjoyed my time there and my colleagues, but in the end not entirely sure if it's my branch of work. You get paid the daily allowance, plus some kind of lunch money. Because the organization didn't arrange me to eat at the local school canteen, fortunately, I got a lot more money by the end of the month.
Here's hoping for 2018!
I'd just like to thank my therapist for giving me some new perspective about my personal life and the things I talk about. A few years back, I wouldn't have believed to change so drastically. Today, I wish to look at my younger self and say that person was not me. It's highly personal when one matures into an adult and begins to act like it. These past five years, I've made it possible for me to learn the true beauty of minimalism, exercising, dating, travelling and studying. Of course, these achievements are only for me to embrace, but still something I can feel proud of and share. No longer do I have to defend my actions and feel ashamed of who I am. I've found some kind of direction to head into.
This might be the most consistent blog entry to date, and probably the one I've used most time to piece together. Thanks again for borrowing your time to read my story. It's, once again, highly appreciated. Perhaps someday I'll release a book about the story of my life.
I'll go finish my other drafts on my iPhone's notes app. Should get more active with my writing now that I'm unemployed. Maybe I'll go for a run now that the sun is showing up again. Love ya!
November 25th, 2017