Friday, 15 March 2013

Should I stay or should I go?

Yesterday I found myself looking at the internships offered by the centre of international mobility. There was an internship at the Finnish Institute in London that I'd been looking at some months ago, and I had even written the application deadline down in my calendar. I read through the job description and requirements, and started drafting a CV. But then I stopped to think.

Why am I doing this? I already realised at some point during this past year that where I am at the moment may not be such a bad place to be, and I'm not sure if I want to keep moving to new countries and building new lives for myself, at least not at the moment. So do I really want to do an internship at the Finnish Institute in London, or am I simply looking at internships abroad out of habit? Am I trying to cling on to the last strands of student life with all my strength? Because those have to be the worst reasons there are!

As I went through the practicalities of an internship in my head - not even the fun stuff, like living in London, but the complicated stuff, like what to do with my flat and my things - I realised that I'm not really feeling it. And as I took it further I realised that there really is no point for me to a) uproot myself yet again for a period of only a few months, and b) do unpaid work and try to survive on student benefits and small scholarships.

If I want to move to London (or Scotland, or wherever), I can do so for a real job that pays real money. And to be honest, at the moment I'm not even sure if I want to. I'm not saying my wandering days are over, but maybe, right now, this is where I'm supposed to be.

Monday, 4 March 2013


I got this challenge from Anna a little while back where you're supposed to tell your readers 11 things about yourself, then answer 11 questions, then choose 11 bloggers to complete the challenge, and finally ask them 11 questions. As I'm a bit lazy this challenge has already circulated in all the blogs I follow, I'll pass on the last two bits, but I'm definitely up for the first two! (Some of the pictures are relevant to the text, and some aren't.)

1. Spring is my favourite time of year. So imagine my dismay when after quite a lovely, spring-like morning on Friday, with bare streets and a bit of sunshine, a proper snowstorm arrived in the evening. Not cool.

2. At the beginning of this year, I decided I would try to become a more positive person and complain less. Yeah, that hasn't gone so well... But at least now I am more aware of the complaining, and I can try to change some of it into positive thoughts as well. "Try" being the key word here.

3. I'm not too pleased about my impending graduation. This is caused by many things: I won't be around many of the people that I've become used to seeing almost daily, I won't have anywhere to go every day or people that I see every day since I'll be working from home, I'm not entirely sure what I should be doing with my life and where I should be doing it, and, most of all, the oncoming identity crisis when I'm no longer a student after being one for 18 years, i.e. over 70% of my life. Scary shit.

4. The positive thing about my situation now that I graduate is that I won't have to start looking for a job, stress about being unemployed etc, as I can just slide smoothly into the life of a freelance translator. I'm even fairly confident about getting at least enough work to keep a roof over my head and food in the fridge. With some luck the money will even stretch to buying loo roll.

5. I've recently started having random solo dance parties in my flat at night. And why not? I do usually like to pull the curtains first, though. Don't want to alarm the neighbours more than necessary.

6. When going out, I mostly prefer to go to pubs or bars, where you can actually talk to people (and then possibly move on to a night club later if I feel like it). So it annoys me to no end that pubs in the UK seem to be unsure about who they are catering for when the weekend arrives, as I've been to many pubs who turn up the music to ridiculous levels on a Friday or Saturday night. You can't dance, because there is no dance floor, but you can't talk to people either, unless you enjoy a shouting contest. The only thing left to do is to drink silently, which may be the whole point, I suppose.

7. I love scrapbooking. Nothing fancy with different types of paper etc.,  just plain photos and maybe a few theatre tickets and such thrown in the mix. I've made massive scrapbooks about my exchange year in France, my summer in Disneyland, and my trip Down Under. Since then, I haven't managed to make any more, however, which is really sad. I saved up a whole bunch of stuff from my Erasmus-exchange in London that I could have put in, but I'm sure I've already thrown away most of it. I've also been meaning to make scrapbooks about my time in Rotex, and the time I spent in Scotland. Hopefully I can get on it soon.

8. I've always loved reading, and I used to read all the time and get through tons of books a year. Since I started studying there hasn't seemed to be enough time for reading just for fun, so while I still like to call myself a reader, I'm not reading very much at all. Another one of those "I'll get on it after graduation" type things.

9. This will be the fifth year in a row that my mum and I travel somewhere together. It wasn't even supposed to be an annual thing, but somehow it turned into one, and it's lovely. The first year it was an autumn trip to London, but since then the trips have always taken place in the spring. The first three years it was London, and then last year we decided to shake it up a bit and go to Rome instead. Rome was ok, but we both agreed - it's not London. So this year we're returning to our old pattern, and we're both awfully excited!

10. I don't drink coffee or beer, and I really wish I'd learn to like both. Especially beer. It would make life a lot easier, and a bit cheaper too.

11. I have two younger brothers - two and four years younger than me. The middle one and I have always been really close, but with the younger we used to fight all the time. We really didn't get on at all. A few years ago, however, after I'd spent a year away from home, I came back to Finland and realised that my youngest brother had turned into a really funny guy. Now we all get along really well - at least most of the time (we usually begin getting on each other's nerves after a few days in the same house) - and last year the three of us even did a little trip together. I loved showing my brothers my second home town (Edinburgh) and we had such a great time.

And here are Anna's questions:

1. What songs do you listen to at the moment?
- Bastille - Pompeii, Jake Bugg - Seen It All, - Ellie Goulding - Explosions and Dead In the Water, Haloo Helsinki! - Huuda! and Rihanna - Stay are a few of the songs that I've been playing on repeat lately.

2. What's the last film you saw, at home and in the cinema? Do you recommend it?
- The last film I saw at home was Alice in Wonderland, which I had already seen before, and quite like. In the cinema I saw Les Misérables about a week ago, and it was amazing. I cried three times.

3. Which day would you relive?
- I can't really think of a specific one that stands out... My graduation day was a good one, or then pretty much any day out of the trips I've done to London, Edinburgh, Oz or NZ...

4. If you could spend a day as a fly on someone's ceiling, whose would it be?
- This one was surprisingly difficult... I have to say I can't think of anyone at the moment.

5. If you could change something about your life, what would it be?
- A bit more certainty about my future would be great.

6. Do you regret something? What?
- Not spending more time in New Zealand when I was there. But then again, Australia was great, too, so I don't regret it too much.

7. What advice would you give to yourself from 10 years ago?
- Don't stress too much, and don't take yourself so seriously. (Which is advice I'd give to my current self as well...)

8. What are your hopes for the coming year?
- Since I have no idea what I'll be up to a few months from now, I guess I just hope I'll be happy. And get to go on lots of trips!

9. What do you wish you could do better?
- Speak German/Spanish/Italian (i.e. any of the languages I have studied at some point but never got very far in). And get stuff done in general, so procrastinate less.

10. Where are you travelling next? Or where would you like to travel? Why?
- My next trip will be to London with my mum at the end of April. There are so many places I'd like to travel, like Ireland or New York, and I'd like to go back to New Zealand and Scotland, to name a few. 
And, well, why not?

11. Helsinki or Stockholm?
- I'm not very familiar with either one to be honest, but maybe Stockholm? Dunno.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Light in Dark Places


I hit a bit of a rough patch earlier this week. The incident that triggered it wasn't much to speak of, but it got the ball rolling and I ended up something of an emotional wreck. In situations like these you can really appreciate the wonderful friends that you've been blessed with. So although few, if any, of these girls will actually read this, and some of them may not even realise they did anything, I want to say a few words of thanks (- because unfortunately you come off really sappy if you say things like this out loud).


MA - who handled the original meltdown beautifully and got me back on my feet;
EJ - who is always ready to listen;
KM - who always believes in me;
SB - who is always supportive;
MM - who made it all seem ok again.

Thank you. This week started out quite badly, but you managed to turn it all around. You are truly amazing!


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