A Sort-Of Year in Review

I’m not entirely sure how to start this post to be honest. The fact is that I have been blogging here for well over a year now (in fact, one year and a month, I posted the first time April 8th 2011) and it’s true to say that this blog is now part of my routine. I look forward to finding things to blog about and I’ve come to enjoy blogging. But today marks a special day – it’s moving out day here at school.

As a number of you may be aware, I’ve been attending a year-long course in photography and during this year I’ve had part-time residence on-campus. Since tomorrow is the last day of school, today has been all about packing my belongings and stuffing myself into my car (I promise I’ll snap a picture so you guys get to see it). And the beginning of this week has also given me some time to reflect on the past year and to come to a few revelations of my own. So honoring my first-ever post, So Here We Go:

Spring 2011 I had just finished applying to my dream university in a foreign country, a long way away from home. A couple of months later I received a very kind letter of rejection. And let’s just say that I took the news well but didn’t really give myself the time to think it through and to get over it. I had invested emotionally more than I had thought so the news devastated me. The next months went past me in a storm of rebuilding my childhood home, me having major emotional rollercoasters and not feeling well mentally. I functioned like an automaton, a machine on cruise control. I also came face-to-face with some of my greatest panics, anxieties, stresses and fears which I later came to conquer and adapt to. During this time I did succeeded in obtaining my drivers permit (Which will soon be a full license) and getting my own car which is now dubbed Sweetie Little-foot (Long, inside story behind that name). I came to playing Minecraft which is wonderful and which became a very odd therapeutic instrument.

After a year-and-a-half of lying around, being depressed and doing nothing productive I applied to a one-year, preparatory course in photography. At this point I hadn’t taken a single image in several months. To say that I had lost all interest in photography and in being productive and creative would almost be an understatement. The truth is that I was greatly unhappy. Yet that would come to change… I received a place in the course and came to be get some of the highest grades of any student who has attended the said course. I came to regain my love, interest and passion in photography and in expressing myself and how I view the world and the reality in which I exist. Living on campus for the great majority of the week made me realize that it was time for me to grow more independent and to separate myself from my parents and family more. Those who truly know me, know how much of a challenge this has been for me as I feel that my family is the most important thing to me in the entire world. At the same time I have come to realize that separation does not mean a weakening of your bond or relationship to your parents and siblings, in fact it strengthens those bonds. And they do. They really do.

I familiarised myself with Reddit, which has opened a whole new world for me. I’ve decided to become more sociable, less of the shy and timid person from before. I’ve come to understand myself better as a creative person and photographer. I’ve met some incredible, unique, strange and brilliant people and I now have a refreshed mind, brimming with new ideas for projects both large and small. I’ve come to face the reality that I’m going to have to clean out the house that has been my home, my sanctuary and safe haven for the past 13-odd years. Because guess what – I got accepted to a university abroad. This August/September I’m moving away from Finland to a yet-to-be disclosed location! Yay! And yes, I’m going to study photography. Hurray!

The truth is that these past months have saved me both in body and mind. I know now that I’m stronger, more prepared and ready to take the next step in life. And I know that at first everything will seem like utter hell and that all I will want to do is to go home, to run to the shelter of my family but I also know that after a while everything will get better. I will adapt and overcome that anxiety and longing. I know that we are all anxious when standing in front of change but all we can do is meet that change, stand straight, hold our heads high and strive to getting the full enjoyment of the experience and not let the future scare us.

I’ve come to notice a few practical and philosophical things as well:

  • Less is more.
  • This small nugget of wisdom is applicable to almost anything. The amount of things you have on your desk, the amount of time you spend on a job, trying in vain to achieve perfection when good is enough (Once again, those who know me outside of the blog know where I’m coming from with this). The amount of time you spend worrying about your parent’s health and how they feel and what they’re doing. However there are few exceptions to this rule, among one of mine is the time you spend with the ones you love.

  • Supermarkets and food producers need to minimize the size of packaging. 
  • There is no way a single woman can eat 400 grams of chicken on her own. No way. The amount of food that supermarkets sell in relation to the amount that’s eaten is completely ridiculous.

  • Let the past be the past. 
  • Stop worrying about what you could’ve done in a different way. Stop thinking about how you felt or thought at a certain time. Stop thinking that “It was so much better back when…” because it will not end well. Don’t spend every waking moment thinking about the past, instead reflect only occasionally. The truth is that you live in the present so live in the moment. Take it from someone who knows.

    So here I am finished with my packing, watching my cousins/roommates (Who are joining me in studies abroad, so they’re stuck with me a couple of years more) pack their things while I browse the Internet and try to think my game-plan for tomorrow. I might not have the time to post anything tomorrow because I’ll be driving and unpacking the entire day. Until then, I leave you with I picture I precariously took during the last drive westwards to school last Sunday:

    r

    P.s This is my 704th post. So yay for that as well!

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