Finding your stable feet

There have been quite a few posts on my blog, in which I shared about my feelings towards different places I have lived in or have been to. Jyväskylä is probably the most mentioned city. You see, I came there before I even turned 18 officially, and the place was very much a representation of my big life milestone. I also lived in London – UK, in Breda – the Netherlands, Mandelieu La Napoule – France, and now, I find myself in a coast city: Vaasa – Finland. In addition to these cities, I have been to other few places for short to medium length travelling.

If you have read some of those posts, it may not come as a surprise that I usually develop connections with the places I stepped my feet in.

London was where I found a fresh young girl falling in love madly. London taught me the very first real but crooked definition of “love”.

Breda kept within it my Erasmus exchange memories, the laughter, the drunk parties, the friendship, the companies, the partners in crime and the one that got away. The Netherlands was how I brought myself back to excitement of being in a new place, making new friends and having a new purpose to dip myself in experiences.

Then, in Mandelieu La Napoule, I hid. I got defeated in these last 1,5 years. I was blinded with my own failures, I came back to my oldest passion – travelling/ moving to a new city, or perhaps, come back to also my most common excuse for escapism. Southern France gave me the peace behind every single wave rolling on the beach surfaces, behind the winds floating through trees while I pushed myself to hike towards higher and further point; but of course, to trade for such peace, I lived with lonesomeness.

Finland. Well, Finland became my second home town years ago, and has always been. In a way, I feel I am re-born here. Certainly, my relationship with this country has began to face obstacles and plenty of wonders. Even so, I doubt I would ever change my way of looking at it the way I am looking at it now – after every each time I return here after being in a different place – as if I am looking at the most familiar place to me ever.

I take pride in telling others the places I have been to, and lived in. Even though I take joy in dazzling others’ eyes when I tell them those places as my life achievements, they are also more than that. They have become parts of my identity. To tell people about my different types of crushes for these places, I am reminding myself of how I am living closely to my ‘coreness‘. Sure, it sounds romanticized, but sometimes, the things which sound most cliché, are unfortunately deniably true.

It is easy to forget the dream you had when you were kids. And I am not even talking about all the silly dreams we had, like being a superman or cat-woman, or a princess/prince/ king/ queen (despite the fact that the idea of having a castle is still very tempting now and then), etc.

But I mean, THE DREAM. The one and only one dream, speaks to you the most, and stay with you the longest.

For me, it is travelling, even before I am aware of what the term “travelling” would mean. This very special kind of dream seems the most challenging to keep. Because it is not unrealistic, you know you might be able to make the dream come true one way or another. But it is also unrealistic, years of growing up and attempting to be an adult at least has taught you much.

I have not lived enough to out-say other more experienced people about how to achieve your dream eventually. This post is not about that.

This post is for me to share the other side of my dream: the breaking-up phase with my places. As I know how lucky I still am, I don’t normally say out loud to myself the holes made inside me sometimes, after I leave a place.

Being on the move is great. Being on the move also equals not settling down, either physically, geographically or mentally, sometimes all. The excitement for exploration I depend on is short-lived. After certain time living in a place, you may fall back into a life with usual pattern plus repetitive daily activities. I myself find me in boredom. I see myself being curious about what may be different in some other places. I see me starting to look at tickets, jobs, paper work process and day-dream about being able to just pack and go.

So, people usually say, being on the move sounds exciting but one cannot always be on the move, and do that forever. And I usually laugh away their sayings. I laugh away even more if people add the ideas of starting a family and living permanently in one place. But there is nothing wrong with those ideas. In fact, I secretly agree with those people in parts. Being on the move requires you to be emotionally adjusted. Being on the move makes you realise you have never had a particular place where you call home, and you can just buy tons of housing decorations without wondering what to do with them when you move again, at least for the next many years. Being on the move requires financial support, if you are to hold a limited passport. Being on the move means you cannot promise to make a work contract for years. Let’s not talk much about what being on the move might affect to your relationships, I guess, we are all somehow aware of that price.

I laugh away, because still, being on the move is my very important dream. To imagine me forgetting it, is scary. To think about the things I cannot have in exchange for what I am passionate about, is challenging, (hell, many times, really challenging); but yet satisfying. It reminds me of my ‘coreness‘. All the places construct the very present me. I know that my future me will be even more evolving with new places I will be in.

I guess, my very main message is that even if I am seen as living my dream, I may not have every ingredients to make a perfect life; the same for everyone else and every other situations. Food for thought (?): nothing in life can be in total perfection.

I don’t know if I will ever have stable feet. But I know I have no desire to find out anytime soon.

Good moments into my pocket

I have not been able to update much here lately. I know I posted earlier a new blog post but in fact, I wrote that piece a while ago. I started the idea on a quiet evening like tonight (if you have read my post about Silence & Quietness, you might have already known my thing for those words). I completed that on another quiet evening after taking a quick dip into the sear at midnight.

Many things have changed during the last couple weeks. In where I currently work, there have just been 2 new interns. More specifically, I have new roommates and work mates entering into my space. It is actually not a bad thing. It is simply a change, a turn into new page. With them around, I am urged to do things with company – things I couldn’t do being alone. With them around, I am faced with the fact there will always be people around me, and I am not sure how to react to. Not so much to dramatize it, but you know, when you have been with yourself for long, it became harder to slide back to socializing activities, not to mention: to living with more than one people at the same time. So, indeed a lot of changes, but I see them as a price to pay for other things. One of the things I have learned from life is that, a perfect package does not exist.

But, they are great people, seriously. I only knew them couple of months ago. We all came to know each other through a common project, which we still carry on. Even so, I loved my time being with them in and outside classes. Recently, since they moved here, I even loved the fact that each of us all had baggage. Don’t get me wrong, I always know people have their own story. As one of the new interns, Emma said, “there is a reason for everything“. The special thing about our bond is we don’t only have our own story, we have our own past baggage.

When I think of the word “baggage”, I sense of negativity. Before I moved to France, I appeared to them as a happy person, the same as how they appear to me. In reality, well, I do have a lot of reasons to be a happy person but that is not the whole truth. Listening to their baggages, I realise we all have our own battle to fight. Some might tell us these battles are not worth enough to fight against whilst many lives in the world fight much more severe battles. But we tell each other our battles matter enough to screw our days, mess up with our heads and aches our hearts. These battles are the reasons we still seek for compasses to direct us where to go next.

Because of their baggage, we connect with each other somehow in a positive way.

It is not all pretty and pinky to live so close with people. For me, it is a real challenge and a learning experience. The last time I lived this close with so many people was in Vietnam with my family, and there was another reason I always strived for leaving that place. Knowing each other’s baggage, we allow others to act the way they might act. We might not understand, but we remember the baggages and remind ourselves.

Three of us, we are now in a shared journey. We came together in this point from different directions.

Being in Provence Alps, Cote-de-Azur, France is definitely not the worst journey to share with. But even with the things which look amazingly glamorous from the outside, it is not the whole scene (I need to keep remind myself about this, although it is not applicable to every single situations). I just cannot imagine to share this journey with anyone else. I don’t think I would trade for someone else if I were given the chance.

Here, time passes by so quickly. Time is short. Days are flown with the wind. Maybe because it’s the summer, and summer is meant to end before one even knows it.

We have done many things together though. We walked to Cannes, got drunk, took many stupid photos together, talked to strangers and being hung over the next day (really typical student life). Wait, before you jump into any conclusions, that is not the only thing we did. We hiked together, we ate together, we talked about all sorts of things, we made jokes, we walked together, we worked side by side, we swam together, we fell asleep on the beach, we discussed working plans, we moved from being silly to being serious. Sure, those all sound little small things, but that is how life should be. Life cannot always be those big moments, just too unrealistic.

A week ago, we even got to have an adventurous day together, thanks to B (remember the guy saving me from spending a homeless night in Grasse?). We were taken to Saint- Cezaire-sur-Siagne, where we blended into its greenness. Emma and Lily got to jump into the lake, off the bridge. It was raining, but we did not need the rain to get us all wet.

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Then, we were driven to explore a cave. It was my first time to be inside a cave as well. The narrow ways to pass through just to be inside a bigger space. I have never been a person having phobia of narrow spaces (I think so). Even so, it was such a changing atmosphere. The coldness and the darkness inside the cave, either turned you onto excited or creepy mode.

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The “infamous” two partners in crime with me here

 

Speaking of B before, I figured it only suitable to write a bit more about my shared journey with him. I mentioned in another post how I got to meet him. Turned out it was all thanks to his friendliness. He spoke to almost everyone he passed by, and his way of connecting is indeed much different from mine. I usually keep silence because: a) I don’t want to socialize, b) I appreciate their own space. B intrigues in me a different perspective. I haven’t decided yet whether I like his way better, but seeing how he freely talks to other people is truly a thing to learn about, and a cultural thing to know about French people.

Isn’t life too short not to notice about other lives around you? Isn’t the world turning to be cold enough to ignore these small warm gestures between people, to ensure yourself that there are still great things happening in life? Isn’t life too alone sometimes not to start a random conversation with a new person, just to learn something new and maybe, maybe, you have just made that person’s day, let that person know they have people around them? I don’t know yet. I have valued my space so much to let it go, I have valued my own peace so much to change it back to where I was over-excited to start any conversations with a new person. So, I don’t have the answers. Maybe you do.

Also because of my love of space and silence, I have never asked much deeper into B’s life. I know what he does for a living, I know what he is passionate about, I know what plan he might think about and I know he is friendly. But I have never asked for more. There are more about me I am not willing to share, and I only take that as a sign not to invade his story if I have nothing to give back. Despite that, we have shared many great journeys together. All thanks to his planning, of course. We drove up to high mountains, where we lied next to each others and stared at the sky, wished we never had to get back to civilisation. We drove down to the beaches, where we ate pizza and looked at people dressing real nice for parties. We stayed along the coasts, where he (again) talked to fishermen and I looked around of what surrounded me, sky, sea & waves. We drove to one village after another one, walked around and looked at those local lives, or sometimes, the tourists’ lives of people enjoying their summer. Southern France can be very luxurious if you choose to only look at how it appears to the world.

The point is, contrastively, I did not need to know about his background to be his company for adventures. We are certainly different but yet so similar in what we like to see. Without B, my journey in Southern France would not be so magical. Maybe after all, he is the thing life gives me as a reminder to keep walking through.

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St Paul Village
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Tourette Village, from the outside
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Along the way going to Gourdon, through a canyon
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Gourdon
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That high mountainous spot near Gourdon, where there is a big Antenna (if I only could remember the name..)
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Gourdon Village

 

Recently, I finished for the second time watching How I Met Your Mother (again, I have issues with movies/series addiction). In the last season, Ted said:

“The friends, neighbours, drinking buddies, partners in crimes you love so much where you were young, as the years go by, you just lose touch…That’s why when you found someone you do want to keep around, you do something about it.”

I am never sure if these people will stay in my life. I just figured that the least I could do, is trying to record part of these shared journeys into my writings, as a way of putting “good moments into my pockets” to always remember, those good old days.

 

 

Raison D’être

was the first words I read today.

Okay, actually it’s not true. My first words to see when I woke up was “Snooze”. 

Anyway I usually don’t go to WordPress in the mornings. Today I did and saw the title on DailyPost. I have been really new with the whole blogging thing, but not writing. 

In many posts of mine before, I might have mentioned this story. I was bad at literature in schools. I was quite OK in primary school, but I guess it was because your mind was still free enough for free-flow creation. I got worse in junior high school and high school. It could be my incompetence. But I did know one among all reasons was how I acknowledged myself being forced to follow a pattern for composing, and how I was instructed to interpret a poem. I would never know if I would even be able to interpret at all without teacher’s guidance, but that’s the thing, I would never know. 

So I thought literature and writing were not my things. 

Towards the end of grade 10, I developed some mental exhaustion patterns. I was under many life change situations. And the fact that I am emotional, sensitive; just added extra strength onto everything. I stayed in my corner of the class. I didn’t want to talk to many people because they wouldn’t understand. But I did want their attention. I needed some attention. I needed people, especially my parents, to see how miserable I was, and give me a hug of empathy. I suppose I did get then, after going to the hospital twice as I was having severe headache, caused from exhaustion. I said “I supposed”, since I do not recall much, surprisingly, what happened but those high peaked notes. 

In grade 11, I had to rebuild my path in a way. I began to wrap many unspoken things inside. I wanted to be more happy. That was my day job. When nights came, some old ghosts returned and I got pushed to do something about it. I needed to unload. And I did them on Word Docs. That was when my writing started. 

That was a whole new writing habit. It was almost a diary but not so much. And it was not even perfect to be public. It was my words, the magical words which in a way, kept all my feelings within. They made me feel lighter. I supposed I found my most lotal friend. I started writing fictional stories, in which main characters were based on me. I gave up fake names, did some unrealistic touches, since back then, I got addicted to the power of controlling my stories. They were my stories, I wanted to give my characters whatever I felt like, or thought they deserved. As if I silently cried for such power in my real life. 

It was not my daily habit. I continued them for quite long though. Here and there, whenever my heart shouted for air, I wrote. My stories never had happy endings though. Then I moved to Finland, during the first year, many many things changed. Among which was my break-up event with my high school boyfriend. It was one of the lightest breakups I have had, probably because I was the one doing it. This doesn’t mean it was easy. I suffered too. And I wrote things I could not tell him. I also wrote down things starting to change to me, outside me and inside me. 

But I stopped for a period. Because I was at the same time writing other bigger chapters. I was re-writing my whole life, and re-discovering my new self. 

I wrote again after London, the most influential event for me. This time, I did not write them as my stories, but my life stories. There were no more fictional characters, there was just me and levels of feelings after first time really falling in love. Remember, that kind of love which drove you madly, without even realising your true core anymore? If you have not had any, don’t worry, I assure there is no joy in the experience. 

Nevertheless, these stories, together with those fictional stories, were never published or shown to anyone. They were my dairies, except I did not write them daily or start with “dear diary“. They were my hobby too, a hobby I only share with few certain people; until the Tumblr blog trial and this blog. I couldn’t say it was not awkward at first, since showing people my writing was nearly telling them the most private parts of me. Even so, after years of writing, my need for being listened got curious. I started to wonder what it would be like to bring these unshaped and unpolished writing to a big community out there.

Here I am. So now, I have two writings, I have my diary and I have my blog. My diary is for deepest things in the bottom of my inner self. And my blog allows me to voice out my world perspectives. I try to keep my blog updated weekly, try very hard. Some weeks went easier, such as this past week, writing flow hit me and I opened my laptop, or picked up my pencil. I don’t have huge network of followers, but every single one who has followed me, I felt I achieved something. Writing is my therapy. Whenever a piece of writing is done, I can sense a satisfaction of doing something useful, despite me unsure how many people would have seen or even read that. I would put them on my blog still, and feel pleasant enough to hope 0,01% of all readers out there who might read my writing and have a connection. Because that’s what has happened to me often. I read other people’s writing, just to see myself reflecting on my own or being in the other person’s shoes. My emotions are evoked, and as sometimes writing can be an act of loneliness too (at least for me), I’d like to comment, let the person know “I hear you“or “God, I feel you!

Most importantly, writing is my freedom, is a world in which I don’t have to obtain this degree to be accepted and don’t have to sound smart all the time to be heard.

Raison D’être