Rootless in Stockholm

"Oh Stockholm, that's nice, not far away like Australia!" "Stockholm is like you're not even abroad when you're living there."

Here's some comments I got from people around me when I decided to follow my swedish-finnish inheritance and move accross the little sea to Stockholm. I felt I was being belittled by some about my life-changing moves, cos hey I did leave behind my work, my friends, my family, my home, my country and most importantly my language. Now it's been a month and a half here and I feel like i'm slowly starting to get a grip of my thoughts and feelings again after the blurry mess that comes from well, shredding your life in pieces and rebuilding it elsewhere again. For a person who feels and observes as much as I do, that's not dramatising the situation at all.

I passed out at work yesterday. I think it's important to listen to your body when it says stop so then you stop. I thought about my love-hate relationship with Finland, my homeland I always knew I would move away from some day. I don't miss Finland beside my friends and family of course and the language. I've hated swedish languge since elementary school and thus never bothered to learn it. Now I sit alone at works "fika" room, completely clueless about what the other people are talking around me. I've worked in France and Portugal before so this is not something that comes as new to me. But I'm a talker, and talking has always been easy for me and I need it in order to connect with people. And I really need to connect with people. It is now exhausting, isolating and makes me feel like the people around me consider that I'm not that bright. Then I just have to say few sentences in english, just so that they know there's a living, breathing, thinking person inside this öö-language speaking shell that looks like me.

Swedish people in general are more open, more friendly and have more sense of community that I wish us finns would have. Their straight-forwardness has surprised me as well, people rarely small-talk to you but actually say what they think, but without that sharpness I feel finns often have when they are speaking their minds out loud. I'm also intrigued by the inventiveness and supportive atmosphere lies here. Somehow I feel it's easier to breathe and everything takes less effort to do. But something is missing, something isn't right. I think it's the appriciation to material and money that is so obvious it causes me nausea. It might be the edge, the teeth, the provocative nature I found in Amsterdam and some parts of Portugal that I miss. There's something pretentious here that makes me want to take a grip of the peoples shoulders who pass me by and shake them abit. I'm in need of something more raw and real, the yearning that Africa left in me. I have to go back and explore it more to be sure where I actually want to put my roots down. All this easyness just doesn't fit me.

 

There's a hole in your chest
from the time that you were born
One that don't get filled
'cause you've always known you're nothin' they want


But everybody's bones are just holy branches
ride the breeze to cut patterns in the leaves
And in time we find some shelter
spill our seeds and then wait for our turns
But for now we're adrift on the waves of discontent
trying to carve our place
All in hopes we'll be something they want
but I ain't holding my breath

Trace your fingers down my spine
make your home behind my eyes
line my skull with harmless lies
I'll bide my time until I'm something they want

- Radical Face: Holy Branches

Blunt Force Trauma

It has been a strange year. It's been filled with utmost, pure joy but still the past 6 months I've concentrated on falling down and staying down. Something came up and there was no way around it, since it has happened so many times before I had no other choice than to stop.

I started to experience things I haven't felt before, like feeling so deep anxiety I couldn't move my hands or legs when laying down and should've gotten up. My thinking became obsessive and I was incapable to stop a new round from starting. My nightmares got even more vivid they had been and I started having hypnopompic hallucinations weekly (when before they've occurred once a month).  I felt extremely weak and scared all the time and for the first time in my life, I needed meds to get through the worst. I decided that I'm not this person and the only way I've survived before, is to keep digging until I find myself again.

So I did go all the way back to my youth and started telling people what happened then. Despite of being pretty straightforward and open about my thoughts and feelings usually, this part of my life I've kept well-hidden. I could hear my voice shaking, pulse get higher, my body getting ready to run as I spoke. I did various PTSD tests and scored pretty high on all of them. Hours and hours of loneliness and tears, loyal friends CMX & NIN. The Affair on the tv. Psychology books all over the bed and floor. The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt, god I love that book like nothing's given me as much comfort before. When I finally got a face for my problem, I started to get better. I was again in control of my own thoughts and the nightmares have disappeared. This experience once again showed me how fast and sneaky I can go down if I don't stop and do the things that are me.

En taida enää jaksaa silmiäni ummistaa
Mä sydämeni avaan ja jään sun aamua odottamaan
Kun taas nähdä saan sinitaivaan
Se mua muistuttaa
kuinka suurta kaikki pieni onkaan

Opasta mua aurinko, mä pelkään pimeää
Polta jo pois ahdinko, mä kaipaan elämää
Näytä mulle tie aurinko sun uuteen aamuun
Kaikki tää murhe ja vahinko sun tuuleen haihtuu

- Reino & The Rhinos: Aurinko

Thirty-Something

Birthdays are hard. They have always been extremely hard for me, ever since I was a kid. I have too many expectations eventhough every year I'm more or less disappointed. I remember everyone who has congratulated me previous year and keep a list in my head of those who forgot it this year. I'm literally afraid of my own obsessive rituals for it and the disappointments just feel as tough as they did when I was 8. Why didn't they congratulate me this year, is it because they don't care or they forgot or they don't want to? All the options feel equally as bad. I get sad and desperate and feel like there's no place for me in this world. The next day I'm back to my rational self.

As many others, I can't believe how old I am now. Just a moment ago I was a child, playing with my little ponies out on the grass and waited for school to start. Just a moment ago everything I did was new and now it feels like you're just repeating the same patterns to feel secure. Few years ago I noticed I had slowly started to get afraid of lot of things, I couldn't go for rollarcoaster ride cos it was too scary, I didn't want to travel outside Europe 'cos it felt too scary, I didn't want to drive a car too fast cos it was too scary. I hate being afraid since there was a time in my life that was all I could do. Back then I really thought it would never end. Here I am, 18 years since those times and I'm stronger and happier as I have ever been.

I do believe we never get completely out of our hightschool roles, at least some of those I carry with me to grave. And when I notice those parts about myself, I feel like I haven't aged a day. The classic interview question of the celebretities in America "What would you say to your 14 year old self?" makes me cry almost every time. Reading back my journals from those days are almost terrifying. What a sad little girl I was, full of loaded anger that motivated me for a long time when I wasn't so little anymore.

This year I spent my birthday as every year, but now with a bitter-sweet smile on my lips cos of my own behavior. I guess that means I've grown a bit. I would say to my 14 year old self that don't you worry, there'll be a time when you find someone who doesn't think you're difficult, who can take the full range of your thoughts and emotions and just stand there calm, with his serious eyes focused and his arms open loving and caring. The strongest man in the world.

 

Varteen tien seisakkeen,
muistoksi tulevaisuuteen
Veitsellä kaiverran,
seiniin menneen maailman
kirjaimet sun ja mun,
kahden ei-toivotun
Tartu kii, piirrä tähdet silmiin

Kalliot suojaa mua,
kun mä tahdon rakastaa sua
Lauluihin valaiden
ja sun kainaloon nukahtaen
Luottaen lepäämään vahingoitettu jää
kätes sun vielä mua silittää

Aamuun päin me ajetaan,
rantoja pitkin,
läpi koko maa
Ajetaan kovaa,
ollaan ihan hiljaa
Saat kaataa mun napaan tequilaa
Oot mun nouseva aurinko
ja mun ainoa kotimaa
Aja mihin vaan,
motellissa jossain
saat kaataa mun napaan tequilaa

Vesala - Tequila