Photography task: Celebration
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Camera setting: Portrait, Food, Landscape
We are getting close to the end of the month, which also means the end for my photography challenge. This has been a great experience; I’ve had to figure out so many new settings from my brand new camera in order to get through the tasks set for each day of the month.
In addition I set myself a writing challenge but sometimes the writing tasks didn’t quite match the photography tasks as I would’ve liked (there’s a little bit of perfectionist in me) so I tweaked the tasks a bit and changed their places. As a result the posts from the past month are, in my opinion, at least to some extent cohesive.
For today the writing challenge fits the photography challenge brilliantly: “How you envision your life to be” and ‘Celebration’. That’s easy, because if I had my way my life would be a constant party!
But since that is not a viable option, especially at one’s thirties, when most of their friends are married with families, I’ve had to come into terms with and learn to enjoy other things in life than just socializing under the influence.
I’ve come to realize these points through experience. And let me tell you, I’ve had plenty of experiences, ranging from being stuck for days on different airports around Europe because of a snow storm AND a volcano to moving to a country I knew nothing about and realizing that it was the best decision I have ever made.
All my experiences, the good, the bad and the surprising ones add up to three things which are the corner stones of my life. If any one of these things became somehow completely unavailable for me, my life would not be worth living anymore.
OK, life itself is an adventure, obviously. But being the kind that gets bored really easily I need a bit more than a standard family life with a mortgage, 2 cars, 2 kids and a herd of dogs. The only thing I really want from that list is the herd of dogs.
I think it’s quite clear that since I tend to move from one country to another after about 2 years I require challenges in my life. And since I come from a background where I didn’t need to struggle to get food on the table or to survive from one day to the next, the challenges I seek are a bit larger in scale. Stuff like moving to a country I know nothing about, been there, done that.
But ‘adventure’ can also mean as simple a thing as a weekend trip. I really enjoy leaving the boring, repetitive everyday life behind if even for just couple of days and going somewhere new to see new places and taste new foods. Anything that takes me out of the everyday boredom or my comfort zone counts as an adventure. And I love and need that in my life!
Thankfully my life is quite eventful and when something surprising happens I tend to blame it on my life, because it just keeps happening when I least expect it. In good as well as bad. But I wouldn’t want my life to be any other way; it would be awful if I knew that tomorrow is going to be exactly the same as today.
I don’t necessarily mean school-kind of learning when it comes to valuing learning in life. Although, I do recognize that in the job markets today, constant learning is the most valuable skill you can have because technologies change and new ones pop up weekly, if even daily.
But learning is something that we have to do in regards to ourselves as well. The world we live in today is quite egocentric and we’re all encouraged to take time for ourselves and to put our own interests before everyone else’s. And I get it, in these hectic times we do need to learn to relax and be kind to ourselves.
But where does the line go, when does self-care turn into selfishness? I once read a blog post where people were encouraged to ignore, for example, a wedding invitation from a friend if they just didn’t feel like going. Umm, wtf?! That’s not what friends do!
There’s so much information flooding on us on all sides every day, and strangers informing us how we should live our lives. That’s why we need to do quite a bit of self-searching and figure out what are the values that we want to live by and then live by them. Easier said than done, I know, but an easy place to start is to consider what are the things in life that you value the most.
Sometimes figuring these things out takes a bit more than sitting by a desk writing them down on paper. I had to go through a horrible period of joblessness and a boss’s suicide before I found myself in a place where I realized for the first time what happiness really is. So, I had to go as low as one can and then bounce back from there all the way to the highest heights until I realized who I am, what I want and what I do not need to mind at all.
It was a long, hard, and quite expensive process but I learned that
I am a woman who’s fekkin proud to be one,
I want to live a life that I can look back to without regrets and say “I have definitely lived!”,
and what I do not need to mind are other people’s opinions about me.
I am my own king and queen, and I make the best decisions for myself! A person’s life should never be dependent on someone else.
Even though my cultural heritage and stereotypes might suggest otherwise, I’m an extremely social being. I need human interaction, preferably all day every day.
This became quite clear when I was working in a company where I only had one colleague in a country where, for the first time ever, I simply could not make any friends. The few friends that I did make were all from abroad and not available as often as I would’ve liked. I became close to being depressed, my stress-levels were sky-high 24/7 and I literally felt like every day all I was doing was wasting this one life that has been given to me.
I switched to a big company with a team of people and even though everything went to absolute shit for me professionally I was able to get from one day to the next because I finally had colleagues to socialize with.
Extroverts get their energy from socializing and I can seriously see the effect that social interaction has on my energy levels whenever I am put into a situation with a lot of people. Quite recently I was working in an office in my home town in Finland for a change and I didn’t know anyone from there. But I heard that there was some sort of office event one evening after work, so I signed myself in. If I could at least get lunch company from the event, it’s totally worth going.
As always, the event was absolutely worth going to! When I got home I felt so elevated and energized having been able to talk this and that with people. Most importantly I had finally met the people who were working right behind me every day that week and many others. I was also invited to lunch with the crew from then on, which was exactly what I had aimed for.
When I realized, many years ago, that personality-wise I am an extrovert I also realized that my capability to make friends and get along with people from all walks of life is definitely my biggest asset. And that is an asset that I should take much more advantage of in work life as much as in personal life. After all, one can never know too many people, right? ;)
Do you have certain values you try to live by?
Trousers, Shoes – River Island | Top – Vero Moda | Watch – Fossil