Never ending dreaming….

When I started this blog I was bursting with the need to let everyone know how to be happy. I felt like I had it all figured out. I was almost right. I was starting to learn how I could be happier but it doesn’t apply to everyone. I am not happy all the time but I am very happy most of the time and that counts. I have succeeded in happiness. I am typing this in our dark living room while my boyfriend and our dog are sleeping in the bedroom. I am so, so happy. I have absolutely everything I could have wished for, and more. Love, pet, home, enough of everything. Life happened. 

In the last year I REALLY focused on finding out who I want to be and what I want to become. I started with dreams like: I want to open my own gym, I want to have my own crafts business, I want to be a dentist (this one was quite a change), biologists, english teacher, I KNOW FOR SURE I WILL BE a physiotherapists… That is not even everything but you know, I felt like I had to choose one thing and that would be it for the rest of my life. I realised I could do anything I want and then it was like being 15 all over again. I felt so good when I decided on the physiotherapist thing. I applied to uni and I was SURE this was going to be it. I went to the admission test with confidence. What happened? I did not get in. I was gutted of course but that is how life is. 

I started to go through the options again. TOUGH. So many options. Right now I am just bored of being at home and not knowing-and I have realised that no matter what I start doing-it will lead me to the right path. Fun thing is, I decided to look for a job as a nurse –  or rather nursing assistant. That is a 3 year education that I have, but it is not a bachelor degree. I have a job interview coming up and I am super excited about working. I specifically wanted to work with elderly and just to mention, that is something I never thought I could do. Simply because I normally start crying when I think about old people, I am overly empathetic when it comes to them. It was my boyfriend who got me thinking. He told me that I am just the type who should be working with them, because I truly care. 

This post is full of nonsense, because my head is full of thoughts and I am desperately trying to make some sense here so apologies for the chaos. My point is that I think I got it right with my first profession. I am so excited about the possible opportunity to make a difference in the community. I am hopefully going to get this one month job to begin with but I am definitely going to continue towards bachelors degree one way or another. And right now it feels like it would be more nursing than physiotherapy. I am still undecided but I am going to start one of them in open uni and later I will see how that feels. I just need to work towards a goal. I know that I can change my mind later on in life and study something else, but now, I want to take care of people. That  makes me HAPPY. 

 

PS. I also want to move to Lapland, or Norway, or both. I am learning Sami and Norwegian both. Just in case. I am always self learning something, aren’t I? Now good luck with this chaotic but inspiring plan that I have. Maybe 3 years from now I am working as a registered nurse in Norway, far in the north. This dream might change but it could be the one, and if I don’t act on it, the opportunity might never present itself like this again.

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Food choices

It all happened so sudden. I became a vegan. Well first, raw vegan but I have started to add warm meals into my diet again because I have too bad cravings with only raw food. I am trying to eat mostly raw, but I love my potatoes… Earlier this year I became more and more interested about plan-based food and at times I would have lacto-ogo days. Then I wanted to try raw diet with eggs and dairy. After two weeks I chose to go vegan. I is quite interesting how easy this has been for me. Now I still don’t know for sure if this is for the rest of my days, because I really, really miss chicken wings. But it definitely has made things better.

1. I lost some weight and I hope to lose some more. I have been struggling with roller derby and other forms of exercise I like since March when I injured my knee. I also gave up smoking (I don’t know what got into me when I started again over a year ago) and gained 5kgs in couple of weeks. I lost that and one extra kg so far.

2. My mood swings are not so bad

3. My skin looks better

4. I sleep better  most of the time

5. I feel like I am making a difference in this world. I am happier with myself. HAPPIER.

6. The weirdest part is that when I started exercising again, my endurance was better than before. The recovery happens so fast, I pretty much jumped into the same amount of training plus a bit more, and I haven’t been sore afterwards. I had 2 months of slacking in between. Obviously giving up smoking has played its part too, but this diet MUST have a lot to do with it. I mean I was running less than a 4K in Feb/March and the second run I did (this week) was 8K. I mean… WHAT?!! No issues with endurance, no muscle soreness, but my left shin is a bit irritated now. Giving it time to heal and trying to remember that my lungs and endurance can be as good as ever, but if I don’t start increasing length and intensity slowly, I will be injured.

 

A lot of people are interested why I became a vegan. I do love animals but surprisingly that is not my reason. I have wanted to be a vegetarian forever for that reason and just could not stop eating meat and dairy. It was 95% health related. I watched a lot of documentaries about food and I listened to health podcasts and I started to see the bigger picture. I am not pointing any fingers but the modern diet and pharmaceutical industry is poisoning us(totally pointing fingers). That is what I believe. Obviously I am still consuming pain killers for my migraine and if something happens to me I am not feeling bad about being cured/saved/stuffed with medication, actually the opposite. But the food we eat  can be so harmful to us that we end up with pains and aches and our whole body starts to fall apart and it is trying to fix itself without knowing what is wrong. I could talk about this forever but I am not going to. Everyone makes their own choices. The information is out there.

Some documentaries I enjoyed: Food matters, Forks over knives, Fat sick and nearly dead, Food inc., Hungry for change (can not find a working URL for this, also the other links might stop working). Please try to watch these documentaries and tell me what you think. Has it changed your point of view?

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Hakuna Matata, the only philosophy I need

It has been a very emotional day for me. I woke up 5am with a migraine and knowing I don’t have proper medication I decided that I would spend my day taking over the counter painkillers that would allow me to at least watch tv. So, I have spent my day in the bedroom watching Long Island Medium. I have been crying so much. Watching people getting really emotional in the series about their passed loved ones I keep thinking about my journey. My boyfriend committed suicide 2007 and I never really processed my loss the right way. My way of dealing with the pain was drinking, partying, not taking care of myself and I was slowly getting more and more depressed, hated my guts and pretty much stopped loving myself. Not sure if I ever really did, though, but at least I had goals and something to live for prior to his death. I was going downhill and one day I realised that I was not going to survive like this and the only thing I could think of at the time was to move abroad. I move to Ireland 2008 and the reason why I moved there was that I was going to meet a person who was going to change my life- my best friend Roosa. It can not be a coincidence that I met her. We met at work and we became friends against all the odds. We have lived in the same small town for years in Finland never knowing one another and then we meet in Ireland. I thought about it and I believe our souls are connected and have been long before we even knew it, but we were not ready to meet each other back then.

Dealing with the tragedy has been very hard. To this day I have trouble to cry or address my loss in any way that would allow me to look weak. I never had any trouble talking about it, however I was not able to feel anything or cry unless I was drunk. I would sort of get rid of all emotion while talking about it. I was so unhappy and lost and I did not really know where I was going and what I wanted to do. Roosa has always made me feel good and after the years I started to become happy and even love myself. I feel like she healed me in a way or at least was a huge part of the healing. Even now, when Roosa and I live half the world apart, not a day goes by without thinking about her. I am so grateful to have a friend like her and I can’t wait to see her smile again. She means the world to me and I am just so happy things turned out the way they did, without her friendship I would not be the amazing, loving and beautiful person I am today. I can not believe how happy my life is now, how many great people I have met along the way and how they stood by me when times were hard. I love you all and I love my life. Hakuna matata!

Say Thank You

The Happiness Advantage is a book I bought over a year ago but only now I have listened to it further than part 1. It is very interesting book and the only reason I never listened to it further was simple, I just couldn’t relate to the narrator. A couple of days ago I saw him speaking in TED and he was so funny! I laughed and I made my boyfriend watch his speech, too. We both laughed and thought he IS good and funny. After seeing how he looks like and knowing that he is funnier than his book I was able to focus listening to it now that I knew something more about him.

That is the problem with audiobooks. The voice is more important than the text.

Anyway there was a technique in that book that caught my attention. Basically, each morning before you start working, send a text, email or verbally Thank someone. This is going to not only increase your own happiness but also make you more productive. Also the other person should/might feel happier too. Win, win, win! I decided to try it. But… I am afraid that some people will feel that it is too much, and might be annoyed by me thanking them(I know, what a silly fear to have, but if you are Finnish, you might understand). What I will try to remember to do instead is a list just for myself where I write down people and deeds that I would lie to thank. Then After a month (or x amount of time) I will publish that list in Facebook /here. That way I am not going to get the negative feeling of spamming people and they don’t feel weird about being thanked as individuals but rather, hopefully, they will see the positive side of the practise. This feels rather strange and twisted but it seems like the right way for me.

The thing about being Finnish is that we are not supposed to be taking in compliments without this “Oh I don’t really think so, not sure if that’s true…”talk. We are trained to be humble and polite. We are not supposed to bee loud and proud, unless it is about our country/society/health care. Showing any kind of emotion over all is BAD and STRANGE. Not everyone is like this but yes, that seems to be the norm. While I lived in Ireland, at first, if someone complimented my outfit/hair/anything I felt so awkward, it was horrible not knowing what the other person wanted, what I should be saying etc. At some point I was told to shut up and take the compliment and say thank you. It felt seriously wrong in the beginning, I felt like there was a strange pressuring energy left hanging in the air waiting for more things to be said but no, that was it. It was so simple. Saying thank you when I was given a compliment. Now it doesn’t feel strange anymore. It feels great. I love saying Thank you, giving compliments and receiving them.

 

The International Happiness Day

On the 20th March I turned 29 and I did not really celebrate. I thought that I might next year but I am not sure if my birthday means much to me anymore. It is just another day and while every single day is a gift, I feel like maybe I should have done something special for myself. Just to remind myself that I am special and I have to appreciate the day that I was born. I just found out that The International Happiness Day falls on my birthday and I just can’t believe it! This is a sign, definitely. Now I don’t have to celebrate only my birthday but I certainly must celebrate my new favourite day of the year. So next year I will host a party with fireworks to celebrate happiness and maybe, just maybe, my 30th birthday.

Edit: I was suggested by my own blog to read my birthday blog post from last year, when I didn’t know where I was going to end up and what was going to happen, my last days in Ireland. Looking back, I can’t remember anything but I certainly seem strong inside and out! Here is my 28th birthday post. Enjoy!

Health doesn’t just happen

Did I mention, last New Year’s eve I skipped annual resolutions and decided to go with monthly resolutions instead? I love to set goals but oftentimes I forget to evaluate.

March was not a huge success. I am being honest but I also know better than to stress out about this, so yes a bit of a mess it was. We (my boyfriend and I) decided to say something nice to each other the first thing in the morning. We were really good the first two weeks and then we started slacking, but I’d say we were successful 75% of the month. So it is not THAT bad. And we are still continuing it. I promised myself I would do yoga and go running and I did yoga twice. No running whatsoever. I also failed miserably on so many levels of healthier living. Sick of small injuries and racing mind. Therefore….

April will be awesome! My theme for the whole month will be HAKUNA MATATA. For some reason I have been a bad girl and allowed myself to develop an addiction to sugar. I keep telling myself that I work out enough to allow myself some chocolate, ice cream, sweets, pudding…. But no, I need to respect my body more than that. Well what happened was that 31st March we went shopping for all of those things mentioned above and also ate morbidly greasy dinner and we were both feeling sick after AND we weren’t able to eat all the sweets. So we took care of them yesterday and now, 2nd of April is the day to start healthier nutrition. YAY! I just finished my berry smoothie and I am getting ready to go for a walk with the most amazing dog in the world. I can feel it, this month is going to be the best! And to ensure I am not letting myself down I am starting photograph everything I eat.

I also need to give you an update on my latest blog post. I told you how I am stressing myself out, trying to be too productive and my mind and body was suffering. Well I got sick the same day I wrote it and I was forced to take a break from roller derby training and coaching that week. I was planning to wait for another week and I found it extremely amusing to realise that my body had already had enough. I haven’t been that sick in two years (at least) and I am still recovering from that. I have been meditating a little bit more, maybe 3 times a week and I am planning to get a gym membership to make sure I get enough resistance training. My body needs a bit of strengthening.

 

Lesson learnt: I am the person creating the life I am living and I can either stop stressing out, make a choice of healthier lifestyle to become more stress intolerant or drop the factors that strain me. 

My need to be productive has gone too far, again.

I might have written about this same topic before but once more I am struggling with drawing the line. It is Sunday and I have already done quite a few things and I have 2,5 hours just for myself now, just to enjoy the sunshine, do whatever and relax. But I can’t shake this uncomfortable feeling that I have to accomplish something and be productive. It has become so difficult to relax. Again. About a year ago I worked so hard to get through this! I just can’t allow myself to sit down and read a book. I have to be studying, knitting, watching lectures, cleaning up, planning upcoming roller derby training sessions or else, I feel like I am not good enough. I have become obsessed with crocheting and knitting but yet I can’t do even that without doing something else “useful” at the same time.

My body has been acting up, too. Every week for over a month now I have had strains or small injuries that prevent me from training hard. It is annoying, since I have set a goal to run my first official 10K in May and I have been unable to practise for weeks now. Every time I am training for a running event I am interrupted somehow. Deep inside I know I might be asking myself for too much, I go to roller derby training several hours a week (5,5hrs) and I would need to add yoga and some resistance training to that and I simply don’t have enough hours to run minimum of three times a week. Although I am active, there is something inside of me that tells me I am not doing enough. That voice is from my past, when I was obese and lazy. I have stressed myself out, I am admitting it now. My body is trying to tell me that, too. I choose to listen, finally.

 

I need a week off from everything, from knitting, roller derby, studying. Unfortunately I can’t do it yet but I will do it starting Mon 24th. I deserve a little break and I will just meditate and do yoga (that I NEED to do, I haven’t taken much time for yoga). I will also write more and go for long walks in the woods. I will HAVE to ban yarn dyeing and anything knitting or crocheting related, too. It is one stress relief technique for me but I have taken it too far. I am sitting on our very uncomfortable couch for hours every day trying to start or finish new projects. I have caused posture issues and my shoulder and upper back muscles are in constant pain.

 

It has been a year since I moved back to Finland and I am not regretting that choice. I had a good job, stability and everything was in place, except I felt that I didn’t belong there.  I had to get out and I did. I was in such a good place mentally when I left but little by little I slipped on the things that played a huge part of my happiness, like yoga, writing and meditation. I need those things! I am and I have been happy all the time but I don’t feel “zen”.  I am sure you might be facing similar struggles and it is not always possible to “pause” everything for a week. For me it is and I am grateful for that. What I have realised this week, is that I am not completely ok with myself. I figured that I am still trying to proof something to myself through others. I need to get to know me again and learn to listen to my own voice. I have been avoiding my true “calling” because I felt that it wasn’t  ambitious enough. I wanted to want something else and now when I have finally admitted what I want to become, I feel so much better BUT I am struggling with feeling like giving up on these bigger goals, those that in fact I never TRULY wanted. How silly of me. There is a difference wanting something and wanting to want something! I want to be a physiotherapist, not a doctor.

 

Sleep is the best meditation.