Hello! It’s time for a different kind of post. This post might be mostly therapeutic for me, but also answers to some questions a lot of people have been asking me lately. And if you are reading this and have no idea who I am – I welcome you on board to Aino’s way! After this post you know a lot about me already. 🙂
So let me begin. To be honest, it hasn’t been so easy peasy lemon squeezy all the time lately, instead it has been almost more difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Ok, maybe I’m a bit exaggerating, but the point being, I have been a bit lost maybe. Not totally happy about my life and my current situation. Not hating it, but not loving it fully. As I understood year 2018 was a bit of a rough road to many many people, and well, I guess I can relate a bit too. I mean, a lot of amazing things happened, I was mostly loving the fact that I was living in a nice city in Poland and also got great experiences in Finland and little here and there. But somehow I started to feel that something is off. Something I should change. Some things I should figure out and in order to do that I should listen to myself.
Things in life are seldom black and white and therefore finding the answers is not a “walk in the park” either. But when you try to be true to yourself and listen to yourself, you can go pretty far. My issue is, I’m not sure what to do with my life. I’m not this kind of person who always knew she wanted to be a doctor, instead I guess I’m still in the progress of figuring out. Or maybe I did know before, but something happened along the way. When I was young(er :P) I always knew I wanted to be an actor and writer. Honestly, I’m not sure what has happened. I think what happened is that I suddenly became much more shy and started to question things. Realized a lot of other people want that too, and only very, very few can succeed. So I guess I told myself to find something else and “stop dreaming”.
Luckily, I never totally dropped these things. Even when I was extremely shy I forced myself to apply for the performing arts upper secondary school, and I’m so happy I did that. Still today being accepted to that school is one of the best things that has happened to me.
I’m sure a lot of people from those times don’t really know the real me, because really I was way too shy and insecure back then. I of course hope I wouldn’t have been, but I’m not bitter, I’m still so happy I forced myself to take part of plays and dance projects etc, because those were amazing! And when I was on stage or performing everything was perfect and I wasn’t feeling shy.
After upper secondary school I had no idea what to do, so I went to see a career psychologist, since it was free and I had absolutely no idea what to do, so I decided to give it a go. I remember telling the career psychologist “I will not apply to the school of actors, because they take only so few, plus everyone from my school will apply there”. Hmm, nice attitude I had…
So I did not apply, not because I really didn’t want to, but basically just because I was too scared to fail.
I don’t know what to say, but at least that this is not so “tragic” as it might sound. Acting is amazing, one of the best things in life, but I do not feel that my life is incomplete because I am not an actor by my profession. I know it could be a very difficult road, and now I have also experienced great things that I would not have experienced if things would have gone differently.
But what did that career psychologist tell me? First of all, he was trying to explain me that no, I cannot just give you a random career, we need to test things and find your motivations. And what did he suggest in the end? Media branch. So I applied to school to study media (luckily I didn’t know how few they accept to study there, the intake percentage was super low). We had exams for 3 days in a row with a lot of different tests, I loved every second of those tests, and finally, I got in to that school. Off I moved to Turku then (a city where the school I applied was located)!
I also knew I absolutely wanted to see something else in Finland, as I grew up in Helsinki but was very curious to get to know other places in Finland too. When I was in upper secondary school I spent one year on exchange in Australia, and after that it was clear to me that I needed to see more of the world – or even more of Finland to begin. And to be honest, I guess I also kinda wanted to have a fresh new start. In a place where no one knows me. I’m pretty sure those are the things why I have lived in one million different places – I love the feeling of excitement when you move to a new place and know no one from there. You are so anonymous. Everything’s possible. And also you feel much richer when you learn about new places, your horizon gets wider. Living in different places has for sure been one of the most amazing thing in my life! You cannot explain the feeling of an excitement and freedom of moving to a place where you know no one and you don’t know the place either, there’s so much to discover! Those are probably the moments in life when I have felt the most alive!
Ok, but when I was studying in Turku I didn’t do that much (actually, not at all) acting and not really writing either (edit: no, I did a little acting: I was being an extra in one movie :P). I was sometimes quite lost thinking what I want and what would suit me.
I have tried a lot of different things in life and some things I liked more and some less. My “problem” is that I’m quite happy and optimistic… About everything. It’s a good thing, but sometimes it wouldn’t hurt to know what I REALLY want and what I do not want. I have many times said “I guess I could have a supermarket in the middle of nowhere and be happy”. So yes, I could be happy doing pretty much whatever, but what I really should be doing?
Well, that’s what I’m still figuring out. But few things that I have already figured out:
– I basically love to work, and for me it’s important that my work is also important. That it has some sort of “sense”. That it’s not just a nonsense and “oh well, as long as I get the salary”. For me work is linked to my identity, you know, painters paint, dancers dance and writers write. And so on. I feel that it’s important that my work represents me.
– I’d also want my work to be important on a different level. Doctors help people and scientists can help to cure the problems of the world – I cannot do those things but it doesn’t mean I can’t have an effect. I can have a positive impact on the world on a different way. And that’s what’s close to my heart, doing good. Helping people and the planet. In my opinion a blogger can make the world better, by writing inspirational things to her/his readers and inspire them as well to live a bit better life.
– Colleagues (in Finnish we say “work-friends”) are very important to me. And the overall atmosphere at work. “You become the five people you spend the most time with”, and you spend a huge amount of your life at work, so it really matters what kind of people you work with and if they bring positive attitude or not.
But what next? And why it’s so current topic for me? I mean, you think about things like this, but now it happened that I couldn’t live any longer in a place where I was living (because of indoor air problems) and therefore I was really forced to think: What next? When things simply cannot continue how they were you have to think. And I guess sometimes we really need that. I’m moving back to my home country, Finland, and I’m excited about that. Even though I have loved living abroad, it has only made it clearer for me that Finland is my home. I can live in other countries for a while, and I wouldn’t mind if in the future I would be sent to work to some different country, but I don’t want to settle permanently to any other country than Finland. Or, never say never, but that’s how I feel.
But back to the current situation, I can continue my current job as I just need my laptop to do it, of course working alone without colleagues is not ideal, and the difference between Polish and Finnish salary and costs of living etc. are quite high, but otherwise it’s really not that bad. But of course not the arrangement of the rest of my life.
But then what, what’s the next step? I honestly don’t have a clear answer. I know that I like writing so it will be very likely that it will be part of my future. And writing can be part of your career in so many ways – not only as writing books and so on (which was what I thought I’d be doing when I was younger :P). And what about acting? Yes, I love it and it’s clear to me that I need to start doing it again. Acting or dancing, or both, but performing overall is so important to me, and having hobbies that are creative. But I’m fine having those things as hobbies, just as long as they are part of my life. Overall having more creative projects in my life would be more than great.
If I now should say how my ideal work life would look like, it would look something like this: I would be a blogger and a columnist to a magazine, and also a radio host. I would have my radio program together with some other radio host let’s say on Thursday afternoons (or maybe on the weekend actually). Then I could also do some different project too, for example I would LOVE to be a voice actor! And actually also do some little acting things here and there, like in some advertisements. Why not in some theatre projects too. And I would love to read some ebooks as well! But sometimes life surprises you and you find yourself doing something that you love, even though you didn’t even think about that in the first place. So who really knows what’s going to happen!
I’m not entirely sure why I felt I needed to write this. Maybe sometimes things will make more sense when you just say those out loud (or write, as some people speak better with written words 😉 ). Maybe writing this down will somehow help me get where I need to be. Maybe, we’ll see!
Friday was my last day physically at the office in Poland and I received some gifts and a card, it was an absolute surprise to me so I was so touched that I couldn’t help but cry. One of my colleagues wrote to my card “Allt gott, jag hoppas att du lyckas med allt och uppfyller dina drömmer” and this is what I hope to you, me, everyone. We only live once (and if we do it right, once is enough) so let’s chase those dreams?
Much love, Aino xx
P.S. I made a Pinterest for Aino’s way, all of the images of this post are from there, if you want to see more click here <3