Monthly Archives: October 2014

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World…?

2014-10-17 19.35.25

An asteroid about to hit the earth and destroy all life as we know it – what would you do? Who would you seek out? What sins would you reconcile, or what sins would you finally commit? What temptations would you finally make sure to fulfill? What past aggressions would you forgive and forget? What is that one thing that you always wanted to or were meant to get done but haven’t so far?

I saw this film, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, tonight and I got to say – I am neither a friend of Steven Carell or Keira Knightley (though to her defense, I do enjoy her mother’s plays – her mother happens to be Sharman Macdonald), I was still happily surprised by this film. Not in the sense that the end of the world is anything to be excited about, but in the sense of some good storytelling.

And as always, a good story gets me thinking – and I do got my thinking onesie on. Am I lonely when I am alone? What would I do if the end of the world was imminent? Would I make a mad dash around the world to get to my family or would I be content with the notion they know I love them, cherish them and have always appreciated every bit of their existence?

Then I read this interesting article – and after, honestly too many, 2014-10-02 22.09.05“you’ll find someone”, “you’ll want to settle down soon”, “you’ll change your mind when you meet someone” even after I’ve explicitly expressed my opinion about procreation and marriage and whatnot – I find it uplifting to not be alone in the idea that being on my own is not condemnable. For example, “if our society still struggles to accept someone on their own – especially if that someone is a woman”(1), it doesn’t mean it’s not all right. I do seek out human contact; I have my friends, I have a family and I have my cats (yes, some call me crazy cat lady). I am alone but I am not lonely. I am alone but I am no actively seeking to have a partner on my side.

I have, in the past, been very concerned about being with someone. The more I tried, the more I realised I would end of in relationships I would feel I was “settling” in or I was unhappy otherwise, just afraid to break it off in the fear of being alone. I would go on dates, get involved and then something dramatically unsettling would happen, or what is worse – absolutely nothing would happen. So what’s the point?

Is there an age limit when those around me can finally accept that if I say I’m happy to be on my own and I don’t want to have kids? I’m setting my sights to thirty – which is a bit more than a year away so buckle up, buddies – I ain’t getting hitched. And those who know me, know my dating habits are not the most conventional as such. Most recent dating ended up in a dramatic bust and then there’s the on-off-on-again music-man that just unravels my head, heart and body in a single word. Maybe I don’t make the safest, wisest or most life-easing choices. But I never have, it seems. The head-first-through-the-hardest-of-stones-attitude runs in my family. I learn through mistakes and I build my personality by doing it my way. It’s really not that I couldn’t find anyone to share my existence with if I set my mind and body to it – I just don’t particularly want to.

Although, what I’ve learned and will keep reminding others and especially myself of, is never say never. So, I won’t say ever never but I will say I am pretty confident that I am just as content being on my couch, reading a book, watching a film, writing a random thought out, designing a book as I am in building my career, planning ahead, working my butt off, as I am on doing all that on my own without a partner to validate me or my efforts.

So, can all those who love me concede I am happy and be happy for me? Well, I could use a more interesting, creatively demanding and based on my education kind of job but hey – nothing’s perfect and it’s all about one step at a time, ain’t it?

Ref:

1 – Being single by choice is liberating, says Hannah Betts, http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Also, read more, if you speak the language, as this is not just an Anglophone thing:

Egoistische Zweisamkeit: Ersatzreligion Liebe, http://www.faz.net/

Moni sanoo parisuhteelle ei kiitos, http://www.hs.fi/

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The Pursuit Project

WebsiteThings are moving along nicely.

Saila and I have now started the English version of the succcessful Oman Elämänsä Prinssessa blog, under the titular The Princess of her own Existence. Rather dramatic name, but the story and journey of Saila are just that. Dramatic.

I cannot pretend I know anything about postnatal depression,
but I do know something about self-harm, depression and issues with eating – perhaps that is why I have always felt strongly about Saila’s experiences. And that is why I believe it is a journey worth sharing. Saila has very unashamedly shared deepest personal feelings and shown an insight to the world of a woman, a mother and a wife in the grips of depression. Something too many are still afraid to admit, to speak of and to express as openly as Saila does.

FatherWhat women endure in silence is exactly what Saila expressed loudly and proudly – together with her husband, Timo. They have been a team since the beginning, with Timo eventually becoming Saila’s photography partner. No one ever thinks about the father in these situations, sadly. Therefore, for the Pursuit Project it was clear from the beginning that we wanted to include the father’s perspective. In the sample book this was one spread, but in the plan for the full-length version the father’s contribution will be much more extensive, both in form of his own words and the photography.

At the moment, Saila and I are focusing in creating more space for the project in forms of social media and contacting publishers and potentially also agents. Although, honestly, I wouldn’t mind taking the role of agent here. This project, for Saila as well as for myself is very personal. For very different reasons, probably.

The next exciting part is that Saila is attending the Helsinki Book Fair 23–26th October, and will hopefully be able to reach a lot of people. Helsinki Book Fair10406956_10152820717569273_7258743995735808228_n is very different to the other book fairs that I have been lucky enough to be acquainted with. Another thing the Finnish publishing and Finnish literature are doing right, and the world fairs would have a thing or two to adopt from Helsinki Book Fair. The Helsinki Book Fair is an open doors event, meaning that it is not aimed just for the trade people but invites the public, which directly results into having more visitors, more acknowledgment and more spread. And finally, the Helsinki Book Fair has the policy of actually selling titles at the fair not just representing them, which has a direct correlation to the popularity and spread of the reputation and success of the Book Fair itself.

As the idea for the book begun as a graduate project for the University of Stirling, the final work was submitted as a sample of a book. It was always about creating something necessary, something for where there is an obvious market gap – and even bigger necessity of accessible, first-hand experience. Simple reason why Saila and I are working at creating this book, is to provide those suffering from postnatal depression with assurance that there is a way out, that it is not a taboo to speak out and you will not be stigmatised for admitting you need help. The first step to admitting and accept you cannot do it on your own anymore, is hearing it from someone who has been there before.

Saila’s openness, perseverance and current position as a spokesperson and mental health experience expert are an inspiration.

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With no offence to anyone – But what do you in this situation?

2014-09-27 12.59.12 Is a “no” always a “no”?

Yes. Yes it is.

When it comes to something so personal. So precious. Almost vulnerable. There is no excuse for not understanding that word. When you’re in such an intimate situation – and believe me it has been a long road for someone like, me with trust-issues up to my eyelids, to even get to that point to put myself into that situation with someone – you are supposed to feel safe, pampered, relaxed. Ready to take a plunge, to share something of yourself that not too many (well, what’s many anyway?) have been able to share with you before. Have you ever been in that situation? The first nervous experiences and attempts, the first time you let someone so close, first time you’re willing to share a bit about yourself…

And suddenly it is something else. Turned into evil. Spoiled. The whole experience tainted. You were betrayed in the most ultimate level. It leaves a mark when something like that happens. It takes a long time before you trust again. Before you let someone so close. And the anger, the betrayal, the suspicions, the fear to let go and commit again – to ever allow someone so close again.

But you do. Because that is human nature. We are not meant to be alone. Social creatures as we are it is that very condition that is our curse. Some learn to choose wisely, some fall to the same types over and over again, never learning, not recognising the pitfalls that have been crystal clear since the beginning. Trust is a funny thing. Want and need to share is inherent with us.

So you start seeing someone new. You go out a few times. You share some anecdotes. Candle lit dinners. Walks on the beach. Fireworks. You have that nauseous feeling in the pit of your stomach that some call butterflies. You’ve learned to call it gut feeling. But you convince yourself you’re being paranoid. You talk it through with your very best friends who also convince you you’re being paranoid, and you should give it a go because you deserve to be happy. So you do.

And then comes that night. You’re comfortable. You’re about to share something extraordinary. You’re nervous, glancing around you, taking a fortifying sip of your wine. It’s now or never. Your hand reaches out and…

And then the bastard takes the last piece of pizza anyway like it’s no big deal. Pig.

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