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Decade shift

For once I got a long continuous break from work, both thanks to the holidays happening on weekdays and thanks to some overtime I’ve done during the fall. About a week and a half into my vacation I decided to collect my thoughts on this past year and the entire first decade of the millennium, as well as take a look into the coming year and decade. This has, of course, been the recent theme in every newspaper, both physical and electronic. Perhaps you’re already crock-full of processing the past and the future… But I’m still sure that it’s beneficial to every one of us to sit down every once in a while and go through this process with regard to our own lives. I’m the type of person that always needs some kind of direction in life and these contemplations bring me peace of mind when my identity (the past) and dreams (the future) become a little brighter again. I see this inner dialogue as a maturing process – something we all ought to do sometimes. :)

Maca jumps off a swing

Be playful!

The Millennium Decade

What has the first decade in the new millennium meant for me? I’ve grown ten years older – from a 16-year-old teenager to a 26-year-old young adult. I’ve traveled and moved almost constantly, 16 times in 6 years if I recall correctly. I’ve studied, graduated and settled down at a steady job. I’ve gone through one serious relationship and settled down in my second one rather comfortably. I’ve been active to the point of obsession by body-building, dancing, doing parkour and aikido, going to raves, reading, playing games, watching movies, and just having night-long conversations with hundreds of people about life, the universe and everything.

I can say I’m a very different person today than the truly ”fresh” high school freshman who didn’t know who he was, what he wanted from life, or what his values even were. In this respect I’m extremely satisfied with this decade, because I now know much more. And I am content with myself. I’ve experienced a lot and gained a lot of perspective. I’m happy. The past year, however, has perhaps influenced my happiness and identity more than any other. What has that year contained?

The Year 2009

Both my romantic relationship and my job, which had started about 6 months earlier, already felt rather steady by the beginning of the year. During this year both grew on me very much and started to feel safe and familiar. For the first time ever, I noticed feeling peace without doing anything in particular. I went to work, hung out at home, surfed the web and reduced my social life by 90%. I felt unsure of this last change, but it still felt good – I just didn’t need as much activity as I had before.

I tried some new things though – yoga in the spring and meditation in the fall. Both felt good, but not quite right. In the fall I also transitioned to a healthier diet: less processed foods, no junk, more natural ingredients. Less meat, grains, sweets, soft drinks, and coffee; more vegetables, fruit, roots, seaweeds, seeds, nuts, and general green goodness. :) This has felt more than good, downright magnificent. I’m full of enthusiasm and energy and simply experience less indigestion, stuffiness, lethargy and guilt than before.

I started to visit a work psychologist in March because of stress and exhaustion at work. After a few visits it was clear that my problems went much deeper than work. (Surprise!) For the following 9 months, I worked through fears, anxieties and insecurities that has bothered me for most of my life. Through therapy I got many much-needed answers, was relieved of guilty feelings and got more certainty about my place in the world. I had my last session just before Christmas and felt like I grew in wisdom by several years and achieved greater inner peace than ever before.

I also had the best Christmas present ever on Christmas Day: my mother and I thoroughly discussed the most serious conflicts and pain points that I had discovered through therapy. I felt like a mountain fell off my chest; I felt more whole and felt the closest I have ever felt to my mother.

The Year 2010 and the coming decade

I found many weaknesses and strengths in myself that I hadn’t been aware of before, and thanks to this I look at the future even more positively than before. And I’ve always been optimistic! :) So here are some future visions based on recent observations and discoveries.

  1. I love my job. I love how challenging, creative and free it is. I truly get to realize myself through my work and I believe work will be a way of fulfillment for years to come. I’ve found a balance between work and spare time where I enjoy going to work but don’t work myself to death or lose sleep over work. I still intend to emphasize passion, positivity and supportiveness at work. I want to help others find their own potential as well and encourage them to believe that together we can change the things that need changing.
  2. I’ve been looking for a hobby of ”my own” for a long time. One that I’ve chosen myself, for reasons of my own, not because someone else did it first or someone else recommended it to me. It’s become problematic, though, that I tend to want to do something meaningful, something that develops me as a person, improves my skills, builds my muscles, hones creativity etc. Because of these tough demands I’ve probably always given up every hobby sooner or later. They just haven’t felt ”useful” anymore and my attention has shifted elsewhere. It’s now time to throw out expectations and demands. The only thing that I want from my hobby is that it’s fun! Relaxing, something that produces endorphins and dopamine, creates a smile on my face, and makes me laugh. Not Serious (Cat). Thus I will start, on the 23rd January, house dancing! \o/
  3. Ever since I was little I’ve been responsible, and I doubt this will ever change. However, I want to continue training positive selfishness next year. I will try to love my self absolutely, put less guilt on myself and enjoy life more. I will try to allow myself feelings of being lost, lazy or slow as a natural part of life.
  4. In addition to hobbies I want to take more initiative with personal projects. In order to do this I will try to lower my expectations and focus less on the goal and more on the process. The journey is often as important as the destination, sometimes even more so.
  5. I want to change the quality of my passion. Earlier, passion has to me been burning in nature – a black-and-white, all-or-nothing attitude to things. I have since learned passion can be much more than that. From now on I will try to be calmly, persistently and deeply passionate.
  6. Finally I want to give a picture for inspiration for the year 2010. This picture was taken on my 26th birthday when I was on a walk in Eira, Helsinki with Kika and I suddenly felt like jumping on a swing. This was an exemplary act of playfulness – something I want to endorse and cherish in the future. I want in general to take a less serious stance to my life and increase fun, hedonism and liveliness. The coming year will probably contain more video games, movies, (fiction) literature, partying, dancing, singing and adventure in general. ;)
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