Like so many other great blog text ideas, this also got into my head whilst pouring myself a cup (or a mug) of coffee before my shift started in the wee hours of the morning. I was standing in the kitchen, by the coffee maker in my gray sweatpants, woolly socks, hair a total mess, and wearing my wifey’s old (but warm and comfortable) bathrobe. And it’s pink, which is a definite bonus on this whole ensemble. In my mind’s eye I could see myself as a housewife with rollers on my hair and yesterday’s makeup on my face doing exactly the same thing – pouring myself a cup of coffee, wondering how will I muster that willpower to go on another day.
When I Was Young…
Back in the long, long time ago (let’s say 1990’s and 2000’s) I really didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do when I grew up. So I ended up studying nursing and it was, for the longest time, that kind of on-and-off style studying as I wasn’t sure if that was what I really wanted to do. I think those of us who have a clear sense of what they want to become are truly blessed in the sense that they don’t have to question their past and future choices all the time.
I ended up in nursing because of a guy that I fancied at the time was studying to become a nurse. And also because I had been told that I was good with patients back in the army where I was a combat medic and part of our duties was to assist at the clinic. So, when you don’t have an inkling what to do, you just go with the flow. And now, about twenty-odd years later… you kind of wonder what happened and how did you end up here.
Since I was a teenager I knew that I wanted to create and write. So of course I used the only outlet I had, which was Finnish and English classes and essay writing to pour out short stories. But at the time the Finnish school system wasn’t all in on being creative, but they had far more emphasis on academic writing, and the feedback I got was mainly in the lines of “well, this is good, but you need to concentrate on academia, you don’t need story writing skills in the future“. That can kind of get you down and crush your creativity in the longer run.
So, long story short – I ended up becoming a nurse and putting my own creative dreams in the back burner, almost extinguishing the flame altogether.
First Aging Crisis!
Every heard the term “aging crisis” before? Generally those happen at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and so on and they have lots to do with you entering a new phase in your life, and having to take account what have you managed and what didn’t you manage. For some people it can manifest so badly that one needs therapy. But luckily, I didn’t. When I was 28, the matron at the ward I was working in asked if I wanted to submit an application for a permanent position as “I was first in line in seniority” and she “was suprised that she hadn’t seen the application already”. The discussion ended with me resigning, not submitting an application to continue.
The reason why I resigned was, in hindsight, due to a age crisis. I also applied to fly for Ryanair as a Cabin Crew, a job I had wanted to do since I was 12 and we had a stewardess from Finnair at our class telling about her job.
For the Ryanair job I had to pack my life in Finland up and decide what I wanted to do with my creative writing. At that time I had started to write my gay soap series Elämämme Miehet (aptly nicknamed in English as Gays Of Out Lives) on a Finnish new LGBTQ website ranneliike.net. I was one of the founding members of the website and the organisation behind it, so it was a good outlet for me to be able to publish something of my own in there as well.
But as it usually happens with life, you have to make a choice what you want to do, and where do you want to concentrate… So I chose my career as Cabin Crew to take precedence. And remember that this was back in 2004, so there was no such modern amenities as proper, light laptops, WhatsApp and not even high speed internet connection available in every home. In Bishop’s Stortford, the town I moved into in England, I had to go to an internet cafe to check my email. Even 20 years ago, the EU, and the whole world was a different place.
But I have to say I was happy. I was finally working as a Cabin Crew, my dream occupation. The company wasn’t a dream place to work for, but I didn’t really care. I was living my life, and later on managed to change companies to a chartered airline, even though it meant I’d have to move back to Finland. But I was flying.
Signs Of Middle Age?
During those 8 years I spent up in the clouds I met my spouse, got married, and even moved to Estonia. The life took me forward and I hung my wings, and concentrated on nursing, once again.
There were many times I looked at Word on my computer and toyed with the idea if I should continue to write the story of Lari and Tero (remember, Gays Of Our Lives) but something just didn’t feel right. Reading the text, it made me feel like it was a product of an age that had passed. I didn’t want to open that book again, and I didn’t know what else to write. But I still went back there, time and time again.
And of course, the following years, or even a decade passed and life happened, and my dream of writing a book, let alone publishing a book, had to be put continuously on the back burner to simmer. We moved to Finland, Estonia, the UK, Ireland, Spain… And tried to make a permanent home where ever we moved to, but the more we lived, the more we grew into a realisation that we were nomads, feeling happiest when we didn’t have a long-term permanent home somewhere, but we could decide that for the foreseeable future we’d stay here, and then continued out journey onwards.
I started my travel blog that grew in size, grew in content, and grew in people actually following it. I had planned to start adding merchandise to it, so that I’d get some side income to support our life in Spain, and maybe one day to be able to be independent from the normal 9-to-5 jobs. And then life happened again, the the form of COVID. It put halt on everything, and messed up every plan we had together, and as we were almost middle aged, we decided that travel might not be the best bet in a world gone mad over a virus. Besides, if a virus managed to disrupt travel like this, what could happen int he world tomorrow.
Back to the drawing board, it was.
When Do I Get To Sing ‘My Way’?
I started to write Lari’s and Tero’s story over two decades ago. The world was different, the technology was different, heck, even the people were different. But now, when I finally sat down, and told my wifey, that it is high time for me to pursue my dream before it is too late, I realised that their story is not different. More than that, their story deserves to be written and read.
And now, for the first time ever, I have made it public that I want to write a book and get it published. Back in early 2000’s the only way to publish was through a publishing house, but now I can even self-publish if I choose that route. That remains to be seen, as first I need to make life happen again – but this time I will make it happen in the form that I will write Lari’s and Tero’s story down, instead of letting the life happen and set the course of my life instead of taking control of it.
So, please, support my project on Patreon, and support my project by following my blog, and my Facebook and Instagram, and by leaving a comment here to boost my confidence that I actually can write. Everyone who has ever written anything knows that inner saboteur voice telling you that your skills are not good enough. Also, please share my blog onward, as it really means a world to me to see that there are people that my writing resonates with.
Is It My Way, Or Highway?
No it is not. If you, like me, are in the married living -phase of your life, or dating the best person in the world, or planning to… don’t be overly selfish! The interpersonal relationships are all about giving and taking, and making compromises. So it is with your dreams as well as everyday situations. I put my dream of undertaking this huge project of writing a story into a book in the back burner for decades before finally deciding that now it was the time to do it. And that’s the way it should be. You give time for the other person to start their dream and then you add yours on it, to create a life where both know they have the support from the other. In the end, it is us against the world anyway.
But as it is – go and fulfill your dreams! I have suffered from low self-esteem for the most of my life, listening to my inner saboteur who keeps telling that I am not good enough to do something I want to do. And now that I made it public that I will do what I have wanted to do for such a long time… I feel relieved and creative again. So, take heed of my example and just go for it!