This is probably the toughest time to live in the north. It feels like the spring will never arrive. We’re in May. My feeds on social media are filled with green grass, bare toes and balcony beers that belong to people living outside the Arctic Circle.
Meanwhile up north:
Last Friday I woke up to a white world. On the previous day, I was wearing sneakers, for the first time in six-seven months, celebrating the winter finally being over. Hah!
Looking at the bright side: The sun is back. Next photo was shot at 11 PM.
This weekend we finally got to see two digit numbers on the thermometer – Saturday was 16 °C. People were actually walking around in t-shirts and I have a strong feeling that we will see the trees covered with green leafs very soon.
This entry ended up being all about weather…
We talk a lot about the weather around here and during one of these regular daily conversations, only that this one happened with a foreigner at the scene and therefore in English, I was told this joke: “You know why they call it May. Because it may, you know. It may snow, it may rain, blizzards may be, may be sunny, it may May”.
Because my career is taking a turn. I’m leaving a safe, interesting and well-paid job. I love being a journalist.
What are you going to do now?
I’m going to promote an organization that supports all kinds of cooperation between the people who live in the north of Norway and Russia, helping in developing this region. It’s a two-year contract.
Why do you want to do that?
Because I have a soft heart exactly those things: Cooperation, love, peace and the collective happiness of (the world, actually – and of course) northern citizens. Moving up north four years ago is the greatest adventure of my life. I was born in Russia, but I grew up in Norway. Now I live right next to the border between these two but the world seems borderless. Working for an organization that funds cool projects in this region, all focused on international border-crossing friendship, seems like a dream. I feel ready and inspired by this challenge.
Well, congratulations on getting the job.
Because my career is taking a….
I have to interrupt you. We’ve been over this already. Everything will be fine.
Somewhere in between sleep and reality last night, I remembered a cow. Nice thoughts followed. I couldn’t convince myself that I would remember them in the morning, although I really tried, and so I wrote them down:
Writing, documenting, publishing. It’s a nice method to process life and an excellent way to remember the important things.
It’s funny how one of the scenes I remember most clearly from Haiti is the skinny cow from this post:
This cow was shared because I encountered her while being absolutely high on happiness. I get closer to that space just from remembering that overwhelming grateful feeling. I love you cow, I felt. And feel.
The essence of this entry?
When you realize that your spiritual cow guide probably is a bull, don’t miss the point. If you can find one reason to smile right now, don’t overthink it – just do it.
For years now I have watched footage filmed using drones, musing about how cool it is to be able to get a bird’s view of the world, to see your neighborhood from a totally new angle – What a time to be alive for a photographer, I thought.
And so, I decided to buy a DJI Air, because it’s tiny and therefore very portable. #instantlove. Deciding turned out to be much easier than buying.
Far up north, where I live, it takes a while to get your hands on a drone. I did consider ordering online, but I happen to be one of those people who need to touch expensive technology before making a purchase.
Weeks went by before I found an electro shop that actually had the Air in store. They couldn’t sell it me though. Their model was only for display… #thenorth
In the end, I found a drone to grope and buy on a journey to the Capitol (read: Oslo, where northerners should never-ever shop, because we need to support our local businesses or risk a ban from the community).
After finally-FINALLY flying my drone for the first time, I realized one thing:
I’m a shitty pilot.
I’ve watched tutorials on YouTube. I’ve learned the joysticks. But my brain refuses to understand how all that connects to flying.
Have a visual on your drone, they say. I get that. But I never get what’s the front and the back of the thing. And how do I keep a visual on the controls at the same time as watching the drone?
I wish I had played more video games as kid, but it was not considered to be a productive activity back then. I’m pretty sure it still isn’t in many circles. My drone problems however, remind me of those frustrating times when I actually got to play video games while visiting friends. I remember feeling like a retard. Let all kids play with technology, I say.
Moving on. What I lack in flying skills, I hide with skillful editing.
!!! DON’T watch this if you are in danger of suffering an epileptic seizure !!!:
Oh, how I hate not being instantly good at stuff. I’ve given up on a lot of things because they didn’t come easy, especially when I was younger. Fortunately, I’ve learned that the pleasure of mastering a challenging skill through hard work brings more satisfaction than being a natural tal is awarding as well.
The clue is figuring out which areas you want to conquer and then work toward that. That’s way better than spending time on useless activities where you happen to excel. I’m very good at building homes for my Sims, for instance, but I’ll prioritize flying my drone instead.
You’ll hopefully see the results. Eventually.
PS. In case you wonder what I did instead of gaming: Handball. I also often play-pretended to be on a disco with my BFFs on top of a roof next to school, smoking stolen cigarettes and arguing about who’s turn it was to play «the boys».
Feel free to share embarrassing stories from your childhood in the comments below 😉
I got to hang out with a fellow journalist today, Vilde, at her office.
We work in the same building, but I rarely have a reason to drop by her publication. Today however, I was making a TV-story about local journalism. So here we are:
Vilde is a couple years younger than me, recently done with her studies and full of journalistic vigor. She seems happy landing her first full time job and motivated to work her hardest. I remember that feeling, and honestly: I’m a little jealous.
I miss the thrill of being recently employed and seeing the world as full of opportunities. All I’m left with now is that burning desire to excel, without seeing any way to do so.
I’ve even talked to a therapist about this.
For the record: I’ve never talked to a therapist before. Now I have. And she asked me to make a plan, like a calendar with dates, on how I plan to find my inner motivation in order to love my job again. I have recruited Vilde to brainstorm with me on this matter today.
I would like to recruit you who reads this, too! Please answer: How do you feel about your work? (If you don’t mind sharing, what do you do for a living?) What motivates you to do your best? What triggers happiness inside you during working hours? Do you ever hate your job? What gives you this feeling, and how do you deal?
Maaan, I hate working evenings. It should be enjoyable. But it’s lonely, and I don’t get enough sleep. After finishing work around 11 PM, I spend hours watching Netflix, playing Sims 4 and (on good nights) reading books. Sometimes I annoy myself purple reading comment sections online, and I once found myself in a vertigo of belly dancing videos on Youtube.
Then I go to bed when other people get up, and hate life when I wake up in the afternoon, after slumbering my phone alarm for ever – not feeling rested.
I used to think I’m a B-person. Turns out I just love sleeping more than waking up early.
Tonight, I decided to have a walk under the midnight sun. The grey weather of the last weeks kind of made me forget the magic of living up north.
I enjoyed the bright night with my camera (Sony A7III), feeling kind of sneaky while photographing the houses in the neighborhood. If anyone saw me, they might have assumed I was planning a robbery. But all was quiet.
When you’re living in the great north, country boundaries aren’t that big of a deal as in more populated areas. No matter if you live in the northern Norway, Finland, Sweden or Russia – you live behind the wall (you get it, if you’ve seen GOT). People up north share a lot of traditions and struggles, and there is a lot of border crossing going on. Which is why I didn’t think of going to Finnish Saariselkä yesterday as a big deal.
I didn’t take a single photo.
Saariselkä with it’s 350 inhabitants was pretty much as expected: Quiet, empty and moody. The rain was poring down most of the day with no sight of the midnight sun. The Acho-shop was closed.
Midsummer’s Day is a Holiday in Finland. So after a delicious dinner at the hotel, we found the only open bar “downtown”. Germany beat Sweden 2-1 in the World Cup, as we were drinking fresh blueberry shots with cream while kind of watching the game.
I really wish I had some proper photos to share from this trip (not counting the selfies or snaps on my iphone).
Recommendation: If you go to Finland you MUST drink Minttu Cacao with cream! It’s delicious.
Other things you probably should do in Finland – not in the midnight sun season, though ^^
It seems I’m starting yet another post with complains about how I don’t update you often enough. I’m pretty sure nobody in the whole world cares about why you have not been getting any new content for a while. Which is why this post is dedicated specifically to you, my outdated online journal.
What’s the point of having a blog in 2018 anyways?
You were created to be the place where I could showcase my photography and write about the stuff that matter. Now, all half decent pics go to Instagram, while I write about the “important stuff” as I my job. Which makes me want to forget everything about the existence of “important stuff” when my shift is done.
Perhaps it’s time to realize that my days of blogging are over? I want to lock the box.
Yet it feels like I would also be locking up my window to the internet world, the one outside the feeds and echo chambers of the social media where the people I know post their amazing vacation life and puppies. It’s through WordPress (and some odd forums) I have chatted with random people all over the world, read their everyday stories and thoughts, and felt that I’m a part of a global internet community. It looks like Facebook groups are the right place to seek that feeling now.
So what now, blog. Is it over for us?
As I write it, I realize that the surest way for me to keep up with an activity must be to determine that “I’m never doing that again”.
Stop entertaining the dream that one day I’ll become a real blogger who shares her thoughts and images on an everyday basis, making people laugh and cry and understand what life is all about? Never! (So what if my mom (and maybe my ex) are my steadiest followers?)
Even if my sketchy dream above doesn’t come true, at least I’ll have a random collection of online memories to flip through on hangover days. So we’re not doing the farewell scene after all, blog. In fact, I promise to never write the “Ops, it’s been a while…” speech again I will never work out ever again! No guilt! I will just not do it!!!
So I’ll jut go on rambling about nothing now and then, maybe share some photos from my last vacation some day. I bet you are looking forward to that!
– and maybe I’ll find a new blogger friend to exchange RAWs or do photo challenges with?
My heart froze for a second before I realized Nina was asking about the plush doll she had placed above the curtain rails. I thought the kitty was cute and noticed how it looked kind of homemade when I first saw it. Now all I see is horns.
You will know what I’m talking about if your town has one street, one shopping centre, one pub, one club, one… well, only one option for pretty much everything. And if you have an ex – then you will get the dangers of leaving your house.
You can have a normal day until you see your ex’s car (which there is only one of around here) drive up to the parking lot in front of the mall, with a female passenger who reaches to his shoulder when he hugs her on the way in.
You might stay inside on a Saturday night, but your friends will not. And they will tell how intimately he danced with her, before sending you a message in the early morning hours, asking if you are awake. I was not awake, fortunately.
So I didn’t blog yesterday. It took me approximately one minute to find The New Girl on Facebook and become utterly depressed. She’s gorgeous. I tried drowning my sorrows in ice cream and watched Netflix.
Today, I’m trying to focus on how I’m doing quite fine in the moment, and not stress about the mistakes of the past, the future or other people. I’m trying to focus on me… I want to do something nice for myself.
I’m washing my clothes and cleaning my room. Again >_<
Maybe you have some good advice for me, Great Internet. What can I do to feel better?