Erasmus Experience and Confession

I never was a person who would peacefully exist with no trouble and no conflict. Yet when I arrived in Finland, I was happy and I pretty much escaped some of the problems I was facing at home: for example I finally found a peaceful flat to live in with nice kitchen I could use for my experiments with cooking, a washing machine and the personal space I wished for for quite some time.

What I was missing was my boyfriend, my friends and time spent with my family and closest people. There was no meeting them after school, nor during the weekends. I am not the person who gets to know others easily and from time to time I felt very lonely - I missed a close friend.

However, the first two months were full of awesome adventures and new experiences in the nature, games, sauna, travelling and meeting new people. While skyping with my boyfriend, I mentioned many times we could actually move to Finland. Not that he was too happy about it.

People have heard me saying it was the darkness and the cold that changed my mind. In fact, that was not entirely true. Face to face I would ask whether you wish to hear the short or the long version of the story. This is my blog so I will tell you the long version :)

When I was younger, I had a trouble with various groups of people several times. My fellow horse riders (girls), my fellow choir singers (girls) at the Elementary School of Arts. These people would hate me though not knowing me at all, though not even talking to me before they'd started to hate me!!! This scenario repeated itself at least 4 times in my life and it included both the teenagers, my peers at the time, and the adults, who had the authority to stand for me and were either indifferent or even encouraged the others against me instead.

This scenario happened for the first time when I was about 10 and the last time when I was about 15 I guess. Since than I was free of this not very warming experience. Until the trip to Stockholm I organized. However, I was not the main actress in this teatrum mundi this time - it was my friend being hated instead of me. However, I still tried to stand for her as I knew perfectly well how it feels.

However, we are not all the same and my friend being in this situation was older and much more rational than I was back than. Not that it did not bother her at all, however, she focused on the people who liked her and was pretty much fine.

I don't think my reaction to this event was ever understood, especially by the people on the other side. Originally, they had no problem with me. But suddenly, I had a very serious problem with them as I saw the bullies from my past in them. I don't think this problem got resolved for real until the end of semester.

That was the time I realized my problems travel with me wherever I go. It was not any less painful when this happened to me personally and when it happened to someone else, me being a witness. In that moment I understood there is no running away to the different country and I can as well go back, having my friends and family around as I wished, facing the problems I cannot escape anyway.

Since that my stay in Finland had been pretty much meaningless - or I made it that way. I did not wish to organize any more trips and I also did not succeed in building deep intensive relationships with people around me, even though they were nice. My stay became a survival.

The last fully meaningful experience I really wished to make was a trip to Lapland. I wished to have a break from everyone and everything and experience absolute remoteness, solitude and serenity.

Since I came back from Lapland I've been wishing to visit a southern country, to see the sea, to get sunbathed and feel the warmth.

Whatever happened in Finland, all of this lead into a very happy comeback :) Since I came back home, many things changed for the better in my life. I've started living in a flat where I have both my personal space and the social contact I've longed for. I am not lonely and sad anymore and if I was, I have someone to talk to. I also quitted a job I did not miss at all back in Finland and got a new one.

Before Erasmus I hoped I'd changed to be more extraverted and open to people and experiences but it was not true. I am still a very shy private person inside who is very sensitive to rejection and harsh behavior.

From the "getting to know myself" point of view, it was a perfect experience and there is no regretting it. The thing I regret is I did not make more of the time I spent in Finland. I did not connect to people as much as I would wish to. Still it is an experience I would recommend. It is an experience broadening one's borders and comfort zone, reminding one a huge, different, various and ever-evolving world is out there.


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