Happy Life

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(The picture is from a photoshoot for Lula Le Bon that I did whilst I was still living in London)

Hi! I’ve been contemplating the future of the blog for a long time now – as you have probably noticed. For a long time I’ve had this feeling in my stomach every time I go on to update the blog and I haven’t been able to even look at it. I’m not sure why. I guess with everything that happened it just felt like more stress than it was worth even though I used to love blogging. I spoke with a friend a while ago and she urged me to get back on to writing. I thought about it. Then I thought about starting to write about something completely different. I guess about something more personal. However, it would have to be anonymous and I don’t think I’d want that at the end of the day.

Today I opened my blog for the first time – mainly because it was time to renew my subscription – in almost a year and I saw some recent comments wondering whether I was going to come back to the blog. The truth is I’m not sure I will but I thought you’d at least deserve some closure after 8(!) years. I think for the time being I might post when I feel like it but I’m not going to start it the same way I was doing before. I don’t want to make it a chore and I have been too busy living to live through the blog that I haven’t even wanted to spend my time on the laptop.

So what’s happened in the past year then? Since the last post I’ve travelled loads. I’ve been to Germany, Egypt, Finland, Amsterdam and New York and I’m going to Switzerland, Kosovo and Albania next week Sunday, then Paris in October and Canary Islands in November. I still have to decide where to go in December. I have also moved out of London to Southwest England. I started a new training post within the English National Health Service and I’m training and working as a low intensity CBT therapist (officially Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner). I’ve started dancing salsa again and I’ve absolutely loved it. I became a permanent resident of the United States of America finally and I’m studying for the GREs in order to get into graduate school so I might be moving to U.S. in a year. But I think the most importantly I feel happy. I feel like my life is where I want it to be in this moment and I have amazing things to look forward to. Since moving to Exeter I’ve made amazing friends, I’ve found salsa again, I’m doing a job that I absolutely love, I have my own little (rental) studio flat and I love where I live, Exeter is beautiful and even though it’s small and quiet I feel I have more to do here than I did in London. Mainly because everyone and everything is close so it’s easy to do. I do miss London every now and again and especially my friends there but I’m also happy here and I’m ready for new adventures.

I also feel that I’ve learnt a lot about myself and I’m becoming the person that I want to become and I’m also happy with the sides of me that may not be as great. I’ve learnt to accept my flaws and also other people’s. I’ve learnt I can be happy, I have learnt to be more open, positive and spontaneous. I’ve learnt to balance living in the present moment with looking to the future. I still have days that aren’t that great and that I question my life – especially my relationships – but for the most part I’m ok with that too. Kyle and I are in a good place and we have an understanding. Neither of us is rushing to get back into anything and I don’t know if that happy couple will ever be us again but I’m so happy to have him in my life. So there. A year doesn’t really fit into one post but who knows maybe I’ll post again soon.

In the meantime thank you for all of your support over the years and the beautiful comments that I have received!

Hei! En ole päättänyt palaanko blogin pariin, mutta palaan tai en, en aio kirjoittaa enää suomeksi. Se tuntuu jotenkin tosi hankalalta ja aikaa vievältä. Pahoittelut niille lukijoille, jotka mieluummin lukisivat suomeksi tekstejä.

Burgundy Dress and Plaid Scarf

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This outfit has definitely been my favorite this autumn. The colors just seem to be perfect for the season. Also until today the weather here in London has been so lovely that wearing skirts and boots without tights has been totally possible. Marika took these pictures at the same time as the ones in the previous post and I just received them today. The dress in the pictures is from H&M and I don’t think I have ever had a dress that fits so perfectly. And I thought not to get it at first.. Luckily I did.

I have spent maybe too much time looking at different options for further study recently. I thought it was a brilliant idea to have a year of but let’s be honest I miss studying already. I don’t miss revising for exams but I miss lectures, I miss assignments and I miss the overall learning new things everyday and progressing. I still do research and do learn in my job but it’s just not the same as walking through the halls of university and sitting in lectures. I signed up for a conference and I’m going to see a talk by one of the most famous social psychologists next week just to keep up with it all. I also have to analyze results and prepare an article for publication – and decide where to try and publish it..

Our research lab meetings resumed last month and I’ve gotten back to being motivated about actively pursuing my career after the summer of just chilling. I’m having trouble deciding my next step though. PhD in the U.S? doctorate in the UK? Masters? MA in relationship therapy? IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) courses? Of course I would still have to get in not just decide on what to do.. I want to also apply for jobs and research assistant posts but I hate writing the applications.. ;)

Anyways, I’m sure you don’t care much for my rambling on about psychology but that’s what my life tends to be at the moment. Now I’m off to either continue on the applications or watch TV shows.. I think the latter will win tonight. Had a long night at work. Have a lovely rest of the week!

What do you think about the outfit?

Suomeksi:
Ihana Marika otti nämäkin kuvat täällä ollessaan ja sain ne tänään. Olen niin rakastunut kuvien asuun ja se onkin löytynyt päältä ihan luvattoman usein. Täällä on tätä päivää lukuun ottamatta ollut niin lämmintä, että ilman sukkiksiakin on tarennut. Nyt tosin näyttää siltä, että tännekin tulee pikku hiljaa syksy. Harmi, nautin kovasti lämpimistä ilmoista.

Jostain syystä ajattelin, että välivuosi on fiksuin idea ikinä, mutta olen jo tällä hetkellä täysin kyllästynyt siihen, etten ole enää opiskelija. En todellakaan kaipaa kokeita, mutta kaipaan luentoja ja esseitä. Teen edelleenkin tutkimustyötä ja käyn viikoittain yliopistolla tutkimusryhmämme tapaamisissa, mutta se ei silti ole sama asia. Ilmoittauduin konferenssiin ja ensi viikolla olen menossa yhden kuuluisan sosiaalipsykologin luennolle ja yritän saada tuloksia analysoitua, jotta voin alkaa kirjoittaa artikkelia julkaistavaksi. Mutta ei se silti ole täysin sama asia. (Ja joudun maksamaan täyden hinnan julkisista, mikä on kolmasosan lisää kuussa..)

Olen miettinyt paljon sitä, mitä sitä sitten alkaisi tehdä enkä millään osaa päättää. Lukisinko PhD:n U.S.A:ssa? Käytännön tohtorin Englannissa? Maisterin? Käytännön maisterin parisuhdeterapiasta? Terapeutiksi IAPT:n kautta? Valitettavasti päätöksen teko ei ole ainoa ongelma, vaan on myös päästävä kurssille. Haluaisin myös kovasti hakea vakituisia töitä, mutta vihaan yli kaiken hakemusten kirjoittamista. ;)

Mutta joo, ette varmaan tule tänne lukemaan höpöttelyäni psykologiasta mutta tällä hetkellä olen sen verran motivoitunut, että elämäni on lähinnä psykaa. Mutta nyt taidan paneutua joko niihin hakemuksiin  tai sitten suosiolla alan katsomaan TV sarjoja ja jätän hakemukset siihen, kun olen vähemmän väsynyt. Ihanaa viikkoa kaikille!

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Life As It Is Now

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Greetings from London. I’m alive and well, just busy. Here are some photos my lovely friend, Marika, took on her short visit to London before I left for Turkey. Despite the fact that she lives in L.A. and I live in London we’ve managed to see each other pretty much every year. Twice in Finland now and once here in London. Hopefully next time I can visit her in L.A. She is such a talented photographer and the pictures she takes always turn out to be amazing. Much like these ones.

 My life has been the same as usual. Work, volunteering, research and friends. Can’t complain although sometimes I do wish there were more hours in the day. Time perception is a funny thing. The older we get the quicker time seems to go by. As a kid the days seemed endless and by the end of the summer you were actually missing school. Now if I had two months of being able to do whatever I wanted I would be a very happy girl. Not that I’m not anyway but I’m sure you know what I mean. I’ve been thinking about going to volunteer in Sri Lanka for ten weeks in the spring/summer but of course now that I decided I was going and not going to apply for permanent jobs I got asked to go to two interviews. I guess I’ll have to see what the outcome of them is first before deciding anything. I still want to go to Sri Lanka but I may need to do it some other time or for a shorter period of time.

Hei. Hengissä ollaan. Turkissa oli aivan ihanaa, mutta paluu Lontooseenkin on ollut kiva.  Ennen Turkin matkaa ystäväni Marika oli vierailemassa luonani muutaman tunnin paluumatkalla Los Angelesiin. Siitä huolimatta, että minä asun Lontoossa ja hän Losissa, olemme onnistuneet näkemään oikeastaan joka vuosi. Toivon mukaan pääsen seuraavaksi käymään L.A:ssa. Marika on todella lahjakas valokuvaaja ja hän otti ihania kuvia ennen lähtöään. Postauksessa muutama niistä.

Mitään ihmeellistä ei elämään kuulu, töitä, vapaaehtoisena oloa, tutkimustyön tekoa ja kavereiden kanssa hengailua. Sitä tavallista siis. Päätin jo lähteä Sri Lankaan keväällä/kesällä kymmeneksi viikoksi vapaaehtoistyöhön, mutta sitten sain kaksi työhaastattelua vakipaikkoihin. Pakko varmaan katsoa ensin saako jomman kumman työpaikan ennen kuin varmistan Sri Lankan. Juuri kun päätin, etten halua vakipaikkaa. Hain siis tähän toiseen työpaikkaan jo yli kuukausi sitten ja toiseen en edes hakenut, joten vähän puskasta tuli nämäkin. Mutta niin, pidän teidät ajan tasalla. Sri Lankaan haluan kyllä lähteä jossain vaiheessa, mutta voi olla, että joudun vaihtamaan ajankohdan tai lähtemään lyhyemmäksi aikaa. Katsellaan.

Cambridge

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A couple of weeks ago I went to Cambridge for the weekend. I have travelled way too little in the UK since coming here and I’ve tried exploring a little this year since I don’t know how much longer I’ll stay. It might be that I’ll be here for years to come and have all the time in the world but if I did decide to move tomorrow at least now I’ve been to Oxford and Cambridge and a couple of other places.

Cambridge itself was beautiful, very much like Oxford: an old English university town with a beautiful river, grand old buildings and quirky little shops and restaurants. We stayed in a cute little hotel called Helen that was a 15-minute-walk away from the station and even though it was about 2 kilometers away from the city centre it was easy to walk to. We explored a lot of the city, took a boat ride (do that if you ever visit!) and shopped for a little bit. We also explored the botanic gardens, which were worth visiting and only costs a few pounds. We didn’t have time for any museums but they’re free and supposedly quite good as well. Generally we had pretty bad luck with food but De Luca Italian restaurant was great where we went to on our last day before going back to London. I would definitely recommend visiting if you have some time on your holiday.

Suomeksi:
Kävin Cambridgessä muutama viikko sitten ja sain vihdoinkin muokattua kuvat. En ole matkustanut mitenkään erityisen paljon Lontoon ulkopuolella, mutta olen yrittänyt tehdä muutamia reissuja tämän vuoden aikana, sillä en tiedä yhtään kauanko vielä tulen olemaan Lontoossa nyt, kun olen valmistunut. Vaikka tällä hetkellä minulla ei olekaan aikeita muuttaa mihinkään, ei täällä myöskään ole mitään mikä pakolla pidättelisi. Nyt olen ainakin käynyt Oxfordissa ja Cambridgessä ja muutamassa muussa paikassa, joten ainakin jotain on tullut nähtyä.

Cambridge oli hyvin samanlainen Oxfordiin verrattuna: joen/kanaalien varrella, hulppeita vanhoja rakennuksia ja söpöjä pieniä liikkeitä ja ravintoloita. Kiertelimme aika paljon kaupunkia ristiin rastiin, kävimme botanisessa puutarhassa, veneretkellä kanaalilla ja shoppailimme jonkin verran. Yövyimme söpössä pikkuhotelli Helenissä, joka sijaitsi vartin kävelymatkan päässä asemalta ja noin 20 minuutin matkan päässä keskustassa, minkä käveli oikein hyvin. Cambridgessä on kuulemma myös kivoja (ilmaisia) museoita, mutta emme sitten ehtineet niitä kierrellä sen kummemmin. Meillä oli aika huono tuuri ruuan kanssa, mutta sunnuntai-iltapäivänä menimme De Luca -nimiseen italialaiseen ravintolaan, jossa oli hyvää ruokaa ja ihana kattoterassi. Tykkäsin kaupungista kovasti ja jos teillä on Lontoo-reissulla aikaa suosittelen kyllä.

From West to East


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P1110277I started writing this post already a week and a half ago and finished it once last week but for some reason WordPress decided not to save or publish that and I didn’t have time to write it again until now. Needless to say it has been busy. Nothing much new, just working, doing my volunteering and research and spending a lot of time with friends and visitors. My family was here a couple of weeks ago and last weekend I got to enjoy my beautiful cousin’s company and tonight I’m getting a visitor from the U.S. Madde is here only for one night on her way back to the States but I’m really glad she decided to make the trip and come to see me. The rest of the week doesn’t look any less busy but on Sunday I’m going to Turkey for a week. Bring the beach, food and the sunshine! I really need a holiday. I will try to get to the blog before I go but if not stay tuned for the pictures that are sure to come.

These pictures were taken a week and a half ago on Saturday when my friend came over to experiment on me. My friend is a professional make up artist and is currently doing a project in which she styles Western people to look like Eastern and vice versa. She gave me an Indian/Egyptian look and we took photos for her website at the end. I would never do anything like this myself but I quite liked the make up. Now I’d better go and pick up Madde but I just had a few minutes to myself so decided to drop a few lines here. I guess I’m not much of a blogger anymore but please do bear with me. Maybe one day I’ll have more time and I will start taking my camera with me as well as I have so many interesting things happening but so little photos of it.

Graduation 2014

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I graduated today. As top of my year and got to take pictures with the main faculty members and everything. I got to wear the gown and the funny-looking hats. I was never much for graduation and parties and I’m still not but sometimes it’s quite fun. It was also nice to see my friends from university that I haven’t seen for a while. A part of my family was also here spending a couple of days with me and attended the graduation, which was great. Not really much else to say. There is a lot to think about in regards to the future and at the moment I’m just hoping to get a permanent job but also enjoying my freedom of working whenever I want in my current role. Anyways, I’m off to get ready for bed as I have eight days off work in a row since I’ve been slacking off for the past few days with my family. I’ll be back with pictures from Cambridge I went to last weekend soon though so stay tuned!

Baby Blue Shirt with White Shorts

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I’m alive. At least almost. I’ve had the worst toothache in history for the past three days. Today I finally ran to the dentist from work in the morning after finding a place that takes emergency patients on Saturdays. My boss had to drive an hour to come and cover me and I waited for three hours to be seen but I got antibiotics and the lovely dentist promised he would take my wisdom teeth out once the infection gets better. I just went to see a dentist a month ago and she said that she wouldn’t take them out as they weren’t bad enough. Luckily I saw a different dentist this time..

Otherwise life has been pretty normal here. I’ve been working, seen friends and done my best to avoid starting to prepare my application for universities. My plan is to apply to universities in the U.S for fall 2015 but at the moment I just can’t seem to be motivated to do that since it’s really difficult to get in and I have to do GRE (sort of an IQ test) test for it and I can’t bring myself to study for it. Oh well, I’ll have to start soon but not until my toothache gets better. Which is hopefully soon. I’ve been getting ready for fall as well and have found a few new things for my wardrobe. I still need a few pairs of shoes and bags but otherwise I’m ready for fall. At least my wardrobe is. Mentally I can’t believe that the summer is almost gone and I’m definitely going to take a trip somewhere to lengthen the summer a bit but I’ll have to figure out work first.

The outfit pictures in the post are from Finland. I have worn it in London since too when I went out for dinner and movies a couple of weeks back in Angel. I don’t usually wear baby blue or dress shirts but paired with white shorts I really like the combination.

Hengissä ollaan. Ainakin melkein. Minulla on ollut aivan järkyttävä hammassärky viimeiset kolme päivää. Tänään sitten juoksin töistä hammaslääkäriin, kun löysin ensimmäisen paikan, joka oli auki lauantaisin ja otti vastaan lyhyellä varoitusajalla. Pomo joutui ajamaan töihin ja odotin kolme tuntia vastaanotossa, mutta sainpahan antibiootit ja ihana hammaslääkäri lupasi vihdoin ottaa viisaudenhampaat pois. Kävin hammaslääkärissä niiden takia kuukausi sitten, mutta ne eivät kuulemma olleet riittävän pahat eikä niitä otettaisi pois. Tämä lääkäri totesi ensimmäisenä, että “olet oikeassa, eivät ne mahdu tänne kasvamaan”. Siinä vaiheessa aloin melkein itkeä helpotuksesta. Äkkiä antibiootit apteekista ja kotiin. Nukuinkin sitten koko päivän, mutta toivottavasti saan vielä yölläkin unta, sillä tällä hetkellä nukkuessa saan ainoastaan helpostusta asiaan. Hammaslääkäri sanoi, että voi mennä vuorokausi ennen kuin antibiootit auttavat. Toivottavasti huomenna on jo parempi. 

Täällä menee muuten ihan normaalisti. Pitäisi alkaa valmistella hakemusta yliopistoihin ensi vuodelle, mutta jotenkin on vielä ihan kesäfiilis. Olen hengaillut kavereiden kanssa, käynyt töissä ja muuten vain onnistunut tuhlaamaan aikaa myös niihin vähemmän hyödyllisiin asioihin. Olen myös käynyt shoppailemassa pariin otteeseen ja löytänyt kaikenlaista kivaa syksyksi. Vielä pitäisi löytää muutamat kengät ja pari laukkua, mutta sitten olenkin jo valmis syyskeleihin. Jossain vaiheessa on pakko kyllä jatkaa kesää vielä hetki käymällä ulkomailla, mutta pakko ensin selvitellä työasiat, jotta tietää, milloin olen vapaalla. 

Postauksen asukuvat on otettu Suomessa käydessä. Lontoossa kamera onkin unohtunut lähes joka kerta kotiin ulos lähtiessä. Pakko hieman petrata asian suhteen varsinkin nyt, kun tulee käytettyä muutakin kuin shortseja ja toppeja. Kuvan asua on tullut käytettyä täällä Lontoossakin pariin otteeseen ulos mennessä ja tykkään siitä kovasti. En yleensä käytä paitapuseroita enkä vaaleansinistä, mutta valkoisten shortsien kanssa kokonaisuus näyttää ihanan raikkaalta.

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