”Free to go, eager to go – just catch me” – näin tehdään videotyöhakemus

Paljon sitä ehtii yhden päivän aikana, kun oikein pistää tuulemaan. Sain tänä aamuna, viimeisillä hakuhetkillä kuulla ihan hullusta työpaikasta: 3rd Home -niminen amerikkalainen yritys etsii työntekijää kiertämään maailmaa kolmeksi kuukaudeksi ja majoittumaan luksusvilloissa – somettamaan siinä ohella. Palkka huimaa korvia. Työpaikka on suorastaan uskomaton.

No, eihän seikkailija voi tällaisesta mahdollisuudesta kieltäytyä. Oli tehtävä pikavauhtia minuutin mittainen hakemusvideo. Se on tässä nähtäväksesi ennen kuin lähetän sen, sillä onhan tämä nyt sinun kanssasi jaettava! 

Olisi toki huippua saada tuollainen homma, ja huomenna, kun tämän lähetän, jäämme katsomaan miten siihen reagoimaan. Mutta palvelkoon tämä video myös kahta muuta tarkoitusta: 

1) olkoot ESIMERKKINÄ SULLE siitä miten videotyöhakemuksen tarinan voi rakentaa ja 

2) toimikoot kehotuksena sulle, joka just nyt etsit taidoillani varustettua osaajaa, tarttua minuun HETI! Free to go, eager to go – just catch me!

Muistatko, kun vuosi sitten tein vinkkivideon, jossa kyselin ammattilaisilta neuvoja videotyöhakemuksen tekemiseen? Katso myös tämä, siinä on paljon kullanarvoisia ohjeita myös sinulle!

Kirjoitin vuosi sitten myös tämän taustatarinan blogiini videotyöhakemuksentekoprosessista, sekin kannattaa lukea, jos vinkkejä videoihin haet! ”Näin teet täydellisen videotyöhakemuksen, osa 2: Napapiirin somesankaritar”

 

Ehkäpä tässä on riittävästi yhdelle päivälle. Sitähän minä eilen sanoin; mitä tahansa voi tapahtua. Tänä aamuna tapahtui tämä asia aivan yllättäen, ja jos ei muuta, niin kehittyttiinpä porukalla taas videoitten tekijänä.

/Äm

 

//

BRIEFLY IN ENGLISH:

I decided to apply for a mind blowing job at 3rd Home. Traveling around the world for three months and living in luxurious villas. 

Since I want help you to get ideas while I do my crazy stuff, I want to share this video application with you. Maybe you get some ideas to your storytelling? I only had a day to do this, so please, have mercy on me. 

And if YOU have a job for me, fire on! Free to go, eager to go! Just catch me!

Mainokset

Truck Pilot of dreams – hitchhiking a fish truck

I’m waiting at a gas station in North Norway. Very nervous. I have a phone number, name and time. Nothing else. I’m about to jump on a fish truck and travel all the way from a far-away fishing village of Stø in Norway to Helsinki Finland. And go figure, fish truck seems to be the easiest and straightest way to travel this two-day trip. So I’ve decided to try hitchhiking.

Two days earlier I’ve got a name and a number. I’ve called an Estonian truck driver who drives up north every once in awhile. On the phone he’s welcomed me to come along with him and his fish. We’ve set a time and arranged to meet up at this very gas station. I’ve had two days to pack up my whole life in Norway and say my farewells to the beautiful fishing village of Stø – I’ve been working there as a line hooker for some months.

I’m confused. How am I supposed to behave? How does one climb in a truck tractor? Will it b a crazy ride on the thin and icy roads of Norway? Will I make it alive?

I mean, after all I’m a woman traveling alone in this crazy world.

And who’s the driver anyway? Do I have anything to talk with him? Trucks and I don’t know each other that well. Have I ever even met a truck driver?

My thoughts stop suddenly. Off it comes; a big fish truck. That must be it. I startle. The unknown, that’s what makes us ever so scared. And a fish truck can be unknown too.

* * *

I climb up to the tractor. Driver lifts my big, heavy backpack up and looks at me marveling. I’m embarrassed. A woman traveling. My whole life’s in that backpack.

Before we leave, driver goes to get coffee. Comes back in the truck and tells how great it is that at this gas station they have the best coffee in whole Norway – and truck drivers get it for free. That’s why he always comes here. He describes me excitedly how they used to give free coffee for truck drivers at many other gas stations too, but when people started bringing their own big thermos bottles and filling those up with coffee, they had to start charging again.

But he always comes here, no matter what, and only takes one small cup of coffee to go.

I can’t buckle up my seatbelt. Some weird system I’m can’t handle. Embarrassed again, I need to ask the driver to help me.

”This is my first time on a truck”, I mumble in English.

Estonian is his language. He only talks a little bit of Finnish, which is my mother tongue, so we’ve chosen to speak English. People say that Estonian and Finnish are similar languages to each other but I do not understand a single bit of Estonian.

* * *

Driver starts the engine. I look around in the tractor. I feel like a man with a capital M. Like, I’m in control of the whole planet. From up here.

From up here you see a lot. Almost everything. The whole world.

I’m peering outside the window. It’s a good day to travel. Roads are clean and wind’s not hard.

”It’s nice to have you here with me”, he says. ”For some reason I’ve got quite many people calling me lately asking if they could get a lift from me. The other drivers at our company said they never get these kinds of calls. It’s funny, like it would be meant that I get to travel with people like you”, he continues pondering to himself.

We return to discuss the weight of my backpack. I tell him that there really is my whole life inside that thing. The previous ones traveling with him have been on a weekend trip to Norway and had a lot less stuff with them. That explains why he’s been astonished by the weight of mine.

Suddenly I’m no longer embarrassed. And there, as we’ve driven not more than 30 minutes, I’ve already told the story of my life to an unknown truck driver. There’s no doubt in my mind longer. This could be a fun ride.

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Meelis is his name and he’s some years older than me, somewhere in between his thirties and forties. He’s been driving truck for years now. He studied in a Marine Academy in Estonia, but soon realized:

”I was born to ba a truck driver. When I was child, I had this book with pictures of different trucks. We had other car books at my home too, but for some reason I wanted to read that book over and over again. It was the best thing I had. If I was on a bad mood, my parents would bring me the book I would instantly calm down. I always wanted to drive truck. That’s what my dad and my grandfather did.”

The other sure thing for Meelis is Paris. That’s where he’ll take his wife soon. They’ve been planning this holiday for a long time and it is important.

”Have you ever been to the Eiffel tour”, he asks me a little worried. ”I have quite a bad fear of heights”, he says and looks at me with his big eyes.

See, Wife has found out that it would be a lot cheaper if they would climb the stairs up to the tower instead using the elevator.

But could Meelis do it?

Family, beloved children and dogs. Daughter’s piano lessons. Estonia. Truck. Those are the most important things in Meelis’ life. He calls his wife a Wife even though they’re not married. He’s been thinking about marriage a lot, though. They live in a small town in Estonia. That’s where Meelis spends a week in a month and the rest three he drives around the Northest parts of the Northern Europe. That makes it possible for him to buy an electric piano for his daughter and take his Wife on her first holiday abroad.

Even though Finland is to the opposite way when traveling to Paris from Estonia, Meelis wants to fly to Paris through Finland. He wants to show Wife the Helsinki airport because it’s been elected as one the most beautiful airports in the world.

Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, on the other hand… That makes Meelis a little anxious. He’s heard that it’s big, dirty and quite confusing. Will they find their way to their hotel? They’ve already decided they will take a taxi from the airport, no matter what it costs.

Paris is a big thing.

My heart melts.

* * *

There’s a car driving in front of us. An Opel. Meelis tells me he’s just bough one of those. He’s been saving up money for a long time and his new car will be delivered to him soon. He’s excited.

”I think THAT is the most beautiful and the best car in the world”, he says staring incessantly at the car. Then turns to me looking like a question mark.

I smile. To me, up here in the tractor of the fish truck, that Opel is the most beautiful car in the world, too. What a feeling we share. Meelis is such a sweetheart and if one of those fish he’s delivering in this truck would to sit here with us, he would make it laugh too.

Definetly.

* * *

Were listening to CDs. East 17 and some Russian folk music. By now I’ve completely stepped into Meelis’ world. It’s a beautiful world. Full of passion, excitement, inspiration ja most of all humanity. I can’t stop thinking to myself how good it would do if each of us could get even a tiny piece of this feeling to their life.

”We used to be three best friends who would spend all our time together. Later on one of us became a plane pilot, one a helicopter pilot and me, I became a truck pilot”, Meelis tells me proudly.

Yes.

Truck Pilot.

* * *

We’ve been on the road for some hours now. Meelis takes a sip of his coffee. ”Still warm”, he hollers excited. Thermos mug is a great invention.

Somewhere in the Swedish Lapland, middle of nowhere, we stop on the side of the road. Night falls and it’s dark. We have to make a 45-minute-stop because of the law. When one’s driven long enough, they’ve got to stop no matter where they’re at.

”Well, you could say the law is a little stupid; on our route today I have to stop twice for 45 minutes. But law’s a law, and you gotta do what you’re told. No exceptions”, he says with serious look on his face.

Meelis takes his work seriously. It’s very important to him to drive safely and go by the rules. At this point, at the latest, I know I’m in good hands. He really stands up for his title: a pilot. A Truck Pilot.

Wind outside is getting harder. Every once in a while other trucks pass us, and the tractor where we’re sitting in swings.

Pitch black everywhere and we’re sitting quiet.

”Do you believe in something higher? That, like, what happens to us when we die?”, he asks suddenly, out of nowhere.

And there we sit, the two of us, strangers to one another, people from different worlds; somewhere in the Swedish desert talking about  belief. Hope and love. Souls and their destination.

It’s starting to snow.

* * *

45 minutes. Meelis lifts up the coffee mug.

”Oh, there’s still some coffee left”, he smiles.

He’s already told me how he won a small lottery win with Wife. How to spend the money was clear to both of them. They bought an espresso machine, the biggest treasure. When the machine was carried home six years ago, it has been the heart of their house.

We share the same passion. Strong, dark coffee. I would die for a coffee right now, but I don’t dare to drink any. That would mean I would have to run straight to restroom and I don’t want to be reason for another stop. Restroom breaks are the only topic I don’t dare to talk about with my Pilot. Funny.

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Love and taking things seriously. Those are the first words I would use to describe my Truck Pilot’s attitude towards his work. They seem to be the most important principles to his whole life.

”This is my dream job, I know nothing better”, he tells me. ”The serpentine-like roads, being alone in this tractor, time to think, the feeling of freedom and peace. I need nothing else”, he replies when I ask how he would describe the best parts of his work.

* * *

Now we’re standing at a gas station next a big supermarket in Kiruna, Sweden. It’s time for the other 45-minute-break of today. One shouldn’t park here. Many supermarkets have prohibited trucks to park on their parking lots.

”That feels kind of dum, where can we stop on our regulated breaks?”, my Pilot asks.

But we’re ready to take a risk risk now. Just a little one. I promise to do the talking in Swedish if something comes up. Meelis runs in the supermarket and comes back with a cooking pot.

”I have a little apartment in Finland, and I want to cook there”, he clarifies to me.

I guess I’m looking a little confused because of the pot.

I run to the gas station. To go to restroom. I look at the coffee machine longingly but still don’t dare to get a cup. I grab a sandwich and return to truck. I’m glad my Truck Pilot bought a pot so he can make proper food at home. I wonder what kind of food he likes to cook. That’ll be our topic for the next hour.

* * *

We’ve been travelling for 12 hours. I notice a familiar sign. ”Suomi, Finland”, it says. Travelled through Norway and Sweden, were in Finland now. Still another 12 hour-drive from my hometown Helsinki.

But now we’ve done enough driving for today. I’m spending night at a bead and breakfast in Pello, Finland, and Meelis goes to his Finnish home with his pot.

”Do you want to take a risk and leave your backpack here for the nigh”, he asks me a little shyly. ”I mean I thought if you don’t trust me – it can be for here for the night, but I just thought if you’re afraid of me stealing something.”

I look at him. I trust this man I’ve known for 12 hours more than many others I’ve met in my life. I could not think of him doing any harm to me. I tell this to my Truck Pilot. He smiles. Backpack spends the night in the truck tractor.

That’s for sure.

rekka1

And in the morning, right on time as planned, there he is with his coffee mug in his hand. I had coffee this morning too. It was terrible. I had a coffee machine in my room but no coffee filters. So I had to use toilet paper as filter and that became a coffee catastrophe. This is a thing I don’t, for some odd reason, dare to tell my Pilot.

Weather’s turned bad. We have stop all the time to clean the windscreen wipers and drive very carefully. But I’m not worried; I’m in good hands. Despite the bad weather this day goes fast. I’m a little sad. There are still so many things I’d like to ask my Pilot.

The dreams. How Finland looks like in the eyes of a foreigner. The list goes on. But I know: next time I’ll travel to Norway I’ll  have a friend to ask a lift from. Then we can continue sharing our thoughts.

And if we were never to meet again, I’ve experienced something rare and unique during these two days with my Pilot. I’ve met a new person, got plenty of new ideas, gotten to see a whole another world – that of Meelis’. I’ve experienced what passion, joy of work and positive thinking are. I’ve felt how it is when someone loves another so much that despite the killing fear of the heights they are ready to climb the Eiffel tower.

* * *

For me this trip also meant a beginning of something new. After my adventure in Norway I had to start looking for a new job in Finland. What ever will happen to me next, I knew one thing: I want to live my life as Meelis does. Have the same open and loving attitude towards life. What ever you do, the only thing that matters is love towards what you’re doing. That’s what Meelis, my Truck Pilot taught me. He is the best example of the kind of person every employer needs.

Meelis is the kind of person this whole world needs.

I step out of the truck thinking how surprised Meelis was of the fact that he’s gotten so many people to travel with him. I’m starting to think that really is meant to be; that there’s been a reason to this ride.

There must be. I’m quite sure.

Positive.

 

* * *

This article was first published on my blog in Finnish on February 8th 2015

When Master of Social Sciences became a fisherman’s helper

Warm stink of fish. Straight to my face. Warm and humid, eye-hurting, burning smell of dead fish. Yucky! Can smell kill one? I think here it could. In a fishing hut.

It’s seven in the morning and I’ve just walked through a silent, ice-cold fishing building and opened the door to my fishing hut. It’s been over-heated during the night. We’re standing right above, sea and the cold water breezes cold air through the paper thin walls, windows and floors. That’s why we turn the heaters to max every night. And that’s why the one coming in first in the morning is the one how has to face the smell; struggle to survive the possible death. Yes. I’m definite. Smell can kill. Through your eyes!

It’s Sunday. November 2014. Father’s day in Northern Europe. Nobody’s here today except for me. Well, if you don’t count in the yucky mackerel souls, the bites I’m supposed to start hooking to a line. There’s a big bucket of hooks and fishing line waiting for me. The line’s 500 meters long and has 400 hooks attached to it. I’m about to put fish bites to hooks and the line to a bucket. That’s what a line hooker does.

See, that’s what I am now; line hooker. Or fisherman’s hooker, like a friend of mine translated my new position.

Oh, you’ll get it if you do…

stamppi

Now, this is a line bucket.

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And this is a toilet seat. This was waiting for me on my desk couple weeks earlier when I paid my first visit to my new office. It was my new colleagues welcoming me to work. I thought it was a lot fun. Well, poo-jokes, they’re always fun, right?!

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Before I start to work, I take out a bucket from a freezer. It’s not your typical home freezer, it’s a whole big room. From another freezer I take out the bites, those there above. And then I lift them here on my desk. One empty bucket and another that comes straight out of sea. To floor I toss a bite bin. And voilá, I’m ready.

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I put the radio on. It’s Radio Bø, the only radio station one can listen to in this god-forsaken little hut. See, the thing with Radio Bø is that it has a playlist of probably seven songs. And those seven god-forsaken songs this radio station plays over and over again. And I: I have to listen to the seven songs for 10 hours.

Off comes Prince’s Purple Rain! Yes! No surprise!

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I take out the line from the bucket on my right side. I run it trough my hands and put an icy mackerel bite in a hook. I carefully twist the line and place it and the bite to the bucket on my left side.

Smooth operator. Me. And on the radio.

This goes on over and over again. Until up comes a broken hook. That needs to be changed to new one. Smooth operating stops also when ever there’s something stuck in hook: starfish, fish skin (oh that’s a lot of work to take off), you name it… But the point is simple and clear: clean the line that’s been to sea, put a new bite in a hook and place the line nicely to the other bucket.

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500 meters. 400 hooks. And the next bucket!

Oh yeah, it’s sound so easy. But let me tell ya: NO. IT’S NOT.

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teemunpyllykuva

”Keep down, don’t lift up, don’t let the line rest in your hands, let it flow.” These are the words of my teacher Lauri that keep clinging in my head. It has started to go somewhat well already. But in the beginning this was pure hell. It took me four hours to finish one bucket!

Now I’m at the speed of 2 hours 15 minutes. Something happened to me couple days earlier and it all clicked. If feel like I’m getting this now.

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Speed is what this is all about; that you could finish a bucket as quick as possible (because you get paid according to the amount of buckets you’ve cleared). But what the speed is like, that’s a whole another question. It’s not speedy speed, it’s tranquility.

”Tranquility is speed”, I summarize the first life-philosophical thought line hooking has teached me by now. I’m quite sure this work will teach me a bunch other important, life-philosophical learnings.

But the tranquility: this is a skill demanding kind of art, a mind game. Lauri has said that it’s not about physical endurance. What’s needed is endurance between one’s ears, resilience, icy-cold nerves. This job demands one controls their mind. When ever facing a problem with the line, there’s no use in getting nervous. Ya gotta take it easy, line hooker!

Tranquilty is speed.

But I’m telling ya, this also needs a steely ass. Standing 10 hours on your feet requires some endurance of your buttocks no matter the mind game.

kalastusrakennus2 kaytävä

This place is whole another world. There are actually many smaller worlds next to one another in this building. We’re working in Bua 2, hut number two. There three of us: me, Lauri and Teemu. Teemu is as new to this place as I am and my most important colleague. In the other huts of this building, there are other teams working. We all have our own designated fishermen for who we are hooking for.

bua2

Today, I’m hooking in good pace. Operating smooth with the line as in comes the boss. Fritz, a 75-year-old fisherman. As always, Fritz is minding his own (and sometimes quite odd) business, lifting up buckets, arranging new hooks to their places; making them ready for me! You know, in this place, there’s no need to fawn over each other. Not me over my boss or him over me. Fritz sits down, takes a cup of coffee and lights his cigarette. He sits on his chair quietly for a while, then raises up, comes to peek me working behind my back, sighs approvingly and sits back to his chair.

He is quiet. He says nothing. It’s kinda good, because when ever he starts talking, I understand nothing. When my boss talks, it’s one of those moments you have to shake your head afraid some wire is permanently broken inside, ’cause you just don’t get anything. As for someone from Finland trying to speak norweigian, I think I’m doing pretty good but when it comes to the boss…

That’s why it’s good he’s silent and I’m silent.

You know, one actually does not need words here. There’s a magical atmosphere and connection. If I’d to be very life-philosophical I would say: ”In the fishing hut, we’re all brothers and sisters, the same family”. But that’s a little too grandeur to say even for me…

The cigarette has been smoked, coffee drunk. Off goes Fritz, as quietly as he’s entered the room. This is how it works. He’s not the only one dropping quietly in and silently sitting down just to observe. This is what everyone here does. There’s no need to talk all the time and explain one’s existence or achievements. The silent connection in this fishing hut talks more powerfully than some pointless babble.

fritz

Along with Fritz we have another fisherman as boss: Tom. They have their own boats but they always go out to sea together. Fritz is getting old and the sea is ruthless to everyone, even for the younger. So off goes Tom on his boat called Straumen and straight after him Fritz on his Elias. That’s how their nightly fishing trips go. I think it’s very sympathetic.

The day before, BY-THE-WAY, Tom popped THE question:

”When will you go to to sea with me?”

”How brave are you”, added Fritz to that.

And then Fritz said something else I just did not get, of course, besides that somehow it involved the word ”mus” which means ”mouse”. But figuring from the never ending laughter attack they got of this conversation of theirs, I’m figuring it might have meant something else too.

I understand Tom’s norweigian a little better but now I’m blown off. Did I really get this right? Me? On fishing trip? ”Mus”… Only after couple of weeks here and still a rookie in this village, I could go! They don’t usually like to take people with them, but now me! Yay!

elias

Besides mice and bravery, weather is the most important topic everybody talks about at this end of the world. You can compare this conversation to your average workplace’s talk behind the backs: you know, which boss has been with which assistant. I mean, weather’s the biggest gossip and all kinds of rumors spread around. You can never be sure if the storm will end tomorrow or the day after. Everyone’s got their own truth. That’s why I’ve decided to listen only my fishermen. Now they have told there will be a storm coming which means they will not go fishing and there’s no work for me either.

By now I already know, rumors will start to flow again; when will we get back to work? And then one morning you just stick your nose out the door and see weather’s good again and you run straight back to work. That’s how it goes here. Not much predictability.

* * *

But right now I’m hooking. Smoothly. When you once get the rhythm to your system, you don’t have to think about it. Perfect flow in which everything falls into their place, and you move harmonically to the rythm. I’m not actively thinking about anything, things just come and go. It’s kind of like meditation.

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In Norway line hookers job is even less valued than is the job of janitor’s.

”Aren’t you waisting the valuable Master of Social Sciences degree? Or your history as an entrepreneur and communications professional”, someone asked me before I moved here.

”No”, I replied.

I know there’s some greater thing to this that will be revealed to me later. This is what I’ve asked for. The chance to do something completely else, and get to live life outside my bubble. This is what I value even more than the degrees on paper.

I’m not saying this is is not icky. This is. Me, who is used to work in cool offices doing clean work is now putting dead fish on hook. But right now, I’m not afraid of my career being completely destroyed. I know this is one of the most important experiences in my life.

fritz vahtii

And even if a shitty job in someone’s eyes, who cares, I’m working with the best team I’ve ever worked with. I think many small boss could learn a great deal of this.

I mean, here we are, each standing beside our bucket. As the line flows and we hook the bites, we talk about big and small things, work, our histories and future. Sometimes we’re silent. Listen to Radio Bø and the seven songs. We learn from each other, develop our work methods, challenge our brain – this work is creative problem solving at it’s best.

We’re all equal here. We help each other, we listen to watch other. To be honest, this is all very new to me; that you can work this way. We don’t compete against one another, we compete together. Help one another to reach their goals and get better ourselves at the same time.

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And BTW here your colleagues make you sushi. Straight outta your own sea.

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I’m right about in the middle of my second bucket. While hooking, I’ve been planning this very blog post and because my distracted thoughts I’m leaving a little behind time-wise. My mackerel bites have melt. And when bites melt, they become a mash that almost makes you throw up.

I mean, think about… a placenta! Now!

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That’s how it is when bites melt.

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This is how it should be, a little icy, easier to hook.

It’s the crayfish, that orange thing which is some zooplankton species of crayfish, calanus finmarchicus, that attracts the fish. Did you know that? The mackerel is actually subsidiary in this whole thing. The poor thing has just happened to eat a canalus finmarchius and when it’s fished to be a fish bite, the most important thing, canalus finmarchius, comes inside it’s stomach.

So the mackerel only is subsidiary! That’s what we all are. Only subsidiary creatures to something greater. Now THIS is the second life-philosophical learning line hooking has taught me.

”We all are subsidiary creatures to something greater.” 

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This all is passing. After us this  world might not exist anymore. Norweigians don’t want to do this work so the line hookers have to be found from other countries. And if we don’t want to come here longer, there might not be anyone doing this. The other important thing is to find new young fishermen to continue fishing. But it’s getting harder to find these people. Other things and more efficient fishing methods interest the young more.

Of that I’m really sad for, but this trend is hard to change – if even impossible. At the very same time I feel myself very privileged to experience this all. I ordered something totally different of life, accidentally ended up here, and I got to experience a world of which I didn’t know a thing earlier.

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I just want everyone to experience this. Show you the miracles one can find when stepping out of one’s little bubble;  the belief that my reality is the only right one, the only approved one, the only possible one.

In this world, in this beauty of the nature my own bubble was crushed. There’s so much more to life, so many different ways
of living, of being.

”One is not more real or right than the other.”  

Sorry, I can’t stop this. This is the third life-philosophical thought. Maybe the most important ever.

todellisuus

I swirl my line, take off the old bites stuck in the hooks, change hooks. After every hundredth comes a small green rope. By now I’ve learned this is called a ”stone rope” but I have no idea so far what that actually means. One learns one thing at a time. A learning after another piles up on the previous one. That’s important in line hooking; you can’t learn all at once.

I have a game: as I hook my lines, I learn one new thing bucket by bucket. I want every bucket to be finished few minutes faster than the previous one. That’s how I am. Competitive, willing to challenge myself. In this work those are good qualities. So are the butt muscles.

Tranquility is speed, I have to repeat to myself over and over again. The technique has to be flawless in order to be faster.

 

minäjateemu

Purple rain! Only the fourth time today! Only one thing can be worse than this, and it is when Lauri starts to sing along the Purple Rain. He loves Bø. And Prince. I don’t.

I love carbs.

I’ve taken a brake and starting a new bucket. For a competitor like me line hooking is a game which is hard to stop. But brakes are very important. You got to remember to eat in between every bucket even if not hungry. Well that’s been easy to me. My body is screaming for carbs. The night before I woke up to my body aching. The day before I finished four buckets all together. 1 600 hooks. 2 kilometers of line. With preparations and cleaning it takes 2,5 hours to finish one bucket. And I took an hour walk with my dog too..

I’m just trying to justify the amount of chocolate I eat every day.

kalasiimassa

The biggest occupational accidents that take place at this office are caused by slimy bites on the floor or a hook ending up to various places. Like beneath your fingernail. Damn it hurts. But thank god for redfish! There’s antiseptic fluid in it’s eye and when one gets injured we just pop the redfish’s eye and put the finger in it.

These kinds of things I learn every day!

IMG_7827

The second bucket of the day is already finished without problems. Aching from the previous day’s work, I decide to call it a day.  I lift my bucket on wheelbarrow and roll it to the freezer to wait for Fritz. Sometime in the evening he comes and takes along the buckets and goes off to sea. Because of his age, Fritz fishes with six four-hundreds (proffs slang, ya know!). Tom usually takes about 10 three-hunders and a couple of 400’s. We hook new bucket as they use them.

This is how it goes. Round a circle.

karräys pakastin

I wash all my equipment, clean the hut and turn off the coffee maker. I mark the buckets I’ve completed today on a list an turn off Radio Bø. I guess I’ve gotten used to it, haven’t noticed the radio in hours.

I turn off the lights and make sure that the heater is properly on. While closing the door I come think: is there anything we could do to this smell?

On the other hand. In how many work places is it possible to fart without noticing?! Here it is… I guess there’s a good, reverse side to everything.

Yeah. There’s a good, reverse side to everything. Let that be the fourth life-philosophical.

* * *

I worked as a line hooker in Stø, Vesterålen in Norway from October 2014 to Februaty 2015. Line fishing is a form of fishing and a great craft work which is unfortunately a passing tradition on the coast of Norway. 

I’m a blogger, writer, speaker and a communications professional  now located in Finland. A woman, the (human)nature and an adventure is the theme I research in my work. Exposing myself to different adventures and new worlds I explore the nature around us and the human nature sharing my experiences of different kinds of ways people live around the globe. 

Have an adventure for me? I’m more than happy to hear of it and join the ride, because I’m looking for a summer adventure right now, read more here!

 

The same blog post in Finnish here

How can I help you this summer? My summer job application

You might remember: a year ago I returned to Finland from my adventure in Norway. Without a job. I was a little confused. Like, what next?

You might know: I’m not without a job anymore. I’m an entrepreneur now. I write, speak, do communication consulting and develop a new business in a startup. It’s the first of March, and summer’s knocking on the door. See, one interesting thing about Finland is that when summer comes, the whole country closes down for months. Everybody goes on their long summer vacations and no services of a small entrepreneurs are needed. To someone like me this means a silent death for months…

So, I am a little confused. Like, what next?

You might have already seen: whenever facing a challenge, I don’t tend to surrender. Instead, I unleash my superpowers and find a whole new way to take action.

iwantyou

If you don’t know me by now: Hi! My name is Maija, nice to meet you! A year ago I publicly made an offer: for the time being I was looking for a paid job, I would come to work as an intern for whoever felt they needed help. Yes, free of charge. Simply didn’t want to get my talent waisted. I was blown away by phone calls and emails: people really needed my expertise and energy. Actually so much that eventually I even got paid for my services. A whole new approach to find a job!

A lot has changed within a year, but some things remain; my burning desire to serve others. And I don’t want my flame to die:

like, what next and superpowers unleashed!

So now, facing the quiet summer, I decided it’s time for an adventure. I will find a summer job for myself and I will hereby offer my help to you. Maybe you’re someone somewhere who hasn’t yet realized they could use me for something. My philosophy is that being able to see different aspects of life is the greatest gift one can get. That’s why nothing’s too small or too big for me. As a person who doesn’t fit any fixed boxes, I smoothly sit in different ones.

I apperciate any kind of work. I mean, during the past year solely I’ve been to Norway to slaughter fish and worked as an au pair in the US. The bigger adventure – chance to do something interesting and new – the more exciting challenge. A small town hotel reception? Or, there’s still time to learn and do a role in some theatre play!

# aint’n no young bird no more

Though I am looking for a summer job, that usually people less aged do, I gotta tell you I ain’t no young bird no more. No, I was not born yesterday, I’m here, somewhere inbetween my thirties and forties. Neither am I perfect. I suck at math, so I would’n let me be responsible of the biggest mathematical problems. I can’t mow lawn because of my terrible hay allergy – and I might not be the best choice to operate a nuclear power plant just because of the color of my hair.

But with and in front of people I’m at my best. And that’s where I want to be; serving, touching and moving others. And I want to be moved myself: Along with me come my sharp pen and the wild video camera that capture stories. Maybe those would be useful for you?

Och svenska går bra, norsk med. Akkurat och absolut! And English – I mean, this is my application for the summer job you’ve got out there!

Secret Weapons

I wish you knew some Finnish so you’d learn my Secret Weapons: skijump and making nature documents. But luckily the third mad talent I have is the universal language of music

But still, though you might not get the language, go check out these videos just as an example of how I am! Some thoughts have been posted in English on this blog too, and there are more to come. But I think you’ll get the point in me without the words too.

 

 

So, here comes the question: How can I help you? What kind of a summer job do you have to offer me?

Only the sky, our imagination and your need is the limit. This time I am looking for a forthright job; that’s why I’m asking for a salary too. There is a great value to what I can and to the joy I spread around me – and those need to be compensated, of course. But a great adventure is always measured in gold and money is not everything that counts.

So what are you waiting for? Here I am. At your service!

Like, what’s next!

kesätyttöeng

Sincerely,
Maija
maija@ilmoniemi.com

 

PS. I’ll have my professional webpage and CV in English for you soon but in the meanwhile you might as well want to take a look at those at  www.maijailmoniemi.fi.

This blog in Finnish, here!

 

Instead of questioning can we get cheering – Because I am a Little Miss Skijumpress

It started from something quite small. A year ago on the top of big hill. What if I could…

* * *

”This is starting to become a habit”, I think to myself. ”Here I am sitting in the Lahti Ski Club changing room putting a skijump suit on.”

I’ve had a dream: a skijump. Quite an insane thought that I got a year earlier looking down from the biggest skijump tower in Lahti, Finland. A thought that this would be something worth trying. That I COULD do it! Two weeks ago I went practicing and wrote to you about the first skijump of my life. And now I’m here, about to participate in a skijump competition. It’s Friday the 19th of February.

But it’s not about me today. It’s about something greater.

20160219 Lahti Ski Games 2016, PLAN, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

20160219 Lahti Ski Games 2016, PLAN, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

Lahti Ski Games 2016, PLAN, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

”Mom, can we go already, I wanna jump!”

Little ski jumper girls have stepped into the changing room. Nanni 5 yrs, Heta 7 yrs, Emilia 8 yrs and Sofia 9 yrs do skijump as their hobby and have come to show us adults some example. We’re about to participate in children’ rights organization Plan’s and Lahti2017 World Championships organization’s charity competition and jump. It’s a theme day at the Lahti Ski Games, which is a pregame for the big WC-competitions next year, and today we’re celebrating girls. Well, in the changing room, there are no other women except for me. Eight men and one woman… And I might be the least scared one. I mean, I’ve done this already and came here to win!

The Little Miss Skijumpresses are eagerly waiting for their turn to do the test jumps of our competition. Their joyful chatting fills the changing room. They put on their jumping suits and t-shirts with texts: ”Because I am a girl” and ”Girls can”.

Because I am a girl and girls can!

The right attitude, I’m thinking.

20160219 Lahti Ski Games 2016, PLAN, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

The Little Miss Skijumpressess. Lahti Ski Games 2016, PLAN, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

”Julia, this is what everyone always asks and I’ll ask it once more: Can a girl really do skijumping and be a ski jumper?”

This is what a legendary Finnish sports commentator Antero Mertaranta, who’s (of course!) the commentator of our competition too, asks of Julia Kykkänen, the best Finnish female ski jumper.

I sigh.

Julia sighs.

The Little Miss Skijumpressess are climbing to the top of the skijump hill we’re supposed to jump from. They’re cheering for each other and bursting of excitement and expectation. When do use adults loose that spirit, I start to think. Why is there some point in which life becomes so serious that we forget that childly joy and sincerity?

These girls have a dream. They want to become ski jumpers, be like Julia, their idol. I hope that will can come true in a world that doesn’t question if a girl can do this or that!

Why do we even have to ask those questions? When can we just put and end to those questions?

image1

Skijumper Julia Kykkänen preparing for her jump on Fe 19th 2016

Julia’s big moment has been earlier on that day. She’s jumped in a World Cup competition in front of her home audience. I’ve been watching the game, too. Julia’s done a great performance and it’s been touching to see the video stream straight form the skijump tower in which her coaching team, her own father included, are rejoicing of her achievement. It wasn’t enough for the top spots this time, but that doesn’t actually matter. What matters is that Julia’s done well personally and that history’s been made: this was the first Women’s World Cup competition in history.

And that’s a big deal. These ladies have done a big job in making the way for their sport – first to the Olympic Games and now to here. They’ve believed in their dream and now, step by step, the results of the work are coming alive.

And now, few hours later after her own competition, while the Small Skijumpressess are climbing to the top of the hill, Julia looks to commentator Antero Mertaranta’s eyes and says:

”Well, I guess girls can jump, because they do jump.”

At this point I’m already on the top of the hill, too, waiting for my jump, but when I hear Julia’s answer I scream aloud: ”Girls can!”

Right answer!

haastehyppy.jpg-large

”Now that it so happened, and you fell to the ground and failed, do you think half of the city hates you now?” 

I’ve done my jump. Some amateur luck, I guess. Both my test jump and the competition jump have ended me falling down, even though in my practice two weeks earlier everything went exemplary. The top moment of my life ends up lying in the snow and the question asked by one of the most legendary Finnish person, Mr. Mertaranta: will everyone hate me now?

That makes me laugh. Mr. Mertaranta’s interviewing me infront of the public and I ask their opinion. They give me big applauses.

”No. They love me”, I answer.

20160219 Lahti Ski Games 2016, PLAN, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

20160219 Lahti Ski Games 2016, PLAN, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

Lahti Ski Games 2016, PLAN, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

The Little Miss Skijumpresses are running around in the crowd. Pictures are taken and cheers given. Everyone’s jumped now and the atmosphere is high.

I look at the Little Miss Skijumpressess.

I look at Julia.

I look at Mr. Mertaranta.

I look at the cheering public.

I return looking at Mr. Mertaranta and think of his question again. When one’s making their dreams come true, the most important thing is to win oneself. The most important thing is that someone is supporting them and those dreams. One can’t make it alone.

And us girls, we can do whatever as long as we, too, get help – when the world thinks we have no boundaries and that girls can too. That the attitude is supporting. That instead of questioning we get cheering; making our success possible.

I look at the Litte Miss Skijumpressess’ parents.

Julia’s dad.

The competition organizer waiving the Finnish flag and the text on the girls’ shirts:

Because I am a girl and girls can.

20160219 Lahti Ski Games 2016, PLAN, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

Us competitors in the charity jump event. Lahti Ski Games 2016, PLAN, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

Here I am, again. In the changing room taking off my skimp suit. ”This has to become a habit”, I think to myself. The competitor in me has risen and I really want to learn how to do a real skijump that doesn’t end up falling down.

The Little Miss Skijumpressess are bustling in changing room. I look at them and smile. I hope at least one of these girls is seen on Julia’s place one day. I hope that every girl around the world will get all possible support from their parents, schools, coaches and so forth in fulfilling their dreams. And that those whose premises are not as good as others’, and don’t have the support needed in their own families or countries, will be helped by others.

This requires something important of us adults: we need to understand that the attitude is everything. Girls can do whatever and go where ever!

20160219 Lahti Ski Games 2016, PLAN, Juulia Kykkänen, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

Lahti Ski Games 2016, Plan Finland’s Secretary General Ossi Heinänen, Julia Kykkänen, By Iida Hollmén /LAMK

Lahti Ski Games, the pregame to the big World Championships in 2017 made many dreams come the past weekend: mine, Julia’s and the Little Miss Skijumpressess, just to name few. I’ve never thought that a sports event can be a whole world – that besides the sports many experiences are produced to the public by the organization and their cooperating companions.

And what comes to this girl thing, it’s all about cooperating, too! Can we now make a joint decision that we will stop questioning and focus on cheering; on believing that girls can as well as boys?

It isn’t a matter of sex.

It is a matter of what’s inside one’s head.

It’s a matter of dreams and everyones right to fulfill their own.

* * *

Many important dreams in this world; one of them the one of Lahti2017 organization. They, with their cooperating partners, want to build a great event for everyone in 2017 – the year Finland celebrates it’s 100th birthday as an independent country. And that’s done in cooperation, too. I wish that many of us Finns and international guests will help the organization to fulfill this dream.

Yours,
Maija

Here’s a video of my jump. In Finnish only, but I think you’ll be able understand the most important things, enjoy 🙂 You’ll also find this blog post in Finnish here.

What would you do if there were no wrong answers, no right questions?

”D’oh. Wrong answer.

This is exactly what I’ve been afraid of. I wait for the man to start the conversation because I’m too afraid. And I’m afraid because I have gotten a book from the friend of mine who made me go trough this madness in the first place. The book’s called ”Tinder Nightmares” and it tells the most terrible stories of the humankind of the opening lines gone bad on Tinder. And if I was to start the conversation I would probably begin with some feministic-ish line that would totally go wrong. Like I just did…

No, I won’t start the conversation. Instead, I’m googling for hours if there would be some kind of an application that could match a face to a name just based on a picture. And when I can’t find such, I spend more hours trying to find a person on Facebook just based on his very common Finnish first name.

I want to know who he is.

But no. I won’t start the conversation and ask him. Like, what’s your name and who are you?

No. Not.”

This is what I wrote yesterday of my experience on Tinder and continued with an advice to men:

There are no wrong questions nor right answers. If you’re interested, be it bravely and let me know of your interest.”

I demanded, like, ACTION!

* * *

After publishing my writing I started to read this specific thought of mine out loud. Why in the world would I let the Tinder nightmares come to my dreams? Why would I let a fear of asking a wrong question stop me from potentially finding the love of my life? Why do I even need a guidebook and try to find the right questions. What’s wrong with the wrong answers?

Ilmoniemi_Maija_DSC1713_2048px

This goes waaaaay beyond Tinder, now. But let my story of Tinder be a concrete and entertaining example of maybe something greater. Maybe something that concerns the whole humankind.

Right answers. Wrong questions.

Wrong questions. Right answers.

Right and wrong. One more fascinating extremity I’ve been writing of to you many times before*.

Certainty, that’s what I stopped to think. Does my endeavor to be sure and know everything beforehand stop me from doing things?

Are we raised in a way that praises certainty; that we always have to be completely sure of the answer before we raise our hands in classroom? Or that we have to have all the process charts drawn in Power Point and know the future for sure in order to be able to take the action?

But does life work that way?

Do we work if we think this way? Will we take action, will we ask to find out, will we encounter one another? How can anyone be sure of the answers if everybody’s waiting for the right question; if no one suggests options of which to look for the answer?

Am I afraid of asking questions because I assume they’re wrong to begin with? What’ll happen if I answer wrong, will I reveal myself?

What am I afraid of?

OHMYGODHOWMANYQUESTIONS!

Ilmoniemi_Maija_DSC1612_2048px

Certainty and uncertainty.

Questions and answers.

Right and wrong.

Fear and freedom.

* * *

You know what I realized yesterday after posting my blog? I think I might be taking questions and answers too seriously.

Does that mean I’m taking life too seriously? Now, THAT is a good question!

I mean, that’s what life’s all about: series of questions and answers – some better and some worse than others, some more right and some more wrong. And there somewhere in between comes the action.

Like, ACTION!

 * * *

What would you do right now if there were no wrong answers nor right questions?

Yours,
Maija

Pictures: Mirkku Merimaa Photography

This blog in Finnish here.

OMG, am I the awful Tinder-Bitch – man, this is how you win a woman’s heart on Tinder

Even the most courageous adventurer has their week spot, a boundary one just can’t break. To me, who will do a ski jump, no problem, one limit is the highest: starting a relationship. I just can’t easily throw myself into dating and all that jazz finding the love of your life requires. Instead of actually doing something I wait for the prince to come. You know, the white horse and riding to the sunset etcetera… But let’s face the facts: I’ve been single for two years now, and no princes have appeared to offer me a ride.

It took a journey thousands of miles away to Las Vegas, a challenge from my friend and… well, the quite tempting possibility to find a rich american millionaire.

It was the last hours of 2015 and I could hear the words of my friend in my ears:

”It’s time for you to take your destiny into your own hands. Go on Tinder. Now.”…

* * *

iphone. That’s what I’ve got in my hands right now. Would this thing define my destiny? I’m uploading an application with a little flame sign on the phone. I feel sick. Never in my life did I think I would have to fall this deep. In my mind I see the white horse trotting beyond the horizon and falling down dead. Bye, bye, my princess dreams!

ulkoistettu

It’s just too much for me. Up comes a picture of a man and I’m supposed to choose whether to reject him pressing a red cross or to choose the green heart that tells my interest. If the person in the picture would give his heart to me, we would become a match and’d be able to start getting acquainted.

No. Yuck! I hand the phone over to my friend and for the next day’s he’ll be the one (plus his wife and his two young daughters) taking care of the business. I’m lurking from a sweet distance. I’m afraid.

But then something happens. My first match!

profiili

The surgeon’s profile text… Guess how excited me, a girl, whose mother is Finnish, is to write this blog in English. Lol.

 

Some surgeon from Vegas wants me! I’m in heaven! He must have money! And there I go: now I’m ready to take the destiny into my own hands, and the first days of 2016 swipe by sweetly on Tinder.

And at this point, this is me…

IMG_8362

They say Tinder’s a market for the women. One thing is bothering me. I’m giving red crosses to 97 percent of the faces and I’m getting a little afraid: Have I become the awful Tinder Bitch, the picky and bitter chick they, back in the day, used to call spinster?

My profile pictures are the posed kind, some of them taken by a good photographer, and I find myself looking for the same effect in the pictures of the men I see. No beer cans (OHMYGODTHEREAREPLENTYOFTHEM), no wedding rings on pictures (YES, OHMYGODTHEREARETHOSE), not this, not that, not a guy with pretty blondes with big boobs (OHMYGODTHEYPOSTTHOSETOO!) or men with dogs (OHMYGODTHEREARETOOMUCHOFTHOSE) or a koala bear on their shoulders (OHMYGODWHATISUPWITHTHATRISINGTREND)!

No, no, no.

But what’s wrong with me; why am I, who actually just wants to find a real, genuine man, looking for some weird hunks on Tinder? What’s the right strategy here? How can one adduce themselves for what they really are and not just how they look on Tinder? Because that’s the thing that should matter.

The white horse is risen from the death and riding in my mind again.

Why don’t I give a chance? What could men do different? What could I do different?

* * *

The surgeon is long kissed goodbye. Now there’s someone else. I give my phone number to him. He’s amazing. OMG! Probably not a millionaire, but that criterion is not on the top of my list anymore. There’s just something to this man that attracts me. He’s handsome, oh yes, but something in the way he presents himself is very appealing to me. He tells straight-forward who he is. We’re talking on Whatsapp now. He tells a little more of himself. I know his name, where he lives… My heart is bouncing. OMG!

And every time I get a text from him, this is me…

IMG_8353

We’re planning to meet before I leave.

White horse!!!

With my little Tinder assistants beside me, this is me now…

IMG_8367

One limit crossed. This is not that serious. I’m back to Finland to swipe. Yes, surprised myself, too. I was supposed to go off Tinder because I don’t want to get caught doing this in Finland, someone might recognize me. But it’s the six-hour layover in Norway that brakes the camel’s back. I’ll just look real fast, I mean, I don’t have anything else to do.

Same thing continues in Finland. I’ll just look. Only if someone interesting…

Tinder is interesting. No question about it. Addictive, I’d say. A game? Quiet night home alone and phone too close for the hand to reach. I’m watching TV and swiping heads to left and right.

I don’t have any kind of aim in this. I’m just swiping. Still a Tinder Bitch? Now I’m at 95 percent with the reds. What do I really want out of this, I stop to think. What do these men want, what are they looking for? A goal. Should there be one on Tinder? I examine the profiles on my Tinder feed and realize not many of the men tell who they are and what they want. Me, I don’t even have a written description of myself. Instead, I’ve chosen to show my Instagram feed to everyone on Tinder. That’ll tell a lot more about me.

If I could give an advice to a man, what could it be, I ponder. Maybe I’d say:

Think what you want and let that come out.

* * *

But what do I want?

Even though I still don’t have a specific goal and am swiping most of the men off, I do find men I like. I even get matches. One thin is bothering me. I guess in America I got used to men starting the conversation, I’d say roughly in 90 % of my matches this happened. But in Finland! Out of all my matches, only ONE guy starts talking to me!

”Hi”, he goes and leaves the rest up to me (OHMYGODHOWAREYOUSUPPOSEDTOREPLYTOHIORHELLO AND THEREAREALOTOFTHOSEWHOONLYSAYHI).

But despite the information-lacking and not very conversation-motivating opening line, I’m jumping up and down.

”Oh, you so will get my eternal love for this”, I babble to him excitedly and marvel why ”no other man has taken the action and STARTED THE CONVERSATION, and that this probably tells a lot about the equality in the Finnish relationships and of the fact that it means WOMEN are always supposed to take control of everything, also it comes to being the initiator an that bothers me because I’m a traditional girl who thinks man should be in control.”

D’oh. Wrong answer.

This is exactly what I’ve been afraid of. I wait for the man to start the conversation because I’m too afraid. And I’m afraid because I have gotten a book from the friend of mine who made me go trough this madness in the first place. The book’s called ”Tinder Nightmares” and it tells the most terrible stories of the humankind of the opening lines gone bad on Tinder. And if I was to start the conversation I would probably begin with some feministic-ish line that would totally go wrong. Like I just did…

No, I won’t start the conversation. Instead, I’m googling for hours if there would be some kind of an application that could match a face to a name just based on a picture. And when I can’t find such, I spend more hours trying to find a person on Facebook just based on his very common Finnish first name. I want to know who he is.

But no. I won’t start the conversation and ask him. Like, what’s your name and who are you?

No. Not.

kirjat

Got all these books from my friend. He sure seems to be on a mission…

 

So, if I could give a man some advice it would probably be something like:

Be active. Be bold and start the conversation. Ask questions, but don’t forget to tell about yourself. You don’t have to try to be interesting. You are interesting. You being active and straight-forward is the most fascinating thing about you. The form of your muscles or the adventures you can tell me about don’t make you any more interesting to me.

Your every-day life interests me because I might be sharing it with you some day.

There are no wrong questions nor right answers. If you’re interested, be it bravely and let me know of your interest. Because, even though they say us women are complicated and that there are many twists and turns in our brain, we can’t see inside your head.

* * *

But inside our own heads we sure can come up with all kinds of things. Inside my head, I’m convinced that everybody hates me. I’m sitting in my living room, my phone in my hand. My favorite thing nowadays. TV’s playing a show called ”Too ugly for love?”, how convinient.  There are no more matches. Nobody wants me. The one, THE ONLY ONE, whose been messaging me, is not doing that anymore. He hates me. That’s for sure! I’m ugly! That’s for sure! NOW I’ll go off Tinder.

That’s for sure!

Like. NOOOT! I’m kidding. Ain’t gonna happen because I’m addicted.

* * *

The prince riding a white horse and all that crap, no such picture in my head anymore. But on Tinder, then again, there are all kinds of pictures. The best ones are those of men with dogs who mention in their description:

”Ps. Note, the dog in the picture is not mine.”

Adorable. Like I’ve read my book of the worst Tinder nightmares, I think there has to be a DIY-book for men that teaches:

”Woman likes dogs. You get a woman if you have a dog picture. Use a dog.”

There are also fish, koala bears, cows, horses (not white, though!), cats… There must be also a book that says: It’s very funny when you say you’ve studied in the ”hard school of life”. And even though it will make me stop for a slit second, I’d say the book that advices to replace your picture with that of Brad Pitt’s or Justin Bieber’s needs to be burned. And what it comes to naked upper body (OR THE LOWER, OHMYGODTHEREARETHOSETOO), the is answer is no.

One can seek attention in many ways.

kaunis3

This is me on Tinder.

If I would to be giving an advice, I’d probably say:

Don’t bother copying others. Have your goal in your mind. Become aware of what your picture and written description will tell me, how do they look in MY eyes. If the most important things in your life are gym, selfies taken through a mirror and the well-trained abs, go ahead, fire on with those pictures, but also think if there’s something else that’s interesting to you. Because, even though I will stop to imagine how it would feel to wake up in the morning next to your muscle when I see a picture of it, I will swipe you to the left because I can’t see YOU behind your abs. I’m looking for a man to date with, not a muscle, a beer can or a yacht – even if you want to protect your face, please, consider giving me one picture that tells me who you are. Tell one thing about you, might be a good idea to do it in your own words, not those of someone else – especially if you’re about to say: Carpe diem.

I don’t want to seize the moment. I want to seize you. If you only give me something to seize to.   

Remember, every choice you make is a message to me. Make sure, the message is something you wish me to understand. I mean, you want me to give my heart to you, right.

And you’ll have my hear if you just let your story come alive. 

* * *

I’m not a Tinder-Bitch. I’ve been on Tinder for a month now and I’ve cleared my own goal. I’ve chosen not to stress out. I’ve chosen to give it a go and not take it as seriously as I would have before. The dream of the prince and the white horse and the sunset and the riding still comes alive in my head at times. I mean, that’s still possible but I don’t think Tinder’ll do any harm. I’ve decided to there’s nothing to be ashamed of and write about my experience of my first month on Tinder.

I’ve decided this is the place for me to give that one advice.

You, yes you, man, are wonderful. Just that way, the way you are, you’re the most interesting to me. Don’t care about the guides and advice, just be aware and active, give me something to grab onto and let your story come alive to me. Be just the way you are at your best: bold and confident, the kind who will most definitely find the love your life. On Tinder or somewhere else. 

Because it’s you I’m giving my heart to.

* * *

If you’ve run into me on Tinder, maybe even liked but not gotten my response, don’t you worry, that’s happened to most of the others too. I guess I just haven’t believed the thing I just tried to tell to you myself yet…

Yours,
Maija

Ps. Note, the kids in the pictures are not mine.

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And Pps. Tinder doesen’t pay for me for writing this post. This is something I want to share with you out of my pure heart.

This blog in Finnish here.

Your stupid habits will kill you

Wednesday morning. Wet snow falling from the sky, roads are icy and slippery. Welcome to Helsinki, the capital of Finland, this is how winter here is. I’m quite anxious. It’s dark and I have to drive an hour drive to Lahti which is… well, not one of the most inspiring cities in Finland. I’ve promised to go to practice ski jumping. 

I let people challenge me in doing crazy things. Why? Won’t get paid or anything, this comes out of pure… stupidity, I guess. Who’s insisting? Especially on a Wednesday. It would be so much easier to just stay at home and do the same things I usually do on Wednesdays. I’m not a ski jumper, I can’t do this. Stupid, impulsive and inconsiderate I am to have promised. But because I did promise, I have to go.

 

Thursday night. Change of scene. No more wet snow, and I’m quite excited. Did well the day before and I’m proud of myself. I’m writing a blog to you telling how I’m standing on the stop of the hill, describing how my life is flashing before my eyes and so forth. As I’m ready to publish the writing I know what is to be expected. It’s always the same when I do something out of the box:

”Oh you’re so brave!” ”How can you do things like that, I could never do such a thing.” ”Extremely courageous!”

The feedback. Always nice to hear but in a way it makes me frustrated. I chat to my friend on Facebook. She’s embracing my bravery and telling me how she could never do something like this since she’s got the fear of heights.

”Well, there you go, that’s your limit”, I reply to her and continue:

”To me, most important in this ”courage thing” is that one can’t compare the limits of their courage to those of others. Or, at least, one shouldn’t. Some people do some things and others do other things. I just want people to get to know their limits and become more aware of them. I hope you guys could see the bigger picture hidden here; I don’t need to hear your compliments of how brave I am. It warms my heart, of course, but the reason I do these crazy things is to make you think.

You know, habit is the biggest sin of all. The thing when you keep telling yourself you can’t do something because you just happen to be like that or you got something that won’t allow you to do something. Because you’re used to doing things in some particular way. The only thing that matters to me is that I get to share these stories and experiences with you.

Sorry, you got to hear the big sermon now…”  

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The big sermon. Indeed. Something keeps bugging me after this conversation. Is it really me who’s the brave one or could my friend have jumped off the same ski jump hill as I did – at least try despite her fear? I mean, if I’m honest, it really wasn’t that big of a jump.

What do our habits and beliefs stop us from doing? How much potential do we miss when not questioning our habits, when we’re doing things the way we’ve always done? How many things do we define off-limits for ourselves just because we don’t feel like trying?

Did my friend say she’s fearing the heights just because she’s used to saying that – so that she wouldn’t have to try?

I really do hope you can see the things I do and write in a bigger perspective and picture (or the examples I use).

It’s all about you stopping to think, you questioning your limits and habits. It’s all about you giving yourself a permit to explode some of your limits and habits and encourage others to do the same; that you take the time to consider what could be possible to you if you didn’t purposely limit yourself or someone else. You’ll never know as long as you won’t try. And it’s all about trying. You can always turn back!

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Sunday evening. It’s dark but the sky’s been clear the whole day again. That can happen in Helsinki, too. New week is about to begin. I’m writing down my big sermon for you to read. It’s just waiting for the perfect closure before I get to publish it…

* * *

I didn’t turn back. No, I jumped and promised to do that soon again. I jumped because I had you in mind. I felt I had no choice, because as much as I wanted to experience something new myself, I wanted you to experience something. I wanted you to stop, right now, to think what is possible for you.

Because you might not do it if someone doesn’t make you by giving an example.

To whom could you give an example for? How? What habits and beliefs could you question right now? What could you try? What could come out of you? Because there’s so much more to you than meets the eye – even that of your own.

Please, don’t let your stupid habits kill you!

Yours truly
Maija

I have been writing this blog  for some years now in Finnish. This year I’ll start translating some of my most favorite blogs in English for you and will see where it will take from there. As said before, English is not my mother tongue so I hope you’ll bare with me, the language might not always be ”perfect”.

This blog in Finnish, here.

When a wuss becomes a ski jumper

So. I’ve always been a little bit ahead of my time. Like now, for instance: I’m in-between my thirties and forties and I feel like I’m going through a mid-life-crisis in my fifties. Ya know, when when you get a motorcycle or a pair of lycra pants and a bicycle and go speeding the roads. Oh, it’s the speed, the feeling you’re alive, right?! 

And the feeling when you see your whole life flashing before your eyes…

Yes, this is serious. Mid-life-crisis of the fifties when you are only thirty-something.

I don’t know what’s gotten wrong with me. Usually when you get older you become more careful and start fearing everything. Mothers often say it hits when you get babies and you can feel first hand how fragile life is.

But no, not me. I’m the opposite.

When I was child, I was a wuss. An artist. I would do my theatre and sing and play the cello and was afraid of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. When I got little older, everything in my life was well planned and controlled – oh, the feeling of certainty!

In 1989 my mom gave me a painting: Snoopy the cartoon character has just jumped down from the roof a doghouse and goes: ”You gotta learn to not fear in life”. I hated the painting because I thought my mom would think I was too afraid to do things.

I wasn’t afraid. I was a wuss.

But then somewhere in-between my thirties and forties something clicked in my head and I realized life was too short to be afraid or to be a wuss. And now I’m having the mid-life-crisis which I should be having in my fifties. If I was a man. I mean, it can’t be else. Why would I do this if something wasn’t seriously wrong with me?

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So when you now ask me what goes on in ones mind before the first ski-jump of their life, that’s about it. All of the words above run through my head as I stand on the top of the K6 ski jump hill and look down. K6 means the critical point that determines the size of the hill. If a ski jumper jumps more than 6 meters, he gets points, and if less, points will be reduced. That’s all I know from Wikipedia, don’t ask more about that…

But, K6, anyways. Six meters.

I’ve promised to do a ski jump. Somewhere in-between my thirties and forties I got a ground braking idea to start blogging and accepting challenges; anyone could challenge me to do something crazy and I would promise to accept it, study my physical and mental limits while in action and writing to you about it all. I’ve lived in Norway for some months and worked in fishing industry, been on a roller coster from hell, cycled 350 kilometers in three days and ahead lies a hiking challenge of 250 km in 3 three days. Just to name a few.

But first, let’s just get this over with. The ski jump.

Lahti Ski Games, the pregame to the Nordic World Ski Championships of 2017 that will be held in Finland. A year ago in February I was standing on the top of the biggest ski jump tower in Lahti when invited to watch the 2016 games. And there I said it out loud; how cool would it be to get to jump. To try if I could. And what one says out loud, one tends to get. Some time after that I got the challenge from the Lahti2017 organization. That’s how it goes.

The challenges was accepted in August and I had half a year to practice but it’s come down to this: the games are held in three weeks and until today I have zero hours of practice.

But hey, in Finland we have this thing called ”lahjattomat treenaa” – the ones with no talent are the ones who need practice…

And I’m not untalented. I’m just… a wuss.

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”Let’s just get this over with”, I silently say to myself and even more silently cross my fingers when I step into the locker room. The sanctuary of the ski jumpers. Silent I am because soon this will get noisy!

Groan. That’s the first noise.

I’m groaning and trying to fit into a ski jump suit. It’s yellow and looks like the winning kind. These dudes are small, I realize while trying to fit my shoulders in this thing that resambles a commando suit.

”Flat and wide, that’s the optimal body type of a ski jumper”, says Tami Kiuru, a former ski jumper and the sport chief of the Lahti2017 organization while watching me trying to fit in my commando. He seems slightly amused. The first suit won’t fit me. Gotta take the black, it’s the biggest one.

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Tami, Kai and myself.

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Tami will be my coach today. We have quite a team; the other coach of mine is the best woman ski jumper Julia Kykkänen and the third Kai Lahtinen of the Lahti Ski Club.

Lahti Ski Games held in February 2016 will celebrate the woman ski jumpers. It’ll be the first time women will have their own competition at these games. I won’t be joining these ladies, though. I have my own little spot to do my jump after the flashlights go off.

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Julia is standing in front of my skis trying to stop them slip off while I’m groaning again and trying to fasten my skis. Not easy. Kai is crouching next to me and trying to teach me the right ski jump position.

Now Julia is crouching next to me doing some weird movement.

And me, I ask my coaches how much swearing is too much swearing. I need to scream some swear words since my legs are hurting as hell. I mean, I HAVE been on the skis for five minutes already…

One after another very unpleasant phases follow. Disbelief, fear, screams, Tami, Kai, Julia, wet snow from the sky, wet gloves, tears…

So when you now ask me what a ski jump practice is like, that’s about it. All of the above. Unpleasant phases.

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”You just go ahead, fly through and let the gravity take care of the rest.”

That’s the second noise. Tami.

Now I’m on the top of the K6 and am supposed to do the first real jump. We’ve done the practice going down the hill and it’s time to add the ramp to the game.

In a way this is kinda stupid; the ramp is not that big. But THAT BIG is the terrible noise inside my head when I’m trying to make myself go.

Noise.

That’s the third noise.

The grand and silent fight inside the head, in which one goes through the birth and the death, the sense and the senselessness, the in-between of ones thirties and forties and the mid-life-crisis of the fifties. The fear and the wusses. The paintings their mother gives one. For a long time after the jump I still can’t understand why my head won’t let me go. I just can’t make myself move even though I guess I’ve done some harder slides on skis before. It must be the one additional element. The ramp. The knowledge that I’m supposed to perform a SKI-JUMP. When my head says I’m about to do something new and something unknown lies ahead. Something I just have no experience of. When I don’t have a clue from previous life of how this will turn out.

This is the most fascinating part of my challenges. The moment I get to know what really goes on in my mind when I’m doing something unpredictable and stepping out of my comfort zone. The more I think, the faster I just want to turn back. And then, at some point I just have to make the decision of either going or giving up. I have to turn off the noise.

No. Actually, let me correct. This is the most fascinating part of my challenges: when I get the switch in my head turned off, let go and realize how easy it all was. Happens every time. When I realize how much of the noise in my head was unnecessary.

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AAAAAAAHHHHH.

That’s the fourth noise.

I put my skis on the tracks and let them slide down. AAAAAAHHHHH and I’m on the ground.

So when you now ask me how it feels to do the first ski jump of your life, that’s about it.

The excitement just wipes off all thoughts in my head. I’ve really managed to turn the switch off and don’t remember a thing about the jump. It’s only the burning pain on my thighs. I haven’t fallen, I’m standing through the whole jump but now, all of a sudden feeling an urgent need to fall down. Too much pain.

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When I’ve I’ve done all my six jumps and sitting on the cold ground I can’t remember at all where I’m at, where I’m going or supposed to do when I get home. It’s all swiped off. And the deodorant, swiped off too. Sweat runs under my commando suit.

Off comes Heta, 6. Number six not referring to to the size of the hill but to the age of this girl. A six-year-old girl comes to show me how it’s done. She goes straight to the K15.

Heta’s mom tells me that the night before there have bee 11 kids jumping. That warms my heart. Maybe this means we have a new generation of ski jumper growing because unfortunately the once so popular sport in Finland has not been interesting that much or that many people in the recent years. It’s been hard to get new people involved in the sport both athletes and the big audience to watch it. Kai, Tami and Julia are sad that the municipality has put down some hills. They all have started their careers in ski-jump just playing with their friends.

But now we’ve got Heta and soon the women’s competition in Lahti. Maybe the future lies in us ladies? I wish to have all my girlfriends to come to the games both now in 2016 and and the WC’s in 2017. Together we will make the sport rise again, right?! And now on the upcoming Sunday you can already buy the tickets to the WC’s of 2017 as the tickets come on sale!

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Julia, me and Tami

 

But now me my team are taking the official group photo. We did good. K6, quite well done for a first-timer, this will be a good start. We say our goodbyes with Julia, she’s off to Germany for her next competition.

I step into the locker room with my head all messed up of my jumps and almost drowning in my black commando suit, so sweaty I am. Next jumper is waiting for my suit. We have to share them since there are not so many big one for us amateurs. I take off the suit and mumble my excuses for the sweatiness of it and then rise my head about to say some wise-ass advice for the next jumper – only since I’m such an experienced jumper now.

Heikki Kovalainen. One of the worlds leading Formula 1 drivers is standing in front of me. He is jumping after me since he’s just been announced to be one of the official supporters of the Lahti 2017 World Championships and that’s part of his promotion job.

I decide not to give any wise-ass advice to him. Think he’ll do without them.

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Me and Heikki Kovalainen

 

So when you now ask who’s been test driving Heikki Kovalainen’s ski-jump commando suit, that’s about… me!

And now when you ask me how it is to ski-jump, that’s about all I have to say about for now, until my next jump! Loved it all the way. This is only the beginning, K15 awaits!

And you know, having the mid-life-crisis of the fifties here somewhere in-between my thirties and forties, is not too bad. Makes you sweat.

/Maija, a proud ski-jumper-to-be

Thank you for joining me on my first adventure in English! If you wish, I will continue blogging in English too. Just let me know if you want to follow my adventures in the future, too. My ski-jump adventure continues, and of that, at least, I promise to report in English too! And hey, because I’m Finnish, there might be some mistakes in the grammar, but we don’t mind that, do we 🙂

And come follow me on Instagram @maijailmoniemi to see a short video clip of my first jump! 

 

This blog also in Finnis, here.