|I can't stop playing ねこあつめ, it keeps my days bright.|
Last year this time, I left through Chicago's international terminal, my mother and father cried and hugged me and insisted on taking pictures as I walked through the security gate of no return. (Parents, right?) I'm very glad Skype exists, because it lets us talk and laugh for just long enough before we start to get on each other's nerves. My parents have adapted well to technology, even if sometimes they still can't figure out where the video chat button is for a solid thirty seconds.
I do love them, and I miss them and my little brother (twenty-two, hardly "little" by any standards, but eternally fifteen to me) a lot sometimes, but mostly because I wish they could see how I've grown.
|Just a normal evening.|
There was only one real answer: of course not.
How is it ever fully possible to be "ready" to move to another country, to start a new future, to have every sign you've grown accustomed to on the street in another language, to have to re-learn how to ask for basic things like a napkin or where the bathroom is. Finns are kind and speak wonderful English naturally, since Finnish is only spoken by a handful of a million worldwide, but I still feel crazily shy speaking my native tongue, because I feel like I'm imposing. I didn't travel seven hours across the ocean to be an American in Finland--I traveled here to become a Finnish American. I can speak much more Finnish now, much to my excitement. I had a small victory party the day I was able to finally say to a shopkeeper, "No, I don't need help, I'm fine thank you," in Finnish and have them not respond to me in English out of an embarrassing kindness.
|MAC Chili lipstick, a Christmas gift from my mother.|
TenThree Labs Salve Stick, a gift from Noora. I used it up quickly; I love it.
Lit by our lightbox, which is likely to be a staple for winters to come.
Accompanied by coffee, the eternal staple.
I have survived.
More than just survived, I have flourished.
I am grateful to everyone this year who has loved and supported me, talked with me, or just been there to brighten my day, even if they don't know they did.
Kiitos paljon, I hope this next year may see us all bloom even brighter than the last.
Lots of love,