I harboured this slight hope that I would return from my holiday with some plans for the future, with a sense of direction. Waking up last Tuesday, I must confess, I felt a slight pang of end-of-holiday-blues, and more than a slight disappointment that I had no new job, no new fascinating city, no nothing to return to.
I remember how I used to fancy Helsinki. I couldn’t wait to move away from home. I couldn’t wait to get away from the countryside. I couldn’t wait for my life to begin.
And oh, did I love life when it finally begun. Year in and year out, the white city of the north was the love of my life. We had our ups and downs, of course, but I always returned. I was always happy to return.
A few weeks ago I went to an exhibition with my mother. Scribbling down my name in the guest book, my mum said she’s always wondered if I put Helsinki or Pernå after my name, and I told her, without a doubt, Helsinki. Always.
But then I started thinking. Is Helsinki really the city I want to put after my name? The city I feel proud of? Happy with? My home?
I was away on a holiday for five weeks this year, one at the Riviera, and four at Gerby. I thought about spending a night or two in Helsinki at one point, but couldn’t find a good enough reason, and buried the idea five minutes later. Walking around that whole last day of holiday, feeling blue, and driving back into the city, not at all feeling like I was returning home, it suddenly hit me. I think I’m breaking up with Helsinki.
It really is as simple as that. After 14 years together, I’m just not happy any more. And I haven’t been for a while.. the last year or so, I’ve taken every chance I could get to be anywhere but in Helsinki. The weekends I’ve had to spend here, felt just like that; I have had to spend..
Then on the other hand, where is home? The dream of London is at the moment very foggy as no-one there seems to want me.* But as my sister-in-law said to me the other day: you’re not really made for living in the countryside all year long. I know that. I can’t go back. I don’t want to stay.
I just want to go home.
* that sounded so desperate that even I myself laughed out loud…