In the last few times I’ve gone home to Finland to visit my friends and family, I’ve felt increasingly emotional and somehow detached from my life there. I touched on this already in an Instagram post last week, but as I felt like I had so much more still to say, I decided to write a bit more about how I feel about it all. When I wrote that post I was feeling pretty rubbish, but after I put it out there I immediately felt better, so I’m hoping that writing this will act as some kind of catharsis, too.
The first few years when I visited home after moving to London never really made me feel sad – I was just so excited to go back to all the old familiar spots, to see my friends and family and to kind of experience my hometown as a tourist, whilst it still feeling safe and familiar, too. I would go out with my friends, and just feel this immense happiness and gratefulness that I had this set of *amazing* people there that were willing to make time for me and make me feel like home whenever I went to visit.
As time goes by, I guess, you start to lose touch with some people, but luckily the ones that really matter remain. It’s a cliche to say that with good friends time doesn’t pass in the same way, but it’s also so true. And yet, I wish I could be part of their lives more, I wish I could be there for them when bad things happen and I wish I could share the good moments too. Whatsapp and Skype are amazing, but they don’t come close to the real thing, and the longer I stay away, the more things I feel I miss.
Coming back from these trips the past few times has been so hard. I struggle to get back into the swing of things here in London and I always wish I’d had more time to spend with my friends and family. At the same time, when I am there, I sometimes feel anxious about the lack of time, and the fact that I know that I have to leave again soon. Basically, I struggle to stay in the moment and dread when I have to say goodbye again. Seems a bit counter-intuitive, right?
It’s not just the people that I feel this way about, either. I feel disconnected from the culture and the city that I used to know so well, too. I’ve become that person that compares everything to my “new” life, and I feel like I’m not “Finnish” enough, anymore. Which feels frustrating and ridiculous, as when I’m in London and around people here, I couldn’t feel more Finnish. It’s like existing in some kind of in-between land.
And still, I don’t want to go back there. As much as I love my home country and as much as I love and adore my friends and family, I have to stay where I feel like I’ll be the happiest. Partly these feelings might be due to guilt, too: up until about a year ago, I always thought I’d move back soon, and now that I’ve realised I might not do that in a very long time, if ever, I feel like I’ve somehow abandoned everyone. It also feels a lot more final, which would explain the emotional feelings.
I’m not quite sure what the red line of this post was supposed to be – I just felt like I needed to get some thoughts out, old school diary style. Word vomit, if you will!