Chapter 53 – Five And Counting

 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016.

 

Day 58

 

After Kristiina’s late call yesterday, Anna remebered it was payday and she still had to pay all her bills on Nordea’s netbank, so she’s pretty exhausted…

So little sleep! Eurgh…

 

Christian’s good morning cheers Anna up.

 

10:46   Morning! 😊 5 and counting. Just getting up.

11:07   Lucky you. I need a power nap. 😊

Haha. Do it. ☺️ Get under your desk. And put your feet up.

11:15   Under the desk already. 15 good min. – then I can work again with joy and creativity.

11:16   Still lost? Haha. Sorry for the confusion. Our dates are written in granite. 😊 I’m feeling ill today. Finally my cold is coming out. Will work from bed today. Hope you have a good morning!

Sorry for your cold. Take care, stay warm!! Hope you get well soon. And if you don’t, I completely understand if you can’t make it on Sunday, Monday, etc… Although it would be a pity. Did you buy that Berocca? And if you have a cough, Vick Vapourub under your feet and warm socks before you go to bed. Shouldn’t cough at all at night. 😊

12:11   Thanks. Got the Berrocca and feeling a bit better. Vicks on my feet?? Never tried that before! 😊  Thanks for the tips. I’ll certainly be well by Sunday.

 

IMG_2425 – kopio

12:31   I got this mug from my best friends this month. Happy you’re planning on getting better til Sunday!

13:03   Ahh. That’s nice. Did one of your students bring you an apple? I thought that only happened in the movies. 😊

13:11   Yeah, unfortunately only in the movies, but then again, poisoned apples only happen in Snow White. So, all’s good!

13:30   Haha. Safer to buy your own then. Send me some selfie inspiration please?

 

Anna sends him two.

.

.
Nice pictures!! I have to admit, I’m not looking my best today. But I’ll send you my smile selfie a little later. Promise.

14:25   Good!

Talking of promises, remember my pupils’ tasks? Their own list of “My Favorite Things”?

Here are the results:

IMG_2426(1) – kopio

Ah… I just love inspiring the pupils to find their best work within themselves. So proud of them! Here are three of my favorites:

IMG_2421 – kopio

14:27   Amazing, isn’t it?

IMG_2428 – kopio

14:29   Awe-inspiring. This girl is just genious!

IMG_2418 – kopio

So romantic! Oh, so very relatable.

© 2017 rf

 

Obs. Artwork published with the pupils’ permission (and no names)!

All names have been changed, and chat messages were published with the match’s kind permission.

 

 

Obs. Day 58 and five to go?

 

 

 

Chapter 45 – The Acronyms

 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016.

 

Day 52

 

10:01   Morning!! 😊 Just reading your messages. I see some selfies up there! 😊 Very frosty here. Hope you slept well. Any dreams?
It’s a nice tattoo on your neck. Discreet. And sexy.

10:11   Hi Christian…

 

Oh, the back-and-forth interaction. The imagined person. The unveiling of a mystery. The gradual getting-to-know. The peek into the other’s soul, into their hopes and dreams. The warmth and the flirting — that’s the main thing for now. No hurry.

Anna’s at recess at school, daydreaming for just a moment.

 

10:12   Hello, Annita! Was listening to your music. Just having breakfast. Have a good morning. Hope you don’t get hit by any flying objects!!

 

She told him yesterday about a 9th grader who threw a really hard snow ball in the back of her head on Monday. From afar. She got furious and told the pupil that next time she’ll have to call the police. Eurgh. Driving home feeling dizzy had been so hard.

11:12   Haha. Thanks!

11:15   I was halfway through when you popped up. Will keep chatting. 😊

Please do. Make me smile – like always! I was just chatting to a pupil who’s really nice. He lent me his spare phone when I broke my mobile last week. Remember I’ve lost all your previous messages? Wish I could retrieve them. They were so sweet!

I’m in need of new ones now.

11:16   I bet you have lots of good kids there. I’m not a fan of the one who chucked the ice ball at your head though!! I was hit when I was at school and it almost knocked me out! You’ve just made me remember that. 😊

And you keep breaking your phones. You must be quite strong. All those hours at the gym. 😊

11:20  Right. Talk to you later. Have a lovely day.

Btw, I booked my flights finally. Will arrive in Helsinki on Sunday the 21st at 1830. So are you free on Monday?

 

Anna looks at the spare phone again — OMG, OMG! He really is coming to Finland. As promised.

 

11:25   Sorry. Finished my lesson now. I was showing some pupils your website.

Seriously??? You are? So cool!!

Happy your ticket has been booked. Maybe I’ll even have dinner with you on Sunday?

That would be nice. 😊

Great. You run now and I’ll catch you later. If I write, just read when you can.

So, about being strong – yes, a little. I like lifting weights. 250 abs per time. But there’s a long way to go. Ah, and talking about sports, I miss jogging when it’s been raining non-stop.

Lunch now. Fish and salad.

11:27   Bon apetit! Impressive gym work there!

 

13.38   Hello! How was your morning? I popped out for a river walk. A few work calls and almost lunchtime here. Played your music along the way. Loved it. 😊 Very sunny today. But also frosty. My favourite weather – I should have taken a pic.

14:30   😊 Yes, you should have. I love sunshine, especially in cold days. Happy you liked the music.

I’m going to the hairdresser’s. You have an hour to give me your opinion. Either keeping this medium-dark blond. Or some light brown with vivid colors. Have had many hair colors. Even black.

 

Anna sends him three pictures of her with three different hair colors. She chooses good photos – of course. Gotta make an impression…

 

14:35   Hmmm. Tricky. All look good!! Are you natural blonde?

Thanks! I was as a child. Light brown now. But no preference?

Hmmm. I think your hair looks great already! You and your daughter could be sisters! I like your colour as it is. 😊

 

That Sofia Vergara daughter of mine and me? Sisters! Hahahaha. I wish.

 

16:09   Oh, my daughter is much much more beautiful! And on the inside, as well. Heart of gold, that girl. And very sharp brain!

Thanks for the opinion. My son loves the brown and my daughter the blond. So I vary. Keeping the dark blond for now. ☺️

16.19   Good decision. It’s a nice colour.

I dyed my hair once in my life. Jet black. I looked like Dracula so tried to dye it back. Then it turned into a copper colour!! So I had to shave it off. Never again. Well….there’s no point now anyway. 😊

16.23   Your story is funny!! And the way you felt each time. I’ve had similar hair experiences. Hahaha.

I was going to ask where you would like to go for dinner. If you are free of course.

16.26   Tonight? 😊

Not sure where I am staying yet but will be central.
Haha. Sunday. Next Sunday that is. 😊

16.29   Thought you were suddenly here to surprise me tonight.

That would be fun.

Yes. Sure it’s too late?
I would love to have dinner with you on the 21st.
Vapiano closes at 11 p.m.

Vapiano sounds great. You are not working the next day, is that right? Just concerned if you have to get up at 0550!

16.47   No, not working the next day. Yay!
But you’ll be tired from the trip.

It’s not a long journey. Plus, the next morning I will sleep in.

 

Hey, today I’ve been working on a new AI engine that should definitely be called A.N.N.A….R.I.T.V.A. 

A=Articulate, N=Natty, N=Nightly, A=Alluring 😊

R=Rapid (brain), I=Impassioned, T=Talented, V=Valiant, A=Amazing

 

My God. How sweet is that!! S2

 

16:52   Was going to put a T=Tattoo. But you don’t have enough T’s in your name. Are you sure it’s not RITTVA?

17.06  Awww.

My turn.

C arinhoso
H andsome
R apt
I ngenious
S urprisingly sweet
T ea for two?
I maginable
A musing
N aked in the sauna?

Maybe that’s you!

17:07   Hahaha!! That made me laugh! 😊

I knew it! But it’s unfair. My two names together have more letters than yours!
Still, I wanted to express how I appreciate your personality and good manners. Did try making you laugh, too.

17:10   You covered all the bases. 😊
Looking forward to seeing you very soon. I must have walked past that restaurant a million times. Not sure I’ve been in.

It’s simple and good. 9 p.m?

17.13   Perfect.

Loved the acrostic you made of my name. ☺️

17:15   Yours was better.

 

Anna’s just leaving the hairdresser’s.

Christian is always so nice!

On the other hand…………

 

…if there’s one thing I’ve learned already…

…it is that if I like my Tinder match’s voice, there’s a bigger chance of liking them in person. The opposite is also true………😬

 

17.19   Would you like to give me a call? In a few minutes?

17:20   Standby.

 

The phone rings. Christian’s calling her on WhatsApp. She answers.

Fingers crossed.

“Hello, how are you doing there?” he says with a voice and a native accent that sounds like a mixture of Hugh Grant’s and Simon Cowell’s.

 

Oh    My   God!!! Beautiful. 

She gets goosebumps all over her body as the sides of her lips turn up and she blushes a little.

They discuss Anna’s English – he says it’s perfect. Much better than he expected.

These Englishmen!

Oh, stop it – you’re making me blush!

They chat about his job in Finland, his years in South Africa.

 

About why Tinder. “It gets lonely,” is his answer.

Finally meeting… “You really are coming to Finland. As promised!”

“I always do what I promise.”

It’s a very, very pleasant call, and Anna just adores his voice. And his way of interacting with her. Why does it always feels so nice with him?

He feels so present in the here and now. 

 

17.42   Sorry. My son called. Always nice to talk to him, of course, but not nice to have our first phone call interrupted.

17:46   No problem. I thought it was all my work messages coming through. Will talk again soon. Nice to hear your beautiful voice.

Thank you. I feel the same way.

17:47   You haven’t sent me you new hairdo.

I will try a selfie at home. 😊 Have to walk there now.

I’m going to go for the African Karoo desert look for my hair.

 

Phew! That’s great. When Christian sent Anna a pic of him in South Africa, she thought he looked very handsome. Tall, in shape – thankfully not overly fit – and with a beautiful friendly smile. Almost bald, hair trimmed short. Casual and elegant.

Later, he sent he a pic which was taken in a recent business meeting in Finland. He had longer bald hair, and that didn’t look very nice, tbh. That day, she hadn’t wasted any time, but told him the African haircut suited him much, much better. “It gives you a younger, more modern look.”

 

17:49   Cool. I liked it!! Modern.

But no sun tan. 😑

Well, not yet.

I had a nice tan for over 20 years. But I guess bad for skin.

17.50   If I could travel, we could both get a tan in Spain in ten days. 😊

Well….that can be arranged v easily.

In Finland, we just freeze the skin so it won’t get old. Ever. Haha – I wish. Hey, who knows? Maybe we’ll just go crazy and hop on a plane to Spain.

It’s not far. Where I live(d) was 22 degrees today.

Or then a cottage and the hole in the ice. Warm and nice. 😊

17:22   I love that!!!! Both extremes. Fireplace. Sunshine.

Me too.

You have no idea how much I love fires. 😊 🔥

17.56  I love a dark cottage with the glow and noise and smell from the fireplace. The silent forest outside. The privacy.

If you are trying to make me move to Finland….. it’s working!!

And I love hooks, too!!! You’re addicted to fires and my teens say I am addicted to hooks. More about that later.

17:57   Hooks?

Yes, I’m crazy about hooks.

For clothes? Or fishing??

For mostly everything. Got one as a surprise gift from my daughter last Xmas. I got so happy and emotional that I cried. She started laughing and filmed me smiling and crying – holding the hook. Hilarious.

17.59   Hahaha. A hook!?

I’ll send you a pic soon.

Interested about your hooks.

18:00   Basic stuff. Not hooking myself up in spears and ceilings and such, like some lunatics. So, you have nothing to fear.

18:01   Haha. Very good. Phew.

 

I’m walking past Bulevardi and send him a pic of the icy church yard.

bulevardi

 

18:02   Are you close to cathedral?

Near Esplanadi. So not that far from the cathedral.

It looks familiar. I have walked a lot across Helsinki. Hope it snows soon.

Hope for a nice fire, at least.

Where can we light a fire?

We’ll have to google that because outside is no fun in the rain right now.

 

Back home, Anna sends him the requested selfie of her new hair.

18:24   Very nice! Looks great.

18:45   Thanks! 😘

 

21.20   Hello. 😘 Just a quick one. Hope you’re finding the time to relax over there and enjoying your new hairdo. What do your kids think? I’m sure they love it. Going for my Karoo cut next week.

21.24   Sounds great! I’m going to sew something with my sewing machine now.
What are you up to over there?

21.37   What are you creating tonight?

Just a practical sheet system for the sofa bed.

Oh. Very good. I’d like to see that. Did you take classes for that? Or are you just a natural??

Only in elementary school. I’m no good. Just improvise.

I think you are very modest.

No. In Finland people are really good at these things. I just learn the basics of everything and like to do a bit when needed.

21:41   That’s still impressive. Just about to eat so speak to you soon. Don’t forget to send the finished product! Please. 😊

Haha. Talk to you soon. Good night. ☺️

 

You never know, but who knows, who knows?

© 2017 rf

Obs. All names have been changed, and chat messages were published with the match’s kind permission.

 

Obs. Day 52 of life can actually be good.

 

 

Chapter 44 – For the Love of Writing

 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016.

 

Day 52

 

Anna loves chatting – and writing in general. When she was a teenager, she used to have over two hundred pen pals. It was so exciting to go to her mailbox after school to retrieve up to ten-twelve letters a day from all over the world.

Such joy and excitement. Emotions.

Every single day.

Her boyfriend at the time was a long-distance relationship, and they too sent each other fun, romantic letters for three long years. Drawings, gifts, books. Paper kisses and longing.

Anna’s father, Marcos, is the one responsible for teaching her the love of reading and writing.

You see, in her childhood her family used to move almost every year – from city to city and country to country. Dad, always the affectionate artistic type, didn’t want his kids to become estranged from their relatives and best friends, and so he taught them all the joys of letter writing when Anna was about 9 years old, and her sister Sarah, 10.

She recalls the day when dad came into their room, holding the beautiful letter paper their mom Riitta had bought. They were living in New Jersey at the time.

 

“First, write the city and the date on the upper right-hand corner, you see? Like this.

“Good. Well done, my darlings.

“Then you start with ‘Dear Y, how are you?’ Always tell them how you are doing, as well.

“Sarah, watch your handwriting! You’ll want people to understand what you’re saying. There, that’s better.

“Now, you can proceed to share nice things about your life, your pastimes, school and trips. Tell your pen pal how you felt during certain events, not just about the things you’ve been doing. It makes the reading experience more intense and interesting.

“It’s also very important never to forget to ask them about their life. Be curious and show interest. That’s how you make friends and, above all, keep your old ones.

And with a little kiss on their heads “I’ll proofread your letters when you’re ready and then you’ll go with your mom to the post office.

“Ask me if you need any help, sweethearts.”

 

Day 17. Grownup Anna has just been on Tinder for a couple of days when she matches with a guy named Tino. Remember? Their chats are so intense and Anna’s feeling very excited to meet him… Unfortunately, he cancels the day before their coffee date, becoming her Tinder disappointment #1.

That is when she reads some advice online, and decides to stop chatting for days and days before meeting up with her dates.

 

Day 36, and along comes Christian.

Remember him? One of the Englishman? The one Anna matched with after she decided to change her criteria about who to swipe yes to on Tinder.

Yes, that CEO of a new start-up in Finland who promised to come from Germany soon to meet her in person.

The one with the long, manly nose. — She smiles at the thought.

Not knowing if she’ll really ever meet him or not, she decides to make an exception and keep in touch with this guy. They’ve been chatting on a daily basis for over two weeks now.

And every day the chats grow warmer and more fun.

They’re intriguing.

Christian has become the exception to her rule.

 

10:01   Morning!! 😊 Just reading your messages. I see some selfies up there! 😊
Very frosty here. Hope you slept well. Any dreams?
It’s a nice tattoo. Discreet. 😉 Feminine and sexy.

10:11   Hi Christian…

 

© 2017 rf

Obs. All names have been changed, and chat messages were published with the match’s kind permission.

 

 

Obs. Day 52 since moving out of Mr. Ex’s home, their last home together.

 

 

Chapter 41 – Oxymoronic Paradoxes

 

Monday, 8 February 2016.

 

Day 50

 

During her lunch break at school, Anna sits down to scribble in her diary.

 

 

Dear Diary,

 

Long time no write! Sorry.

There’s something I’ve been reflecting about and want to register here.

 

Betrayal.

 

Awful word, but intrinsic in human nature.

I remember just last year, a month before moving out of our last home together…

…I had already signed my rental apartment’s contract and was spending my afternoons and evenings looking for good deals to buy furniture and whatnot. (That part was fun, tbh. I adore moving and decorating. I’m good at it! I love looking for solutions).

 

Anyways, the shopping kept me busy and focused on practicalities for the near future, instead of the immediate pre-separation…

…valley

of

death.

 

As you can imagine, I’d go from excitement and exhilaration to deep sadness.

Agonizing joy.

Energetic exhaustion.

Blue fun.

Fearful hope, dreaded freedom.

 

Oxymoronic paradoxes.

The silent screams of my soul felt pretty loud to me, at times. Good grief!

 

Some say that people get divorced too easily nowadays, but sincerely? I don’t believe that most people take separation lightly. It’s scary and painful! They say it’s like amputating a leg.

More like amputating a part of your heart. :(((

 

For better or for worse, we were together for 22 years. Neither he nor I took it lightly, see? Even though it wasn’t ’til death – at the end of the end.

 

I wish we had divorced eight years ago, when he first said he wanted it. We wouldn’t have wasted so much of each other’s time and would have avoided more excruciating heartbreak and some other drastic measures (no comments)… 

Nevertheless…

I am grateful we were able to part in one piece.

Ops! Part in peace!

Where was I?

Yes, during that pre-separation month, I’d feel relieved and then anguished. Little did I know it was going to turn out to be a cruel kindness – what he was doing to me (at least that’s my hope now).

If only people knew! They’d divorce sooner.

But people with bad marriages fear. So, they make haste  s…l….o…..w……l…….y…………..

They’ve got to go through the process to progress.

OK! Be wise, don’t rush it too much. Prepare the way for a (better?) future.

 

As I was saying… at times I’d cry in the shower. I’d let go and then the next second hold on for dear life.

 

I’d love him with all my hate.

I’d agonize and think about betrayal.

“Do you already have somebody else?”

“Anna, I’ve already hurt you so much in this marriage. There’s no reason for me to hurt you more right now.” The holy sinner – damned saint would repeat!

Not unlike me…

Some of the church people we know judge him, but I’ll respect him for not remaining a hypocritical chaplain in the end. For finally having the courage to be true to himself.

And give me my freedom to (try) to find love again.

(Maybe the painful journey of self-love first?)

 

It’s always better to deal with the truth, no matter the blow. I’ll choose hearing the honest truth 90 out of 100 times.

The truth shall set you free – true – free to fly the dreadful flight of freedom.

How can we make the best decisions for our own well-being without the truth??? People have no right to keep us prisoners of lies.

 

Nonetheless…

…”Speak the truth with love”.

 

Would it have been better to stay in the bad marriage and feel alone together?

♥️ I’d much rather be together alone someday. Just the two of us! Mr. Bf and me. ♥️

 

As I was saying… I’d cry in the shower thinking about betrayal. I felt so betrayed!

Yet, what was the betrayal??

Was it that he was jumping in bed with another lady?

For me, the greatest betrayal was not that.

 

He fell in love. O amor é lindo.

As Dr. Helen Fischer says, “love is a powerful brain system, more powerful than sex drive. It comes from primordial parts of the brain – way below the cortex. It gives you the energy, the focus, ecstasy, the despair and the motivation. To win life’s greatest prize – a mating partner”.

Aye, no!

(Btw, she’s studied brain scans of couples who have been romantically in love after 21 years together. It can happen!)

 

“Passion makes people climb the highest mountains and sail the raging seas. Romantic love inspires poets, musicians, commoners”.

Its memories make people write books. 😇

The Bible says love covers a multitude of sins.

 

Then, what was the betrayal?

 

The betrayal for me was this:

How can he prefer not to have me in his life? To just erase me, swipe me out.

After everything. All the memories. All the battles, victories, photo albums and family memories. All the patience and forgiveness. All the support and growth. All the emotions!

All that investment in vain?

How can someone actually find they’re upgrading their lives by taking me out of it??? His best friend for over half his life… To think he’s better off without me than with me? Unfathomable.

I felt like garbage. Rejection was the betrayal!

That actually felt like death. A resurrection I should have welcomed?

Why not sooner then? It would have saved me some of my youth.

 

And what about our kids? They say divorce is harder on teenagers than children. 

 

Wow.

But no problem.

Now I know his cruel kindness was for my best, too.

A passionless marriage is not true for me. Holding on is just wishful thinking. Wasted years? I think so… 

Men and women out there: pleeease do not hold on to someone who doesn’t love you. Please do not fear. You deserve to be loved with all of your lover’s flawed human heart. Everyone does.

Mutuality!

 

But, silver linings, silver linings, Anna! Don’t get depressed now.

Everything happens for a purpose. Or at least you can give it a purpose and make it meaningful.

I sure am turning my pain into something beautiful.

 

In this long, long diary entry, my mind has been wandering everywhere – itinerant from place to place. I can break it down later, but I did warn you in the title.

And it does happen with pre-separation. Consider separating, do it, and your mind will thus wonder and wander while your heart rides a scary merry-go-round.

 

OK, long story short – finally:

 

Divorce??

More like amputating half of your heart!

Hey, maybe I need a heart transplant!

A new heart? I like that.

I’m gonna think of divorce as an open-heart surgery from now on. Painful, risky, extreme. I’ll need time for convalescence… But not alone, please…?

 

The Divorce Paradox = a seemingly false, but significant step.

 

Anna, you’ll get a new heart – hope for a stronger one!

You’ll still retain your brain, your memories, your soul, your you. But you’ll have the chance to start over.

Bitter sweet. New beginnings. A crash landing? New-found grace.

And an opportunity to be true. To love again and do it much, much better.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 50 of an oxymoronic new life.

http://gtotd.blogspot.fi/2007/06/oxymoronic-paradox-wisdom-of-yogi-isms.html

 

 

Chapter 40 – I Simply Remember

 

Monday, 8 February 2016.

 

Day 50

 

And the lesson goes on.

 

“My dear 8C, now that you’re all awake… Your homework was to think about your favorite pastimes and such, writing a list with at least ten items. Who has done that?”

Hands go up everywhere.

Anna shows the class a video – My Favorite Things, from The Sound of Music – one of her favorite movies. And the boldest of her pupils sing along with her.

“🎶 I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad!”

Ah… Nice.

“Encouraging, isn’t it?” she smiles.

“So, today your task is to be creative. Take your list of favorite things and transform it into beautiful art. A poster, a video, a play. The sky is the limit. If you’re not good at drawing, write a colorful list that will look great on the wall.

“You can also draw stick men, like I did.”

Anna told Christian (one of the nice Englishmen from Tinder), that she’s been working on this theme at school. He insisted she share her list with him – wouldn’t take no for an answer. So endearing! So she drew it for him.

How Anna loves feeling inspired with the silliest of things!

Now, she projects the images she drew on the smart board, hoping to ignite her pupils’ creativity. First, she wants them to speak up and practice their English.

“Hey look, here are my very own favorite things. Can you tell me what they are?”

 

ft1 – kopio

ft – kopio

ft2 – kopio

ft3 – kopio

 

Chatting with Chris has been so lovely. A mix of witty, smart, gentlemanly and flirty. Guys are a mystery, but it’s gradually getting warmer.

She drew him a couple of extra (burning hot) pastimes on the back side. 😍

Completely scratched over now, of course!

 

Hmm. We shall see…

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 50 since moving out. Warm beginnings!

 

 

Chapter 37 – Why I Am Doing This

 

Sunday, 7 February 2016.

 

Day 49

 

Dear Diary,

Today has been a time for some reflection, and now in the evening I feel I want to scribble down some thoughts.

Turning 39 recently… the separation… our new flat… are the teens going to be OK?

Tinder! Eight dates, elation, fun, tears, peace, a little sadness, too. Prayer. Separation sure creates a merry-go-round of varying emotions.

Mixed feelings. But tbh, negative ones have been rare since November. Believe me if you will. More often than not, I’ve been content since I moved out.

I have the chance for a new beginning. It’s normal to feel sad, at times. Naturally. That’s life! But I’ve actually been quite OK for the most, and I won’t complain about that!

Hmm, my dad is telling everyone that “Anna is doing fine. She is so relieved.” He even posted that on FB. Haha. Face-palm.

I had enough suffering within the marriage, so now I’ve left the fights back there. Broken objects, too.

Let me be happy now. I am determined to!

(Yesterday was the first exception since November. I  felt blue all morning, but strong again in the evening).

 

So……….

After a long delicious nap this afternoon, I decided to think about why I have been going on these dates.

Love it or leave it.

Tinder, that is.

 

I asked myself:

 

OK, what do I want?

Well, I believe in love! I love love. I love passion. I am a people person, very social. Prefer company. Besides, I have time in my hands. And lots of curiosity.

And a big heart, ready to love again. ❤️‍

 

What’s the hurry?

Oh, no hurry. After twenty-two years with the same man, it’d be crazy to be in a hurry to find another husband.

 

So, what are you looking for on Tinder now?

Well, that was what took me the longest to answer. But then I came to the following conclusions:

 

(1) In the short term, just meeting new people, socializing. Finding out who is out there. What kind of men are single and on the lookout. Long interesting conversations. A few new friends?

Yes, excellent. Nothing wrong, scary or desperate about that. 🙂

 

(2) In the medium term, I’d love to find a boyfriend. Life is definitely for sharing. And I’ve got so much love and affection to give!

I want to add value to a man’s life and heart. To his days. To his thoughts. And he must as much to me, too!

 

And finally, (3) In the long term…

…someday, if I’m really lucky. I hope to share my life closely with my Mr. One again.

Happy sigh!

 

Hey, one thing I know for sure: if he exists, he has already been born!!! 😂

He’s somewhere over the rainbow… 🦅 

So, wherever he is right now, I hope he’s fine and looking for me too. Longingly.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 49 of stay! Now you know what you’re doing.

 

 

Chapter 36 – But Sunday’s On the Way

tiainen – kopio (2)

Sunday, 7 February 2016.

 

Day 49

 

The brass band plays during the morning service. It’s powerful!

Oh, so very touching!

Anna doesn’t attend too often anymore (it’s hard to look at the pulpit and remember Mr. Ex standing there singing, playing the guitar, bringing the Sunday sermon).

A decade of memories.

But she wanted to sit here this Sunday and just scrutinize her own soul.

 

Afterwards, she walks home in the chilly sunshine, listening to a Ted ed video called “Who am I?”

https://ed.ted.com/lessons/who-am-i-a-philosophical-inquiry-amy-adkins

 

“Who am I?

Throughout the history of mankind,

three little words have sent poets to the blank page,

philosophers to the Agora,

and seekers to the oracles:

‘Who am I?’

From the ancient Greek aphorism inscribed on the Temple of Apollo,

‘Know thyself,’

to The Who’s rock anthem, ‘Who Are You?’

philosophers, psychologists, academics,

scientists, artists, theologians and politicians

have all tackled the subject of identity.

Their hypotheses are widely varied and lack significant consensus.

These are smart, creative people,

so what’s so hard about coming up with the right answer?

 The challenge certainly lies

with the complex concept of the persistence of identity.

Which you is who?

The person you are today?

Five years ago?

Who you’ll be in 50 years?

And when is ‘am’?

This week?

Today?

This hour?

This second?

And which aspect of you is ‘I’?

Are you your physical body?

Your thoughts and feelings?

Your actions?

 These murky waters of abstract logic are tricky to navigate,

and so it’s probably fitting that to demonstrate the complexity,

the Greek historian Plutarch used the story of a ship.

How are you ‘I’?

As the tale goes, Theseus, the mythical founder King of Athens,

single-handedly slayed the evil Minotaur at Crete,

then returned home on a ship.

To honor this heroic feat,

for 1000 years Athenians painstakingly maintained his ship in the harbor,

and annually reenacted his voyage.

Whenever a part of the ship was worn or damaged,

it was replaced with an identical piece of the same material

until, at some point, no original parts remained.

Plutarch noted the Ship of Theseus

was an example of the philosophical paradox

revolving around the persistence of identity.

How can every single part of something be replaced,

yet it still remains the same thing?

 Let’s imagine there are two ships:

the ship that Theseus docked in Athens, Ship A,

and the ship sailed by the Athenians 1000 years later, Ship B.

Very simply, our question is this: does A equal B?

Some would say that for 1000 years there has been only one Ship of Theseus,

and because the changes made to it happened gradually,

it never at any point in time stopped being the legendary ship.

Though they have absolutely no parts in common,

the two ships are numerically identical, meaning one and the same,

so A equals B.

However, others could argue that Theseus never set foot on Ship B,

and his presence on the ship is an essential qualitative property

of the Ship of Theseus.

It cannot survive without him.

So, though the two ships are numerically identical,

they are not qualitatively identical.

Thus, A does not equal B.

But what happens when we consider this twist?

What if, as each piece of the original ship was cast off,

somebody collected them all, and rebuilt the entire original ship?

When it was finished, undeniably two physical ships would exist:

the one that’s docked in Athens,

and the one in some guy’s backyard.

Each could lay claim to the title, ‘The Ship of Theseus,’

but only one could actually be the real thing.

So which one is it,

and more importantly, what does this have to do with you?

Like the Ship of Theseus,

you are a collection of constantly changing parts:

your physical body, mind, emotions, circumstances, and even your quirks,

always changing, but still in an amazing and sometimes illogical way,

you stay the same, too.

This is one of the reasons that the question, ‘Who am I?’ is so complex.

And in order to answer it,

like so many great minds before you,

you must be willing to dive into the bottomless ocean of philosophical paradox.

Or maybe you could just answer,

‘I am a legendary hero sailing a powerful ship on an epic journey.’

That could work, too.”

 

She smiles.

Now, the second part of her Sunday Soul Service has been completed.

 

Who is Anna?

I am the compelling heroine of my own adventurous soar.

Yes, indeed!

 

Dear, dear.

Dearest me…

…your who has been shredded into bits in the last years, hasn’t it? 

You must piece it all together again!

Do rediscover yourself, darling.

Deconstruct.

Reconstruct.

Become a stronger version of who you are and aspire to be.

 

Just… don’t lose the sweet, warm parts of yourself in the process. OK, little one?

XO

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 49 for the Mighty Little One.

 

 

Chapter 28 – In the Forest

 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017.

 

Her work trip is long – an hour and twenty minutes from home to the second school where she teaches twice a week. Anna’s driving there now and wonderful English choir music is playing in her Kia Rio.

These drives are often special. When she doesn’t use the time for listening to Ted Talks or chatting with friends and relatives over the phone, she gets to meditate.

Reflect. Revisit her inner world and check how she really feels about things. Not just logically speaking, but more importantly, in her gut.

Heart. Soul.

A couple of deer have just crossed the road before her. Dangerous. But oh, so beautiful!

Her mind is empty for a change, and she’s just sucking in the majesty of the Finnish countryside nature.

 

Beauty – ah! What is beauty?

These wheat fields are it. Oh. Such colors! Now I understand Van Gogh.

 

Rain is falling gently from the grey clouds onto the slippery, curvy, hilly roads ahead, as the Chelmsford Citadel Songsters harmonize with each other. The trees all around her are shedding what they’ll have no use for in the coming seasons.

Gracefully, nonetheless.

Their yellow leafs dance their way down, blowing in the wind as they fall to the ground. To match the scenery, thankful tears of deep emotion escape Anna’s eyes.

Shamelessly.

Lots of people I love are going through so much. Both the good and the bad. And all those dates I had last year. Real human encounters some of them. And then love. I’m going through rain in my soul, now. 

But behind those clouds, the sun is shining strong and it will conquer again.

She inhales deeply.

 

Nature is so amazing! And what about people? What makes a person beautiful? What makes a guy handsome in my eyes?

I know.

Very well.

She arrives at the school parking lot, stays in her car and quickly scribbles some thoughts on a leaflet. She’ll keep on working on the poem during her lunch break.

🍂 🌾

 

I’ve been wondering. What is beauty? Hmm, who is handsome??

 

I think beauty’s a sad countenance

With a hurt heart that’s healing.

A brave heart – succumbed –

That keeps resilient,

Like a little bird must in a cold, cold storm.

 

Beauty is…

…both generosity and self-confidence.

…self-esteem, a good posture.

And your smile.

Yes, yours. Who else’s, precious one?

 

Your weight, your height.

Being you. Your wrinkles.

Trying to become a better version of yourself (with help),

While being comfortable in…

Your own skin.

 

A fearless soul

Marching to battle,

Though so fearful in sacrifice, maturity.

A scarred soldier who conquers:

Beautiful is he.

 

Beauty’s…

Intelligence.

Producing and loving. Youthful vigor.

Experience. Old age.

A life. YOLO. R.I.P.

 

Acceptance is graceful – weaknesses and all.

Loving yourself in a healthy way

To then really, really love others:

Your neighbor, your soul mate,

Your father? Your friends.

 

Oh, beauty is a trusting spirit

– Like that of an innocent child.

Gentleness, uncorrupted sweetness, and kindness, delight.

 

It’s to be proud of your achievements, talents.

Yet humble at heart.

 

It’s certainty, uncertainty.

Genuine you are.

 

In service. Purity.

Determination, vulnerability,

Respect, authenticity.

Do shine your light!

 

Forgiveness.

Wholeness.

Your brokenness, too.

Gratitude. A joyful being!

Deciding to live in truth.

 

Your amazing body and that sparkle in your eyes –

Beauty is the whole package, you see? Cutie pie.

 

When you can be bothered

You’re so handsome, making lots of little efforts

Both in action and in words,

You hardworking, fun,

Affectionate Guy.

 

Beauty’s…

A person walking in the forest

In solitude.

If accompanied – oh!

They’ll soar, they’ll fly.

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is!

Tudo é belo ao que ama…

 

It’s solving your problems and

Finding your purpose.

That, beauty is…

Most definitely.

Indeed.

🍂

 

She’ll read her poem aloud to some. She’ll send it to ten-fifteen loved ones she finds beautiful. Who inspire her. Including him.

© 2017 rf

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Wheatfield_with_crows_-_Google_Art_Project – kopio

Wheatfield with Crows, 1890. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

 

 

Obs. About a year and eleven months since moving out.