I’ve been doing some PhD related work recently and further exploring Swedish Finland – this time in Ekenäs. Or was it Raseborg? Either way, it was again really enriching, really different to the rest of Finland.
I was there on a Friday just before the first Pride Parade in Ekenäs. Rainbows, colourful socks and cups, hairdresser putting up rainbow flags – everybody was positive about it, chipping in with their share of atmosphere. Because Pride is a celebration of minorities, and acceptance of minorities and minority cultures in the majority society rather than merely “tolerating them”, it is a big thing in Swedish Finland. Sexual/cultural and national minorities encounter and share their experience.
Oh and autumn happened. While walking around Vallisaari yesterday I noticed the crunching leaves, autumny sappy mushroomy smell and the low sun. The time of new beginnings is here once again. And once again I was so emotional about being so
old experienced. I remember the smell of autumn London 11 years ago when I just had enrolled at the university and took a (teary) walk in Regent’s Park, wondering how I’m going to manage? On my own, without any social networks? Homesick, mildly depressed and with this stupid paralysing panic fear thing?
11 years later, and I’m still here. Doing pretty well and better every day, although looking back in anxiety how on earth could I not see certain things, contemplating my life choices, regretting not having done things – but at the same time somehow balanced and content. Is this what adulthood feels like?