I turned 30 years old over the weekend and my head has been filled with a lot of thoughts these days, and may I add, lovely thoughts. For me, with the support that I have received, it feels only a blessing to move on to the next decade of beauty.
Today, the 6th of December, it is the Independence day of Finland, a country that shaped my heart and soul. According to my parents, I have behaved independently since a very young age, and to strengthen it, Finland gave me amazing opportunities to continue so.
In my opinion, independence is all about having the freedom to choose. It is a great word to describe the state of being Finnish, and also my state of being 30 now.
To be able to be in this state today, I am grateful for so many things I have experienced over the years, so I decided to take a challenge to write down 30 things I am grateful for. Making this list took quite a while, but I urge you to do the same, it puts everything in perspective. So here we go.
Today, I’m grateful for …
1. the 101-year-old Finland that has given me countless opportunities along the way, eg. in education, health care, social system and safety
2. my loving parents that have always believed in me and given me the freedom to realize any of my dreams
3. my siblings that have given me their unconditional love and support
4. my extended family for providing me a support network
5. irreplaceable friends around the world that have always been there for me
6. comfortable homes over the years that have given me shelter
7. food that has nourished me to be strong and healthy
8. our globe Earth, an unbelievable beauty of species and provider for our basic needs
9. fresh water that keeps me alive and clean
10. my teachers, coaches and supervisors that pushed me to learn and become wiser
11. Team Academy for making me believe I can do whatever I want in life
12. all forms of music that give food to my soul every day
13. the dance organizations that have let me discover my passion for dance
14. the countless books I’ve read that enabled me to experience different settings in life
15. the modern technology that gives us channels to create and communicate on another level
16. diverse cultures that enrich our interaction
17. art, in whichever form, because it allows us to understand our life and world in a deeper level
18. caring strangers that have helped my day one way or another, kept the last metro’s door open, smiled at me in a funny situation, picked up what I had dropped by mistake
19. entrepreneurs that keep our societies running and interesting with their incredible persistence
20. peace warriors that keep fighting for our common justice and well-being
21. history that has taught us lessons how to be better humans
22. big city rush that, with its’ changing faces and monuments, reminds me that I’m part of a bigger entirety
23. the modern travel industry that has made it accessible to move easily to explore our incredible Earth
24. cabin crew colleagues that were my company in discovering all those foreign lands
25. outstanding motion pictures that have inspired me to become a maker myself
26. filmmakers in Berlin that have given me the privilege to be involved in such incredible projects
27. time because its’ changing speed makes me understand the important things in life
28. realness, because in these times of virtual connections and fake news the realness reminds us to live in the present
29. love and kindness that I have been and I am privileged to share
30. last but definitely not least, I’m grateful for a very special person by my side that reminds me to be my amazing self and made turning 30 such a beautiful event for me.
Thank you all for shaping my life so far!
Happy Independence Day Finland,
let this remind us all that peace gives us opportunities to build something extraordinary.
Creating New Culture,