June 29, 2014

a rite of passage

This past May I endured the mentally difficult time of IB final exams after an intense 30 day study period. I am extremely ambitious and I set very high expectations for myself. I dedicated most of my time and energy these past two years to the International Baccalaureate high school programme. Results are in in one week and even though I am soiling my trousers over here, I look back on my graduation day with tears of relief. I anticipated this day for years and the dozens of hugs and congratulations that I received made it an extremely special day.

Back when I was sixteen and entering the preparatory year to this program I told myself; if I work hard now, after a long and strenuous struggle, there will be light. And this light will be very bright.

I wasn't wrong.

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All this partyparty made me think of traditions. Isn't it extraordinary that pressing a white cap with a golden cockade to your head felt like those countless late nights, tears of frustration and genuinely feeling like nothing is worth this amount of sleep deprivation-
suddenly was worth it?

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Forgive my sentimentality but honesty is something that I value. And I feel like I must be honest in writing to you, because this day, reaching this rite of passage, was what my life revolved around for so long. The fact that it is now over fills me all kinds of emotions. Relief, mostly, but I also feel proud.

For once I am letting go of the strict self-critic in me and loudly stating that yes, I am proud of myself.

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I have earned this. And even though a part of me is always looking for ways I could have studied even more and tried even harder, I know that the version of myself that studied nine hours every day, and relentlessly pushed on, brought it into the exam room. Even though I aim for the highest grade in most subjects, at this point I'll be proud of most anything I receive because I know of the struggle it took to get me here. And also, getting into university would be great...

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But history aside, oh boy was this day magical. Everyone who was wearing a student cap that day smiled and congratulated each other. Strangers on the street expressed their delight as our white-hat-posse giggled past. I was so happy and elated to see my friends after their struggle, after their push, dressed beautifully and taking it all in.

The tradition is to host a party at home for relatives and friends and the amount of people who came to see me was overwhelming and wonderful.

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My girl through thick and thin- what a priviledge it was to graduate with you.

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The IB community brought to a new group of wonderful friends, that became the best. Ambitious, beautiful nerds.

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Was so humbled to have my dearest girl fly in from London to see me graduate and fill in my Dad's spot at the ceremony. Twins, always.

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After my Dad gave a speech to the party, I had trouble getting my words of gratitude out. Someone took this mildly humiliating picture of that mildly humiliating moment, but I cherish it all the same.

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I was so delighted that so many of my teachers visited my party. After all, we were only 25 students in our class and we were taught by the same teachers for three years. Some of my classes were as small as four students. 
These were the guys and gals that graded my work at 5.30 am, two hours after I'd sent it in, just to make sure I'd get quick feedback. These teachers sat down with their students individually and told them where they need to improve, and where they are already doing brilliantly. I am so thankful to have been taught by an incredibly dedicated bunch of experts. Some of my teachers became very important to me; not only educators, but mentors and even friends.

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My siblings are amazing. Crazy hardworking people that have stood by me always. Love them.

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My parents, who withstood me cooking secret dinners at 1.30 am for studysnacking, my horrendously messy room, and stressed out moodswings. I won't follow the medical career path like everyone else in my family, and they are amazing for supporting me in my endeavors.

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My extended family, whom with I would walk to Micky D's in my pyjamas and dispose of the evidence quickly in order to keep our cover. You are the greatest.

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My fellow IB survivor, partner in crime for life.

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So, I don't about you, but there are times in life, when many claim they have finished 'a chapter', or reached a rite of passage. These markers might be illusions that traditions build for us, but genuine or not, they feel wonderful. 
I could not be happier I made the choices I made and did the work I did. I am now -- this close to being accepted to my university of choice and
--------------- this ready to hop off a plane to England and start a new way of living.

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Keep it real.



June 27, 2014

the neon challenge

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CHALLENGE:
what to do when you physiotherapist tells you flats are a no-no and recommends wearing special sneakers with custom inner soles as often as you can? If you follow the rules you'll be able to run again!


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ANSWER:
you put your pride behind you and go for it!


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So what to pair with loud, pink-and-neon running shoes? 
I tried to embrace the pink and go for a simple outfit with a simple silhouette.

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So maybe once a week I can join the sneaker-wearing hipster crowd and do my feet a favour?
I think yes.


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Outfit details:
top by bikbok
pants by ralph lauren
earrings by kate spade

sneakers by asics

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On a different note;
I recently had my hair cut and coloured, and even though the change was welcome, I was left with a craving to go even shorter. Do you think I could rock shoulder-length or chin-length hair? Let me know.


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p.s. remember this?

June 26, 2014

an ode to shivers in the summer

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here's to opening and upward,to leaf and to sap
and to you (in my arms flowering so new)
self whose eyes smell of the sound of the rain

and here's to silent certainly mountains;and to
a disappearing poet of always,snow
and to morning;and to morning's beautiful friend
twilight (and a first dream called ocean) and

let must or if be damned with whomever's afraid
down with ought with because with every brain
which thinks it thinks,nor dares to feel (but up
with joy;and up with laughing and drunkenness)

here's to one undiscoverable guess
of whose mad skill each world of bloom is made
(whose fatal songs are moving in the moon

ee cummings 

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i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss,  i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh.... And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

ee cummings




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// Finland has been terribly cold throughout June, as showcased in these freezing shots my boyfriend and I came up with one Sunday in Tervasaari, a little sweet island in Helsinki. I paired these strange and ethereal shots with two poems by ee cummings. For years I have loved his ability to capture a moment, a feeling so well.

outfit details:
shorts by levi's
shirt by zara

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I have created a facebook page! Do head over and hit me up with a like!

https://www.facebook.com/hungrybymaria

June 24, 2014

the opposite of loneliness

What are the dead?
They live on the news, in photographs, in tragic love stories. But are they real?
Why is it that the ultimate word of the deceased is elevated on a pedestal for all of us to marvel and mourn? For a person such as myself who is yet to lose a family member or close friend the dead seem very distant. 

I recently realized that those pushing daisies were once just as human and just as alive as I am now. This subtle epiphany presented itself to me as I tasted and then devoured the collection of short stories and essays by the late Marina Keegan, killed at age 22.

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Titled "The Opposite of Loneliness"after her viral essay published on the Yale Daily News right before her graduation, this bundle of youth is definitely the most inspiring piece of writing I have read in a long, long while.
I was gifted this book for graduation by a lovely lady who handed it to me with giggles in her eyes. She told me it was an ode for youth, but I should beware: "the author died shortly after writing the title essay." I was thankful, excited and then confused.
"Wait she dies? Is that a spoiler or something?" More confusion...

Nevertheless, I grabbed the opus a few days later. After finishing the first short story in bed one night with hot tears all over my cheeks, I was hooked.

Never have I felt such a connection between a piece of literature and my own feelings and experiences. I have read about the industrial revolution, post-colonialist islands, and Berlin in the eighties. I have never read of the frustrations we teenagers handle with by flipping through the hundreds of Facebook pictures our love interest has posted through the years. This girl from New England, a Yalie, told tales of being young and being alive. Her style is beautiful English, but it sounds like a 22 year old. The characters and places of her tales are vivid, and her message is raw. Adolescent loves, safe places, thoughts of family, our spots in the world, and of how strange living really is.

I was so dumbfounded with this book because while I was reading, I hardly accknowledged that it was published posthumously by a brilliant young (so young) writer that will never amaze the world with more of her writing. You see, I never knew Marina Keegan. She was never alive for me. Now suddenly I have to mourn her?
I will not.
Not only a marvelous piece of writing, but a beacon of light for people like us. Young people who need someone to identify with. It was a pulse of inspiration to live my life to the fullest, a pulse of inspiration to write something of my own. 


I don't believe her tragic death is what we should take away from this collection. What struck me was that here is a girl at the top of her game, graduated from the Yale writing program, a job lined up at the New Yorker, with a million opportunities ahead of her. Isn't it beautiful that this is the way she will be forever? Always hopeful and young, so young.


June 21, 2014

hello

I am hungry.
I am a devilishly curious individual, nineteen years young, and so to say, having a moment. 
Fresh out of high school and ready to take on university, I feel as if I finally have the time and energy to absorb all things new and interesting around me. 

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I am hungry for new ideas. Political articles, ideologies, and perspectives. Old ideas work too; ploughing through literary classics and movements is something I wish to do. Whether these ideas present themselves in poetry, prose, or music, I'm in.

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I am hungry for new takes on style. Experimenting with clothing, expressing my identity through what I put on my back, and putting on a new face I have never worn before. Trying to forget what I have done until now and mixing contrasting pieces; ripped jeans with a princess coat, heavy eye makeup with all white everything. Whatever feels fresh and good.


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I am hungry to connect with new people and to travel. Now that I have my eyes open to detail, social interaction has never been this stimulating. Old friends die hard and new friends are opportunities. I hope that sharing all the mentioned above will also take place on this medium, on this blog.  I will attack Paris and London in less than two weeks and what happens after that is still a great abyss.


I started my first blog at the tender age of fourteen and carried on until April of 2014. I decided it was time to create a blog that looks and feels more like this nineteen year old version of myself. 



Despite being a US-influenced Finn, most likely I'll be setting my sights on England this September to study my course of choice (philosophy, politics, and economics) and honestly, 
I have never been this excited about anything. I am also eager to share my experience of moving to a new country by myself, faced with a new way of life and a newfound independence.

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Welcome to this new direction of my adventure on the blogosphere, I sincerely hope you enjoy it.


Maria