As this blog is very fresh, I thought it would be quite appropriate to introduce myself a bit better. I dug out some odd 30 #gettoknowme questions and answered them.
In short, I am a mother of two and a step-mother for one teenager. My eldest child has complex medical needs. But what else is there about me?
1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small village in Finland called Juankoski. The village and its surroundings had only about 5000 residents back then, so I grew up in a tiny community where everyone knew everyone.
2. Where do you currently live?
I am so fortunate to live in beautiful Bournemouth, United Kingdom. Not only because of the award-winning beach, but the whole package – the countryside girl in me is happy with the parks, woods and forests that Bournemouth has to offer me and my family, but also Bournemouth is buzzing town of 183,491 residents with so much to do!
3. How tall are you?
In common terms, I’m 165 centimetres tall, which is 5 foot 4 inches for the British.
4. Do you have any siblings?
I am so lucky to have two (2) amazing little sisters, who both live in Finland.
5. Funniest moment throughout high school?
One day me and my friends decided to give out free hugs for all that wanted them. We all wore signs on our chests proclaiming “free hugs!” and I remember how jittery I felt throughout the whole day. How excited, nervous and happy. Who would stop for a hug? I can’t remember any specific embrace, all I remember is the nerves of the day and the joy it brought myself!
6. What year were you born?
I was born on a Year of the Dragon – 1988.
7. Are you in/have you gone to college?
I did study Tourism and Hospitality Management in Jyväskylä’s University of Applied Sciences.
Interesting fact: Finnish education system differs from United Kingdom.
I started school when I was 7, as is usual for Finland. First 1-6 years are classed as primary school, then the next 7-9 years are “junior high school”. That makes me 15 to 16 year-old when I was done with the compulsory school. We don’t have any national exams during our compulsory schooling.
I chose to go to high school – or “upper secondary school” – which carried on for 3 years for me, making me 19 years old when I graduated. During the last year of high school we are given the option to partake in A-levels. It is not compulsory and you can graduate from high school without them, but usually people do take A-levels. So did I.
8. What is your favourite drink?
Coffee. White, no sugar, thanks!
9. You’re wearing perfume, what scent is it?
Sweet and floral.
10. Have you got children?
Yes, I am very proud mum of two beautiful children and even prouder step-mum for one amazing teenager.
Have you read about us in here?
11. What are your life goals?
To live happy and fulfilling, meaningful life. Along the way with the resources I have, I aim to change lives around me and the world for better too.
12. What is your biggest strength?
My determination. If I’ve decided on something, there is almost nothing you can do to change my mind. Just ask my partner Dan.
13. Have any books you read changed your life?
I wouldn’t say that they’ve changed my life per se, but influenced it with an encouraging hand. Such books would be “Big Magic” and “Eat Pray Love” from Elizabeth Gilbert, my favourite author. I love her in all podcasts I’ve heard her in too!
14. What is your favourite film?
Oh deary me. I’ve never liked this questions as there’s not ever been one film over all others. But I do love these films:
- Avenger – films from Marvel.
- Dance films like Dirty Dancing, Step up and Save the Last Dance.
- Matrix – films
- The first 6 Star Wars – films
15. What relative was important to you growing up & why?
My cousin and godmother. She was my penpal, even though she didn’t live far, and I had sleepovers at her place regularly from quite young age and even spend one summer at hers when I was already a grown-up. I had always felt that she was my confidant, my adult friend.
Now I’m so proud to be her youngest godmother.
16. Who are your favourite YouTubers?
I guess I show my age here… Even though I am aware of YouTubers and talk about them with Ruby, I do not follow any of them. The only YouTube channel I visit religiously is “Yoga with Adriene“. I love her videos and her easy way to giggle to herself, it has helped me to be less serious about doing yoga and making me to do it just for myself. Just like it should be, I guess.
17. Do you speak any languages and how well?
I’m native Finnish speaker and believe it or not, but at school English was the one subject I struggled the most.
In addition I studied Swedish. I understand it and I can form simple sentences, but I’m so rusty with it as I have not used it at all since school.
I have studied Russian, French and Italian on top of those, but I only remember some odd phrases. While I was in Greece I learned to read Greek and I do still remember some phrases. I’m sure it all would come back to me if I just practised.
18. Are you single or taken?
Sorry to be a smart ass but no-one has taken me. I fell in love with an English man and he loves me, so we choose to be together.
19. What is your favourite Netflix show?
The OA, which I’m so sad about that it has got cancelled! I also like the Black Mirror, Stranger Things and Friday Night Dinner.
20. Show us your songs tab on Spotify.
Sure, I guess the easiest way to show it would be sharing the link to the profile where you can see the stuff what I’ve been listening to. The Jellies on Plates and Baby Sharks are on heavy rotation during our nursery runs with Melody…
See the profile here.
21. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
Must be when I left to Australia on my own just after graduating from high school. I had not lived on my own yet, so I flew straight out from my parents nest to the other side of the world… And survived there for 2 years loving every minute of it.
22. What theme parks have you been to?
Europe: Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark
Australia : Australia Zoo – home of the crocodile hunter.
23. Have you ever failed at anything and what did you learn?
A bigger scale fail would be failing to complete my education and graduating with a degree. I had it all planned out and I was supposed to continue my studies during the pregnancy and right after, I had my practical training places sorted out and I even had ideas for my thesis. Then Elisa was born prematurely and just like that studying was the last thing in my mind.
Years have flown by and I haven’t got back to it. I feel like I’ve failed – but I have learned to let it go. The world didn’t collapse even though I didn’t become a professional in hospitality management – and to be perfectly honest, I’m not quite sure if I would like to work at that sector anymore, unless I can tie it up with accessibility and disability somehow.
24. How many countries have you travelled to?
I used Traveltip.org’s website for making this map, but didn’t give the website any personal information, just saved the map once it had been generated.
Needless to say, I did most of my travelling before the kids, before my life was turned upside down.
25. Do you have any bad habits?
I don’t drink alcohol unless I go out, which happens rarely, and I don’t smoke anymore.
According to my waist line, I overindulge in food. My favourite treat is ice cream, especially Ben and Jerry’s, and I love chocolate. Those are though treats, not daily bad habits.
One daily bad habit would be not going to bed in time..
26. Do you have any pets? Show them!
My lovely labrador pup Freya, who is about 8 months old now.
Read more about Freya: A Dream Come True: Introducing Freya the Labrador
27. What is your biggest struggle you overcame?
That would be either the 101 days that Elisa spent in hospital continuously or when Elisa was fed through nasogastric tube and was attached to a feed pump 20 hours a day and struggled with reflux, which meant constant supervision. We had no support yet in place, and Melody was still a baby. I honestly don’t know how me and Dan survived those times…
28. What is one thing you wished people knew about you?
I suffer from depression and anxiety, which I am on medication for. It is entirely possible I might also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) looking at my past 7 years and all that has happened.
Sometimes I struggle when I’m out in a social situation, even with “safe” people who know me and my family. The anxiety hits and usually knocks me right out, making me quiet and “turned off”. I might smile, I might look at you, but wouldn’t say a thing. If I try to speak it might sound muffled and the sentences would be bad english – that’s me trying very hard to be polite and make my foggy panicky brain work.
It is not me being proud, funny or rude, it’s just me battling my inner-demons.
29. Tell us one thing about you that we wouldn’t know?
I am obsessed with notebooks : I love drawing and journaling. I even had to start an Instagram account just for my journaling stuff..
View this post on Instagram
“Kids summer holidays” Breathe. It was the final day of school and the kids are off on their summer holidays. Breathe…. #bujofinland #bulletjournalsuomi #kalenterimania #bulletjournalss #thepalepaper #bujojunkie #bulletjournalinspiration #iloveprettynotes #journaling #planwithme #bulletjournalUK #bulletjournalcatalog #bulletjournalbeauty #bujoaddicts #lionking #drawing #bulletjournalspread #theartofbujo #ukplanneraddicts #bulletjournal #bulletjournalideas #bulletjournals #moleskine_world #moleskine
View this post on Instagram
In September 2018, this was a #journalthisinyourstyle prompt from @journalingyourway. I made this page then but didn’t share it – it felt too personal back then. As a mother to a special needs child, there already have been so very many moments when I’ve felt like giving up. When everything had been too overwhelming. Like in my simple drawing though, hugging the reason I’ve held on for so long makes me feel better. It gives it all perspective. No matter if she has her oxygen prongs on, or her ventilator – she is my daughter, and I need her as much as she needs me. (if you do want to see actual photos of my beautiful strong daughter, check my other Instagram account @meriannen) But here we go. Almost a year late, I share this page from my journal. #journalprompts #journalingyourway #journalthisinyourstyle #journal #specialneeds #specialneedschildren #specialneedsfamily #journaling #creativejournal
30. What are you happiest with in your life?
My family – they are my everything. No matter what goes on around us but as long as I have my family near me, happy and healthy, I’m the happiest.
- Where did you grow up?
- Where do you currently live?
- How tall are you?
- Do you have any siblings?
- Funniest moment throughout high school?
- What year were you born?
- Are you in/have you gone to college?
- What is your favourite drink?
- You’re wearing perfume, what scent is it?
- Have you got children?
- What are your life goals?
- What is your biggest strength?
- Have any books you read changed your life?
- What is your favourite film?
- What relative was important to you growing up & why?
- Who are your favourite YouTubers?
- Do you speak any languages and how well?
- Are you single or taken?
- What is your favourite Netflix show?
- Show us your songs tab on Spotify.
- What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
- What theme parks have you been to?
- Have you ever failed at anything and what did you learn?
- How many countries have you travelled to?
- Do you have any bad habits?
- Do you have any pets? Show them!
- What is your biggest struggle you overcame?
- What is one thing you wished people knew about you?
- Tell us one thing about you that we wouldn’t know?
- What are you happiest with in your life?
I combined these questions from different #aboutme and #gettoknowme tags.
You are welcome to copy and answer these questions yourself in your social media channels, with or without tagging me!