All things must inevitably draw to a close.
Just as the day unflinchingly yields to the tranquillity of the night, so too has the eve of my service here finally come about. I say finally come about, but what I mean is that the past few months have raced past my eyes with speed so great that some may call it bewildering. And in many ways it has been. A person has to face uncertainty in their life quite often, but I would be lying if I said that I personally like uncertainty. I certainly don't, and yet mos of the great things to happen in my life have come across thanks to chance and uncertainty and blind leaps into the unknown. For it is only when falling at a frightening speed, with the clouds racing past you, that you can feel a fresh breeze.
As this part of my life draws to a close, I am filled with a sense of loss. I have lived almost a full year in Valga now, and gone through a lot with the people around me. I've started rebuilding the life I never really had, and while I still cannot really see it myself, I am starting to be happy. Not all the time, not all in the situations. But happy nevertheless. The time that has passed since April 1st, which I will admit would've been the best worst April fools in the history. Come be a volunteer, SIKE, now you're stranded in Tallinn. I mean, it would've destroyed a friendship, no question about it, but it would have been incredibly funny at the same time. For about five minutes.
Then I would've been mainly hungry and angry. Which at the time of arrival was really just a Thursday, I'm sad to say.
It has been a journey of growing as a person, and I honestly think that something like this would have been impossible if it was not for the support of the people around me. My tutor, the other youth workers, the other volunteers. The kids I see every day. For me it is incredibly hard to see my achievements, and to feel joy and accomplishment in anything I do actually manage to achieve. On the flip side of that, something as simple as missing a train can send me spiralling inwards. So my time in Estonia has been both a journey of learning and exploring something new, but also a struggle against my inner demons.
And the sad part is that I am in no way alone in that. We are all but mortal, and liable to fall.
I used to think two things about myself. I used to think I didn't need people around me, and I used to think that I had a very strong immune system. 11 months of doing youth work here has shown me that I was woefully mistaken on both accounts. It wasn't that I was somehow perfectly fine sans human contact, but rather that I just didn't have any.
And now the people around me tell me I have changed, and I truly do not know how to deal with that. Not because I don't believe them, but because I cannot see it myself.
It has been a year of changes. Of meeting new people. Of meeting myself again.
This month the biggest question has been “What next?”. What does the future hold in store for me now that my time here is coming to an end. Now that the silence of the seas is once again about to drift into a storm, the concern I had was that I would slip back towards who I was before coming here.
And now some of the uncertainty has been lifted.
In March I will be starting my life in Estonia properly, and in a way on my own. I have found a job, and I will be moving to Tallinn shortly after my time here ends. So I am very much trading one adventure for another.
It has been a privilege.
Aikani täällä on päättymässä seuraavien päivien aikana, ja nyt kun katson taaksepäin on aivan uskomatonta kuinka paljon elämäni on muuttunut näin lyhyessä ajassa. Samaan aikaan en vieläkään ymmärrä mikä minut sai tähän hommaan ryhtymään, mutta hetkeäkään en kadu. Olen tavannut niin paljon mielenkiintoisia uusia ihmisiä joita en olisi muuten ikinä tavannut, ja kokenut asioita joita en muuten olisi koskaan voinut kokea. Elämä on sarja sattumia, ja tärkeintä on joka päivä jatkaa eteenpäin.