Tuesday, January 26, 2016

First impressions

It's been almost a month since I started working as a nurse, here in Kajaani. Not long before that, we moved to a new apartment, something that I had wanted to do since I first came to Finland. The reason for that was that I always felt that I just invaded someone else's home and life, and I never had that "new beginning" thing, the joy of buying new furniture together, redecorating etc etc. But all of this has changed! And by all of it, I mean that the classic "new year, new me" motto fits me perfectly, for once.
The first question I have been getting a lot from friends is "how is Kajaani?". Well, Kajaani as a town is smaller than Joensuu, and even though I thought I would dislike that, I am actually quite satisfied. It has all kinds of things to offer, it is not extremely far from Joensuu and Kuopio by car, it is pretty and the center is kinda cute actually. It's one of the pretty cities I have been to in Finland. Also, workplace and center are fairly close, so we are content with that.
Moreover, people freak out because they think it's so much colder than Joensuu, when actually the temperatures don't show such a huge difference. Maybe 2 degrees? It's been a harsh winter weather anyway.
"How is work?". Well, that is a nice question. Work is fine, sometimes we have relaxed days and sometimes it's super tiring to be there. But my colleagues are fun people, polite, willing to help and explain things and very patient with my mediocre finnish language skills and my sometimes silly questions. They guide me well and are friendly. Being in a fine work environment is very important, and so far I am really satisfied.
"How is life?". Life is peaceful. I have been very deep in the routine trap, but have decided to change that. So far work has been mostly my worry and after that I feel rather tired to go out with my spouse and just have fun. Even at New Year's Eve, I felt like an old lady who just wants to rest. I think it is understandable partly to feel this way, since whenever we both have days off during the weekends, we take long drives. A couple of weeks ago we spent the weekend in Joensuu, surrounded by dear friends, watched movies, ate delish foods and played DnD. This Sunday, we went to Kuopio and bought new furniture, which made me happy, even though I got bruises in my arms from carrying the heavy bookshelves (the total weight of what we bought was 188 kg). Btw, the restaurant in IKEA is great!! Never been in one before, I was amazed. :D
Apart from that, I have enrolled to Zumba, belly dancing and an exercising group. Unfortunately I haven't heard from the Finnish courses in the Kaukametsän kansalaisopisto yet, but I hope that soon I can get a place there as well, otherwise I have to study alone for the time being and hope I can get better soon.
Now, things that I actually don´t usually tell, but have been in my mind for the past days. I have realized that, being an immigrant makes you stand out. Being away from a "student city center" like Joensuu, where being an exchange student is rather common, you feel "uncovered". With my dark charasteristics and my mistakes in the language, it is not hard to assume I am not from Finland. I have often heard the questions "Are you Finnish?" followed by many others. It makes me feel self-conscious about my speaking skills, and also my nursing ones, but on the other hand I am happy that patients are kindly asking and want to have a conversation with me about my life, how I ended up in Finland, how does this country seem to me, and even if I have a Finnish boyfriend. "Oh, the things someone does for love" is probably the feeling I get from them when they get the answer. It makes my heart warmer, knowing that people here are kind and do not feel threatened by foreigners, but rather, they are supportive, by complimenting and opening up.
Furthermore, I have been feeling insecure, regarding my communicative skills and my lack of experience in the nursing field. It feels harder and slower for me to learn, having sometimes slight problems to understand some guidance, and in the end I have doubts about being able to complete a task or not. It seems that this is an exaggeration of my own mind and it shouldn´t really even matter, but I am a person who likes to work independently, and being forced to ask for help regularly hurts my ego. This is at least the easiest way to explain it.
The only thing I can hope for is to get better as soon as possible and find the strength to be happier about what I already have. Motivation is definitely not something that I lack at this point, which is truely helpful. So, I know it´s going to be ok.
Happy Tuesday! XXX