i dont think i'll be reflecting each year, especially since it feels like weve really settled in here so there isnt much left to adjust to, except life in general.
we finally have our finnish drivers licenses, our finnish ID cards, and nearly all the banking access of a normal finn. damn, these people are super conservative when it comes to identity theft and protection. this is a good thing, im fully on board for it, but of course it has sometimes felt like a never ending cycle of appointments and visits to places that take up valuable time with annoying paperwork. but, i think we are finally done. famous last words.
and its nice too, that after all that work getting into society, we do actually feel happy here. we really like it. the people are getting used to us, we feel a part of our community. we are comfortable with the weather, the darkness, the city, or at least as comfortable as i expect to be. its nice to feel more settled into life than we have in quite a while. if the opportunity presents itself, we are even considering buying our current apartment from our landlords. so really this feels like home to us. since the finns are as regular as clockwork we have learned to enjoy the predictable ebb and flow of days, months, seasons. if we need a jolt we can always get out and away, but for the pacing of family life with two small kids, i cant think of a nicer place to be. i feel connected, slowly, and accepted, slowly, and i am happy to stay.
i cant believe how long weve been 'on the run', since ann arbor i suppose. since summer 2008 weve been nomads and now we think we are ready to test out the idea of putting down roots. its not scary actually, just strange. of course, looking back, it was fun (and hard) to adventure around and try on different lives and cultures. we still have more to learn here, im sure, but its nice to have some stability. we can take a pause here, while the kids grow up a bit, always being open to options and ideas, and then if we feel the need to fly, i think we will have confidence to do that too. with the rest of europe nearby we can still satisfy cravings to explore and discover new things about ourselves in that way, so the idea of being in this one spot for a while doesnt feel too suffocating. thanks for being a good fit finland. :)
and here is just a nice little article, sort of about fitting into finnish life. all the 'bad american habits' on the list are ones we tended not to do very much of so i suppose that is why we were able to become comfortable here so quickly or perhaps its the reason why finland suits us so well.