A letter came on Monday which has changed a lot in my life in a minute. I was so surprised by it I began to cry (but they were tears of happiness and relief) because I was 100% sure the contents of the letter would be the exact opposite. But it`s true: I will begin my studies of English translation this autumn in the university of Tampere. I have to brag a bit: there were 245 taking the exam and only 18 got in - and one of them is me! This is really big for me. Like, really, really B.I.G. It will mean that
I`ll change my major, translation has nothing to do with my previous studies (which hasn`t been a success even though I was interested enough in them - but always felt like I was somehow inferior to other students).
I`ll move from Helsinki to Tampere; I like the idea of living in Tampere but hate the idea of leaving Helsinki - the town where I have so many friends, my sister and nephew, and which I love just as a town. I get more than a little teary-eyed when I think about the fact.
I told my boss I`ll quit my job. Only two weeks left. The job was nice enough but I didn`t feel good at that either, plus I`ve been in need of a vacation for a while. Now I have a good reason for quitting.
I feel hopeful and excited about the future for a first time in years it seems, instead of feeling distressed hopeless and miserable (not to say my whole life has been miserable).
I feel like I have a chance to find my way and be good at something for a change instead of feeling like a failure in pretty much everything (yes, I know it`s mostly in my head - but maybe that`s why it`s so hard to think otherwise).
Little by little I`ve gotten accustomed to the fact that I really am going to study translation and I`m going to move - quite soon, in fact - into another town. I`ve been spreading the news - I neglected to mention the exam to my family and all but one friend. I know it sounds strange, but I thought at the time I won`t get in anyway (I`m definitely not a glass half full -person) and I was a bit afraid of my parents`criticism. Though now I think what I´ve been interpreting as silent criticism on their part has been silent support and trust for me to make my own decisions, however long that might take. Realizing that is a huge deal.
(As a side note for anybody not familiar with Finnish universities, in Finland university students are at least 19-20 yrs old when beginning their studies. If I`d studied instead of wasting the best years of my youth as a shop assistant selling shoes, I might have my master`s degree now - being a B.A. or B-anything doesn`t really count in Finland. But even though I`m old for a first-year student, it`s not uncommon to work before or between the studies, and there`ll be students older than me starting this year. Also, as there`s no tuition to pay, changing your major and starting over doesn`t mean you`ll be up your neck in debt for the rest of your life.)
In the photo one of the books that have made me love English: Zadie Smith`s On Beauty.