Bring on year 2009

These last couple of days I’ve realized something. Friendship between boys and girls is impossible, at least in the way I would want to have it. I have always assumed that it’s ok for boys and girls to randomly meet and spend evenings together watching movies or doing something else of common interest. In contrary I have noticed that this only leads to false interpretations. From my part it usually leads to the boy thinking that I have some kind of hidden agenda with my friendship, when I honestly only would like to have more male friends. Why is that so wrong? As I remember, I have never had good male friends that haven’t been connected to my ex boyfriends or female friends. That is a sad truth. I feel my life misses something because I cannot think in a boyish way. I love hearing how boys think and analyze how that differs from how we girls think. Maybe it will get easier once people think I have a boyfriend.

Yesterday for the first time, I heard something that made me have an epiphany. A male friend told me that it frightens him that I have been so much abroad, that I have experienced something. That made me think of my favorite quote of all times, which is Arabic.

It goes something like this: "who lives, sees but who travels, sees more". 

That kind of summons it, I honestly believe that I have added value to my life by travelling. And after all, I have merely started. All the persons I have met have enriched my life. This does not mean that Finnish people don’t do the same for me, but sometimes I feel that they do not challenge me in the right way. I want me and my values and thoughts to be questioned. I don’t want to meet people that always agree with me. And besides that, I want to bring awareness about my country, my city and also the minority I represent. I guess that is the role we Swedish speaking Finns automatically take when we meet people who don’t know about our existence.

I think everybody that knows me know that I love my girls, but at this point I have to point out how much I cherish my best friends. They have stood on my side since forever and continue to do so. We are very different, but in our unique way. We bring joy, laughter and love into each other’s lives and we always support each other. Today we watched again the movie of our favorite TV show of all times, Sex and the City.

Those girls are dear to us, and during all the seasons of episodes, we feel that that show has spoken to us and that we know those girls. Everybody finds him/herself in that show. What I love the most about that show is the effect it has on people. By giving it only a glance, you might think it is a show about four vain girls strolling around in New York, but it is so much more. Underneath all that glamour, lays four beautifully strong but sometimes insecure women. They are just like us. I found it funny that today one of my best friends said that she hopes we’ll stay close just like them, and whilst the four girls of SATC celebrate Samantha’s 50th, we can after seven years celebrate our 30th. Commitments like that make us look forward to the future with a smile upon our faces. After that comment, whatever comes, I know I won’t have to deal with it alone. Come what may.

New Year’s Eve is knocking on the door. At this point of the year, I like to slow down and think about what I’ve done over the last year and what I expect and look forward to during the year to come. This year it actually feels like I have managed to make a closure to a lot of things. During the past year I made an awful amount of bad choices but last year also opened a lot of doors.

I am anxious to see the beginning of the next year. I am not one of those girls who talks about a new start without doing something concrete. A new year deserves a new look, so I have reserved a hairdresser to get my hair cut on Friday the 2nd. School starts next year and I need a hair boost to motivate me. I have an important spring ahead of me. My next exam period starts in the end of January and after that I only have one 10-week-long period left at uni before my internship starts in April. Besides all this, I have found another reason to smile, on the emotional side. I’ll fill you in on that later as it progresses.

But I feel pumped, full of hope and eager, joyous feelings. Year 2009, I’m ready. Bring it on.

Revolutionary road

So then came Christmas, the holiday dreaded by all singles. I find it funny that in Finland our leading TV channel chooses to run both Bridget Jones movies during Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Seems like they really want to rub it in your face if you’re single, and make us suffer more by reminding us of something we don’t have. I mean, there are tons of “lighter” Christmas movies, like The Holiday, Home Alone and Love Actually to mention a few, but they didn’t show those movies. Instead they chose to show movies that tell about a girl becoming every year more desperate in the hunt for the right one. Ironic.

I happen to love Christmas, which I believe is all thanks to my family that has always made it a pleasant celebration. Even though my family is small and has a lot of boiling problems beneath the surface, we all seem to get together during Christmas and celebrate the facts that Christmas is all about; cherishing and thanking each other for the year gone by. Not until recently, I wasn’t aware that there are people that hate Christmas, actually try their best to run away from it. I think that is very sad, since Christmas comes around once a year.

A lot of running. I wish that the city of Helsinki would offer more alternatives to people that do not have families or friends with which they can celebrate Christmas. I feel that it is the duty of the country of Santa to provide Christmas or at least Christmas spirit to everybody. I mean, that is the least we can do. And even though Lapland is the home of Christmas, even the capital has to share the responsibility since the city functions as a gate to Finland. I was astonished, in a bad way, of the fact that during Christmas, there is almost nothing to do in Helsinki. Stores are closed and the streets are empty. When I came home to get some things to take to my mom’s place on Christmas day, I found a ghost city even though I live close by to the center of Helsinki. I was very disappointed but also motivated. As a student of tourism, I feel it’s my duty to try to change this. Maybe raise a voice to the city of Helsinki. If nobody makes it clear that there is a lack, no actions will be taken. Seeing as I have worked for the Tourist Office of Helsinki, I’ll see what I can do.

When it comes to spending time with your family, Christmas brings matters that you wouldn’t consider during the rest of the year to the surface. As children grow older, they are faced with an ever-changing reality. I find it hard, even tough, to notice every Christmas that I and my sister are getting older and even worse, that our mother is doing it too. There is nothing more mind racking that realizing that the person that has brought you up is getting older and cannot manage to do the same things anymore, not even the things that that person in question has taught you. Realizing this gives you anxiety, almost panic. If the person who taught you to do a specific thing does not manage to do that thing anymore, it is up to you to continue the heritage. I guess it is true that with age follows higher level of responsibility, even unwanted of the kind.
Concerning Christmas, I actually enjoy the most planning the presents I give to my friends and family. There is nothing more satisfying that seeing somebody open up your present and becoming extremely happy. The talent is to notice all kind of small remarks made during the year about a person’s small and insignificant wishes, and turning those wishes into reality during Christmas. The element of surprise is vital.

I’ve noticed that people have become more family oriented when it comes to presents. I mean, nowadays, people only give presents to their immediate families and closest friends. I like to remember unexpected persons that have lightened up my year. I wish the people I met during my exchange year would live closer, so I could give them Christmas presents in person. Instead, I tried to send all of my closest friends Christmas cards, even to the other side of the world. I miss those people very much, but I am extremely happy to notice that they still remember me and that our memories will never fade out. I believe that something made us meet each other in that small town of Castellanza in north Italy. Time will make us see how our paths cross again on this revolutionary road we call life.

I was incredibly happy to hear from E, the girl I used to look after as an au pair, when I worked in Milan 2005-2006. She wrote me a letter for Christmas. When I worked in Milan, she was just four years old. Now she’s already in second grade and knows how to write and read. Amazing. As we grow older, in our mind we never grow older. It’s when you know a child and follow that child’s development that you realize how time goes by. I am very grateful for the constant contact I have with E and her family. It makes me believe that the year I spent in that family meant something, that I actually made a difference in those people’s lives.

As time passes, I can notice that people assume that my interest in Italy has decreased. That the feelings I felt towards that place slowly but definitely fade out. This is of course not true. Still, there is not one day that passes that I don’t think about Italy. Italy is not only a place for me: Italy is a sum of emotions.

A smell of fresh coffee. A marocchino, my favorite. Italy is an old lady on a small street. Nuns and munks among regular people on the underground. Italy is street signs written still by hand. Tradition. Italy is a guy or girl on a scooter, sometimes dressed even in a suit. Italy is the constant innovation things, like the pizza – from only a piece of bread to something far more, a complete dish. Italy is brochettes, lemons, rocket salad, olives, wonderful pastries, pasta, gorgonzola, focaccia, mozzarella. A true passion for food. Sunglasses. High heals. Beautiful women, and even more beautiful men. Elegancy. Buzy cities. Coffee in a bar. Lunch eaten on the street. Tractors, fields, lakes, mountains, beach, forest, houses built on a cliff. Clear blue sky and fog. Aperitivo. Graffiti. Pepperoncini. Salame. Melanzane. Zucchini. Stores for specific products, like bakeries, meat stores. Italy is music. Nightlife, huge clubs, house, djs and vocalists. Limoncello and Campari. Noise.  

Italy is smells, tastes, sounds, images and feelings. I will never forget Italy and what it gives me every day. What it stands for to me. I miss Italy every day but Italy is with me in every breath I take. Not as a place but as the emotions it awakened in me.

Future clothes


For me, clothes mean much more than just pieces of clothing you wear. Clothes show you personality and unique sense of style, if you have one. I strive to buy simple pieces of clothing that are easy to mix in order to create a style that's personal for me. I am very girly and love above all dresses. I like to use accessories to vary styles with the same pieces of clothing.

Nevertheless, I was surprised when I saw that one of the stores I usually make my online purchases from, had added four new collections that clearly show signs of the future. They are amazing!

I'll let you in on the secret, enjoy: 

Cosy design - a modern collection, with clear, straight lines. Comfortable and new materials, like shining cotton and waxed denim. Neutral colors, indigo colored details. Trendy and tempting. My favorite item: the harem pants seen on the picture (made by velvet).


Minimalism Chic - a collection where the lines between masculinity and femininity fade. Casual to official. Newcomers mixed with trendy basics. Blue color world with a hint of grey, grayish blue, dark violet and red. Style for which you need to make an effort. My favorite piece of clothing from the collection: The multicolored jeans, with a hint of blue, black and green in its denim.

  
Retro feminine - a collection with Eastern influences, that show in material choices: velour, wool mixes and soft cotton. Modern features. A collection for creative people. Details in blue and violet. Classy clothing, but with forms of sporty clothing wear. My favorite: Detailed dress in mint color. Material: cotton mixed with silk.


And finally, 

Bio collection - Light clothing in restrained colors of natural materials. Beautiful cuts and small details. Ecological clothing. With the clothing of this collection you can live in a relaxed way and with a good conscious from the whole day.


My favorite piece: Shirt with a great U neck and kimono inspired sleeves, made out of organic cotton.
If these collections don't make you think about how to dress next spring, it's a wonder. Take a second, make an effort and make a statement with what you wear!

And it hurts with every heartbeat

Maybe we could make it all right
We could make it better sometime
Maybe we could make it happen baby
We could keep trying,but things will never change
So I don’t look back
Still I’m dying with every step I take
But I don’t look back
Just a little, little bit better
Good enough to waste some time
Tell me would it make you happy baby
We could keep trying, but things will never change
So I don’t look back
Still I’m dying with every step I take
But I don’t look back
We could keep trying,but things will never change
So I don’t look back
Still I’m dying with every step I take
But I don’t look back and it hurts with every heartbeat
And it hurts with every heartbeat
And it hurts with every heartbeat
And it hurts with every heartbeat
And it hurts with every heartbeat
And it hurts with every heartbeat
And it hurts with every heartbeat
It hurts wïth every heartbeat

Why do I love Helsinki? It's really this simple; I can walk home at 3 a.m. and only one out of 15 cars is a private one, the rest are taxis. I can walk home alone, even though I am a woman and I am safe. And I don't walk home alone. I walk with other people of Helsinki. And I feel safe and good. I love this city. I see great potential in it.

Only one name on the door

So yesterday was the day. The day when I came home and saw only my name starring at me on my front door. Finally the people that take care of this property had taken away I's name. I knew it was coming, in the end it was me who asked them to do it, but it still hit me straight in the face. From there on, I actually felt that I was living alone. Silly, how a name on a door can make you feel like you live with somebody even if that person physically hasn't been living with you for months. Why do we need that? I've lived before alone, but somehow now I got used to the thought that I could always ask that other somebody for help if something went wrong. I know I shouldn't depend on other people, but it's just so easy. Damn it.

Anyway, this fall has been very difficult for me. Disappointment after disappointment. Disaster after disaster. This concerning - of course - boys. Like you kind of understood from the topic, I lived with somebody and it didn't work out. After that there has been another two major disasters, when let's say I have disagreed with two gentlemen about what a relationship is all about and therefore I have been left feeling miserable. In this case, I have to say thank god for good friends.

I'm very thankful for the time I spent abroad, in Italy, because I met some fantastic people there. People that I still, after seven months since Erasmus ended for my part, can ask for advice and help. They're amazing. Just yesterday, I asked my good friend Z for some advice about what to do with boys. My dilemma has been, as many know, that I am not sure if I should start relationships with Finnish guys, when I am so clearly affected by my experiences abroad. I do not act like other Finnish girls and I certainly do not think like them. The advice Z gave me was superb.

Here's what she said "Elisabeth, the advice I have for you is that you should take a break from all relationships and only think about yourself. Leave the boys alone, let them fight for you instead. If one is about to start a relationship soon after a bad one, one certainly assures that the next one also will have bad conditions. Above this, one puts up expectations on the new guy, everything that was wrong in the last one has to be proven right in the new one. The best thing is to relax for a GOOD while before starting something new. So that you can start from square one when you meet somebody new." I think that is exactly what I am going to do. Thanks ever so much Z for making me see the reality.

Even though I said I had great friends around the world, it doesn't mean that I don't have them here in Finland. This weekend I got a real surprise. I went to a party with my sister, who's four years older than me, so she has a little bit different circles than me. Anyway, we have friends in common, and this was one of those parties where we were celebrating a common friend. It turned out that during the evening I happened to receive a note from a guy making it quite clear what his interest in me was. I think you can follow. The note was not that discreet.

The amazing part of this evening was of course that when one of my friends, who happens to know the person that gave me the note, heard about the existence of the note, he immediately felt that he had to protect me. So I got to know all about the writer of the note, and got a greater understanding why he gave it to me. I was dazzled by the fact that my friend stood up for me in that way. It made me realize that some people actually do care. I am somebody worth protecting. I felt warm inside. I guess it is a cliché but true: friends are like latherns in the dark, they don't tell you where to go, but they light up your way.

Giving pieces away

I know it's been a long time since I've written on my blog. I've had a very busy time lately so I just haven't had time to sit down and write down my thoughts. The period has not only been busy but also confusing. Issues of my personal life complicate things. Sometimes I find myself blocked in writing, because too much is going on. In order to write, my thoughts have to clarify themselves, how silly it might sound.

I wanted to mention something about Halloween, even though it has already passed a long time ago. Looking at the photos from this year's celebrations, I realized something. Halloween here in Finland, and maybe all over the world, is a day when it's allowed for us to dress up like something. Something else, not ourselves. Somehow this feeling is liberating, and at least here girls take this very seriously. We can dress even naughty, and it's acceptable even though Finland is a quite closed community where alternative ways of acting is not supported. But all the rules are thrown out of the window when it comes to Halloween.

I don't know how well people understand the truth behind the costumes. We dress as we want to see ourselves. So in reality Halloween is the best party of the year for shy people or others that feel that they just don't dare to show another side of them. I love Halloween for this. I can read a lot from the costumes and realize how their wearers really are.

Halloween made me think about how much we women are allowed to change our appearance in order to look better. We use make up of course, but nowadays new ways of enhancing our appearance have become more common, for instance fake nails, contact lenses and even hair extensions. Where goes the limit? I mean, if a girl meets a boy in a club, for instance, they react to each other’s physical appearance no? If that is not truth worthy, are we then fooling each other? At least I would get surprised if the guy I met, who had hair, suddenly when you get him home shows not to have that kind of hair after all.

But on the other hand, don't we always give a false impression of ourselves in the beginning of a relationship or in a dating situation? We consciously do not share all information about that we could, but at dates only give hints of who we truly are. And then of course there are rules about these things. We cannot give out all information at the same time, because then we'll scare away the other person. “To much to handle”, we call it. My sister said the other day that she does not want to support this. She aims to tell everything about herself immediately. She is not embarrassed about who she is, or her family situation, why should she be?

That made me think about who is right and who's wrong. What is the right way to act? Are we doomed to give a flawless picture of us in the beginning of a relationship? Where goes the line? Dating is complicated. Actually it's all about pretending. I've been talking to some of my friends that are guys and one of them told me for instance that he does not like to pay for his date if he does not think that the girl is really interested in him. He also said that he doesn't want to give too much of himself to her, tell her too much about himself, if he doesn't think that they will become a couple. The reason for this was that it hurts too much when it doesn't work out, and as soon as he starts "giving something of himself", he is emotionally attached. He described it as difficult to start new emotional relationships, therefore he hates dating. How much is the amount of information about us that we are supposed to give out on the first dates, so that we don't get hurt? I found it interesting that my friend called it tiring to tell about himself, give a piece of himself to new people that he might not see again.

I think giving pieces away is always difficult and when one is dating, it is particularly difficult. We need to trust in the unknown. If one doesn't share thoughts, ideas, passions, dates can never work and relationships can never be build on. But now, on the threshold of Christmas, we need to believe. In the end, Christmas is the most romantic period of the year, at least after Valentine's Day.

Checking in on our Western neighbor

Not that much time ago, I decided to go on a trip and visit our neighbor country Sweden. One of my friends had invited me for a party to a city situated between Stockholm and Gothenburg, so I thought it sounded like a great idea. Way too much time had passed since I had been there anyway.

I like going to Sweden, it is always a kind of analysis because we are talking about a rival country with which we Finns always compare ourselves. Besides this, it is the country were people speak my mother tongue. Therefore it is also a way to see how reality could look like if one would live in a place where everything would be in Swedish, my language. This is a privilege we Swedish speaking Finns do not have.

Furthermore, I had my own little personal reason to go to Stockholm. Working last summer at Helsinki's Tourist Office, I had heard endless stories about our "competitor", the Tourist Office of Stockholm. Of course, I had to check it out.

Me and my flat mate Ivano took one of the Silja Line ferries to go to Stockholm. I had decided on the cruise line because I wanted to show him a nicer picture of the traffic between Sweden and Finland. Usually, those ferries are filled with Finns going on cruises in order to buy cheap alcohol and get drunk on the ship. That was not what I wanted to show Ivano. I was happy about my choice because the cabin was nice, a promenade cabin with the view to the inner promenade deck on the ship. We also enjoyed a buffet dinner at the Silja Line restaurant, something also new for Ivano. I always look forward to eating at least one buffet during a cruise because it means I can eat my delicacy - salmon eggs. So good.


Once we got to Stockholm, we first headed for the Central Railway Station to get our train tickets to Skövde. The underground system in Stockholm is really good, you can get anywhere in the core center in just a few minutes. I hope Helsinki will in the near future have something of a similar underground system. I know there is work going on, so I am confident that that is where we are heading.

Something I do have to comment on though, are the tickets. We paid almost 8€ for one single ticket in the underground. I really wish we were misleaded, because that sounds like an insane amount of money to me. Fortunately the first day we were in Stockholm, we bought Stockholm cards, which turned out to be a very wise investment. For about 33€ euros we got free public transport, free boat sightseeing, free museum admissions, discounts and much more. Very handy. A big plus is the guide book you are given when purchasing the card. It shows all the discounts and benefits of course, but is of a convenient size, A6, and includes the map of Stockholm with all the museums placed on it. Very nice. And also a map of the underground system. Perfect. I'm lovin' it. 10 points for that booklet.

After fighting with the lockers at the train station, which only accept coins of 5 and 10 crowns, kronor, we managed to leave our luggage at the station, get our tickets and head by foot towards the old town of Stockholm. Stockholm is a city easy to navigate in, and I always feel immediately at ease there. There are millions of signs telling you where you are heading, so there is no need for maps. Although the old town is something that gives Stockholm an edge over Helsinki, I didn't remember it as small as it now seemed. The streets were almost empty and we walked through the quarter in 10-15 minutes.

Finally after spending time in old town, we headed for the Tourist Office. I actually didn't think it was easy to find, more hidden like. The Office itself was placed on a floor beneath street level, which I found strange. This is an office that should represent the city, and it is situated underground? The Office itself was beautiful of course, with the Tourist Office on one side and a souvenir shop on the other side.


Technology was very present, with at least 10 computers visible for customer use. This actually created a conflict between Ivano and me.

For somebody like me, with experience of working in a Tourist Office, it seems highly impersonal to encourage tourists to computers instead of offering them personal service with personnel. Of course, there were some tourist advisers present, but as a tourist, you needed a queue number in order to be able to speak with them. Seeing as I know that this office has about 7 000-8 000 customers a day, I doubt they stay to wait for their number.

Ivano on the other hand, preferred the cold computers and did not put any weight on personal assistance. Despite this, I strongly believe that we do it better at the Helsinki Tourist Office because by offering personal help and advise without queue numbers and only a few customer computers, we give the city a face in a far different way than Stockholm. The personnel of a Tourist Office does not only represent the city but might be the only local people a tourist encounters.

After a long day in Stockholm with boat sightseeing, walking, shopping and museums, we ended up in the Central Railway Station waiting for our train. I just must promote the best book shop ever, called Pocket Shop. I've been there twice, and both times I have found interesting books for an ever more interesting price. Only there can you buy Swedish novel books for only 6€! In Finland that would never be possible.

The Swedish trains are very high tech, as all of Sweden according to me. Even on the trains, all the people were using laptops and other technological equipment.

Skövde is a cute city :) With its 50 000 inhabitants it shows a completely different Sweden than Stockholm. Skövde feels like a place to rest. I found a lot of Marimekko and Iittala there, which warmed my heart. Marimekko seems to be very hot there, yey. I think the Swedes are a better audience for Marimekko than Finns, because they are ready to invest a lot of money on their home. I found more interior design shops in Sweden than I have ever seen in Finland. Here it is unusual that a student has money for e.g. Marimekko drapes. In Sweden on the other hand, it seemed ordinary.

In Skövde at least, there were also some differences concerning going out to bars. There the bar goers were of a much wider age range. I also think Swedes drink less than us, hehe. A funny feature was that when the clock turned two, and the bar in which we were closed, everybody rushed to the wardrobe to get their clothes. There existed no rules in the order in which the people pushed its way through. No gentlemen existed, that's for sure. I thought Finns were rude, but we have some clear competition in the west.

The whole Swedish experience was awesome. It really made me think that I would like to live at least one year in Stockholm. I think only in that way I would fully experience the Swedes and the differences that lie underneath the surface. Although our cultures are similar, we have hidden norms and opinions that differ. And the Swedish guys? Well, I have to say that they catch my eye running around in their trench coats and manly bags. Without a doubt, a good motive for checking in on our Western neighbor every now and again.

Resolving the autumnal puzzle


Autumn is the time for reflecting. School and work start again, everybody goes back to everyday life. As the leaves fall, our life becomes more complex and days fly by. I love watching out from my window following the leaves as they make their way done to the ground. In a way their path is sad. They look so glorious in the trees, all colorful during what we Finns call "ruska", the period of colorful leaves. And still all that glory leads to dirty brown leaves on the ground, a deep fall that is. This, without a doubt, makes us think about our own life.

The choices we make during autumn, affect the outcome of our whole year. During the summer, most of us have summer jobs, which offer us something new but seldom something lasting. The trickiest part of going back to school, is balancing school with work. Almost all of my friends are forced to work on the side of school, simply because of economical reasons. We all want to live on our own, something we perceive as natural in Finland. Seeing as we are already in our twenties, money from back home is all the time getting less common and the money we get from the state merely covers our rent, if even that. The question is though what is the priority then. Should school come first, or work? The ironical part is that usually work forces you to prioritize it, simply because if you miss it once, you're fired. So this feature kind of makes the choice for us, doesn't it?

Although this is a well known fact, professors refuse to see it as the reality. They emphasize that school should come first, and do not allow us to miss class. Other professors on the other hand assume that we have work experience and uses that as lecture material. So another conflict occurs.

I have found it difficult to choose what kind of job would suit me and my life situation. During this period, I've had at the most three times a week lectures, which makes it perfectly possible for me to work on the side of school. The distinguishing feature of my school though is that we have changing timetables. The timetables change at least every ten weeks, but changes can also occur during these periods of ten weeks. So what kind of job should I look for that can fit into this puzzle?


I've recently started a job as a leader of an afternoon activity club for elementary school children. Although I love the children, having a job every day between 1pm-5pm is not really working with my school. I thought it might, but it seems impossible. I find myself torn.

Let me present myself

Hi!

I thought the best way to present myself, is to just start writing. I'll give you hints about myself so I'm sure that it won't take long for you to realize what kind of person I am. The idea about starting this blog is simple; I have always loved writing and I believe it comes more natural to me than to many others so I thought it would be nice. Before I used to think that only persons on trips or on exchange could keep a blog but now that I've talked with some of my friends, I have realized it's not like that at all. Anybody can share one's thoughts, and just hope somebody cares to read about them, hehe.

So here we go. Let's brake this blog virginity.

I take a course in organisation and management at my school. I attend the programme of tourism management at Arcada, a polytechnic in Helsinki, Finland. As a part of this course, we had to take a personality test. I found it very nice, once read the result. But basically we have been studying the ideas of the researcher Jung. So just by googling the words "Jung's test" I found this web site (http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp) where you can take a personality test. Why my professor chose this kind of test is because it is quite well known and proved to be accurate in some extent. The actual test has 72 questions about how we act in ordinary everyday situations. The questions had mostly to do with social and cognitive behavior.

According to the test, I fall into the ENFJs, the idealist so to say. Furthermore I belong to the teachers. I thought it was fun to read through the description of my so called personality. According to the test I have a natural talent to lead students and trainees. My best quality is that I can see potential in others. These teachers, to which I'm told I belong, only stand for about two percent of the population, so it's clear that we are talking about a minority. Nothing new there. I'm also warmly outgoing and it's easy for me to use languages as a tool to make myself understood. I should be good in keeping speeches too. And yeah, good in face-to-face communication.

What I liked was the fact that the test called me "bubbling with enthusiasm". I liked that expression. That is me. Besides me of course, other famous teachers are Mikhail Gorbachev, Oprah Winfrey and John Paul II.

I must say that even though I did this test for school purposes and just for fun, the results can awfully close to reality. When I was reading through the description, I was reading about myself. Or to be more correct, about the way I perceive myself. Of course the answer was a little over the top, but there was some truth to it. Earlier I've done some other types of personality tests and they have never come as close, must say. Tests related to our horoscopes seem like they just throw out what ever kind of personality features and just hope to be right. In this test, I did get a whole page of information.

This awaken my curiosity so I wanted to know what kind of carrier options this test would give me. According to the test, there are four fields of work that could suit me; the social sector (tutoring, psychology, social work, education), health care sector (psysician), science/technical sector (science, computer programming) and finally the management sector (management, fashion merchandising, politics). Surprisingly some of these fields have actually been on my list when I have thought about my future options. As a child, my dream job was teacher, but nowadays I am leaning more towards management in the field of tourism. Scary that the test agreed, again.

There are some lacks in the test of course. What the test actually tells you is your own point of view, how you see yourself because you are the only one answering the questions. In order to see through a test with accurate results, you would have to ask the opinions of other people too. The questions is though, who knows you well enough to answer? Who would give the real answers, the ones that are actually accurate? The fact is that one person has many personality characteristics with different persons. At least I know I act differently with different persons. In that way we are all chameleons, with changing characteristics. The way we act, our behavior, depends on the roles we take upon us with the people we interact with. Because of this, I think in the end it's impossible to place a person just under one category like here in my case the teachers. I can have some features alike the ones of this group, but in different situations I can act in a surprising way.

I think our personality is formed by the choices we make during life. The harder and bigger the choice is, the more it changes our personality. Like the Dalai Lama says, a person is a sum of his choices. I think our personality is not invariable, but something ever changing throughout our lives. Of course we all have our basic principles that originate in the guidelines our parents gave us during our childhood about what is right and wrong, but sometimes I have had to realize that everything you hear need to be questioned. Even parents, teachers, professors can make errors. Beside that, I know plenty of people who are completely different from their parents so I refuse to put too much value in genetic factors when it comes to the drifts of our personality.

Social factors affect us much more. In order to maintain for instance an extrovert personality, one need to get positive feedback from talking in front of others and uttering what's on one's mind. The way to express ourselves that we find successful, that is the one we keep on using.

Cultural factors also affect our personality in great extent. That's another reason why I find this test lacking. A person on the other side of the world can't have the same cultural influences as you do. A person for instance in Italy that might seem shy there, might be very outgoing in Finland where our culture is much more introvert. A compliment in Finland might be "you're nice" while in the rest of the world it might be something more, hehe. Behavior differs although it might have similar features. I would say though, that a test on personality could be more accurate when we cross borders than for instance an opinion test. Our opinions are far more affected by cultural factors than our personality features, but the tricky part is that you can't separate one from the other.

I would recommend the test for everybody, as something to think about. Go on, it won't do you any harm :)