A year of acceptance

It’s amazing we’re here, at the end of the year of dramatic changes, sudden losses, and adapting to a whole new life. It’s been a year of learning to accept.

I’ve been quiet for many months now, my apologies. In September I fell sick with a bad case of common cold that took its toll on me for weeks. We found we’re expecting our second child, but unfortunately lost the baby at 11 weeks. On top of that we experienced some other worries and losses – I’ve felt numb and speechless.

I’ve also been experiencing my worst yet culture shock. When the long and sunny summer turned into a foggy and rainy autumn, I began to see the gloomy sides of living in Bosnia. Far too many times I’ve said we have everything we wanted, but just in the wrong country.

The shock is not over, though I think I’m moving to the right direction. I do see reason to all of this and I acknowledge that many of my dreams have come true: living on the mountain, having lots of animals, running a guesthouse, being able to make our own schedules, enjoying the freedom of living on ‘the edge of society and civilation’.

On 23rd of November I updated my status on Facebook as follows:

— Yesterday I was asked at a family party how do I like the village, “honestly”, the man stressed.
Honestly: “It’s great. The people are kind. The place is beautiful.” But I don’t think there was anyone sitting around that table (apart from my husband perhaps) that would’ve understood how complex and difficult the question was to me. And though I answered honestly, I left out a million things.
The people are not only kind, they’re welcoming, warm, funny, understanding. They don’t have a lot, but they’ve taken me in (knowing I come from the rich north). It makes me grateful and humble. Yet I feel that sometimes the culture, the customs are too much, especially as a woman and as a mother.
The mountains, the woods, the nature all around is amazing. But it’s not only beautiful, it’s also messy and rough. There’s a lot of trash being thrown in the woods. There are unkept, abandoned, run-down houses, cars, yards. Though there’s no bullet holes on the walls in the village, I feel reminded of the ugly war all the time.
Painfully I know my perspective is Finnish. How ever much I wanted to leave my homeland, to live in new places, it stays with me forever. I compare when it’s not justifiable (I mean: it’s almost always unjust, to make comparisons to the Finnish standards…). I judge when I don’t know better. I get angry when I’m tired, when the caged bears, the homeless dogs, the poverty, the war memories, the inequality, the smoking, the drinking, the not-doing-the-right-thing-and-taking-action is just too much. The fault is largely in me.
I’m in love with this country. I wake up happy here.
But it’s also the toughest school I’ve ever been to. —

This is as accurate as ever. I’m in love with this country. My family is happy here. I wake up happy here. I believe I’m here to learn, I’m here for a reason.

But I still have trouble finding words to describe where I’m at emotionally, spiritually, socially, I find it difficult to feel true contentment. I miss too many people, I’m still to find a true sense of belonging.

I’ve also found myself being a full-time stay-at-home mother since the summer. This was unplanned, my husband has just been extremely busy at the guesthouse, and there are no nannies or kindergartens where we live. I’ve accepted the situation, since we decided to take this challenge on together, as a team, and give it the best we have. However I miss reading, writing, feeling connected to other places and surroundings than home – so there are a few New Year’s resolutions on the way!

For now, though, I’m sending you kisses and hugs from the mountain! May the year 2014 bring you all the love and happiness and serenity possible!

This is my last post as SloSimple – from now on this blog will be called Mount Rewild. To be honest, just saying this makes me smile, even this kind of small step has a huge impact on me! I hope you’re going to like it too. This post will appear also on my other blog belamama, and that marks the end of that blog altogether. The two blogs are to continue in one address from now on: http://www.mountrewild.org.


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