The abundant lack of words

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Life can be a bit of a swamp sometimes

Perhaps the reason I felt like I didn’t have it in me to write a 2018 recap is because too much had happened and it would be foolish to try to put it into words? The feeling of needing to write has also somehow swindled. I don’t know whether it’s the incapability of finding the right words or the lack of want – what came first and what holds greater power over me. But if there is anything I did learn last year, it’s that when something feels impossible or some other im+probable/mesurable/…, a way to overcome it is to push with almost idiotic persistence – or so it seems at times. And I have learned the hard way, the only one we are truly able to push, is of course ourselves (as little as we sometimes want to admit it – so much easier to externalise problems as well as solutions even when all the answers are staring back at you in the mirror). We’re a fucking piece of work and I learnt it all too well regarding myself l’année passée. Nevermind the bruises.

But as I have two months left before turning 30, I’m not allowed to sound like too much of a grumpy old woman yet. I’ll share a few learnings and realisations that slapped me in my face several times. Some cater for the cute factor, but most are the bare bones hard life truths that are more convenient to be ignored. Disclaimer: I do not think these truths are necessarily universal or that you, you beautiful human reading this, might even align with them, but they have shaken me to my core and I will continue to study life through and with the help of them. Alas, I don’t hold the empire of the truth! Albeit I am sure I have thought I did at some parts of my life previously (cough-adolescence-cough).

So, here’s to the truth.

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Don’t mean to brag, but the sky game is quite strong at my new place.

1) Life is finite

This one is a no-brainer, but how many of us like really really think about the fact that we are mortal on a daily basis? For obvious reasons it’s better not to think about dying the moment we get up in the morning and go about our daily business – threats are everywhere and if we consider all the options, it would make so much more sense to just not get out of bed or your house at all (oh the temptation).

But when we go about our daily stuff, we make decisions on every corner – do I speed to get to this meeting (and risk getting in an accident), do I go on this trip all by myself (and risk possibly getting into a tricky situation without backup), do I get onto this airplane and jump out of it…? Most of the time it’s of course all absolutely fine.

Accidents and bad things are on the news and happen to other people, but the news can be turned off and we can retreat back into our blissfully oblivious existence. When it comes to taking risks, we should weigh the gains and possible losses of the various outcomes. But how often do we consciously do that? I know I don’t. It’s easier to focus on the probability (statistics are my favourite method for pleasant self-deception) and off we go. Chances are, it’s fine. But. When it’s not, we’re not really prepared, as we chose to trust that most of the time things go well.

Now don’t get me wrong. I haven’t become this calculating reasonable person who has everything thought through to the very last detail, but I did – with the help of how little I have thought about the negative possibilities – get shaken to the core when the wave of unexpected feelings flooded my whole being.

Those feelings proved to be the point from which a lot of things in my life started unravelling in my head. They were just so immense that I had to start from scratch and give most of the things and people in my life, as well as the things I do, a proper thought. For this to happen, I had to realise life is finite. It took two really fucking lucky accidents very close to my heart. One being to myself, but that I chose to kind of ignore for a while (“I’m fiiiine, I really am, it’s nothing”), but when it came to demand its due diligence, it had a short term loan interest added on top. So yeah, no better way to get the closets aired than have the metaphorical closet finally fall on you when you’ve ignored the fact that it’s flooding for too long.

Still planning on jumping out of airplanes, by the way. But my driving style has definitely become more conservative, and I have made some other adjustments in lifestyle choices to lower the possibility of digging my own hole unless truly necessary (and as we know, skydiving is a true necessity, of course).

However, the most invisible, but perhaps the most important takeaway for me is that do the things that matter. Do good. Be good. Be with good people and make sure those good people know they are appreciated and loved. It’s the most sensible thing you can do with the however many days you have on this planet. Don’t sabotage your life with bullshit.

2) Freedom is all

This one links to the above-mentioned point. We are free to choose what we do, but the clause with freedom is also that we must bear the consequences of our free choices. You’re free to do whatever you want, but no action exists in a vacuum. If you choose to do something stupid, own the scheisse that follows. One of those look-in-the-bloody-mirror moments. Your freedom, your choice, your responsibility.

I hold freedom in the highest regard. I don’t think captivity is a particularly inspiring or fruitful arrangement – be it for our hearts, minds or bodies. Freedom is the prerequisite for the beautiful artefacts of life to emerge. Freedom of the mind is the holy grail. I believe the most beautiful partnerships are born between the two that are free. The partnership will enhance both individual’s freedom without capping their wings. Freedom leaves space for connecting, for feelings, for companionship. If we’re not free, the bond could end up suffocating us.

Of course there’s a whole current affairs level of freedom that I am mildly tempted to rant about as well, but as I’m on a little narcissistic monologue here, I’ll leave that for some other time. But the point remains the same – freedom is all.

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Happy place

3) No regrets (yes, you’re allowed to picture a misspelled tattoo)

Linking to the previous point about freedom, I believe regrets are futile. We can only regret the things we did not do, and what we do is our choice. And once we choose, we should own that choice. So better make good choices and decisions – no bullshit. If you choose badly and it turns out bleurgh, you’ve made a bullshit choice. Of course things happen and we all make mistakes, but quite often we base our decisions on some bullshit reasons when we know intuitively that the reason is actually bullshit, but we do it anyway and then wonder about the vacuous feeling. Not every move or action needs a SWOT, but we should take the old mirror and at least ask “why” and “who cares”. The answer to the latter should mostly be “you”, by the way. Also, when a bad decision is made and the result turns out sub-optimal, then the worst we can do is beat ourselves up about it and mope around feeling sorry for ourselves. While we’re occupied waiting for the world or someone else come do us a favour and pick up the pieces for us.. well, it’s not going to happen. Took me some time to learn it, but it was sobering and liberating when I did.

4) Good people are all

Taking the risk of sounding like a grumpy old woman here, but along with the deep acknowledgement of the appreciation for the absolutely wonderful people in my life, the lack of patience for not-so-wonderful people also surfaced. I guess it comes down to how we want to spend our lives – meaningless boring interactions that you know will be forgotten and pushed into the disposable part of the memory, or quality time with people who fill your heart and soul. Should be a no-brainer.

This may or may not be one of the reasons why I absolutely cringe at the idea of dating. The idea of having to spend “quality” time with someone who you realise is morbidly boring, it pains me just to think about it. Bare existential dread, mate.

It makes me vomit in my mouth a little when I use this expression, but I really truly do feel blessed having such wonderful people around me. They make me a better person. I feel forever in debt to some of my sweethearts who have sacrificed their time and energy to drag me though the worst of times and when necessary give the necessary tough love to help me see clearer.

And speaking of good people – I think dogs and cats are the best people. I try to spend as much time with my weirdo creatures as possible.

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5) Be present

This is not the part where I’m going to justify the lack of Christmas presents with the line “But I’m your present!” (Maybe I should, though.)

There’s many layers to this. Some things we do physically require us to be fully present, otherwise we’re likely to get ourselves or someone else in a possibly rather shitty situation (driving being a good example of this).

And there’s this inexplicable rush of calm and quiet that can physically overtake you when you switch of all thoughts of the past and all worries about the future and really focus on the NOW. It’s as if your senses get heightened. Weird stuff, but super powerful.

And then there’s the point of being present with those above-mentioned (see point 4) wonderful people. All the recent lessons in life have taught me one thing on the side – slowness can be good. Take time for the stuff that is important so that you can be fully present. What’s more precious than being fully present in the tiny universe that people can create when immersed in a conversation – or perhaps the perfect quiet – together?

I stumbled upon this sentence a friend had shared on social media recently. I think it’s perfect for summing up the topic of being present – only a fool trips on what’s behind.

6) I don’t have a good subtitle for this one, but it refers to a lot of the pain, anger, and other angsty feelings I have experienced during the times of not so much joy. It takes a lot of self-discipline and what sometimes feels like idiotic persistence to get to the bottom of those feelings. It starts with acknowledging that the feeling is there. Then you start following that metaphorical thread down the memory lane and if you don’t get to the very bottom of the reason, you might at least become aware of the sequence of events or feelings that lead you to that particular angsty feeling.

In my opinion, one of the trickiest feelings to acknowledge (and eventually disarm) is injustice/unfairness. What it really comes down to is accepting the inevitable. But but but… the universe was terrible to me! Yeah, but whatcha gonna do? The toughest of the tough ones to get over is yourself.

But, at the end of the day, the whole spectrum of feelings is an irrefutable sign of us being human, and sometimes it’s the best thing to just let all that feels wash right through you. And that’s fine, too. But we really, really should all stop being so bloody hard on ourselves. Because the most negative feelings are in essence just us being dicks to ourselves.

7) I’ve got my own home. It’s the best.

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Causally hanging out at home, no idea a photo was being taken, none whatsoever.


There are a lot of things to smile about. I am beyond late with this and I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions anyway, but this is something I would vow to try and keep in mind, especially when things get tough.

Dis all for now. Much love and world peace!

PS. I had no idea that observing snow ploughs at the airport could be so enticing.


On aloneness

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The man and the phone and the sea. Thank you, random guy, for taking your phone in the sea in Odessa. Sorrynotsorry for being a bit of a creep and taking a photo of you.

The hyper social, hyper connected, and hyper public lives we live today – in large part thanks to the unprecedented advances in information and communication technologies – have done things to our sense of presence and lack there of, and our needs. The rapid change in how we function on a day-to-day basis (thanks to those technologies and the omnipresence of the internet in our lives) have changed our sociality and how we perceive aloneness. There are probably a thousand or more angles to approach aloneness from, but I’ve been giving a few of them a lot of thought in the past couple of years. Here are my three takes on aloneness.

On being alone together

During my MA course in the University of Amsterdam, I came a cross a lot of literature that dealt with the relationship between humans and technologies that can be called nothing short of seductive because of the way they penetrate our consciousness and emotions. We need them there. The smartphones we carry with us every day are like a phantom limb nowadays – our work lives depend on it (I know I am surely guilty of that), and we have put a lot of stakes of our personal lives on them as well. I am not going to go very deep into how Facebook and other applications we click open every day give us a legitimate emotional reward and hence become addictive. But the next time you’re sitting in a cafe, put down your phone and observe what’s going on around you. How many couples or groups of people do you see around you that are submerged in their newsfeed instead of being submerged in what their companion has to say? They are alone together. It’s scary, right? I have no right to take the stance of a cyber-skeptic as I clearly delve in those technological dalliances plenty myself, but it never hurts to be aware of one’s own sins.

I came across the pair of words ‘alone together’ in the book by Sherry Turkle. Here’s the NYT review of it that should give a decent overview, and although it was published years ago, I think it’s still painfully relevant, and also a good read. I will grossly over-simplify some of the ideas, but one of the most resonating ones for me is how the hyper-connectivity actually makes us feel and be more alone. We become more and more fine with an online chat instead of being curled up on someone’s sofa. Ten likes and reactions under a photo (that is often a beautified depiction of reality, but that’s a totally different story) becomes as rewarding as a friend saying – in real life – that the photo is particularly nice. And then what? Is it eventually easier for us to resort to mediated conversations? Do we lose our people skills? And do we ever come crashing down from the [false?] sense of connection provided by those digital rewards? I think we do. And we end up feeling more alone. The positive side is that humans seem to be the most adapting species on planet Earth, so once we spin out of the cycle and land on our feet, we can start rebuilding our analogue connections.

But as a disclaimer – I genuinely do believe that technology can also enhance and enable beautiful connections, help to maintain them, but it should always be approached with caution. A chat never substitutes being in the same time and space with someone. If you’re not as socially capable in the analogue world, tech might help you get going, and that’s wonderful. But as far as a lot of really smart people seem to have concluded over and over again – we tend to be social creatures and having real people around to talk to (or be quiet with, whichever you prefer) is usually a good thing. And that’s a good place to move onto the next take on aloneness and set technology aside for a moment.

On being together *that* way

I wasn’t planning on going full on biology, but it does seem that the only way to keep human life going on this planet (unless we destroy it with our stupidity before) is to erm… make babies. The most basic way for that is to find someone you don’t hate very much, and make babies with them. (I just have to say that I f*cking love science, because science has made it possible for so many more combinations of people to create families, not just “one man, one woman” and even fertility problems have a lot higher being-solved-rate than ever before. How cool is that!) Society also seems to think that we function the best in pairs. Makes sense, right? And even though science and life have long rendered the traditional notion of a family obsolete, there still seems to be some sort of a general opinion still that we should all couple up and procreate. All the more so from a female perspective.

Even though I believe I have surrounded myself with forward-thinking and liberal people, and the parts of the world that I have had the privilege to live in, can subscribe to all sorts of alternative arrangements in life, but even in those conditions I have felt an indisputable condemnation for nearing thirty and not having made any babies. Most of the time it’s discreet enough to go unnoticed for bystanders. But when it happens to you thirty times, you start to notice the pattern. There are so many ways this topic is a toxic can of worms, but being forced into finding my peace with it more than once, I will address it. I’m not even going to go much deeper into how fundamentally wrong it is for anyone but the person themselves to have an opinion about someone’s choices in personal life, but those who self-assign themselves the right to say anything about someone not having children yet – have they considered the possibility that they might be infertile and such topics can be painful on the level that doesn’t even begin to fit into words? Yeah, there’s that.

And then there’s when a woman has made the decision to focus on fulfilling whatever dreams and pursuits they have in life, sans children. Sometimes that’s just how life plays the cards at some stage of the life. You don’t necessarily have to make a conscious decision to not make a family, life just happens elsewhere. That’s how it’s been for me for the past couple of years. I’ve lived a crazy work life and I have loved it in most part. Children haven’t fit into the picture. I also haven’t been in a longer committed relationship since I moved back to Estonia. And I’m fine with it. But it seems that some parts of the society have trouble understanding, accepting, and believing that. Why does it bother people when a (young woman) is alone? It doesn’t mean that I am incapable of loving or caring for someone else, or that I don’t want children at all at some point. Or that I don’t want to be with someone. I can’t see why not, but the stars really have to align right for that. And that’s a good point to move on to the third part of the aloneness ramblings – the metaphorical aloneness.

On being alone

For me, being alone is a necessity. I need to be alone every now and then to reflect on things, and to just be. I also really enjoy travelling alone (although I usually meet some friends at my destinations), because you can really get up to whatever the f*ck you want, no-one to judge, no-one to tell you what to do. I genuinely believe that I have won a jackpot at life when it comes to my friends. Regardless of physical time and space, I am never lonely (aloneness and loneliness are often, erroneously, thought of as synonyms) thanks to them.

I haven’t always been so comfortable with aloneness. I remember when I moved to London to study and during the first year, I went through some pretty epic bursts of home sickness. Over time, it got easier and it got good. I learnt to be alone. When you do something as drastic as move to a new country, there’s not that many alternatives anyway. If you don’t learn to be alone, there’s always the option to call it quits, but that was never really an option for me personally. I learnt that it’s fine to sometimes feel home sick and miss your friends and family. But that’s not what should define my daily life. The way for me was to separate my personal wellbeing and self worth from (the presence of) others. Having fantastic people around is great. But that should not be the base of contentment, but an extra. An extra that I would most of the time be very happy to enjoy. I would have probably had an awful time living abroad if I never learnt to enjoy being alone. I would have burned out and succumbed to some pretty dark stuff.

The ‘extra’ theory also applies to erm… romantic companions. I don’t consider it a life’s essential to be in a relationship. I am fortunate to be surrounded by a bunch of supremely interesting, intelligent, and beautiful people that I can call my friends. I feel loved and appreciated by them. They give me an intellectual high and they can also be silly as hell. I feel extremely privileged in that respect. I have also been super lucky with colleagues that I have been able to learn from and grow with. So, I guess I have been spoiled. I am surrounded by amazing people and I self sustain, both economically and intellectually speaking. But this, again, does not mean I don’t want someone next to me. Why not, but there’s something really important. One thing I am never giving up is my independence, my freedom.

Whatever relationships (friendships, romantic encounters, whatever else) I develop with people, it can never be based on dependence. They have to complement and compliment. Both people have to be whole, otherwise it can get unhealthy and imbalanced quite fast. For me, the one of the prerequisites for wholeness is the ability to be alone.

On a final note, I think the ability to be alone is also something that has to be worked on constantly so that the skills don’t get rusty. It’s only natural that there are setbacks and adverse situations in life and sometimes they undo all the alone-zen you’ve managed to cultivate over the years. Negative feelings are an easy way to loneliness (the bad and suffocating version of alone). Sometimes a little help is needed, but the trick to overcoming negative feelings is also something that is pretty alone, if you ask me. It’s in our heads, and most of the time there’s no-one else there but us. So, to overcome the ‘bad alone’, we need to be alone and process things. No-one else can do it for us. No-one else can take the hurt away than us.


There is an indescribably beautiful stillness in aloneness – almost meditative.


And on a final-final note, it must be also said that regardless of how hard we try, sometimes we can’t overcome the hurt, the loneliness, the anxiety that comes along with it. It can swallow a person. That doesn’t mean they’re weak or they’ve given up or that they’re somehow not good. No-one should ever be alone with depression, and I hope that one day we can get over that societal stigma that mental health problems have. Someone who is suffering from depression won’t get much help from what I have just written. They won’t be able to process things themselves, and get over it or just cheer up. There is a very big difference between existential theoretical rambling philosophising and being stuck in the quicksand of our own mind. The line can be very thin, and one can only hope that we can cultivate compassion to notice more, care more, judge less, be more for the people who need it.

Wow, I can really ramble a lot.

If not now, when?

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The Doge and I – three pairs of feet.

I walk into the living room and see the Doge lounged out on the sofa like nobody’s business. It takes her 0.75 seconds to rearrange herself on the floor and be all like ‘what sofa? The only bed I know is on this floor, true story’. How could you not believe her?

But this is not what we have gathered here to rant about.

Right, so how do I put it – it hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park lately. If I’m totally honest, it’s been rather sh*it. But after some pretty gruesome introspection, I have come to realise much about my feelings and how I process things. As a side note – writing is one way of processing things for me. Man, it’s uncomfortable, but I’ve got to do this. The alternative would be shutting myself out completely, but that would probably worry some people (but man, it’s tempting).

But back to the point – feelings. I have been too weak to let it all brush past me. I have been going through a plethora of emotions. I have been feeling hurt and betrayed. I have felt the weight of injustice and harshness on my shoulders. I have felt insignificant and way too weak to take it all in stride. I have felt incompetent and at loss, stuck. I have lost faith in a lot of things, including some which I believed to be the pillars of my truths.

I guess it has kind of shown also – I mean people notice when you show up at a meeting with eyes swollen like a [I actually googled a lot of things, starting with ugly fish and finishing with crying animals] … something. I guess people notice when you sob or shout down the phone or when tears just start dripping down when you’re just hanging out, being cool.

Someone I know recently said that losing faith etc – those things are the things that make you grow up. I guess they were right. I am a later Y-generation bloomer, I guess. And who said really growing up is pleasant?

But when you reach a point of UGHHH and you have no more tears left, what do you do then? You start to get over yourself. You put your ego aside, and look at the bigger picture. You remember that there are people whose opinion matters and who are your safety net. You stay true to yourself, your conscience, and like go kick something if it helps you get your chin up again. If there are people or things that are trying to pull me down, I will not let them. They won’t get my soul. Not any more. [I have put it away in a safe place.] And I won’t let the cat out of the hurty-feely bag any more, I know better now being older and wiser (teeheee).

When I started listing the emotions and feelings in my head, the processing of them started immediately. It’s like when you name something, it becomes less scary. It loses its power. It’s like turning on the light when you’re scared of the dark.

I have decided to turn on a gigantic spot light for that matter. Come at me, life! It doesn’t mean my legs aren’t metaphorically shaking like hell, but I am armed with a fresh dose of healthy cynicism, a much thicker skin, a fresh knowledge of what’s what and what’s not and why that matters, and I will smother the adverse with kindness and compassion. I’ve heard good things multiply when you use them wisely and share. Nothing to fear, theoretically. Nothing to lose. Oh, and another important thing – always expect the lowest of everything, this way you’ll never be disappointed.

I accepted a challenge that at first glance felt nothing short of masochistic. Now, I am excited about the possibilities and up for the journey. And hey, one’s gotta keep the pulse up somehow, eh? 😉

If not now, when?

An ode to love

Quite evidently I haven’t gotten around to writing much lately. I have indeed been writing, but for others. And I guess I have put so much of myself in there that I haven’t had much more to spare for these lines. Apologies and excuses aside – I have sat down with a cup of green tea and a whirlpool of thoughts in my head that somehow need to be organised. A whirlpool of feelings in my soul that I will try to somehow decipher. If not in writing, how else? I have neglected the technical extension of my frontal lobe.

It’s somewhat difficult for me to write this as I don’t know where to start and it kind of feels like I’m standing in quicksand.

The past year has been exceptionally difficult. I’m not going to indulge in lining up all the difficulties that I have endured, but let’s say my skin is growing so thick now I think it’s turning into an actual armour. The delicate issue there is to find equilibrium between resilience and coldness. I feel I have become more cold, but I am constantly trying to work on that.

The best medicine for this coldness is being surrounded by amazing people. This I have been extremely lucky with. Through the toughest of times, there are people who have picked up my calls to hear me scream in despair, there are people who have quietly given their support, and those who console with a few kind words, there are people who get up to all sorts of silly stuff with you to get your mind off things, there are people who just understand. And there are people who creep into your soul when it shouldn’t have happened. Words seem banal in trying to convey depth of the gratitude I feel towards all of my top notch lovely friends who have been there for me one way or another. I am in awe by the warmth, kindness, and compassion you have shared with me.

I love you. Sorry if I have been terrible in showing it.

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Inserting a sunset photo for more #feels.

I am at a point in life where yet another restart is required. Apparently the human mind is wired to be uneasy when there are decisions to make and the more choices we have, the more stressful the situation. How about when your decision-making is faced with a thousand unknowns? What if every unknown is a never-ending closed circle of ‘what-ifs’. How do you take a leap of faith when you have lost faith? This sounds darker than it’s meant to. And what if the things that your heart yearns for the most, are the most irrational, stupid, crazy, and difficult things, not to mention nothing is certain?

BUT. We all know that to see a rainbow, you must endure the rain. So enough of the not so pleasant stuff. There have been things that trigger that mischievous spark in my eyes, some things that make my heart want to burst with joy and pride, and some things that give this deep and warm feeling inside. The things of love. This post is an ode to them. And a reminder to remember them.

In the midst of some of the weirdest times of my life, I have met some spectacular and wonderful people who have swiped me off my feet quite unexpectedly. I have opened my heart in a way that makes me extremely uncomfortable and scared. A soulmate and a partner in crime can be discovered in a friendship that has lasted for years. I started skydiving again – passed the AFF course with the help of the amazing instructors at Eesti Langevarjuklubi ( I have had some pretty crazy fun with people I have met during my travels. The list could go on forever, but we’re all busy people, so let us rather go and make memories ourselves.

Tampere out.

PS. I’m looking for a job.


What have I done?

I’ve been a bad friend lately. I was told yesterday that for the past x times I’ve always replied that I’m abroad or ill when invited out for a catchup and/or drink. That has been true indeed. October decided to go past so-so-so-so fast and literally all over the place. But while being unavailable, away, really tired from travelling, nursing a cold, I have been to some pretty epic places (in a rather short period of time), and worked like a maniac. In a good way.

So what have I done? This is a chapter in the life of a self-confessed workaholic.


The ‘early fucking wakey’ really doesn’t get much easier when you do it a few times a week. But as humans are quite adapting creatures, you do get used to it a bit, as well as the poor hours of sleep. The early wakeys do have some perks – you get a lot of stuff done, in general. You also get to places at decent hours to get lots of stuff done. Like in the next photo – I think they landed us at the cargo part in Copenhagen airport, but nevertheless it was as empty as it gets. It was rather silly early o’clock in the morning. Quite a cool sight nevertheless.


So we went to Milan Expo. The coolest gallery there was obviously the Estonian one. And the cosiest one. We know how to do cosy (if you don’t believe me, google ‘Tallinn airport cosy’, et voilà).



I may or may not have tried to hustle myself that [drool] poster of Rasmus Mägi on the wall of our Expo gallery. Katrin Kuldma, whose creations the [godsend] athlete is wearing in that photo, said that the poster had been quite popular and I wasn’t the first genius who tried to talk her way into having it. #definitelynotcreepy


But let’s get back to more earthly topics. When one goes a lot from place A to B, one takes a lot of cloud photos from airplane windows. Clouds, how u so fluffy?

When I was little, I used to think that clouds are possibly the cosiest thing to sleep on. I had to rethink that one when I started jumping out of airplanes. No, not cosy at all.


Then we did London. Met with Cameron, went well. It was actually his birthday that day. Met with our veterans, was sweet. Estonia-England football game happened to be on that day as well, and we went to check it out at the end of the productive day. Not going deeper into that apart from stating that we lost like little bitches. At least I got to see Wembley, which has been a bit of a landmark in my previous life. All the places where I lived in London, had a view or almost-view of the Wembley arch from some window in the house. Wembley also affected my home journeys on quite a few occasions, because  when a match was on, it was indeed impossible to physically fit on the tube.


And because London is London, I couldn’t have gone without checking out some of my beloved ones. Greg also happened to have a gig one night. Was amazing. You will want to listen to all of their stuff. They’re also on Spotify. You can thank me later.



Always happy to see my catsicle when stopping by at home. The catsicle seems to think I’m a new piece of furniture. I don’t mind.

Then there were Dubai and Oman. Both went well, both really different. Dubai is grandiose, flashy, bigger-and-better-than-yours – a true spectacle. Oman is like an Arabian tale. The one thing those two places had in common was the supremely lovely and hospitable people. They truly know how to make you feel welcome.


Above you can find the view from the Government Office of Dubai. I love my workplace and we do have some amazing views going on, but I have to sourly admit that this one made me slightly jealous. Not bad for an office view, not bad at all.


Selfies are normally best taken with a cameraphone. In this one, I somehow managed to get a decent shot with the big camera. Big buildings need big cameras. Burj Khalifa.


If you look closely, you can see some weird-looking structures in the pool. Those things turn the pool (not actually sure that you can swim there – rather not) into a grandiose and a half fountain. I’ve seen the amazing waterworks at The Bellagio in Las Vegas, but those were built to be better, higher, and more spectacular. Can’t argue with that.


Then there was Oman (above a fragment from the ceiling of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat). With Dubai I had some sort of an image or expectation in mind, and the reality didn’t miss it by much. It was a lot warmer than I thought it would be. But Oman – a different planet, I could say. Everything is absolutely stunning, even the new buildings follow the authentic national style. And yes, the temperature… Rather hot. How locals solve the problem is air conditioning. And their AC is so top notch that if you’re sitting at a long dinner table, everyone will feel that “I think I was sitting right underneath the AC”. The food and company were top notch, though. So all in all, still amazing.


Above is an image from the Royal Opera House in Muscat. If you look closely, you can see screens at the back of seats – that’s where they have the translation. There are only two opera houses in Arab countries, one in Cairo and the other in Muscat. A third one is being built into Dubai – and it will be the largest one. No surprise there. Back to the mosque for one selfie. The Grand Mosque was the only place during Dubai-Oman trip where the ladies of the delegation wore scarves. I haven’t done my research on the common conceptions of the two places, but in my own book a little positive surprise was noted down for a lot more open and liberal attitude than expected.


It was my beloved Lilly who at one point noted in a worried voice that I haven’t posted any photos of my kittycat lately. So here’s an obligatory cat photo from when I returned home. Cat-on-bag morning situation. Not sure what she had in mind, but she definitely gave close to zero fucks about me having to go to work.


Add a few days on the ground, another round of terrible sniffles, and off we go again.

Here’s what I mean about the airplane photos. Earth, u so pretty!


The photo above was taken on the way to Iceland. Iceland has been one of my absolute dream travel destinations. The thing with work travelling is that.. well, you’re working. And it doesn’t mean that you’ll have time to do any sightseeing. But luck was on my side, because probably due to the fact that the Northern Future Forum (which is the reason we went there) was happening, plane tickets were sparse. So I had to fly in alone a few hours earlier than the rest of the delegation. This means I got to land when it was still bright outside. And I was also greeted by a sleet storm. But Iceland is one of those places where terrible weather is basically a given, so you’re not really allowed to moan about it. And it was still pretty out of this world, to be honest. Here’s the Iceland land that greeted me when landing (another airplane window shot). Volcanic land with bits of snow/sleet.


Our ambassador squeezed in a high speed crash course sightseeing in Reykavik at the end of the day. It wasn’t much, but I was completely head over heels in love with the place by then anyway. I even got as far as googling courses at University of Iceland. Obligatory half-head selfie with a landmark.


I also started planning my next proper trip to Iceland. Will probably rent a 4×4 and drive through the whole island. Oh, and one more cool thing in Reykjavik – Harpa. It’s a concert hall that was built during the recession. Basically the only (and by no means cheap) construction happening at Reykjavik during the tough times. People thought it to be a fairly crazy and unreasonable project, but now it’s turned out to be worth its while. It hosts concerts, and conferences, and shows etc, and just generally looks pretty damn amazing. My taxi driver (the best ever source for information) told me that the house is actually a speaker itself when there is a concert on. The exterior has cool lights on it, and the interior looks suave. What lovely shapes and structures.


So here’s what I’ve done. I’m sure I will feel a bit lost for the next couple of weeks, because I will spend them in one country. I should (probably will) think of some quick weekend trip to go for. Although the crazy running around gets quite tiring at times, and your skin gets awful from all the recycled and airconditioned air, when you get off the wheel, you might experience a bit of a hole in your life. At all fairness, it is all as exciting as it is demanding. And! I have the most amazing colleagues as travel buddies.

But there is more to life than work, so I will use this time to nurture myself back to health, find my friends who hopefully haven’t disowned me completely, and enjoy the lovely darkness of November. And when the travelling hangover kicks in and the darkness amplifies it, I can always find solace in the fact that there is something quintessentially Northern and almost romantic about the self-loathing that latches on then daylight dies.

Art of War.

It’s not what you think, but it sort of also is. I’ve grown up in a privileged enough time and space to know and acknowledge the very near presence of war, yet not live in it. War has always been a distant thing, and even when taking my home country’s history into account, it’s still always been a hazy far away problem. It happens elsewhere. It’s tragic, I wish it didn’t, but it does. I’ve always also felt so immeasurably incapable of thinking in terms of war and how one civilian (as myself) could even begin to contribute to putting an end to it. But this is not what I actually had in mind when giving this blog post this title. The actual war in Ukraine at the moment is very much on my mind every single minute of the day, and it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that also elsewhere in the world, innocent people suffer because of terrorist organisations. It’s not my place to say anything more than that as little as I believe in God as such… I do pray for these atrocities to end.

But going to a more tangible level, we all have our own little personal wars to deal with. I can say with all honesty that I’ve been in a rather strange situation from where one aspect my life is blooming, I’m doing great, and I feel like I’m actually useful on a much broader scale than ever. I feel like I’m making a difference. But on the other hand, I’m at war. First with myself, and second, with my little nasty (yet ever so present) demons. I’ve found a little straw that I feel will help me hoist myself out of this strange pit I’ve been lurking around for the past month or so. The infamous “bottom” of all things. I’m not intimidated, because as life would normally have it, we do the old rock bottom just to gloriously climb back out again, so it’s a natural course of things and we all face those different levels of ennui in life.

What’s been interesting to process in this “bottom” part of my life right now, is how to deal with misconceptions, and expectations. Most of our interpretations spin from our expectations and the opposing side’s communication. I guess I have been spoiled by my usually pretty damn good intuition. My war at the moment is with my own intuition getting me ridiculously wrong. It’s nothing more than a blow to the ego, and you can go all Freudian on it, but at the end of the day, it’s nothing more glamorous than just feeling like a d*ck when looking in the mirror. You go thinking how could you be so stupid and hence cause so much pain for yourself. Where is the instinct of self-preservation? How have I suddenly become so sh*t at life?

Anyway, the battles in which we choose ourselves to be the enemy, are the worst. But they are also the best lessons.

A dear friend of mine came to visit tonight. A lovely time as per usual. I have to repeat myself, but I love my people. With all the inner burnings and “adventures” I take upon myself on occasion, they really do keep my feet on the ground, they make things cool. Anyway, she brought me a perfume she thought I would like. She was right, even though it’s not a perfume people would normally expect of me (a little side note for those who have not smelled this vice on me yet: I have an epic soft spot for fancy perfumes). It’s L’Art de la Guerre by Jovoy. The art of war. The picture that the scent triggered in me was of a deep fir forest, with sunrays beaming through the thick canopies, and perhaps a little glistening secret forest spring embedded amidst a soft velvety blanket of deep green moss, walking barefoot, the sweet powdery air almost intoxicatingly calling for the here and now, with a purpose so eminent in your step that there is no other option but feeling like you’re going to war that you will win.

And I think it’s time I picked up the book (by Sun Tzu) again. Don’t even know why I put it down in the first place.

I know this is not a forest, but what’s a blog post without a photo? There you go, I had no idea Belgium was so pretty.

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What’s done is done.

This is the time of the year for looking back, perhaps even looking back at things and (re)learning some lessons, as well as evaluating what went well, what didn’t quite go as planned.

I finally made it to New York. Yes, tears were shed.
I finally made it to New York. Yes, tears were shed. This photo is taken at 450 Lexington Ave.

My year has been turbulent, literally and metaphorically. Where do I start? I guess the year’s half time would be an appropriate, because that was the time my life took a new turn when I changed jobs. It would be an understatement to say I was scared. I was terrified. I became a civil servant. I switched sides completely – from journalism to government communications. With a thousand doubts in mind, which I’m not even going to spell out here, because in retrospect they are beyond silly, I decided to do something that proved to be one of the best decisions of my life this far.

I remember someone telling me that the real fun starts when things get scary – it means you’ve got something to lose. It means we’re dealing with things that really matter. I’m happy I didn’t need to make any real sacrifices, and it definitely wasn’t a change to the Dark Side, as is often said about moving from journalism to PR/communications.

My five and a half months at Stenbock House have flown past at incredible speed. I have also flown a lot during that time (hence the literal turbulence). I spent half of December abroad (touched the surface of nine foreign countries), and suffered the worst jetlag of my life. But during that time I also pushed my photography skills and speed to a completely new level, and felt an incredible creative flow, which I am so grateful for. I do miss my colleagues at Eesti Päevaleht and Delfi, they are real sweethearts, but my new team is equally inspiring – great to learn from and work with.

When I think back at the past year, I’m overcome with an immeasurable sense of gratitude. I keep realising over and over again, that I am surrounded by the most amazing and supporting people, who’ve unnoticeably helped and pushed me towards the things I later realise I’ve always waited for. The new people who’ve crossed my path, are gems. My older friends, they are life’s essentials. Without my safety net, I’d be going nowhere fast.

The turbulence (now speaking about the metaphorical one) continues on a personal level. I have moved twice this year, had and not had a cat, and experienced (read: created) some really messed up affairs, and burned my fingers. But at the same time, the turbulence has also contributed to some unforgettable experiences and episodes. Some which cannot bear the light of the day, some which need to be laughed at loud. A whole lot of yolo. Most of the time, a terrible idea, but my god, it’s fun (until it’s not, but even then, hey, life goes on).

Thanks for the joyride, 2014. You’ve changed my life forever. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And thank you, honeybunnies, for being part of the ride.

Some more shareworthy moments through a lens, for your viewing pleasure. Let these photos speak for themselves, I’m out of words, out of wit.

San Francisco is real pretty. Even when it's a bit foggy. View from Twin Peaks summit.
San Francisco is real pretty. Even when it’s a bit foggy. View from Twin Peaks summit.
Golden Gate Bridge traffic and stuff. I happen to absolutely love bridges and other suspended structures.
Golden Gate Bridge traffic and stuff. I happen to absolutely love bridges and other suspended structures.
Find the little blue bird in the canopy. Taken right next to Stanford University Library.
Find the little blue bird in the canopy. Taken right next to Stanford University Library.
I will offer my undivided and unconditional love to the person who gets me one of these Google bikes. Photo taken at Googleplex / Palo Alto.
I will offer my undivided and unconditional love to the person who gets me one of these Google bikes. Photo taken at Googleplex / Palo Alto.
View from the White House.
View from the White House.
View from the Capitol.
View from the Capitol.
Speaker John Boehner at his office. (Possibly the best photo I've taken this far.)
Speaker John Boehner at his office. (Possibly the best photo I’ve taken this far.)
Not too bad for an office view, right? (At US Congress, Speaker Boehner's balcony.)
Not too bad for an office view, right? (At US Congress, Speaker Boehner’s balcony.)


Dear diary, I have been stranded on this desert island for seven days now. My body is starting to get accustomed to the climate, and I have stopped craving the familiar. My mind is set on autopilot, which makes passing the hours comfortably numb. I find comfort in staring into the void, with my baby panda George by my side. I don’t find comfort in any position, because my back refuses to cooperate. The imagined ticking clock is in sync with my brainwaves. I know what my neighbours are up to, I know their timetable – yet I cannot confirm whether they actually exist. All I hear is drilling and hammering. If I’ve never seen my neighbours, do they really exist? Are the sounds I’m hearing just an echo of my own subconscious?

This is going to be a long one. I’m not even half way through the meds.

Yeah, being ill at home feels like being stranded on an island. Can’t go out because I’m poisoning myself with antibiotics, which screw up the body in order to screw the infection. Made the mistake of thinking I’m well enough to go back to work (honestly, I was just bored and restless at home), and caught a cold as well. Congratulations.


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About challenges and all.

I was challenged to the ALS ice bucket challenge by my beloved honeybunny Meisi. Before I say the ungodly words – I do not accept the challenge, let me explain why. Also, I have already made my donation, directly to someone in need. It is truly heartwarming how social media has been used for something good – raising awareness and supporting a cause. However, I do not believe charity should be done on a campaign-basis. I believe charity should be a regular part of our lives and it does not need to be in material forms. Help a stranger out, volunteer, be good to yourself, to others, and if possible – do give some money to a cause you support. 

So instead of accepting the ice bucket challenge, I will make a public promise (or however public this blog post is) to commit to being mindful, being better to others around me, and to help regularly. I won’t challenge anyone myself either. I just hope you have something or someone in your life you care about and want to selflessly support. One-off act of kindness is better than nothing, but I think sustainablity – in all forms – is the way forward. Let’s not stop caring after the viral aspect of the ALS ice bucket challenge calms down. Keep helping, keep donating (regardless of the form – be it money or time), keep being better to others and to the planet.

Much love.

Sónar 2014

Throwback Tuesday. Sónar, that beautiful thing, happened now quite some time ago. But that’s left some time to ponder and look back, and assess the experience as a whole. Sónar has one big advantage going for it and that’s the location – sunny Barcelona is not far from a paradise (if you subtract the hordes of tourists), so the mood will be set accordingly. What better way to spice up a beach holiday laced with beautiful foods and sights, than the most incredible sounds this world offers, as well as some brain tickling visuals and workshops?

One of the indications that Sónar is something else, is the fact that I’d heard about for years, way before I made it there myself, and it was always described with an air of something that… can’t quite be put into words. A certain mystique.

I was most looking forward to Massive Attack, Trentemøller, Bonobo, Koreless, Four Tet, Moderat, Jon Hopkins, Monki, Throwing Snow, and Camo & Krooked – the first “mainstream” dnb act to play at that festival. Eventually I didn’t make it to all of those, partially because old age is taking a toll, but partially because city festivals don’t call for crazy allnighters like standard festivals do. And that’s not a bad thing. The fact that the festival was divided in two, in terms of music, forced for some serious decision-making in what to go for and what not.

I was delighted to see Koreless and Throwing Snow, whom I saw for the first time ever. Beautiful music, a crowd that knows the smaller acts and enjoys the whole thing in a unanimous agreeing content smile. As expected, Bonobo Live filled Sónar By Day outdoor area to the brim. Having seen them live in Tallinn not very long before, I had my hopes high, but feared that perhaps they might be a little tired as they’ve toured the new album for a whole eternity now. I’m glad I was wrong about that. The absolutely stunning Szjerdene on vocals wrapped the crowd around her finger, and didn’t let go. It’s hard not to be mesmerised by her beauty and voice. Of course the main man Bonobo aka Simon Green himself holds the whole thing together with sheer el mágico through sound. He is a legend for a reason, a truly dedicated creative genius. His music becomes a force majeure. Words don’t do justice to what people experienced that night. Let it be.

Another highlight for many was most definitely Massive Attack, the founders of trip hop and Bristol sound. While I didn’t detect touring tiredness from Bonobo Live, I did notice a hint of it from Massive Attack. Don’t get me wrong, those guys have defined and determined my music taste in a very large part, and I do love them unconditionally (as do the other thousands who had gathered to Sónar By Night to see them), but it wasn’t quite the same as the first concert of their Paradise Circus tour, which I had the honour of witnessing in Tallinn quite some time ago now. The political and beautiful visuals accompanied the much loved anthems of trip hop, but in addition to the trance they induced (and in my case there may or may not have been tears on several occasions) among the crowd, a certain spark was missing. An awe-inspiring experience nevertheless. It was quite hard battling the cognitive dissonance of wanting to shut up and just brood over what I’d just experienced after Massive Attack, and being in the middle of a massive rave at Sónar By Night. And a good one.

I’ll only say this about Trentemøller – HOLY SH*T. I guess that describes it the best – cognition-changing beautiful music altered with an ungodly good rave. Anyone who loves electronic music, needs to go. It’s heartwarming to see so many people caring about music you thought was somewhat… well, not unpopular, but not as mainstream. Sónar leaves an air of a rock festival, but with much, much better intelligent dance music. I have to repeat myself and say that words do not do the music side of the festival any justice, so I’d rather refrain from saying anything further.

Now that I’ve drooled honey and love all over it, I’ll drip some tar into the honey pot as well. Organisation-wise there was a lot of confusion (among staff, too!) with the coupon system. That needs to become more straightforward. The “no cash” system should make it easier, not more difficult. Drink and food prices were definitely amove the average and in stark contrast with the rest of Barcelona. It would be cool if the festival wasn’t divided into two – and that day passes were sold. The fact that the event was split in two made me miss quite a few acts. Getting back from Sónar By Night proved to be only a half nightmare for me, because luckily there was a shuttle bus for accreditation holders. No luck for the ones who didn’t. Or if there was a way… then it definitely wasn’t communicated well enough.

Nevertheless, I want to finish with this: go to Sónar. You’ll be sweetly rewarded with an experience to remember. It’s something else.

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Trentemøller live #Sonar2014

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Bonobo Live crowd absolutely loving it

Bonobo Live

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Massive Attack. That's all. #Sonar2014

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Massive Attack