Sum-sum-summarizing the Year Of Mercy 2010

Sooo, the almost past year, 2010 has been filled with adventures of all sizes.

I started the year being quite a mess: stressed out and agonized over the realisation of my skating career coming to an end. Of course the change was inevitable and did nothing but good, but at that time I felt like I was led to a room with dozens of doors to choose from except for the one that had just closed behind me. I was confused and afraid of what possibly was waiting for me on the path I'd end up walking. I know I never was all alone and wouldn't even have to ask and my amazing friends would have given me all the support and sympathy in the world. Nevertheless, there are things to be faced and steps to be taken by ourselves, and I considered giving up skating one of those.
However, I'm here, alive and well. And quite a lot happier than a year ago.

Having cleared my head off skates, blades, competitions, coaches, rhinestones and chiffon, I began to find out new sides on both myself and the world around me. Quitting skating didn't change me - it merely showed me something that I had been unable to see before, woke up something that had been sleeping. I'm not sure if I've always had this amount of courage or has it augmented during the previous year. Anyway, now I dare not just dream but make plans as well. What's more, I also dare not to plan everything and no to get overly stressed out of every single thing I come across. I think I'm nowadays a little more spontaneous, open, straightforward and confident than I used to be. (I'm also watching music videos on TV and there's Adam Lambert there now and I'm almost enjoying myself. Should I be worried, guys?)

A song composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber claims that love changes everything. I really don't know about that. Besides, my definition for love may differ from Mr Webber's. Anyhow, being in love surely increases one's hormone levels drastically. At least, my dopamine, endorphin and serotonin supplies seem to be unlimited regardless of the fact that I feel like falling in love again every day. It would also appear that either there are no limits for my capability of cheesiness, or that they are yet to be reached. One thing that has actually changed by - oh, that one great love - is that previously I was sincerely irritated if I had to sleep by anyone's side because of the snoring, snuffing, scrunching and breathing: silent or loud, didn't make a difference. But now, I can't complain even if that special someone is sleeping from only on centimetre's distance of my face. She doesn't snore though, unlike some people. No offence.

And moving on.

Travelling is one my passions and last year I got to visit Berlin, New York, London and Cardiff (and Ipswich!). The Germany trip was made due to a synchro skating competition on February when I was still part of the team. Shopping was fun and relatively cheap and sushi was great.
New York City was something else. First of all the eight-hour flight from Oslo to NY after the ten-hour waiting at the Oslo airport was.. well unforgettable.
Fortunately, I was so excited for being in the city the whole week, I simply ignored the tiredness and jet lag.
I will remember
- the over-the-top, flashing, multi-coloured lights on Broadway
- the huge cookies
- Wicked musical ( <-- THIS THIS THIS FOREVERRRRR)
- the exhausting heat and people jumping in a fountain to cool themselves
- the yellow cabs
- Gay Street sign, rainbow flags and drag queen-thingy shops of Greenwich Village, which made me smile
- juice and smoothie stands everywhere
- the receptionist at the photography museum who said that mine was the coolest outfit he'd seen the whole day
- vintage dresses and extremely friendly salespeople

NYC was great and overwhelming and lots of things and I definitely would go there again  if I had the chance. It's such a huge and lively city I could've explored it a lot longer than six days.

Then London. The whole trip was such a pre-honeymoon, really.
I think there's absolutely nothing I wouldn't remember from our time in the UK.
There are enormous, flashy highlights, of course.
The likes of ..
... "You guys fancy each other?" -conversation
... the first impression at the hostel
... the Hard Rock Café guy
... Ipswich
Oh dear. I suppose there's no point of even trying to tell about this trip by using actual sentences and therefore I'm just going to list some (or more) things that will hopefully sum up the ultimate London/Ipswich/Cardiff crazy-geek-trip.
Portobello Road, trains, paninis, Starbucks, crappy films, crappy pillows, peanut butter, cupcakes, Camden Town, Ipswich pub, fangirling, books, action figures, Torchoowd, Doctor Who expedition, cabs, good first impressions, hugging, sunny Cardiff, JOHN BARROWMAN, Spidermen, Hyde Park squirrels, RDJ at Madame Tussauds, Doctor Who Shop, more hugging, more JB, more fangirling and more paninis, and more being two blind and pathetic idjits ....... and the list goes on and on and on.

I want to go back.

An achievement of the year, which can be proved literary is Ylioppilastutkinto, frankly finishing upper secondary. At last! Even more enthusiastic than I'm over getting rid of matriculation exams, I am over applying for further studies in the UK. Unfortunately I'm also pretty stressed over the matter. Nonetheless, my possible near future seems so amazing and scary and friggin' cool I have no words for it. And what would be more brilliant than getting some people with me if, WHEN I leave!

Finally, my wonderful friends deserve once again an enormous hug for being the best friends anyone could ever have. Hooray!

Why the Year of Mercy? Absolutely no clue.

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