Recently I’d been thinking– What’s the biggest thing I’d learnt in Finland?
I think it is to slow down.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate a slow life. I don’t think I’d ever like a slow life, even after I have kids. The preference for the speed of life probably has nothing to do with age itself.
I like a busy life where there are tons of things to do, many people to interact with, a rich diversity of new ideas and discovery to explore. I don’t think I can ever understand, for instance, why any young person would opt for a slow life, of perhaps mediocrity, instead of putting himself out there to push his boundaries.
So, the greatest thing I’d learnt here is to slow down sometimes, in the context of a fast-paced life.
Do you know why you should slow down? It is so that you can listen to your natural body rhythm.
The concept of “rhythm” is probably something I can feel only in countries with seasons. Singapore has only one season–summer! This is perhaps why we lose track of the transience of life, and even more so, since life is always so fast-paced in Singapore.
We lose sight of the bigger picture because we have no time to think. No time to think about how to live life on our terms.
Whenever a season changes, I’m reminded that I won’t be on this Earth forever. I’m always feeling as though I’m going to die whenever I’m in Japan or Korea, for instance. I remember winter mornings when I just wake up, looking at the light snow outside the window, feeling randomly shocked and asking myself how old I am.
Those were the days, perhaps.
Yet slowing down in Finland after so many, many years of living a fast-paced and competitive life in Singapore really forced me to look inwards.
“Who am I? What do I stand for? What are my strengths? Can I look at myself in the mirror and value myself just as I am? What do I like? What do I dislike? What do I find easy?”
I wonder why this is so hard to do in Singapore. Perhaps there is too much noise.
And this is why as much as possible, I’d want to record these precious thoughts in my heart. To remind myself not to always take the more difficult route, to not pick fights in order to win meaningless wars, to always have clarity of vision.
Finland has been good for me, and to me. 🙂
But I know I can’t be here forever, not now anyway, even though I’d gotten used to the forests.