This spring, young people finishing their studies will enter a strange world at a special time, with no ready-made answers, only questions that are still pending.
For the new one for students, graduates and non-graduates of vocational and higher education
Good young, or old!
Time is weird. You are graduating from a school you may not have attended at the time.
Earlier generations drove the trucks on Bank Day and threw candy on the necks of the cheering people. They danced to old dances with rental packages on site. But you were in Zoom, or Teams, remotely. Teachers and classmates were pale avatars that would vibrate on the laptop screen.
The connection was lost. You did not hear carefully, and you were not heard. You got tired and turned off the camera, in solitude you were doing lonely things. The teacher’s voice was heard in the background in the distance. You received a link in an email. Maybe you did the tasks, maybe you didn’t. The sun rose to a lonely morning and to a lonely autere it set. You walked the darkening streets and wondered where the step would go.
Although the road is blurred, graduation, finishing school can now feel like a celebration. Or even if you didn’t graduate, just the same, celebrate! Nothing in this world is ever actually completed, and nothing is finally finished. But you can rest now. Now or never. One thing is a moment behind, and the new has not yet emerged from the fog with a clear boundary.
I would be tempted to comfort you and tell you about the many good things I have seen happen in life, both for those who have been successful in their studies and for those who have been less successful. But I can’t promise that everything will go well in your life, and I know those who had everything well first and then very badly. And I don’t know you. I don’t know your questions and wounds. That is why I am just saying that life is not a problem that could be solved, but a question that starts and stops in the middle of it all. It is a riddle and fireworks in the middle of a strange being in the dark.
The turning points in life promise change, and change will come. But a dream come true cannot replace a dream, and even happily reality does not have to be filled to the brim. Therefore, rejoice in this day. Life may not be a journey for the better, but it is always a miracle, a matter of gratitude, all we have.
Unfortunately only life is full of demands and counselors. Some say you have to go to college, others that you have to lose weight. Someone says go to the military, another that keeps on climate strikes, be a vegetarian or a feminist. Must be independent, raise money, be confident, exercise, be a spouse and own a home.
Except I don’t like it. There is nothing in life except to live. Life itself is a slit against non-existence, a crack in the emptiness of reality, precious even when it is full of incompleteness and anxiety.
Oh, if life would hone you so much that you would start to show up. That you would not only reflect in your footprint the parents, the school, the values of society, the fashions and the time around us. That in addition to them, the fracture in which a person separate from all others would appear would be visible. Someone who is what it is now, regardless of parents, school, fashions, ideologies, time.
I know that if I saw that point, a fracture, and a wound, I would love you, not because you meet some expectation, but because you are different from anyone else. Because without you the world would be smaller and smaller. At the same time, I would forget the hatred and contempt with which I look at the world of young people, adults, and institutions that monkey and copy each other, that demand each other or that.
Are alive now. You are you. You are ready for a world of pandemic and environmental disaster. If you live long, the climate will change, and then there may be no skiing, ice skating or Saimaa ringed seal. Or maybe there won’t be morning coffee when coffee cessation.
But the mornings are coming, that’s for sure. All times have been weird because life is weird. And there is no such thing as destruction that could take away from life the miracle of life that is slowly taking shape in our morning: here is the world, and I am here. I get this day out of nowhere, as a miracle. And the world will make you a miracle, it would be poorer without you.
Trust in life. Trust the miracle. You have not earned the goodness and light that we are allowed to step into even when night is still dark. No one has earned it. It just is. Look at it, live in it. The skyline is already pale, and now it’s summer.
The author is a linguist and author.
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