Sorry readers, going to interrupt my broadcast about Thailand just for a minute to talk about Finn for a sec, since this seemed particularly relevant, on this Valentine's Day. Directly after this, I'll resume the wonders of Thailand. :)
So as my last week with Finn starts to countdown and I check things off my bucketlist - saying goodbye to Arkadia and its wonderful owners, setting up lunch dates with colleagues I've always been meaning to connect with more but never ended up doing, making arrangements with girlfriends to go to the clubs I've always been curious about but never made it to - I've come to realize how much I've come to love Finn in my own way. And how much in turn, apparently Finn has loved me.
And in a last ditch effort to get me to stay, he's thrown me a curve ball. This always seems to happen right before I'm going to leave a place. Randy did the same thing.
Last Friday my girls and I were out clubbing. Nothing particularly special, just out, having a good time. We saw a group of guys having drinks nearby and one of them was wearing an all-white suit. We were curious as to why this was and German K dared me to go and talk to them to find out. So, in my carefree state, I did. I went over and talked to the Finns. Turns out they were there for a friend's birthday party and there was no real reason for the suit. I ended up talking to them for 15-20 minutes; so long that I was eventually called back by my girls because I was taking too long. I invited the guys to join us (group of guys, group of girls, you do the math), they said maybe later, and that was that. We ended up leaving the club sometime later (sans the company of the guys) and I thought nothing more of it.
Come Monday morning. I'm checking my email as I typically do (I vaguely scan it on my phone over the weekend but I'm poor at responding; call it a purposeful tech break) when I notice an invitation from LinkedIn that I'd seen over the weekend. It was a Finnish name that I didn't recognize and when I saw it over the weekend I'd just assumed it was a work colleague that I didn't know well who saw that I was from the same company who wanted to connect (this has happened several times before).
Opening the email, however, I saw from the message that it was one of the guys I'd spoken to at the club the Friday previous, asking me if I wanted to meet up for a drink that week. I was pretty sure I'd not given out my full name and I'd definitely given no contact details. How strangely flattering. Well, it's certainly not everyday a foreign girl gets asked out by a Finn (Finns never make this kind of effort), and he was cute to boot and looked very good on paper (thanks, LinkedIn), so, I accepted his offer and we connected on Facebook and we set up a date.
I met him for the date and he was even cuter in person than his pictures. He was the perfect gentleman and we had good conversation. It killed me to have to tell him that I was leaving so soon. Why couldn't I have meet this wonderful person who works just as much as I do, travels as much as I do, loves foreigners as much as I do, 6 months before? When it would have made a difference?
The first thing I asked him when we sat down was how he found me. I'd definitely not given out my surname and in a matter of speaking, I was a bit curious, flattered, and freaked out that someone could find me. He responded very honestly that he'd googled my first name, my company, and the department that I worked in. That's all he'd had to go on. He sifted through the search results until he'd found me - which apparently was on LinkedIn. He went through the effort of finding me through all that muck. As you all know, dear readers, I have one of the most ridiculously common names in the world. And he found me on the web. To invite me out. A Finn, a real Finn. Not even a Swedish Finn (this is a big difference, mind you).
And he was wonderful.
And this broke my heart. The day before Valentine's Day (which thankfully is not a real thing here in Finland, unlike in the States, where it's everywhere and horribly in your face). I'm sure he was just as beaten; putting in all the effort to find me, just to find out that I'm leaving.
We were both in the right place at the right time. We were both at the right time in our lives (he's my age and we're both doing well professionally and both ready to stop working so much so we could focus on our lives). But still, the timing wasn't right. I've said this before to any of my friends who will listen to my argument: I don't like believing in timing as the only factor that matters when it comes to matters of the heart. If someone means enough to you, you'll make the effort and overcome the difficulties. Timing is just what someone uses to let you know that it's too inconvenient to prioritize you. Yes I understand that there are some things that people literally can't control, and in those instances, I forgive timing. But in other cases, I'm sorry, someone just didn't care enough.
And so I invited him to my farewell shindig on Friday, since I really would like to keep in contact with this wonderful person, who did so much to find me, and he said maybe (which is appropriate). He said let's keep in touch but we both know that we work so much and once again for me, we're just not going to be in the same place.
So Finn, thanks for showing me that if I'd stayed you would have eventually tried to make it work, instead of the continual wave of unsuccessful attempts I'd been going through time and time again here this past year. This gives me hope for Don.
Keeping my eyes and heart open.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. I'm sending my love to everyone out there. <3