All the things I’ve done

All the things I’ve done

I’m 12 blog posts down and have 40 to go, and only now did I realize that even though I have introduced my ideas about journalism and media, I haven’t introduced myself. So this is going to be that “Hi! I’m Hanna, a 28 year old journalist” blog post that most bloggers publish as their first entry. Luckily I’m not like most.

I was born in 1988 at the waistline of Finland, Oulu, as daughter to two ophthalmologists (eye specialists). A couple of years later my sister was born. We were an average family: dad, mom, two kids and a dog. We spoke Finnish at home, had a house of our own and traveled everywhere by car. Besides the fact that I was put into a Swedish speaking school there’s not much to say or remember about my childhood – it was like anyone else’s. Average, happy.

This would of course be bad news for me, if I was to believe Hemingway. Luckily I don’t.

For 12 years, throughout elementary school and high school, I studied in the same school with the same classmates. At the age of 18 I took my matriculation exam, moved 500 kilometers South to the city of Tampere and started carpentry studies in a vocational school. Three years later I graduated, set up a company of my own and worked as an entrepreneur designing and manufacturing wooden furniture. A couple of years later I shot down the business as I started my voluntary military service.

At the same time as I worked as an entrepreneur I got my first touchdown with journalism as I studied for a year in a folk high school. Or well – actually the spark was found several years back. At the age of 14, on a scout camp, I was introduced to one of my dearest friends. While other teenagers were off to do whatever it was they did (till this day it is unclear to me what we were “supposed” to be doing), me and my friend photographed and coded websites. When I moved to Tampere, she moved there as well. We were inseparable. She studied journalism and encouraged me to do the same but since I never was much of a bookworm, I was terrified of going to university. My friend knew me better than I knew myself, though. And so I applied and I got in.

After military service I started my university studies. By this time I had already taken five examinations and gathered several years of work experience. At the age of only 26 my CV was too long to fit on one page, and I wasn’t looking to slow things down.

Thanks to my folk high school studies I was able to complete my Bachelor’s studies in two years instead of three. After that I continued straight on to my Master’s studies, seeking for a year long program in Sweden. As I studied I also worked – at best three jobs at the same time. Most of all this has to do with time management skills but it was also a matter of upbringing. My mother taught me that as long as I study, school is my work. What I taught myself is that I will always work with love.

Yet my passion has been questioned and I understand why. It is not too exaggerated to say that I’ve done it all. Jumping from a city, a job and an education to another easily leads someone to think that I can’t make up my mind. In a way it is true: as a kid and as a teenager I wanted to be an actor, not because of the fame and fortune but because I simply couldn’t settle on one profession. Quickly I realized that I didn’t actually have what it takes to be on the scene and thus I wanted to be behind it. That’s why I started studying carpentry in the first place. I wanted to be able to settle on one profession. Luckily I didn’t have to.

The truth is that I want it all, even if it is only a fraction of everything. And so, all the things I’ve done have lead me to this moment: me being a journalist, writing to you, using all the knowledge and experience I’ve gathered. And the only thing I’ve settled for is my love for writing and my passion to pursue a piece of it all.

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