Chapter Two – Hopeful: Of me and my plans

You go first. No? Okay, I’ll go.

My name is Rasmus. Although I wasn’t officially born there, I would say that I’m from Kuopio – a city surrounded by lakes, located in the heart of Finland. That is where I grew up and where I really feel like I’m home.

To my understanding I went through a very normal childhood – obediently going to school and using most of my free time either playing outside with my friends, or inside having fun with the spectacular PlayStation 2. I was also a huge lego fanatic – occasionally I would just sit down and build with the blocks for hours.

I was always quite good at school. Early on, I had the passion for learning, which just made it all feel natural to me. I was also taught to put enough effort in my studies from the start, which really helped in the long run.

Going through the whole Finnish school system, I could never figure out what I wanted to do with my academic studies. One of the options was medical school, but I must admit that was mostly due to the good salaries. I even tried getting in but thank goodness that did not work out. Another option for me was graphic design. Visual arts were not something I regularly practised, but I’ve always loved doodling and expressing myself visually. Still, realistically the job market was not looking too good, so I ‘had to’ discard the idea.

Furthermore, I had read about climate change, and I knew I wanted to do something good with my future occupation. Thus the natural choice was to start studies that could help me on my mission to ‘save the world’. I know, quite ambitious (*wink*).

So what did I end up doing? In 2014 I moved to Copenhagen, Denmark [1] to study ‘Sustainable Biotechnology’, which is what I’m still doing. My daily grind. The further I’ve progressed in my studies and the more I’ve read about the status of the environment, the more important ‘saving the world’ has became to me.

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A gorgeous day in Copenhagen

However, somewhere along the way I came to realise that fossil fuels (which my goal is/was to find a sustainable alternative for) are not the real problem, unlike we’re generally being told. As bitter and as obvious as it might sound, the problem are people and the way we prioritise progress and pleasure over the environment.

Today more and more people can afford focusing on making life as easy and ’pleasurable’ as possible, by buying all the latest gadgets and other things, which takes us further and further away from finding sustainability. Even bigger a load is put on the environment’s shoulders by our eating habits. Unfortunately, it is not yet common knowledge that animal agriculture and mass fishing are the greatest causes of environmental destruction [2]. Both direct (e.g. cutting down rainforests) and indirect (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions) damage is inflicted by these practises. Sadly, many people are aware of this but just decide not to care because bacon tastes so good.

A Plan

Last time I told you I’ve decided to pursuit ‘a digital nomad’ lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I like what I’m currently studying, but it is just not something I’m passionate about. I’m still in it mostly for the environmental aspect, and due to before mentioned realisations, I feel like I should use my time and energy somewhere else. You heard in the last blog that I would love to be able to make a living by expressing myself [3], but I did leave out the ‘how?’ part. So if you still have a moment I would like to tell you about it.

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Purposeful lives are driven by passions. I’ve always had quite hard time finding mine. I’ve tried out many things that ended up being just temporary hobbies. However, one thing that has stuck over the years is my love for music. I bought my first CD at the age of 8 or so, which sparked a flame. At the age of 13 – a teenager at its prime – I took up playing the guitar. Having taken a couple of lessons I realised that they just wouldn’t work out. I felt like I was being controlled and had more fun learning by myself. Had I continued the lessons I might be better, but still, I have no regret for my decision. My taste in music has gone through quite a progression from pop to metal [4], from punk to electronic music.

I’m telling you this because music is definitely something I want to do. I don’t expect this being a source of income but just something I could use to spread awareness of for example the environmental issues and veganism, possibly through YouTube. Also, talking about this publicly might make me actually do it – something like this has been on my to-do list for quite a while.

The other thing I would like to try out is graphic design, which I already talked about. If I don’t give it a go I will regret forever. Of course, design can also be harnessed for activism and that’s what I’m planning to do. I already have a couple of t-shirt prints prepared, that I’m going to try out on Spreadshirt. This is just the beginning and only time shows what will happen. I promise to do my best.

So this is the initial plan – very simple but it’s a start. Now you also know a bit more about me (the About page is updated too!). Writing this post turned out to be a lot more difficult than I expected. I simply couldn’t make up my mind on what I should tell about myself, so I decided to use this quite straightforward way. In fact, I had to write it twice and the end result is far from what I initially thought. But that’s the beauty of writing. I’m quite sure I will be giving more details about myself later on – it’s my blog after all.


Notations:

[1]: Perhaps my name and my love for legos just indicated that it was my destiny to move to Denmark?
[2]: We’ll make this change.
[3]: Okay, this is probably something everyone wants to do.
[4]: Metal? Obvious choice for a Finn.

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!