18/01/2017 05:41 GMT | Updated 19/01/2018 05:12 GMT

Ships Passing By (Part One)

You can't love someone else without loving yourself first. It is sad that some of us must learn this the hard way, through a heartbreak or abuse.

I was fourteen years old when I had my first 'boyfriend'. What kind of relationship can you have at that age? After two weeks, I thought to myself, "I do not have time for this", so I broke it off and went back to favorite hobby at the time: dancing.

At the age of seventeen, I had my first real (or should I say semi-real) relationship. He was about five years older than I. P (to respect privacy I will refer to everyone by their initials) was a DJ that organised techno parties. It was perfect at the time, I could go to parties and do what I loved the most, dance of course.

You would think that the dancing was the foundation of that relationship, but it wasn't. What I most liked about us was the fact that we could just sit and talk for hours about anything and everything. From sun, down till sun up. It was not love though, more a friendship. By the time that I was leaving to pursue a career we mutually agreed on ending it.

After about a month of living in LA my housemate invited me to go to dinner with her and a colleague friend of hers, T1. We struck it off immediately.

An eighteen-year-old girl from Finland with not so much experience in either relationship or love was being courted by a handsome dark haired American man. You can imagine what happened next. Of course, I fell in love. In the beginning, all was fantastic. We were good together. For the first year, all was beautiful and fascinating.

Somewhere along the way it changed though. He was somehow different, and things weren't going smoothly to say the least. I was thinking about ending it all and moving to Milan to pursue my career in Italy when the call for a job in Finland came through. In a way, I was happy and relieved. I needed a vacation from the relationship.

When he heard about the stroke he came rushing to Finland. I must confess that although he brought me some joy, still his presence was bittersweet. Every time he would walk in the door of the hospital room I would have some seconds of joy that would vanish almost immediately when I saw the look of pity in his eyes. That sympathy felt more like pity for himself than pity for me. I was glad when he left back for USA. I was going through such a hell myself already and I certainly did not have any power to manage someone else's hell too.

He called me once a week for about a year. Then I finally broke it off telling him that there is no reason for him to waste his life too.

I felt like I didn't have anything to offer to anyone. Being paralysed and strapped to a chair and all. I even heard a guy commenting once: "How could she keep a man if she is not able to satisfy him..."

I tried hard to freeze all my emotions forget about love and romance. However, my stubborn heart kept itself healthy with an immense faith. It became like a lighthouse standing in the middle of a storm. In silent it would beam out its light hoping that a passing ship would sail in and bring me my prince charming.

One of the vessels that passed by was L. I first met him when I was fifteen years old. I was on a school trip to Germany. It clicked immediately between us with the first glance of each other's eyes. It was a weird relationship. From a crush to love, from love to friendship, from friendship to love, etc. The fact of not living in the same country made it difficult for it to amount to anything.

L called many times when I was in rehab. He wanted to come and see me but I refused. I did not want him to see me in that condition. He did come to see me though after I went back home. When I saw him he told me how he had felt about me all those years. I realised that what we had was something real. Something beautiful that could have grown into maybe the real thing. All those wasted years, all that lost love. I cannot lie, I did have some regrets at that moment.

Another craft to reach the shores of my heart was J. We met each other just before I finished high school. We dated intensively for a month but then I put an end to it because I felt like I could fall for this guy, and that was just out of the question. All my life I had dreamt about moving abroad and pursuing my modeling career and I was not about to let a man (for how incredible he maybe) ruin my plans.

He came to visit me in the hospital and afterward at home. He was pretty much into sailing, and he was always planning to take a sailing trip around the world (which he did). Through this whole year when he was sailing we kept contact. After his journey, he established himself in Monaco. Still every time he came to Finland we would spend much time together. We even secretly got engaged without rings. I went to visit him in Nice, France where he lived. What can I say; the tides of life pulled this ship too to higher seas, and he also faded away in the horizon.

Will continue...



Forbes magazine article