What doesn’t kill you makes you resilient

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Made in Canva

Experiencing a death in the family at a very young age has made me more resilient to the downside of life. Also, other bad experiences in my life have given me more resilience. I’ve always had my own mind and done things my way and in my own time. Sometimes maybe I’ve been too stubborn in certain things. I’ve also given up things too easily. I guess when you get older you get more resilient because life teaches you and it makes you look at things differently. If you don’t grow you get stuck in the past.

People who haven’t experienced bad things before probably take them harder than those who have. If you haven’t then you don’t know how it feels. Even if you have you can only imagine how it feels. People take negativity differently. Life isn’t easy so you shouldn’t take it for granted. When I was younger I felt lucky that I had both of my parents around. Classmates parents died or divorced. I could sympathise with them but I was glad I didn’t have to go through it myself. I could never have imagined at the time that I had to go through the same sorrow years later. Death is part of life and when you experience it in the family you get more resilient. You move on because your life doesn’t stop. The person who died wants you to move on. You never get over their death because they will always be a part of you. You can think about them from time to time and maybe imagine how life would be if they were still around. And maybe cry when you feel down. When you start to think about your life, you don’t think about sorrow. If you can’t get over bad experiences, you can’t move on and then you’re life has been wasted. What doesn’t kill you makes you resilient.

For some unemployment is like death and they feel ashamed. Being rejected a lot can break one’s spirit. But for me, it has just got me more resilient. It doesn’t matter what others think of you. You know yourself better than anybody. If other people think there must be something wrong with you if you can’t find a job, it’s really their problem and not yours. I think the reason people feel ashamed about being unemployed is that they think too much about what others think. If you stop caring about that you feel much better about it. Maybe I’m just stronger mentally so I don’t stress about that. It’s easier said than done but I can only speak for myself. There are times when I still struggle but I get over it after a while. You shouldn’t dwell on things that aren’t your fault. Life is full of disappointment but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Too many rely on someone else’s opinions or views. You should live your life for yourself and those close to you. There will always be people who think they know the answer to everything. I would just say, talk to the hand because I’m not listening.

Resilience doesn’t happen overnight. It happens in time. Some might be born with it but experiences can mould you to it. That’s what happened to me. If I hadn’t gone through the bad times, I could be a different person now. I think things happen for a reason. I could have drowned in my own sorrows and feel sorry for myself but I didn’t. You fall but get up again. The setbacks have only made me more resilient and that’s what you need to keep sane in this world. It will never be perfect so why fight against it. You should take life as it comes because one day it’s your turn to leave.

Remember, remember the 5th of November


It’s a quote from the movie ‘V for Vendetta’ but it’s also the date of today. It’s not only that but it’s also All Saint’s Day and in other places Guy Fawkes Night. Those are totally different though. Here we remember people who have passed away. People go the cemetery to put candles on the graves. We usually do it at Christmas so we don’t do it now. There’s only been death in our family it seems. We don’t have much contact with other relatives anymore. They can be a pain sometimes so I don’t really care either. Why keep in touch with people who doesn’t bother keep in touch with us? We’re better off and it’s not a hyperbole.

Christmases are not the same anymore because there’s only me and my dad left. We always spent the holidays with our closest family members. I had a great childhood. I never knew my grandfathers since they passed away when my parents were young. I had a close bond with both of my grandmothers. They were always there when you needed them. I can’t understand why some people doesn’t have any contact with their grandparents. You can teach your kids to respect elders and you also get great memories. I’ll cherish every moment I had with them. Nothing lasts forever but memories will never die.

On this All Saint’s Day, I light a candle for my sister, my mother and grandmothers. Family has always been very important to me. They’re the ones who you feel most secure with. You can have a family of your own but they’re not the people your birth family was. There will never be another person like them. If I was born again, I wouldn’t change a thing when it comes to family. I wished they could have stayed a little longer on this earth but those are things you can’t control.

Remembering family members on the 5th of November.

Nina (sister) 1983
Suoma (Father’s mother) 1989
Anne (Mother’s mother) 2003
Ann-Marie (my mother) 2013


May all your Christmases be white

©Mia Salminen, Christmas 2006

Day 10 on Writing 101 brings back those childhood memories around Christmas. Those were the best Christmases I remember. My sister and both of my grandmothers were still around. We always celebrated within the family. I don’t really remember those Christmas dinners with my sister but I do remember when we looked through the oven window where the ham was getting ready. I remember it was at night but maybe it was late evening. We thought it was so exciting. Christmas itself was fun when you’re a child.

My mother made all the meals herself from scratch. We also made gingerbread cookies. In the Finnish traditions, the Christmas dinner is a big part of the celebrations. It’s on Christmas Eve. It’s a way to get the whole family around the dinner table to eat various Christmas cuisines. Before dinner we had glogg (glögi in Finnish) with almonds and raisins. Some adults put some alcohol in it too. It was usually drank after going to the cemetery to put candles on the grave. It was cold outside so it was always nice to drink something hot afterwards.

The table was always nicely set. With two plates, one small and one a little bigger. One fork and knife each. Crystal glasses and napkins nicely folded. We also had real candles on the table. We always had ham. A turkey wasn’t very common at the time. First we ate cold food like freshly salted salmon and pickled herring with boiled potatoes. It was too salty to eat without. Then it was time for the warm food. The ham was the only cold one. There were carrot casserole, liver casserole (that I didn’t like) and rutabaga casserole. With that there was rosolli, a Finnish dish. It contains boiled beetroots, carrots, potatoes, pickled cucumber. Some people might put apples and/or Baltic herring in it too.

When the dinner was over it was time to move to the living room. As a child this was the best moment, presents and maybe Santa. Before that we would eat dessert. Sometimes we had cake bought from the store or we had Prune jam pastries (Joulutorttu) and ginger bread cookies.

The people around the dinner table has since then decreased. But that’s the way it goes. Those dinners were the best I have ever had.