Maybe I'm just crazy after all.

Life has been kicking ass for me lately. I even recorded my first video blog where I went on about that. Hilarious thing, though: as soon as I got it into my ego like that – Boom! – life started (gently but firmly) kicking my ass. I couldn't get a picture to show up in Windows Movie Maker (could only get audio, and a crappy audio it was), and that got me thinking that maybe vlogging hadn't been such a hot idea after all. The more I thought about the video I'd recorded, the more I thought how embarrassing it'd be. I'm not too terribly awkward on camera, but my speaking skills aren't up to a level where I can just go off-the-cuff and have it come out how I want it. Not that I'm so vain that I can't let people see me as I am, but if the point is to make a point, then I want to do it as well as I can and not waste people's time with my halting speech and half-formed thoughts.

Perhaps I will still make a video blog at some point, but it would probably be either me reading stuff aloud or be a private video as a letter home to my family. I think those options would help me be less self-conscious, too. Seeing oneself on the screen simultaneously rather tends to have that effect, unfortunately. I'd rather not feed my ego that way if I can help it.

Anyway, I've had a lot on my mind, even as I've been flying high on a creative roll on the magic carpet of universal love that makes everything go my way. The blogs/websites of a number of highly conscious individuals (links on the right if you're reading this on my Blogspot) have provided plenty of food for thought recently, but I've mostly been wrestling with a very personal issue: my hobby.

First I should tell you why it's become such an issue. You see, my plan at this point is to leave the country by the end of June, which will mark five years since I left my family in Vancouver and moved to the land of my birth to see what experiences it might hold for me. These five years have been incredibly transformative and full of different phases. My life situation has undergone radical changes by the year:

Year zero: leave job and hometown in Canada to enlist in Finnish conscript military as an adventure and a requirement for keeping my dual citizenship.

Year one: discharged with rank of 2nd lieutenant. Begin studies in Forestry at Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences.

Year two: summer of love. Relationship with girlfriend at its peak. Active social life. Internship at building supply warehouse provides financial security and chance to work largely outdoors, serving customers. Everything is great.

Year three: everything falls apart. Plans to switch field of study to Theology come to naught as I discover that the Christianity I was raised into has been a weapon of mass deception and no longer serves my spiritual needs. Quit Forestry, break up with girlfriend. Truth-seeking begins in earnest. Job at call center pays the bills but eats at the soul. Breakdown on the job prompts move to Oulu, an area with many relatives and friends. Find new job as personal assistant to severely disabled father of six, an ex-con and ex-hockey player whose wife left the same faith movement as me (conservative Laestadian Lutheran) to marry him.

Year four: fired from job in spring, after six months. Had been too wrapped up in myself and my inner life to really engage fully and integrate into the family's home. (The ex-Laestadian girl who succeeded me apparently serves the family's needs much better, for which I am very glad.) Desire to find another regular job is zilch, as interest in being really independent has taken off. Start translating business. Find that I really don't have what it takes, but deny reality until savings run out in the fall and I am forced to shut it down and apply for government social aid. The emotional support of close friends plays a key role.

Year five (now): jettisoning most material possessions with intent to go on a trip of indeterminate length, starting with Sweden and continental Europe and ending in Vancouver. Money will likely run out along the way, at which point (barring some kind of temporary employment) I will be entirely at the mercy of God and my fellow human beings. That thought scares me a lot less than it would probably scare most people.

So now the trouble here is that the only thing I've ever become really good at – the hobby (socially still rather marginal, although the public awareness and acceptance of it are constantly increasing) of building original creations out of Lego bricks, for which I still have as unrepentant a passion as ever – is up against the compelling need to drop everything and hit the road. Shipping my entire Lego parts collection to Vancouver would be very costly due to the weight, so I must now significantly reduce its size. Selling it all off wholesale would be the rational thing to do, but as I mentioned, my passion for building is as yet unabated (despite occasional bouts of disillusionment with it all and an ever-present awareness that none of it matters in the end). Lately, I've been in a veritable frenzy of building in preparation for my first exhibition down in Helsinki next month. I also have a prospective buyer who has offered to pay 13 euros per kilo for sorted, bulk Lego parts. So I am left to separate the wheat, so to speak, from the chaff. Which parts are superfluous and which ones am I going to need for my projects in progress? It's a tough call to make, but I have to make it. Which explains my anxiety.

Well, that's a load off my chest already, to have laid out the situation in words like this. I think it's now clear to me that I would be wisest to enlist the help of a friend or friends in this process. The idea of doing it alone is just too daunting. And I guess that simple epiphany is what I was getting at with this whole entry, though I only realize it now. I do hope that anyone who took the time to read this will send supportive thoughts my way, be they voiced or silent. Advice and compassion are always appreciated, and I won't bite your head off even if you're in total disagreement with what I'm doing. Hey, maybe I am crazy... but that's still a subjective judgment. I'm just doing what seems to be the right thing for me personally. So... wish me luck?

- Not that I believe in luck. (grin)