What would it be like to be someone else far away, living a quiet, simple life?
"I start my mornings with a bowl of porridge with milk. I hate it but my stomach loves it so porridge it is :) And I am a Finn living in Finland :)"
A Finnish waitress documented her average day. Her fascination with her own simple life is almost a meditation, and the result is an album that has already been viewed over 150,000 times and received thousands of comments.
"These are my disposable contact linses. I have had glasses since I was 16 and I have always hated them! I have only worn them while driving a car and been quite OK with the fact I can't see.... But lately i have been annoyed that my eyesight has gotten worse so I went to see an optician and find out if contact lenses would be an option for me. Now I am learning this monovision technique where i have a contact lens in my left eye (it helps me see far and corrects my astigmatism) while my right eye without any lens sees near. Apparently my brains will learn to choose the right image in my head! So far so good :D"
She describes the most mundane aspects of her day. There is no attempt to make her life seem bigger or more exciting than it is, and that's what makes it refreshing. No one is trying to impress us here. She is not just documenting the status quo, she is content with it.
"A lady needs to wear some makeup and I just put on some to look neat, not to change my looks :D"
"This is the staircase of the building where my apartment is, I though the light looked cool! This is an old silo that has been transferred to apartments. 85% of inhabitants are students and I think I am the oldest person living here :D I am 52."
She exhibits no stress about being in the same station of life as people much younger, or about her age in general. Instead, she is enthusiastic about light from a window that she sees every day and would be easy to ignore. From this one picture you get the sense that this woman has never lied —or had anything to lie about— in her life.
"Waiting for the bus here. Nothing else to see."
It's like a director's commentary for Google Maps. Would it be wrong to suggest this is high art? Above is not just a dim picture of of an unembellished street, it's a safe space. She says "Nothing else to see," but the underlying message is deeply calming: There's nothing else to see, so you don't need to worry. All that there is to see is being seen. You are doing great. We are all doing great.
In a world where we are constantly questioning "what's next," this woman is living a life of "what's this."
The photos of her commute and work place continue as placidly as they began. She tells an interesting story about how once a bus driver stopped the bus to go on a 10-minute walk in the woods. She goes to work. She comes home. She is a single woman living alone in a small apartment, and she seems like the happiest person in the world. Have the rest of us checking our Facebook events and amassing Twitter followers gotten life so totally wrong?
"Coming home! I have this one room apartment (English is not my native language so I don't know which is the right term here!) of 40 squaremeters. And five (5) windows! Lots of light and space and air!'
She quietly drops this genius practice that we all need to adopt immediately:
"The drying cabinet. I have NEVER understood why other nations haven't realized what a magnificent invention this is! You just place the dishes to dry instead of having this awkward stand on the table or - which is worse - drying them with a towel!
And she goes on to show us how she irons her pillow cases because she "likes them that way." Methodical. Meditative. Connected. And so on, until she eats a bowl of ice cream and goes to sleep.
See her complete photo series here, and then try not to make one of your own.