One experiment I did, or tried to do was to only drink an espresso per day for 30 days. I thought I could cut down on how much coffee I drink and especially just how much time I spend in cafes. My plan was to see if that made me be out there living life more instead, photographing more.
And I failed miserably! Just managed to do a few days. I didn’t spend any less time in cafes and would often buy several espressos. I don’t even like espresso that much, I do prefer regular black coffee! So I just realised that why not just get what I want and went back to black coffee. No regrets!
Where do I even start to explain my whole route to this point? How did I end up homeless, or a vagabond as I like to call it, in Paris with an economy so messed up it will take decades to sort it out? How did manage to end up in a densely populated cities yet still be very isolated and sex-/loveless man? I kind of need to go into all the messed up and unhealthy parts of me for it all to really make any sense, so all the trigger warnings for all future has been stated as of now. I will start with a quick intro and go into more depth at a later date.
The biggest factor is probably my depression that is cause of so much, but that in turn is also caused by many other factors. In short, being fat and unloved has lead to depression that led to isolation that led to a hole inside that I tried to fill with gadgets, I also developed an overactive sexdrive and as common with depression I had a constant steam of suicidal thoughts. So when all that culminated in me being overly in debt because of all the gadgets, totally broke, stuck in a small town and being sexually frustrated with no hope in sight of improvement, I kind of came to a point where I felt I was days away from actual suicide. So in one last attempt to find any kind of will to live I sold everything I owned, jumped on a plane to Paris to chase my dreams!
As I should have expected, it wouldn’t go amazingly well starting a whole new life in a totally new country and culture. Finding work and learning to speak the language turned out to be harder than I thought. Also my depression and asocial tendencies didn’t magically disappear. So after not finding work or any kind of income I ended up on the streets and it has been hard and I don’t know how I would have managed without the generosity of strangers or people I know. Despite the hardship it really does feel like the right decision to come here and I am again totally confidant in my passion and ambition of pursuing photography as far as I can take it.
So why did take such a huge step and why Paris? Paris has been historically quite an erotic city and where much of photographic history takes place so it started to make sense that it would be the city where I would try to combine the two things that interest me the most, sex and photography. Also for many of the photographers I admire, they had their pilgrimage to Paris at some point in their career. But that isn’t quite the whole picture.
The simplest way to describe my biggest attraction is that when I was here back in 2015 for an internship I felt a calmness that I haven’t really felt anywhere else, something I wasn’t even looking for in life. I’ve tried to figure it out and I think I’m calm here because I know I can take it easy knowing there is adventure around most corners and I just have to take a step to start the process of finding it. It’s being secure that there will always be potential out there for all kinds of things and that I just have to find it. I have always felt restless in towns and cities that I’ve lived in, all have been smallish and you pretty much knew all that was possible. Maybe I just needed a bigger city or a different culture, but Paris was where I felt a sense of peace and I fell in love with the city.
After I came back home to Finland from Paris 2015, I started to become more and more honest with myself. With things like that I missed the boat on love, starting a family and all that I thought I wanted and then I realised I had nothing holding me back, no one that needed me to stay anywhere, so I made the decision to give up on love and ever having a family and just concentrate on a life where I still could find enjoyment, even if it means that brief sexual encounters will be the only way I feel connection and intimacy. Paris with its suburbs have more people than the entire country of Sweden, so odds seem little better for a life like that.
I felt such relief and freedom after making the decision and I knew moving to Paris was absolutely something I had to do.