I was a pretty determinated child. Social and cheerful too, but there was certainly a fuss if my mother had spread soft cheese on the bread incorrectly. (It is not clear to the adult Milja how soft cheese can even be spread on the bread incorrectly. Apparently at the time I had a clear vision of that as well.) I secretly tasted cat food behind a light green curtain. It was surprisingly good. I drew Pokémon characters and had fun climbing trees and having adventures in forests. While patching the scratches on my knees, I was comforted with a common Finnish proverb: “Things happen if you do a lot.”
For the first time I experienced political awakening at the age of 11. With the help of my friend Jenni, I came to the conclusion that eating animals is wrong. I visited Animalia’s website, criticized my dad’s hunting hobby and furs my grandmother gracefully wore. After a few years of protesting, I returned to my family’s mainstream diet because I got tired of eating only tomato slices and potatoes with butter for every other lunch. Eventually, I learned to cook vegetarian dishes myself.
I dreamed of participating in the Survivors competition and winning it. Competing in difficult circumstances in the jungle and completing various tasks seemed appealing, and the idea of eating bugs or being exposed to heights wouldn’t terrify me too much. I also dreamed of getting rich so I could donate a lot of money to charity. The WWF television advertisement with the song “What a wonderful world”, playing in the background impressed me to the level that I wanted to donate my weekly pocket money to the organization.
I liked singing and dreamed of a singer career. My mother, who sang in a choir, told me that singers usually have to have a really good voice. I took that as a hint and turned my attention elsewhere. I read W.I.T.C.H.-cartoons and imagined how great it would be to be a skillful witch. There was a characteristic equivalent for each of our group of friends among the group of witches.
Today, I dream of slightly different things. Yet, being a skillful witch would still be cool. I have never been able to stand still when am facing or seeing injustice. When I feel like something could be better, I want to do my share in that. I also dream of being perfectly fluent in French, experiencing and seeing the world, making my return to dance classes, and of changing the world. No more or less.