Hi! I’m Susa.
I’m an artist and world-traveler. I empower myself and others through expressing my creativity and showing the world what I hold inside.
My passion in the arts started at the age of nine when I started dancing ballet and entered my first year of art school. I got a solid training in art techniques very early on, and that has carried me all thru these years. The first time I got excited about art was when Andy Warhol’s Pop Art exhibition came to my city when I was 11.
Growing up in Finland, I had one unique passion – to become a ballerina! This followed me when I moved to Wisconsin where I danced a lot – the highlight was my role in the Nutcracker. I found out more about my talent in arts and placed well in a few competitions. This was a huge step for me since I didn’t believe I had much of a talent.
The route wasn’t easy though. I was bullied in junior high school – probably because of my devotion to ballet. Or maybe my unique eyes that wiggle discretely, a condition also called nystagmus. That left a permanent stain on my self-esteem.
At the same time, my ballet teacher kept telling me to lose weight. I felt shy and insecure about my body. “If only I were skinnier, then I would feel better in my life”, was what my young self fervently told me. This led into binge eating.
After high school, I moved a LOT. Initially, I moved to Florida to study English. Then back to my native Finland to get a Master’s degree in International Relations. In 2002, I got an internship in Paris at a language school. That is where I got more into arts again and hence why I use this city as the core of my blog.
During my time in Paris, I rode the subway with my supplies and went to draw and paint on Pont des Arts. Paris rekindled the creative side in me yet I still struggled with achieving my dream to become a ballerina. I was very much into aerobics and taught it full time for two years. However, I wasn’t able to pass the physical tests and never got my French state diploma. This hurt my self-esteem immensely. It was as if my bygone ballerina aspirations had been crushed the second time. As a result, I lost weight. It was my way to console and soothe the hurt inside.
I drifted down the disordered eating slope. Thru the years I ate less and less. The feeling of empowerment “the not eaten calories” gave me was the thing that kept me loving myself. I was proud of the body I had created. But at the same time, I knew I was hurting myself – I felt physically not at my best by far – and that the solution wasn’t a lasting one.
I started teaching English in 2005 and have done, and loved doing it, ever since. I got married in Finland in 2008 to a Parisian. In 2010, on our honey moon to Miami and NYC, I truly understood that I had become anorexic and that I had to get better. I moved to Quebec City, Canada in December 2011, and it is here that I finally kicked anorexia out of my life. This left an empty place that I have been looking for to fill.
I have established my priorities. My tools for a happy life are the love and regular contacts with my family – across the ocean since they are in Finland, except of course my loving husband – and being creative – fashion blogging and doing art. These are the two building blocks that I believe will shield me from depression, or falling back to eating disorders. Work wise I own an English teaching company Susa English. Teaching gives me fulfillment and I find it liberating being my own boss. Traveling is also very close to my heart. Having moved across the Ocean several times, and lived in four different countries has molded me into the cosmopolitan that I today am. I am a humble world citizen that tries to embrace the place and its beauty where I currently reside. I long to see loveliness in all the little things that surround me daily. Starting from Starbucks coffee thru pink evening skies ending at the top of the Eiffel Tower.