“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something. So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you're scared of doing, do it.” (Neil Gaiman)
5 years ago, I saw a job ad saying that FinnAgora is looking for a new cultural producer – and I decided that it should be me (spoiler alert: it was me). Long story short, I was still living in Finland back then and I felt like I’d need a fresh start, as I felt so stuck in life at that point, and I knew I wanted more than that. So after 10 amazing and challenging years spent in Finland, it was time to move back home.
I won’t lie, the beginning was hard. After living so long in another country, you adapt to their culture, their way of living and their way of thinking. After living so long there, Finland became my second home, and I missed it every day. I developed a new identity, and I only noticed that once I was back to my hometown, Budapest. Thankfully old friends – and new ones – helped me a lot to get back on track.
These 5 years pushed my boundaries in a way that I’d never imagined. During these years I had a chance to arrange events and projects I’d never have had a chance to do anywhere else. We stood up for minorities, we supported important causes from people living with disabilities to civil organizations, we arranged fun activities for Finnish learners, sold out music shows, exciting design exhibitions, contemporary movie festivals, gastronomy events, you name it.
Over these years, I grew as a professional in so many ways. I created solutions out of problems and opportunities out of questions. I’ve met some truly awesome people that motivated me to learn more and to become better, both as a person and as a cultural producer. I’m very thankful for all these great connections I made during this time and I’m proud to call some of them a friend by this day.
I have to say that our partners are exceptional professionals with a great vision and a relentless drive for keeping the independence of culture alive, even in an increasingly challenging operational environment. You inspired me more than you’ll ever know! I truly believe I had a chance to be a part of something important and make the world just a little bit better; it wouldn’t have been possible without you!
And to my team: thank you for everything. Most of all, thank you for being there. For the fun times and for the difficult ones too. I couldn’t have done this without you. You are amazing and you won’t be forgotten. Keep on fighting the good fight.
I’m still not good with goodbyes. So let’s just say this is a see you again, alright?
With love, always,