This is how we met and all started

Let me tell you a little story about life and the series of coincidences that led me to where I am today. I had been in my relationship for 9 years and was very happy. married for 7 of those years. We tried to start a family for many years and in the end we decided to find out the reasons for our childlessness. In 2014, I received papers from a doctor and an oral judgement that I am not able to have biological children. That actually began the redirection of my identity. I filled my body with tattoos, I processed my own empty feeling. I became depressed and I felt I was a failure as a woman. After a year of misery, I rebuilt myself again. I tattooed people, I ran my own studio and the Finnish Pin-up model agency on a high burner. Publicity was a part of everything I did, tv, radio, magazine interviews, and hanging out at events. I had a lot going on, had already actually since 2009 when I started the pin up stuff and tattooing as a hobby. The companies and entrepreneurship I began in 2013.
Our relationship drifted to a darker state because of my anxiety and the feeling I had of not belonging anywhere. I knew my ex wanted a family and I knew I could never offer him that. Mentally I was a very broken person. Desperation finally drove me to start talking of divorce. I wanted him to have a family and what he had always wanted from life, fatherhood and happiness. I on the other hand had decided to head in another direction through travel and searching for the meaning of life. In February 2015, I opened my mouth and managed to say to him one Monday morning, “You know, I feel that our journey together has come to an end”. He said he’d felt and anticipated my thoughts. We were both in shock. There was no yelling, no rage, no fighting. I said, “I love you so much that I’m letting you go”.
We cried the evening sitting in the sauna and reflected on our 10 year journey together. The grief was enormous.
After Tuesday, he came home with divorce papers and we signed them and agreed on the furniture. I left him everything. The apartment was put up for sale immediately.
On Wednesday morning, after he left for work, I sat at the kitchen table with an empty soul.
On Thursday, I packed my clothes and shoes and other personal possessions and left home before three, when he would get off work.
After that I didn’t return again to our shared home.
On Thursday, I temporarily moved into the basement of my own tattoo studio. That was a weird experience.
The divorce felt awful. He was my best friend. We called each other daily. We urged each other to stay strong. It felt odd to talk about the divorce with my best friend, the one I had just broken up with. Emotions went up and down like a rollercoaster and it was really hard to concentrate on work. The media was making the most out of it at the same time and the flood of questions was endless.
I felt like I was a prisoner in my own life. Many blamed and accused me. His sisters blocked me on Facebook immediately and isolated me out of the family I had belonged to for 10 years. I didn’t hear anything from many of our shared friends. Sides were chosen even though there was no argument amongst ourselves.
I lay for days and stayed up all night. I felt enormous anxiety.
We had agreed on a vacation together in the Dominican Republic to celebrate our 10 year relationship. We cancelled that and I changed my own flights to Thailand. The flight left exactly two weeks after we split up. I headed to Thailand alone, to clear my mind.
I was given the honeymoon suite in the hotel because there were no single rooms available. It felt completely absurd to be on vacation alone and make do alone, flying and getting through the trip. The world seemed to open up when I was alone in the middle of it all. People were nice. I met tens of great people. I wasn’t afraid.
After three days on the trip, I went to book a tattoo appointment at a local tattoo studio, Celebrity Inc. We reserved time for a tiger tattoo and tv filming of the making process. We were just sitting and chatting with the staff on couches when in came a cheerful and loud Australian with enormous energy. He was wearing surf shorts and a sleeveless shirt with a picture of a tiger.
The whole studio rang as he happily explained that he’s drunk enough that he didn’t trust himself to carry his wallet with him so he’ll come and take care of his reservation fee later this week. He was going out and looked at me, said “nice tattoos”, to which I replied “nice tank top, give it to me”. We exchanged a couple sentences with a needling vibe and he left with a laugh.
The next evening, I went out on the town to party and wandered to a shot bar next door to the tattoo studio. I saw the same guy being rowdy at the end of a table with a big crowd. I thought, well there’s a social guy, a grossly good looking ladies man with his muscles. However, I started to want to go talk with him because he was clearly really energetic and stood out from the crowd. I thought for a moment that I don’t know anything about picking guys up after a 10 year relationship. The then I thought to just ask if he might know the wifi code for the tattoo studio, since he was apparently a regular customer and the studio was next to the bar.
I walked over to the gentleman in my kimono, tapped him on the shoulder and asked “hi do you remember me?". To which he replied directly and clearly “no”. Well that went well, I thought. I then just said “fine then, forget about it”. Whereupon he took a step back and said “wait a minute, refresh my memory”. I just stated coolly, now that I was a tough-skinned independent single woman, that “we bumped into each other yesterday at the tattoo studio, but no worries, I don’t have time for this bullshit”, adding that I definitely wasn’t trying to hit on him.
He then state, “well, you’re the girl with the tiger tattoos, I didn’t recognize you with clothes on”. Really, so really somebody actually uses that phrase. We began to laugh, hurling teasing comments at each other. He wanted to offer me a drink to apologize, which I turned down by saying that I pay for my own drinks and I might even make more money than you. I don’t need any freebies from anyone, I’m fine on my own. That really got him excited, said it was the first time he heard anything like that from a woman.
One thing led to another and we spent the next three days closely together, venturing around the islands and in the nightlife of the city. There was a feeling of freedom.
Our first picture together. Going for dinner. 

Phi Phi islands

Stuart tried to steal a kiss whilst escorting me to my hotel

We kept in touch after that. We were in Thailand in the beginning of March and in May I travelled to Australia to be with him for a whole month. I explained very clearly and earnestly that I didn’t want a relationship, I was just going through a divorce, and I can never have children. He understood and let me be just as I wanted to be. It felt enchanting to be accepted.
In 2015, we travelled to Laos and Hawaii, he came to Finland in August, and finally I decided to leap into the unknown. I sold everything, moved to Australia in September of 2015. We got married at the magistrate’s office in November 2015. Our wedding was filmed for Australian television as part of a tv series called Australia's Cheapest Weddings. For our honeymoon we went to Thailand, to the same place, in December.

2016 went by learning new things, in a new country, waiting for work permits, on the farm in the countryside, and channeling my new self-image. It was tough for many months. Homesickness was infinite. The feeling of emptiness and being completely abandoned and forgotten grew.
Withdrawal symptoms of separation from Finland, my old relationship, my own habits, and publicity were a part of everyday life. The feeling of letting go was very liberating once I finally achieved it.
I closed my modelling agency in Finland in August 2016. I couldn’t stand being a target and being hounded by bullies continuously. I liberated myself.
After that I became depressed again, not as deeply but enough. I had considered the pin up stuff and encouraging women as my mission, and now I felt I didn’t even have that left. We discussed my feelings for hours with my husband Stuart and finally I got myself together again.
In December 2016, I went to Finland. I felt like I was a different person. I have finally come to terms with myself and my doings. There was no negation in my life anymore and no open doors to my soul for hurt to enter. I was strong.
I had also put on a ton of weight. All my life I have lived for the scales, fought for centimeters, preached about accepting oneself to others without being satisfied with myself. I had been hypocritical and fake, or actually above all else blind, since I myself didn’t realize what a great individual I am with all my flaws. So I finally gained 8 kilos towards the end of the year. My weight now in January was a generous 70.4 kg. I finally stepped on the scale and burst out laughing. I had live for so many years thinking that it’s the end of the world if the scale ever says anything above 65 kg. Now here was the day and I was laughing. I laughed freely, I laughed hysterically, I laughed as if I had finally understood my own words. I was happy. I experienced such an overwhelming feeling of happiness one day while driving the car that I began to sing praising songs about life, I cried and laughed, and I felt I could fly. My life was finally balanced. I had understood that life had no meaning. There is only this moment, and on your death bed you can look back at all that you were and did, the people you touched, and the choices that led to things, that was the meaning of your life. My mind was liberated and free from stress. I began to work out and this time it was just for me, not for photos or the judgmental looks of others.
The workout plan was for 12 weeks. I made it through four. No development occurred. My PT and I wondered where the problem was, but didn’t stress about it too much.
In the beginning of February, I felt on top of the world. I was so happy about my life. It felt like I have achieved everything I wanted. I even said that I wouldn’t feel bad at all if I died right now, as I’ve done everything now.
I was extremely tired for several days. Finally, when I began to be nauseous after the workouts, Stuart asked me when I last had my period. I did some counting and found it had been on Christmas Eve. We both laughed at the joke, that I would be pregnant. We knew it was impossible. However, I got a test on 2.2. and it was positive. What a shock. What disbelief, panic, hysteria, and an enormous outburst of emotions. I flew into a rage. An unexpected reaction, but yes. I felt I had just gotten my life balanced for the first time and my head, my work, and everything sorted out when this bomb exploded in my face. On one hand positive, on the other replanning my life, yet again. I got tired. Stuart never wanted to have children. He had strong reasons why not and that was what bound us together so tightly. I couldn’t have any and he didn’t want any. Now the whole relationship was at stake. He cried, I cried, and we thought that everything we were was now gone. We ended up having to go to therapy. Talk about a waste of time. The therapist was so intrigued by the story and our way of presenting it that they said it was like watching a theater performance. They didn’t have anything to give and we left the session bewildered.
We agreed that we’ll get through this with time and we’ll keep the child. We believed that we’ll get used to the idea and that life will rebuild itself again.
I’ve now laid in bed for seven weeks, overpowered by nausea. At the worst, I’ve puked 18 times a day. I’ve lost 8 kg and had to reschedule all my tattoo customers. Stuart is working 14 hour days at the mine and his attitude has gotten better.
Hearing the baby’s heartbeat changed everything. In that moment, we both realized what this all is leading to. Now we are getting ready for family life and our relationship is stronger than ever.


  1. You and your husband are gladiators, thank you for your brutal and stunningly beautiful honesty, Penny Blue is an angel and so blessed to have you both as parents.


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