Next up: Krakow

‘I wanna go somewhere where nobody knows
I wanna know somewhere where nobody goes’
-Miranda Lambert, Highway Vagabond.


[Krakow, Poland]

About a year ago, I was chatting to my, at the time, hardcore gym-crush. Together were contemplating travel locations & places that we wanted to visit before we died. We had this common ground of desiring historic or strange travel-destinations. These places were basically anything but a beach in Spain, or a shopping trip to New York. 
I stated that I’d been wanting to see
(1.) The Harry Potter Museum in England. (Seriously; look it up and steal my idea. It looks so bomb.) I still have in mind to find a partner in crime and/or just go sometime within the nearest as possible future.


[the Harry Potter Museum in England]

(2.) I really wanted to see the Auschwitz Concentrations Camps, I and II, in Poland. (At the time I actually thought Auschwitz was located in Germany. Geography has never been my strong suit. At least I found this out, before I bought the tickets ‘eh?)

It is safe to say that my desire to visit and see the Concentration Camps in Poland, lasted a lot longer than my crush on gym-boy. Tomorrow I am leaving for five days to vacation in Krakow, Poland. 
My thought is, that a visit to a place like Auschwitz is something very essential to the human spirit. Combined with a good six years of existential crisis and lots (and lots) of time, in my own company. My hope is that this place will bring some reflection, to my own experience with suffering and bring some understanding to life as a whole. So I guess going this is kind of an existential crisis, within an existential crisis.

I want to see and get a feeling of what legends, like Victor Frankl, lived through. I’d like to encounter what is possible to survive as a human being. It is my wish to contact some humility and love inside myself for others. It’s a bit difficult to say exactly what I am chasing on this journey. I just know that this is the way, I am supposed to walk. Kind of like writing, art and music. I am not moving: I am being moved. It’s a beautiful thing, really.


This is a trip for a lot of reasons.

It’s a big deal for me to be going alone. I haven’t traveled much since I relocated back to Europe in ’11. So this is kinda scary.  I dramatically imagine it going one of two ways: The first is being abducted by the polish, whom I’ll never learn to fully understand nor speak to. The second, is that they make me their queen. Here the lack of communication this still come into play. I’ll forever have to settle for being unable to speak to anybody, ever again. Someone was kind enough to point out that Poland wasn’t a kingdom, which leaves me back at option one.

I’ll  be leaving a complete and lovely review on my blog of Poland’s amazing attractions, and of cause my experience at the Concentration Camps.
I’m sure it’ll be okay. Okay.

Freja Blay
Aarhus, Denmark.
8th of April 2017.

Oceans

We are but an ocean 
Sign to the heart 
Line up the stars 
We are but a subtle notion

I wasn’t meant to be tied down
Boats they leave and come to shore 
Carried into oceans roar 
Staying here will make me drown

We are but an ocean 
Sign to the heart 
Line up the stars 
We are but a subtle notion

You are more than this place 
Seagulls gather as they fly
Afar you only hear them cry
We should leave without a trace

Freja Blay. Aarhus, Denmark.
28th of March 2017.

Grinding it Out

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Yesterday. Yesterday just so happened to be one of those days, where peace finally set in after another storm. That’s a metaphorical storm and in my opinion, the worst kind. The state of rollercoaster sadness and heartaching despair is awful. 
I have these days, quite too many if you ask me, where life is barely sustainable. Times like these, where it becomes a task to just get through my daily grind and functioning to a reasonably normal standard in society is a challenge itself.

Hold fast to me here; I’m not going down some self-pity train of destruction, or taking an ego trip. Stay with me.

I think it’s quite common to strike periods where the grind gets tougher and shit hits the fan. It’s quite normal to have rough days (maybe not as many as my OCD laden self, but still.) You don’t get used to pain, but there are ways to cope, when the lightning strikes.
Let me just say, I do not consider myself even remotely graceful in suffering or painful situations of life, but I am still here and that means I survived life this far. I think of myself sort of like an elephant in a glasshouse, which to my astonishment and wonder aren’t breaking.

There are tools to get through times, despite things that actually include directly running in the opposite direction of  the pain. I don’t try and run away from the painful states because (1.) It’s not durable, and (2.) even if it works shortly, it is just that: Temporary. Non-sustainable. (Like using alcohol or drugs to dull the pain.) 
I don’t run from fear, unless maybe at the exception of a lion, or something that will be of immediate danger to my existence.

The only thing I’ve found of long time sustainability is persistence and grinding it out. I know that ain’t the sexy answer, most would like to hear, but I have found that regardless of the situation, the suffering or pain never lasts forever. Though it may seem that way at times, everything comes to an end. Pain, happiness and even life itself at some point. (Another unsexy truth. I’m on a roll here.)
The second tool that I’ve found useful is continuing my daily routines, such as school, work and going to the gym to train, follow my mealplan etc. If this is possible, it is the best way to cope.
It isn’t good for me to give into suffering, I need to get out and get on with life. If I can pull off going to school, the gym and so on, there is a chance that I will survive yet another day, with my mind ‘sort of intact’. My life is most often better, after I have created meaning outside of myself and put in a decent amount of ‘Doing.’  It may still not be great or optimal, but most often it is better than I woke up crying and not wanting to get out of my apartment.

Too much time to think, will be potentially poisonous in the midst of a mental meltdown. Getting out (literally moving my ass, from point A. to point B.) and talking to other humans, is by far the best emergency plan I’ve come up with. The worst decisions are made without consulting others and letting my fears grow into monsters.

Yesterday. Yesterday was the first warm day, leading into summer. It was lovely and awesome. These thoughts are floating around inside of my being, not because I am sad in this instant. No, because I’ve just gone through yet another rough path. Everything seemed to be going to hell (but didn’t) once again, for no apparent reason. It is like losing a job or breaking a leg, like my whole world is collapsing, without evidence of reason. It sucks.

But now, it is better and lighter and lovelier outside, and I’m grateful for that. I am grateful to have this life, despite it’s challenges. It is a good life.
If you are looking for something to read, I can recommend ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl. It puts suffering and pain in perspective and gives reason, or at least reflection to pain, loss and prosperity. It’s a book that I’m currently working though, since I’m going to Poland in the beginning of next month, with the sole purpose of visiting the Auschwitz concentration camps.

More on that later!

Thanks for reading,

Freja Blay. Aarhus, Denmark.
24th of March 2017.

The life of being a non-instant

“The time that leads to mastery is dependent on the intensity of our focus.”
Robert Greene, Mastery

Let it be told, that I do not in any particular way or form, fit into a world where ‘instant’ is becoming the norm and a necessary of social behaviour. I kindly reject the compulsive tendency to make everything live. I am a perfect contemplator. I greatly prefer thinking things over (a million times) before making my move. I need time to think. I resent making rash attempts or sudden changes, for the sake of making them. I like strong and steady, so when the storm comes I’ll be prepared.

I don’t like instant messenger, or the expectation that I’ll instantly respond to messages and the fact that other people can actually see that I read their message and presume an – instant – response, makes me frigid and anxious at times. Which also lead, in part, to the deleting of my non-active Facebook account, after deciding that it didn’t bring reasonable amounts of joy into my existence and therefore had no purposely good reason, to continue its annoyance of me.

My Instagram is a perfect example of this factor. Most of my posts are either written or taken days, and sometimes weeks, prior to the actual posting date. I’ve had quite different reactions to this matter, because it apparently is expected that instant, actually means ‘This is happening in this very moment. RIGHT NOW’ If this is your belief, then I apologize, because it ain’t the case, and probably won’t ever be, at least for me. I prefer giving the best of my best and maximize quality over quantity. The sad truth is that I can’t perform BOTH. Really well written posts don’t come cheaply, they cost a greater deal of my mental capacity. It takes time for me to dig out the best pictures and footage from let’s say, leg day.

Maybe it’s a bit to perfectionistic of me to put so much energy and though into something like Instagram, but that dear Hudson is simply a part of my personality. I like that the things I give life aren’t shit, and my Instagram is, well, many hours of work and something I’m proud of.

If you take a look at it, you will see a pattern of Amino Acids and daily pictures of my life. Individually they can be broken up, and will tell a story. If you on the other hand, look at it as a whole you’ll see a pattern of art as well. It’s not a strange coincidence that my Instagram profile happens to be that way, it was well though through and mapped out, -before I even started. That’s just how I roll baby, welcome to my OCD* laden world, where everything is symmetrical and the Oxford English Dictionary* is laden with hours of potential entertainment.

(*I kid you not, I have one, it’s porn)

My Amino Acids (on my Instagram) for example are a product, of probably roughly 15 hours of total work including research. I got a back land of an amino acid study, because I actually didn’t know a dahm thing about the amino family, before I stated looking into it. Instagram became my tool or so-called presentation of the ‘finished’ product.

So, in a world of rush I prefer to be slow and calculated. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s both a blessing and a curse. I tend to just not get as much shit done as my peers. What I do get done is aced and diced to the needlepoint, which isn’t a great quality in, let’s say, getting out of a burning building, but when it comes to life in general I’ll take gradual over instant anything any day.

It takes around 10.000 hours to master a skill and become an expert, and there is nothing ‘instant’ about that.

*Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Yes, I am in fact, actually diagnosed with this magical mindset.

Thanks for reading,

Freja Blay. Aarhus, Denmark.
17th of March 2017.

How did this happen?

“When you can write well, you can think well.”

Matt Mullenweg, developer of WordPress and founder of Automattic

There is no good way to start a blog. None. Null. Otherwise, I may have done it a long time ago. Blogging has been an ever-so-often fleeing thought of mine since, well… Since I realized, that I wanted one, and there was no good way to start a blog. Hence the waiting time, and for that I apologize, this being foremost to myself, because let’s be honest. I am the primary individual benefiting from writing and getting things out of my crowded and every bit as thought-clouded mind.

So…

Everything that has a beginning must have somewhat of a purpose, whether that purpose is baking cookies, every day for one year and sharing the recipes and becoming a chubby chief famous cookie master. That’s not my purpose, but let’s call that our plan B, since it actually does have an awfully tempting appeal and I do in fact love cookies (but maybe not enough to start an entire blog about them).
If I do change my plan thought, I will be sure to give a heads up. That is, if the drastic and sudden change of content from barbells to cookie-pictures doesn’t give me away flat out. Also this will be your quo to find another blog to follow, if you aren’t into baked goods.

However, until all else fails.

I am, in fact not a chocolate chip extraordinaire. I guess the title page in sorts gives me away. I’d like to call myself writer, but storyteller is a more of an accurate subtitle. I mindfully have debated Chief Executive Storyteller (CES), and I may just have to give that title some extra consideration.

I tell stories, it’s one of my many talents. Or you could call it a long time fascination, something that has stuck with me ever since, well, since someone explained that the purpose behind learning the alphabet was to read and write. This was also the sole reasoning behind me being a ‘slow’ reader, for a very long time. Nobody bothered to explain the main reason behind the actual importance of the alphabet. 
If things don’t make logical sense, it has an unhealthy tendency to flat out bore me.

Fortuitously, someone caught me before I turned thirty and gave me a heart to heart, told me the common essentials of the importance of learning new things, in order to be a self-sufficient information machine. So I figured out the alphabet and took to books and stories, like a baby octopus to water. (The baby octopus is actually commonly referred to as octopus’ larvae, in case anybody’s interested)

Long story short, I learned to read and write ‘late’, but when the ball finally dropped, oh boy, did it drop. (LIKE IT’S HOT)

I still have the people around me accused of teaching me stills, as reading and writing to occupy me, so I wouldn’t speak so much. That’s only a theory though, they would never cop to that of cause.

I found another one of my flow states, sort of by accident, in the beginning of 2016. I used to blindly believe that I liked running. This was until I started lifting weights. (Then I realized I don’t. I really don’t. After a while it just becomes a really boring game, that you cannot win. Sort of like Farmville)
Lifting weights are for me, like music are for others. It’s a form of meditative state of being, it’s become a necessity of optimal survival for me.

I suppose that either bodybuilding or powerlifting would have been a more accurate definition than strength training, but it just happens so, that bodybuilding and storytelling didn’t go very well together and that Strength Training and Story Telling is more memorable, and gets superior PPC hits on google, and to be honest sounds pretty darn good, if I may say myself.

So, back to the subject at hand, WHAT THE HECK IS THIS ABOUT.

Well, it’s about me. Some writing and storytelling, part refection’s, science-geeky stuff, fragments of everything that makes a human into a person.

Ultimately, I am writing because I can’t not, and I may as well be shared in the world of ever-growing information, the internet. Otherwise it will just take up space in my cloud, where it only benefits microscopically conspiracy trolls of the cyberspace. 


I am a storyteller with a story to tell. If that intrigues you, this may you be the place for a moment of your fleeing interest.

I hope you enjoy, whoever, wherever and whatever you are.

Thanks for reading,

Freja Blay. Aarhus, Denmark.
9th of March 2017.