Instructions for freedom

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FREEDOM

From Elizabth Gilbert’s Eat, pray, love

1. Life’s metaphors are God’s instructions.

2. You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the Infinite. Now, let go.

3. The day is ending. It’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.

4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your being here is God’s response. Let go, and watch the stars come out—on the outside and on the inside.

5. With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.

6. With all your heart, forgive him, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and let him go.

7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.

8. Watch the heat of day pass into the cool night. Let go.

9. When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It’s safe. Let go.

10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy.

Diary from Prague

I think I just wrote this post for myself. Skipping will not be punished, just check out the pics.

I know, I’ve just been to Poland and normal life for two weeks, but I was already exhausted. My lifestyle is pretty intense recently. Some events last week also did not make it better, that’s why I was super happy to depart to Prague on Thursday evening, just after classes. 

I was thinking about writing some unusual post about a trip to Prague – hidden corners, nice outfits or tattoos I’ve seen, but I had honestly no place in my mind to develop it. I wanted to chill and not think much about anything else than present. Besides that – photos are in this case enough to describe how amazing weekend it was. 

I was just so happy to see Tibby – the guy I was living with last year during my internship in Germany. A perfect chimera of father, brother and best friend, greatest flatmate I’ve ever had, sharing with me love for Netflix and cheese. Not many people can listen that patiently and advice that wisely as he can. Again – I’m so lucky with people!

Chris – my couchsurfing host from Nurnberg joined us for Sunday too, together with his current guest Ellie from Taiwan. That’s the real couchsurfing spirit – 3 generations of hosts and guests traveling together! 

I’ve also met up with Tomas, whom I got to know in Sweden and went for a male trip to Öland. It’s so great to see your friends doing that well with their lives!

When I was leaving Germany, Tibby told me that he has problems with keeping the long-distance friendships, and here we go with my superpowers – we kept talking, after a year we have met in Czech Republic and it was immediately as if I left Germany a week ago. 

Chris is exactly the age of my dad, and his exact opposite too. Nevertheless – having not much in common – we tend to find time at least once a month, take a huge beer (me) and a jar of tea (him) and just catch up with each others’ lives. No one can load me with so much positive energy and feeling that I’m doing what is right just on the phone like he can! 

I am not really sure if it is my talent, virtue or just something which I accidentally have, like blue eyes or small feet. I work like a magnet for valuable people influencing my life in the best possible ways. Or maybe it’s just me and the fact that I can see so much good in everyone, really listen and learn, as well as give them the best from myself?

Prague itself – gorgeous as always.

We had a great weather (3 days straight of sun and almost 20 degrees are unusual in the mid-October), walked a lot having many Czech-beer-stops. I loved the stylish architecture combined with colorful autumn aura.

And the best thing is that I charged my batteries. I’ve talked my problems through, got some distance, could also listen and support. I definitely need other people for the well being. I need and feel needed. And had really quality time with Tibby – especially that I don’t have him by my side every day. No rush, no aspirations to see EVERYTHING, rather walking off the beaten track and trying to avoid the crowds of tourists. 

The life is so great where your biggest problem is to compromise on a restaurant to eat dinner in and picking the best beer from the menu…

I’m not sure if I’m ready to come back to normal life yet, but I need to be, and I feel better than before. I still don’t know what to do about some things, but I know what I’m not gonna do. So as always… Correct way clarifies with the method of elimination. 

On Wednesday routine starts again, but Monday will still be a break and Tuesday will be fun too, thanks to the one-day volunteering job I’m gonna do. 

Sex and The City – my lesson of being a woman

Yes, I tend to watch too many TV series… Especially now, in the era of Netflix, streaming and torrents (nope, I still don’t know how to use the latter ones). Some of them are just time-fillers – I don’t think there is much more to Friends or Weeds than being a background for doing my high school homeworks. Other type of series are the ones, which I started watching cause everyone was already watching them: Breaking Bad, Homeland, House of Cards, Game of Thrones… And the people where right, I really liked all of them.

My forever-number-one is Black Mirror, but I should devote a separate post to this masterpiece. For now – another important series: not really ambitious, not the best quality or screenplay, but the one I probably learnt a lot from. Living in a big city, following your passions, planning an ambitious career, living a high-class lifestyle, being a happy single or a happy person in relationship, staying a good friend… Being yourself!

In the city which moves that fast that they give you a Sunday newspaper on Saturday, how any of us would now how much time we have left? There are so many things I have never done…

That is how my life looks like right now.

Welcome to the age of uninnocence. No one has breakfasts at Tiffany’s and no one has affairs to remember. Instead we have breakfasts at 7AM and the affairs we try to forget.

Well, yeah. Like this too… And I guess it is partially the sickness of our generation. We do not really care about things and bonds, we just run forward, live with constant fear of missing out, want more and more…

The primitive Greeks clung desperately to myths to explain the random hopelessness of their miserable lives. Do modern day singles need modern day myths just to help us get through our random and sometimes miserable relationships?

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I feel the same way about being a bridesmaid as you feel about Botox. Painful and unnecessary.

That is how I feel now about my friends getting engaged (at least 4 people this year, while I was away!), while I am just getting drunk, having random ‘boyfriends’ and living from one travel to another.

Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.

And I feel it and I love it.

They say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.

Everything is fine until it is not. I experienced it badly before, got over it and than experienced it again. I am still not fine, but I gonna be. Time heals all wounds. It’s okay, baby, only words bleed.

Depths of Internet vol.2

Like some time ago, I would like to share things I found online and find them beautiful, or at least inspiring.

yogi

Coming back from India I was searching for a good (hopefully the best) yoga school in my hometown, where I still leave and study for next half a year. I asked Google, I asked my network on Facebook and found out about a great Hatha-Yoga school ran by Michał Szczepaniak, great Polish yogi with an appropriate training and preparation in India. I am in love with his classes ALMOST as much as with Pradeepa’s.

Anyway, Yogis of Lodz popped up somewhere on my Facebook and I really liked it, I hope they will come back to life again (last post was published in May 2017). Basically – great photos and interesting stories of yogis in my city. I hope I get there one day!

 

  • Żaba – Instagram account

I don’t wanna link this Instagram account, it is too private for my feeling.

To cut long story short – when I used to be a scout (age 10 to 14), I have met many amazing girls, but one of them stuck especially in my memory, that is why I keep following her life until now, although we do not have any contact. She is such a lovely person and creative artist!

M. (Żaba = Froggie for friends) got pregnant in the age of 16 or 17, and decided to have the baby with her still-boyfriend. And now her Instagram posts are just BEAUTIFUL.

zaba

 

Well, apart from being another marketing tool of the blog, my own Twitter is a place where I publish many quotes and other short sentences which I meet in my every day life – from friends, family, on parties, written on the walls and in the public toilets. Worth scrolling through!

twiit

 

I’ve met this guy in one of the hostels in India and really liked him, partying for the whole night in hostel common area.

I also laughed at him a lot – Polish people will get it. Having such a Polish surname with a very American name sounds just ridiculous. Well, sounded ridiculous until I met a guy called Michaelangelo here in Lodz… Ah those drunk people you accidentally meet in a pub!

Anyway, Tommy is a traveler. I like other travelers.

gosz

 

I remember Olcha from the secondary school – she was one year older and very good at Maths. In adult life it turned out that she is also super talented in a very unusual field – papercuts, as well as photography! And she travels a lot, too.

olcha

 

You know I am a poor student… That is why when I travel I often participate in the attractions which are for free – for example Free Walking Tours organized in many cities, where you can meet other travelers, as well as people who just love their cities so much that they want to show them to you pro bono. That is how I met Peter – traveler, journalist, social activist.

My German is not fluent yet, but I recommend his website for people who can read it properly 😀

peter

And I fully support the idea of Lviv Buddy movement. I loved Lviv so much! And I loved most of the people there, too.

lviv

One afternoon in Bangkok

It is the first time when I break the promise of confidentiality given to my interlocutor. I told him about the blog, shown him my notes and he said that he doesn’t feel safe nowadays and doesn’t want me to write this post. I feel bad about it, but I knew this guy for 2 hours… and of course I am not gonna reveal anything private, will change many facts to help him remain anonymous, but I just needed to share what he taught me – it was a big lesson about the human nature and culture I woke up in that morning (Thailand).

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(c) Bence Fejes, back in India

Wandering around and waiting for the no.1 restaurant to open I came across the two men – Thai guy around 60yo and his friend of the same age and European origin. After quick chat across the canal they invited me to join them for a beer. Fun fact – after being served a bottle I said ‘Well, you could have better open it in front of me… You know, precautions. Better safe than sorry’ and the guy totally understood me and did not get offended. ‘Just pour some in my glass too!’.

The Thai guy hardly spoke English but was absolutely lovely and simple. We needed to explain him what Biomedical Engineering is by telling about making a plastic (artificial) heart.

He told me that he has been living in Thailand for many years already, has a Thai wife and marriage visa. He makes a living and really enjoys where he is.

People in Europe live following they brains, but you have to learn how to follow your heart! If I was in Europe, I would be a manager of big company, working whole days, playing golf and going to the gym after business meetings, than a drink with a client or colleague and home to sleep. I didn’t want it! After my mother died when I was in my thirties, I decided to go out of depression moving abroad. I chose Asia and it was the best thing I could have done! People here have so little but are so happy! They just follow their hearts!

To cut long story short, the guy learnt Thai in a couple of years and for long time was earning money singing in the bar – as a white man singing Thai he was very competitive attraction. He told me how much he earned in the week and it was much better than the doctors earn in Poland (I always compare peoples’ salaries to my mom’s). I liked his way of living too, maybe that is plan Z (after plan A, B, C…) if I don’t know what to do with my life.

India_by_fejesbence_Kerala-21India_by_fejesbence_Kerala-25

Beautiful (c) Ola Nowak by (c) Bence Fejes

Marriage visa obliges you to leave the country once in 3 months – it means that you are forced to go for holidays! That sounds great. I just need some Thai person to marry me… maybe one of Lady Boys?

Another fun fact – the guy I talked to also has been to India for some time and he was treated as a god: he was one of the last few white people blessed by Mother Theresa 3 days before she died.

He also pointed out and named the thing I’ve noticed but didn’t acknowledge about gender equality… Supposing that we live in a good, partner relationship and we talk about all the equal rights and duties division at home, we are proud how equal we are in the couple. But still – in Europe, being a woman you can put shorter skirt and bigger neck cut in your T-shirt to get a discount or get something easier than men… That is bullshit.

Another thing is his way of living. For now – as he said – he is faithful to his wife since the beginning. But he does not reject that something can happen in the future…

As long as we are home together on Sundays, it is fine for me to go and play tennis in Saturday, then go to a bar and maybe do something… I am also fine with her going out for Saturday drinks with her girl friends, having fun and maybe… But she is Thai, their mindsets are still different.

And what about this equality?

My dream jobs

Post for the symbolical first day of academic year 2017/2018 (well, I am not in school yet, but that is a different story).

My choice of the career path was quite random. After I graduated from high school at the age of 18, I did not have much idea what to do with my life (and ended up with depression just when the university was about to start… I made it through anyway!). It is not that popular in Poland to take a gap year, go to work or travel… Maybe because we are not such a rich country. Most of my friends went to the university directly after graduating from high school and were exactly as confused as I was.

The only good point about that decision was that I was sure I wanna do some kind of engineering. I could not imagine myself in any humanistic studies! I was considering medicine too, but I decided that I don’t want to spend at least 10 more years in school, start earning with a shitty salary of resident doctor and have to deal with many overwhelming cases. On the other hand – my Mom is a doctor, radiologist to be precise, she works at oncology department of one of major hospitals in my cities. This specialisation is quite comfy – shorter working hours due to the increased level of exposion to X-ray radiation, not much contact with physical patients – just their photos… There is a lot to complain about too, like salary – in public hospitals it is miserable and the doctors need to work extra hours in private clinics to do this decent money they deserve for saving lifes.

So I wanted to do engineering… But what exactly? My Grandfather was an Electrical Engineer, my Dad graduated from Textile Engineering but works more like Mechanical, Electronics or Industrial Engineer. I was thinking of Civil Engineering, but again – did not want to spend many more years after graduation learning for the national tests and passing the crucial certifications.

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(c) Ana Estrada #AE

Here I am – in a couple of months graduating from Biomedical Engineering. It seemed interesting, I went for it and after many struggles – I LOVED it. It is exactly the chimera between medicine and engineering! Although I am still more -engineer that bio- (since ALWAYS, my biology classes were never on a decent level). I can see myself working in my field, I find it fascinating and very promising in next decades, although not developing in miserable Poland yet, that’s why I am moving out of the country.

But what if…? What if I was brave enough not to follow my common sense? What if I followed my passions?

Event planning and management. Oh for Christ’s sake, I would love it! I am a natural planner, I like attending events too 😀 I was in a student commitee in high school, co-organized two huge club parties (one more, second less succesful), many internal events, coordinated groups of people. I also like doing planning for others – if I HAVE TO work in a group (I hate it), I am the one responsible for documentation, schedule, details… I am also a party girl, have quite a good taste for music, food and decorations, understand people well. I can’t wait to organize my friends’ bachelor and hen parties (yes, bisexual person can do both! Don’t tell me NO!), help them with weddings and baby showers… I was also an official ‘party manager’ in my last job in Germany, while it was summer and I organized company bbq’s almost every second week. I am born for it.

Translator. As you can see, I am pretty good with languages. Native Polish, almost bilingual with English – currently I speak those two languages on equal level of proficiency, read Polish faster but write English better. I think in both languages, count mostly in Polish. I do not have Polish accent while speaking English, people mostly confuse me with Dutch, German or Scandinavian. My Spanish is quite good. I do not learn it anymore (2 years of classes and 3 months of living there seem to be enough for now), but I enjoy practicing with native speakers when I have a chance to. I already gave up with French, although some time ago wanted to learn it due to love reasons. I understand and can read quite a lot, though. After half a year in Sweden it would be a sin not to learn any Swedish. So I did! I can order a coffe, ask for a time, pick up a guy, be polite in many sitations. Now German is my goal, as I am hopefully moving there next year. Italian is my fantasy, for me it is a language of passion, love, sex, food, art and culture, and I will definitely find some time in my life to learn it properly. Hindi would be useful for the reasons of understanding my new religion fully. Not to mention the fact that I understand quite a lot of Russian, Ukrainian, Czech and Slovak… I love languages and talking to people, I write quite well… I guess I would be a good translator.

Writer. I see myself there too! Only if I had more practice… And more background in any humanistic studies! Maybe English or Roman philology? Psychology? Sociology? International Relations? It all seems so interesting. And seems a good point to start. But that is not a direction I wanna go professionaly into, it is just a hobby and I would be over the moon if I even am able to make any money on it. Thanks to my writing I talk more to other writers, subconsciously interview people while talking to them, make a lot of notes and voice memos, share a lot more on Facebook. I also learn Digital Marketing, some coding, auto-promotion… And now I wanna make my step into creative writing, that is why I joined the Story Is A State Of Mind school & community started by Sarah Selecky. Let’s see where it ends up…

DJ or photographer. I consider myself a creative person. Maybe not particularly talented in any artistical sense, but creative. I talk a lot, I have many good idea, I am curious and like exploring. When I was 14, I used to win many photography competitions and take really good pictures… I didn’t think that it is possible until it happened – it IS possible to lose a talent. Now I have to go into cooperations with other photographers (always genius: Ana Estrada, Bence Fejes, and one is to come soon) to provide good content for a blog.
I like good music too. A lot of Polish alternative, Swedish electronic, some indie… Apart from pop and latin music which I sing for fun, I would like to be skilled and talented enough to make my own music!

Restaurant manager. And finally the thing which all of us love – food. I do not work well enough under pressure to be a chef, but I would love to own a restaurant (small italian place in Rome? Coffeshop with pedigree food in Amsterdam?), manage it, take care of supplies and interior design, do selection of staff and guests… Just a little dream. Why not? I used to have a teacher on my Anatomy & Physiology course, he was (still is) Italian, spoke perfect Polish and apart from teaching at Medical University, owned an Italian restaurant and during his cigarette breaks was giving us recipes for tiramisu. Again – why not?

Dreams are as close as you keep them.

22 thoughts for my 22nd birthday

  1. There are phases in life when the particular age difference is huge. Imagine the gap or gulf between 14 and 19 years old. And I do not think there is any between 20 and 25, as well as 22 and 27. Which brings me super dangerously close to Kurt Cobain, Jesus and Amy Winehouse.

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    Finish Lapland, March 2017
  2. What is the relationship and the perfect equation between the loneliness and creativity? Am I more an introvert or an extrovert? What inspires me more – silence or crowded room buzzing with voices? Hygge or vivid discussion? Maybe being able to be lonely/alone is a sign of spiritual maturity?
  3. I often repeat that but – I AM a typical generation Y (or Millenials) representative and I have spent most of my life online rather than unplugged. SO… I learn people from Facebook, seriously. I know your name, friends, hobbies, what did you eat yesterday, where your mother works, where are you going on Friday evening and when your dog is going to the vet. I know it all. Call me a stalker, I just cannot stop spying on people. But I also benefit from it: one of my friends from Sweden, Isi, always used to say that ‘Living with Zuza is like living constantly in the tv show’. Maybe I just make the plot more interesting?

    Zrzut ekranu 2017-08-22 o 15.48.54
    With my guinea pig, probably around year 2000
  4. I am an only child. It was amazing for most of my life (I was the youngest in my family until I turned 12) – I was the apple of everyone’s eye, always the perfect, beloved one and basically everything what I wanted was straightly coming to my hands. At that time – IT WAS PERFECT. I still feel a bit spoiled. But now, when I am an adult, it sucks. Especially that my parents are not the youngest, nor they are not together. And I am alone with the picture of them growing old lonely. It sucks, but I need to live my own life. Hard thing to put in my brain.
  5. I don’t like owning things. Well, as a typical woman I like BUYING things (and I still don’t make my own money…), but the picture of the big cupboard full of bric-a-brac’s makes me feel sick and insecure. I want to be mobile, I want to be able to change an apartment/city/country in not more than 3 days. That’s my definition of freedom, adulthood and independence. Apart from making my own money…

    Zrzut ekranu 2017-08-22 o 15.49.17
    This is around 40 years ago… Yes, me and my Mother really look a like.
  6. The most important is unmeasureable. Love, justice, music, freedom, pain, joy, admiration… Why to even focus on what is physically touchable? Why to even call anyone a materialist?
  7. I love going to the cinema, but I don’t like paying for shit. That is why I only go to see movies which are really worth it. And I love doing it in the middle of the week or as a way to skip classes – on Monday morning. It is the perfect occasion to be by myself in a safe, enriching your soul place.
  8. Now Liz Gilbert in my mouth:
    The dairy farmer from Ireland observed, “Waiting for that day to arrive is not exactly a rational use of your time.” “What can I say, guys? I do a lot with guilt. Kind of like the way other women do a lot with beige.” The former Catholic nun (who oughtta know about guilt, after all) wouldn’t hear of it. “Guilt’s just your ego’s way of tricking you into thinking that you’re making moral progress. Don’t fall for it, my dear.” “What I hate about the way my marriage ended,” I said, “is that it’s so unresolved. It’s just an open wound that never goes away.” “If you insist,” said Richard. “If that’s how you’ve decided to think about it, don’t let me spoil your party.” “One of these days this has to end,” I said. “I just wish I knew how.”
  9. There is so much more to you than how you look. Anyone who doesn’t realize that doesn’t deserve your time or approval. What counts is what you have in your head. And that is what I was taught since I remember. You have the right to be who you are. No matter if it doesn’t fit the social standards, as long as it makes you comfortable in your shoes and happy about yourself.

    Zrzut ekranu 2017-08-22 o 15.49.42
    2011, my first year of a ‘prestigious’ high school
  10. There is no reason to stop learning new things. Ever. Discover and learn about topics you like. There is no need to pollute your brain and waste your time on things you don’t care about, even if it’s “a classic”, or “trendy”. Culture is key to open-mindedness and helps seeing the world in a very different way, through somebody else’s eyes. We are the masters of our own lives. There is much to benefit from around us – from the Internet, all the culture available, all the technology, but it is our choices that free us, or ensnare us in a deadly routine.
  11. On the instant soup packages they ALWAYS make you add more water than necessary and later it’s disgusting. ALWAYS.
  12. If something takes a lot of time but does not bring any benefits (financial or spiritual), it is definitely not worth any of your efforts.
  13. It’s easier not to touch choclate/chips/nachos/french-fries that eat ONLY ONE.
  14. If you have an amazing idea, write in down immediately. No, you will not remember about it in a couple of hours.

    Zrzut ekranu 2017-08-22 o 15.51.20
    2011. Notice my famous little braid! Sport camps near the lake Nieslysz in Krzeczkowo, Poland definitely shaped the person I am, unfortunately just mentally not physically…
  15. If you ever find out that you are the most talented person in the room – pass to another room immediately.
  16. Promises given to yourself are the easiest to break. And most of them – the most important ones, too. I have been there (still am), I know how it hurts.
  17. Stay far from people who are impolite to the waiters. Really. Or who criticize your own parents or friends. That’s even worse! Only you can do it!
  18. 3+3 is as good as 4. Sad but true. 1+1 and 1+1 and 1+0 is also cool.

    Zrzut ekranu 2017-08-22 o 15.52.27
    … I was never that slim before or after like I was in 2011. I miss that shape of my yet innocent body so much!
  19. Quoting Sense8:
    The desire of justice lives in all of us. (…) Who am I to answer important questions? I drive a bus. If I didn’t take people where they hire me to take them, I wouldn’t expect them to get on my bus. We expect leaders to take us where we want to go. The problem is, it seems to me, begins when they don’t. When things do not improve and yet these leaders keep expecting us to get on their bus. I think this is when leaders become something else. – What? – Politicians.
  20. We will never be us young as we are tonight. I know, cliche. But that is what I wrote (in Polish) on the wall in the room of one person who was worth it. Together with K**wa, pan tu nie stał.
  21. Sex without love is an empty experience. But out of empty experiences – one of the best ones. – Woody Allen
    One day or day one – you decide. – Anonymous.
    Don’t stop until you are proud. – Internet.
    PINTEREST IS SUCH A DEEP THOUGHTS MINE.

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    2012, skinny deeping in 2 degrees Celsius water of Spitsbergen archipelago
  22. When you start writing this post more than 2 months before your actual birthday (not that you cannot wait to spend it in India!), remember not to throw your shrimp pad thai to the keybord, as well as pour lime juice there… It’s the best pad thai you have ever eaten, though. And it is so empowering that you are just writing a letter to your older self!

Inspired by The-Nife-en-L’air and Riennahera .