Lvovas / Lemberg / Lwów / Lviv

I went to Lviv at the end of March and haven't really looked at the pictures I took or reflected on the experience until now. I haven't been around Eastern Europe too much, and it's still an area that fascinates me with its history, architecture, and strangeness. It feels like home (Northern Europe), but at the same time, it's nothing like home.

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Lviv was wrapped in soft colours and thick winter clouds, ice cold and more difficult to navigate than expected. Everywhere I turned there was a church from a different time period, empire, and Christian denomination. It's a city that has been occupied and annexed by Poland, Austria-Hungary, Hungary and the Soviet Union (and apparently the Swedes had an unsuccessful attempt at conquering it around 1655, silly Swedes).

It was .. beautiful. It really was. Old town looked like Rome's colder, less vibrant little brother. The "khrushchyovka"s surrounding the city center gave my dramatic body an eerie vibe. There's something about the look of the numerous, identical, grey buildings that I find very fascinating. The sweets were sweeter than here, and bacon is apparently considered vegetarian, which I learned the hard way. I ate a lot of chocolate and drank a lot of beers, pointing at menus and pictures to communicate. 

I'm looking forward to going back this summer, and to hopefully learn more about the culture and history, get more used to the Ukrainians' lack of body language and social warmth (before you get to know them, that is, all Ukrainians I've met are rad), and to see the city in actual sunlight. I think we'll be great friends one day.

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Ebb tide.

Spring comes in waves: waves of moods, waves of weather. My energy is shifting – back and forth, back and forth – from the statics of winter to something flux, fluid, dynamic. Gratitude and contentment spill out of me one minute, panic attacks and negativity the next. I try to let it all come and go. It's still all good.

I'm looking forward to the first T-shirt days and to be able to wear my chitenge. My best friend is getting married in three weeks and I get so emotional from all the love. April also brings this year's first trip to my favourite place in this country (s/o to Hardangervidda), and I'm back on a new strength program that looks bomb af

It's still
                  all
                                 good.
                                                ❤️

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"It's all good": my mantra to remind myself that even though things are uncomfortable, dull or sulky, I'm still better than what I've been in years. My depression is still lifted and I need to stay aware of the room that gives me. Keepin' the perspective. Keepin' the empathy.

The future is female.

Your heart is a muscle the size of your fist. Keep loving, keep fighting.

It’s International Women’s day! I love the feminine traits and energy in both women and men. I love all the ways it can be channelled and expressed, and the power that comes with it. But it’s too often being demeaned and/or exploited; looked upon as something weak or stupid, hysterical, sexual or objectified. This is out of the (feminine) subject's control, and it’s heavily integrated into our society.

If you are able to stay quiet in the face of injustice, if you don’t see oppression and why we still need feminism and this day, it’s through privilege. If you are a man or a woman as lucky and privileged as me (white, cis, straight-passing, middle-class, and with an able body): make room for other people’s stories and struggles. None of us is free until all of us are free.

There are just as many ways of being human as there are humans. The things we talk about and ask for are not complex or big, they're very simple. And it's the same in every fight for social justice. We want empathy and love. Our society is built on injustice and economical, social and political imbalance, from years and years of subtle (and not so subtle) manipulation, violence and control. And we want to change that. We want empathy and love: the two most basic human needs. It's not rocket science, it's not (or at least, should not be) a new form of hate.

We need to talk about this, fight for this; we need to challenge the status quo and look for the non-discriminating alternative. From the bigger things like education, human rights and safety, to the smaller things like “the pink tax”. Fight for trans-women. Fight for fat women. Fight for Muslim women. Fight for black women. Fight for Latina women. Fight for Asian women. Fight for dark-skinned women from every ethnicity. Fight for sex workers. Fight for poor women. Fight for feminine traits in men. Fight for every nuance of being human. Show it. Make room for it. Love it. And do it fiercely.  ✊🏿✊🏽✊🏾✊🏻

Heaven.

The Blaze just released their newest video called "Heaven", and I want to share it with you because I'm kind of stoked. There's something in the way they portray brotherhood and masculinity that moves me every time: the dancing, touching, playfulness and love. If you haven't seen their first video, "Territory", I lowkey command you to do so. It has been my favourite piece of visual art (right up there with Lemonade) since I first saw it one year ago.

I love this stuff #2.

  • I just finished reading "Six of Crows" and it's one of the best books I've ever read.
  • Yoga with Adriene follows the Yoga Revolution challenge from last year with Yoga True, a wonderful gateway to strengthen your yoga practice, check in with yourself and have a little fun on the mat.
  • CodeWars, for getting better at logic and algorithms.
  • I've found it very helpful to create a pre-workout routine for myself, where I mentally prepare and get hyped before I go to the gym. Mine consists of writing (by hand) my exercises, sets and reps, taking my pre-workout supplements, thinking through my goals and my intentions.
  • Kids seeing themselves as heroes and recreating the Black Panther movie posters is everything. Representation matter. Photographed by Asiko.
  • "Capitalizing on the self-care movement" is a short, good read from The Strand on a subject I find very important.
  • You can follow the progression of daylight and spring slowly approaching here.
  • The greenhouse in the university garden here in Bergen (pictured).
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(It's 2018 and I don't know if we still use bloglovin', but if you do, you can follow me there. Xoxo.)