The End of an Era – New Beginnings

2015 is drawing near it’s end and I just have to thank everyone in my life for making this year amazing! I have had so many great adventures, discovered a lot about myself, and grown a little bit more as a person. I have shared many experiences with you guys here on my blog, on my instagram and on my tumblr, but there are still things I would like to share. So I’m gonna do a quick little recap of the last year, so bear with me!

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The earliest picture I have of myself from 2015 was taken in the beginning of January, for the purpose of auditioning as an extra for the upcoming movie Birkebeinerne. They were looking especially for female archers, and since I am not to bad at skiing either, I figured it was worth giving a shot. I did not get that opportunity, sadly, and though I never heard from them I assume it was because I live so far north and the movie was being filmed further south in Norway.

This year wasn’t meant for me and movies. Some of you might remember I was supposed to take part in an indie film project, but I was removed from the story for private reasons. It still makes me a bit sad, because I would love to have that kind of experience under my belt and while it has not stopped me from doing what I love,  I feel like a personal thing prevented me from giving even more to you guys! When I first mentioned I was gonna be in this movie, a lot of people from all over the world messaged me and said they were so excited to see me act, and they were genuinely excited about it! On the other side, I don’t think the time was right. I was still in high school and I had my exams to think of, and though they were planning to film a lot in the summer, I still had my new job that took up most of the time. Maybe one day another opportunity like that will present itself?

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A few months later, a few members of our viking group decided to go for a little trip in the woods. And a real viking knows how to ski. I’m not talking about downhill here, but cross-country skiing, in the woods or in the mountains. I admit it’s a bit more difficult while wearing a dress, but at the same time it was so much fun and viking clothes are actually a lot warmer than any modern clothing I’ve worn.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here on my blog before, but my viking group mean a lot to me! I feel like I can be myself around them, and that they understand me and my weirdness. We talk, we laugh, we have fun together! They are the reason I am sitting here, typing this, because without them I would not have been the same person today. I discovered my love for the viking age through archery, and a lot of the same people are members of both the viking and the archery groups. They are my people, and I feel like I belong with them. And I am so grateful for having them in my life!

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I didn’t really do that many photoshoots this year, but when the snow melted and my friend brought me to Ersfjorden, I knew that there was no way I was gonna top this one anyway. With the most beautiful scenery my country is blessed with, a skillful photographer, a home-made outfit and a bow that is waaaaaay too heavy for me to actually shoot, I did the best photoshoot I have ever done. It completely blows all others off the map because everything was so perfect that day! A soothing breeze, the weather not too cold, and the most beautiful piece of nature I have ever seen. This shot particularly looks like it was taken out of a movie, and I am so proud to have been part of this! I feel like I finally am getting good at something in life! Like I have finally found myself! Looking back, I don’t think I had that high hopes for the shoot, not knowing what to expect until I got there. It was truly magical and these pictures remind me that I, too, can be strong.

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Russetida (google it)

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I graduated from high school this year, putting thirteen years of education behind me. The last couple of years were difficult for me, and I struggled with motivation as well as my self-image. I wasn’t quite sure who I was when I first started high school, but by the time I graduated I had found my path. I still have a long way to go, but I have finally accepted myself and put my issues behind me. And while I still sometimes struggle with motivation, I have found ways to get through it. One day I just decided that it was too early to be defeated, and that I have so much lying in wait for me. After that, things got easier, with a lot of motivations and building of self-confidence. And the latter is one of the reasons I decided to start this blog.

I first stared posting archery pictures online in 2013, and I have built myself up a lot since then. I recently hit 5000 followers on tumblr, and I am currently well over 2600 on my instagram in only a year! This blog only adds to that. I feel like people see me for the first time in my life. I still find it hard to believe that there are people who admire me, but what surprised me most is that I have helped people. I have received a couple of messages during the last couple of months from people who tell me that I inspire them, that I have helped them through difficult times, and that I make their days a little bit brighter. For someone who used to be,(and in some ways still is) the invisible girl nobody noticed, I am so happy I could be of help, no matter how small it is, for people who needed it. That my pictures and posts makes people smile warms my heart and I feel like I have accomplished something. So please, never be afraid to speak to me. Be it through instagram, tumblr, deviantart, youtube or here on my blog, never hesitate to talk to me because you make me smile too. Knowing that I am interesting enough for people to take time to look at my stuff, and read about me and my life… There is no way to describe that feeling. But it is amazing and I love it! So I would like to thank you all for helping me with my self-image. It means a lot to me!

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I dyed my hair. Yes, yes, not the most interesting thing there is, but it is still worth a mention! When I was younger, I hated my natural colour! And at the age of fourteen, I started dyeing it. While I don’t regret that decision, I now miss my natural colour. I have been through it all, brown, black, red, and now blonde. I am a lot closer to my natural colour now than I have been since I started dyeing it, and it feels a lot more like me! When I graduated from high school, it was the end of an era and I figured leaving the red behind would really mark the change. My hair still has this red-ish glow sometimes, but mostly it is a dark golden blonde and I like it. Not too far from my natural colouring, and it really is a drastic change from my copper red.

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Me, 2010 (natural haircolour)

I mentioned earlier in this post that I got a new job. And I absolutely love it! I work at an arctic experience centre that is kind of like an aquarium, selling tickets and working in the gift shop. And I meet people from all over the world every day! I am not a people person at all unless I’m at work. I bloom there, and my better, more social side comes forth to take over. There is nothing better than having a calm morning and talking to someone from a foreign country about things that fascinates them about mine. I love the small-talk, both with the customers and with my colleagues. I work with the nicest people, and I rarely wake up dreading what the day will meet me with. This is a huge change from my years at high school, where every morning was a nightmare, and every day felt like it would never end. I feel so lucky to have this job, because I enjoy it so much and while it is not something I can live off my whole life, it sure pays for all the fabric and other viking/archery related stuff.

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Taken by KMphoto

Working most of the summer was nice, but what really made my year was the viking festival I got to attend. It was my second year at the Lofotr Vikingfestival and I have never enjoyed any holiday as much as this one. I got to meet so many great people, I found the courage to sing in front of a crowd and I felt at peace. I hope to attend at least three festivals in 2016, further south in Norway (Borre? Who knows) as well as here up north. Five days in a whole year is too short for a viking, but it will have to do until next summer. 2016 will be a good year for viking adventures! I just have a feeling it will be!

Utstillingen Mannen i myra, prosjektleder Laura Bunce
Photo: Adnan Icagic, Tromsø Museum – Universitetsmuseet

The autumn this year was eventful in terms of viking activities. We had no less than three visits to the local museum, attending various events such as the opening of the Skjoldehamn exhibition. This was also the first time I was instructing a beginner’s class in archery on my own, which turned out to be both challenging and fun! Again, this group of people mean a lot to me and I don’t know where I would have been without them. Fun as it might be, attending a lot of events in a short period of time is exhausting, especially when all of your spare time is put into it. I absolutely love being out among people, learning them about vikings and their crafts, but as an introverted person it gets a bit too much sometimes and I need to pull back and gather my strength for the next round. Which is why I love the winter period. There are few events in the next couple of months, and it gives me time to work on my crafting skills, as well as just sit down and read a good book (or watch an entire tv series in a couple of weeks).

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I started making vlogs in the late days of autumn. Again, it is all about confidence building and I figured I wanted a new way of communicating with you guys. It is also an excellent way for me to share some of my passions, such as archery and the braiding of hair (tutorials are coming in 2016, be patient). It also allows me to share some of my adventures with you. And I have! In the end of November, me and a dear friend of mine traveled to England with her family, and I enjoyed every moment of it! It was by far the most relaxing holiday I have had, while at the same time being one of the most fun. I have been to England a couple of times before, but always with a larger group of people. This time, we got to explore on our own, visit places we found enjoyable and just enjoy the English countryside. I am definitely going back there one day, but I have a feeling my next visit to the Isles will be to sunny Scotland or Ireland, conquering castles and exploring magical stone circles.

Snow began to fall while we were away and we returned to a winter wonderland that’s here to stay. The northern lights has been dancing across the night sky and I feel like I live in some magical land whenever I go outside. I mentioned it in my last blog post, but I love winter. Nothing’s like coming inside with rosy red cheeks from the cold and make yourself a cup of hot chocolate before you snuggle up with a blanket and a good book. The world looks so peaceful in winter and while it is really dark in December, it just makes it all so much more cozy. I am looking forward to lighter days with better opportunities for photoshoots and filming without too much artificial lights.

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December is also the time for our annual christmas party with the archery club. And out christmas parties are always a bit untraditional. Previous years we have had the slaying of “Julenifsen” (SandyClaws), but this year we went up against the evil minions. By far the funniest one yet, and I am so glad I got it on camera! With small “targets”, a bigger foe and a minion on the run, the shooting was both challenging and exciting. I definitely need more moving target practice, both because it was so fun, and because it is so hard to aim when your target is trying to flee. We had two cameras for this video, one behind the shooting line and one attached to the moving target itself, making for some interesting shots. If you still haven’t seen it, I suggest you check it out right now because it was not only fun to live, it is extremely funny to watch it play out as well!

We are at the end of the year now and I managed to squeeze in a tiny improvised photoshoot, getting some really nice winter pictures. We barely had enough daylight to get good pictures, the photoshoot itself taking place on the “shortest” day of the year, but I am still pretty pleased with the results! There is nothing much to say about it, really, except that my sister is a great photographer! For those of you who don’t know, she has been behind the camera for almost all my photoshoots and I am really grateful that she takes time out of her own schedule to take these pictures with me. She was the one who took my first pictures that got me started down this path, and I am glad she is still, after a few years, willing to do it. So a big round of applause to her for being, possibly, the best sister in the world!

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I meant to shoot a short video talking about my plans and wishes for the upcoming year, but I had no time for it today (since I went to see the Force Awakens instead. I know, it’s been out for weeks and I only now watched it. Shame on me). There will probably be a video like that up in the beginning of 2016, but I can do a short little summary for it now.

I have a bunch of plans that are already made. In February, I will most likely attend a small viking meetup with the Háelyg vikings at Lofotr. They had a similar meetup last winter, but sadly the weather was too bad for us to make that eight hour drive. Hopefully this year I will be able to attend, it work and weather allows it.

Obviously I am gonna continue my archery, but in June I will attend a beginner’s class in horseback archery! I have already signed up for it, and I am both excited and nervous. I might have to take some riding lessons before that, as I am not too used to sit on the back of a horse, but I am still so excited about it!

Cosplays have been on my mind for a while. I have been doing historical clothing for a while now, but lately the idea of making cosplays has been really tempting. Conventions are of course the best place to wear these cosplays and who knows, perhaps I will appear on one of those next year? The cosplays I have in mind is Cersei Lannister, a Fallout 4 cosplay which will basically be my character in the Fault Tec suit with the pip-boy, and possibly also Ren from the Force Awakens. In addition to this I also want to do an apocalypse/post-apocalyptic photoshoot with my bow. Maybe even a zombie apocalypse, if I find someone who is good with FX makeup who is willing to collab with me. Might also do some Lord of the Rings inspired stuff, who knows?

As for viking festivals of 2016, I am not sure yet. As I mentioned before in this post, I want to visit a few more than just one this summer. Borre is definitely one I would love to attend, Lofotr is most likely happening, then there is the Háelyg market and a bunch more. I simply have to see what work and money allows, and also if members of my viking group are going. You will have to stay tuned for this one!

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I believe this sums up my year and what is to come in the next. It is now time for me to start preparing for the celebrations this evening, which I will be spending with my best friend of eight years. I realised today how long I have known her, and it is fun to think about all we have been through over the years. What really makes me smile is that she has stood by my side through everything and never once left it, just as I have never left hers. She truly is my best friend and while we might not share all the same interests, we have in common what matters. And I am looking forward to spend another year with her having my back.

I will end this entry before this year does. This has been a wonderful year, one of the best in fact, and I have to say it again but I am so grateful for all of you who have been a part of it. Thank you all for making me smile every day.

Happy new year!

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One thought on “The End of an Era – New Beginnings

  1. You know sweetie…we’re so glad you took that archery class with us and we knew at once that you’d become one of our gang! So happy to have you in our midst, you’re very important to us! *hugs you* Happy new year!

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