What is faza?

Perhaps you have been familiar with this blog for a while, or have stopped by a few times, and may be confused by the term I use in my posts quite regularly, which is “faza”. I usually try to explain it at least very briefly for any newbies that might be reading, but I thought that this term is complex and complicated enough, probably even for regulars, that it deserves its own page where I would explain it in detail, in case someone would feel a bit disoriented, or just plain curious. I’d just been too lazy to do it earlier. So here goes, read on if you want to learn, or understand better, what I mean by the word faza on my blog.

I’ll try to be as clear as possible, but if something doesn’t make sense and you want to know more, just ask and I’ll try to clear up.

I thought I’d break it up into smaller parts, so that hopefully it’ll be more digestible, and also, if you don’t want to read the whole thing, this way you’ll be able to find a specific fragment that talks about something that you might want to know about in particular. Please keep in mind though, that this piece is a whole and every thing is connected to each other, so you might not be able to understand a part of it without reading another one.

  •    What does the word faza mean (in general, and for me specifically)?
  • What is the purpose of fazas in my life and how do they make my life better? Basically, how does this faza thing work and feel like for me?
  • What is a faza subject, a major, minor, dominant/active and faded faza, and a faza peak?
  • Who have been the subjects of my major fazas so far, and a little bit about them as individuals and my fazas on them.
  • Summary.

What does the word faza mean (inn general, and for me specifically)?

Faza is a Polish word, which means stage or phase. However, people often also say colloquially, that they have a faza on something. That is, if you have been loving shrimps lately, you can say that you’ve been having a faza on eating shrimps. You can have a faza on rollerskating, because it’s something you recently like doing, and do a lot. You can have a faza on a movie, a book, a particular music genre. It generally implies that it is something rather intense, but not permanent.

For me though, in the context of this blog, the word faza means something a bit different, a bit deeper. What it means for me is a deep, strong fascination with a specific person as an individual and the things they do, as well as often anything else that may be related to them in some way, often not even directly (usually these specific people are, as it happens, either musicians or literary characters). I used to use the English word crush to describe this on my blog, however I don’t really think the word crush is appropriate. It seems a lot more infantile and superficial. So far I haven’t been able to find a suitable English word to describe this, they are always either too big kind of, or too infantile and pathetic. But if you really need to have some sort of a comparison, I think it is slightly similar to what you call limerence in English – only it lacks the romantic element which is strongly present in limerence (I am not in love with my faza subjects, and from what I know, limerence is a rather painful experience, which a faza itself is generally not unless something else gets in the way. – It is also quite similar to what is called special interests in the autistic community, only I myself do not have autism, despite being evaluated for it twice in my life, so it’s not the same. Also, while the word faza generally indicates something that is passing, it is different for me. I don’t get over any of my fazas once I develop a new one. The previous one just fades into the background and stays there for a long time before waning, if it ever wanes at all. Still, I feel that experiencing each of them in its own time makes me grow and develop, which is why the word faza – meaning phase or stage – is very relevant here.

There are a lot of things I am passionate about, however I only use the word faza in relation to my very specific fascinations with people as individuals and everything to do with them, it doesn’t apply to my interests in things, concepts or anything else. Just people and everything about them.

   What is the purpose of fazas in my life and how do they make things better? Basically, how does this faza thing work and feel like for me?

Fazas, being such strong fascinations, bring a lot of joy and positive feelings into my life. They can be very stimulating for my mind, soul and my personal growth. I’ve been having some mental health issues pretty much throughout my whole life, and my fazas are one of the coping tools I have and use a lot. In fact, I think it won’t be a huge overstatement if I say that my fazas are the main ingredient of my brain fuel. Having a weird brain can be a pain sometimes, but I wouldn’t change it if I could, just because of all those good, quirky things I’m given, like fazas, for example. It’s not that when I have a faza, my depression suddenly disappears. It just becomes easier to cope with. I have more interest in things when I’m having an ongoing active faza, a bit more enthusiasm. For a large part of 2020 and the first two weeks or so of 2021, I felt like my active faza at the time started to slowly fade, and there was no new active faza on the horizon to replace it. Later on it turned out that, oddly enough, the fading was just temporary and in hindsight I think probably brought on by quite a bad bout of anhedonia I was having (rather than, as I thought at the time, the other way around – lack of an active faza causing anhedonia – ) but it was only then I got to fully feel what it’s like without a clear active faza. I had much less pleasure out of things, also things totally unrelated to my fazas. It was much more difficult for me to be genuinely enthusiastic about everything. So they are a big part of what drives me in life, alongside my favourite languages. Yes, even when I do have a faza, I often have to fake positive feelings for the sake of other people, but at least it’s easier.

They are also a source of inspiration for me, and I like to think that each of them makes me grow, develop and learn new things. Because when I get fascinated with someone in this way, it’s not just that I like their music, if they’re a musician. I find them interesting as a person, I am curious about them as an individual. If there is something that I know they are interested in, I will delve into the topic myself, too. I don’t have to end up sharing their interest, or to agree with them or anything, not at all, in fact, there seems to be a lot of things we have differing opinions on with pretty much each of my faza subjects. But I don’t have to agree with them. When I don’t, I like to do some research and try to find out why they might think the way they do, given their background and other factors, and why I think they’re wrong. They may prompt me sometimes to become interested in some things myself. For example, Enya sparked in me an interest in Celtic culture and music, which is still going strong. While having a faza on Declan, I learned that he is a fan of football and a supporter of Arsenal London, so I was declaring that I supported them too, although I didn’t turn out to be a long-term, genuine football fan to be honest. 😀 Cornelis, paradoxically, despite being an agnostic I guess, indirectly helped me become closer to God, and take a deeper interest in politics and establish what my political views are (because he was a socialist, and I intuitively knew I didn’t agree with him, so I had to figure out why exactly I do not, and also why socialism may have appealed to him so much). Also if not Cornelis, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am with my Swedish now. Thanks to Gwilym, my Celtic interests are even stronger, as well as my general interest in minority, indigenous and endangered languages, and all kinds of folk music, not just Celtic and Nordic as it was originally. And Jacob, though my faza on him was really short, helped me out of the anhedonia pit and regain my strength to speed up my Welsh learning a bit. At the same time, I like to focus a lot on the things that I do have in common with my faza subjects and look for them and cultivate them in myself if they’re good things.

There’s a strong relationship between my fazas and my language learning. I usually listen to music in my favourite languages, that is the ones I am learning or want to learn in future, which is why I often get fazas on people who speak these languages. On the other hand also, when I get a faza on someone, I want to know more about them like I mentioned before, so what better way to do that than learn their language? Knowing someone’s language gives you a better idea of their background/perspective/how their mind works, in a way, to paraphrase Ruth, makes their people your people, thus kind of brings you closer to them, and naturally gives you access to more information about this person. It also just somehow feels more genuine to me when I know their language. So my fazas definitely stimulate my linguistic development, and my continuous linguistic development makes me find new faza subjects to become crazy about.

In a way, my fazas are also some form of escapism, I’d say, which everyone needs sometimes, and maladaptive daydreamers can’t do without.

With literary fazas, it’s different because they are typically less intense, for one specific reason. They don’t really exist, right? So there’s much less field for “feeding” such a faza, that is, keep it going for a long time, and prevent it from fading. You just have the book, perhaps a book series, maybe some fanfics if you’re lucky, but that’s it. Even if a character is very well-developed and not just a secondary or episodic character, you’ll most likely learn everything about them that there is to learn before a new dominant faza takes over. Yes, you can read the books over, and over, and over again, but this will keep you going only for so long. But even with a literary faza, there is still room for excellent mind stimulation. I like writing fanfics with them in the centre stage. Just for myself. For my own enjoyment and entertainment.

As I mentioned, the important factor for me when having a faza is feeding it. It makes you feel like you actually have some kind of a bond with your faza subject. The more things I can find that we have in common, the more things I can learn about them, the more of their music or some other materials about them, the more alive it is. I love it when I can find something new from or about my faza subject, because that usually results in a faza peak, and faza peak is bliss.

However, faza feeding isn’t always easy. I generally tend to like things that not many people do, and that also applies to music. That in turn means that my faza subjects are often difficult to learn something more about. Often, like I mentioned earlier, it requires learning another language because they’re virtually unknown beyond the language they’re creating in. Still, it’s always worth the hassle if it results in something, and I am glad that no one in my surroundings has the same fascinations. I wouldn’t like to be into someone whom everyone else around me is crazy about, even if that would be easier or more practical in some respects.

I’d also like to stress one thing, because people often get that muddled when I tell them about my fazas, or even I myself confuse it sometimes or used to. Namely, that faza doesn’t really have anything to do with love or some other romantic kind of feeling, even though there are some strong similarities. I think though that love is not merely a feeling, but rather an act of will, whereas a faza is just a jumble of strong feelings, and obviously I don’t really know these people, even if I’d been writing with one of them for a little while, so how could I actually, really love them? That’s not logical in my opinion. With Enya that would make even less sense, because I’m not romantically and/or sexually attracted to women. But then I never seriously was interested in a man this way either. Which is why I call myself a linguaphile. 😀 

Also, unlike in limerence and similar phenomenas, I am not hoping for reciprocity on their part, and it’s not necessarily my ultimate goal to meet them or something, as is often the case with fans of artists and such. I mean, huh if I got a real chance for that, I guess why not? Although my AVPD would probably get in the way.  If, for some odd reason, they’d be interested in being with me, I certainly wouldn’t be opposed, though no idea if it would actually work out. – 😀 If I get a glimmer of a possibility to write to/with any of my fazas, I always jump on it if it’s reasonable and realistic and I have something interesting to write about other than just that I like them and their music, something that would potentially spark their interest. And I suppose that, because of the strong feelings involved in fazas, if I were to really meet and get to know one of my faza subjects, it could easily evolve into something deeper on my end. And I was totally devastated when my correspondence with one of my faza subjects came to an end. But some interest on their part, while it’s nice as an idea, is not something I’d want to achieve for all means with fazas, it’s not the main thing here. I don’t want to be creepy, the world is too creepy without me contributing. I might try to write to them once but I don’t like stalking people. I also loathe clinginess in others, so I would loathe to be clingy like that myself all the more. I really care for them as individuals so the last thing I want is for them to feel uncomfortable, creeped out or annoyed, and, even worse, because of me.

  What is a faza subject, a major, minor, dominant/active and faded faza, and a faza peak?

When you have some kind of experience that seems relatively rare among your fellow human beings, and doesn’t seem to have a name that could describe it well enough, I think it’s natural to feel the need to create your own terminology that works. And that’s what I did with this faza thing, over time, so that when I talk about it to people, I have words I can use, and they know what I’m talking about.

A faza subject is simply a person you’re having/have had a faza on. I also often refer to them simply as my fazas, for short, or faza people/peeps, rather than faza subjects. I’m not an English native and thus am not sure whether in English the word subject is appropriate here, or perhaps it should be object, but because we are talking about people, I think subject sounds way better. In Polish, both subject and object in this specific context sound very weird, so I should really have come up with something more creative by now.

A major faza is one that is particularly strong, and that lasts some significant amount of time, I’d say 2-3 years on average as a dominant one and then, rather than immediately going away, just fades into the background. As it turns out, it is still possible for it to wane completely some years after fading, and just stay as a regular, normal-degree liking. 

A minor faza is a shorter and less intense one, lasting up to a few weeks and typically going away after that. Alternatively, something that lingers for months and is a big source of inspiration for me, more intense than just normal liking but not quite as intense as a major faza can also be called a minor faza. 

A dominant or active faza is a major faza that I’m having at a given moment that hasn’t faded yet, that basically dominates over all the others, pushing them into the background. 

And finally, a faza peak is a time during the lasting of a particular faza when it’s at its highest. There is always a faza peak right at the beginning of an active major faza, and then it gradually goes down, over time. This initial faza peak may last from a few weeks to a few months and peaks associated with different faza peeps can vary in intensity a lot. However, when that initial peak is over,  when something will happen to do with my active faza that will give it even more of a boost and make it stronger, it will peak again! This could happen when the faza peep in question releases something new, or I come across some recording of their concert or gig, if I find something new about them that I find valuable, etc. etc. or sometimes it just happens spontaneously, simply because I’m listening to their music. Such peaks will usually be shorter than the original one, though there’s no strict rule really I guess. 

   It’s a pity you can’t just have a constant peak, even if peaks are so intense and therefore can be a bit emotionally draining if they’re long, but they’re still very pleasant.  Sometimes, even when a given faza has faded, it can still peak if I devote some time to it, like, recently I’ve found a great documentary about Cornelis Vreeswijk which I got super excited about and I got a short but mighty peak on him. This can happen when a current active faza is stable and with no peak, you can’t have two peaks at once, your brain would burst. 😀 Well, at least I can’t for sure, though I once had a situation when I was like alternating between two different peaks for like a weak. It was fun in a way, but also rather exhausting, and made me feel very emotionally fickle or something.

   While fazas in general are something which gives me lots of joy and other positive feelings, a faza peak is the best. But, again, just as with fazas, so is with their peaks – it doesn’t mean that when I have a faza peak I’m somehow suddenly freed of depression and all the other mental health difficulties that I deal with, but it just makes it easier for the time being and makes me more enthusiastic about life in general. – A peak is the best antidepressant, in my opinion.

   Who have been the subjects of my major fazas so far, and a little bit about them and my fazas on them.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may already know about this. If you’re new, you’ll come across these people on here quite regularly.

My music fazas so far:

Enya – Irish singer and composer, formerly a member of the family band Clannad, now known quite widely from her solo career, her most popular songs include Orinoco Flow (which is actually the only song by her that I don’t like), Only Time or May It Be, her music is strongly influenced by Celtic folk and because of a very ethereal quality to her music she’s often accused of being a new age artist, which she is not and even herself talks about it. – My faza on her was a bit different than the later ones and I think it played a bit of a different role for me given where I was at in life at that point. Also last year made me realise that my faza on her (which was active in early 2010’s), has probably waned. I still do like Enya, and I will probably always feel drawn to her music in winter time as I have for years, but it just no longer feels like a faza. Same about Declan below. Perhaps, unlike what I thought, it’s all fazas that wane over time eventually, as you change yourself, or perhaps with Enya and Declan it happened because at this point, they’re quite difficult to feed. 

Declan Galbraith a.k.a. Child of Mind  – British singer-songwriter of Irish and Scottish descent, who released his first album at the age of 10, first doing mostly covers of popular classics, and later moving on to writing his own lyrics. Currently he is in his  early thirties and his style has evolved over the years a fair bit. – My faza on him was a lot more intense than on Enya, but in hindsight a lot less intense than any of the later fazas. Just like I wrote about Enya above, last year, I realised that my faza on Declan has probably waned. Basically, I realised that, if I came across him and his music now (even his later music that he’s created as an adult) I definitely wouldn’t get a faza on him. Well, if you can think something like this and not feel utterly indignant, or like it must have been an intrusive thought, I guess it’s quite a clear sign that the faza is over. I would have never thought such a thing about Cornelis or Jacob (my other major non-active fazas). Also just like with Enya, this faza has been quite difficult to feed for several years now, because Declan hasn’t been active musically for some time now, and there are few other sources from which you could feed this faza, unlike, say, with Cornelis, who obviously hasn’t been active in decades as he’s no longer alive but was insanely prolific and his legacy is very much still going on. 

Cornelis Vreeswijk (1937-1987) – Swedish singer, songwriter, composer, guitarist, poet and actor of Dutch origin, who moved to Sweden at the age of 12, mastered the language and wrote most of his music and poems in Swedish, he is quite famous there, much more than in the Netherlands. He popularised Swedish visa (folk song genre) but had also strong connections to blues or jazz, among other genres. – This faza was the absolutely most intense for me. 

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – Welsh-language folk singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and formerly also clogmaker, who, in addition to being a solo artist, has also been part of a pop-rock band called Y Bandana in the past and is a member of an alt-folk trio called Plu. – With Gwilym it’s a weird story. I got a faza on him in 2016 and it was fairly intense, until in 2020 I got hit by quite bad anhedonia, which made me feel like my faza was fading, while there was still no new one at the horizon. I was so desperate for a peak to make me feel alive again that I started actively looking for a new faza (which I don’t normally do because it all happens by itself and which is a very bad idea), but with no luck. Eventually, when I thought that Gwilym has slipped away into the background completely, I figured it’s probably the end of my faza life. Perhaps it’s only teenagers who get them or something. But then Jacob appeared and saved me, and I dived into the new faza head on. Several months later, however, things with my fazas got really chaotic and stormy, which I wouldn’t necessarily like to get into deeper in this post as it’s already long. The chaotic state lasted really long, until finally, last year, some time in October I believe, suddenly, yet very quietly, my faza on Gwilym came back into the front, and the order in my brain has been restored. Therefore it’s Gwilym who is my current faza peep, and the longest-reigning one, so to say. :. I feel really happy with how things have gone ultimately and totally wouldn’t mind having an active faza on Gwilym for another decade or even the rest of my life. Despite that anhedonia period I mentioned, in many ways, the time when I’ve had the faza on Gwilym happened to be the happiest time on my life, though at the same time there are also things that make this faza stand out as the most difficult for me. 

Jacob Elwy Williams  – he is also, like Gwilym, a Welsh-language rock/folk singer, songwriter and musician, also with some reggae leanings, who has on and off been collaborating with the band Y Trwbz (earlier known as Trwbadwr) and making some solo music as well, and currently is one half of the group Midnight Run. – I wrote a post about my faza on him here because he was my first new faza subject that I got since I’ve started this blog. This was my shortest-ever major faza, lasting barely over six months in total before the chaos and revolution took over, but even though it probably didn’t contribute in any major way to my growth and development like the other ones, I have really good memories from that time and the initial peak was super long, though rather calm and not too intense. I wish it could have lasted longer, but I’m afraid that either way it wouldn’t be too long, because even during that short time when it did last, I had quite a trouble feeding it properly. 

Literary fazas:

Valancy Stirling – the main character of The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery. – 

Dean Priest – a character in the Emily of New Moon series, also by L. M. Montgomery.

Ravi Reinssöen – a character in “Livets Dötre” – a Norwegian historical family saga by May Grethe Lerum. – A faza that I feel really ambivalent about. 

   Summary.

The word faza means phase or stage in Polish. I use it to describe strong, intense fascinations  with people. Fazas are a huge source of inspiration and mind stimulation for me, they help me grow and develop in various areas or aspects of my life, and are one of the most important things which basically keep me going in life. Fazas can be major, minor, dominant/active, and fade over time, and as it turns out sometimes they can even wane, but only after years of staying in the background. A person on whom I’ve had a faza is called a faza subject or less formally a faza peep. A faza peak is a time when a specific faza is at its highest, so I’m feeling particularly well and enthusiastic about things. My major faza subjects so far have been: Enya, Declan Galbraith aka Child of Mind, Cornelis Vreeswijk, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, Jacob Elwy Williams, Valancy Stirling, Dean Priest and Ravi Reinssön.

So, that’s it. I hope it gave you some idea so that you’ll be able to understand some of my posts better and will know what I’m talking about when mentioning my fazas. 🙂

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