Story

Who am I and what’s this website about?

My name is Viktor Kuzev. I hold a master’s degree in Architecture and I’ve been working as an architect since 2014.
I also make music in one way or another since I was a kid.
Occasionally I draw and paint – I’m not doing it often and I don’t think I’m really good at it, but sometimes I have interesting ideas.
I love travelling alone – it’s giving me the sense of adventure that I need.
For the past 2 years, I’ve been extremely interested in fitness which helped me get in the best shape in my life (so far) after a decade of being overweight and after several failed attempts to get fit in the past.
So this website is about all of these things and the mindset that I have developed through the years – the mindset that kept me doing what I love despite all the difficulties and all the people who told me to pick a single thing and abandon my other interests.  
So who is this Viktor Kuzev guy and is he full of sh*t?
If you want to read a brief history of my life here it is. But I have to warn you – it’s getting very personal at some points.
I was born in 1989 – the year the Berlin wall fell and with it – the socialist republics of Eastern Europe, including my home country – Bulgaria.
I was raised in a poor and problematic family – my mother was a school teacher, and my father, while being a professional chess player spent most of the 90s being unemployed.
Unlike the usual families in Eastern Europe, we didn’t get help (homegrown food or money) from my grandparents, 2 of them were already deceased, and the other 2 were not in a position to provide any help.
So my parents were constantly fighting. It was like growing up in a war zone. The problems at home affected my social life so I was an outsider at school until I was 15.
By the age of  15, I have already passed through a childhood in poverty, school bullies, the divorce of my parents and the death of my father.

PERSONAL STORY

I could have had an easier life, but it could also be worse. It didn’t depend on me so I had just to deal with it. When you think about it – it’s always like that with the things that don’t depend on your actions – just accept whatever happened and try to find a solution. Focus on finding the solution and not on how unfortunate you are.
I’m extremely grateful that for some reason as early as 10 years old I realised I can change my personality with willpower. Actually now I know it’s even easier when you are young.
How did I realise this?
I was drawing pictures. For example a vase or a kettle in front of me. But It never looked as good as I wanted so I was getting extremely upset and angry. I asked my mom how to do it better because she teaches art in school, but I always received the following reply “You are already really good for your age”. I don’t blame her for that though, she was 29, also going through a tough period in life.
But I was getting so angry and nervous from not being able to draw as good as I wanted to that at some point I realised that I can’t really continue my life like that. Being angry and upset all the time. So eventually I realised It’s not worthy and I became more detached from it. After persisting for some time I became calm, and to this day my friends tell me I’m one of those calm chilled people. It’s so difficult to make me mad now.
Between 10 and 16 I read a ton of books – fiction, but also psychology, which actually let me do my second planned change in personality. I had no friends. I was going to school, meeting people I don’t like, people that bully me and then I was going back home to watch tv, read books and play the keyboard. (That’s a keyboard a friend of my dad left me to use for a while, but it’s actually still in my possession)
So at some point, I decided I need to become more social and several months later I had groups of friends from different schools and cliques in town. Not close friends, but sure – people I could go out with.
I actually started going out quite a lot. And I was drinking and smoking weed because that was the cool thing to do. To be quite honest I never really liked the feeling of being drunk or high. But it helped socialising or so I thought.
But when I was at home I kept doing my anti-social hobbies: reading books, writing short novels (they were bad but whatever), playing the keyboard, recording it on tape and drawing.
I really wanted to have a computer at home back then – I knew that I can do the things I like a lot better with a computer – I wanted to make real music and not just record the shitty sounds of that old keyboard, I wanted to type my novels instead of writing them by hand.
I got my first computer when I was 17.
Then I pretty much stopped writing up until recently when I compiled a book with tips & tricks for Autodesk Revit and now when I wrote a book on how to get in shape while being busy.

MUSIC

But I started making music on this computer almost immediately after I got it.
A friend of mine (Mitko) showed me Fruity Loops, now known as FL Studio. He also showed me the basics of how to work with that program. It was late 2006. Youtube started in 2005. Which means that in 2006 there were no video tutorials on Youtube. The speed on the internet was actually so slow in 2006 that you had to wait for the videos to load first (or download them) before watching. 
Facebook existed, but nobody knew about it until 2008.  Internet forums were big, though. Everybody was asking for information on the forums.
There was also a Bulgarian website called mp3.bg or something along that way, where you could upload your own music creations and participate in some improvised charts.
So in 2007, I uploaded there my first song called “Prefecture”. It’s still somewhere on the web.
I knew nothing about mixing and mastering when I finished that song. I didn’t know what a compressor does and I don’t even remember using equalizers. But still, some people liked it for some reason.

STUDYING ARCHITECTURE

In 2007 everybody was already asking me what do I want to do after school. What do I want to study and work. In western Europe, almost everybody takes a gap year after school, but in Bulgaria either you start working or you go to university (or both in many many cases).  It’s an economic thing.
I was supposed to graduate in 2008, but I didn’t know what I really want to do after school.
I really enjoyed making music more than anything else, but I never considered it a proper occupation – after all, everybody else wanted to be a lawyer or a doctor or a programmer.
You know – the real things.
I had the vision of becoming a writer or a musician or some kind of an artist – but I didn’t really know how to do it. I wasn’t that good at those things. I also didn’t see some clear path in doing this. I mean when you study to be a lawyer then you get a job and it usually comes with a salary and you’re good- you’re not going to starve to death.
But when you’re a musician or an artist – what if you suck, what if people don’t like you and how do you actually make money from this.

 

I had no idea, and my mind was too childish to go and do some real research. I just abandoned those ideas. I was thinking about studying something humanitarian, cause I didn’t really enjoy math.
Two of my classmates wanted to become architects and both of their fathers were artists. So I was like “ok my mom is also into art, I can draw a little bit, let’s try that”. I didn’t even know what an architect does in his job, but I accepted this goal and pursued it as my own.
I wasn’t accepted in the architecture department of the university the first year, so I studied engineering one semester, then I quit and tried again. I invested a lot of time and money to even get accepted so I actually continued studying architecture, even though I didn’t truly enjoy it.   
So I kept going, I graduated and I started working as an architect. Throughout all of this time I kept making music and at some point, I started uploading it on Youtube. I got many positive comments which made me think I could actually do something more with that.

FITNESS

In high school, I was in a perfect skinny fat shape which evolved into a regular overweight shape when I went to university. I tried going to the gym several times for a few months, without actually knowing what I’m doing and, of course, I didn’t see any results.
Then in 2016 when I was working as an architect in Sweden and I turned 27 I decided that I don’t want to spend all my life being fat. That was actually half of my success – making a determined decision. So this time I had to do it the right way. Several years prior to that Stanislav Chakarov had approached me for my music – he wanted to use my music in his videos about fitness. So I contacted him to ask if he provides online coaching which he did. I’ve learned so much from him and we worked together for about 5 months. However, I still didn’t see the desired results – I was not strict enough with my calories intake. I was eating too much on my rest days. Eventually, I told him that apparently, it’s my fault so we stopped working together. However, I had already decided – I’m not going to spend all my life being overweight. So I started digging deeper into the topic. I started reading a lot of research on the topic and I realised it’s not my fault I was overeating – it was natural. That’s how the human body works. I also experimented a lot to find what kind of a workout routine works best for me. That lead eventually to my success – I finally got leaner and fit. I achieved the best shape of my life so far and it’s still getting better.

ART

Throughout the years  I also stayed interested in art, even though I was not drawing and painting a lot. We had a lot of drawing classes in university and I really enjoyed them but I rarely did anything outside of that. But I also didn’t give up completely. I still like drawing and painting occasionally playing with ideas that come to my mind or just doing a simple but powerful exercise – I go to a coffee shop with my sketchbook and I start scribbling. Once I see something in those random scribbles I make it into a sketch. I’m doing it as a form of meditation – for those 20 minutes of half an hour I don’t think about anything else – I’m just moving the pen over the paper until something interesting comes out.

TRAVELLING

I also wanted to travel a lot my whole life. But I was poor most of it so until I was 24 I didn’t really go anywhere outside of Bulgaria.
Now I’m meeting people who, by the age of  20, have been all around the globe, also without having huge amounts of money so I realised I probably didn’t want it so badly. I had the limiting belief that in order to travel you have to be in possession of large amounts of money. Never did the research though. My mind now is not the mind I had when I was 20. I think my mind when I was twenty took the best decision it was able to take.
Anyway, during the past 2 years, I’ve travelled more than ever before. I travelled alone all the time and I have so many stories to tell, so I suppose a big part of the blog on this page is going to be from things that happened to me while I was travelling.

 

So this is who I am now – I’m just trying to keep on doing things that excite me.
Today I saw a quotation:
“You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
I completely agree with that.
Another favourite line of my is the following:
“The only success in life is to be able to live it your way.”
I don’t think I lived my life my way so far. But this is what I’m planning to do from now on.
Stay tuned and see what happens.
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