I’ve got Texas playing loudly on the speakers. The speedometer says 120 km/h and the stars are lighting my way. The radio says the time is 3:30, but I know that’s bullshit because we’ve switched to wintertime and I’ve yet to set the clock on my car stereo. In the back seat are two people very dear to me. They’re sleeping soundly as we hurdle across the country. We’re heading home to Aarhus.
Last night we were werewolves. We’d been over to Copenhagen to visit the cairn there. We had unfinished business to attend to.
It was the night where a young galliard restored a small portion of honor to his cairn, and challenged his elder. A jarl was bound with a mockingstone. A cliath rose to fostern.
Enemies were identified and vows made to bring them down.
We howled at the sky, so that it might show us Mani. But it did not listen. We cried for lost friends and abandoned souls, but we did not feel better. We raged at those who would take our blood, but their fear did not grow. Two pups were introduced to their new reality.
I find it increasingly difficult to focus these days. I’m stretched too thin. Like butter scraped over too much bread (thanks, Bilbo).
The problem is that all the things that are drawing on me are all unequivocally good things. But it’s draining, and I find my usual barriers and defences aren’t working anymore. I shut down at times, and just sit there, staring into space. I react, rather than act. And things are breaking inside me because of that.
Emotionally I’m drained, which isn’t that unreasonable given that I sleep like shit and eat even worse. It’s not entirely wrong to say that I am neglecting myself. Put myself on hold, to try and do everything else all at once. And that means nothing gets done. Which means I get exhausted, depressed and confused. I feel anxiety attacks pressing at the back of my eyes, but I don’t really have anything to worry about.
Oddly enough it has nothing to do with my work. Everything is awesome at work. Great colleagues, exciting tasks and all that. It’s everything else. I’m trying to run an association, while organising a convention, while preparing for an extended roleplaying trip, while releasing a couple of open-source projects, while … while … while …
Is it any wonder that I feel fucked up? I hope not.
In fact I often find myself fluctuating between states of extreme energy and joy that, in the span of less than half an hour, can flip to feelings of depression and despondency.
Maybe it’s just because so many things are new. I’ve been at the new job less than two months, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t taxing to travel back and forth between Aarhus and Copenhagen. Then there’s this girl that’s been on my mind a lot, and the aforementioned convention that we’re still unsure about whether it’ll be a success. So much going on, it’s just … a bit too much I think.
Maybe I just need to centre myself again. Previously I’ve been fairly good at realising when my mental balance was beginning to go of kilter. And I’d been able to react accordingly. Not so much these days, I must admit. I guess it’s just about me learning to relax again, and take things as they come.
The acceleration pushes me down into the seat and the pressure makes me ear goes pop. The Offspring’s “You’re Gonna Go Along Way, Kid” lead-in reaches it’s crescendo just as the wheels lift off from the ground. My stomach churns a little. This is my fourth flight in 48 hours.
I’m heading home from Sofia as I compose this post. I’ve been to WordCamp Europe, and it’s been a ridiculously awesome experience. The last 36 hours in Sofia have been chock-a-box full of inspiration, learning, laughter and talks from people whose brains are so much larger than mine, it’s almost embarrassing.
I particularly enjoyed both Andrew Nacins talk on “Post-Modern WordPress”, as well as Mark Jaquiths rundown of the next generation hosting stack for WordPress. But talks were as much about inspiration and ideas as they were about technical details, server daemons and code.
Siobhan McKeown probably gave the talk that moved me the most. She dove into philosophies behind the WordPress project, and talked about the thinkers that inspired those ideas. She touched on the pillars of freedom, simplicity and democracy that are the foundation that has made such a difference.
Coming home from spending so much time among ones “own people” and, have no doubt, these were my people. It can be difficult to take it all in. I’m still overwhelmed with the warmth, the openness and the sharing that occurred.
I want more. Now, please.
Come friday, I’ll be flying to Sofia to attend WordCamp Europe. It’s a team trip, so we’re more than a half of Peytz’ WordPress team that’s gonna head out.
It’s gonna be my first WordCamp, and I’ve been checking out the programme. It’s chock-a-box full of good stuff, and it’s gonna be a real challenge deciding what I want to focus on.
For the past couple of months I’ve been living a life not unlike that of a nomad.
See, the job I had at a small advertising agency disappeared. The company went bust. I was out of a job. After the initial panic had settled it was time to look for something new.
In this regard I am extremely fortunate. I work in an industry where there’s almost always some sort of work to find. As such it took me a mere twelve days from the time I was laid off, to when I had a new signed contract in my hands.
The only issue was the new job was more than 300 kilometres away. Quite a bit more than what a daily commute would make room for. So here I am … crashing on friends sofas, wedging myself in with family I haven’t seen regularly for years.
I still have my flat in Aarhus. But it’s not really home anymore. Nowhere really is. I’m never in one place long enough for me to settle into a rhythm. Half the time I’m living out of a weekend bag, and the other half I’m preparing to live out of a weekend bag.
It’s been awesome and amazing. It’s also incredibly hard. The drain that comes with not having the option of shutting the door and being alone with your own thoughts for days on end really takes a toll. Add to that, that most people would probably prefer not to have vagrant living on their sofa … well, it’s a challenge.
But I like challenges, and with this one it seems that I might return home to the city where I was born. A place I haven’t lived in for over ten years. It’s a weird feeling, that scares me to some degree. I wasn’t, and am not, terribly proud of the person I was back then, and I’ve tried my hardest to change that. I think I’ve had some decent success with that, but it doesn’t change the fact that there’s a small niggling voice in the back of my head saying “what if …”.
On the other hand, I do feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut for these last few years. And I spent a lot of that time internalising what might just as well be external issues. I’ve grown more fearful of change, it’s become harder for me to make big decisions and I constantly worry about failing. Now, all of this probably just means that I am a normal human being, just like you. But I feel it’s holding me back. It didn’t use to be like this.
What I think I’m saying is that, this new experience of not really having a home anywhere has triggered something. I’m not sure what that something is yet. But it feels big. Like a new adventure. And I think it’s about time.
Inspired by my friend David, this is a small post about the stuff I’ve got in my pockets on a daily basis.
- Car key to my super reliable Toyota Aygo. It is aptly named Zuul: The Destroyer of Worlds. (Yes, that’s Admiral Ackbar on the keychain).
- Every other key I need; apartment, letterbox, work keys, key fobs and what have you.
- Apple iPhone 5. I have no need to be on the bleeding edge, and this guy has withstood ridiculous amounts of punishment. It doubles as my portable entertainment center, and is hooked up with Plex, Spotify and more.
- Lansky World Urban Tactical Knife. I was given this as a gift from Jakob, and it is just amazing.
- Apple EarPods. Super great earphones are wasted on me, as five years as a phonebased supporter has given me the gift of tinnitus.
- Slim wallet. I hate having bulky wallets in my pockets. This awesome one has four card slots and space for a few bills. No more, no less.
We were not many. In previous years we’ve been many more. But we were there.
We heard stories. Some told of our brothers and sisters of the north, silent for so long. Others spoke of enemies known and unknown. Rage and boiling blood. Challenges and answers.
We laughed at the pups questions, but guided him in the shadows. We questioned authorities and forged new bonds.
We slaughtered the stag and bid the fox welcome. We shut the doors on one year and opened the doors for another.
We were werewolves.