I once watched a woman live her life in the shadow of others, and for a long time I didn’t understand why she chose to live that way, why she helped others and cleaned up after others but never stopped to ask anything for herself. Sometimes, I would share a dream with her, we would talk about going to faraway beautiful places together and get pampered. But it never happened. I get the feeling she thinks luxury and pampering are a waste of money.
She has been careful with spending for as long as I’ve known her. If only I had paid more attention to her, I might have learned something about spending my money wisely. But she lived so far in the shadows, she put the needs of so many others before her own that I had trouble seeing her, understanding why she did what she did. Only recently I’ve begun to grok her way of life. And how much I am like her.
There is no greater joy in the world than supporting others, helping others learn and grow, making them happy, making their dreams possible. They are the captains, and deciding the course is hard work, they can’t do it without support. Being that someone who makes sure that everything runs smoothly, taking the little worries out of their hands so they concern themselves with the big things, that is the best job in the world. Living in someone else’s shadow is a sheltered life. A safe nest built with coordination and love.
I am honoured and proud to be the spitting image of my mother.
I was disillusioned when I was just a teenager. I saw a man almost work himself into a second heart attack to make his dream come true, and he taught me two things. Well, to be honest it’s impossible to count how many things he has taught me over the course of my life, but two things stand out.
If you want to make your dream come true, you have to make a plan. Nothing will ever happen if you don’t have a plan. No one else will do it for you. You have to set everything in motion, and keep it running. But follow the plan through, make it detailed and adjust it after every step, and you will have your results. And over the years, I watched him make new plans, while I made my own, and I saw him crumble and retreat when the world ruined his plans.
I saw him work and work and work and make shit happen. His dream came true and he sat down and he was tired. Entirely exhausted. And unlike the marathon, there was no one at the finish line to cheer for him and give him flowers. Achieving his dream had just changed the scenery. He was tired in a different place, a different man perhaps, but there was no happy ending. The world went on, and he would have to get up and make new plans again. Because living without a new plan to work on was even more depressing than dreaming and never realising that dream.
A very different wise man I never really knew said: “Life is what happens when you’re making plans.” I have been living without a plan for a few years now. Not without a calendar, because that first man, my father, taught me how short term plans make things happen. And I’ve made quite a few beautiful things happen thanks to that lesson in the past few years. But I’ve been living without a dream ever since it popped. My dream used to be a family. And now I just don’t know. It feels like I’ve already made all my other dreams come true. More dreams than I thought I’d make real. Larp truly is the most beautiful hobby ever. And I have numerous awesome people in my life, for which I am endlessly grateful.
I look out into the world and think: “What else could I possibly want? What could I start planning for now?” And I just don’t know. Visit my loved ones. Write more stories. I can’t think of anything more. I am happy. All my dreams are true. You are here. Thank you.
While many of my larpy friends are in Denmark, I’m home alone tomorrow. I’ll use that time to think things through. I don’t larp as much as I used to, as you can see by the list of larp events on my website. There was a year that I went to 13 larp events. Now, it’s a lot less. I was never passionate about making my own costumes, it’s all about the drama and the interaction for me. Which is funny, because I also prefer fantasy larps over more contemporary settings, which means more costume stress.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about my hobbies and why I do the things I do. Right now, I’m not tremendously interested in experimental larp. Me and the other Badgers, we’ll be over here doing our thing, which is Firefly at the end of this month, and perhaps other things later, when we’ve made up our minds. Isak speelt has recruited me to help write and play in one of his larp plans, but I won’t divulge much about it. That’s not up to me. I want to focus on other things. Or rather, people.
If I don’t find a job in the coming months, I’ll use my free time to visit those people I don’t see often enough, to reforge and strengthen bonds. Some of them live across the country, some in Scotland and France. I’ll plan trips and visit and bring gifts. I’ve come to realise people are just more important than silly games to me. I’d rather listen to you than pretend we’re going on an adventure together, or challenge you to do something you’d normally never do. Life makes us run and challenges us constantly. I want to pause the world and give you a hug.
So if you wonder where I am, I’m probably off to hug a friend.