Back in the saddle

It seems the kidneystone is passed and life is returning to normal. My weeks consist of applications, visiting friends, chores and Bimfoodle, who likes having me around to open the door to the yard for him. I’m generally happy. Thanks for caring.

I went on an adventure

I flew all the way to Edinburgh. Those of you who have known me for a while, also know that I am not the adventurous type. Fazed by loud noise, scared of crowds, not good at thinking on my feet, easily overwhelmed, I hide in the safety of my house and the things I know. Or that’s how I have lived my life in the past years. And I think that’s over now.

I did my research, planned my tickets online, and then on Tuesday I just went to the airport and flew to Edinburgh by myself. The flight was over before I had made any progress in my book. A friend was waiting for me at the airport. We walked around Edinburgh and had fish and chips for dinner. He was gracious enough to let me sleep over. We went out for a big Scottish breakfast in the morning, for a walk in the green and hot chocolate at Balbirnie House in the afternoon, and dinner with friends in the evening. We leisurely made our way to the airport on Thursday and I made it safely back home, despite a coughing fit on the airplane. Everything entirely according my loosely pieced-together plan.

Making new frieds is still easy. I love people and they love me right back. There are so many beautiful things in the world, I could never see them all. But I can enjoy every day I can catch a glimpse of life’s miracles. Thank you for enjoying life with me. Let’s go on an adventure. In your head or your heart.

in the light

I remember how we stood naked in the light
Huddled together and vulnerable
As if we had just been reborn
As if we were angels
Chosen to bring the light to others
It was so beautiful it burned
I stood there weeping
Taking it all in with my newfound senses
You looked around for ways to protect us
To shield yourself and become stronger
Perhaps you perceived me as weak

You walked down the warrior’s path
It strengthened you and steeled you
But when you beckoned me to follow you
I turned back towards the light
Perhaps you perceived it as rejection
When I didn’t want to wear your helmet
But I felt I couldn’t see with that thing on my head
We never spoke again since

Sometimes I look at you
Across a chasm of misunderstanding and silence
You still walk the path of the warrior
With your strong and confident friends
You laugh at weaklings
Your armour glints in the light
I hardly recognise you
I still remember what you looked like
naked in the light

support

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.

making plans

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.

Hobbies and other things to do

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.

I’ll just be my own personal assistent for a while

Why is it that I really don’t mind doing all the stuff that needs to be done and all the stuff no one wants to do at work, but I really don’t feel like doing anything like that at home? Maybe I should treat myself the way I’d like my boss to treat me. Maybe I should just be my own personal assistent for a while…

It’s not like I’m bored. We have the house in Eindhoven to worry about. And Badger’s Business. And the Maerquin ALV. And my book. And job applications. And the daily chores around the house.

To celebrate our 12th year together, Hubbie and I went to a hotel near Heerlen this weekend. It’s so strange to celebrate happy things when there is still grief and loss looming over us. I don’t care if my tears mean I’m sad or I’m happy. Love is sharing tears with your spouse.

Tomorrow is Monday again, and I’ll get back to business then, as my own personal assistent.

self-publishing

A friend of mine has pointed me towards a self-publishing service that she’s very happy about. So I’m looking into finally, really publishing my book. So you can all read it. If you want.

So keep in touch. My book is coming out.

holidays

Almost christmas, what a perfect time to do a badgers business plotmeet. While the weather outside was frightful, we spent an entire day digging through player backgrounds and how to tie them into the plot. Very soon, the plotteam is going to send some emails with questions to the people who still have holes in their backgrounds, and role suggestions to our NPCs. In the first week of January, we aim to send updated backgrounds to all players, and the invitation to the NPC-day in Nieuwegein.

Christmas is a time for family dinners, and even though the funeral is still fresh in our memories, we will spend time with family. This is the first year that I cook a three course meal, with the wonderful ingredients and instructions of HelloFresh. I’m not promising pictures, because I’m not particularly fond of food pictures on facebook.

After christmas, the rest of the holidays are for the family we choose for ourselves, the people who support us time and time again through these difficult months, and who always manage to bring a smile to my face. I am thankful for the joy and love in my life, especially in these dark winter days.

Life is not a meritocracy

Sometimes you work very hard, you do everything right, and you get nothing in return. You’re tired, you gave everything and to top it off you organised your own victory party. And you have to clean up the mess by yourself afterwards.

2014 was an unbelievable journey. And now I’m back home, I have jetlag and I have to do the laundry. Metaphorically speaking.