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
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.
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.
I’m happy every time Hubbie hugs me and shows me he’s doing fine.
I’m sad every time we receive another condolences card in the mail.
I’m happy my parents’ health is good.
I’m sad when I try to remember what my in-laws used to look like when they were healthy.
I’m happy my brother has a new awesome job.
I’m sad that my last workday at Cito is approaching.
I’m happy I can get unemployment benefits.
I’m sad that some of my friends are broke.
I’m happy I have good friends.
I’m sad that someone really hurt my feelings.
I’m happy because I still have a lot of fun things to do with people I love.
I’m sad because some things just end and will never happen again.
I’m not unstable, my life is just complicated right now, ok?
You’ll excuse me. Today is not a monday. But today is the day of the funeral. No doctor could make him better anymore and he didn’t want to make us unhappy by going in and out of the hospital for weeks. So he died last tuesday, at home, with his brother and his children beside him.
Hubbie and his sister are such champs, spending days on end at Dad’s house to get the funeral in order. Hubbie even wrote a speech. Meanwhile, I just have to keep going. My last workday is 18 december, and I can’t be sick or take another day off. I just won’t. I care about that place and about my manager and I want to see that I’m replaced and that she doesn’t miss me.
Anyway. Today I donned my black suit. Hubbie is nervous and we’ll probably leave the house way too early. He’s in charge now… And I just have to keep going.
Today, I’m just puttering around the house, putting clothes in the laundry, putting things back in the wardrobe, cleaning the floor. It’s the monday after a larp-weekend.
Friday, I helped get the groceries for 70 people: food, drinks, toiletpaper. We drove to Oosterhout near Breda and installed ourselves in Kamphuis Ahoy. We donned our costumes and spent two days in the fictional Barony of Marsilac, where I am Viscountess Ellenora. There was intrigue, magic, combat, mystery and drama. We went to sleep late at night, and had breakfast with pancakes and eggs at nine in the morning again. It was Rene and Anita’s last weekend as plotteam, and for the last time they gave us everything we asked for, careful what you wish for.
When it was all over yesterday, Remco and I left early to check on his father in the hospital. He’s fragile and not all there, but we might be able to move him to a nursing home later this week. Looking at him, holding his hands in mine, I can hardly contain my tears…
It’s a very normal november day today. It’s chilly out, but it didn’t rain today. Trees are losing their leaves. Bimfoodle watches birds in the yard. I have a cold and I wish I could sleep and breathe at the same time.
I really don’t see why this day is special to anyone. Sure, I see the significance of this day 33 years ago to my parents. Sure, I understand that people care about me and want to let me know that they do. They can do that any day. I don’t feel like I deserve any gifts or cards or hugs because today is today. It’s just another day in november.
My uncle funeral was last thursday. It gave me a lot of thoughts and ponderings about beliefs and values. Ask me about it sometimes, if you want to have an interesting allbeit serious conversation.
Today, I’m going to the wedding of a friend. I haven’t known her very long, she’s one of the new friends I’ve been making. My attention is shifting, away from my old boardgame friends who complain a lot about politics and work, away from the larpers who just want me to listen to their problems and agree with them, to people who really care about what I like and what goes on in my life. I’m glad and I feel fortunate to be able to distinguish between friend and acquaintance.
This will be the fifth wedding I go to this year. Only few people I know are still young and unmarried. It says something about my age, and what I’m supposed to be doing in life. I can’t count the amount of babies in my circle of acquaintances. And I don’t want to. Realising that I would have wanted a little blond flappy-eared Hubbie-clone still makes me cry. They are all moving on in life, with children and grandchildren, the way it’s meant to be. And I’m just stuck here, selfishly living for myself.
I’m going to wear my grey suit and a cloche hat. Because the bride loves hats and suits. I hope the weather will be nice to them. I hope to see a number of people I love today and give them hugs. I hope for many happy days to come.