Life

Since my creative energy started flowing again over the last several months, I've been frittering a lot of time away on various projects. Writing Chronically Yours, sewing, drawing, painting, working on my 365 project. That on top of the usual things I do these days: self care (sleep/eat/exercise as able; go to appointments/get tests/take supplements and medications), house stuff, garden maintenance; rest, rest, rest... I've been feeling a little all over the place. Not exactly what I was going for.

You got to push, got to shove
I've got to eat before they eat me
Got the crown and the cup
I've got to write to my family
And say, "I'm calm and feeling warm."
I'm not quite there, but I'm close
And it's a world of difference​

(Life on the Nickel, Foster the People)

Sometimes life is fine and dandy, and you can just let it flow. Just live. Just be. Other times, life smacks you upside the head and says WAKE THE FUCK UP. You realize that a lot of things are really wrong, and they have been for a looooong time. At this point you can either stick your head in the sand and maintain the status quo, or answer the wake up call. If you answer, you're signing up for hard work. If you don't answer, you're signing up for more of the same. Neither one is pleasant, but one at least holds the potential for things to get better.

I was surprised how much (mostly private) feedback I got about a couple of my recent writings on friends and on health.

Almost every email, comment, private message, etc. I got about these posts was some form of this (paraphrased): "Wow, thank you for writing about this, I have totally been struggling with this so much and it's a relief to know I am not alone and/or get some info or insight about it."

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The reason this surprised me is that even now, after having this sort of experience with previous posts, I still often feel like I really am pretty alone in dealing with these things. I feel like I'm really going out on a limb by writing about them publicly. But again and again, I get these responses from people... which begs the question: Why aren't we talking about this stuff? No, this isn't a rhetorical question, I really want to know why everyone's not talking about this, out in the open!

How to be friends. This is something that I thought I knew how to do. The last year upon the last five years has got me seriously doubting this... It turns out I most likely know nothing.

I recently got on the Lifeboat boat, they've been asking interesting questions and writing interesting stories about friendship. There's a lot packed into their Lifeboat Practices... there's some real gold in there. There are also some harsh truths they've unearthed, truths that make me realize at least I'm not alone in my struggles.

Bruno woke me out of a deep sleep last night around 1:30am saying, "Ariane... Ariane... What is that? What's that sound??" In my semi conscious state I started listening... to the sound of someone pacing back and forth upstairs! What?? What is going on?? We sat in bed frozen, listening... 

But something wasn't quite right - the pacing was really only along the very front edge of the room... and then I heard the familiar sound of nails. Like a dog skidding on linoleum. And then jumping and skidding some more. Quickly it made sense that this pacing was not happening inside the room upstairs but along the balcony that sits right along the edge of it, right above our bedroom. And that the pacer was likely not human. 

Of course, we were still pretty on edge, not being 100% sure what was going on up there... we tiptoed out of our room and up the stairs, inside it seemed safe. Outside, we couldn't see anything. But I could hear it. It sounded like a dog with long nails trying to get out. And of course, once we were able to get a good look...

Why I was awake at 2am last night

Happy spring everyone!

ps. Bruno is officially a Canadian permanent resident as of yesterday, hooray!

Back in September, I wrote about my plan for the fall. I was pretty jazzed about it. Yes, jazzed. But I never really told you about what happened, did I...

<3 Baaad Anna's

I wasn't going to write this post, but I feel like I need to. I originally didn't know how I could do it without a classic "flame out", but I think enough time has passed that at least I can write it from a fairly removed perspective. 

As friends and regular readers will know, I'm taking a break from most everything to rest and try and get my health into a better place. I stepped down as co-lead of Drupal's documentation team over a year ago, and left my previous job as a project manager at a web development company last April. Since then, I've been on what I'm calling a "health sabbatical". I haven't been attending any tech conferences, networking events, or much of anything else since then either (aside from occasionally tagging along on trips as the partner of a Drupaller, aka. a "Drupalganger", but not attending the event itself), and I don't plan to anytime soon.

Wow, I'm on some kind of blogging rampage! I can't help it, I need to get this stuff out of my brain!

I posted on Facebook earlier saying:

I'm really glad that my sensitivity meter is not on overdrive these days, and that I'm starting to just call bad behaviour what it is, instead of feeling like I brought it on somehow and that it reflects on my worth as a person.

There are a lot of rude people on their high horses these days, who especially use the internet as their platform, who've completely lost sight of KINDNESS. Who would rather be "right" and protect their "image" as popular or competent than show compassion. 

I no longer want any part of that. KINDNESS is the glue that holds us all together.

I didn't get around to writing a more detailed post about Bruno's and my road trip through Oregon and California, though I've peppered some of the photos through posts since then. Better late than never, I wanted to at least gather my favourite photos, both digital and film (now that I've got them developed). I've kept the two kinds separate, since the film ones have a bit of a different look that I find interesting. You can see the full unedited set here.

It was a wonderful two weeks, the redwoods and the coast were so much more breathtaking than I'd ever imagined. The coast was so rugged, and the trees were so enormous. I particularly enjoyed camping our way south, and spending some more time in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Portland.

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