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Funny story, or: on psychologists

Some Midsummer musings about the past six months lead to a bit of a mental health realisation. Yesterday I was told it was my last visit to the psychologist here. It's been such a crazy year in terms of my mental health, I just need to share.

I started feeling pretty bad about my life and myself at about this time of year last year. I was getting more tired and mostly, I just had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and how to get there. I was lonely and lost. By the time August came around I was completely done with all the crying and tried to make an appointment with a psychologist, just to figure out what the problem was, if this was a 'real' depression and how I could get out/through it. This is where the fun really started.

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Libertines; working hard

More challenges to say yes to jumped on my path earlier this year. I said yes to being a helper at the one shot larp Libertines that would have two runs back to back. Logistics, kitchen things, a bit of casual playing and oh did I know anything about dancing in that era? The larp itself was a game with themes and a design I've never played before, I never had any real responsibilities in a game before and I was a bit of a mess the weeks running up to the larp. Why the hell did I ever say I wanted to do this? I hardly had energy to begin with and I would be gone for 1,5 weeks (in the train back now) and oh right, my summer job starts tomorrow.

But I'm so happy I did! I slept 4-7 hours each night and I'm running on caffeine and sugar at the moment, but I'm so happy and buzzing. My brain is busy pointing out all the things that I could've done better, but they're all details. We were five people (two of which I'd never met before) basically running the circus during the event and we worked so smoothly together. Especially during the second run, I really felt part of a team that had been doing this together for years, very true to the feeling we were supposed to have as the characters we played.

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Gender; or: on being me

Lately there have been a lot of people telling their gender story on my Facebook timeline and in real life, so I thought, high time I add mine.
Long story short, I don't care what my gender is, I'm me. Probably gender-fluid or a-binary would be the best label if you want one, but I don't want one. I'm fine with all pronouns.

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Prolog

I just got home from Prolog, a Swedish larp convention, and there is so much bubbling in my brain that I need to write it down before I can go to sleep... Because Prolog was such a different experience than I expected it to be!


I've been to Knudepunkt/Knutpunkt twice now, a big international 'Nordic' larp convention. There you can fill the whole day with many interesting talks about larp design and how for example to design properly for deep emotional themes. There are some short larps and some workshops/talks that are also interesting for 'just' players and interested people, but mainly it's pretty academic and a pretty high standard. You mostly meet high status organizers and with my 15 years of larp experience, I feel pretty new.
I'd expected Prolog be somewhat along the same lines but smaller and with more duct tape, but boy was I wrong. People had 'warned' me before it was something else, but I just couldn't grasp the concept. Don't get me wrong, I really like and appreciate KP, that's not what this is about. I just want to sketch my idea a bit and the only thing I can compare it to is KP.


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Door de bomen het bos weer zien.

I have a forest growing in my heart. A big forest, full of trees. And all these trees are you. One tree for every one of you, planted when we met, growing ever since. Maybe it’s still small, or maybe part has died, but the tree is still there. Probably I’m still trying to take care of it as best as I can. Some trees are big and thin, some small but their roots reach oh so deep. 

Lately, I’ve had a lot of talks about love. What love is, whom to love and how I use it. It’s been very insightful and I know that my definition of love is definitely not the Hollywood one. Living in a bubble of what I would almost call millennial hippies, I’ve found my definition often more or less shared or at least acknowledged by my friends. On the other hand, I’m pretty scared to share it because I think a lot of people won’t share it.
More and more I realize, this definition of love is one of the cores of who I am. I find it hard to put words on what basically is a mess of weird and big feelings, but there is one metaphor that I keep going back to, that I’d really love to share. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to pin it down in words, so I hope it makes sense.

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Depressed?

I always thought that having a depression essentially means that most of the time you'd feel ... well, depressed, gloomy, pessimistic. I know I have those moods too and I thought a depression would be like that but worse. But actually, the biggest thing that changed is that I'm just really, really tired. All the time. It's an intriguing and annoying state of being and one worth talking about I though. Let's see if I can put my mind into words.

The feelings inside

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Getting back together

It's snowing slow but steady outside and it feels like a perfect time to just sit and reflect a bit. Yes, again, I know ;) But so much is happening that it's hard to give it all a place when it's going on, so I really need to sit down for it. And that's something I tend to forget to write down.

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The Monsterous 2018

What a year. So much has happened, it feels like ten years. I feel like I've not lived in the Netherlands for at least seven. Time to look back and summarize, especially the last few months, so I'll never forget and you're all up to speed again. From not-fun to fun:

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Hectic happenstances

It's been a busy few weeks with larp, larp, CaDansa, larp and Göteborg to visit larp-friends. Oh and some larp. And full-time work. It's going to quiet down a little bit after this, which is much needed, but actually, these crazy few weeks were also much, much needed.

All of it made me realize that by now I have three homes: Wageningen, my backpack and more and more, also Umeå. It's mainly it's larp-crowd that I already thought was wonderful, but that I now think are amazing. The months-long horrow campaign they run here every year is proving a rollercoaster full of surprises. I love the fact that larping with people just feels like a short-cut to deep friendship. Something I've also noticed when I was in Göteborg last weekend. You can just skip all the talks about nothing and the weather and just dive down deep to the stuff that, in my eyes, actually matters: live, love and living. The downside is that it also makes me lose some patience to make friends the long way round. Luckily, quite some folk-friends are established by now, so actually I'm doing pretty good here, socially.

Work is still a complete disaster. It's boring, tedious and eats up energy. Luckily I had some very good news today, both that I can start working 80% for the rest of the year and also that I probably can get a job again at Tims department from March onward. So it's probably going to be better soon.

It was the first time that going to the Netherlands the days before felt more like a chore than like fun. In the end of course it was also a lot of fun, with Charm and CaDansa as its highlights. But seeing that many people in such a short time also sucks. Because you're telling the same story 100 times over and I really felt that I had to keep myself in check not to feel like I 'have' to talk to all those people. Because even though I love all my Dutch friends, I just don't have the time nor the energy to spends the time with them that they deserve... It's a hard balance and I can't deal with it very well, so I hope that gets better over time.

And today, I'm a bit of a mess. Last weekend in Göteborg was pretty intense, with already feeling tired to begin with and then a cancelled plane, deep conversations, lots of love, a party full of semi-unkown people (because if it's scary, you need to do it) and now an empty house with Tim in Grimsö for the week. It feels like all the things I'm used to after larps or festivals, but then a lot more real.

Oh and I've started a little NaNoWriMo but not quite writing club. https://www.facebook.com/groups/545228255903838/ If you want in, poke me. 

So now an unhealthy dinner and tea and blanket on the couch, because I really didn't feel up to going to dance class today.

"Dear Gods, whomever listens, let me help, let me be there. Please, Gods of the Night, I'll be yours as long as it's needed, as much as I was for the Day. I beg you. Help me, help them, help Auros, help yourselves. Take my eyes if that's what it takes, it's the most valuable thing I have to give. Take whatev..."

A burning pain pierces her brain. Everything goes black and quiet... Then the sounds come flooding back in, but different sounds than before. And the world stays black... She calls out, quietly for fear the priests will hear her, she doesn't want to hope she's out of the monastery. Someone tells her, she's in the Green Lands and at first she can't believe it, but then there's Avalaine and all her friends and she's made it. Valk... The realisation that she's not going to see his beautiful face even though he's there is a punch in the gut. The first of many. But there will be no regrets.


Sometimes things just click. And when they do, they click en masse. This weekend was definitely one of those. What an unexpected gift. 

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

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