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:
I can add two more labels to my health file: An under-active thyroid and depression. I don't think I've ever seen a doctors office from the inside as much as last year. Also, I've not been on waiting-lists as much before as this year (the psychologist won with 3,5 months). By now a whole army of doctors have seen me. Part of it just came from moving into a new country and needing to establish new medication prescriptions and stuff. Part has been because I'm really not feeling well these past few months. I've been tired, so tired. Both new labels can explain all that (hopefully), so I'm working on it and new meds will make it better. I already feel better knowing it comes from something that can go quiet again, so even though the year has been a hard road, there is sunshine on the horizon.
This spring I've had some amazing, and tough adventures in the Swedish wilds and I hope I get to do it again next year. It was physically challenging and at times also very lonely, but it brought me places. The last six months have been what I imagine ecologist hell looks like. Being stuck indoors doing repetitive, boring chores (sorting roots, grinding sand) that lead to no immediate result. I'm definitely not going back there unless money becomes a really big problem. I sort of got offered my old spring job back and an outdoor job at the current department, so that's great to know. I've applied for a marketeer position at the university too, even though I'm not so sure that's exactly what I want, it most definitely is better than what I have now.
I think the most ambivalent topic of this past year. I still love dancing a lot, especially balfolk, but I can feel my level dropping, so it's hard to get the same gratification out of it as I used to. But I am teaching my second balfolk thingy here this weekend, so who knows where this might lead. Also, Swedish dancing is fucking HARD! I can do the steps, but I still don't see the feeling or the fun in it. Main part of this (I've realized today) is that whenever people tell me I'm doing great, while I feel like I'm failing, I'm trying to meet my expectations of doing great harder (so what they say matches with how I feel), instead of just accepting that I should adjust my standard of what great is. It makes more sense in my brain than when I write it down... I realize now this is also why I struggle with making music so much.
Also, we applied for a part-time dance course in Malung, but got rejected, so a big part of my plans for next year fell through because of that. I don't know what the future will bring. I'm at least going to drop Swedish weekly classes for a while because it just eats too much energy.
YES! Even though dancing has been a low, larping is at an all-time high! I've only played two events, but also crew-ed and NPC-ed a lot both locally and 'internationally' and my first ever Knutpunkt was this year (feels like ages ago!). I feel like I'm suddenly leveling up or something. The Umeå scene is super good and I've never talked larp-design so much as this last year. Also because of Lotka-Volterra, where I was crewing and of course made friends with the organizers and not the players. Next year is my 15 year larp anniversary and I'll leave a big review of my larps to that overview-post (a good tradition).
I have no player roles planned for next year, I hope they will pop up somewhere. But with two conferences, a lot of NPC-ing and who knows the first tentative steps into organizing, I'll have enough to do and I'm really looking forward to it.
Looking back at 2018 also means looking ahead. A lot of the past year has been filled with looking for purpose, looking for a future and looking for a place for myself in my life (it sounds a bit weird maybe, but that's how it feels). And the future looks ridiculously good. I have a lot of travels, new best friends, old best friends and some major study-plans lying ahead. Also another move, little money and much troubles probably, so I'm nowhere near a stable life yet. But for now, that's maybe also not what I want or need. I want to make the most of this chance life offered and to me that means living hard.