It seems a number of us have all independently decided that This Is The Year We Bring Blogging Back, (More Specifically Livejournal). And I could not approve more.
I’m not sure why other people are trickling back into the fold, but for me my recent trip was a stunning reminder of what we had all built here. Just about everything positive in my life is somehow built on the foundation we created. My happiness is due to you and this place and what we made. It goes way back; I wouldn’t have found this apartment, wouldn’t have known about the concert I went to when I met my flatmate David, wouldn’t have connected so deeply with so many people. I wouldn’t have been able to make it to California if it weren’t for Jedidiah, who I met through Karen, who I met here nearly a decade ago, but only met face to face last year. I wouldn’t have had the chops to write about my godmother‘s house in Santa Fe, I wouldn’t have had such fantastic company in San Francisco, trying new things and feeling loved and inspired, I wouldn’t have felt so at welcome in Seattle or know how to deal with my people there, I wouldn’t have felt so safe running away with a complete stranger to Napa Valley. This was my very first community, the place where I started to begin.
Our network spread across the entire world, an empire upon which the sun could not set. Tel Aviv, Madison, New York, London, Santiago, these are all homes to people that have shaped me, many of whom I have never met, but carry always in my thoughts. (There’s a woman I know through Livejournal that I haven’t heard from in five years, but every year on her birthday I post to her last entry, letting her know that I still love her and probably always will.) And I want that back. I want all of you back.
I want myself back.
Somewhere in the mire of crappy relationships and scraping to get by in one of the most expensive cities in the world, I lost myself. I withered and I burned out. I was isolated and torn down and I let the bastards win. Radio silence took over. So this year is the year I push back, the year I clamber out of the rubble and get back into business. I’m going to write, I’m going to take pictures, and I’m going to badger you to do the same. Be my pen-pal, be my friend. I’m going to demand that you share and want you to demand it from me in return. I want a life worth fighting for again.
So who am I, anyways? Given that my audience has grown considerably smaller than the thousand-plus regulars who used to read my journal, but spread to more people that I’ve actually met, it’s probably time for an update. Another member of the Great Coincidental LJ Revival posted a massive introduction and I’m going to shamelessly swipe it because she used to write speeches for Jack Layton and who am I to paraphrase greatness? So here you are, a paragraph by Audra, “I was thinking that I should do a little intro, for all of the new folks. And then I realized that probably a lot of the LJ friends I’ve had for a decade could also benefit from an update about my life now. It’s easy, especially if you are connected by Facebook, to feel like everyone knows what is up with you always. I know that’s not actually how it works, though. More than once I’ll see someone post about a new baby or something, and not have even known they are pregnant. Facebook does a lousy job of helping us keep up with each other, really, since it only ever shows us content from people we have recently interacted with. Kind of defeating the whole keep-in-touch purpose of Facebook?”
So here I am: I’m a creative 31 year old Cascadian woman who writes, takes pictures, and is commonly understood as being “from the internet”, where my name is either Foxtongue or rarely, Dreampepper. I don’t know everybody, but I seem to live two degrees away from everybody, so if I don’t know you, it’s highly likely I already know your friends. (No, it’s not creepy, it’s hilarious. Just accept it, it hurts less when you don’t struggle.) I cohabitate with a vegetarian, contrarian flatmate, David, who is studying to be a primatologist; two black cats, Tanith and Tanaquil; and two ferrets, Selenium and Pepper. (Selenium is cuter, but Pepper makes up for it by being the biggest ferret I have ever seen). We share a two bedroom apartment in the Commercial Drive neighborhood of Vancouver, BC, that I have painted fuchsia, scarlet, orange, white, and gold, and we have filled with books, art, and houseplants. David likes clutter, I do not, but somehow it still works.
I used to have cool jobs, like “special effects pyrotechnician” and “co-founder of an after-hours nightclub”, but right now I’m on a more pedestrian path as the HR and Culture & Process person for a small IT support company based out of White Rock by the US/Canada border, so I spend my a lot of work-related time commuting as well as being paid to sift through applicants and write corporate documents like Standard Operating Procedures or Job Description Templates. Even so, I am lucky that my employers understand that culture creation is needful and doubly-so that I have nearly free rein to write whatever I believe will get the job done. This means I regularly put sentences like “Don’t take it personally, someone will probably have candy for you” in procedure manuals. (Given half an opening, I will also put goofy lines from the original Maxis SIM:Earth manual in, too, but I haven’t had the chance yet. SOON.1)
I also volunteer as a facilitator at CanSecWest, a security conference here in Vancouver that’s held annually every March. I love it there, I basically move into a hotel with a bunch of my favourite people and help make piles of awesome. There’s very little sleep, too many black t-shirts, but there’s also catering, a lot of love, and I’m always super happy to be part of it. (Even as it sometimes makes me seem paranoid to those outside of the security sector).
Aside from work, I have a couple of small projects, but nothing like I used to. It used to be that I was elbow deep in massive works all the time, but that went away when my interiority died, so now I only have a couple of small things: gamelan practice, a coding class, a language class, and my FB Portrait series, an endeavor to take a proper portrait of every single one of the 1000+ Facebook friends I’ve been lucky enough to collect. I would like to take more on, but there’s only so much creativity on tap right now and I have to be careful not to overwhelm what fuel I’ve managed to rekindle. I’m already three years behind on my photo processing! I’ve never even SEEN any of the pictures I’ve taken at Burning Man. Ever. Right this minute, I still have to deliver three weddings, two birthdays, a maternity shoot, about 30 Facebook portraits, and my Daily Photos from two years ago. (Which is why, if you say, “I want you to come up with my portrait!”, you’re going to get something boring, just like the last ten people who told me the exact same thing. Suck it up.)
Recently I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot more than I have before: Albuquerque, Los Angeles, Madison, Montreal, Minneapolis, Mountain View, Napa, NYC, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Seattle, and Vegas. Beautiful things and moments and people and discoveries at each, but it still doesn’t feel like enough. There’s so much of the world to explore, so many people to meet, so many things to do! In that, at least, I will always be greedy. I only get one chance at this and enough of it has been wasted. My goal is still to leave Vancouver for somewhere bigger, but in the meantime I plan to collect more lunatic adventures like, “that time I had that fling with the astronaut” or “that time I played pink slips for panties in a midnight drag race on the I5 and won” and use those to keep myself alive.
Anyhow, I want you to talk to me. Introduce yourselves, inform me or remind me who’s out there listening. I want this to be a safe place. This used to be our playground and I believe that together we can bring it back to life.
1. It’s been over 20 years, but I still use this joke. One day my network will bring me in contact with the person who wrote it and I will give them the biggest, best of hugs:
In general, SimEarthlings are as lazy as Earthlings. They never want
to work, and especially hate physical labour. Whenever there are heavy
objects to move, they argue over who has to do it.
“I don’t want to carry it–you carry it!”
“Not me–you carry it.”
And that’s how Eukaryotes evolved.
Of course, the usual solution is to hire a professional to do the work.
That’s what Prokaryotes do for a living.