Last week I started up a new little project to help me with learning Danish—a Danish podcast. The podcast is almost entirely in Danish, so if you don't speak Danish, it won't be very interesting. If you do speak Danish well, then it will probably bore you to tears, or be so slow and silly that it'll drive you mad. This podcast is aimed at people just like me, who are in the process of learning Danish.
Over the last few months, I've been working through various leadership resources in an effort to learn more about being a better manager through leading instead of managing. I've been in a couple of courses that had me dive into myself first. Knowing who you are, and what motivates you, has a huge impact on how you approach others and the problems before you. It's been an interesting journey, and in some ways raised more questions for me to tackle.
I don't feel like I do enough. Not an uncommon thing to feel in this day and age. I spent the last several years gunning hard, and I burnt out. My focus has been on work, travel, and the open source community of Drupal, but everyone has their own do, do, do demons. My main demon is the Drupal community. I feel like I should be pouring all of my spare energy into it, or if not there, then surely there are other practical things I should be doing with that time and energy, but I find that I simply do not. Perhaps that means I shouldn't....
One year ago I gave away most of my belongings, packed my bags and left home, or at least what had been home. I was running away from a life that had left me confused and feeling stranded, and running towards... something else. I knew not what. I've been living in various cities for the last year: Dublin, Copenhagen, London, Edinburgh, and Montevideo, with stops in other places for shorter periods (San Francisco, New York, Vancouver). When I was in Ireland, the first place I landed after leaving Maryland, I got myself a tattoo of the constellations of the Big and Little Bears, or the North Star and its pointer stars. I was trying to find direction again.
I am one of those people that has occasionally marked the story of my life on my body. I'm not a crazy piercing/tattoo/modification person, but I do hit places in my life where it seems fitting. It's been a while and last year was one of those times. And so now I have a new tattoo. That brings me to two piercings and two tattoos. It'll be a long while before the next, if I ever do it again that is. It takes some extreme inner turmoil to make me record it so permanently, and I hope that doesn't happen often in my future.
Last week I packed all of my belongings in a storage unit and left my house of 10 years. I've been paring down my possessions so that when I left I could comfortably fit all that remained in a 5x5 ft (1.5m) unit. I stuffed all of my clothes, a few important books, and electrical gadgets in a duffel bag and carry-on. That is what I will live out of for the foreseeable future. I've chosen to roam and I don't know when or where I'll stop. I have some preliminary plans to stay in Europe for most of the next eight months or so, but who knows where I'll be when. I'm in Dublin, Ireland right now, will be at DrupalCon San Francisco in April and intend to live in Copenhagen, Denmark this summer. That's about all I have sketched out.
In the last month or so I had a period where I felt things going into a bit of a tailspin. It is a cyclical thing where life just feels overwhelming, out of control, meaningless even. I spent almost a week feeling down in the dumps and like I was letting everyone around me down. I didn't know what to do "about it" so I just sat with it, really poking at it for a few days. By the end of the week I had come to accept some things about myself and life. I'll forget them and eventually, around some other corner, I'll meet the dip in the road again.
Just because I find this kind of thing interesting to me, I'm posting up some stats from my site. I wanted a place to just sort of capture a snapshot and putting it on the blog seems to make sense. This is not a heavy traffic site; the average total hits on the site are about 1800 a month, though this month I will go over 3000. (I've been getting more traffic recently due posts about my becoming doc lead and being a featured speaker on the Drupalcon DC site.) I am not combing server logs or using anything like Google Analytics, I use a program called Mint.
I am currently in L.A. for work. Actually the work week just ended and I am now free to roam. Luckily in this instance L.A. does not mean the crazy city that I normally associate with it, but rather we were doing workshops at a seaside hotel in Redondo Beach. During the week the ocean and seals were background noise and brief interludes. Today I am waiting for a ride from an old friend and I have no where to be. I have tons of things I could/should do but that Sword of Damocles feeling has been suspended.
So, I finally cut my long hair off. I used to have a shaved head back in the day (like 7 years ago) but have grown it out for quite a few years now. Back in the spring my friend Barb donated her hair to Locks of Love and I was inspired to do the same. It gave me a reason to persist with the annoying long hair AND an excuse to eventually cut it nice a short again. Colleen has always loved my long hair so having a sense of purpose was enough to get her on board with the immanent chopping. So, it isn't back to shaved but it is pretty darned short and I am loving the feeling. I donated a good 10" of hair to folks who will appreciate it and that feels even better.