Saturday, 26 December 2015

Favourite readings of this year

Ireland is lovely. There's sun and rain and green hills and steep cliffsites. Bars on every street and Catholic masses. We're doing our best dodging the holiday spirit and chilling out as hard as possible. Amid sleep-ins, long walks, reading books and watching Full Metal Alchemist my body is starting to come to its senses again. I seldom notice just how stressed out I am until I take a break from it all. It is a luxury to have the opportunity to breathe without obligations coming in the way.

Speaking of books, I thought I'd make a recap of my favourite readings of the year.

  • Anathem by Neal Stephenson.

    My favourite science fiction novel to date. Intriguing ideas discussed in a compelling setting.
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien

    A long-awaited re-read, half a lifetime later and this time in its original language. A poetically told story in an epic world well worth re-visiting.
  • The Red Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson

    I'll make a slight reservation since I haven't finished the last book yet, but so far these books are very interesting. It tells the story of humans colonising Mars in the near future, from the perspective of a variety of standpoints.

What were your favourite readings of 2015?

Love and books,

Monday, 21 December 2015

Holidays incoming

And the carcass of the beast
Left over from the feast
May still be found haunting the kitchen
And there's life in it yet
We may live to regret
When the ones that we poisoned stop twitching

Merry Christmas and happy new year to those who are so inclined. Myself I'm off towards Ireland now. Later, dears!

Love and holidays,

Monday, 30 November 2015

NaNoWriMo success!

Hell yes! NaNoWriMo done, and with four whole hours to go. That's more than I usually manage, in the way of deadlines. The third novel in my trilogy (known by the name of Wings on my Back), is thus complete. The first draft of it, that is. Craptastic as it is, it's going to need a lot of very thorough revision. But I did get some brilliant ideas in the writing process, which is pretty much what I hoped to accomplish. That, and to push myself into getting into the habit of writing. Never mind the fact that I should have spent all that time writing up my master's thesis instead. The prospect of said thesis being on an anxiety level a couple magnitudes above that of my novel it isn't so strange that it has had to wait, though. This could even have been a good getting-into-shape exercise for finishing at last that final part of my astronomy education. (Final for now, at least, who knows what mad things I will endeavour in the future?)

But regardless of my mental issues, I wrote a novel! Another fucking novel, in fact, in a series I've been working on for over three years. If I manage to keep up this momentum the whole thing might be ready for publication before next year is at an end. We shall see. It feels great, in any case, to finally have seen this story to an end. It has been hiding within me for so long, so afraid of being laughed at. But at last the pain of ignoring it got stronger than the fear, and out it tumbled, in a glory of crappy language and plotholes, but with an idea strong and interesting enough to build an actual book out of through large amounts of hard work. I love and hate the process and learn a hell of a lot from it, just like so much else in life.

Oh well. Tomorrow begins the return to so-called normal life, where it is said that other things than the writing of words each and every day should be of highest priority. Maybe I'll finally get the rest of my life under control and manage to give loved ones the attention they deserve. That's the ambition at least, but right now I'll settle for nursing my fever-stricken body with ice cream and revel in the pride of having taken on this challenge and fucking owned it.

Love and success,


Exhausted, dazed with a fever and a cold, the apartment in dire need of cleaning and a mountain of dishes to do. The weather is lovely and I should probably take a shower, too. Or make some food. But all those trivialities can wait. I've got a novel to finish writing, and I'll be damned if I'll let such excuses come between me and the 6850 words I've got left to write before midnight.

Oh well, enough with the procrastinating. I'd better get to it. To paraphrase Robert Frost:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And words to write before I sleep,   
And words to write before I sleep.

Love and writing,

Saturday, 14 November 2015

This day a life

There is neither happiness nor misery in the world. There is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die […] that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.
— Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)

Today has been a pretty great day, in all its ordinarity. It just keeps hitting me that I have so much to be thankful for. I am alive, for starters, in no way to be taken for granted. I have a wonderful place to live in a town that I love where I have a lot of friends who I am lucky enough to get to spend much time with. I am in good health, and might well be in better physical shape than ever before. I ran 19 kilometres today (that's further than ever before), in brisk sunny windy weather, with an uncomplaining body that finally seems to be adapting somewhat to long-distance running. I have spent half the day working at a job that I enjoy, in daytime hours and for reasonable salary. I have written a lot of words today, on a book that I think I might actually manage to tie together in the end. NaNoWriMo is going according to plan, and I am enjoying the unexpected turns the story is taking. I made food and baked a cake and cuddled with two cats. I've got some time left before sleep, and I am damned well going to spend it doing things I want to do instead of things I should do. I hardly ever have to be lonely.

So yeah. Even though this year has been extremely rough, I'm getting by. More than that: I fundamentally love my life, which is a very effective way to keep going even when times are hard. I think this really is how I want to live my life, and I am privileged as fuck for getting to have my high ambitions and work towards them. Mostly through luck, probably, but some aspects of my life are actually awesome because I worked hard for them to become that way. So amidst all the angst I tend to exude through this blog, I thought it would be appropriate to just bask in my joy of being alive for a moment.

Egocentric, me? Well, I do engage with the outside world sometimes. But not today. Today belongs to me.

“What was personal gain, but the freedom to do what you wanted to do?”
— Kim Stanley Robinson (Green Mars)

Love and joy,

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Only passing through?

Perhaps I am going somewhere. Perhaps my journey really does have a destination, but if that's the case I'm not aware of it yet. And I wouldn't like you to make that assumption for me. Travelling is a state of being in itself, not only something to be passed through on the way from one point to another. Why is where I'm going or where I come from necessarily more interesting than where I am right now? Maybe life itself is just a state we pass through on the way from one place to another, but I'd rather not treat it like that. I'd rather live like the here and the now is important for its own sake. I might end up somewhere, but I also might not. And as it stands, I do prefer the going to the knowing.

Life is an adventure, and I'm fine with that.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Blood moon ramblings

There's a lunar eclipse. I'm a shitty blogger but I'm writing now anyway. Even though I've been emotionally reclusive of late I'd like to at least pretend for a moment that I exist and throw these feelings out into the proverbial aether. Maybe they'll be relevant to someone, although that someone is most likely just a later version of me.

How could I sleep on a night like this? When a monster of some enormous variety is devouring the moon and proceeds to colour it blood-red. Imagine how dramatic and terrifying this sort of event must have appeared to someone who didn't know what was going on. Someone thousands of years ago, or maybe someone very recently who doesn't have much of a grip on astronomy. Seeing the full moon turn blood-red without the assurance that it's just the moon passing through the Earth's shadow and having had all the light reaching its surface passed through the Earth's atmosphere, thus refracting only the reddest parts of the sunlight onto it.

Not that it isn't dramatic enough with this background knowledge in mind. At least to me the spectacle is every bit as spectacular and magical for knowing what's going on. Possibly even more so, since I can look at a remote cosmic event and think 'hey, I understand you', and somehow feel personally connected to it. To realise for a moment that I am a part of the Universe observing itself, and that the separation I usually feel from the surroundings of the so-called entity I imagine to be me is merely an illusion.

But maybe that's just the quasi-spiritual astronomy nerd in me talking. Maybe I'm just unreasonably over-excited. However, I withhold that our present-day knowledge about the cosmos has made celestial events, if possible, even more awe-inspiring. Now we know that we're clinging to the surface of a (cosmically speaking) insignificant speck of dust, and that our existence as self-aware clusters of particles could be ended in an instant in countless ways. Ways before which we are utterly powerless, but at best with all our magnificent science we could at least have some forewarning of our oncoming doom. Doing whatever we can to cling to a sliver of hope of survival, but deep down knowing that our ultimate fate lies in powers far beyond our control. How is that really very different from praying to or sacrificing anything which could possibly sway the will of the God(s) to save us from the inevitable cataclysm?

To me it's kind of comforting to know that some things are way beyond my control. That way I won't have to feel any more personally responsible for the death of my girlfriend or my grandmother than I do for this lunar eclipse. Instead I can laugh at life and admire its endless capacity for absurdity, and be thankful for what I've got. Instead I can look up at the sky with an unwarranted sense of hope, and continue to dream my utterly unreasonable dreams.

I feel alone at a cosmic scale
Some day I want to leave this place

Love and a blood moon,

Saturday, 8 August 2015


Små ljud som överröstar allting
Den öronbedövande tystnaden som uppstår
när du inte längre andas
Jord mot trä
Vind i trädkronor
Din röst som inte längre sjunger
Förutom i mitt minne

En klocka som tickar
Räknar sekunder 
men ingen vet hur många du har kvar
Jag har hört att världen går vidare
Som om den inte visste om
Att allt som sker utanför det här rummet
är oväsentligt

Jag är där jag måste vara
Där jag behöver och behövs
Vi vet inte när eller vart
Du till slut ger dig av
Ibland vågar vi hoppas
Det gör för ont att låta bli
Allting är tungt nu
Men du är inte ensam


Sunday, 12 July 2015

What's in a name?

I changed my name a few weeks ago. Thought I'd share a few tips on how to handle the situation if you're going to interact with me, or with someone else you know who's changed their name.

What to do?

  • Use my new name.

    Not only in my presence, but also when referring to me in my absence. This should really be a no-brainer, but apparently it needs pointing out.

    I guess to most people their name is a pretty neutral thing. This is very likely not the case for people who have had reason to change theirs. I not only have bad associations with my deadname (i.e. old name), I have positive associations with my real name (i.e. new name). Using the name I have chosen for myself is a huge validation. Every time I hear someone call me by my proper name I feel seen and legitimate. It's like people are saying that they approve of my existence, and that my own view of my identity is in accordance with theirs. If you've never experienced anything like an identity crisis I guess you'll just have to trust me when I say that I cannot emphasise enough what an enormous relief this is. How others treat you will unavoidably have an impact on your self-esteem. I've never felt so much like me than since I changed my name.

  • If someone else uses my deadname, correct them.

    Not only in my presence, but also when others refer to me in my absence. This saves me a ton of mental energy by not having to take the proverbial fight time and again. It also helps boost my self-confidence in situations where I don't have the courage to stand up for myself. By doing this you are making it clear that you are on my side.

    Note however that this might not be applicable to people who haven't made their name changes official in all circles and situations. The safest thing is to ask, in private, in what spaces they would like their name change to be known.

What not to do?

  • Don't use my deadname.

    If you do it by accident: It's okay to mess up. Everyone will, in the beginning. If you accidentally use the wrong name, just say sorry, correct yourself, and move on. Don't make a huge thing out of apologising. Really, it's no big deal. Just practice, and try to do better next time. It will come naturally with time and practice. Eventually my deadname will be the one sounding strange and wrong.

    If you do it on purpose: Seriously. Just don't. When you do, it's like you're invalidating my existence. Don't be an asshole.

  • Don't ask "But what's your real name?"

    It goes without saying that if someone asks you to use a specific name when referring to them, that name is their real name. It doesn't matter whether or not it's printed on their passport or whether their parents gave it to them at birth, that's not what makes it legit in most contexts. People using it is what makes a name real and legitimate. Questioning whether someone's name is real or not is kinda like demanding that they pull down their pants so you can investigate their genitalia; rude and irrelevant if you're not their doctor. "I'm just curious" is not a valid excuse.

  • Don't say things like "You'll always be [insert deadname here] to me."

    Oh, come on. This is essentially saying "I'm never going to accept you for who you are! Why do you have to be such a bother and try to change my comfortably delusional world-view?"

  • Don't remind me how difficult it's going to be for you to call me by my new name, and how much you're going to fuck up.

    Tell me something I didn't know! Of course it's going to be difficult, and of course you're going to fuck up. That's all right, I'm not gonna hate you for it. Just do your best, and it'll come more naturally with time. Hearing people say this merely drives the point home that my identity is a huge inconvenience to everyone around me. I struggle enough with feelings of being a burden as it is, so please keep your struggle with remembering names to yourself.

  • Don't ask "But isn't that a boy's/girl's name?"

    Did I invite you to discuss my gender identity? NO. This is a rude question. What you could do instead is ask me what pronoun I prefer (in my case it's they).

  • Don't ask "So when are you going to go all the way [with your sex change]?"

    Again, did I invite you to discuss my gender identity? No, so don't be rude. By the way, a name change doesn't necessarily imply transsexuality. Furthermore, transsexuality doesn't necessarily imply a wish to alter one's body/hormones/haircut/clothes/pronoun/hamsters. There's room for a lot of complexity, and if I don't personally bring up the subject, I probably don't want to discuss it with you at this point.

  • Don't make fun of my name.

    For someone who might have spent a lot of time being uncomfortable with their name, this could be a sensitive subject. This applies both to jokes alluding to the deadname and the real name. Furthermore, I am allowed to make jokes about my own name. You shouldn't see this as an invitation to do the same. If you know me well it might be a different matter, but be cautious. Better safe than disrespectful.

  • Don't avoid interacting with me because you're afraid of not treating me right.

    Let me be the judge of which spaces are safe for me. Having friends abandoning me will not make me feel more supported at this critical point in my life. Don't get angry or become a martyr if I correct you, just accept that this is a part of the learning process and that this new way of treating me with respect takes an active effort of mind-shifting to get used to. It will get easier for you, but if you're having trouble adapting then please don't vent it with me. I'm having a hard enough time standing up for myself without having to be reminded of how much of a nuisance I'm being to people around me.

In conlusion:

  • When someone tells you that they've changed their name, there is essentially only one appropriate response: "Okay, thanks for telling me." This lets them know that you appreciate them being honest about their identity with you and is an unspoken pledge to do your best when it comes to respecting it. Think before you question someone, and remember that actions speak louder than words when it comes to respecting someone. Saying "I accept you" means nothing if you can't be bothered to alter your behaviour so that they will feel seen. It really isn't too much to ask.

Why am I writing this? Mostly because I'm too socially awkward to tell it to people in person. I still struggle with mustering even the courage to correct someone when they use the wrong name, so I expect it will be a while before I'm confident enough to be this eloquent in casual conversation.

It deserves mentioning that since I came out with my name change (it's not a secret anywhere at this point) I was met by an abundance of validation and a lack of questioning that made me rejoice in the mostly safe space of friends I had apparently gathered around me. There were however a few instances of the 'don't's mentioned above which I in retrospect felt the need to address. I understand that in most cases there is no malicious intent behind any of those questions or behaviours, but you have to understand that nerves can and will be hit anyway. The impact of your words weighs heavier than your good intentions.

Also, this might help some fellow name-changer getting treated with a tad more respect, so why not. As usual, feel free to share this with whoever might need it, and feedback is always welcome.

Love and respect,

Tuesday, 30 June 2015


Heart pounding
Waiting for the moment
I'm not ready
Not even nearly
But I'll never be completely
So I wait
And brace myself
In fear and anticipation

It's going to happen
Sooner or later I know it has to happen
The signs are right
The time will come
A moment we have worked so long for
Any moment now
There will be

Worlds clashing, merging
So bright that we will all be seen
Breaking the illusion of separation
For a glorious instant

And we will be changed
Never the same again
Once we know what it's like
To feel real
To be touched
To finally realise
That we are parts of one another
In conjunction

Love and phenomena taken personally,

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Hang in there

Hang in there
It will only hurt for a while
Just a little bit longer
Then you'll be Legit As Fuck
You will have your way
And in the end they'll all forget
That there ever was another way
You'll feel at ease with the world
And at peace with yourself
It gets easier
And it gets better
So hang in there

Love and transcendence,

Wednesday, 10 June 2015


One of my favourite webcomics recently came to an end. Check it out. Also, why would anything be less worthwhile just because it is limited in time? Wouldn't that rather make it more beautiful? Permanence, on the other hand, now that's a scary thing.

Love and transience,

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

In memoriam

I've been wanting to write to you for ages now, but nothing comes. I've tried, I've thought about what I want to say, I've even taken the time. But ten weeks have passed, and I'm none the nearer to any declaration of anything at all, or even a poetic rant. Other people have written things, and I've wanted to say or write at least something, but pain and grief has had me quite incapacitated. But if I don't get some words down soon I might explode, so here goes. I guess I'm supposed to be respectful and things like that but it doesn't seem feasible, all things considered. I'm left here while you passed on to an unknown place, with words unsaid and a future unshared. There's nothing respectful about that, no matter whose fault it was.

I'm angry, at times. Sometimes at you. Sometimes at myself. Mostly, though, at the world in general, that treated you so cruelly. It's not fair. Neither the way in which you departed or the combination of circumstances that eventually drove you to take your leave. I think about you and choke upon the fact that you're no longer breathing. The fact that I have to go on while you opted out is so heavy to bear that I don't think I'd be able to do it without friends helping me through every single day.

I went to your funeral. It was a bright, sunny day, with a playful spring wind blowing that reminded me of you. I brought you tiny yellow flowers, one for each year you stayed in this world, and a cold lump of darkness inside me for all the uncounted years without you yet to come. A you-shaped hole in the world that is apparent in everything I see and feel. I listened to the priest as he talked about God and heaven and someone I didn't really know. I guess it was you, even though he got your name wrong. I stared at the stained-glass windows and cried and kept thinking that I'd rather have gone to your wedding than to your funeral. I'd rather have married you, if that would have kept you alive. I sang you a song. I guess it sounded okay because some people told me it was beautiful, but of course it was nothing compared to what it would have been like with your voice that always made the hairs on my skin stand up in reverent delight. Anyway, you were otherwise occupied, so I did my best. Felt like someone had to do it. You got a speech too, it was beautiful and true. I hope that if you heard us it was through the wind and the trees or something beautiful like that, because I can't stand the thought of you being trapped forever in a coffin beneath two metres of dirt.

But if you're anywhere at all I don't think that is the place. I saw your body, and it was pretty evident that you didn't have any further use for it. If you have a physical form now I believe it is made out of dreams. There are nights when you're in my arms again, with warm lips and soft fingers and an all-knowing and forgiving smile on your face. I cry while you embrace me, like so many times before. But there'll be no more of that in the real world. No more consoling one another's panic attacks, no more messages with little hearts in them, no more finishing each other's sentences. No more plans and dreams of moving in together, of travelling the world together, of being creative together. I'm left alone to wonder at the million futures now rendered impossible, and to regret everything I didn't do that in hindsight might have prevented this. So what if it's futile? They keep telling me that any amount of wishful thinking won't ever bring you back, but that doesn't keep the thought-feeling-conglomerations of imagined alternate realities from forcing their ways into my mind.

I miss you. A world without you is wrong. I feel alone and scared and I miss the talks we had. I miss the staying up way too late and the midnight baking, the times you would dry your tears to take up a guitar and then transfix me with your words and your voice and your melodies. You would make me feel so seen. We were so different on the surface, but deeper down I wonder if there ever was anyone I could relate to as fundamentally as I could to you. We had been through much the same things, we had felt the same feelings, and even if everything about you was always to the power of ten I saw in you what I could have been. We came close, sometimes so close it freaked us both out, but not close enough. I would've wanted to be there for you, to never let you out of my sight. It would have been worth it, it would have been worth anything, if I could somehow have saved you. Now I won't have to worry about you anymore, because the worst has already happened. It's fucking unreal. Maybe I should have somehow been prepared for it, but it's too absurd. I always had hope for you. Even when you were caught in ever down-winding dark spirals I never doubted that your future would be brighter. That everything would eventually be all right, or at least less overwhelmingly chaotic and miserable.

If you're somehow still aware somewhere, I hope there is peace, at least. Me I'll keep seeing you in every aspect of the world that you ever touched. That is to say, a great deal of my existence. The music we listened to. The Amanda Palmer concert that we both bought tickets to as a surprise to one another. The first time you kissed me, in that Sigur Rós concert in a state of surreal euphoria after 40 hours awake. The parties of mine which you turned from okay to awesome by means of your radiant charm and inclination for crazy post-midnight antics. The food we found in containers, the ice-cream we made from everything we could find in my cupboard, the snails you would go out of your way to save from being trodden to death on the pavement. The times you saw me and backed me up when nobody else did, and when you time and again pointed out the obvious solutions to problems I'd fretted about for years. When you rendered me speechless by telling me I was beautiful while I was busy thinking about you as a social-genius goddess of prettiness. And still it was your mind that was the most beautiful thing about you. How you would spontaneously wax poetical about some douchebag on the subway or your stomach-cramps. How you always insisted on helping people, no matter how little energy you had for yourself. How you would do things just because otherwise nobody would.

And all the things you'll never do now. We won't create the most awesome collective ever of friends living together. I won't come with you as you drive around the world in your flower-painted hippie-bus. I won't know if you'd have laughed at my tasteless jokes about you now being permanently late. We won't meet in New Zealand a second time, and have another round of crazy-awesome adventures. I won't know how you'd react if I'd eventually told you that I love you. But I will (or so I hope) stay in touch with all the amazing people you tied me together with. Even though you've given up your ability to interact with us there is still so much that revolves around you.

I guess you would've wanted me to move on. Some days I feel like I want nothing more than to follow you, but I know that's not a valid option. In a way what you did was cheating, but I intend to play by the rules on this point. Reality will continue to be heavy for a while, but with time I might return to being functional, possibly even creative. I'll never forget you. Hell, I wouldn't be able to even if I wanted to. But I don't. I want to remember everything that is and was you; the hope and despair, the beauty and rage, the chaos and solace. The way you inspired so many of us to be better people.

I love you. I miss you. You'll always continue to be a part of me.


Friday, 24 April 2015


Nu tar molnen mark
Jag var förblindad av att solen sken så stark
Men mina ögon kommer alltid le mot dig
Kan det begäras mer av mig?

Nej. Jag finner inga egna ord för det här än.


Tuesday, 17 March 2015


I let myself flow
I swim through my mind back and forth
My soul still sings the song we wrote together
We once had a dream
We had everything
We rode to the end of the world
We rode on searching
We climbed skyscrapers
But they were destroyed
The peace is gone
I lose balance, I fall down
Still, I let myself flow
I swim through my mind
Always returning to the same place
Absolute silence
No words
The best thing God created is a new day

I miss you so much,

Saturday, 7 March 2015


Tussilago! Yay!

Titta vad jag hittade under min löptur idag! Våren är definitivt här. Med sol och vind och lycka. Jag kunde inte låta bli att ge ifrån mig ett vårskrik. Jag tycker om årstider!

Och mitt liv går ganska bra just nu. Jag har kul, jag åstadkommer fler saker än jag misslyckas med, och i största allmänhet njuter jag satan av att vara vid liv.

Kärlek och vår,

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Writings and self-beratings

Sigh. I'm in a particularly angsty period at the moment, triggered by all sorts of stuff that really shouldn't bother me. It makes me useless and unproductive, and the neglecting of chores builds stress which induces further incapacity to get a hold of myself and do something meaningful with my time. Not today, seems to have been the involuntary mantra of the past weeks. I haven't even been blogging, as you might have noticed.

Oh well, enough with the whine! I did accomplish something today. At long last, I finished the second draft of my goddamned book. Success! It is marginally less shitty than the first one, but I am still nervous about having more than a handful of people read it. But never mind that, because I actually sent it to a whole bunch of people who volunteered as beta readers. I'm both dreading and looking forward to the criticism.

My master's thesis is going straight to hell (judging by the panic I feel when I think about it at least). But I'm having greater success in other areas. I wrote a hell of a good poem a couple of weeks ago, and I liked it so much that I signed up for participation in a poetry slam event. So in two weeks I'll be competing, reading poetry in public for the first time ever. Yikes! Still, if I manage to go through with it, it will be a long-held dream come true.

That's it for now. Just had to point out to myself and the world in general that I'm not completely useless, even though I'm undoubtedly failing to prioritise things the way I should.

Love and writing,

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

This new year

Right then. So the Earth has once again passed that arbitrary point in its orbit which we define as the beginning and the end of a year. The entire event went by without much celebration on my part, since some abstract entity or other saw it fit that I should spend it immersed in a head-cold, fever and all. But oh well, I'm back on my feet now, and thought some reflection might be in order.

Let's start with the year gone by. 2014. Wow. I said last year that 2013 was the best year of my life so far, but 2014 most definitely did top it. Another year of amazement at what life would throw at me, and large parts of it entirely unimagined at the beginning of the year.

New Zealand. New Fucking Zealand. As followers of this blog might have noticed, I spent half of the year in this magical country. Words aren't enough for the happiness and wonder I found in that faraway place, way beyond even my wildest expectations. So many adventures, so much beauty, so much love. Above all: such lovely people! Many amazing friends were made, and I hope to come back and visit them again some day. I will come back, damn it! That land of mountains and birds and forests and volcanoes and plains and sheep feels like home now, as much as Sweden and La Palma.

Some shorter trips were made as well. Kuala Lumpur and Berlin were visited and explored with great delight, also in the company of lovely friends. Studies and research were conducted with overall pretty good results, and to a large degree enjoyed as well. Colliding galaxies, Antarctica, and dwarf spheroidal galaxies, yum. I think I most definitely found a future research topic of interest. Enough progress was made education-wise that I should be able to finish my master's degree within the next half-year if all goes well!

LARPing and roleplaying was done in abundance. Twelve larps and no less than seven gaming conventions, whee! So much fun, and my LARP anxiety is most definitely cured. Well, okay, I still get nervous as hell, but not to the point of avoiding things I really want to do, which is great.

Progress was made on the novel-writing front! Not as much as I had hoped, seeing as I didn't finish the second draft of the first book as I set out to do, and only made it halfway through NaNoWriMo this time. But nonetheless a lot of words were written, and a fair bit of them aren't half bad if I may say so myself. Hopefully I'll get a more stable writing flow going this year. The ambition is to finish the second drafts of both the first and the second book in this trilogy I'm working on, and the first of the third one. Completing NaNoWriMo and VeganMoFo is the plan. I might never learn this 'reasonable ambitions' business thing.

I finally came to terms with and came out with my identity as agender. That was an immense relief, I feel more comfortable with and surer of myself than ever before. There is still a lot of figuring out to be done, and a lot of standing up for myself before friends, relatives and strangers to be struggled through, but it is a start. I think my resolution to stop apologising all the time without thinking might have had something to do with me daring to do this, so mission accomplished there I'd say! It is a great feeling to be determined not to apologise for who I am anymore.

One not-so-great thing was being homeless for five months. Since I'm blessed with a whole bunch of friends who generously opened up their homes for me I never actually had to sleep on the street, but nevertheless not having a place to call my own took its toll on my sanity. It's an ambiguous freedom which leaves one vulnerable. I was forced to learn to trust, which is a good thing, even though it brought a whole bunch of half-suppressed anxieties out into the open. Maintaining habits became really difficult, though, which meant that I didn't exactly treat myself optimally in terms of health.

I've been running throughout the year, but without very much discipline or routine I haven't made any progress in terms of endurance. Forty kilometres is still way beyond what I can manage, although I am pleased to say that ten kilometres hardly poses a problem anymore. In New Zealand I practiced yoga, did a lot of tramping, and tried out fun things like bungee-jumping, skydiving and orienteering, but whatever physical benefits gained from that were mostly lost during the autumn because of a couple of mean cases of flu coupled with lack of continuity. But oh well. I'll give the running another go this year. Maybe I'll even learn how to do a handstand? Fencing, which I love so much, will regrettably have to lie on the shelf for another while due to lack of money.

Another physical thing that I resolve for this year is to avoid eating sugar. I figure it's about time to break this addiction that I have, and I suspect it is dragging down my health in various ways. I've made a deal with myself in which maple syrup and dark chocolate is okay from time to time and in small doses, but otherwise the ambition is to stay as clear away from refined sugar as I possibly can. No way I'm giving up on fruit or vegetables, though; I wouldn't last a week without that. This will be difficult enough as it is, there being so many social pressures around this legally accepted drug. Being a cookie monster is even a part of my identity, for goodness' sake. But I think I'll manage; I've gotten away with weirder things before.

Other things I aspire to do this year include spending less time on Facebook. It has been eating my soul for far too long now, and I'd really like to do actually do something with all that otherwise wasted time. Not buying Christmas gifts is another one. I'm so terribly sick of Christmas and its surrounding commercialism that I might boycott it altogether.

Lastly, I also resolve to try not to get angry at or make fun of people who show ignorance. I think it is a despicable thing to do which discourages learning and makes it harder for someone to admit they were wrong or didn't know about something. It is also something I have noticed in my own behaviour to a large extent, and so I aim to become aware of it and, well, stop it. It is much more fun to educate, after all. This might also make it easier for me to admit when I don't know something.

Oh well. I've been blathering on about my egocentric hopes and memories enough for now. I wish you a happy new year, and good luck with your resolutions if you have any, dear reader!

Love and a new year,