tomfromhr.com a blog on tech, politics, life and zombies

21Jun/130

Bowties and the Embrace of Self

Ever since BiSC I've felt a little freer in many ways. I've felt more confident in myself, and more ready to embrace the things I'm interested in. This was a trend before BiSC, but BiSC kind of kicked it into overdrive. I've felt less worried about negative comments, about anyone finding fault with my actions or interests, and just diving into them.

Today, for example, I went and bought a bow tie and a pocket square. Why? I had some time, and I've been embracing the prep a bit. I like dressing up a little fancy, I like that kind of culture. The idea that you dress up for the airport. That you wear a blazer even when you don't have to, just cause. 

And what's more, it seems that people tend to respond to the real me. I got encouragement from Klutzy and tons of positive comments on my idea to dress a little outlandishly. And, to be frank, I feel good. A little out there, but, like…I am a little out there. I'm a little weird, a little crazy, a little frantic when you get me going. 

So, time to embrace that, I'd say. 

And for the record? I bought two bow ties, not just one. And I love it.

7Jun/131

Notes from an Airport

Since BiSC I find myself suddenly having a great deal of travel plans. I'll be either on a plane or entertaining a visitor roughly every two weeks for most of the summer. I'll be seeing airports a lot.

Today was one of the first times I went to an airport and found myself not too happy. Most of this is my own fault. I brought a carry-on I have to actually carry as opposed to one with wheels (correcting that for next time). I got here insanely early, which in ways I'm glad for, but it also means I've had more than a few hours to kill. I'm nervous, too. Excited in that wonderful way that almost crosses the emotional border into scared. 

But I find myself kind of hating this airport. As much as I'm excited, I'm excited for the end of this journey, to be in Chicago, for Klutzy.

I'm trying to quietly recapture the wonder and excitement I felt the last time I was in an airport. The feeling of hope, of newness. Of possibility. Because really that's what an airport is about. In an airport you're often going on an adventure, or coming home from one. Both events are a little sad, and a lot happy. 

A lot of things have gone wrong today. Things are insanely busy and stressful at work. 

But there is no place I'd rather be right now. Yes, if I could leave straight for Chicago from my house, that would be lovely, but being here means I get to go to Chicago. I get to see Klutzy. And that will make everything okay, for a little while.

At the end of this, in far too short a time, I'll be in this airport again. And in two weeks it'll be a different one, and I'll see more people I love.

In the next few months I'll spend more time in airports than I have in my 28 years previous combined. And I know that I must, must maintain my love of them. I must see the benefits, the unique experience, the potential of them. Yes, there will be stomach aches, things to carry, little things going wrong, and rushing, rushing, rushing. 

But at the end there will be Klutzy. There will be other friends. There will be adventures to have, new experiences, new wonders to share. My credit card hates me right now, but I'll recover. And there is not a doubt in my mind that this is worth it. 

I am so fucking excited for my life right now. As crazy as it may be, for the first time in my life, I'm comfortable being uncomfortable. And that'd be worth it at 10x the price.

Plus, you know, Klutzy.

26May/138

Sin City Meetup, The Fuckless Life and Tom Fucking Lastname

A week or so ago I was in Las Vegas with some of the most wonderful people I've ever met. People told me this may change my life, or that I would walk away with tons of great friends, and at the very least, I would have a great time. All of these things ended up being correct.

I've been thinking about how to blog about this. I don't feel like I can capture it and, in a lot of ways, the changes in me are subtle. There were some actual structural changes in my life that I came away from that weekend with, but the mental changes were not sudden. I walked away walking taller. Feeling more stable, more secure. Giving fewer fucks, truthfully. Feeling more confident in myself, and my general awesomeness. 

To try and capture it, I wanted to share a few moments that struck me, that stuck out over the week. By no means is this a comprehensive list, to be clear. And I make no claims for the proper order. But I would say these moments, together, shaped my life, and have changed it's course, for the better.

Hugging Michelle in the airport, a little scared, but excited.

Meeting Abby and Bob and feeling a tad out of place, but that feeling passing quickly.

Seeing Dom grin for the first time and hugging her.

Hearing Tiff and Nick and realizing they were just as amazing as Dom said.

Hugging Jess, hearing her talk, and laughing with her a lot.

Getting mounted by a waitress and being able to, mostly, laugh it off.

Eating delicious bacon and laughing with Ed.

Seeing Lauren's head pop up at Centre Cut and hugging her for a long time.

Hearing Raoul for the first time and laughing very, very hard at his interactions with Lauren.

Watching Nic tease them mercilessly.

Hugging Klutzy for the first time.

Sitting next to her playing Cards Against Humanity.

Sitting next to her later in the reception room.

Seeing her an awful lot that entire weekend.

Saying goodbye to her in the airport.

Chatting with Laura at the oddly expensive airport steakhouse.

Dancing at Margaritaville with all the people. Belting out Don't Stop Believin. I think.

Hugging Kitty for the first time and realizing she is exactly how she seems on the internet, and how wonderful that is.

Having Doni tell me she was happy we were gonna get to chat more. Cool people like that want to know me?

Fluffy beard kisses from Berto.

Bradley's hat, and realizing the cool guys were not too cool for me.

Honest talks with Bob. High fives with Bob later.

Making a bad joke with Terra at whiskey tasting and still having everyone laugh.

Sitting with Valorie at Otto and enjoying hearing about her life.

Tiff making a joke about Dom keeping Ed locked in a basement for 10 years and realizing 3 seconds later how terrible that was.

Nick apologizing for forgetting someone's name in the most roundabout, stereotypically Southern Gentleman way possible.

Mikael. Just her in general.

Yoga with dolphins and newer people. A spa with smoothies and a steam room. Realizing with Klutzy, sadly, there are no co-ed areas of it.

Tara being exactly like her online persona and just wonderful.

Chicken and waffles.

Tangerine mimosas.

Setting multiple alarms in the middle of the night.

Getting caught doing things I shouldn't be. Getting away with things I shouldn't have.

Hugging Nicole for the first time. Talking about her post that inspired me later.

Telling Amber a post of her inspired me and feeling okay that I didn't remember what one.

Marian. Just in general.

Maxie. Just in general.

Hugging Katherine for the first time after her being one of the first blogger people I knew. Realizing that she and all these wonderful people were not, in fact, too cool for me.

Berto honestly telling me how glad he was I was here.

Hearing about Simone's amazing life.

Debating age with Sandra.

Pool day, in general. Seeing people who were scared about it stand out, in swimsuits, and seeming to feel great about their bodies.

Hugging the boys in the pool.

Sitting by the pool and not giving a single fuck that I was in a fedora, bow tie, and no shirt.

Sneaking away from the pool day.

Sitting at a fancy patio with Klutzy.

Hugging Edwin for the first time after so many years. Seeing him just fucking love BiSC.

Hearing Brandy talk IRL.

Casey. Just in general.

Playing slots for the first time with Klutzy and realizing how much the person next to us was betting.

Reading Kate's post after and realizing just how awesome she is.

Telling Sara how much I admire her, and her and Erin instantly inviting me to run a Ragnar with them.

Saying yes to that Ragnar and discovering a few days later I'm going to have a Ragnar team in 16 months.

Caryn being engaged, fascinated, and wonderful in general.

Nico and Raoul speaking Tagalog (which I still am probably mispronouncing).

Bob after my last speech.

Standing on the edge of the white party with Klutzy and chatting with all the wonderful people.

 

At the end of BiSC, on the last day, I stood up to share some words. I can't remember what I had planned to say, only that it had no relation to what I ended up saying. I wish someone had been filming it because I don't remember all of it. The gist of it was a few revelations I didn't know I had had, about the difficulty of the past year, about the person I had been, and the person I felt I was now. It's funny because I don't feel markedly different, really. In ways I feel more like me. I think less about what I'm going to say or do. I worry less about what people think of me. I walk taller, and easier.

Suddenly, a lot of things seem possible to me that didn't before. I'm doing things I always thought would scare the crap out of me without a second thought. I'm more talkative. I'm sleeping better. I'm eating better. Thanks to our lovely sponsors, I've learned about a ton of great new products and services (thanks sponsors!). I suddenly have tons of travel plans I didn't before.

I have wonderful new things in my life that, it took BiSC to realize, were right there for the taking for me, all along. My life is now less a string of what can I maybe achieve, and more the idea of what do I want to achieve? Because it's all open to me now. Love. Travel. Friendship. I am now very firmly of the belief that I can accomplish whatever I want to. Instead of seeing my life as a string of failures, of not yet achieved greatness, I see it as simply being as it is. Wonderful, as it is, and with even more wonderful things on the horizon.

I left Vegas feeling a lot more zen about things. I feel happy, and light, for the first time in my memory. I have so many people to thank for that, and a few in particular, but they know that already. I'm amazed at this community, at how we are already planning new things, getting new ideas, and how I've already bought plane tickets for my next trip, and am planning a few more already.

Thank you, BiSC. Thank you to all my friends, who have gotten me here. 

And I say this last part with expectation or hesitation, to all of you:

I love you.