Lately I’ve been updating far too little. Far too little for my own liking, even though I do know what I want with this blog. I still haven’t been able to commit to it as much as I should. Also my twitter activities have not been like I had intended it to be. Partly I think it’s fine, I’m human and I have other things in my life than just space and aliens. And partly it’s still fine but something changed in a way I didn’t expect.
The big change
The very last argument I had not to come out as agender was this: I didn’t want to put other people in a situation they didn’t ask for. I didn’t want people to deal with the fact that I was neither male nor female and that they had to adjust to that. I’m Dutch and there isn’t even a word for the singular they. Enby? (nb = non binary) I just didn’t want to confuse people but my wife said it was bollocks. It’s my life, it’s who I am. And I should show that, or at least tell people why I was looking into top surgery. Fair enough.
So I came out earlier this year and everyone I spoke to was very accepting. Sure, some had no idea what agender was, but I was happy to tell them. Language is a struggle, as at work I’m sometimes called a lady (the rest of my male colleagues is then called gents in the same sentence), but that’s a language thing. Online I think it went well too. I wrote a piece on relating to Data of Star Trek The Next Generation as I started to realise that me being agender is part of that. It was fantastic.
I feared my surrounding would struggle but they are fine. Sometimes they ask me questions but I see that as part of acceptance and I’m happy to talk about it. The biggest impact of me coming out as agender was not on my surroundings, it had the biggest impact on… me. I found myself in a situation of Fuck It, I’m doing this. So I dove head first into the LGBTQIA+ culture, something I probably already had but now I did it consciously. Other non binary people became visible and this was truly inspirational.
A whole new world opened up to me. I got my first binder, then got a decent one (which I’m calling ‘my second skin’), am on a two year waiting list for my surgery. And my head became a mess. Not in a negative way, but it’s been quite exhausting. It’s been a big change and I didn’t see it coming. I do see the irony in that.
As I was busy with fitting into my own skin (and I still am), I was also tired. I started to slack writing, I enjoy learning online but didn’t have the strength for it any more. What I did manage was creating a new wardrobe, read and watch a lot of Star Trek, visit Sweden and finally declared my unconditional love for it (opposed to really, really REALLY loving Sweden), finally learned that dark hair suits me way better than blond and pastels, and I got a new task offered at work, one that suits me a lot, namely data control (numbers, not the android).
LGBTQIA+ in the mix
I also realised that my space twitter became more LGBTQIA+ rights than space adventures. This is absolutely fine, it’s my twitter, it’s who I am. But I started it to communicate with space and alien folk and added Star Trek and cats to the mix. Does LGBTQIA+ mix well? Of course it does! But I really want to add more space, more aliens, more cats, even more Star Trek. I wanted to do something with my twitter and my blog. It had a purpose. And I just wasn’t doing it.
Of course I had a lot on my mind this year. But that’s not all of it. I can do something when I really want it. But it needs not just a purpose, it needs an urgency. Trust me, I had coaching to figure that out. Eventually becoming a space writer and communicator doesn’t work. Becoming stupidly knowledgeable about Scandinavian UFO and alien cases eventually isn’t enough either. Eventually doesn’t spell urgency.
I want it, yes. I want to stop working in an office, sweet talking to terminal operators and skippers to please do their job at the agreed time. But to make that change, to work on that, I need more than ‘I want something else, possibly somewhere else’. I need a plan. One that could work. And it works when I want it and put my mind on it. I just need the right plan. The urgency.
Here come the Swedes
Hello Sweden! While Sweden was winning from England in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, my partner (a bigger Sweden supporter than I am, she is nearly flawless at Swedish. My passive Swedish is great too, just don’t ask me to do anything else than order a coffee and asking whether this includes a refill, which to be fair is a great survival skill) and I were chauvinistic about the win and were overly annoyed by the Dutch commentator who, like many commentators, didn’t like Sweden at all. You see, the Swedish men didn’t lose 7-0 from the Dutch a few years ago which meant the Netherlands failed to go the the men’s FIFA World Cup. The Dutch never gotten over that. But never mind, we generally don’t like the Dutch either.
Plus, on a more serious note, the climate change in the Netherlands it quite worrying. We’re both anything but sun worshippers and would both be considered suffering from summer depression. So 35 degrees is not ‘nice weather’ as the forced opinion in the Netherlands is, but it’s hell to us. We’ve celebrated midsummer (midsommar is a Swedish national holiday).This day marks the days getting shorter again, hurrah! And with the global climate change, how will the Netherlands even cope when sea levels do rise? It takes 5 minutes by train from where I live to the lowest point of the Netherlands, 5 metres below sea level. 5 metres is a lot! We thought about Sweden. We should climate migrate.
Dreams and urgency
Dreams we had for like forever. But what happens when you start looking at how much it really costs? We’ve been dreaming of visiting Portland, Oregon for years as well and never really did something because we were sure we couldn’t afford it. Until we actually checked flight and hotel prices. We’re flying in two months. I don’t believe we’re living in a small village close to Kiruna by next year, but the things that need to be done (driver’s licence anyone?) aren’t really that much of a financial obstacle, if you have an urgency. Unless we win the lottery of course. I’ll be buying a ticket this afternoon.
So, I have emigration plans, that’s cool. I realised that living in nature, in peace and quiet, and be semi self sustaining isn’t just a dream, but it’s something we can actually do. And we both love the city of Rotterdam, but these two introverts are really in need of a quiet life. We want two chickens for the eggs and a pig as a pet. Cool, cool, do what you must. But does this involve this blog and my space twitter? Yes, it does and it does big time. Because if I live in a village of 238 inhabitants in the North of Sweden*, chances are that I won’t get a job at an office. Hurrah! But I still need to work. So this blog finally has a destination. I finally know what I want to do with my plans. A real purpose. An urgency.
*or anywhere else in North Scandinavia. As long as it’s in the North, Scandinavia and provides a clear view on the skies and auroras
I know I’ve struggled with blogging before and have pledged commitment time and time again. But never with a purpose such as this. I’m a certified science writer for Pete’s sake! The time has come to do something with it. And with many things in my life, if I really want it, really really want it and have an urgency to lead me (climate migration, leading a self sustaining life), then I know I will make this happen. Of course this blog may undergo several name changes again until I find one that fits and sticks. But it’s the contents that ultimately matters.
I want to thank all my space and alien followers on Twitter for putting up with me for the past half year. You’ll get what you deserve now. I also want to thank all my new LGBTQIA+ friends, you’re an inspiration and I’ll continue to be on your side. And I would like to thank you in particular, you who has read all this. I’m happy to take you with me on this journey.