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Thinking about starting a new blog for a new life.

16 Feb

This Sunday I will achieve a goal I’ve had for ten years: I will escape the United States and move to another country. For five of those years GodlessPaladin has been my digital companion and identity. It’s been witness to my many changes and evolution as a person. It’s seen my interests wax and wane, relationships come and go, and philosophical positions mutate. There have been periods where I passionately posted many times a week and dry spells brought on by environmentally triggered depression.

As I look back at who I was when I started GodlessPaladin, I see that I am both very different and very much the same person. I’m still passionate about atheism, religion, politics, and feminism, but the specifics of such passions have shifted. Atheism, religion, and feminism, while still important to me, have taken a more muted roll in my life as of late. My politics have shifted from that of bleeding heart progressive to cynical anarchist. While still interested in gaming, I hardly have the time as of late. My passions for medieval history, once the focal point of my life, have receded to that of passive interest. In their place I’ve developed a new interest: technology and how it is used in the interactions between people and society’s power structures.

While the GodlessPaladin will always be a part of me and my past, I don’t feel that it accurately portrays how I see myself today and who I want to become. As such, I want to start a new blog to mark this milestone in my life, and to record my experiences moving forward.

For the past few days I’ve been thinking about what I wanted the blog to focus on. Many of my friends and coworkers have asked about a travel blog to document my move to another country. I like this idea, but I also want a place to talk about other things that are important to me like anarchism and technology. It would be odd to talk about my move as if it existed in a vacuum. There are reasons to *why* I am moving, and many of them are political. I was hesitant at first to mix a travel blog with a political blog, but then I remembered that I can’t let what other people think bother me. I often feel alone in the world. I don’t know too many other people who have the same views on things as me. I’m on the defensive for the vast majority of my interactions with other people. I’m sure the fatigue of long term “siege mentality” has an affect on my outlook on life. As much as it hurts, however, deep down inside I feel that this isolation is my compass. When the whole world tells me I’m wrong, when I passionately believe I’m right, I feel as if I’m on the correct path. It’s when I find myself agreeing with everyone that I become suspicious.

And so I will mix travel and politics with my new blog, just as I’ve mixed everything here. It’ll be Me v2.0. If friends, family, and former coworkers find my politics unsettling, then they don’t need to visit those pages, or come to my blog. It exists first and foremost for me.

The trouble is, I’m having a hard time coming up with a good name. I feel it’s important. I’m choosing a new public internet identity. I want a name that means something to me, something that’s relevant to who I am, who I want to become, and what I believe in. GodlessPaladin was perfect for who I was five years ago.

I don’t know what I want to be known as in the future. Perhaps that’s appropriate because a lot of my move is about figuring out who I am in the first place.

 

Auf Wiedersehen Amerika, hallo Berlin!

25 Jan

This morning I put in my two weeks at what has so far been the most fun and best paying job of my life. I’m quitting to pursue a decade long dream of becoming an ex-pat and exploring the world. I’m moving to Berlin, Germany in the end of February.

I’ve never been there and I know nobody. To be honest with you, I sway between stressed and terrified. I always thought I would be thrilled. I always imagined I would experience this incredible sensation of freedom and relief as the plane took of and I escaped the US. Who knows, maybe I will feel something like that, but lately I’ve been too busy to think about it.

I’ve been planning this move for months. One night I just got the idea in my head “I should go to Berlin” and I started planning. I’ve been wanting to move out of the country for ten years now. I remember deciding to do this when I was just sixteen. Over the course of that decade I’ve swung back and forth on what country to move to. At one point I had a wall in my first apartment covered in paper, forming a giant spreadsheet of sorts, weighing the pros and cons of each possible country. The top few were always Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were appealing because of the lack of a language barrier, but they were either extremely far away and remote feeling, or America lite.

The language barrier has always scared me. I’m terrible at languages. I was always a C student in German and I took it for several years in school. It’s the biggest obstacle for my move. I hired one of the local university German professors as a personal tutor and I’ve been seeing him twice a week. Outside of that I’ve been listening to podcasts auf Deutsch, and working on duolingo.com.

I want to study Computer Science or some other technical field. Since my BA is in history, I can’t jump from the humanities to the sciences, so a master’s program is out of the question. I’ve got to start on a second degree. The thing is, all the undergrad degree programs are taught in German. I’m aiming to start in the winter semester at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft, but I need to get my Germany up to B2 to apply. To that end, I’m moving in February to find a place to live and start language school classes in March. I’m hoping I can get to B2 level by May.

This whole thing is a mad race. There are so many things I need to do in specific order, with limited time, or else this whole thing falls apart and I’ll be forced to come back to the states penniless and unemployed. I’d rather die.

The level of planning and research that I’ve put into this trip is absurd, and yet I still feel unprepared.

I want to move to Berlin. Ok, what are the visa requirements? Well what visa do you want to try and get? There are several with different requirements. What are the requirements? How do I fufill them? What forums do I need? Do I have enough time to get these forums? Do I have enough money? How do I open a German bank account? How do I get health care? How do I get a phone number? What do I need to rent a room? How do I rent a room? Where can I find a room? How am I going to get around? How much is food going to cost? When do I need to apply to the language school? What do I need to apply? When do classes start and end? What are the deadlines to apply? The list goes on and on and on.

I’ve spent hours researching all of these questions. Different rules apply to different nationalities and it makes the whole thing confusing. The confusion is exacerbated by my unconventional track: I’m not applying to a master’s program and I don’t have a job lined up paying more than 35,000 euros a year. I explained all of this to my mother and she wondered why it seems easier for refugees from third world countries to move to Germany than for me, someone who has a college degree and work experience in a technical field.

Anyways, I’m terrified. A lot of my fear comes from internal confidence issues revolving around manhood. I’ve never really felt “like a man.” Whatever that means. I guess it comes from being 5’6, overweight, and a bit of a nice guy push over my whole life. The whole experience with my ex fiance going out and sleeping with all those guys was also extremely emasculating. I’ve never had much physical presence and I’ve never been much of a magnet for women. I’m hoping to find my confidence by forcing myself out of my comfort zone and throwing myself into an entirely new and scary situation. Perhaps then, once I survive, I will feel more self-confident, more like a man.

I’ve been telling people that I’m trying not to focus on the fact that I’m quitting my job, leaving my family, and moving to a city on another continent that I’ve never been to before. It’s…actually kind of badass when I think about it, but it’s also really scary. It’s a huge move and a huge life decision.

A lot of this decision has to do with existential issues for me.

It is so easy to be trapped in the daily routine of just living. Get up, go to work, work out, cook dinner, mess around on the computer, see friends for a drink, go to bed, repeat daily with slight variations.

If while standing in front of the copier machine at work, you stop and contemplate the temporary nature of your existence while the machine hums along copying pages, society as we know it just seems absurd! Here I am, the clock is ticking, and I’m standing in an office doing something I’m not passionate about. What the hell am I doing?!

But it’s comfortable! It’s sooooo comfortable and safe. But it’s death. Ever since I decided that I was just going to do it and move, I’ve become acutely aware of all the little things that in American society that, when combined, act to keep us in our mental cages. Trying to escape is like tying to walk underwater. It might not be very forceful, but there is just so much little resistance that it slows you and most people just don’t try to fight it and they drown. They live safe, comfortable, nonthreatening lives and die. Given how much of human history was spent living dangerous and precarious lives where physical harm and starvation was just a misstep away, perhaps there is something to be said for those safe lives the majority of middle class Americans live, but nonetheless I see it as inherently dehumanizing and fatal.

What I’ve come to understand about freedom is that freedom, real freedom, is to have nothing. The moment you have something, you have something to lose, and thus your choices are not entirely free. It’s an ugly paradox: live free with little to nothing, a step away from death, or exist with physical comforts and the illusion of security, but be mentally and spiritually dead. It’s in that small space between having nothing and death that freedom exists.

Another thing that I’ve come to experience during this whole period is just how difficult and scary it actually is to follow your dreams. I hate that phrase, “follow your dreams.” It just sounds so cheesy, so Disney. It’s like a nice, polite, comfortable little platitude everyone swallows; like the message you’re hit over the head with in a children’s movie, or some tacky piece of wall art middle aged moms buy at craft stores to hang in their homes. It’s so cliche, the real consequences are abstracted and made not real. It’s scary to seriously “follow your dreams” if there’s a real risk of falling.

And so I try to remind myself that I don’t have a choice. If I stay, I die. Maybe not physically, but mentally and spiritually. If I go and I fail, I’ll die anyways. Either way, ultimately we are all already dead, dying in slow motion. The end result is the same, I just want to try to live a little, even if it means risking speeding things up.

At least I will have lived.

Schmetterling

17 Nov

I’m going to crawl into a cocoon.

Right now I feel like an ugly and broken caterpillar. Since my breakup I’ve really tried to put myself out there. I’ve been trying to meet people and make new friends. I’ve been doing anything I can to try and keep my greatest fear at bay: Being alone. I haven’t been very successful.

I don’t know when I became so afraid of being alone. I used to not mind it. I used to expect it and sometimes even enjoy it. I guess that’s before I fell in love. Now that that, and everything else is gone, being alone terrifies me. It’s a constant reminder of my pain.

I’ve been desperate to avoid that pain. It’s just too much and it drives me to do things I never thought I’d do. I surprise myself sometimes to the point that I don’t even know myself anymore. Each night has been a mission to not be alone. “Who am I going to see tonight?” becomes the question everyday. Who am I going to see to stave off that feeling of being unwanted, unloved, and alone. That mission would consume me some days. Sending out mass texts to multiple people, hoping someone would bite. I’ve come to see it as a number’s game and I’m playing the odds. Sometimes I’d even spend hours driving to far away cities just to have dinner with someone. Anything not to forget the hurt for an hour or so.

The results: I’ve met a handful of people, two of which have stuck, but I only see them now and then. The rest I never really hear from. I never really hear from anyone nowadays. I reactivated my facebook in order to use an app for meeting people. In the process I cleaned it up to just the people I actually interact with from time to time. As a result, I’ve got about 20 “friends” on facebook, the number of which I actually talk to semi-regularly I can count on one hand. I went through my google/phone contacts today and deleted all but 20 people.

I’ve tried interacting with a lot of people. The result just makes me feel all the more broken and unwanted . I downloaded an app on my phone where people make snap judgments on whether or not to talk to you based on your picture and the only interest I get is from people who are very physically unappealing. My housemate, on the other hand, uses the same app and is regularly juggling several different extremely attractive people. Since the app is based solely on looks and not on personality or charisma, this tells me that I’m not physically appealing in the least. I don’t even get any response from “average” looking girls.

I’ve met with extremely limited success in my efforts to hangout with new people. I’ll be chatting with them, either online, over the phone, or in person, but every time I suggest actually getting together to do something, it all falls flat. Regardless of how long I’ve been talking to them or the situation. Almost nobody wants to hang out with me. It’s like me even showing interest in hanging out with them is a demonstration that I think myself of a lower value then them and thus wish to associate myself with them.

I was never really into the whole “Pickup Artists” thing, but I had a friend once who was. He showed me a lot of things that I still think about from time to time. One of which is the concept of “Higher Value” vs “Lower Value”. Certain things are DHV (demonstration of higher value) and DLV (demonstration of lower value). People naturally want to be higher value and so they seek to associate with people they perceive as higher value. Doing something that is a DLV (in my case asking someone if they would like to hang out) subconsciously shows that you believe yourself to be beneath that person. Instead you’re supposed to do things that DHV, like be busy, make plans and break them, be hard to reach, always have somewhere to be. This will make the other person feel like they have to fight for your attention and will keep them coming to you. I’ve tried that but I can’t even turn people down because nobody asks in the first place.

This tells me that I’m not interesting enough, funny enough, cool enough, etc for people to want to hang out with me in the first place. I try to be all those things. I go on crazy solo adventures across the country, but even that’s not interesting enough for people to want to hang out with me.

And so I quit.

I’m not going to try to meet anyone anymore. I’m not going to put up walls if someone does want to see me, but I doubt that will happen given my previous experiences.

Instead I’m going to crawl into a cocoon.

I’m going to try and focus all my time and energy on myself, for clearly I’m and ugly, uninteresting and broken person.

I’m going to focus on eating right, going to the gym, and getting out of SC asap. (I’ve got a plan in the works for the latter)

I deleted all those social apps from my phone, I’ve closed all my dating site profiles and canceled my memberships.

I’m going to cocoon up and then fly away.

Hey old friend, it’s been a while.

15 May

Hey, how’s it going? I’m sorry I neglected you for almost two months. My life’s really been busy over that time. I wanted to make a point of writing something here today because today is the three year anniversary of the roughest day in my life, and I really think I’ve come far. Three years ago today I graduated college and moved down to South Carolina. I won’t bother going over why it was the roughest day in my life, I’ve written why plenty of times here before. I’m long over most of that now, so that’s not really the point. I’m just amazed at how much I’ve changed in those three years; how much my life’s changed.

Back in the start of April I got a new job. I left the old one I was working at, the one I couldn’t stand, and started this new position closer to my house. I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I regularly work 50 hour+ weeks. Despite all this, I love it. I love it because the people I work with are really amazing and my boss makes me feel valued and important. It’s the first time I’ve ever had job satisfaction like this. I just hope it lasts.

The job has kind of taken over my life for the time being. I was hoping to finish my atheism book by the start of April, but that didn’t happen. The whole project is on hold right at the moment. I have some more certifications I want to get, but I barely have any time when I get home to study. Outside of 1 weekend, I haven’t played any video games in a month. We’re looking at hiring more IT people at my job, and getting new servers, so my life should calm down considerably once that happens.

I’m still dating Kelly. She’s finally finished with her semester now. She’s got one more to go until she graduates! Oh, we planted a garden too:

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She and I have been talking, and we’re thinking of getting married after she finishes school in December. We have a lot of the same life goals and values. We’re both atheists who want to move out of the US, travel, and don’t want kids. We really seem to “get” each other and I’d like to have her as a partner on journeys. She’s not too keen though on moving to Australia like I was planning. She made the point that, while it would be fun to visit, it’s a bit like a bigger Texas. Sure it has Melbourne and Sydney (and Perth), but other than that it’s pretty open and barren. I’m fine with that as a single guy, but she was hoping to live somewhere a little more urban and connected while she is still young. That’s fine. I just want out of the US. We can move around later. I’m thinking the most realistic and quickest way out is to Vancouver or Toronto. Personally Canada isn’t my first pick since it’s America lite, but at least they have healthcare.

But this is all stretching a bit. We’re going to finalize plans more as December gets closer. In the mean time my life has just been taking off. Three years ago I had no prospects and no friends. Now I’ve got an exciting job as a system admin (funny because I was running from that for the longest time) and an amazing woman to share life’s ups and downs with.

Fasting

18 Mar

Before I even start, I want to save us both some time. If you’re thinking about saying anything negative about fasting along the lines of “it’s unhealthy” or “your body just eats muscle” or “you shouldn’t starve yourself” or “you’ll just instantly gain it all back!” don’t bother. Take your self-affirming platitudes and go somewhere else. If I seem defensive and hostile, it’s because I’m tired of running into the same shit over and over again from people who don’t understand and would rather parrot “common knowledge” than actually try to understand.  Because of this I can’t ever really talk about fasting in public. When I am fasting, I have to hide it from people or else get pelted with their bullshit advice and judgements.

Ok, now that that disclaimer is out of the way…

I’m so excited! I just completed my first week long water fast! I had dinner with my folks on Sunday the 10th and we finished around 7pm. From that moment on I started a timer and consumed only water, tea, black coffee, and powerade zero until 7pm Sunday the 17th. Each day I took two doses of  25mg of ephedrine and 200mg of caffeine, along with one multivitamin. The ephedrine and caffeine, known as an EC stack, raised my resting metabolism.

So how did I feel throughout all of this? Amazing! The first two days are a little tough. You get hungry in the normal sense where you’d like to eat something, but I never got the feeling of OMG, I’ve got to consume everything around me!!! I just kept busy and drank water throughout the day. I did not get any headaches, low blood sugar, nor did I feel weak. After day three I stopped getting any physical urge for food. This was extremely liberating. I just went about my day and the idea of eating just became like another chore, but one I didn’t have to do. I went on jogs with the dog, and even did a couple of pull-ups each day.

Previously my record was 4 days. That fast was a lot more difficult because I allowed myself chicken and beef broth throughout. I’ve found that it’s a lot easier if I abstain completely from calories. If I don’t, my digestive system never really goes dormant and it makes everything more difficult. At the end of that fast I made the colossal mistake of breaking it on an all you can eat steak dinner. My digestive system really didn’t like that. This time I’m trying to take it slow with live culture yogurt, soft fruits, and juice. I’ll slowly work my way back up to more solid foods.

This whole thing has provided me with an opportunity at a lifestyle reset. I feel it’s easier to start eating health now that I’m starting from zero. I also reset my portion size. I feel full faster and thus can be happy with much smaller portions.  Weight has always been an issue for me since I graduated high school. Everyone’s body and genetics are different, so what works for one person won’t always work for another. Over the years of trial and error I’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing that really works for me is limiting calories and trying to avoid sugars and carbs. I made my first real losses when I adopted a routine of oatmeal, a granola bar, a cup of tuna, and a small dinner. That was back when I was working my first real job. I cut out the granola bar and lost even more.

When you’re fasting you begin to realize how everything in our society is completely saturated in food. Eating is how we socialize. You’d be hard pressed to go out with friends and not consume something, be it a movie snack or a beer. I drove down to the hardware store the other day and was just amazed by how many places there are to eat. Seriously, look around. Most people never notice it, but you can hardly look in any direction while driving down a main road without seeing a plethora of fast food joints or sit down restaurants. Walk into a store and there’s food everywhere. It doesn’t even have to be a store focusing on food! The hardware store had shelves with soda and candy in the checkout line. It’s no wonder Americans are so obese.

Part of the reason I was successful in this week long fast was because I just removed myself from food as much as possible. My girlfriend was out of town for the week and it was just myself and the dog. I taped the fridge up to remove any temptation to open it (though in reality I never was tempted at any time) and I stayed at work while my coworkers went off to eat. It was impossible for me to lose weight at college and living with my parents because easy food was just there all the time. I was also required to eat when it was the designated time because that’s how we socialized.

Doing my research for this fast was a little challenging. It’s difficult finding good, authoritative sources on what exactly to expect and how to come off the fast. Fasting is unfortunately also associated with a lot of “woo” bullshit new age crap like detox. There are a lot of people out there that buy into this idea that your body is full of “toxins” (whatever that is, it’s never clearly defined) from all the bad genetically modified food we eat and the chemicals we use. To get rid of these nondescript toxins, people fast to detox. It’s all a bunch of bullshit because your body normally gets rid of “toxins” in normal bowel movements and whatever other “toxins” exist are never actually clearly defined in a way that they can be scientifically tested.  It’s the same bullshit as the vague notion of “energy” in new age circles. I had to wade through a lot of this to find good information.

So how did I do on this fast? Well I didn’t check my start weight because I’ve been avoiding going by the scale as a measure of success. Instead I’ve been going by what pant size I could fit in and how I felt physically.  Before my fast I fit in a 40 really comfortably, a 38 snugly, and couldn’t fit in a 36. This was back up from 6 months ago when I fit in a 36 nicely. Well after my fast 40 is loose, 38 is comfortable, and 36 is snug. I did check my weight and I’m back down to 215. The best I ever got at one point was 205, but then I got excited about getting so close to my goal, I fell off the wagon and went right back up. My short term goal is to fit comfortably in a 36 since that’s the size of most of my jeans. Ultimately I’d like to reach a 32, but I’ll be ecstatic if I hit 34.

Where do I go from here? Well I’m considering looking into doing a combination of keto (no sugar/carbs) and IF (intermittent fasting). This will help me keep my calorie intake low and make the calories that I do consume good calories. What I really don’t understand is my willpower. There will be times when I can just decide to make big lifestyle changes and then there are times when I feel like I have no willpower at all. For example: I’ve quit soda for several months now. I just decided one day “Hey, I’m not going to drink soda, not even diet” and I just stopped cold turkey. There will be other times when I’m doing fine and then I see a bag of chocolate and I just think to myself “fuck it” and I demolish the whole thing. I’m really not sure what’s going on with that. I would say that it’s an issue of being presented with temptation, but I’ve been presented with the opportunity to have a soda plenty of times, but I always never feel the urge.

Anyways, that’s something I’ll have to look into, but for the time being, I’m happy and feeling great.

New shoes

11 Mar

Over the past year or so I’ve been becoming more and more interested in male fashion. I feel caring how one looks is part of being an adult and I’d like to project a good image. Dressing better is pretty hard to do and it’s not easy to revamp your entire wardrobe overnight; it’s best if you do it in increments. I started by getting rid of a lot of clothes I never wore, especially after I lost some weight.

I would periodically make trips to department stores and thrift stores, but it was hard to find something when I didn’t have a good concept of what I was looking for. I’d collect inspiration albums of outfits I thought looked really sharp, but often I feel that the outfits look good only because the models wearing them look good. It’s true that if you look good without clothes, you’ll look good with clothes. The opposite is true too: If you look horrible without clothes then there isn’t too much clothes can do to conceal it. Sure there are some things, but generally it’s best to be in shape. I’ve been working on that and my wardrobe at the same time.

One of the best fashion discussion communities I’ve found is the Male Fashion Advice community on reddit. They have lots of really great guides designed to help someone move from just throwing on whatever is in the clean pile to actually dressing like a well put together adult. When you start to learn a little about how clothes should fit and hang on the body, you’ll quickly become aware of just how poorly the majority of people dress themselves. You’ll also start to notice and appreciate those who take the time to do it well.

One of the areas I’ve really wanted to improve upon is footwear. There’s something distinctly American about wearing sneakers everywhere. When traveling abroad you can usually pick out the American tourists by their shoes. Lots of people also tend to wear boxy, ugly, square toed shoes that don’t compliment the human form. Slip-ons are also a common sin. Over the years I’ve been really guilty of this. For a long time the shoe I wore everywhere was a Merrel Moc:

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They were easy to put on and take off and were extremely comfortable. While they were great shoes, I wore them primarily as a teenager. My wardrobe didn’t go beyond jeans and an ill-fitting t-shirt.  My first big improvement after reading up on fashion was a pair of Bucks:

bostonian-eastbend

These shoes are great for casual wear around town. You can even wear them sock-less in the summer if you want, though I’m not too overly a fan of this. The only downside is that the sued darkens really quickly. Mine have gone from tan to a chocolate brown. The next improvement I had my eye on was a pair of wingtips. Wingtip shoes have little design patterns on them like this:

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The dilemma now was to what shoe to get. There are plenty of wingtip shoes out there but most of them are cheaply made shoes by either Bostonian or Johnston & Murphy. All the research I did into which shoes to buy always said to not skimp on the shoes. A good pair of well constructed shoes might cost 5-6 times that of a cheaper pair, but they age much better and can last several decades if you take care of them. If I was going to try and get a genuinely nice pair of shoes I needed for them to be flexible enough to be worn with most anything. Brown is usually more flexible than black as far as shoes go, and lighter brown even more so.

The pair I had my heart set on was Allen Edmonds McAllister. I went to the fine clothing store downtown and place an order, but since I have such wide feet I had to wait a for a custom pair to be shipped in from the factory. Well after a month of waiting they’re here and they’re stunning.

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I’m so excited that they’re in, I’m giddy. I wore them around a little bit yesterday, but I’m being supper careful with them as they’re my baby. I know this might sound stupid, but I feel a big confidence boost by just wearing them. I still have a long way to go with both weight and wardrobe, but I imagine my confidence will continue to rise as I get better with both.

Happy four year anniversary of The Godless Paladin blog.

13 Dec

Turns out I’m actually a day late. I started this blog four years ago yesterday. Damn a lot’s changed in four years, but then again, a lot hasn’t. This blog is my oldest friend, a mirror, my space to breathe. It’s changed and evolved over the years as I’ve changed and evolved. Since starting this blog I’ve finished college, lived in four new locations, had friendships and romances come and go, traveled, worked several jobs, and had my share of triumphs and failures. This entire journey has been one of self-discovery. I’ve been constantly examining who I thought I was and what I wanted to become. My view of myself and my goals have changed quite a bit over the years.

When I started this blog I was a fiery, freshly deconverted atheist. My hobbies were video games, medieval living history, and politics. I wanted to be an archaeologist living in Europe and to settle down with a successful woman. I envisioned my life as one spent unearthing the past and discerning what life was like for people long ago.

Well I’m still that fiery atheist, though my eagerness to engage in confrontation over religion is practically non-existent. I tend to try and avoid confrontation in real life, or even simply getting into long, protracted debates on the internet because I no longer feel it is a worth-wild use of my time. I’ve since shed medieval living history as my hobby, though video games remain. Instead my hobbies nowadays revolve around travel. I’ve also changed quite a bit politically. At the start of this blog I was already fairly left wing and progressive, but I’ve since drifted out of the political spectrum into anarchism as I’ve steadily refined my views on politics and humanity. My life goals no longer revolve around digging up the past in Europe. Instead I now want to travel the world and build a beautiful woodland home by a river. I really don’t have any more extensive plans beyond that. I have no idea where life will take me, so worrying over planning particulars is pointless.

Despite writing for four years, I still don’t really feel like I’ve found my voice. I’m not done evolving. I don’t expect I ever will be, but I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made thus far. I’m excited to see where I’ll go on future journeys, physically and interpersonally. This blog will remain my companion on those journeys, and a record of where I’ve been.