It’s the middle of January, and the last three months are hard to describe. They were intense.

My relationship with F went through some pretty radical ups and downs. One of the best things was that we went on a road trip to France together, for six days, in early November. It was incredibly harmonious, fun, interesting, relaxing, inspiring, … it was a very good trip. But it was intense, too. Spending 24 hours, every day all day, together, after having met only a few weeks before, that’s intense. Yet I would have said that it brought us even closer together. That is what it felt like during the journey.

But then things went into a different direction: After the trip, for both of us a period of incredibly high work intensity began. From the middle of November until the middle of December, I had to work very hard on a number of things: two fairly long and tiring trips for our film project (one to South Korea), plus some work here at home on our climate change show, I also got ill for a few days (including one evening when we were actually performing the climate change show, I muscled through), and then I worked very hard on an application for funding for the climate protection NGO. And in all of this there’s always the undercurrent of dread and fear that I carry around with me, about the state of the world, and that I let bleed into F’s life, way too early for the little that we knew of each other. At the same time, F had her own issues to worry about — as a freelance artist, she has a lot of doubt about the direction she is headed in, she is insecure about her path, plus she had to work incredibly hard, juggling a number of jobs at the same time, and she was suffering from a depressive spell. And so she was withdrawing into her life to somehow handle it all. And as she was pulling away, I became needy, feeling her slip, wanting her more, while at the same time dropping all of my emotional baggage on her living room floor … There was no fighting, there wasn’t any falling-out, but we weren’t on a good path. Finally, about a week before Christmas she called for a break, and for a time-out. And said she couldn’t feel this relationship anymore.

Christmas then was bleak, I had imagined it very differently, but now it was very much coloured and shaped by my thinking about her and us, and trying to keep my calm, and maintaining my distance. In addition, my mother was not well over Christmas, and so it was not a fun affair at the end of last year. When I returned to the city after Christmas, I thought that it would get easier, when I would be back in my home. But it wasn’t, it got a lot worse, I started to positively obsess over the whole matter, trying to wrap my head and heart around what had gone wrong, and what she might be feeling and thinking, one minute being self-confident in what we had between us, the next despondent and utterly depressed about something incredibly wonderful that now seemed to be slipping through my fingers. It was hard, really really hard. I relied on three friends, Nana, Kal and Rum, to help me through my days, calling them several times per day, needing them in my frustration and in my pain. And I spent New Year’s Eve party-hopping with Ian, who’s also a good friend to share a thought with.

The one thing I did manage to do, in all of this, was to keep my distance. I left her the space she wanted, and did not show much (if any) of my turmoil.

And then, after the new year, we began to approach each other again. It started with a long evening in a bar, having drinks and just talking. Not about our issues, just chilling out. And then, a few days later, she came to my place, to talk through her “work worries” together, and see how I could help with those. And that turned into a completely magical evening and night, we were up until 6, and it was amazing. And I feel that now we’re on a much better path than we were on before all of this happened.

Part of it has to do with my own understanding of what went wrong on my end. It’s two things. One, over Christmas I realised that I am sick of tired of carrying the weight of the world around on my shoulders. It’s insane, I cannot live like that, I won’t, and it has to stop. Even more so, because I am already dedicating pretty much my entire professional life to trying to effect change, and be a force of good. If that is what I am doing on a daily basis, I have the fucking right to stop obsessing over climate change and the insanity of our global economic system in the evenings, on weekends, when I am with F. And secondly, I realised that she needs and wants a strong shoulder. I wasn’t that towards the end of last year. I was needy and small. So I need to make a much stronger effort to be upright, and strong. Which I can. And it doesn’t mean that I cannot feel weak sometimes, and overwhelmed, or need help. But it concerns more my general outlook in life with her. Do I walk into her life small and needy, or with an attitude of “we can do this together”? Realising these two things was very helpful.

It doesn’t mean that I always get it right — I am only human, after all. But I am trying, and I know what I need to do. And we’ve had some incredibly beautiful moments in these past weeks, which I am very happy about and grateful for.

Posted in Life, Politics, Relationship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

How One Person Makes Everything Different.

I talked about this in my last post, from August — almost two months ago: Dating felt different, somehow, and new. And only a few weeks later, I met someone absolutely amazing — through that website. F is incredible, and she seems to think similarly about me, too. I would say that we have been a couple for about a week now. And it is wonderful to feel and taste the difference (to being alone). She is smart and funny and very pretty, and she is understanding and kind and gentle and very honest. I feel entirely comfortable with her and yet it is so very new to be with someone again. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a relationship feel as good and right as this is feeling right now. There have been “good and right” moments in other relationships, but none has ever felt as balanced and solid.

So this is changing my outlook on life. Or rather, the feeling of what it is to be like inside this life.

On September 1st, Maik and I performed a new version of our climate change show again. We had reworked the project over the summer, made it shorter and snappier, and had a chance to play it at a journalism festival. There was a very small crowd left at our stage when we were on, and that was a little disappointing, but it was good to play the new version, and to get feedback about it afterwards. Tone came, too, and again it was good to hear him tell us how he felt about it.

Lynn and I also worked hard on another submission to apply for funding for our film project. We had submitted to this fund once before, and this time around we changed a whole lot of things, and I completely reworked the treatment, and we feel positive about this version of it. And yet — there is no saying if they will fund it. It is not easy on the courage to not get any money for our project, and keep going. Ultimately, I will need to self-finance the whole thing. But I must make this film.

That actually touches on another issue. I am currently waiting for money. One of the deals that helped me leave my profession still had an earn-out that would allow me to get another substantial sum this year. This would really go a long way towards financing the film, and helping me stay afloat with money well into 2019. But the buyer — who owes us — isn’t reacting, and so I kind of pushed the guys closer to the whole thing, to put some more pressure on them. I really hope that the money will come soon, otherwise I’ll need to make new arrangements. Which I kind of want to avoid.

Ian and I also went on another shoot in Switzerland and Italy. That one was a brutal journey, just incredibly tiring, because we stayed in so many places, and did so much stuff, while I am unsure about the direction the film is currently taking. So it was hard physically and emotionally. We filmed in Geneva, Milan (with N’s new venture whom we portrayed in the context of the film), Rome, Pisa and Lucca. And then returned home. And the Thursday after that trip, I met F.

And then last weekend, we did the next (reworked) version of our show, in the west of the country, organised by a cousin of mine. That one gave us enormous amounts of food for thought, regarding the reworking of the whole thing, once again. We need to push it more towards a drama piece, in order to find a more compelling way of telling our story so that people can relate. I’m off to Maik’s in a moment, to discuss it with him.

Also, we are working with a bunch of people on forming an association against climate change, as a kind of add-on to our show … or rather the natural and more powerful extension of it.

While we were meeting about that, two of my friends yesterday spoke again about how the real climate catastrophe might already be upon us within a couple of decades. And they spoke about how here in the city we may actually begin to have water problems next year because of the hot summer this year. When I hear these things and they carry on in my thoughts, I find it hard to not be depressed. Particularly if you add to it the fact that this horrible man was just nominated new supreme court lawyer in the US.

Posted in Environment, Job, Politics, Relationship | Tagged , , , ,

A New World.

Well yes, it is. On two levels. The first I’ll explain at the top of this post, the second at the bottom of it.

After the little “project” with Lane didn’t pan out — the interest from there seemed to quickly subside, under the impression of her everyday realities — I resigned back to thinking that I just need this endless amount of patience until one day, maybe, I shall miraculously meet that person who I can be with. And increasingly that was just getting to me. Because from a statistical point of view, that’s just very improbable. One thing seems to be getting clearer now: I like a very special kind of person enough to want to be with her, and the likelihood of that person to want to be with me is never really high. So by strictly looking at the odds, it’s clear that I need to do is meet/date lots of women, so I can ultimately find someone with whom the same thing happens that happened with Lane. Except, this time she lives here, and she’s single. But my reality is that I am meeting/dating no one. So my odds are slim, to say the least. Friends will still tell you comforting stuff about “it” happening when you “expect it the least”, or that there’s “a lid for every pot”, or whatever else people say to cheer you up. But looking at it rationally, I need to actively do something about it. And I wasn’t.

And then finally, I went back to the little family country house on the weekend after my birthday, with a friend. We stayed only a night, and hung out, and watched movies, and chilled. And it was incredibly nice to be in that space, and not alone with my thoughts. I really loved the way it felt to be able to share the house and spend some time there together with another human being. When we ended that trip and I got back to my home, I realised: My loneliness is real and it’s doing something bad to my life. I need to do something — I thought I could or had to wait for things to happen, but by doing that, I was simply depriving myself of happiness. It is true that you should be able to be content on your own, and I think I have gotten reasonably good at that. But I think it also makes sense to try and do something about loneliness.

So I came up with various ideas on what I could do — planning a trip, joining a club, forming a band, doing a number of things, and, yes, giving online dating one last try. I was convinced that online dating was simply not a good idea for me, so many attempts had failed, and left me sadder and even more lonely, and so I’d really given up on that. But then the weirdest thing happened: A dating platform that I had used over a year ago all of a sudden started working for me. They had tweaked the platform, I downloaded the app rather than using the website, I finally paid for the service in order to have all the features available, and suddenly, within two to three days of reactivating my account, I had two dates! Both with interesting women, one of whom I’d probably like to see again, and might, if she answers after a longer silence of mine (due to traveling, etc.). Tonight I have another date, I spoke several times on the phone with a woman who seems very interesting (not sure if that will go on, she seems a bit flaky at times), and on Monday I may yet have another date. It’s rather remarkable. I cannot say what the reason for this is, whether it has to do with me being a different, more settled person, whether it has to do with the way the platform now works, or with the fact that I am paying for it, or all of the above. But it does feel a little like a new world, at least in terms of my experience with online dating.

What else has been going on? Our film project has kept us on our toes — we are getting very good feedback from very different people, I am convinced: We are onto the right thing with what we are trying to do. I am realising at the same time that our ambition is high, and the task of telling a truly engaging story with this subject and material is challenging, but I think we will get there, with patient continued hard work and focus. Last week, we spent a day in Edinburgh to meet up with some of our protagonists there, and we also went to London, to meet a musician who will work on our film. A dutch film maker friend came to visit me, I’m one of the protagonists in his film, he spent a weekend here, and I helped him shoot some material for his film. On my birthday, I was once more (like last year) at this summer school week on economics, where I had gone last year already, and which really was the starting point for our film. This time around we went to film, and it was really good to be there, we got some really inspiring interviews out of it. And finally, our show project that was pretty much hibernating since last autumn, now has reawakened, and we are developing new stuff for it, and it is moving forward. None of this is making me any money (for now), but I am surprisingly unconcerned by that — the financial side will sort itself out, eventually.

And then there is another thing that makes this a new world. A summer in Europe that makes climate change palpable. Endless sunshine. Temperatures up to 37° Celsius. No end to the blue skies. Burning forests across the northern hemisphere. I did not think that a sunny summer could take on such a depressing, oppressing, violent feel to it. Anyone who is only remotely interested in the fate of our planet and our species must feel this, and must feel prompted into action by it. Yet so little is happening. Politics as bullshitty as usual. No outcry. No determined action. Just the steady slog of same old same old. Well, I am trying to do my share. Both the film project (a little more indirectly), and the show project (full on directly) are driven by and about climate change, and what to do about it. And I have the impression that this will stay with me until the end of my days. And we may (very likely) still fuck it all up tremendously because the powers at be are too [words fail me to properly address/name them] to yield to what needs to happen now.

Let’s keep our hopes up. What else can we do?

Posted in Environment, Job, Relationship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Travelling Near and Far.

I think I may be in love with someone a clean 10,000 km away … The week before last, Ian and I accompanied one of the protagonists of our documentary film to Central America, for a fashion conference. It was an incredible journey, and an incredible experience. For one, because it really helped us move our film project forward. We got great footage and interviews. Second, the people we met were quite amazing, and inspiring. And then also because I saw someone again whom I’d met four years ago, at SXSW in Austin. Lane and I, we had lunch and it was remarkable and sweet and made me happy and since then we’ve been writing Whatsapp messages, and it’s messing with me, and I don’t know what it means, and what to do.

Before we took off on that trip, I spent another weekend in Rome, to catch up with our protagonist there. It was good to catch up with him, after all the crazy stuff going on, surrounding the forming of the new Italian government. And I also managed to squeeze in a meeting with this women I’d met there, at the parliamentary building. I got her email address, and I managed to get her to meet me for a couple of hours before I had to take the plane back. It was really nice, and she seemed interested to come visit me in Berlin. But since then, communication has died down somewhat. And anyway, now I am thinking a lot more about Lane …

The show with Brandon and Mercer turned out surprisingly well … only for it to end afterwards in a superweird argument between Brandon and me, in which he talked to and abused me in ways that no one has ever talked to me before … since then, our relationship and friendship has pretty much collapsed.

Nana and her sister and girlfriend celebrated the sister’s birthday at my place in early May. It was very nice to have them here, at my new place, populating it a bit. Nana lost her job, I am hoping I can help her find a new job.

I threw Tinder off my phone … it just doesn’t do anything for me … A date every four months, thanks to it, and invariably dates that lead nowhere …

In the second half of May, we went on another trip to Scotland, also for our film. This time we had the chance to film at this working session of the people who are trying to put together this government initiative, and that was an awesome experience. We got really great material from that.

Politics … they’re not looking good these days. Trump is being Trump, of course. But in this country of mine, I am really upset with the idiotic way things are going. This country is fucking things up big time, and nobody seems to notice or care. It’s horrible.

But I am not fucked up anymore. I now have purpose and direction. And that incredibly helps me.

Posted in Job, Life, Politics | Tagged , , ,

The One Thing that Remains Is Change.

Last time I wrote, my title already said that everything is different. And again, after a month and a half later, it keeps on feeling like that. The most radical change may be that I have finally moved into my own apartment. It got finished at the end of March, so there was a bit of organising and moving to do. Overall, the task was not too monumental, because I had only a few belongings really at the shared flat where I had lived for 15 months, some other stuff was in storage, and many of the things that may tend to collect dust or aren’t needed in my everyday life are already stored away at the little country house. And the moving company gathered what was here in storage and in the flatshare, and brought it to my new place.

And Nana was incredibly kind and incredibly sweet, and she came over and helped me sort my stuff and unpack everything, for a whole day. That was so nice of her. She is just the best person.

Just when I got there and the dust had settled, I only realised how much furniture was still missing. I don’t want my place to be crammed with stuff, but I don’t really have any proper furniture left at all, so I had to start on a mission to find new things. This time, I wanted to avoid the old Ikea staple — I have spent most of my adult life living in Ikea-equipped places, and so I felt like it was time to do things differently. What I had to learn: The advantage of Ikea over other (much more expensive) places is that Ikea is not only much cheaper. They also provide instant gratification — you buy your stuff, schlep it home, set it up, and you have your furniture. If you go to more up-market places, they’ll tell you that the object you just found and would like to purchase can get delivered in 6-8 weeks. So there. Still haven’t bought anything at Ikea yet, but am still also waiting for quite a bunch of furniture.

Getting the kitchen was an adventure all unto its own, I switched providers, and the new kitchen came with its own set of complications — but I ended up with a kitchen that I really like, and that really fits nicely into the apartment. If the new stove does get delivered today, the way it was announced, I will actually have a fully functioning kitchen today.

Our projects are advancing, slowly but surely. Last week, we went on our second shoot to Italy. It wasn’t quite as intense as the last time around, but none the less stressful. The stress isn’t physical, as in “oh my god, we have to run to get to things in time”, but rather psychological: are we filming what needs to be filmed, are we thinking the right thoughts in terms of storytelling, are we clear on what we need to accomplish? Also I am realising again that Ian is as much a beginner in all of this as I am, and sometimes he lacks the presence of mind and/or the clarity of vision that a proper documentary cameraman would have. But that’s exactly why we can do this together — we are learning together.

The week before last was pretty crazy. We had four deadlines that week: One, on Tuesday night, there was a little internal presentation at the agency where we have our desks, and we wanted to present (among other things) the short film that we’ve been working on for over a year now. The key requirement was that Ian would get the music done which him and a friend of his had been working on for weeks. But I could tell that he didn’t want to, or couldn’t, or whatever else it was … and I was getting a bit frustrated with him. What finally did the trick was that I realised that we had to work together on stuff, particularly on the stuff where he gets stuck, because he doesn’t necessarily have the conceptual strength and the vision to see where projects need to go. So I helped him get unstuck, and we moved forward. I was still disappointed that the result wasn’t quite what I hoped it would be, in terms of level of “finished work”, but at least we could show it at the evening. The next day, Maik and I had a one-day workshop with a big foundation that will hopefully support our work with the anti-climate show, and that went very well. It was actually really fun. Ian was in the studio that day, recording with his band. And after that, we had two days to cut a trailer from our documentary material, because Lynn needed it for a big chance to apply for funding for our film. Getting that trailer done wasn’t easy, but we did it — pretty much in time before we had to go traveling to Italy, for that week of shooting there.

Generally speaking, I have a lot to learn still about how to manage someone like Ian in the daily context of our work. At times, I have been really frustrated with him. And there are other times when I am jealous of him and his social skills, and the many friends and dates and things he has going on. I think I just need to realise that I am a lot older, at a different lifestage, and a different person from him. And that I need to properly think about how to best manage an arty/musician personality like him in the context of a company.

Overall, my sense of doom and despair has lessened. I am not sure why, and I worry that it may come back — but maybe it’s just that I am clearly doing my best to have an impact, and make a change, and I see other people do the same, so what else is there to do? And the fact that summer is coming back and bringing light and life to the city is also very helpful. The new part of town I live in is really nice, too, it helps me feel more balanced and more at ease. I just wish I was further ahead with getting my place done. I don’t quite know how to get lights, and, once I have them, how to get them up — whom to ask for help. Dating? Nothing. I am dabbling with Tinder again, but it’s not helping any … few matches, and when there is a match, there’s never ever a meeting. Sometimes not even a conversation. And in the world, I am not really meeting interesting people. One exception was actually in Italy — I met someone there while we worked, it was a very brief encounter, I got her email address later, and asked her if she might want to have dinner with me one day. She answered to tell her when I am back so we can meet. Today she added me on Facebook. Yeah, so … the slim chances that there are (if that’s even a chance) are in far away places …

On Saturday, we are helping Brandon and Mercer put on their show. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be a success, and it doesn’t feel like the project we had been meaning to set out to do at the beginning of the year. Now we just have to muscle through …

Posted in City, Film, Job, Politics | Tagged , , , , , ,

Two And A Half Months Of Everything Different.

Last time I wrote around Christmas time. Things have changed a lot since then. After the New Year’s holiday with the family bunch in the Alps, I returned home, to start my new professional life together with Ian, at our company. We began on January 8th, and started working side by side in our new office. At first, things were a bit new and slightly strange — working next to someone whom I’m paying, yet without any clear source of revenue. But it was so nice to suddenly have an office to go to, and a friendly face there, with whom I’d be working side by side. And it is so good to build something meaningful, entirely based on what we think is right.

Some things still require some getting used to, for instance the balance between Ian’s “mentally being there”, actively working on stuff, focused, and what level of social-media-induced mental absence is acceptable, or even necessary — for someone like Ian who is so connected with people, and such an active networker. And who, once he finds a project that needs a lot of attention, will work deep into the night, obsessively, getting stuff done. Or the issue of driving to work rather than using public transport. The idea was that I would go to the office with public means, but then there is so often gear to transport, or there are errands to run in the city. And then that is an excuse to use the car.

After the first month which we’d spent sitting in the office most of the time, we started traveling — Ian needed to get some stuff from his home, furniture and also audio equipment, and so we rented a truck and drove up north. It was a really intense trip, because we combined that with shooting the first footage for a massive documentary film project that we have started working on. It will be the biggest project for us this year, and we even got Lynn to join us, as our producer. It’s incredibly exciting, but also incredibly demanding and challenging. But we’ve got such amazing access to some people that we cannot not do it. And it is also about a cause I firmly believe in — it’s the answer to my political quest that I began in 2016. Only a few days after we’d returned from Scotland, we then drove down to Italy. There we spent a week together with Gianfranco, he is a political candidate in the Italian election, and he is connected with the people whom we interviewed in Scotland. We stayed with his parents and had an absolutely incredible week there. It’d be way too much to describe here, I’ll cover that in other places, and in other ways. And it will end up in our documentary, of course. The end of the trip was marked by Ian returning by plane (we compensated CO2 emissions for that trip), and I returned with the electric car, a trip that took me two days, and allowed me to stay for a night with relatives in the north of Italy. I had a horrible experience on the way back — at one of the charging stations, I found a dead bird on the front of my car. Crying, in the dark, in the snow, I buried it. It was an unexpected shock, and I think I decided there and then that I am not going to eat any more meat.

More things happened, a whole bunch more. I was flirting with a Tinder contact — in South America … At some point, it began to feel like too much, and not right, and I had to stop it. We are trying to move ahead with our show with Maik, but it’s slow going. Today I’m travelling to a meeting about that, who knows, maybe that will help us make progress. Ian and I are developing a comedy show, together with Brandon, and his friend Mercer. It’s a little hard, sometimes, to justify the investment in that project while we have so much else going on, but at the same time it’s good to focus on silly fun when there’s so much political stuff going on. Yesterday, I had to leave the office at mid day and go home and rest. The past three weekends were filled with work, and I was just burned out and needed a break.

I was incredibly happy about the documentary project, when we were in the thick of it, and working on it, and pushing it forward. I felt like I had finally found my new calling, after two years of looking for it. But then last weekend, our meeting with Lynn dampened my enthusiasm somewhat — I realized how much work there is still to do, and how steep the challenge. Now the job is to bring that enthusiasm and optimism back, and roll the sleeves up and enter into the next phase of developing it.

And I am convinced, we’ll get there. I think we can make a great film.

Posted in Job | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Year I Took The Red Pill.

Let’s make no mistake — objectively speaking, my life situation is absolutely enviable. I live in one of the most stable Western democracies, I have enough money to not have to work for quite a while, my parents and I are all healthy (as far as we know), and yes, even though I am single without wanting to be, I don’t have an ex-wife who’s making my life miserable, and there are no children who have to split their time between a distant parent and me. Every day I am doing pretty much precisely what I want, and for the coming year I have hired someone for my little company, who I love working with, and with whom I can carry out the projects that I want, and even if we don’t make a dime of income all year we can still keep doing what we’re doing for the whole year, because those budgets have been set aside. I have bought a beautiful apartment which I will move into in a few weeks, and the budgets for furniture and the kitchen are solid, and will allow me to create a space that will be really nice to live in. In other words, from a “Let’s look at the average situation of all of mankind”-point of view, I probably belong to a tiny percentage of people who have it all, pretty much.

Yet my year was really hard.

And that’s because this was the year I stopped looking away. It was the year when the state of the world, and mankind’s disastrous effects on the planet and all living beings on it, and our obscene behaviour towards each other really hit me.

In other words, this was the year when I took the red pill.

And there is no undoing that.

Which is why what sounds amazing in the introductory paragraph does not feel quite as amazing in my life. Because even though I may have had success, and I am one of the lucky ones, how great can that be — when I realize at the same time?: The world you live in is entirely broken, and it’s not through fairness or justice that you are where you are, and others are where you are not, and the haves and have-nots are not divided by a fence of achievement, or a moat of greatness, but by heaps and heaps of inequality and fear and injustice and crime. And besides, this world which I have (somewhat) succeeded in is on a collision course with the very survival of humanity, and of most species that make this planet the marvel that it is. Or rather: Used to be.

This was the realization that hit me this year. And it hit me with a vengeance.

I spent much of this year in some form of depression. Not the “I cannot get out of bed”-kind. But the kind that puts a constant cloud over your head.

In the last two to three weeks, things have gotten a bit better, slowly but steadily. I have begun to realize emotionally (not just rationally, rationally is not enough) that life happens on two levels. One is the mundane everyday level, and we can only stay sane if on that level we keep our spirits up and enjoy the small and the ordinary and the beautiful and the human. On that level, we cannot solve the problems of the world, and we cannot keep allowing them to enter. Because then life becomes meaningless and dark.

And then there is the strategic level. Here, my means and my position and my abilities force me to somehow try and have an impact. I am not allowed to sit back and chill and not care and carry on regardless. I cannot and I must not.

But this necessitates a plan that allows me to move the needle, to have an impact, to effect change — because if I don’t, the frustration becomes too big, too depressing, too heavy. My project with Maik felt like it could be that plan for a while. I am not so sure right now, we’re still searching for the right way forward, but I am hoping we will find it. And there are other projects that I am pursuing, and I am hoping that one or more of them will have an impact, and help create change.

What change have I helped create this year? Not as much as I would have wanted to, but still some I can be happy about: Our show was seen by 200 people, and I am sure that every one of them must have felt something, and for every one of them, their sense of how to live better lives and how to help save our planet must have gotten a boost from that show. My blogging and online writing and online videos must have also affected people. Maybe another 800? (One of my videos was seen over 30,000 times.) So let’s say I made a change with 1,000 people this year — that is better than nothing.

Let’s see what I can do next year.

And let’s also not forget: I am not alone. There are thousands of us. Millions.

What else happened in the last month and a half, since I last wrote? I had some dating unhappiness — one woman, for example, I’d been on two dates with her, but then she told me she saw only friendship as a possibility. But also another promising encounter now towards the end of the year — I met someone at a party, and that felt promising, and we want to follow up on this early in the new year. Then, we had a rather remarkable editing weekend with Brandon, Ian and Chuck in the little country house. And that got a little out of hand because Muffins with some weed in it were had; it was my first time, so I thought I would be the one who’d create funny outcomes for everyone else, but ultimately Chuck had a paranoid episode which really kind of messed with all of us … And yes, I did sign the paperwork for buying that apartment, and the man who’s building it for me continues to be an absolute delight, and I am more than convinced that I am doing the right thing buying it. I am working with a kitchen planner who’s going to cutom-build my kitchen for me. And I am having a big long dining table also made to order by a guy. Further, I have tried helping an association in Scotland that’s trying to organize a new and alternative economic summit that I am very excited about. Then, I have joined Brandon’s comedy night as their “in-house” musician, which I am very happy about. And I have formalized my agreement with Ian, to have him join my company, so we can truly join forces at the beginning of next year. I also attended my political party’s national convention in early December, which was incredibly interesting, because of the strange political situation which we currently have in Germany. And I reconnected with my old friend Joe, who’s more often in town now, and it makes me really happy to see him more often. Also, my relationship with Nana has gotten stronger this year — she has truly become my little sister, and one of my best friends, and a source of lots of light and happiness in my life. And she gave me the most amazing advent calendar this year! Improv has moved a little to the side, but I am still pursuing it, with the odd course here and there, and with a small group that has formed to try monoscene work.

It has been an intense year.

And now I am with my parents, and it’s the first time in a long time that I came home and was not afraid of a Christmas that would be sad because I don’t have a family of my own. This year, I am coming and just want to have Christmas with them, and be happy about them, and: Me with them, and that is all. It’s not easy sometimes to spend extended amounts of time with them, but it’s not easy for most children and their parents, and we’ll make the best of it, and they are amazing at 80 and 81, and so I am really hoping that it will be a beautiful Christmas. And that I can forget the red pill for only a few days, and also have a happy New Year’s skiing trip with the group I traveled with last year (I even bought new ski boots for the trip!), and then after that, in the new year, I’ll face the problems of the world and my evolving life, head-on.

And I will find a girl-friend next year. I am fairly certain of that. It’s a gut-feeling that I’ve been having for a couple of weeks now.

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