Sometimes you dial back the clock and watch where you were a year ago. Almost a year and a month now - I'm watching my way through the whole "Community" session series (one session, split into many videos) that Greg and I (mostly Greg) did at the first SugarCamp. Mostly I'm thinking ", I've learned a lot since then." I guess that's what a(nother) year of leaping off cliffs into the deep end of the ocean tends to do to you.

One of the things I've learned between then and now is how to talk for more than 5 minutes without a conference call being redialed in the foreground. One of the things I haven't learned is how to not be terribly self-conscious of my speech. Talking with Mo during that last late night at FUDCon helped me figure out a little more about why I'm so uncomfortable with attention. I still shrink a lot - you can see it in my body language when I curl up into the nonthreatening beaten-puppy slouch I'm trying so hard to make my mind and muscles unlearn.

And I'm learning that I'm worth something. That's still an idea that makes something catch in my throat every time I think about it; it's still raw and unfamiliar enough that it's still painful in its sinking-in, but dammit, it'll get there, and I'll never forget what it's like to come to this from the other side. So in some respects I'm still young and not yet beat down - and in other ways, I'm learning how not to be. It's wonderful.

Might be time for a Sugar QA team. The question is how we can make that space so people can lead that charge - I should ping Tabitha sometime.

I need a haircut now just about as badly as I did in that video - my hair's starting to hang down into my eyes and kinda kick out behind my ears, but I'm going to wait 'till I get back to Boston so I don't have to hear about how I shouldn't wear it so short 'cause it looks unfeminine that way. Short hair takes less bothering-with, yet still keeps my head warm. Functionality. End of story.

This time last year I was still reeling from the knowledge that people did "community" for their job. I was still trying to wrap my head around what that could be like, what that meant. I'm still trying to wrap my head around what it means, but now I know at least a bit of what it's like, and that I'm learning, and that I can do it too. Not quite as well as the others on my team; I'm still green and lack a lot of sheer experience and exposure, but I'm getting that very, very quickly (they're great teachers). And my approach will always be different, but everybody's is; part of how you do things in this world has to do with who you are.

When Caroline and Bernie came for dinner last week, I was still mid-dinner prep with multiple burners and chopping boards going. While watching me fly around the kitchen, Caroline said something to the effect of "so you're like this in real life as well!" and my response was "of course, I'm like this all the time - is the broccoli coo- STRAWBERRIES!" and diving across the table for the log of chevre.

Still watching the video. When I listen, I stop moving. It's all concentration; I can't even fiddle with a pen. So when you see me writing or otherwise fiddling - which is often - that means I've zoned out to drop into my world momentarily, have no idea what the speaker is saying at that moment, and will be dipping back in to listen to the conversation at some point. And for all that, I still patch together all the partial pieces that I get into something that's pretty decent. Huh. It often takes all my effort to pay attention to a speaker or a discussion - but that's a good thing (or I've made it into one, at least). It means that when I'm listening, I'm listening. I can't hear, but I can listen. I'm still working on this. Sustained concentration is a tough thing to train endurance on.

Hari and I were talking last week about how ADHD is a blessing; I love how my brain can focus in these ways, I love learning to understand it. I love the perspectives I can have - to some extent, the privilege of not having a lot of privilege to start with. (I still have a huge amount; I'm from a loving and financially stable family in a peaceful, English-speaking modern-day superpower, which puts me in the top ridiculous-percent of folks who have it easy in this world.) You work with the hand you're given, and you see what you can do with it.

That was a lot of video. Done now, and putting on some music.

Oh the snow it melts the soonest when the winds begin to sing
The swallow skims without a thought as long as it is Spring