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Suddenly blindsided by post-conference blues. The dangerous thing about finally having time to breathe is that it's also enough time to cry.
Now I remember.
Left the workshop room to find an empty corridor. Talked a bit with other people from the lab. It was nowhere near laughter and conversation over coffee, late-night conference parties, enjoying time with my closest friends...
That's it. This is loneliness and homesickness.
Tech conferences were always the best times for me to meet with friends. They've always been reunions for me, from the programming competitions in high school to the last open-source get-together I went to right before I left for Canada. We'd chat long into the night about all the crazy stuff that was going on.
Sometimes conferences were the only times I'd get to see Dominique. And I miss him. I miss him terribly. I miss going to conferences with him. He helped me prep, stopped me from panicking, made it easy for me to talk to other people...
Conferences are some of my fondest memories. Today's conference was nice, but... Cold. Strange. Empty.
I guess it's like that for everything else. I'm still trying to find friends, still figuring out how to relate to people.
I miss being totally present, the way you can be only among friends who know you as more than a collection of interests, who care about you as _you_, who know the million things you hate about yourself and love you anyway.
It doesn't make sense to feel lonely, but I feel it anyway.
Hooray for technology, though. People who say computers are impersonal have never been on the receiving end of some heavy-duty ASCII comforting. People who don't see the point in cellphones have never instantly touched base with other people without having to worry about where they were. (What's up with charging for incoming calls, anyway? SHEESH.) And oh, I really hope that Skype upgrade gets everything working again. I hadn't realized just _how_ much I needed to talk to friends...
(And yes, this is a personal bit of information and most of you are probably wondering why the heck I'm posting this, but this is what's happening in my life and it affects me far more than the other things I post.)
Thanks to Clair, Charo, Dominique, Mom, Dad, Diane, Mario, and everyone else who was there in spirit although perhaps not online.