More Than a List of Flaws

this too shall pass

September 21st, 2023

Why do I write here? It's a question I find myself often asking to myself. Writing helps me clear my mind, helps me get things out of my brain and force me to think a bit deeper on some elements. When I began to blog, so many years ago, there was of course a need for recognition. I was starting my professional life, I needed to build my presence on the Internet. Then I dwelled into Belgian politics which increased my views even more... reaching even too much at some point.

I must admit there was some joy in watching the numbers grows, seeing many interactions, ... But then I decided to leave politics altogether and to build my life. This blog went through so many phase: my beginner life, my employee life, my freelance life, disappearing for three years and finally this form, a receptacle of my thoughts in some sorts.

Sometimes it feels a bit lonely, I feel like we're not used anymore to interact on blogs, most of those switch to social networks, even I find myself commenting less on the blogs I follow as I read them through my RSS. But that's something I wanted also for this version of my website: to force myself to write for the sake of writing, not to see numbers increasing. The only thing I left to my ego was the small kudos button I built at the bottom of each article. Partly because that's something I wanted to build for some time, partly because seeing it increases sometimes makes the experience a bit less lonely.

Engineers should learn to design

I keep reading articles about how designers should learn to code, but for once, I'd like to take the opposite side and ask why developers should learn to "design" a bit.

At some point, designers and front-end engineers worked closely, striving for "pixel-perfect" designs (for what they were worth), and engaging in extensive discussions about their ideas and crafts. However, the era of pixel-perfect designs faded with the advent of responsive and fluid web design, where they lost relevance (and thank God for that—pixel-perfect has always been an aberration for screens).

This shift forced designers to delve deeper into web media, understanding how it functioned and how a design should adapt and flow across various screen sizes. These changes significantly influenced how we handle design nowadays.

On the engineers' side, companies started hiring more "full-stack engineers." The problem was that many hiring managers were heavily focused on the back end. A significant portion of them displayed a strange aversion toward any kind of UI (like, seriously, Vim?) and viewed design as a low priority.

This perspective was logical considering their roles and responsibilities. The bias, however, lay in their evaluation of their peers' "full-stack" competencies.

Gradually, we found ourselves working not just with Front End Engineers, but with "full-stack" ones who only knew how to use certain UI frameworks (be it Tailwind, Material UI, ...).

Any deviation from these frameworks resulted in extended sprints and deep frictions between engineers and designers. This is what sparked the wave of articles suggesting "designers should learn to code."

It might be tempting to place the burden on designers, considering that HTML & CSS aren't overly complicated (the fear of engineers grappling with complex algorithms all day towards CSS is something I never quite understood). However, dealing with whatever framework the engineering team ended up choosing (often well before any designer joined the project) presents an entirely different level of complexity.

As a result, we find ourselves simplifying design artifacts, aligning them more and more with the default framework. In the Agile process, the focus is on delivering value to the user, often translating to actionable items and revenue generation within a company setting.

Any design input that even slightly extends a sprint is viewed as a threat to the engineers' velocity. Consequently, the significance of any design changes amplifies with the diminishing knowledge of anything front-end related on the engineers' side.

I believe designers should learn to code within reasonable limits. However, I also believe we are witnessing a concerning and alarming decline in front-end skills and craftsmanship on the engineers' side. The "full-stack" role has adopted a back-end mindset, primarily caring about whether things worked, disregarding how they functioned and how they appeared and performed.

If we want the "engineer+designer" pair to work, we should strive to build bridges between those functions. When engineers want to be included in product decisions, designers have to be included when engineers are working on their technical strategies and framework selections.

While we have to teach designers about how the web, the code, applications work, we also have to educate engineers about the importance of a company's brand, of the look and feel, of the experience of the company's applications and websites. Making things work is one thing; making them delightful to use while being functional is where we get the best value.

Growing Automation

I have a mixed feeling toward automation and its impact on the future of a lot of business. Lots of teams around the world are working toward full automation and I can’t stop but wonder what can happen if you scale this automation more and more.

While not being a Luddite, I’m wondering until which point we can downsize human teams by improving automation, this leading automatically to less and less available jobs.

While we are working toward a more automated world, relying on both IA and strong systems, I feel our politic systems and the way we envision our lives don’t move at all at the same pace. While there were several attempts and tests about an universal income, those learnings don’t see to infuse as the majority of people are stuck in a mentality of « we shouldn’t pay others to do nothing » and our politics, instead of being able to plan for the future, are more and more stuck in a shortest and shortest vision, aiming only for the next election.

I wonder what will be the breaking point between this global movement toward automation and its impact.

At the same time I think a lot of executives are fantasising about what automation can really bring and how much they can get on without humans interacting and solving the quirks. As a species we are quite specialised in edge cases and we too often tend to imagine that working on a « default » system will be sufficient.

This quick evolutions doesn’t lead per se to a shortage of jobs but increase the agility needed to work, as every month brings more and more things to learn, areas to evolve in and competencies to get.

Too often I feel we are building a world that move more quickly than we of our systems are able to follow and I wonder how long we can wait before we collectively need to increase our pace, at the cost of leaving a lot of us behind.

They stole the future

Growing up, the future was bright, interesting, and full of mysteries. I grew up surrounded by the golden age of science-fiction novels, dreaming of space travels and discovering great mysteries still hidden from us. I grew up with the European Union growing stronger, bringing a dream of unity, peace, the removal of borders, and the promise of being able to travel anywhere.

The Internet appeared, and suddenly the future also promised unlimited knowledge, the possibility to find any answer at the tip of my fingers, giving me the chance to delve into anything and quench my thirst. It was discovering that I could talk with people from all over the world, uncovering new cultures, new countries, forming bonds across physical space.

It also offered so much freedom. Entire days were spent riding my bike, playing games with my best friend while his mother yelled at us to go outside and enjoy the sun (the sun and I have never been friends, at least that hasn't changed), building forts in trees, pitching tents to spend evenings in the garden, crossing barriers to explore fields and evade cows, imagining cities buried in the past among some trash left in a field that looked a lot like ruins.

But then they stole the future. The first blow was Dutroux, a child molester in Belgium. Suddenly, our world shrank. I had to call every time I arrived at my best friend's house. We were doubting people who were loved before, spending days outside on our bikes, just the two of us, was a thing of the past. Unsupervised times when we lost ourselves in the woods, dreaming of wonders, building imaginary worlds were taken from us and our mothers, who were once so keen to ask us to play outside, suddenly looked kindly at us spending time behind our computer screens.

Then my grandfather fell into a coma, destroying my refuge, the place where I felt the safest, the person with whom I shared the greatest times of my youth (along with my beloved dog). The unity, safety, and warmth I felt in my mother's side of the family were suddenly destroyed in one fateful day. He never came back the same. Years went by, trying to get to know another version of him, only for him to leave us a second time as we built fragile bridges.

The final blow was 9/11. While it was distant from me, I lived the moment through television, feeling like I was in a dream, totally disconnected. The event itself didn't impact my life much, but it changed the world afterward. Where the world once seemed limitless, it suddenly shrank even further. Borders that were once open were now scrutinised; traveling became a cumbersome idea; strangers, who were once bringers of mysteries, suddenly became bringers of doubts and unknown terrors.

My world shrank, gradually filled with fear. Suddenly, adults were terrified of everything: a train, a plane, a trip to a land a bit "too foreign." And with this fear, they changed the politics and rules that governed our lives. Countries turned inward, blaming "the outsider" for everything, enacting laws after laws enabling more and more surveillance.

The Internet transformed from an infinite space full of knowledge to a wasteland surrounded by a Big Brother surveillance system where every part of our lives was subjected to creating more and more money. Knowledge became hard to find, hidden behind all this garbage, often locked in walled gardens.

Our hopes for the planet were crushed. While in the '90s, we were slowly fighting greenhouse gases, and everyone seemed to want a greener future, suddenly, the momentum stopped. Every possible solution was debated, often giving up on the best ideas because of biased politics or unfounded fears. Looking ahead, I don't know how people are still able to conceive children with the climate projections and the present immobility.

I miss the future "from before." I miss being able to look at the stars and dream of reaching them. I miss dreaming of chrome cities, filled with robots helping us enjoy our leisure time, with clean air and blue skies. I miss dreaming of limitless travels, of building bridges with people beyond physical limitations. I miss being able to see further than the short-term future without being filled with anxiety.

They stole the future and replaced it with the tiniest world, filled with fears and problems they are adamant to ignore until they die. And we are left with ashes of our dreams, waiting for them to depart, hopefully quickly, to at least be able to salvage some parts of them before it all turns to dust.

C'est toujours les meilleurs qui partent en premier

Tu prononces cette phrase et je te regarde. Je ne sais quoi penser, je reste interdit. Certes c'est un dicton, une phrase que l'on sort toute faite et qui s'impose d'elle même. Et pourtant mon esprit s'emballe dans une folle course à la pesée de mon âme.

Si ce sont les meilleurs qui partent en premier, qu'advient-il de nous qui restons? Sommes nous si peu important? Tous ces amis partis, que je chéris encore, étais-je finalement moins bien qu'eux, à rester comme ça sur mon côté de la rive? Ou bien aurais-je du réussir à prendre ce bateau il y a plusieurs années pour rejoindre ces tristes lauréats?

Ou ne sont-ils meilleures que parce qu'il emportent avec eux les espoirs de tout ce qui aurait pu être? Que cette valeur qu'on leur attribue est construite sur nos espoirs avortés, sur tout ce qui aurait pu être mais ne sera jamais?

Les années s'entassent et à chaque départ, cette phrase me revient en tête. Mécaniquement, par ma seule existence, j'imagine mon portrait descendre encore d'un cran dans une échelle imaginaire de valeur, tenant un bilan comptable à me demander ce que je pourrais encore bien valoir si je pars à 95 ans, tant d'années après tous ces meilleurs.

Drôle d'inversion de la valeur de la vie que cette expression, où l'on transforme ceux qu'on nous a ravit en vainqueurs d'une course absurde. Sur la ligne d'arrivée, je peux très bien discerner leurs visages, et leur manque ne fait qu'accroitre leur valeur pour moi.

Ce n'est pas tant qu'ils étaient les meilleurs, c'est que pour ceux qui restent, chaque instant sans eux augmente un peu plus le souvenir de ce qu'ils ont été et ces avenirs hypothéqués.

Amitiés Unilatérales

J'ai voulu prendre des nouvelles d'un ami perdu de vue depuis quelques années, me demandant ce qu'il avait pu advenir de lui maintenant qu'il avait bougé sur la capitale, où il en était. Mais mon doigt s'est suspendu en prenant mon téléphone.

Dans ma tête je me suis souvenu de toutes ces fois où j'ai initié le contact, ces messages de relances, ces propositions de verres à travers les années. Cette pile d'évènements où je me suis rendu compte que depuis quelques années j'étais le seul moteur de cette amitié.

Certes cette pensée m'avait déjà traversée l'esprit, mais les évènements des dernières années aidant, j'avais repoussé ça dans un coin de ma tête, me disant que tel ou tel ami avait sûrement d'autres chats à fouetter, des préoccupations bien à eux en somme.

Et je ne vais pas juger une amitié à l'aune des nouvelles échangées, ce serait mesquin, une réduction de quelque chose de très beau à une métrique ridicule. Mais peu à peu j'ai réalisé que, pour beaucoup de ce que je pensais être des amitiés, si je ne relançais pas la discussion, je n'avais plus aucune nouvelles du tout.

C'est un goût amer dans la bouche de réaliser que, peut-être, ces amitiés n'avaient pas la même valeur des deux côtés. De se dire que si je pense à ces amis, visiblement je ne dois plus jamais traverser leurs esprits en l'espace de plusieurs années, du moins jamais suffisamment que pour écrire ne serait-ce qu'un "ça va?" . Pour quelqu'un doutant de sa valeur, c'est finalement quelque chose de très destructeur.

C'est aussi une leçon pour moi, d'apprendre à répartir mon énergie dans ces amitiés qui m'enrichissent, qui vivent, qui sont faites d'échanges, de discussions et de rires. Ces amitiés où c'est l'autre aussi qui vient proposer des sorties, des verres, où pour une fois je ne suis pas systématiquement le moteur, des amitiés hybrides en somme.

C'est triste de réaliser que j'ai sans doute beaucoup alimenté ces amitiés unilatérales car je doutais de ma propre valeur. Que je me disais qu'en étant un "bon ami", présent, toujours prêt à aider etc je gagnais en valeur, je "valais la peine d'être fréquenté". Un sentiment tronqué de valorisation que n'aidaient pas non plus les années qui passaient (qu'il était doux le temps où être un twink provoquait des temps de réponse fulgurant).

Parce qu'au fond subsistait toujours ce doute: est-ce que moi, tout simplement, ce petit moi, peut être suffisant dans une relation? Les années ont passées, j'aimerais dire que ma confiance en moi est un menhir resistant au passage des années, mais si elle a réussi à évoluer et se renforcer, elle est loin d'être indestructible.

Doucement je me fais à l'idée que peut être que je suis suffisant pour être un ami, que je n'ai pas à faire tous les efforts, qu'être moi peut suffire. Qu'au final, je ne dois pas être toujours "celui qui prends des nouvelles", qu'être simplement, c'est déjà bien suffisant.

September 4th, 2023

J'ai pris le temps de replonger dans tout ce que j'avais pu écrire sur ce petit lopin du web grâce à la Wayback Machine et à ce petit script. J'avais perdu pas mal des billets à force de bouger, de changer d'avis, d'osciller entre un site personnel et/ou un portfolio à travers les années sans trop savoir. Finalement j'ai pris le temps de tout réimporter ici, 12 années de pensées qui s'étaient éparpillées de par l'Internet.

J'ai trouvé ça assez amusant de retomber dans le temps et de me voir réfléchir avec une décennie d'écart. Réaliser la simplicité de certains raisonnements, ou au contraire parfois retrouver les mêmes idées filées différemment à travers les années. Je me suis rendu compte aussi de ce que je voulais garder à travers ce petit tamisage, et qu'au final tout ce qui était technologie, avis sur le travail, ... m'importait peu face aux ressentis, pensées et vécus de ces instants.

C'est aussi amusant de constater tout ce que je mettais avant sur un blog et qui a maintenant une place ailleurs. Mes avis sur les films se retrouvent réduits sur IMDB à une simple note, mes commentaires sur les livres que je lis sont sur Hardcover (après avoir longtemps hésité entre GoodReads, Bookwyrm, Storygraph et consorts), quant aux applications j'ai pris un gros tournant pour un certain minimalisme parsemé de self-hosted et de logiciels libres qui se trouve réussir mieux à l'épreuve du temps que tous les logiciels dont j'avais pu parler à travers les années (je pense que sur 30 billets, un seul existait encore).

Je me suis aussi mis moins la pression. Le site de mon moi jeune était un portfolio ouvert au monde, d'un jeune qui devait y trouver sa place, un travail et défendre ses compétences. Empli d'une envie d'ailleurs aussi, c'est pour ça que j'avais fait très tôt le choix de l'anglais, pour sortir du carcan si compliqué de mon petit pays complexe. Les années ont passées et j'ai de moins en moins besoin d'un tel portfolio ou de devoir me défendre, je peux donc m'occuper de mon jardin virtuel comme je l'entend.

Il y avait aussi beaucoup de billets ayant trait à l'état du design, de l'expérience utilisateur et autres. Je reste en accord avec la plupart d'entre eux mais c'est quelque chose sur lequel j'ai beaucoup moins envie d'écrire au jour le jour (d'autres le font bien mieux et de manière très extensive et intéressante: iErgo et Stéphanie Walter pour n'en citer que deux).

Si l'expérience utilisateur est mon travail, c'est ce qu'elle reste pour moi, en dehors j'ai envie de parler de la vie, des rencontres, des émotions, des expériences que je vis, ... Et parce que si je prends le temps d'écrire aussi, c'est par plaisir de m'ouvrir, de mettre à plat ce qui passe par ma tête et qui va largement au delà de ce que je fais pour payer une vie de luxe à mes chats.

Cette plongée dans le passée a été intéressante. Elle m'a permis de m'assurer de ne plus perdre tous ces petits bouts de moi éparpillés, mais elle m'a aussi ouvert les yeux sur ma façon de grandir à travers tout ce temps. Je suis heureux d'avoir enfin pu centraliser ces douze années d'errances virtuelles en cet écrin.

Adieu l'oiseau

Il m'a fallu du temps (et le bannissement d'un de mes comptes), pour décider de prendre mes bagages et décider de quitter Twitter. Ca peut paraitre étrange, mais ce site m'avait tellement apporté avec les années qu'il m'a fallu beaucoup de temps pour réaliser qu'il était devenu une sorte de relation toxique où le temps que j'y investissais était transformé en maux de ventres incessants.

Twitter a été le lieu où j'ai rencontré pléthore de personnes centrales dans ma vie d'aujourd'hui. Il a été le lieu aussi qui m'a fait rencontrer mon fiancé (et bientôt mari). Il a été un lieu d'échange fort, un lieu qui m'a poussé à m'investir en politique (avant de m'en dégoûter totalement). Il a été le lieu d'échanges intellectuels intenses, mais aussi de fous rires. Pour un introverti peu à l'aise dans des gros groupes, ce petit site a été une occasion magique de rencontrer des personnes uniques

Mais Twitter a aussi été la source de bien des maux. C'était certains cercles impénétrables où l'on te faisait sentir que tu étais mal venu, c'était des trolls combattant des flamingants imaginaires qui prenaient un plaisir à harceler des personnes de plus de 20 ans leurs cadets jusqu'à m'en faire trembler et pleurer dans la nuit. Mais c'était aussi ce réseau qui m'a donné une amie qui m'a tapée sur l'épaule et dis "laisse, je prends le relais, je connais, je vais gérer à ta place" (merci du fond de mon coeur pour cette soirée Marie).

Des amitiés et des cicatrices il y en a eu beaucoup à travers les 15 années que j'y ai passées. Des souvenirs, des soirées, beaucoup. Des personnes trésors énormément, elles éclipsent d'ailleurs les cicatrices. Mais plus les années passaient, moins je reconnaissais ce réseau.

Loin d'accuser Twitter de tous les maux de nos démocraties, je le trouve un triste reflet de l'époque. La polarisation "à l'anglo-saxonne" a touché tous les pans de la société. Là où on échangeait, on discutait, on grandissait, désormais l'on invective, on cherche la répartie cinglante et blessante pour pouvoir compter les points. Chacun se campe sur ses positions, bombardant allègrement de l'autre côté sans la moindre parcelle d'intelligence. La généralisation fait loi, la répartie est acide.

Twitter est devenu aussi un puit sans fond de colère humaine, de frustration à ciel ouvert. Là où certains avaient créé un fichier listant l'indignation du jour, beaucoup ne semblent pas avoir saisi le ridicule de la chose, et l'on devrait désormais passer à l'indignation de l'heure pour suivre le rythme. D'un endroit où je venais chercher comment occuper mon ennui, où je prenais plaisir à aller rencontrer d'autres personnes et me faire de nouvelles connaissances, Twitter est devenu un ulcère à ciel ouvert.

Cet oiseau bleu a accompagné mes plus belles années bruxelloises, il a formé mon noyau dur d'une époque tristement révolue, mais dont certains persistent même si de manière moins présente. Les années ont passées et certains (dont moi) avons fait nos valises (réelles cette fois ci) pour partir l'un dans une autre ville, l'un dans un autre pays. D'autres malheureusement nous ont quittés (putain de crabe), laissant des souvenirs impérissables qui quelques soirs me font monter la larme à l'oeil.

J'ai verrouillé mon compte, je n'y retourne que pour les messages que mes amis encore présents m'y envoient (et les jolis messieurs quand même ne gâchons pas le plaisir) et j'ai déplacé mes valises sur Mastodon. Tout n'y est pas parfait, l'ambiance y est même beaucoup plus punk / queer que ce dont j'avais l'habitude, mais peu à peu j'y retrouve un peu le plaisir d'avant.

Mastodon demande d'être un jardinier, de bien filtrer, sélectionner ceux qui reproduisent les schémas qui m'ont fait partir, ... mais j'y retrouve un peu cette joie de discuter avec des inconnus, d'apprendre, d'échanger librement, de sauter dans une conversation au hasard.

J'ai mis un pied dans Bluesky aussi, qui m'a reproduit à l'identique mes abonnements Twitter d'il y a 10 ans et où j'ai un peu l'impression de vivre des retrouvailles de lycée, mais où l'on sent quand même chez tous les marques que les années ont laissées. Mais Bluesky reste trop attaché à Twitter, et si Musk a fait beaucoup de dégâts, je n'oublie pas ceux que Dorsey avait déjà fait avant lui.

C'est donc un adieu à l'oiseau bleu que j'avais besoin d'écrire pour exprimer ce que ce site m'avait fait ressentir et m'avait apporté à travers les années. J'en garde le meilleur, ces personnes trésors que je retrouve parfois lors d'occasions trop rares, mais qui me font toujours autant de bien.

Quinze années que je referme avec un goût aigre-doux sur le bout de la langue, mais dont le temps se chargera de faire le tri pour ne me laisser que le meilleur. Et une nouvelle aventure à tracer pleine d'inconnues que je suis déjà impatient de découvrir.

Merci pour ces rencontres. Merci Wilhem, Xavier, Lionel, Marie, Melissa, Sophie, Audrey, David, Simon, Anne-Julie, Arnaud, Ben, Nico, Greg, Louis, Lukasz (sorry j'ai pas ton L bizarre là), Medhi, Fred, Amaury, Adrien, Patrick, Pascal, Florence, Ulysse, Seb, Anthony, Steeve, JF et j'en oublie sûrement. En espérant se revoir bientôt ailleurs, et autrement.

Starting the engine and changes

Like I said previously, I love tinkering and I've spent quite some time on this blog. You might have seen some changes, that's because I've transformed this little blog in a tiny blog engine open to anyone. It relies on markdown files and was made to be easily installable anywhere you want as long as there's a php server.

It's really light (around 220kb), gives space to customisation and is totally RGPD compliant as it uses no script, cookies or whatever you see everywhere. Also you won't need to open any terminal window nor install node, ruby or whatever. Just have a FTP access to your server, drop your markdown files and it's done and updated.

I've added some tweaks for this blog, like a small fade of the text as long as you go. I wanted something to represent how my mind slowly forget things the longer they are back in time (don't worry this doesn't happen in the RSS feed).

I liked the metaphor so I wanted to implement it here only as this little space on the Internet represent a part of my mind and experiences. So for those who pass by here, this is me waving through the window and hoping you'll have a pleasant time here!

August 28th, 2023

Sometimes there's a lingering feeling across the corner while I'm making my way through life. I often laughed about those people going through a crisis around their 40 years old of things like that, but suddenly I find myself asking more and more "is that all there is?".

The last years have been quite eventful and the coming months will bring a lot of joy (getting married yaaaay) but what are the next "steps"? I've grown with some kind of plan put in my mind: find a stable job, a good spouse, buy a house, ... Sure we'll end up buying a flat (in this economy?! I know right), and I still have some steps I can climb in my job but then what?

When I look back 10 years ago I'm happy of course. I've left a job that almost burned me two times, I'm in a stable and loving relationship (not getting anxiety from a relationship was a first!), I'm getting married and have a lot of friends. But sometimes I'm feeling a bit lost and wondering if I hit a wall, or what I could do next.

I feel like I have some struggle setting new goals aside from those my education taught me especially in nowadays context (I won't paint a picture but focusing on my little life is how I'm able to keep my sanity). I'm a bit at loss also on where to invest my energy as there's a limited amount of things I can cope with to keep my mind balanced.

August 26th, 2023

I always loved tinkering. As far as I can remember, I see myself buildings things with blocks of woods or Lego, taking my father's tools to build a cabin in a tree (well, in my head at least it was one), trying to get things to work by reading their manuals, discovering new functionalities and trying them on.

At around 12 years old I had the chance to enroll in some side scientific experiments classes. That's when I discovered I could also tinker with a lot more things in chemistry, physics, ... This lead to pretty funny experiments (depending on who you were asking at the time) like putting stone stairs on a blue fire, creating a smoking effect with a ping pong wall, ...

Then I discovered computers. There was something quite magical about those machines that attracted me. Like a realm of endless possibilities, fed by the games I discovered through them. Although imperfect and mostly made of colored cubes, those helped me image more and more universe to dwelve into.

Around 14 I had the chance to take programming classes, that was when I discovered I could also ask the machine to do what I wanted. For some reasons, my teachers where trying hard to understand why my code was working when it was absolutely bonkers but for me it was magical and unique. From this moment, I was able to build anything I could imagine if I tried hard enough.

I'm not a developer now, but I think, deep in my heart I'm still a tinkerer, and it something that never left me throughout the years. I'm still spending my week-ends tweaking programs, gadgets, this website, my server, ... and nothing brings me more joy than this. Sometimes you have to look back to understand what exactly makes you happy and for me it's simple: fixing things.

July 30th, 2023

Sept années. Parfois j'ai le vertige à voir le temps qui s'est déroulé depuis que je me suis retrouvé au bord de ce précipice. Me demandant souvent comment j'ai fait pour aller de l'avant, persévérer malgré la destruction qui m'avait sapée dans ma quasi entiereté.

Il m'a fallu du temps pour me rendre compte que je ne m'étais pas reconstruit totalement, que j'avais reconstruit mon être autour de ce puit de douleur. Du temps pour accepter aussi qu'un autre fût moi, cet autre que je pensais encore toujours être ou pouvoir être. Pourtant on change profondément.

Si des sentiments peuvent nous porter si haut, ils peuvent aussi être source d'une destruction sans pareille, nous forçant à nous réinventer et à réunir ces bribes de ce que l'on a été pour construire un nouveau nous que l'on doit apprivoiser.

Sept ans que j'apprends peu à peu ce nouveau moi que je suis, avec ses errements, ses interrogations, ses surprises.

Au delà de la douleur, cette reconstruction m'a aussi forcé à doucement vers le deuil de choses que je pensais parties intégrantes de ma personnalité, me forçant par exemple à dire adieu à mon hypersensibilité qui me faisait pleurer à chaudes larmes à la fin de certains livres ou de films.

Si la douleur s'est éteinte, ou comme on dit j'ai grandi autour diminuant son emprise, cet apprentissage, cet effort d'être à nouveau, de se réapprendre et réapprivoiser est pourtant un travail constant depuis sept ans. Et si le chemin parcouru depuis s'est avéré important, cette impression d'être parfois un inconnu à soi-même perdure.

J'ai longtemps souhaité n'avoir jamais connu ce qui a provoqué cette destruction, cette douleur. Mais dans son sillage elle a amené tellement de choses positives qu'il m'est maintenant difficile de les dissocier. Alors on va de l'avant, fier de cette reconstruction, apprenant chaque jour un peu plus qui je suis désormais.

May 30th, 2023

I'm feeling a bit lost lately, noticing how fast the last years went by. Without realising, my hair slowly faded to a dark grey, something I didn't even notice in the mirror while the weeks went by. Years pile up without you really realising it and when you look back you're suddenly facing the teenager you once were and feel the gap between you.

Looking at old pictures I can see the hurdles I went through, the pain, the stepping stones of those years and how much they learned me. Still I would love to embrace this teenage me and prevent him from all this. Yes it did get better, but how I wish we didn't have to go through so much.

It's a kind of nostalgia with hints of regrets, I wish I had learned yesterday what I know today. I wish I could get all those years back to erase the pain, to enjoy them as much as I should have, to stop doubting myself so much, to stop allowing people to hurt me so much because I thought I didn't deserve better. But time goes by and we can't grasp even its tiniest part.

It's kind of a vertigo, looking back at all those years, all those trials wondering if they were truly necessary to arrive where I'm at today. There are still so many trials left, so many things on my mind I'm still fighting, will I ever look back on where I am today and wish I was able to tell myself to let go of all this weight and finally start to enjoy those great years too?

Every day that pass me by I'm trying to let go of some of the weight I carried over the years but I feel like there is still so much work to be done. I just hope one day I'll be enough for myself.

March 28th, 2023

I've been on ADHD medication for almost a month now, after years of wondering, months of talking to a psychiatrist and various medical checkups. I can say that it's already changing my life quite a lot and improving my daily life quite a lot. I'm finally able to pay attention through long meetings, to understand things that take time, and I'm also listening more finally.

One of the things that I had a harder time controlling was that my nervousness baseline was high. Usually, my left leg would always be moving, I'd be biting my nails all the time. Now, except when going through a stressful event, I'm finally calm.

For the first time (since I can't remember when) my mind is also quiet most of the time. When I'm not focused on something for work, I can finally enjoy a silent mind with no intrusive thoughts, no infinite to-do list building, ... It's interesting, at the end of the day I'm way less exhausted than before, it's like as if I was spending so much energy every day for nothing. At night I'm able to go to sleep much quicker.

All of this makes me wonder quite a lot about how my life would have been different if I had been under this treatment previously. One of the reasons I left university was because I was unable to focus for long hours, even more, to study in front of a desk for weeks. I wonder what I could have accomplished if I had been in the same state I am now. I'm proud of where I am in life right now, but still, the what if's are still there.

March 1st, 2023

I've always felt the need to feel useful. Thinking I didn't deserve any attention aside from my usefulness, getting really lost and depressed when I couldn't. It has taken quite a toll over the years, reinforcing existing vulnerabilities and anxiety.

Each time I felt lost and ignored by some people, I felt that I deserved that, that perhaps I could have done more, be more relevant or whatever. Unable to think that people could like me for something else than being useful or that perhaps simply people didn't valuate me at the same level as I valued them.

I try my best to determine what people expect and to meet their expectations. In a way, it's sad to realise that my best relationships often come from work, as they happen in an area where expectations are clear and I know I can meet them. Often in my private life I realise that I don't get what people expect, perhaps because I always think they expect something from me when it's not the case.

I'm trying more and more to reframe my train of thoughts but it's complicated. It's a system I've built for years that I slowly have to deconstruct piece by piece and, sadly, has become quite part of my personality. I just hope that one day I'll be able to get people right.

February 24th, 2023

You always tell yourself you’ll have the time, that you will see them next time, that this time your schedule is too packed, too crowded, … But life pass by and your schedule doesn’t matter to it and when it does you wish you had made room to see those persons, to spend time with them even for a short time, for a blink.

Another friend left tonight, taken by the big fucking crab, left me feeling like my grandma reading the obituary, listing the friends it took from me. I wish I made time to see them, but knowing their illness I acted out of fear, distancing myself to avoid the scar that I know was coming. Now they’re gone and I will never have the chance to share another moment with them ever again.

We are always taken by our lives, trying to make time to see the people who make life worth living in between our daily lives. Too often we end up forgetting that it is those people who make life worth living and I made this mistake again and again.

I will miss you funny motor rider, I will always remember the funky chicken and the metal Abba covers. I’m reading the book you advised, I wish we had the chance to discuss it but life took an unexpected turn. Lie in peace my friend, I wish I was there.

Portrait in black and white of my friend Fred Wauters

February 2nd, 2023

Two things gave me a lot of thoughts lately. First was this post from More to that, second was an event from my birthday. As someone struggling with self esteem over years, I slowly realise that I will never be able to change everything I would like to change about myself, that I would probably never be exactly like I would want me to be.

Looking back on the road so far I also feel that I spent way too much time worrying on how I looked when I shouldn't have. Realising also the amount of friends around me as I was crossing my 35 year on this earth made me think that I didn't have to be perfect to be appreciated, and that each one of those person must have found something in my little person that made sense to them and made me a bit loveable.

I don't think this will switch totally how I think about myself, unfortunately a lot of those thoughts are deeply ingrained in my mind and there are years of patterns to dismantle. But still, bit by bit the darkness in some corners in my mind recess and it makes me feel a bit better each day.

January 13th, 2023

"When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure" — Charles Goodhart

Companies are slowly switching to different target systems, one of them in tech being the OKRs which seem to encounter a lot of success. While those objectives make sense in a company macro level, they become troublesome when you ask individuals to define goals on their side following the exact same principals.

We human love target numbers, they are easy to measure and easy to follow. My problem is that for a lot of jobs they are in fact too easy to define the complexity of one's job. You end up defining steps and outcomes to work on instead of working on ways to improve and evolve. It becomes even more dangerous in "support" professions like analytics or design, where a big part of your daily work is supposed to be to help other teams achieve their goals. Therefore your goals are supposed to evolve over time, depending on the team needs and objectives. One of the main objective for support function ends up being something that is hard to calculate but makes way more sense than any other arbitrary metrics: helps other teams to reach their goals by doing good work.

The other problem with numerical targets is that, as Goodhart's law says, they become the sole objective. We human beings are faillible and also, let's admit it, quite lazy when we want. For a lot of us, if a metric says to reach X, we will stop putting efforts once the X is reached. And the problem is that a lot of the time this X will be a possible projection that might or might not be close to the reality (or just an impossible target sometimes). Targets might also get in the way of doing the real work.

I've seen too often people trying to push for absurd decisions just because some of their objectives asked them to do so while it made absolutely no sense on the business level. This ends up causing a lot of harms on the projects side, but also on the individual side who feels like they have to chose between sacrificing themselves and get bad reviews or help the company do good work.

For example, one of the most absurd thing I encountered in my work life was a marketing team pushing to play a TV spot ad on the top of a landing page which was itself leading to this landing page. The aim of the page was supposed to convert the visitors into buying something, but after weeks of tense discussions we realised that the reason why the marketing team was pushing so hard for the pole position of the page to be the tv spot was because they were incentivized on the number of views of the video, which made absolutely no-sense in terms of business.

I think that by trying to apply the OKR system on an individual level, we are doing more harm than good as we totally ignore that things that are good on a system and macro level might make absolutely no sense on the human level, forgetting a lot of our behavior and psychology. By asking humans to define easy metrics like those we are also ourselves falling back in our laziness pattern, as those metrics while giving the aspect of being objective and measurable are, in the end only easy to measure and nothing else.

January 3nd, 2023

«To absent friends, in memory still bright»

Sometimes after all this time, I’m afraid I will forget your faces, that those memories I have of each of you would fade away and that I would forget your names.

I wanted to leave a small trace of you in my digital journal, a poor token for the impact each of you had on my life. As imperfect as it is, I hope this would help keep your memory alive.

To Jerry, Fred & Aude, marvellous friend taken way too soon whom I wish I had the chance to walk a longer path with.

January 2nd, 2023

I feel like all the communication around design is pretty bloated. Medium is dying under filler articles speaking about the same basic things again again, where the only important part seems to give a little bit of visibility to its author. Add to that the paywall behind the number of articles you can read on Medium and it's getting harder and harder to know what is interesting to read in the end. Hence why I decided to stop almost anything coming from Medium, because the ratio of time spent on it versus things I could learn from the articles were way too low.

Unfortunately I feel like there's a gap to fill that we are a bit lost on how to feel. The easy part of our job is easy to be found (and honestly, made to look way too easy that it's becoming ridiculous), the hard part is through academic papers or heavy books, but we seem to suffer from a lack of middle level informations (where most of the time you end up on the NN Group website or Carine Lallemand book anyway).

I can see two parts about this absence of middle-ground. First one is the infamous impostor syndrome. Being honest, I often want to share about my day to day job, techniques and things like that, but I always feel that I won't find a clear way to express it or that I won't be as rigorous as some of us want to be (looking at you academic side).

The second one is that most of us in a medior or senior position are blocked by so many NDA that it's simply not legally possible to write about our daily works, even when we tackle mondain problems that every one of us might encounter one day or the other. This is especially true in enterprise UX and in-house applications: most of the problems we encounter are shared by other companies, but we're not allowed to discuss it. So we tend to oversimplify, to erase the experience part to provide with basic rules that lack the clarity that might be provided by experience.

I'm a bit lost on how we could tackle this problem but I feel we should both challenge the mandatory-NDA mentality for projects that don't bring any commercial advantage or anything and also be more open and dare to share our experience. But by sharing our experience, we have to admit the truth that design evolve and is different in every setting, that rigorous theoretical rules and systems often make no sense in the face of reality (looking at you quadruple sapphire process or whatever). I hope we all might evolve toward a more open future for our profession and in a more qualitative way, while staying open minded and kind.

December 29th, 2022

I grew up with severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Depression was a sadistic companion, making you think you had an acute vision of the world when everyone else was blind, that I was one of the only ones seeing the world in its true bleakness and horror.

For years I wanted to end my life and tried several times. There wasn't a time when crossing a bridge when I didn't think about jumping and getting off this train. At 27 years old, after some time working with a therapist, the suicidal thoughts disappeared and my depression calmed down.

I accepted to live my life as an experiment and to experiment it to its fullest and the best I could. But this led to a funny problem: I never expected to live this long (I know), so I never made any plans for the future or the long term. Therefore I lead my life by discovering new paths and ways every week, making choices and seeing where it leads. And I don't feel bad about it, it's part of the experience and it makes it rich and wonderful.

So the old catchphrase still rings true: it does get better. If some darkness lives inside your head, know that someday you will be able to evict it and discover another side of you. And for me, here's to 35 years of improvisation and to the best choice I ever made.

December 27th, 2022

There's always something sweet to me about Christmas. I was lucky enough to grow up in a big loving family, where every Christmas was a chance to meet, enjoy time together and spread love.

One of my core memory is related to Christmas, it's a memory I can evoke in my mind and almost relive. When I close my eyes I come back to this winter, my grandmother's house, the faint lights bathing the room, my aunt, cousins and parents sitting at the table or going around. I can hear faint hints of laughter, see the food disposed around the buffet, and the blinking lights on the Christmas tree ... When I feel lost and gloomy, this memory is a refuge from the problems of the world.

Things changed over the years. My grandfather passed away after years of illness, my grandmother left us during the covid, and we all grew up, some with children, some (like me) leaving the country, ... But Christmas is always the moment when I find the way back home. Christmas changes but not what I feel inside my heart for this period. And even if it will never be the same, every new Christmas still holds a spark of those precious times I hold in a corner of my heart.

December 15th, 2022

I wonder why our first loves are seen as experiments, hidden things, trials not even worth of sentiments. Our straight's counterparts first loves meanwhile are watched with dolly eyes and sweetness.

Still I remember vividly my first kiss, feeling I was crossing a border, his lips somewhat a bit dry. I remember my hand on his skin, his unique grain and the warmth emanating from his skin.

I remember feelings I couldn't explain because I didn't have the right frame, crying each time he was leaving, wondering for how many times I won't see him again, thinking it was just a strong friendship.

I remember holding to the smallest trace of him, an object left behind, a song he made me discover, the feeling of closeness staying only in my memories. The jealousy I felt when he said how close he was with someone else and how many times they had the chance to spend together.

Decades after, I understand now that this was love. Not an experiment, not a strong friendship, but my first feelings of loving someone, misunderstood because I grew up thinking a boy couldn't love another. This was not an experiment, it was so much more than this, but society didn't teach us that our loves were possible.

December 13th, 2022

Short-termism is killing our societies and business. It's what I protested years ago in Belgium when we asked politicians to do their jobs instead of trying to gain popular votes with catchphrases and veiled insults.

Short-termism is killing our societies with 4-year maximum visions, where critical things like pensions, health, and education that are in dire need of long-term visions are sacrificed in terms of short-term gains in popularity and votes. Politicians are more concerned about winning a second mandate rather than improving society in the long-term.

For companies, short-termism expresses itself through sprints where you have to bring value in two weeks, where we tend to value vanity metrics or short terms improvements and where every long-term project, or rehaul is hidden behind "technical debt" and never tackled which makes systems more and more fragile. Because those works require a deep and long focus and the gains are visible only in the long run. Instead, we work on projects that are possible to accomplish quickly, selecting the fastest tool available without taking the time to think if it's the best one and if it's solid enough to support the long run. We end up with projects breaking three months after their launch because they relied on fragile dependencies.

Investors are also to blame, for seeking short-term valuations on their investments and looking more at the resell value of a business than at its real possibilities and rentability, focusing again on vanity metrics. We pour money into a failing business, just to be able to sell them quickly and let the repercussions diffuse through society once it's out of our hands.

December 12, 2022

Lately I have felt quite overwhelmed by the amount of things I'd like to see, play, read, ... I reached a level where I specifically refuse to learn about new TV Shows as I don't feel I'd be able to already tackle my way too long watchlist.

I realised also how many times I was presented new things to try, and how many times I did so myself when I read a book I liked, played a good game, ... While sharing is always great, it looks like we have more and more on our plates, in a endless production of content.

Nowadays I try to take the time, to let feels cool down, and do my best to not get on the hype train (but it's difficult) for the new TV show, the new game, ... To have an advice based on time, to be certain that this new things is worth my time and not something I'd forget in two days time.

September 20, 2022

I grew tired of politicians. Tired of having to excuse their actions as a whole and trying to find some good ones lost in this whole machinery. Time and time again they feel like a distinct class, living in a secluded world where the rules they decide for ourselves don’t seem to apply, where even competencies, diligence and values look like things of the past.

I am tired of partisanship that remove our brain from basic observation skills, that disable our sense and make us unable to accept when someone in the same side as us is acting wrongly. This same partisanship that erase all discussions by removing our ability to accept that perhaps, sometimes, the opposite side might have some clever things to say too.

I am tired of our inability to realize that over this partisanship, we divided ourselves into small factions asking both for more rules over our neighbors while begging for exceptions on our side. Blind to this, we shout and act shocked when those same exceptions we asked through backdoors are given to others. We are inhabited by a will to control other's lives through more and more rules while failing to comply on the ones that should apply to ourselves time and time again.

I am tired of the amount of money we accept to give every month, as a whole, to fuel this separate Elysium removed from our very existence. Tired to see that mistakes that would barre us from ever working are excused with a waving hand. Tired to see the same people that made a mess at some position be put in another one at the same level. Tired also to see sons, grandsons, cousins or whatever of those same politicians access the same kind of jobs through blatant nepotism.

Most of all I am tired that those position that should be designed to serve the public and the common good are now used as a way to gain both insane amount of money and power while dismantling more and more our lives with little to be shown for.

It’s not that I don’t want to talk politics anymore or make a choice, it’s that politics exhausted me. And looking at all of this I fear for our democracies.

September 18, 2022

I often get asked why I moved to Paris. While there were a lot of reasons involved (some quite stupid looking back), one of them was the possibility to grow in my field of work and to enhance the field of possibilities. Moving here gave me the liberty to chose who to work for, where would my energy go, and not having to settle for any job because of a low market. This freedom is the most important part for me, as I went through so many horrible jobs and tedious tasks that it’s something I don’t want to live again.

Sure with time and experience my profile gained interest and traction, but the steps I was able to take by moving away from Belgium would have taken me decades to attain never mind the salary. I wish we were able to all live in a society where we could chose our work and who to work for, unfortunately for a lot of places we have to settle for things we don’t really have any interest because we have to gain enough to have a place to live in.

This inability to chose is something I don’t want to go through ever again. And while many friends often ask me if I don’t want to come back or go live in small cities and things like that, it would mean in a lot of cases to abandon this unique freedom I found here. After all, I’m still a city boy.

September 12, 2022

The memory of senses is something strange and funny. By closing my eyes I can go back to some specific memories that left their mark on my senses. I still remember vividly the grain of the skin of the first boy I held against me. Its unique warmth, the irregularities of his skin brushing against my fingers, the roughness of his lips while we were trying to imitate things still unknown to our minds but that our bodies craved.

Odors have their unique spaces. There are a lot of people from whom I memorized their unique smell. Sometimes I encounter those smells again and then spring back into my memory. I turn around, seeking them but odors aren't that reliable and most of the time they're not here. It's more than a perfume, each person or sometimes place carries its unique smell, filled with asperities and uniqueness.

I remember my grandfather's death, leaving his hospital bed and taking the train back home. When I stood up to exit the train, I was suddenly faced with his unique smell, coming from behind me. But when I turned around, hoping to find him against all odds, there was just an empty wagon. When I got into my mother's car, her first word was that he left us just after I was able to say goodbye to him.

I like to think that in this small window of time, it was him coming to say goodbye to me in this wagon, leaving me his perfume as a token of this farewell.

September 7th, 2022

There's a craving for recognition inside me that I can't stand. It started quite young, as some desire to be included, I neede to impress as to not be left alone, so I tried and I tried, I produced everything I could to gain a sparkle of attention. Getting older it grew more and more, fed by the likes, the views and the analytics. Speaking my mind wasn't enough, I need people to indicate they read, they agreed, they listened. I was craving this interaction, as a way to exist. Every word I left out that didn't resonate made me feel like I wasn't worth it, that I wasn't present. There's an ambivalence that reside in my mind where I both try to avoid people while needing their attention as a small shot of drug.

More and more I try to detache myself from this. Of course I still search for it, but I try to improve myself and go for a sense of connection, an exchange of thoughts rather thant recognition. I decided to make this blog as simple as I could, without any tracking tool, as a way to share my thoughts, open to whoever would want to read it, but avoiding my addiction to metrics, views and other numbers.

Still, it's still there, and I think it's part of the human experience, we need others to exist even when we don't want it consciously. Still the longing is there, words can't exist in a vaccum and exchanges is what makes life worth it. I just have to slowly learn to remove myself from needing those small injections of esteem and grow as much as I can without this drug.

September 5th, 2022

How do you bury a fairy? Do you build a small pile of cherished memories ? Do you light a brazier with those magical times you spent with her? How do you let a fairy go?

Who decides when it's time to go? When some of us still need her so much When there are still so many memories to be made When there are still so many stories to be told?

I know I still have time with my fairy But I know how cruelly fast it goes too And with the blink of an eye my fairy could take the exit Leaving me with the sound of her laughters and their precious memory.

August 28th, 2022

I miss discovering people that took the time to make you glimpse their world, their passion, their culture without being pedantic of fanatics. I miss discovering music groups, new books around a calm conversation without feeling that the other person is trying to put you down or feel superior. I miss making new friends inhabited by rich ideas and passions but whom stayed simple and humble, with whom you could talk for hours without feeling the evening goes by.

I wonder when everything started to feel like a championship to impress. For a while, pedantic people where only a few, and I did my best to avoid them. I didn't take quite a long time, usually around the 5 minutes mark of a conversation they would push their school, or make a bad joke about my country (which always made me wonder what they did exactly on their side to make theirs so great but well...). They were few but easy to avoid, and online conversations went here and there in a joyous chaotic flow.

However after some time, people started to curate themselves, trying not to show what they loved, but how those things made them superior. It was not anymore a mere show a passion, but an unlimited fight of taste that was contained in obscure fan forums until now. There were no conversations anymore, just a pill of voices and noone listening.

And years after years I must admit, I miss making new friends.

August 24th, 2022

Dear body, we are not really in good terms and I'm afraid we haven't been for a long time. I'm unable to really understand when it begins, but somewhere around my teenage years and on the path to accept myself, I let you down along the road and started to really hate you. Years after years we've been at war, taking different forms, and I attacked you every way I could. For this I would love to say that I am sorry, but after all those year, I still can't accept you as you are even when I would love to.

I took you through all the possible stages. At a time, I was so disconnected that I couldn't even feel any of your message, and I let my weight drop to 50kg, not even realizing what was truly going on. But at those times, even looking in the mirror, I still found you too fat, not lovable, not "enough". Other times, I drown myself in sweets to avoid the pain that was going through my mind, and I let yourself take the toll, going to 90kg. During those times I couldn't approach a mirror, every look at myself, every photograph was another stab at myself, brought more pain and made me go deeper into self-loathing.

Years after years I couldn't look directly at you in a mirror, my eyes always averting or focusing on a precise part of you, blurring the rest. I started to avoid camera, except for pictures I took myself, the one picture I accepted among the 50 others I had taken. After some time I tried to focus on some parts of you that "weren't right" for me. After every operation, I wished with all my heart that "this one will finally make me love myself", but they didn't. Sure they helped, they improved my perception a little bit. But for a short time before I found another thing to focus one, another flaw to fix, another part of you that I deemed not good enough. Another battle to fight.

You went through so much regimes I can't count anymore nor recall all of them. Each one was like a new hill to fight on, each one brought its lot of problems and pains. And when we finally found some stability and started to reconciliate, a global pandemic event started, turning all our efforts into dust. And I drowned into alcohol to forget the pain of losing everything I worked so hard for and this feeling of acceptance I finally had the chance to touch from the tip of my fingers.

I truly wish to find a way to finally reconciliate. I know the road might still be quite long and the years flowing by don't help. Looking backward, I can see that there wasn't anything wrong with me during those years, but I still can't bring this compassion to the present days. There's still so much angriness inside myself, so much times I wish I was different, better, more good looking, "one of those boys". But it's a road we'll have to learn to travel together. So this will be my kind of half-assed apology, not perfect, neither am I, but perhaps another step toward you for once, not running away from you. Here's hoping that one day we'll be able to look at each other at the mirror and, finally, smile.

August 19th, 2022

I always felt uneasy in gay spaces for reasons I have troubles to explain. While I'm often the first to crack a joke about sex, I recoil at promiscuity or overly sexual behavior almost instinctively. It's therefore often a challenge to bring me to a gay bar, as it will quickly raise all my insecurities about myself, my body, my attractiveness, while at the same time making me feel quite uneasy.

I've already wrote quite a lot about lack of space for introverts LGBTQ, however my introversion alone can't explain how uneasy I might feel. While I might crave attention a bit too much, I also know that I don't handle well when someone becomes too sexual towards me or start to make direct innuendos.

It goes beyond shyness and must carry quite a lot of internalized homophobia (but also is a reaction towards past molesting), and I realize time and time again that it's my own attitude towards sex, my education and catholic upbringing that makes me react this way. However, understanding one's behavior doesn't magically change it and I'm always searching how I could change my reactions or even understand them.

For a lot of those reasons, the only time I'm able to handle going into gay bars is usually with quite a lot of drinking and surrounded by friends. But they suddenly become a kind of shield against everyone else, and I can't stop myself feeling bad as soon as someone enter this protected circle. Deep inside of me, there's still a little voice that wish for those people to go away.

I don't know why I act this way, it's still something I'm trying to understand. It's the intersection of so many aspects of my life that it's quite hard to understand. Going to those places put my insecurities about myself up front, but also past history with bad sexual experiences, thinking I have to endure the looks and judgment of others, ... and it's often an experience I'd rather avoid than subject myself to, especially when trying to relax. Still, I would love to meet someone who felt the same and was able to overcome this as I'm at loss on how to handle those times.

August 13th, 2022

Loneliness was the primary feeling growing up. At first I felt a difference, something that didn't click exactly with other children. But I was unable to understand exactly what was going on. The other on their side understood things perfectly, setting me aside. I build friendships at this time that still endure to this day, I guess weirdnes makes people close.

Around 14 years old, I started to realize the true nature of my feeling with some close friends. The yearning I felt for them, the miss when they were leaving, ... but I couldn't pinpoint exactly or even put a word on it, as this simply didn't exist in my world. Loneliness started to creep inside my own mind, as I was trying to understand why I was so alien, feelings things for which there wasn't even a word.

Then came the Internet, which unraveled my mysteries. Suddenly I was able to understand I wasn't alone in the world, and that what I was feeling existed, was shared by other boys, and wasn't as foreign as I thought. Unfortunately, discovering those mysteries also came with its load of darkness. Searching for people to look up to, I realized now I fell prey to guys who hadn't the best in their mind for me. I felt uneased but couldn't realize exactly what was going on, they were praying me for my intelligence, curiosity, feeding me books of great French authors telling the stories of older men falling in love with men. I could feel something wasn't going how it was supposed to be when I fell their hands on my laps, like claws trying to cach me. I escaped, this time, but wasn't fortunate enough to avoid them a year later.

Loneliness came back. Understand who I was broke some bonds, distance started to creep between me and my friends. At an age where they were falling in love, I was only looking at them through my window, afraid to take another chance and fall prey to the shadows again. That's when I met him, the first. Looking back I realize now how deeply wrong our relationship was, and the pain it made us endure. But for some time, it made me feel less alone, even if I was terribly sad most of the time. It took me three years to escape this hell, but with those three years also came a lot of learnings and I was finally able to keep the loneliness at bay. Finally at 20, I realized I wasn't alone and would never be anymore. I just wish I didn't learn those lessons through pain, leaving so much scars...

August 7th, 2022

"Fag" he mumbled as we were passing by, simply holding hands while leaving the subway. I wasn't sure I heard it well, so I let it pass. But he mumbled a second time between his teeth and his drunkness, suddenly deciding he had the right to gratuitously insult someone he didn't know, from whom he knew nothing about, just for who I was.

Bottled inside me I felt a surge of angriness. Suddenly I was flooded by those years trying to cope with who I was, trying to erase the part of me that were "too queer" for this world, trying to "behave correctly", to not provoke any shame to my family or friends just for existing and daring to love someone.

I wanted to bolt, jump on his face, redraw his features armed with a key, let for once this anger flood and make him pay for all those years trying to comply with the rules of a society for which I would always be "too much", for which I was apparently supposed not only to hide who I am, but not too dare to even let the slightest flash of color be seen from their prying eyes.

I did my best to contain the anger and to not got back to the drunk idiot. But I felt it boil inside of me, this anger that festered for years, this anger that is disregarded because we're apparently the ones at fault for just trying to exist. As I closed the door, I wished with all my heart for this one guy to have a miserable life and jump in front of a car, letting the rage take control of my heart, unable this time to turn the other cheek, at least in my mind.

August 5th, 2022

Sometimes I feel like a loose strings of memories, a chain of yesterdays. Some of them are so vivid in my mind that I'm able to almost relive them while closing my eyes. Am I even living in the moment right now, or am I just reliving another memory, so vividly that it's not different from what the reality would be?

It's so strange how some memories are able to keep their touch, their smell, their vividness accross the years, making them feel as it was yesterday. It must also be why the concept of aging seem so weird, when some memories from fifteen years ago feel like they just passed before your eyes.

It must also be why I maintain some friendships with years of gaps and when we meet it feels like yesterday. Because, for some part of me, it indeed was yesterday, and those parts travelled with me along the years, waiting for the next time they would experience a new "today".

July 10th, 2022

It came as a sudden realization. There's no epiphany moment, no moment when you can say : I'm older now. It comes suddenly in the form of conversations where you feel a small sense of disconnection with the others. Bit by bit you realize that everything you use to connect with others feel suddenly weird around younger people.

The thought it me while coming back from a friend house. I realized this thing I was expecting, this moment of realization would never come. In fact, I would probably always stuck in my head at the age of 25 year old, just without the same energy and while the world around would be passing by.

I would probably never feel like an adult, but that's ok. Perhaps there's something rich in staying this age when the world around you change and revolve. It wasn't a bad feeling, just a sudden idea that made its way into my mind, one of these thoughts that change your perception on life and its many roads.

December 04th, 2021

Every time I go back to the countryside, I can't help but feel a disconnection with the people I meet. I wonder what makes a majority of gay people like me to escape the countryside quickly while others stay in its gravitational pull. Is it the search for a cure against loneliness? The promise of meeting people like us in the big cities? Is it to be able to live somewhere where we don't feel like we're the only weird one?

Spending time in the countryside always remind me of my singularity. There's a world between me and those live they built. So quickly they reproduce schematics, and I can't help but feel like I'm late, or that I don't have any of their codes when they can't stop talking about houses, cars, children, ...

I feel we don't understand each other, they never get why I had to "run away to the big city", they don't understand how left out I could have felt and how this escape was the only way to not feel lonely in this paradise they built for themselves. And on my side I can't understand how you can stay in one place for all your life and find solace there.

November 28th, 2021

I realized lately that I was more and more comfortable with my age. It came with a surprise regarding how teaching 30 years old hit me. But lately I started to feel a kind of calm, as things get slowly in place. Bit by bit parts of my life reach a level where they bring me a lot of joy, and with age I started to realize the bits I had to let go because of the negativity they brought. Each new day is a step where I accept more and more things about myself and acknowledge my limitations and what I can work on.

The passion is still there, but gone are the worst parts of it that were capable of bringing me down to my knees. Perhaps the days are less colorful, but the colors don't hurt anymore, and that's something.

I stopped caring about those who didn't bring me anything and found solace in some beautiful human beings that I love more and more each day. Of course I long for some things of the past years, but when I look at the big picture, I feel that this calm is perhaps what I've been waiting for for a long time.

November 22th, 2021

We don't forget the pain, we grow around it. With time, we are allowed to ease it, as it's size relative to our beings shrinks more and more.

Still the pain subsists, even as a back echo somewhere in our mind, and too often we spend time and energy trying to force it into oblivion.

But we should focus on growing more, let it be a small black trace in the back of our selves, just a minimal shadowy place we learned to live with.

And if we allow it, with time, this hole that look so big today will be only a figment tomorrow.

November 22th, 2021

Lately have been amused about how conversations happen in the digital space. We don't start or end conversations most of the time, they feel like a continuous flow that just goes on its way, never stopping, ever going on.

We don't say goodbye, we just don't ask any more question to keep it going on, until the next time where it opens again.

I've lost the count of those open conversations, in the end do they even deserve this name when they're just an assemblage of fragments, small answers separated by days, weeks and even months. Like our lives, our exchanges begin to fragment, leaving only small rivers of words.

November 06th, 2021

I encountered my share of homophobic agressions. Walking down a street looking a bit too "colorful" or "effeminate" while I was a teenager, attracting the usual pack of predators lurking for anything different to what they were taught to respect. Words, sharp pain, contusions, those happened along the path of life. The usual wait at the police station, waiting to be able to open a complaint under the judging eye of a police man not really disproving the event that happened.

All those were part of the hurdles along the way. But one thing still haunts me to this day. I vividly remember this boy while I was in boarding school. We were both 16 years old, going through our lives, but to this day, his look still haunt me. There was a pure hate in them when looking at me that still frighten me to this day, something quite animal, raw, violent that I never quite understood. Every time he looked at me, those eyes were piercing blade forbidding me to come closer, warning me to never, ever get alone in a room with him.

In those eyes was the promise to condemn me for a crime he deemed me guilty. I never understood this look, and I was lucky enough not to encounter it anymore. But still, 17 years later, those piercing grey eyes filled with hate still haunt a part of my memory, wondering what I had done to deserve them...

October 18th, 2021

Every day I wake up with a small flame burning inside be, a little speck of light that I try so hard to keep alive during the day. This little flame is the only thing I have to fight my inner darkness and I fought so hard through years just for it to be there, among this endless void that fills my mind.

Sometimes the flame weakens, be it a word that I misinterpret, a smile not reciprocated, a joy facing no answer. In those moments, I feel a cold growing inside me and this little flame goes pale as the shadows around it grow again.

I envy those with a fiery pit, those who wake up every morning to a roaring fire, able to tackle the day without a doubt, immune to any outside affliction, knowing well their strength. Those whose flame is so bright that the darkness inside them has to hide in a corner, behind a closed door which only opens in the saddest time.

And still I love this little flame, as for years I had to travel those darkness without it, wondering if it will ever end, or even if my errands had a goal in the end. And every day, at every waking moment, I do my best to keep it alive, to laugh, to smile and to try my best to bright those other little flames I see around me.

October 18th, 2021

I've grown accustomed to my prying inner eye. With every mistep, every failed relation, every loss, I sensed it scrutinizing my ever move, replaying the past over and over again, trying to find all the things I did wrong, all those words I should have said, all this worth I should have had. Because to my inner eye, the only truth was that I was never enough.

For every guy that left me, the sole reason was that I wasn't sufficient. That I must have had an inner flaw, an ugliness inside or something so deeply wrong with me that I was left behind every time. But years after years, bit by bit, I learned to live with this sadistic judge. I've learned to find worth where I could. I've found pieces of me I could value, that were worth it to me.

The road travelled is vast, but there's still so much ahead. So much to learn still to be able to silence those small voices inside my head that keep telling me over and over again how ugly, useless and worthless I am and that everyone will leave me in the end. This voice that I believed to be impartial is my worst enemy. And this enemy is inside.

October 12th, 2021

My mind often dwells in the past, too often even. But as years go by, I've wondered how much exactly I am clinging to the past. Long lost love that I can't forget, memories of friends replaying on repeat, wondering what I could have done better, bad memories trying to warp my mind showing how wrong I was.

And I'm wondering how much exactly I grab to this past because allowing me to forget would be letting go the last piece I have of some relationship. Those poisonous memories, those bad moments haunting my brain are too often the only last bit of relationships long forgotten. Even if my heart aches dwelling back in those, it provokes a kind of masochistic feeling as suffering through those memories is the only way for me to find back those loved ones.

And still I wish I could forget and let go, but more and more I discover how much a part of me is deeply rooted in those memories and refuse obstinately to let go, yelling at each attempt, hiding in a dark corner to only come back when it can haunt me. And I wonder, will I ever free myself from the past? Or do we have to endure this game of hide and seek forever?

October 11th, 2021

Years after years I find myself facing the same question: do people really change or were the changes we notice over time always there at the beginning? Do those changes accentuate over time until they become this full personality we sometimes discover after years?

Friendships evolve over time, through hurddles, hardships but also fundamental changes. Still I wonder if those changes that provoke such a rift in friendship were noticeable already at the beginning? Could we have know? And if we had, was something doable to alleviate those changes and find a path were they didn't provoke so much repressed exhaustion sometimes?

And turning to my inner eyes, how much have I changed over years myself? Physical changes are easy to discern, mental and character ones are harder to get. My patience went thin, things I let pass years before are now a reason to go cold and bored. Getting over a burn out, years of depression and the loss of loved ones took its toll and bit by bit I know I'm not the same I was yesterday. And I wonder: do my changes bother some of my friends too? Am I still the person they gave their friendship or are we playing a masquerade game, forcing ourselves because years have passed?

Sometimes i'm afraid to face those changes, to admit we've changed over the years because that's what we do. I feel having those discussions is harder than it should be. I guess we do change over time but we don't want to admit it. So we let things stay their course, wherever it leads.

September 27th, 2021

I find it fascinating how some people reclaim their right to be stupid and uneducated. They refuse every chance to learn but attack the teachers, they fight for their right to be ignorant while also reclaiming the right to be considered as equals on subjects they refuse with all their might to even slightly understand. Ignorance has become a right on its own, education for them looks like a danger.

The teachers and experts are the enemy, as those reclaim the right to ignore almost everything about the world around them while claiming nevertheless to know it all. Everything should be simplified to reach the grasps of their bare culture, but none of it should ever go against any beliefs they might hold or else you risk to provoke their blind anger.

Humans can be fascinating, but the toll it takes on society frightens me as those in powers learn more and more how to wield this mass of angriness and stupidity for their own interests, unable to foresee the risks on our common future.

September 26th, 2021

I often read thoughts about how my field of work (UX) should be locked behind certifications, agreements, mountains of papers and hypes of official stamps. Then I look back through the path I walked and wonder what we are so afraid of. My UX education was a path I had to build. The studies I could find were years behind the actual state of the field, but they were also the only one available.

For 3 years, I worked, studying things that would reveal to be mostly useless to the path I found myself in later. I remember late nights trying to find some time to build my own education, reading psychological textbooks, building my first websites, learning to bend the computer to my will. I remember falling asleep on books on complex systems, trying to find my way through an uncertain future.

I remember also an innocent conversation, when a friend was leaving the country, with one of his friend that taught me about the UX field. Suddenly I discovered something at the intersection of my interests, unique and beautiful. Something that captivated my mind for years and still do.

Our field is bright and beautiful, what make us riches is the multiple path we crossed to arrive where we are now. The field is diverse, wide and open, there's no UX designer like another and it's why I love it so much. Instead of trying to build walls and gates, pretending to care about our field while all we really fear behind is to become irrelevant, we should embrace our diversity and welcome all those UX babies arms wide open.

The youngest crops that are slowly coming into the field have better teachings than we ever had. Still I see too much people of my generation trying to maintain them out of our fields, pretending that they didn't learn enough. Stop building gates, pave the way, build welcoming arches.

September 25th, 2021

I was raised by four witches. The first one, my mother, taught me about compassion, love and always helping others. She showed me the light there was in kindness and to always be there for the one I love.

The second one, my godmother, showed me the wisdom and refuge I could find in books. Growing up feeling weird and lonely, it's in the books I found my first real friends, people who got me, thought the same as I. It's through those pages that I started dreaming about space, wonderful fantasy kingdoms, robots and so many things. It's a love that never left me and is always there.

The third one showed me that you shouldn't feel forced to endure a family, but that there was also always a safe haven in ours. When I was feeling left out among my peers, I could always cross a garden and find solace around her table.

The last one taught me to dream. Through her stories of travels on the moon and witches country, she taught me that if I really wanted something, I could clap my heels three times, pick a broom and fly away. While it never worked in real world, it worked well enough in my mind. She taught me to build my magical country inside my own head and fly away there when things got bad.

Through all their four teachings, I grew up to be who I am today. Through their love, their fantasy and their dreams, I found love, passion and an ever growing wonder about life and its mysteries. They didn't shoulder me from pain, and god know we went through many hurdles, but they provided solace, safe haven and an unconditional love through the years. For those four marvelous women, I'm forever thankful and in debt.

September 19th, 2021

You would have been 33 years old. But you left life as you lived it, quietly, discreetly, without too much of a noise.

From you I'll remember your laugh, the way you smiled. I'll remember the times we laughed and played, spending long evenings speaking about the world, about my heart errands, trying to force the keep around yours. I'll remember also those bad movies and, among them, those rare jewels that kept us laughing years after years.

I wish I had been more present, I wish I had find a way to make you talk more about yourself and your troubles, but I'm glad for the times we had. You left me golden memories of beautiful times, you shouldered me when the weight of my heart was crushing me. Thanks to you I survived life hardest moments and struggles.

You taught me to live, to see life as a unique adventure, filled with mysteries. With you I knew that even in the darkest moments you would be there. The path ahead will be hard without your beautiful soul, and I'll miss you at every single step. Rest In Peace my crazy friend.

August 31th, 2021

They never told us how fast time suddenly speeds up and start slipping away. The older I get the faster years start to pass by, in a blink I went from 30 years old to 33 while still thinking I’m some months past 27. It’s frightening to see how much time has already passed by and how fast it goes.

I’m still struggling with issues built during my early twenties, and suddenly new ones related to the thirties are already coming. Still doesn’t feel like an adult either, and I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever really feel like one or if, as usually, I’ll manage and do my best to pretend to have the faintest idea about what I’m doing. I’m relieved to not have become a serious suit player, a boring corporate guy with boredom paint all over my face, there’s still so much I want to discover. I fear I won’t have time to do all the things I want to do, read all those books, experience this and that, and it frightens me a bit.

It’s funny how this wheel turns and how we switch sides so quickly. Looking back I thought my days as a student were still close, but suddenly I’m judging the work of younger students, looking at there faces and thinking: oh my, was I so young? How much have I changed over the years… a bittersweet but interesting feeling as I reel all those years into my mind.

August 23th, 2021

When I was a kid and we were playing, there was often this boy, trapped in the body of a man with white hair. I can still picture his face, his hat and colorful banana bag, but alas his name was lost in time.

Never daring to come too close to us, this children trapped in his adult body had the kind of kindness you can only find in those with simple minds. He was simply looking for comrades to play with, kids who wouldn’t shunt him because of how he looked, kids who could see the child in his old eyes.

I remember seeing him often, always smiling, keeping an eye on us and trying to express himself how he could, often with words we couldn’t grasp.

Sadly one day he stopped coming. We never saw the banana bag and his colorful smile. Older people, who forgot they were kids, feared this boy they only saw as a man, and forbade him to come close to their children.

Sometimes I saw him through the windows of our car, walking alone, dressed in all colors. I often wonder what became of him, but nobody could tell me. Still I never forgot this simple boy trapped in his older body.

August 23th, 2021

I hate being taken in picture. Every time I see myself in one, my mind starts racing and yelling at me, and I’m back in school, shunned in a back corner, rejected and lonely.

I often wish I could go back I time where I wasn’t so self aware, when how I looked didn’t matter as much as which game we could play. Where people who loved me could take a memory of a great moment without it sending me in a depression spiral.

For years now, pictures are a cruel tool for my mind to find all the things I should fix in my body. I should get thinner, I should have fuller hair, I should have dark eyebrow, my hair should be darker, … Every picture is a tool used by an inquisition tribunal residing rent free in my mind.

Often I look at myself in the mirror, searching for this guy I see on the photographs, but I can’t seem to conciliate those two images of me. The guy I see in the mirror has some problem, but looks cute, still a bit boyish with messy hair and nice eyes. This guy in the mirror, I can’t hate him.

So I end up with the only solution my twisted mind always find: the mirror is lying.

August 22nd, 2021

I never got that feeling of belonging to a place, to feel that I fit there. It’s one of the main reason I still haven’t nor want to buy a place of my own and I feel happy with renting. It allows me the liberty to change places if I want, to move and change my life if necessary.

This absence of « belongingness » might be one of the reason I sometimes wish to express myself in English rather than any other language. This search of connection, this sense of reaching out into the unknown.

Has I never experienced this feeling of belonging, I also never had any pride toward my nationality or felt any obligation to my country. My country is the place I was born in and where my family resides, but my sense of attachment ends there (except for *Belgian fries).

I’m wandering, searching this place where I could perhaps one day say « this is home, this is where I belong ». In the meantime, I experience, discover and connect with places and people and I’m happy with that.

August 18th, 2021

I often wonder about the roads not taken, wishing I had done this or that, studied those, dared to do this thing, … I know we could always rebuild the world using if’s, but my mind is often travelling through those paths I didn’t travelled and what my life could have looked like.

I’m happy regarding the state of my life right now, but sometimes I wonder if things could have been made easier if I had taken certain choices, or dare to say: listened a bit more to my elders or fought a bit more. It’s sad to think how many times we ignore the warning of those older than us, only to find, some years later, how right they were.

I realized also how many times I postponed a decision I had to take because of fear of the unknown, especially regarding my professional life where I stayed way too long in toxic places.

We are a vessel of possibilities, the result of the choices we took and that shaped us. Still we go through our lives wondering how much more we could have been, how different our lives might have been. We decide our trajectories but keep in our memories the paths that could have been, contemplating multiple pasts, blind to the futures ahead of us.

August 16th, 2021

Lately I’m feeling like I’m grasping for air seeing the events piling up more and more. While I’m always trying to distance myself from too much access to the news, the last events (and the last two years) have been quite overwhelming.

I usually escape through jokes, but behind those there’s a bleakness I can’t always face. And through the cracks I can’t hide the sadness and fear I feel regarding the state of the world. Be it the climate changes, the general stupidity level, the extremists growing more and more all over the world and taking whole countries over, sometimes jokes and music are not enough to cope.

Might be August and the fact that a lot of friends are away too, as often things are not isolated and coming together. Still the weight of it all makes it hard to breathe and often I’m feeling powerless, willing to do something but clueless about how or what I can really do. Sometimes I wanna scream, shout or explode in tears, the emotions become too much to handle and I can only act goofy, waiting for a solution.

Writing helps me to cope with everything. It clears the air a bit and empty my mind. I wonder for how long.

August 12th, 2021

Thoughts are always crawling in my mind, swirling around endlessly to the point of obsession. Over the years I tried a lot to keep them away. Bad thoughts, cyclic thoughts, anxious thoughts. It’s like something in my mind keeps on twisting the world before my eyes, painting things in shades of dark.

It‘ll reveal itself every time I cross a road, showing me pictures of getting hit by a car, or when I take a plane, showing us crashing down, or while in a car burning, crashing, on and on on repeat. It’s not that I’m not frightened anymore of those things, it’s that I see them happening in my mind all the time and I learned to let them be.

Other times it’ll be a thought, a feeling, a bad moment or a memory that will play on repeat between my neurones, making me unable to live in the moment, as my mind is reliving different times. Focusing is the hardest thing, as I never found a way to switch off those speakers blasting in my mind all the time. So I learned to live in noise, hoping to get some silence when I fall asleep exhausted and the thoughts finally let me close my eyes.

Living with the enemy as they said, my mind has always been behind its lines.

August 11th, 2021

Growing up catholic was growing up persuaded to be sinful. I remember searching for days, scanning all my actions for some sins I would need to declare to the priest while preparing my profession of faith, reinforcing my feeling there was something deeply wrong with me.

I detached myself from religion, but the shame stayed on. This feeling of being sinful, of something deeply wrong with me took its root into my heart and distilled its poison over the years. It’s always there, lurking in some corner when I’m feeling alone, always there when someone leaves, whispering that those priests were right, there was something wrong and sinful with me, and no one would love me like this.

I remember talking a lot with priests, thinking they would understand and help, but each talk took me a bit deeper. Searching for their god’s light, I darkened my own.

The feeling slowly fade away, the memories stayed. Looking back, I just hope no more children will grow up thinking there’s something sinful with who they are or what they do.

Because no 10 years old could ever be sinful.

August 10th, 2021

My first loves were secret. Taking multiple forms, crying when I had to say goodbye to a friend, playing games where we had to hide close to each other, our skins barely touching. Experimental for them, wondering what it was to touch another body, kiss someone, then forget while something was aching inside my heart.

First loves couldn’t be defined by words yet, but I knew I had to keep those feelings secret. It was also trying to fake things, picturing what life would be with a girlfriend, a wife, while my eyes kept glancing at boys. It was forming bonds with close friends they suddenly broke, calling our games, our nicknames, our sacred times, childish and foolish.

First loves were solitude, this feeling of loneliness, searching for words to exist in this world, anything that could explain those things I felt inside of me but couldn’t define. While my friends were feeling butterflies, mine were moths eating my light away, leaving me in a dark pit, wondering if I would one day be loved by those who always went away for normality.

First loves left unhealed wounds, lessons I’d rather not have learn, and a thick skin around my heart I had to learn to open again.

August 08th, 2021

Like many of us, I woke up with the IPCC/GIEC report, showing the span of our impact on the planet and what will happen in the following years. More and more I’m relieved to not have any children nor desire for when I see what’s coming for the following years.

I’m feeling we can only enjoy the great things we have at the moment while working toward change, but our societies will have to dramatically change in the coming years. It’s already too late to change what’s ahead of us for my old years, I can hardly picture the struggle for the next generation.

What saddens me even more is that I know we won’t be able to move before the worst things happens. As of now, our every movements toward fighting climate change are either met with passiveness on one side or mindless activism on the other side. We’re acting as if nothing will ever change while closing down the solutions that could help us the more to reduce our emissions.

I can’t say anymore that I don’t know what’s coming, it has become perfectly clear. What I don’t know is how we can avoid those problem that plague us currently to face the inevitable. And it frightens me.

August 08th, 2021

The main memories I still have from my first years of school are from my mother crying because I « could have done better », every single time she got out of the teacher’s office.

Looking back I realized that my scores were some of the highest in the classroom but the teachers didn’t like that I finished every test « too quickly ». For years I saw myself as careless, bad and dumb while I scored more than 90%. But the only things I heard from teacher until I was 16 years old was that I was « too quick and careless ».

I remember facing my tests and reading them 6 times before giving them back, 20 minutes from the following student. Searching for mistakes I couldn’t find. And only to be brought back to those mistakes while I had almost perfect scores.

This mentality led me the avoid any scientific studies, run away from mathematics and, more, from anything academic. Looking back I have so much anger regarding the potential I had, wasted just because some people didn’t like that I went through their tests too fast for their own taste. Because of this I closed so many doors to myself and I still have to cope with the scars of their words and actions.

September 12, 2018

Reading 21 lessons for the 21st century makes we wonder how we could develop ownership on our own data / digital identity. We tend to rely on states, but they can be quite slow to move, evolve, especially when we look at how fast the digital landscape is moving. Therefore there is perhaps a room for a personal digital identity system which would allow us to give / remove access to our personal data and to to keep those informations up to date.

First I thought about a blockchain solution, allowing us to secure our data, but then I realized how much of our “identity” is moving. A blockchain solution would be a real problem for a lot of people.

Some examples I had :

-Transgender people have to be able to change their gender and name -People leaving their country might adopt a new nationality -The simple act of moving out means our address isn’t something fixed -People can change their name by legal means, therefore even our names might change -People should also be able to own those data totally, which means some kind of self hosted solution as relying on a company (Facebook much?) to own those data is too big of a threat. But then, what kind of solution ? A physical system means it could easily get lost, a digital one would require both hardware and basic skills, and what happens if we lost the hardware ?

Still thinking about it, will update if needed.

November 13, 2017

It’s funny how this simple thing has eluded me for so many years (and still eludes me from time to time). Something as simple as saying “no”,“I won’t”, “I can’t”. I’ve spent so many years running after time, saying yes all the time, abiding to things I didn’t want to do, investing energy I didn’t have, forcing myself to be someone I wasn’t or to do things that only pulled me down further.

But I wouldn’t say it was a fear to say “no” in fact. I think it was going way deeper than not being able to say that. So I took some times to work on myself, but also to understand what I really wanted, what was the purpose I defined for my life, what were my healthy boundaries … I must say that this was the most terrifying blank page I’ve ever faced. While I did read many books about “discovering yourself” (some even joked on the amount of self-help books I was reading), I must admit that when the time came to write what were exactly “my rules”, I was staring in the void like a dead fish.

So I turned the problem around, searching for all the things that pissed me off, or where I failed in the past years, my errors, my mistakes, to try to define something by removing the fog around them. If I couldn’t express exactly what I wanted to, at least I would be able to express exactly what I didn’t want anymore.

By doing so, I was able to clear the fog almost completely, allowing me to define my personal boundaries and some moral rules I wanted to abide to. I realized also that we all have a finite amount of energy to give each day, and that I was clearly deep into debt on this side. The worst part? Most of this energy was lost into things that didn’t bring me anything.

I discovered also some of my flaws. Like how I was postponing tasks for the sake of treating them later (hello procrastination), while acting directly on it would require just 5 minutes of my time (and especially keep my mind cleared of it). Or how much time I could spend uselessly complaining about things (without acting). At this time I decided to stop complaining as much as I could, and to act directly on things that would take only a very small amount of time. I still complain from time to time, I must admit, but every time I do say, I notice it to myself, and try to find how to avoid it for the next time. Still not perfect, but improving.

I realized also that I had a tendency to avoid things by going sideways mostly by fear or hurting other people. I spent a lot of time thinking I was doing the right thing by using those so-called white lies. But it’s by reading Lying by Sam Harris that I realized that those weren’t useful.

First they made me feel bad, and I had to be weary of everything I was doing not to contradict them, and second they didn’t give any real information and kept me in a spiral. How could I stop doing things I didn’t want to do if I never said that I didn’t like them? I was having a hard time just being myself. So I decided to stop. To slowly learn to say exactly what I wanted to do, what I didn’t like, … I was surprised to realize that people were able to accept my limits and weren’t pushing me anymore to do things I didn’t want.

Going deeper in the process, I discovered several other things important to me (first and foremost honesty and speaking the truth, on which I’ll write something deeper later), allowing me to see exactly where I was and where I was going. This allowed me to be able to trace a line in the sand to be finally able to say “no”, this is where I stop, this is something I don’t want to do, this is something I won’t tolerate or accept anymore.

This whole process took me quite some time (in fact it stayed two whole months on top of my to-do list), but once done gave me a peace of mind I’ve never felt before, and a feeling of relief quite impressing. I also regained a lot of personal time, and while I still have an important social and work life, for the first time in a long time, I must say that I feel in command of my ship, and free..

November 13, 2017

This year a lot of my reading where going around the same subject : How not to give a fuck. It’s strange that nowadays we end up reading something that should really be natural, even spontaneous. It always felt strange that we slowly switched from a world where you had the right not to care about some subjects (not even in a violent way, just not to take position), to a world of constant shoutings, personal vendettas and small wars.

So it’s strange to say it this way, but I now reclaim the right not to care about some subjects. I reclaim the right not to be enlightened enough on a subject to take any position about it, but also the right to neither know enough about it nor willing to take the time to learn about it. We’re all here for a limited time, with all our passions, subject of interest, personal fights, and it seems to me absolutely necessary to reclaim our right to decide where we invest our personal energy. Not caring about something isn’t an aggression toward the persons fighting for this thing, in fact it’s letting them more room to act, but also to be active proponent of the discussion by using their knowledge at the best. Not caring allow us to focus on the things that really matter to us, to lead our own fights. And sometimes, even if we would like it to be this way, things aren’t just all black and white, and some subjects are too dense to take position for one side or the other.

We have to also be able to let others not care about the things that matter to us. We have to understand that not everybody care about the things we do, that sometimes our fights are not understandable nor worth fighting for to their eyes without it being a critic about ourselves.

While we’re living in better and better times, it seems essential to me that we learn to cool down a bit on the tensions we put everywhere, and that we accept to learn again how to compromise and accept that what we do doesn’t make sense for everyone all the time. So please give yourself a little gift when you can, and choose not to care about the latest fight on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or whatever. Just go along the way and breathe. You have a limited amount of energy, keep it for what really matters to you..

November 11, 2017

For a decade now and with a surprising increase during the last years, I tend to encounter a lot of words used without any interest for their basic definition, thinking only about creating or increasing some “wow” factor. Those words I keep seeing? Exclusivity, Groundbreaking, Revolutionary, Unique, Innovation, … While at some point this tendency was limited to marketing (and which is part of well… their job), this spread to the general public (and I fell for this several time too).

Everytime it happens, it’s usually based on the fact that we don’t have a sufficient knowledge of the subjects, or didn’t do enough research, so we tend to use them because, from what we know they’re exact. This is a common problem in our times, where we’re all having trouble saying that we don’t know.

It then creates a false narrative and an unnecessary fuss around things that are perhaps non ground-breaking. But at least, this is caused by a simple slip of the language based on not enough facts, and we all tend to fall for it. Be it when we advise this “revolutionary” app, or that we tend to proclaim something as “unique in the world” (something that tends to happen a lot in the French market, where we have a remarkable blindness to everything non-French-speaking that is happening in the world).

The problem for me happens when we tend to fall for the marketing jargon and to defend sayings that are not our own, through the only window we were provided. Or worst, when we tend to reframe this window to be smaller and smaller, just to justify the use of a word that we simply shouldn’t use. Hence this app really is exclusive (in your language), revolutionary (in your country, your neighbor have it since 10 years now), unique (on your platform).

This is not “that bad”, but I tend to think that words have a meaning, and when we use those words in the wrong place we tend to reduce this meaning. And while the motto of the last years on every mouth has been “innovation” yelled clear and loud everywhere, it’s rarely true (nor based on anything). In a world where everyone is becoming an entrepreneur (which is neither good or bad), perhaps we should be a bit more honest, or picky in the choice of our words.

While not every idea is a revolution, you have plenty of other things you can promote your idea on, plenty of possibility that you offer that, while they’re not exclusive), provide a different/better experience for your audience. And this won’t require you to reframe any window while it might make you appear less “bullshit-prone” than any other idea out there.

November 09, 2017

Sometimes you encounter a book with which you realize a lot of things about yourself. This kind of epiphany moment was exactly what I had when reading Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker which shed a light on several things I encountered in my life and things I couldn’t do that everybody was at ease with and I couldn’t understand why.

When everybody’s listening to podcasts, watching endless YouTube video streams, when every recipe you can find is now presented in a video, when books are being listened too instead of read, … And that I couldn’t do any of those things. Put simply, if you make me listen to a podcast for more than 5 minutes, my mind will start to wander and I’ll keep nothing from it in my memory.

At 29 years old, I realized I was a reader, meaning that I was understanding things in a clearer way when reading them instead of listening to them. This might appear quite simple, but this really helped me understand a lot of things about myself, on how I should behave in my work, why I was desperate for meetings minutes and dreading hours long meetings but also that I shouldn’t force myself into things I couldn’t do. I had many podcasts I subscribed to, after reading this little book I had exactly 0 left. They didn’t suit me at all, why should I keep losing energy trying something I wasn’t made for?

I learned also that I was a writer more than a speaker, meaning that I had to write things down to memorize them. Something I already realized when I started to build my Commonplace Book. As I was rewriting quotes from my favourite books, suddenly I started to make a lot of connections, I could remember easily which author was linked to which one, what common theme several books shared, … I understood finally why I learned so much during the MOOCs I followed and where I was taking a lot of notes I didn’t even read back. I didn’t need to reread them, once they were written, they were clearly set in my mind.

Those two things made me realize why I had so much trouble going through school, where most of the teaching is bad on a listening-to-memorize mindset for which I wasn’t made at all. And why I had so much success going through lessons by myself, by reading books and rewriting things I needed, instead of listening to someone talking for hours.

This also helped me to understand why I’m so weary when Digital Evangelists tell everyone that video is the new communication media. This is not a bad idea per se, but doing so is forgetting half the population who is not at all at ease with a video / audio media (and I’m not even talking about handicap situations). Yes video are quite good when you want to present an idea to a board, and some text might look boring, but both are necessary in our world.

The only thing I regret now is having learned this at the age of 29. But now that I know this, it’s something I can build upon quite easily, and this already helped me reshape the way I was working in a more efficient way, suiting the way my brain is working and using my strengths. I still have a lot of palliatives to find as our professional work is deeply constructed on an speaking / listening way of working, but nothing is impossible now that I’ve clearly identified my weaknesses.

October 13, 2017

One thing I’ve come to realize more and more in our society, is our tendency to intervene all the time in everything, for the sake of the intervention. Things are being changed, teams are being shuffled, plans are being remade, … all the time, especially with a new-comer. While sometimes those changes can be good, most of the time they end up being quite a waste of time, energy, and human resources, while they give the impression that something is accomplished (when it’s not).

It’s interesting to find examples everywhere that, sometimes, the act of non-doing is better than changing things just for the sake of our ego. In Chinese, there’s the concept of Wu Wei, an important concept of Taoism which means non-doing or non-acting, to let things behave according to their nature, go with the flow. It’s interesting to note that the same thing was explained by the Stoics centuries ago, who put following nature as one of their core principle (if not the core principle).

You can find a related thing in chess, with the zugzwang, where you are forced to move one’s piece when doing absolutely nothing would save your game. Throughout history, we encountered a lot of times where our interventionism did more damage than good but still we learn nothing on our human scale. If you look into health, you’ll discover the iatrogenic effects, which occurs when your health is worsened by the medical care you’re receiving (One of the worst example? Decades ago lobotomy was considered as a great health practice.).

Ego isn’t the only culprit in this, depending on one’s position, the root cause could be also our own fear. Fear that people will think we’re not working, fear that not giving an advice will feel like giving up on someone or something, … Which is why, even when we’ll choose not to act, it is important to take the time to explain ourselves. Because even the act of non-doing requires some thoughts and thinking, and by being prepared to explain our non-actions, we’ll avoid useless fears and judgments.

Our tendency to intervene in everything, all the time, in a way that suits our egos more than the greater good ends up costing a lot in our lives, jobs, friendships, … and we are all guilty of it, even if we tend to persuade ourselves that the changes we’re making ends up, at best, changing nothing. Sometimes we need to take some steps back before making a decision and ask ourselves a simple question : Am I really doing this to improve something or am I doing this so people won’t think that I’m not doing anything?

October 01, 2017

Some days ago, I finished Siddharta by Herman Hesse, a very strange and compelling book that immediately jumped into my life changing shelf of my library. One particular passage in this book hit me with the velocity of a full-speed train : “Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goals, if he is able to think, if he is able to wait, if he is able to fast.” - Herman Hesse — Siddharta

In this small excerpt of the book, Siddharta explains that every man needs to learn how to fast. Because when you face hunger, when you miss something, being in a state where you wait for it might lead you to make a lot of bad choices. This resonated a lot with me as, being subject to anxiety from time to time, I have made several decisions in my past based only on fear of the future, the unknown, the loneliness, …

And I’m always surprised by how I could react, postpone things, decisions, ideas, based solely on those fears, those panics moments. I’ve bitterly regretted some of those choices, while some very rare turned out to be not so bad. Looking backward, none of those decisions ever led me to something good.

In fact, the only decisions I took that I consider now to be good decisions (and even life changing one), were all done in times where I wasn’t feeling a particular need, being it financial, sentimental, social. In this, I recognize Siddharta’s teaching when he says that learning to fast is the most useful thing a man can do.

And while it’s really hard not to take hasty decisions when I’m going through a panic attack, I now know that, for my own good, it’s better that I postpone the decisions to the next morning / week. But it’s something really hard nowadays, when people are always in a hurry. In times like this, when you’re pressured to take a decision, it’s just good to remember that you can always take time. If it’s not a life threatening situation, it can wait.

The sad state of the gay dating apps scene

Some days ago I encountered an article which provoked a chain of reactions in my mind. It was even not an article, just an amount of statistics about the apps that makes their users the most happy/unhappy. And at the top of the unhappy users you could find Grindr, consuming 61 minutes a day of its user base and making it 77% unhappy. At a time where there’s a lot of thinking going about how our social medias applications makes us unhappy, and the current state of our gay scene (see this interesting article about gay loneliness), those stats are quite appealing.

Let’s not fantasize, Grindr is basically a meat market. It’s even of one the reason where I find the whole debate about those ”no fem, no fat, no asian” as some small detail of it. The whole way this app works rests solely on the physical level. Let’s face it, nobody reads your description. Even if you craft it very well, even if you invest time on it, even if you have a lot to tell, the way the app is built rests solely on this small square. This creates this endless sea of torsos you can find. For everyone who doesn’t fit in those ”fit” criterias, Grindr is basically a soul-crushing machine in an endless quest to destroy your self-esteem by forcing you to compare to standards almost unable to accomplish for any human being.

On top of that we’re making it even worse. I get the whole ”an absence of response is a response”, we all faced some perverts dragging us through conversations about things we didn’t want to do (or even hear about), but let’s face it honestly : not responding to someone is just plainly rude. Yes some people can’t take a no, yes some people can force you, but not answering to a simple ”Hi, how are you?” isn’t an answer, it’s a slap in the face in the most careless way. And I did it, and we all did, but while the gay scene was supposed to be a place where we could all be ourselves, find acceptance, sometimes help, we’re slowly transforming it into a digital inhuman place where if you don’t have those perfect abs, you’re basically not even worth talking to.

And those apps also reinforce our own self-destruction system. By feeding us with rejection, through those absence of answers, those unrealistic body expectations, we’re bit by bit destroying our own self-esteem. The end result of this whole ecosystem? Even when we find ourselves in the real life gay scene, we’re too afraid to approach someone. So we switch those apps on, hoping that this guy who caught our eye will be online, not even daring to talk to him as he’s drinking one meter away, crushed as we are by those rejections be expose ourselves on a day-to-day basis. Too many times I had a guy crying on my shoulder, after a small talk, we’re the only thing I said was that he was beautiful, that he deserved to be loved. Not even in a flirty way, just because it was a fact that needed to be stated. But we became so afraid to show our weaknesses, fearing that those would provoke even more rejection that we’re not even capable anymore to compliment someone, even a friend.

Our behavior on Tinder isn’t that better. We accumulate matches like some social score, living in the worst Black Mirror episode ever. Most of the time we’re not even taking the time to send a message or answer to those people we matched with, stuck in a never-ending quest, persuaded we can find better if we only keep swiping. At the end of the evening and the beginning of the night, we’re stuck alone, swiping left or right without even starting a discussion.

The worst part of this gay digital ecosystem? We’re to blame for it. Yes Grindr and other apps put the focus on our bodies instead of our minds, but we are the one skipping description, avoiding discussions, destroying human interaction in our endless quest for a fantasized other half. Day after day, we’re building our own fortress of solitude, focusing our tired eyes on those small screens. In an era full of sex positivity, we’re killing human positivity. And by putting the focus constantly on sex positivity, we’re slowly forgetting any ”love” positivity.

Obviously this is based on my experience, and some friend experience. For some people I’m sure that those apps do a lot of good, but I know for a fact that this is also soul crushing for a lot of us. But for those who can relate, please take some time to reflect on how we behave on those apps. And thrive to be more human. In an endless sea of torsos, dare to be the heart.

September 01, 2017

Just as business tend to evolve thanks to failures and improvements, I strongly think that we tend to evolve through our mistakes, our errors and regrets. But I also strongly believe that not all errors are equal, and that in each of our lives, we’re making what I call some major formative mistake. Usually we don’t realize it when we’re doing them, but when time passes by and we’re looking backward, we tend to see them clearly for what they are.

Those mistakes are deeply formative in our characters, as making them make us evolve toward a greater human being. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, those mistakes are making us a bit more antifragile, as we’re building on them or rather, because of them. They are easy to identify when you’re a bit distanced from them, as they usually pack a lot of regrets. You wish you had taken another decision, another path, acted differently, … But when you look how you acted after those mistakes, you also realize that you learned a lot, you’re not making the same mistake.

Looking back, I’m able to count three major mistakes in my life. The first one was hurting someone I really loved through acts I deeply regretted. It took me 2 years to gain forgiveness from the other person, but 5 years to forgive myself. This mistake forever changed the way I envision and act into all my relationships since then, in a better way. It also made me gain a best friend and someone I don’t want to lose at all in my life.

The second was taking some distance from a friend as I felt it could endanger my relationship. Two years after I had the chance to make amend, talk with him and explain why I reacted this way and how stupid I was. Three days ago, this friend died. This mistake taught me to always be open about what you’re feeling and thinking but also, the hard way, that the people in our lives don’t last forever and that we have to act on our problem as soon as possible, when we still have the chance to.

The third one was both personal and professional as I let my ego get in the way and cloud my judgment, taking a non calculated risk that almost destroyed a lot of my relationships and career path. This mistake taught me to not let your ego get in the way and also to always listen to opposite advice. It also teached me to be more careful and consider every possibility before taking a decision. It also teached me to listen to my guts and to refuse something if it doesn’t feel right.

Those three mistakes shaped my personality and the way I’m thinking today by hitting hard on three major aspects of life: love, friendship and work. But I would say I have been “lucky” enough to have the chance to build on them, and to have the chance to make amend to both my ex lover and my friend before it was too late. Talking with a lot of people, I realized that everybody didn’t had this chance in their life unfortunately. Still those mistakes defined them, shaped their characters in a more profound way than everything else.

So if you have the chance, take a look backward, what are those decisions, those acts that you deeply regret? Can you still act on them and, if another person if involved, ask forgiveness? While those mistakes shape us, we don’t have to let them leave open wounds in our lives, scars are a way to keep the teaching while still healing.

August 01, 2017

There are some conversations where you realize a lot about yourself, how and why you act the way you do. I remember a particular one with a friend of mine, as we were discussing our shared professional past. I remember talking about how unhappy I was and how I felt I was slowly dying for such a long time, expressing some bitterness over the job. That’s when she told me “but you had the choice, you could have left”. That particular sentence really hit me hard.

It hit me hard because she was right, I could have. In fact, looking back now, everything at this time was already in my hands, but instead of acting on it, and changing my life, I decided to stick in a job that was slowly killing me. I stayed because of multiple factors, the main one being fear. I was terribly afraid to find myself losing my flat, ending up on the streets, … (drama much ? I must admit). So afraid in fact that I was ready to go all the way straight to the burn out just because I was too afraid to make a decision I knew was the right one but where I couldn’t predict a 100% success rate.

The problem is that nothing in life has a 100% success rate, we can never be assured that everything will go well. Things can go wrong, but they can also go pretty right, we can’t predict them. Most of the time we get over it, being able to make decisions, go on with our lives, but sometimes, for big decisions, we tend to postpone, waiting for this 100% rate solution, this perfect answer. And even if we’re unhappy in our current situation, at least we know it, we own it (or rather, it owns us). So we stick to things we don’t like, in jobs that are sometimes depleting us from exactly who we are, because taking the chance to make a change is frightening.

Sometimes those choices end up being bad. As I said, we can never know. The only thing we can do is to avoid to end up in a state of learned helplessness and not to let those failures own us. Because even if something fails we can learn from it. And if something succeed, we’re gaining a bit more confidence, a bit more self-trust, and we finally escape situations that destroy us. Do not let fear take the best of you, take the leap, trust in your guts because that’s what life is made of. Keep learning, keep growing, keep choosing.

July 01, 2017

I’ve always had troubles to relate to my age. While I know it’s only a number, I can’t stop thinking that those years are slowly counting and growing in numbers (still can’t believe I’m reaching my 30s in one year). For years, I stubbornly refused to become an adult, deciding that it was something I didn’t relate to, staying in some kind of pre-adult years (or more post-teenage years).

However, lately things changed a lot. While 2016 was a terrible year for a lot of people (and for the world), it was for me one of the most formative year I’ve ever encountered. I never felt myself getting older than I did during last year, taking decisions that changed my life totally: quitting smoking totally, deciding to leave my job and go full freelance, learning what I needed and wanted in several aspects of my life.

While 2017 didn’t start as well as I had wished, it’s still packing a lot of promises on the professional level, with a tremendous amount of project being planned for the coming weeks. It’s even a bit frightening how much I’m investing into my work life lately but, well, sometimes it’s necessary and it’s for the better.

I always had some troubles identifying as an adult due to the fact that I’m still looking quite young (with people giving me 23 years old it doesn’t help), but finally, at 29, I’ve decided to accept myself as an adult person, and to accept that I could have insights, opinions, things to say, … that were as valuable as the other adults I’ve ever encountered.

I’m still, and will still look younger than my age for (I hope) a long time, but I know that now my mindset has changed, now I can finally say that I’ve entered adulthood, or at least entered what I consider to be adulthood. It might not look like much, or something I should have done years ago, but for me it was finally being able to stand on the same ground as lot of people I’m working with, and this has forever changed the way I look at things.

June 01, 2017

Politics. I thought I’d never get back into this, having lost the willingness to understand their shoutings, their fightings, this unbearable division of our society in smaller and smaller parts. But here we go again, as it seems it has become unavoidable lately unfortunately. You might have noticed how it has changed in the last years, losing most of its messages for those strong figures, those talkers, those new orators. As it seems, we’ll never really understand history lessons while we’re bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over, giving up again our convictions, our ideas, for a person that is able to empower a crowd, to rise the angriness and play with the people struggles.

I seem to remember a time, not so long ago, where politics were an idea, a hope, something that we’d look upon to for our future, to build something. Yes they were humans, making mistakes, falling into the same traps we all fall into, but at least they were trying to build something greater than them. Then somewhere along the road we lost this, this willingness to overcome our present to aim for a better future. In the last years, by a dictatorship of the majority, we let orators take bit by bit the power of our democracies. And every time someone tries to warn us, we’re bound to say that “it’s not the same, you’re going to far”. But yes, it is the same, it has always been the same, since the dawn of democracy. As democracy in itself has the root of its destruction. As we’re humans and imperfects, we’re bound to fall to great speeches, to those men and women that can directly talk to our most primary feelings. Anger, fear, sadness, … those are the things they use against us.

Bit by bit, politics has become a giant circus, where the message doesn’t tell much but where what’s relevant is who says it and how. Marketing has embraced politics, shaping our debates with the most terrifying weapons we could think of to shape human minds. There’s not a single bit of project in their message, just crazy talks about how those “others” are “dangerous”, “rapists”, “thieves”, “strange”, “different”. And everyday we’re falling more and more into this sadistic game.

In the United States, we let a terrible man reach the highest states of power, in Turkey we’re giving more and more power to a man who has everything of a dictator, in Belgium we let our politics divide us and block our country about useless things, in Hungary and Chechnya we let them build new camps to protect us from those “others”, in the United Kingdoms we let populists break one of the most beautiful idea our democracies had ever made, in France the current race for presidency has become a nightmare on every side with almost each candidate playing on fear, angriness, avoiding the uneasy questions, and almost all of them trying to control our medias, our information, the fifth pillar of our power.

People have never been this passionate about politics on the other side. But for the wrong reasons. We’re dwelling into a war of feelings, not ideas anymore, refusing to hear the complains of the people who do not think like us, who dare to support another candidate, another hope. As we met the orators win the power, we also let the most demagogues, the most enraged people steal every single topic of discussion we can find. It has now became impossible to talk about racism, LGBT rights, foreign policy, health, or anything on each side. In a time where we’d desperately need moderate people to build a future we could all aim for, we let our society become a gigantic battlefield of fanatics.

And each day, those fanatics are reinforcing our cleavages, by pushing away people who are not truly against them, but aren’t just agreeing with all their agenda. By alienating those diverse opinions to fall into a black and white divide, we’re destroying our democracies and letting the power into the hands of those Manichean orators. We pushed away moderates from the scene and replaced them by performers. But performers, might they be black or white, aren’t willing to build a future. They’re willing to build up their power, their ego, as it’s the exact thing that put them into this position. And every time we try to talk about them, we’re accused of strengthening them, killing in itself the basic idea of a democratic discussion.

We’re all prone to failure, that our beauty and our curse, but still I hope this is not too late. Now I look to France, hoping that my predictions won’t come true, that we won’t let fear win, but still. Still I hope to see moderates come back on the scene, daring to explain to the common people that the world isn’t black and white, daring to challenge people with complex ideas, with real projects encompassing all of our society, embracing our differences. I hope to see moderates fight the fanatics from every side of the battle and tell them that they do not have the right to confiscate our societies, to go on further in this division war we’re in it. Because our world is a colorful rainbow, and it’s in this diversity that we’ll be able to build something greater than us.

Diving into adulthood

I’ve always had troubles to relate to my age. While I know it’s only a number, I can’t stop thinking that those years are slowly counting and growing in numbers (still can’t believe I’m reaching my 30s in one year). For years, I stubbornly refused to become an adult, deciding that it was something I didn’t relate to, staying in some kind of pre-adult years (or more post-teenage years).

However, lately things changed a lot. While 2016 was a terrible year for a lot of people (and for the world), it was for me one of the most formative year I’ve ever encountered. I never felt myself getting older than I did during last year, taking decisions that changed my life totally: quitting smoking totally, deciding to leave my job and go full freelance, learning what I needed and wanted in several aspects of my life.

While 2017 didn’t start as well as I had wished, it’s still packing a lot of promises on the professional level, with a tremendous amount of project being planned for the coming weeks. It’s even a bit frightening how much I’m investing into my work life lately but, well, sometimes it’s necessary and it’s for the better.

I always had some troubles identifying as an adult due to the fact that I’m still looking quite young (with people giving me 23 years old it doesn’t help), but finally, at 29, I’ve decided to accept myself as an adult person, and to accept that I could have insights, opinions, things to say, … that were as valuable as the other adults I’ve ever encountered.

I’m still, and will still look younger than my age for (I hope) a long time, but I know that now my mindset has changed, now I can finally say that I’ve entered adulthood, or at least entered what I consider to be adulthood. It might not look like much, or something I should have done years ago, but for me it was finally being able to stand on the same ground as lot of people I’m working with, and this has forever changed the way I look at things.

February 23, 2017

There are some conversations where you realize a lot about yourself, how and why you act the way you do. I remember a particular one with a friend of mine, as we were discussing our shared professional past. I remember talking about how unhappy I was and how I felt I was slowly dying for such a long time, expressing some bitterness over the job. That’s when she told me ”but you had the choice, you could have left”. That particular sentence really hit me hard.

It hit me hard because she was right, I could have. In fact, looking back now, everything at this time was already in my hands, but instead of acting on it, and changing my life, I decided to stick in a job that was slowly killing me. I stayed because of multiple factors, the main one being fear. I was terribly afraid to find myself losing my flat, ending up on the streets, … (drama much ? I must admit). So afraid in fact that I was ready to go all the way straight to the burn out just because I was too afraid to make a decision I knew was the right one but where I couldn’t predict a 100% success rate.

The problem is that nothing in life has a 100% success rate, we can never be assured that everything will go well. Things can go wrong, but they can also go pretty right, we can’t predict them. Most of the time we get over it, being able to make decisions, go on with our lives, but sometimes, for big decisions, we tend to postpone, waiting for this 100% rate solution, this perfect answer. And even if we’re unhappy in our current situation, at least we know it, we own it (or rather, it owns us). So we stick to things we don’t like, in jobs that are sometimes depleting us from exactly who we are, because taking the chance to make a change is frightening.

Sometimes those choices end up being bad. As I said, we can never know. The only thing we can do is to avoid to end up in a state of learned helplessness and not to let those failures own us. Because even if something fails we can learn from it. And if something succeed, we’re gaining a bit more confidence, a bit more self-trust, and we finally escape situations that destroy us. Do not let fear take the best of you, take the leap, trust in your guts because that’s what life is made of. Keep learning, keep growing, keep choosing.

February 6, 2017

Last week I wasn’t able to write a single thing for this diary. While I did my best to keep a day-to-day one page diary, writing something longer was beyond my control. Because last week I lost someone very dear to me for reasons I still don’t understand and without being able to do a single thing to avoid it. Thus breaking multiple promises I did to myself for this beginning of year.

Since then I’m slowly trying to cope with the break up, and to get back to a daily routine correctly. I found an infinite wisdom in the saying “This too shall pass”, which helps me to go forward throughout the day, knowing that everything I’m feeling, everything I’m encountering, every single question I have will pass. Every single state I’m in, at this moment, will vanish if I give it some time.

While I still don’t get the exact reason for this separation, I’m confident that I did my best, and that I did everything I could on my side. In moments like this, it is always hard to exactly define where is the line between what you should do, what is beyond your control and what would diminish yourself. I have to thank the 2 months I’ve spent practicing meditation, which helped me make some steps back and observe things from a distance (providing me some relief also in hard times like this). Practicing each morning a premeditatio malorum helped me, as this break up was a scenario I had already pictured for several weeks (and I have to say that for the last 10 days, it has become incredibly easy to practice).

I still have a lot of work to do to get totally back on my feet, but I won’t give up. I know there’ll be better days, I’m doing my best to keep my head up and my hopes high, and to get back on tracks. Meanwhile, this event helped me also to discover a lot of things around me and how much empathy people could express when you’re going through hard times. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why this has happened nor get used to, but at least I’m able to stand up and I know that, even if I’m not able to seize the day yet, this will come back, in time.

“Remember, nothing belongs to you but your flesh and blood and nothing else is under your control." —Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)

A Better Version of Me

2016 was quite a rollercoaster year on many parts. I’m grateful for several things that happened in my life, but I must admit that I let myself slip quite a bit while enjoying only the good things without taking some time to keep on improving myself. While in 2015 I succeeded at losing a lot of weight and establish a daily routine, I let myself slip during 2016, something I wanted to get back on.

Several things happened that pushed me to reinvent my life on a lot of levels. First I started to work as a freelancer (I talked about this on my professional website (in French)), after 8 years working in several companies from different sizes and business. This wasn’t an easy decision at all, in fact it was something I was thinking about for several years but I didn’t dare to make the jump. 2016 brought me the “little push” I needed to take the final decision. I’ll come back on this subject later on in another post.

One month ago, I decided to get back on tracks and establish a morning routine again. The first part was to get me out of bed as quickly as I could the morning, while still feeling refreshed and awake. For this I have to thanks two things. First Sleepcycle, who monitors my nights and wake me up at the best time possible (I’m still A/B testing my own life and playing with waking up times to find the perfect configuration but it’s one hell of an improvement at the moment). Second was reading the Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and especially this quote :

“I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?”

While I still have troubles getting out of bed from time to time, I keep this as a nice reminder that every hour I spend in bed doing nothing is an hour lost I could have invested in my personal growth.

On top of that, I’m currently developing a morning routine. For one month and half, I woke up early to do 40 minutes of indoor biking. During the last two weeks, I’ve switched to work on some exercises one day on two, following NerdFitness teachings, and started to keep a Battle log in their forums to stay accountable (and this blog is another step in becoming even more accountable).

After those exercises, I usually take some time to write down some morning pages, emptying everything that goes through my mind at the moment. Those pages usually pack reflexions on the day before, but also feelings, dreams, … It helps me to start the day on a clean slate. Thanks to several stoïc readings, I’ve also started to do a Premeditatio Malorum each morning to help me cope with the day. This helps me in my day to day jobs and help me improve my reactions and overall stress.

I’ve also started to practice meditation every single day, thanks to Calm. During my life, I’ve always had troubles to keep my mind focused on some things and troubles going to sleep (falling asleep took me around one hour. Now it takes me around 10 minutes), while packing a lot of stress and nervousness (even leading to a serious case of ulcers). I’m currently on a 32 days streak and can say that my life has dramatically improved : a better sleep, more calm, less belly-pain and an enhanced focus capacity. I still have to work a lot on my stress and some burst of angriness (starting and ending the days on the road stuck in traffic doesn’t help), but I feel I’m on the right path.

Lately I’ve also temporarily suppressed two other things from my life. Coffee, first, as I was feeling like I needed more and more of it to feel awake but that taking more of it lead to troubles sleeping, belly-pain, … I switched to tea and infusion and must say that for the moment I feel way better. Second is alcohol. I’d like to mention that this is not a dry january attempt, but more a personal experience I’ve been through during the last month. Every single time I took alcohol in the last 3 months, I’ve experimented extreme sadness, and severe depression episodes the day after. So I don’t see it as a permanent ban, but except for very special occasions I’ve decided to ban every “casual drinking”.

I’ve also changed my general diet to suppress every sugar (bye soda, sweetness, dessert, …), grains (gluten) and starchy foods (bye bread, potatoes, pastas …) and increase my vegetables consumption (and made a recipe board on Pinterest). The first 3 days were quite hard, feeling really weak and with a lot of headaches, but lately I’ve felt I had more and more energy, so it’s quite nice.

Around 10pm, I usually switch off every screen (TV screen, computer & phone which are both using f.lux), and take a book to bed for the next 30 minutes. This help my mind to slow down, breathe and enter a “going-to-sleep” mood. Good side? It helped me finish already 7 books since the beginning of January!

I’m still working on those things to develop pure habits (for this I have to thank Habitica) and refining some parts, but I must admit that lately I felt really good and energized. I’ll keep posting about those habits and routines and see how it goes and improve. But don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any question 😉

Turn on the light

Like a lot of people, I woke up the 9th of November facing a global headache. A headache we could have seen coming, which has slowly built outside of our bubbles, just next to it in fact. Those talks, remarks, “jokes” that slowly built throughout the years and that we have all heard during our family or friends gathering, …

I’m not going to lie, Donald Trump’s election terribly brought me down. During this whole day, I felt I was feeling deeply sad, facing a lot of questions about myself, the society, the world. Because it’d be a lie to think that this election won’t have any impact here, as the same things are already building up in the countries next to ours (France with Le Pen and the Manif pour Tous, England with the Brexit, …). Everywhere in the world, people are saying things I’d have thought unthinkable some time ago, attacking “the other one”, the “migrant”, the “stranger”, …

On the other side, nobody believes anymore in our democratic system as it is, but this view brings a lot of consequences on its own too.

“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” – Antonio Gramsci

And I totally understand this attitude towards our system, those records in terms of people who don’t even take the time to vote (even more for my generation). How can you still believe in a system that looks more and more like a succession of son, grand sons, daughters, … of the same families ? In a system that is far and far away from everyone’s daily life. How can we keep believing in a system that is so quickly moved by populist speeches, where it’s easier to say that “the foreigner is stealing your job” than to explain why our works are dramatically changing and that not a single one of our politicians is working to prepare this change? How to keep believing in a system that gets older and older, where our youth is more and more rejected, not believed, where even the “young” parts of the political parties aren’t listened by their peers?

But this morning, I was able to get up from bed with a clearer mind, a new energy and inspiration. To face the events, I’ve realized that even on our small side, we were able to change things, and that we shouldn’t believe nothing was in our hands. That even if my generation will take many years before reaching any of those positions that can allow us to change the system as it is today, it’s still possible to help changing things.

It might not look like much, but those small ideas have a human impact that we can realize, that we can live on our own. Because even if we can help only ten people around us, that’s already quite a number for a small human being. Those propositions might sound simplistic, but they’re not made to change the system, instead they aim at opening our minds, get us a bit closer to each other.

Give some of your time to help strangers

Two years ago, after a lot of hard times, I wanted to find a way to help other people going through times alike. As I was both working as employee and side freelancer, it was really hard for me to find the time to join a support call-center team with sometimes complex schedules. It was around this time that I discovered 7 Cups. This website allowed me to help tens of people, by just being here for them. I’ve discovered, something I’ve never realized, that a lot of people around the world just needed someone who would listen to them, someone who will tell them that they’re worth something, that they’re unique, that they deserve that we take some time for them.

I’ve talked with people all around the world, which are still anonymous as of today, with a lot of different troubles, personal life events, sometimes very hard. But even with a bit of time, even just one hour a week, I was really able to help some people, even just to tell them : you are not alone.

Talk to your elders, question their speeches

The current racist, homophobic, sexist speech has become widespread in our society, somehow “liberated”. While it’s impossible to reason with a real racist, you can, on your own, talk to your loved ones. May it be by questioning your uncle who tells you he lost his jobs because of “those muslims”, or your grand-mother frightened grand-mother terrified by “those black people”, by talking to your old neighbor, … By reaching to them, by showing them that the “others” are not that terrifying, that they have much to offer, much to show. By showing them what’s really happening also with the job industry, by making them face the ongoing changes, far from the easy racist excuses.

Free your old stuffs

In our little country, we are lucky enough to have a lot of organizations that seek to help others. Most of those organizations don’t even expect you to give money, but will gladly take all those old stuffs you don’t really need. Because those old stuffs might help somebody else, who’s looking for them or don’t have the money for them.

Even easier, free your old books, drop them at a bus stop, on a bench, with a little world. A lot of people grow up without any access to books or not enough, give them a chance. From my point of view, reading helped me to open my eyes to new ideas, new habits, … So if a small book can help change someone’s mind, free them instead of letting them gather dust on an old shelve.

Burst your bubble

If you’re left-wing, right-wing, republican, liberal or whatever, we’re all guilty of living in our own bubble (willingly or not). Helped my Google, Facebook & others algorithms, we only see what we agree on, what we wanted to see (they’re not even that guilty, we asked for this, by hiding this racist uncle, unfriending this homophobic friend, …).

While it can be really hard to read someone with opposite views (and I fully understand, I can burst into flames quite quickly when triggered), it’s however possible, on our side to open up to other sources. Make this little step, add in your links, your Feedly, your Facebook feed, … some source from “the other side”. Not to agree with it, not by masochism, but to force you to see what the “other side” thinks, how they see the world, what they fear, what they hope … It’ll give you some ground to understand the others, and will avoid you too much surprise when your bubble explodes.

Hire young people / minorities

Might not be for everyone, but perhaps this idea can spread : dare to hire young people and minorities. Of course young people will make mistakes, won’t have all the experience you’re looking for, perhaps would look even too “different”, not “corporate” enough, … but young people can also bring so much to your company, by sharing another vision, by bringing his experience into domains you haven’t heard of. Reach out to minorities, cease to be afraid, to always target the same people, the same diplomas, the same schools, dare to diversify your company, differences only make you richer.

Lower your exigencies too. I live in a country with 3 official languages, it has become impossible to find a job offer that doesn’t ask, at least, to master 2 of those languages and English. Dare to break those barriers, because competences go far beyond languages, and you might miss a lot of wonderful people because they don’t speak a language you, frankly, never use in your office.

Write, share your experience

For those who like to write, share your experience. Write, join the NaNoWriMo if you need support, inspiration, … but write.

Might it be to provoke dreams, to make people thinks, or just so that someone might see himself in what you write and might understand that he’s not alone, that you lived the same thing : write. Because it’s by sharing our experiences that we’ll all evolve and go towards a greater good. Now what ?

As I said, those ideas might sound simplistic, I don’t pretend to change our whole system, because I honestly don’t know how to do this. I force myself to try, discover new ideas, new propositions, but can’t replicate them on my own. But all those things I said before ? Those I can, those are doable. And even if they sound like small steps, even if it helps only ten people, it’s already a step in the right direction.

Because I refuse to believe that we cannot change anything, because I don’t want to give up and I deeply believe that we’ll be able to change this world. Even if at this moment we can only do that around us, even if it’s just local or human, we’ll change it. It may sound naive, but all those proposals already helped people and will help some other, so I’ll keep on going, and I won’t give up.

Ils ont créés des immortels

Tristesse immense ce 7 janvier, alors que j’espérais voir cette année bien commencer. Tristesse face au meurtre de gens que j’admirais depuis que j’étais ado, tristesse pour ce journal qui m’a fait rire parfois aux larmes, pour ce côté irrévérencieux, cette capacité à rire du tout, même et surtout du pire.

Émotion de voir tous ces rassemblements, ces mains tendues aux quatre coins du monde, cette réaffirmation de la liberté d’expression aux delà de tous, aux delà des tièdes qui veulent aseptiser l’humour à tout prix, des lâches qui ne cessent de rejeter la faute sur l’autre, l’étranger, le barbu, contre ces abrutis qui ne trouvent que la haine comme unique réponse. Et toujours toujours « l’amour pour épée, l’humour comme bouclier » même si aujourd’hui le bouclier ne suffit plus.

Tristesse de voir nos médias se sentir obligés de diffuser ces vidéos et ces photos infâmes, au nom de quelle nécessité ? Pourquoi si ce n’est attiser la peur, donner les armes à ceux qui ont perpétré cette horreur ? Remuer un peu plus cette haine facile, sournoise qui gangrène tout, que l’on n’attaque même plus de façon intelligente, argumentée, se contentant de traiter untel de « méchant », un tel de « facho » au lieu de remettre en question leurs écrits, de prendre nos plumes pour mieux vaincre la nausée qu’ils installent. Remuer un peu plus cette tiédeur, ces gens qui déclarent « ils l’avaient bien cherché », cette connerie aseptisée qui s’installe partout. Tristesse de voir ces racistes se frotter les mains devant ce pain béni qui s’offre à eux et qui leur permettra de remuer un peu plus leur marmite bouillante de haine.

Émotion de voir tous ces « Je suis Charlie« , ces bougies allumées, ces gens rassemblés, ces grands groupes de presse qui tendent la main vers ce petit hebdomadaire satyrique pour qu’il continue à vivre, que l’humour persiste encore et toujours, plus fort que tout, et à travers lui la démocratie. Émotion de voir tous ces gens s’unir, se tendre la main malgré la peur, malgré la différence, ensemble pour une fois. Car à travers tout cela, au delà de la terreur que ces trois hommes ont voulu inspirer, ils ont créé des immortels car « les idées sont à l’épreuve des balles ». Au-revoir Charb, Cabu, Wolinski, Tignous, … Et « mort aux cons ».

« S’il est vrai que l’humour est la politesse du désespoir, s’il est vrai que le rire sacrilège blasphématoire que les bigots de toutes les chapelles taxent de vulgarité et de mauvais goût, s’il est vrai que ce rire-là peut parfois désacraliser la bêtise, exorciser les chagrins véritables et fustiger les angoisses mortelles, alors oui, on peut rire de tout, on doit rire de tout. »

Pierre Desproges – Tribunal des Flagrants Délires

2014 : un bilan

« Ce qui ne nous tue pas nous rend plus fort » disait Nietzsche, et à l’aube de 2015, c’est avec joie que je jette les dernières pelletées de terre sur cette année 2014 qui, pour le dire simplement, n’a pas exactement été un cadeau.

Débutée par un burn-out, elle m’a aussi apportée une rupture ainsi que l’effondrement de beaucoup de projets, d’avenirs possibles, de rêves. Elle a été l’occasion d’une remise en question totale, de prendre le temps de regarder où j’en étais et de faire le point. Ce blog avait d’ailleurs été mis en pause, parce que je n’avais simplement plus rien à dire, me recentrant sur moi même.

Le temps de me reconstruire, cette année m’a quand même permis d’accomplir plusieurs choses, sur bien des plans. J’ai ainsi pu enfin partir à la découverte du Portugal, entre Porto, Coimbra & Lisbonne, abattant plusieurs kilomètres chaque jours pour découvrir des paysages magnifiques (les photos sont d’ailleurs ici). Depuis la lecture de Train de Nuit pour Lisbonne de Pascal Mercier, ce pays m’attirait, c’était donc une joie d’enfin y mettre les pieds et de découvrir ces paysages si différents sous un temps extrêmement clément.

J’ai aussi renoué, enfin, avec le plaisir de lire, en grande partie grâce à l’achat d’un Kindle. Moi qui ne croyait pas vraiment aux liseuses, voilà que je clôture cette année avec 76 romans engloutis dont quelques découvertes que je ne peux que vous conseiller chaleureusement :

  • Illusions ou Le Messie Récalcitrant de Richard Bach (riche en apprentissages, parfait pour se réapprendre soi même),
  • Petit traité de vie intérieure de Frédéric Lenoir (dans la même veine, un grand apprentissage),
  • Un tout petit rien de Camille Anseaume (un récit touchant, qui vous fera osciller entre rires et pleurs) et
  • En l’absence des hommes de Philippe Besson (une histoire d’amour unique, belle, touchante, qui vous remue au plus profond).

Parlant de lecture, j’ai aussi pu renouer avec l’écriture, enfin, et finir mon premier roman Temps Volés, grâce au NaNoWriMo. Ce roman a été libératoire, me permettant de coucher énormément de pensées sur le papier, mais aussi d’enfin arriver au bout d’un rêve. Le tenir entre mes mains a été un moment important de ma vie. J’ai aussi pris énormément de plaisir à me plonger entre les mots, à les coucher sur le papier, et je compte bien renouer avec ce plaisir pour l’année prochaine. Ecrire sans musique m’étant impossible, cette année a donc été source de bien des découvertes musicales aussi.

Cette année a aussi été l’occasion pour moi de renouer avec les amis et la famille, m’emmenant aux quatre coins de la Belgique pour retisser ces liens qui s’étaient effilochés au gré de mes déboires. Et j’ai pu me rendre compte à quel point ces relations me faisaient du bien, et je ferai tout pour ne plus perdre le fil.

Du côté professionnel, cette année a été extrêmement fructueuse, et j’ai pu bosser sur des projets intéressants :

  • un logo pour MVM (artiste électro de génie),
  • un site internet pour Eric Deridder (spécialistes en châssis et réparations en tout genre)
  • le nouveau site de Arma Cutis (une créatrice de mode belge fantastique)
  • un site pour Concept House Services (qui vous fournit tous les services pour une copropriété)
  • le site du Bois de la Pierre (résidence pour personnes âgées)
  • le site de Thierry de Kemmeter (spécialisé en prêt à porter masculin)
  • le site de Intercompta (fiduciaire & cabinet comptable que je vous recommande)
  • le site et l’identité de Yourfreeway (spécialisé dans le recrutement d’exécutifs)

Au final, cette année m’aura permis de me retrouver moi même, d’en apprendre énormément sur moi et de commencer à bâtir de nouveaux projets et de nouvelles rencontres sur des fondations solides. J’ai des projets plein la malle, tant du point de vue professionnel que du point de vue personnel, des projets d’écriture, de nouveaux lieux à découvrir, de nouvelles rencontres à faire, … Au final je suis assez impatient. J’espère que 2015 sera plus clémente, mais depuis Halloween tout semble de nouveau être au beau fixe, je me permets donc de terminer cette année les yeux remplis d’espoir pour ce qui s’annonce et vous en souhaite à tous et à toutes de même.

Aucun design ne transforme le plomb en or

Je vois souvent un designer appelé à la rescousse pour tenter de rattraper un projet bancal pour, en appliquant deux trois coups de pinceaux bien placés, redresser soudainement des chiffres de vente ou faire venir soudainement un torrent de visiteurs matérialisés depuis l'éther.

Hors l'essence du design n'est pas d'appliquer une "couche de peinture" sur un projet déjà formé. Le design est à l'essence d'un projet, alors que le projet est encore à l'état embryonnaire. Aucune "couche de peinture" ne viendra magiquement transformer une idée merdique en succès retentissant, aucun élément graphique n'arrivera à rattraper un produit inintéressant.

Ainsi, les projets qui me procurent le plus de plaisir à travailler sont les projets de start-up, les idées naissantes, où je peux étudier le projet, cibler ses forces et faiblesses, et tenter de palier à des imperfections. Voir le projet prendre forme, naitre et grandir peu à peu est pour moi le meilleur moyen de lui forger une identitée forte, faisant corps avec ses valeurs et ses aspirations.

C'est cette phase d'exploration, d'apprentissage et de découverte qui est à la base du design, de la création d'une identitée, de la construction d'un produit, pas le maniement des outils de la gamme Adobe, pas la capacité à réciter dans l'ordre anti-chronologique la liste des graphistes marquants du XXe siècle.

Votre designer n'est pas un alchimiste capable de transformer le plomb en or. Mais donnez lui de l'or en main et il saura vous créer les plus magnifiques parures que vos clients s'arracheront.

Apprendre chaque jour

Quand je regarde ces dernières années, je me rends compte des pas de géant qui m'ont peu à peu amené où j'en suis aujourd'hui. Parti avec une certaine arrogance de la jeunesse, j'ai peu à peu appris à ouvrir les yeux, à découvrir le monde qui m'entoure, et à apprendre, chaque jour, un peu plus.

Chaque client que j'ai eu m'en a appris un peu plus. Et là où j'entends beaucoup "c'est toi le graphiste, c'est toi qui doit décider", j'ai pu constater à quel point mes clients pouvaient autant apporter que moi au côté graphique d'un projet.

Que ce soit par leurs remarques, par leurs interrogations, mais aussi par leur parcours. Chaque contrat était l'occasion d'en apprendre un peu plus sur un domaine : la création d'une entreprise, la vie de freelance, la vente de meubles anciens (oui oui), la vitrerie et ses différents aspects, la vie d'un restaurant ou d'un bar, ...

Là où, il y a quelques années, je ne pensais pas avoir besoin de m'intéresser vraiment à l'activité de mes clients, je trouve un certain plaisir à me plonger dans des nouveaux domaines, à me renseigner, à apprendre, à m'émerveiller. Chaque nouveau client est un défi, un continent vierge à explorer, une aventure dans laquelle je m'embarque.

Et si bien sûr une relation graphiste-client n'est pas toujours de tout repos, et que parfois les avis divergent, j'ai pu peu à peu apprendre à concilier les points de vue, à construire quelque chose main dans la main avec le client et, je l'espère, à rencontrer leurs attentes.

Il me reste encore énormément de chemin à parcourir, et il y a énormément de choses que je rêve encore de découvrir et d'apprendre, mais je ne peux que constater que ces années écoulées, même si elles n'ont pas toutes été faciles, m'ont beaucoup apporté. Je ne sais pas de quoi sera fait demain ni quel chemin j'emprunterai, mais je me réjouis à l'idée de tout ce qu'il me reste encore à accomplir.

J'ai passé 4 jours sur Internet: Mon Bilan

Mon défi était particulier, je devais passer quatre jours sur cette terre étrange et bizarre qu'est Internet, armé de quelques technologies dignes des années 2000 : un ordinateur portable, un smartphone et éventuellement une tablette. Voici mon bilan.

Surprenant et enrichissant. Voilà comment je définirai le plus simplement possible cette expérience de voyage dans ces terres étranges.

Surprenant car je ne m'attendais pas à découvrir davantage au delà des lolcats, des articles pourris partagés par certains contacts "Jenifer & Kevin se crashent avec leur scooter des neiges en chassant un paresseux échappé du zoo de Liège", et autres vidéos inutiles, un terrain de connaissance, d'apprentissage sans fin.

J'ai ainsi pu découvrir dans ma boite mail plusieurs newsletters (vous savez, ces e-mails qui apportent autre chose qu'un Powerpoint inutile et vaguement drôle ?) : Sidebar, Web Designer Depot, Hacker Newsletter, ... J'ai aussi pu grâce à Feedly, lire chaque jours les écrits de plusieurs blogueurs, penseurs, écrivains, ... qui bien que n'ayant pas de diplôme de journalisme fournissent eux aussi un point de vue intéressant et plein d'enseignements.

Enrichissant car là où mon cerveau s'était un peu endormi au fil des années, à force d'un travail routinier et d'un métro-boulot-dodo classique, j'ai pu le réveiller et soudainement le mettre à profit ! Je me suis donc mis à réapprendre l'espagnol sur Duolingo, j'en ai profité aussi pour prendre un cours de Design Thinking for Business Innovation donné par l'Université de Virginie sur Coursera, et j'ai appris plein de choses sur le Javascript sur Treehouse. J'ai des notes de cours qui noircissent un vrai cahier à spirale, des idées pleins la tête, et une soif de connaissance qu'il me semblait avoir oublié.

J'ai soudainement aussi redécouvert la joie de lire, en emportant avec moi, sur ma tablette, Readmill et sa centaines de livres gratuits, relisant certains classiques, mais aussi quelques livrés écrits par des indépendants, des créateurs, ... Des livres brisant le carcan de ce que veulent bien publier les éditeurs, des écrits qui n'ont pas leur place à la radio, la télévision ou dans l'ordre des pages d'un journal. J'ai aussi pris le temps de me balader, un livre audio dans les oreilles, regardant le monde autour de moi tout en apprenant encore de nouvelles choses.

En cherchant quelques informations sur Reddit (à propos de nouveaux trucs que j'avais appris, d'un achat pour lequel j'avais besoin le feedback de beaucoup de gens de ma profession avant de me décider à le faire, ...) j'ai découvert des informations traitées différemment, des points de vues uniques, intéressants, interpellants. J'ai pu lire les témoignages de gens vivant dans ces zones de conflits traitées en quelques lignes par les médias classiques. Au delà de l'info-poubelle, j'ai redécouvert ce "vrai journalisme" que nos médias classiques semblent oublier de plus en plus (allant jusqu'à republier des informations de sites satyriques).

Internet m'a aussi permis d'apprendre qu'une amie de longue date venait passer quelques jours en Belgique, après s'être baladée pas mal, et nous a permis de se retrouver autour d'un verre, de discuter, de raconter nos expériences, nos apprentissages et de combler ces quelques années éloignés.

Bien sûr pour ça il a fallu quelques années d'apprentissage, pour ne pas subir un outil, mais l'utiliser efficacement. Quand j'apprends ou que je veux être tranquille, je coupe les notifications, je ne sors pas (plus) immédiatement mon smartphone pour y chercher frénétiquement des nouvelles. J'avoue ne plus trainer des heures sur Facebook sans but, ne pas regarder des centaines de vidéos de chats sur Youtube, non, j'ai décidé de mettre à profit cette montagne de connaissances qu'est l'Internet et de m'enrichir, d'apprendre et de développer de nouvelles compétences grâce à ce merveilleux outil, gratuit et accessible, qui m'apporte toutes ces connaissances facilement.

Et concernant mes courses de Noël ? Tout était commandé, emballé et livré le 9 décembre, m'épargnant ainsi de perdre une ou deux journées à naviguer parmi une marée humaine de plusieurs centaines de personnes, de faire 4 heures de files pour 2 articles, et de rentrer exténué après 9h dans des grands magasins avec 3 cadeaux et surtout de me plaindre de la cohue sur les réseaux sociaux hashtag cadeauxdeNoël.

J'ai aussi pu commander ce film qui n'était pas distribué en Belgique (parce que jugé pas assez financièrement intéressant), ce livre en anglais jamais traduit (parce qu'il n'y a pas assez de lecteurs potentiels vous comprenez bien), commander ce tableau magnifique réalisé par une artiste au Canada, cette housse réalisée par une femme passionnée en Lituanie, et j'en passe.

Bref, avant de critiquer un outil, questionnez votre utilisation de cet outil, vous serez étonnés ;)

Regard sur mon année 2013

2013 se terminant tout doucement, j'ai voulu prendre quelque temps pour retirer quelques enseignements sur cette année écoulée. Malheureusement, et comme beaucoup, je n'ai pas réussi à tenir toutes mes résolutions (mais j'ai essayé promis).

Ainsi malgré ma volonté de faire vivre plus ce blog, force est de constater que je n'ai pas réussi à tenir ma promesse d'un article par semaine. Sans doute par manque d'inspiration, mais aussi parce qu'au cours de l'année j'ai décidé de vraiment recentrer ce petit espace sur mon travail, et donc ne parler que de graphisme, web design, ... Ce qui du coup m'a limité dans mes idées d'articles. J'espère pouvoir améliorer ça l'année prochaine. Dans la foulée j'ai cependant eu le temps de reconstruire et lancer mon portfolio sur mon site en anglais.

Parlant de portfolio, 2013 m'a permis de me relancer en tant que freelance (à titre complémentaire), et je dois dire qu'après 4 mois, je suis assez satisfait du travail réalisé. Malheureusement je n'ai pas encore pu beaucoup montrer, mais ça ne saurait tarder. Sur ces quatre mois j'ai appris énormément, consacrant désormais une grosse partie de mon temps à un apprentissage plus en profondeur. J'ai ainsi appris à me servir de Jekyll et peu à peu j'apprivoise la console. Je me suis mis aussi sérieusement à l'apprentissage du javascript et je pense que d'ici la fin de mes congés je devrais pouvoir me débrouiller suffisamment (après j'irai fureter plus en avant).

Cette année aussi m'a permis de gagner en maturité dans mon travail, j'ai commencé à creuser plus en profondeur ma relation client, à pouvoir mieux comprendre, interroger, mais aussi parfois refuser certaines offres, préférant conseiller et éviter des investissements inutiles plutôt que de faire mon pain sur le dos d'autres.

Là où 2012 avait été une année pleine d'espoirs déçus et de naïveté, 2013 s'est révélée être une année difficile sur beaucoup de points, mais pleine d'apprentissage. Et même si mon corps a tenté plusieurs fois de me signifier son mécontentement au cours de l'année, j'ai la tête pleine d'idées, de pistes, et j'ai retrouvé une soif de connaissance ainsi qu'une véritable passion pour mon travail.

Je regarde vers 2014 avec pleins de projets dans mes tiroirs, tant personnels que professionnels. Je crois d'ailleurs que pour la première fois je me passerai de bonnes résolutions, car je suis déjà en train de tracer le chemin à emprunter. Comme disait Saint Exupéry : "Un but sans plan n'est qu'un souhait".

A bientôt !

P.S. : le site a reçu quelques coups de peinture le mois dernier. Je devrais bientôt procéder à un gros nettoyage du contenu, et fixer deux trois petits points, mais j'espère que ça vous plait ;)

Hier la Wallonie a dévoilé son nouveau logo (réalisé par VO-Event (merci Bruno pour l'indication !)). Enfin, plus exactement, la presse a dévoilé le prix de ce logo ET accessoirement le logo tout seul perdu comme un malheureux (on passera sur le travail journalistique réduit à peau de chagrin).

Mettons tout de suite les choses au clair, ce logo n'est pas hors de prix, n'en déplaise à certains. On peut certes critiquer le fait qu'en période de crise, la refonte d'une identité n'est peut être pas une priorité, mais le prix demandé n'est en aucun cas abusif.

Pour clarifier les choses, il faut savoir que ce prix englobe énormément de choses : le processus de réflexion, le processus de création, la cession des droits.

Le processus de réflexion est, dans tous les cas, assez long et très important, car il implique en général de consulter tous les intervenants afin de déterminer au mieux la cible de ce logo et les valeurs qu'il doit transmettre. Dans le cas d'un organisme officiel, je vous laisse imaginer le nombre et la durée des réunions avec les dits intervenants. N'oubliez pas non plus que les personnes assistant à ces rendez-vous (Project Manager, Account Manager, ...) doivent aussi être payées ;)

Le processus de création emboite ensuite le pas, avec la création des propositions et les multiples aller-retours avec le client. Encore une fois la création d'un logo prends du temps, beaucoup de temps et même une fois le logo sélectionné parmi une miriade de propositions, il reste encore énormément de travail à effectuer dessus. Rappelons au passage qu'un logo est rarement créé et livré seul, mais qu'il fait souvent partie d'une identité beaucoup plus globale.

La cession des droits elle n'est pas une mince affaire. Pour chaque création graphique, le créateur cède une série de droits pour une certaine somme d'argent. Cette somme varie selon une série de critères parfaitement objectifs : l'étendue (sur quel support ce logo sera utilisé), le lieu (zone géographique où le logo sera utilisé), la durée (dans le temps). Or le logo est un logo destiné à une utilisation tous supports et pour l'international. (si vous doutez encore je vous invite à lire ceci et ceci)

Concernant le résultat final il s'agit de distinguer deux choses : l'efficacité & le ressenti. Un logo est une création devant obéir à plusieurs règles avant de pouvoir être considéré comme efficace dont, en vrac : transposition sur multi-supports, réduction/agrandissement en conservant la lisibilité, lisibilité parfaite en noir & blanc autant qu'en couleurs, adéquation avec la cible, ... Sur tous ces points le logo remplit donc un sans faute, étant de plus parfaitement en adéquation avec sa cible (à savoir marketing à l'étranger envers des industries, demandant un certain sérieux & dynamisme).

Le ressenti est l'accueil du public par rapport à ce logo. Bien sûr hier Twitter s'en est donné à coeur joie. A tort car le ressenti de Gilbert X. sur un logo devant toucher des millions de personnes importe peu, mais surtout : Gilbert X. n'est absolument pas la cible. Double strike, Gilbert X. hors de l'équation. Pour ces raisons, les arguments avancés comptent assez peu mais faisons un rapide tour d'horizon :

J'aurais pu le faire moi même pour 500€ : aisé à dire après coup, j'invite généralement ces personnes à prendre un brief créatif quelque part, avec autant de contraintes, et à ensuite tenter de faire s'entendre plusieurs dizaines de personnes sur un seul résultat final.

J'aime pas la police : Oui, elle est ronde. Non c'est pas du Comic Sans. Oh vous remarquez, au-dessus d'elle se trouvent 5 ronds. C'est dingue quand même ce rapport.

C'est du n'importe quoi : argument du pauvre. Sur quel points exactement ? Ce logo est-il illisible ? Est-ce qu'il rate complètement sa cible ? Est-ce qu'il transmet un message totalement différent de celui désiré ?

Pour une grande partie du public, le graphisme est une sorte d'art éthéré, et de par cette considération, tributaire aux mêmes critères d'adhésion que des oeuvres d'art. Or le graphisme n'est pas (à proprement parler) un art, mais un outil (puissant) de communication. Le travail du graphiste n'est pas de faire quelque chose de "joli", mais bien quelque chose d'efficace, remplissant un but très précis pour une cible bien définie.

Le problème n'est pas que ce logo est hors de prix, mais plutôt que depuis des années, avec les graphistes "à la sauvette", le graphisme subit un rabotage excessif des prix par le bas. A l'heure actuelle, la plupart des gens trouveront ainsi que 300€ pour un logo (!) est un prix excessif, oubliant au passage que le logo est l'essence même de leur communication et de l'image qu'ils montrent à leurs clients (et donc, grosso modo, leur publicité la plus importante).

En période de crise, beaucoup se demandent si une telle dépense est nécessaire. Ce point là reste discutable, s'agissant de plus d'une dépense publique, mais pour une région réalisant 40% de ses recettes sur l'exportation, se doter d'une image solide & sérieuse à l'étranger n'est peut être pas une idée en l'air...

P.S. : seul reproche à formuler à l'agence qui a réalisé ce logo, quand on décide d'utiliser une extension de domaine dans un logo, réserver ce nom de domaine me parait une idée un tant soit peu logique.

Update 28/06 13:45 : Il semblerait que le nom de domaine vient d'être racheté et que le transfert soit en cours.

M.R. : Tant qu'à s'indigner sur une somme d'argent, il serait par contre intéressant de voir le nombre de personnes de la fonction publique impliquées dans le processus de décisions et de réunions et de voir la somme dépensée exactement pour ce temps (en terme de salaires) ;)

C.D.H. : Additionner le prix du logo au prix du rapport McKinsey relève pour le coup d'une mauvaise foi journalistique assez crasse, ces deux éléments ayant été effectués par des entreprises totalement différentes.


Le conseil constitutionnel français vient de valider la loi du Mariage Pour Tous, elle sera promulguée dans la foulée ce samedi.

Félicitations à la France pour l'adoption (lente et douloureuse) de cette loi, et tous mes voeux de bonheurs à tous ceux qui pourront désormais s'unir.

Vous ne vous ferez sans doute jamais à ces discours de haine, même avec le temps on ne s'y fait pas. La haine laisse énormément de plaies dans son sillage, de souffrance, de pleurs, mais c'est cette tristesse qui vous place au dessus d'eux.

Rien n'est jamais facile, et beaucoup sont doués pour ne passer leur vie qu'à détruire celles d'autrui, en osant ironiquement se prétendre prêcheur du plus beau message d'amour universel que la terre n'ait jamais portée.

Cette loi n'effacera malheureusement pas l'homophobie, car rien ne semble pouvoir effacer la bêtise humaine dans sa plus bête expression : la peur. Et quoi qu'il se passe, il y aura encore des moments difficiles, des discussions blessantes, des commentaires que vous auriez voulu ne pas lire.

Et face à ces moments de douleurs, il est nécessaire de pouvoir se laisser aller, pour pouvoir aller encore mieux de l'avant.

Courage, soyez heureux et laissez les s'étouffer avec les vipères qu'ils vomissent.

Une petite cantate

“Mon dieu qu’elle est difficile cette cantate sans toi“ Barbara

Simplement, quelques notes, tes longs doigts effilés courent et effleurent ce piano, cette musique qui t’ennivre, qui te guide, qui chante, qui coule entre tes mains et jaillit telle une lumière de cet instrument… Simplement, mais avec grâce et détachement, simplement, juste quelques notes, qui se fraient leur chemin jusqu’aux oreilles de ceux qui prennent la peine d’écouter, parce que pendant ce cours instant, tu ne joues plus, tu es la musique, elle s’empare de toi et vibre à travers toi…

Et c’est ton rêve, cette musique entêtante, cet air ennivrant, ces gestes saccadés, ces gestes puissants, ces gestes qui dictent ses ordres à Elle, qui la font résonner à travers d’autres pour jaillir dans une parfaite harmonie. Mais elle est une maitresse exigeante, qui ne laisse pas de répis, qui te réveille au milieu de la nuit pour peut être griffonner ça et là quelques notes, quelques pensées, peut être même une idée fulgurante…

Et tu la vis cette musique, et elle te porte, et elle te fait regarder le monde qui t’entoure avec les yeux de l’Amour, et elle t’enseigne, à travers les siècles qu’elle a traversé, l’humilité et la tolérance, et tant de valeurs que l’on proclame à tout va de nos jours mais dont peu connaissent la valeur. Car la musique est pythie, elle dicte tes voies et éclaircit les ténèbres, elle est cet air entêtant qui te fait sourire au lever, cette mélodie qui accompagne tes soirs noirs encre. Tu la sens, elle est partout…

Cette musique qui fait fi des barrières, qui, bien que marquée par l’époque de sa création, s’affranchit et vit par elle même, pour elle même, cette musique qui t’as instruite, cette musique qui t’as fait vibrer.

Et pourtant, doucement la musique se ralentit, les gestes sur ces touches en damier deviennent plus lents, moins maitrisés, et doucement, tu sens tes forces t’abandonner et ton souffle se relacher. Mais tu tends l’oreille, et elle est toujours là, près de toi, te tenant ces mains qui ne sont plus que l’ombre de ce qu’elles étaient… Mais la musique ne te laisse pas, et elle t’accompagne lentement…

Si mi la ré, si mi la ré, si sol do fa… Ton souffle descend tout doucement, et peu à peu ta symphonie se termine, sur ce lit d’un blanc immaculé, comme ces touches que tu as tant caressées, et les gens que tu aimes et qui t’aiment te regardent lentement t’en aller, sur ces quelques notes aigues de tristesse, à peine audibles mais qui traversent toutes les barrières pour n’atteindre que l’essentiel le coeur.

Alors tout doucement, tu prends congé de ce monde, et tu t’envoles, porté par les ailes de ta musique, cette musique que tu as transmise, que tu as donné, offert à ce monde qui ne peut vivre sans ailes…

Si sol do fa… tu n’es plus là, et tu nous manqueras toujours, merci papy, merci pour la musique, qui éclaire notre vie, tel un phare dans l’obscurité, cette maitresse exigeante mais qui jamais ne faillit… Merci… Je t’aime, j’espère que tu es bien là où tu es…

Long parcours d'un designer

J'ai eu la chance de grandir avec l'essor d'Internet, de voir cette technologie, qui a transformé nos vies, lentement apparaitre, d'abord trainante à travers des modems bruyants (j'avoue ça me manque un peu) suivi par l'apparition progressive de l'ADSL (DU 1MBPS DE FOU MALADE) pour ensuite voir la technologie rentrer dans une course effrénée, transcendant mon petit monde.

L'ordinateur m'a émerveillé dès que j'ai eu les mains dessus (vers 9 ans si je me souviens bien, vous m'excuserez c'est un peu flou à cette époque), m'amusant sur la première version de SimCity, sur des jeux MS-Dos (Alone In The Dark, Monkey Island ...), découvrant les joies du traitement de texte (petite pensée pour ma prof de 5e primaire qui a été la première à m'apprendre les règles de dactylographie.), commençant à passer des soirées entières en LAN party sous Starcraft & Age of Empires (:')), devant des parents ne comprenant pas très bien ce que leurs gosses pouvaient bien trouver à ces étranges machines (ça c'était AVANT que j'initie mon père à Age Of Empires !).

J'ai continué à grandir avec cet ordinateur au gré de mes études, enfilant mes secondaires (quelle jolie période pourrie les premières années \o/) et commençant des études supérieures (en Langues & Littératures Romanes... ça fait peur hein ?). C'est à cette époque que j'ai commencé à creuser Internet plus en profondeur. Piochant ça et là des informations dans des magazines (L'Officiel du Net, Net@scope, ...), j'ai commencé à construire mes premières pages web (heureusement tout a disparu, mon honneur est sauf !) et peu à peu mes premiers sites (pour des connaissances, pour moi, ...). Les études

A cette époque, je ne savais pas qu'il existait des études de graphisme, c'est une amie, qui suivait les cours de bande-dessinées à Saint-Luc Liège (Coucou Céline ! ) qui me l'a appris, me poussant à mettre les pieds dans cette école artistique. Quasi immédiatement, j'abandonnais mes études universitaires, et m'inscrivait.

J'avais soif d'apprendre, mais d'une nature assez impatiente, je ne trouvais pas très bien ma place dans le milieu du graphisme. Même si certains cours m'intéressaient vraiment (typographie, mise en page, histoire de l'art & du graphisme principalement), d'autres me donnaient des cauchemars (packaging, acrylique, ...) et la pauvreté des cours d'infographie me désespéraient. Bien sûr j'apprenais à utiliser la gamme Adobe, mais jamais on ne s'approchait de ce magnifique monde virtuel...

Encore aujourd'hui, je me demande pourquoi il existe un tel fossé entre les technologies du web et l'enseignement belge. Pourquoi tant d'années de retard ? Pourquoi sortir des armées de graphiste sans la moindre base à ce niveau là, alors que le marché du travail est en forte demande de tels capacités ? On pourra me rétorquer que le graphisme et le webdesign sont deux mondes différents (ce que je ne pense pas, tous deux partagent énormément de points et une forte base commune), mais face au manque d'études de webdesign à proprement parler, ne faudrait-il pas donner aux élèves graphistes les armes pour affronter ce monde du travail ?

Face à ce constat, je suis donc retourné à mes fouilles, achetant quelques livres ça et là, farfouillant plusieurs sites (comme Le Site du Zéro, quel que soit le mal qu'on en dit, j'y ai appris beaucoup.), et faisant mes premiers pas dans le monde des CMS (systèmes de gestions de contenu) (surtout sur WordPress, qui reste mon gros coup de coeur).

Au fur et à mesure de mes apprentissages, je dépassais les maigres bases que je pouvais trouver dans mes cours d'infographie. Ainsi, alors que l'on commençait à appréhender Flash, j'avais déjà le regard tourné vers les possibilités offertes par HTML5, CSS3, Jquery, ... Pendant que l'on peinait à réaliser de courtes animations, je me passionnais pour l'accessibilité, l'ergonomie, l'organisation de l'espace d'une page web, et les nouvelles méthodes de l'appréhender avec ce bouleversement qui venait d'arriver : l'iPhone. Les débuts dans le monde du travail

Tant bien que mal j'ai fini mes études de graphisme, en ne me donnant pas réellement à fond. J'avoue que j'ai de gros problèmes à donner mon maximum quand je n'arrive pas à satisfaire ma soif dans quelque chose prenant allègrement 70% de mon temps. J'ai fait un petit job étudiant en tant que graphiste chez Partena, avant de rejoindre Generali en tant que digital designer interne (on aime bien les titres un peu flous dans les grosses boites).

Sur le côté, je continuais à me documenter, à pousser mes recherches plus en avant, à refaire mon site personnel une vingtaine de fois (éternel insatisfait. Soyez heureux, le design de ce site vient de passer sa première année et j'en suis toujours très heureux même si je continue à l'améliorer continuellement ! ), à faire quelques travaux pour des gens à côté.

Quand Serial Designers m'a offert une place de webdesigner, j'ai sauté dans le train en marche (merci Emilie, Fabien, Greg, Raphaël, Charlotte, ...) et je me suis retrouvé tout d'un coup dans la cour des grands. Soudainement je me retrouvais comme un poisson dans l'eau (même si sous stress) à développer des solutions avec divers CMS, m'acharner sur des templates e-mail (HORREUR), faire mes premiers pas en design fluides, ... J'ai ensuite fait une courte expérience en tant qu'Art Director, sur laquelle je ne m'attarderai pas (on va éviter de ressasser des mauvais souvenirs. Un jour je ferai un post sur l'intégralité des mauvais choix que j'ai fais dans ma vie.) pour finir à mon poste actuel en tant que webmaster chez Mobistar.

Un regard vers l'avenir

Je n'ai que 25 ans, et beaucoup de chemins s'offrent encore à moi. Je sens de plus en plus que j'ai envie de m'orienter vers le domaine du front-end, en améliorant mes capacités actuelles mais surtout en comblant mes lacunes en code. L'expérience utilisateur et l'accessibilité me passionnent elles aussi, ainsi que l'essor du web multi-écrans. Je ne sais pas où la vie me mènera, mais ce qui est sûr, c'est qu'il m'aura fallu beaucoup de temps pour réussir à trouver ma place. Manque d'études adaptées, manque de contenu, retard technologique, ...

A l'heure actuelle je ne sais pas si ce problème se trouve juste en Belgique où si on le retrouve un peu partout dû à la vitesse à laquelle se sont développées ces technologies (l'enseignement n'étant pas exactement réputé pour évoluer rapidement...), mais je reste attristé quand je me retrouve face à des "jeunes" (comment te faire sentir vieux con en une phrase) me demandant quel chemin ils doivent emprunter pour se diriger vers le webdesign.

Même si certaines écoles commencent à offrir des cursus web (Albert Jacquard par exemple), et que la Wallonie bénéficie d'un centre de compétences assez doué (le Cepegra), force est de constater que l'offre, en plus d'être maigre, n'offre pas encore une formation suffisante face aux demandes des entreprises (il semblerait cependant que les choses s'améliorent en Flandres). Dès lors, quel que soit le chemin que vous déciderez de prendre (des études de graphisme restent une bonne idée, car elles fournissent une base théorique extrêmement importante), il n'y a qu'une seule chose que je pourrais conseiller à l'heure actuelle : apprenez sur le côté (et bordel apprenez l'anglais si vous voulez pouvoir faire ce boulot !).

Internet regorge de ressources, en cherchant vous trouverez tous les tutoriels possibles et imaginables. En mettant bout à bout toutes ces sources, vous finirez par vous constituer une base suffisamment solide. Le webdesign est cependant un secteur qui évolue chaque jour à une vitesse folle, dès lors préparez vous à rester constamment à jour ;)

La Nausée

Bonjour la France,

Tu ne m'en voudras pas d'avoir utilisé les mots d'un de tes écrivains pour ce titre n'est-ce pas? Parce que depuis quelques jours/semaines/mois (choisissez j'en ai plein), c'est ce que tu m'inspires.

Depuis quelque temps, je te vois crier ta haine de la différence, en toute impunité, sous couvert de "sauver la civilisation" et autres billevesées (d'ailleurs, au passage, je te rassure, la civilisation se porte bien en Belgique) et le sacro saint modèle familial, hurlant tes arguments bancals et ignares.

Sacro saint est d'ailleurs le mot, car quelle joie immense de voir ces frères ennemis aux religions différentes soudain s'unir sous la même bannière. Comme quoi tous les efforts de réconciliation ne sont pas vains, soyons donc vaillants tous ensemble face aux pédés!

L'amour chrétien a deux vitesses

Et je ne peux comprendre ces paroles de haine, proférées au nom d'un Christ qui doit s'horrifier de voir son message d'amour et de compréhension piétiné chaque jour. Toi qui brandit ta croix en hurlant aux amours contre nature, as-tu seulement lu une seule fois ce livre que tu brandis avec tant de véhémence? Heureusement que j'ai plusieurs amis chrétiens dans mon entourage qui semblent à des années lumières de ces abrutis.

La France a besoin d'enfants, pas d'homosexuels

Je prends peur, en voyant des pancartes telles que "La France n'a pas besoin d'homosexuels", peur pour tous ces jeunes homos, lesbiennes, bi, trans, qui doivent déjà parcourir un chemin difficile en s'acceptant eux même, voir leurs parents, connaissances, voisins, aller crier leur haine "sans homophobie aucune" non non bien sûr, juste en vomissant leur haine de ces amours "contre nature", "déviants", et j'en passe.

A ces jeunes français, j'envoie tout le courage que je peux dans ces moments difficiles. En espérant que de son côté, leur président, au lieu de cautionner ces discours de haine, presse un peu le pas, et fasse enfin cesser ce faux débat. Car cette promesse en attente est plus assassine que des années sans elle.

Et je me questionne. Comment peuvent-ils, ces citoyens si amoureux de la république, battre le pavé la bile aux lèvres, en bafouant les principes de base même de leur si chère République "Liberté, égalité, fraternité". Et de voir ces même épris de République crier au retour aux valeurs "chrétiennes" (si la haine est chrétienne, il faudra que l'on m'explique). Pauvres Lumières…

Votez contre le suffrage féminin

Cette famille que tu défends, ce modèle familial si pur, si fort, si grand, est-ce que tu te rends compte a quel point il est inexistant? A quel point à travers le temps le modèle familial a été multiple, et que ce dont un enfant a besoin c'est de personnes qui l'aiment. Et des couples qui n'auraient jamais dû avoir d'enfants mais qui, merveille de la nature, se sont malgré tout reproduits, je peux t'en présenter à la pelle. Ces enfants élevés dans ton si sacré modèle font parties pourtant des personnes les plus démolies que je connaisse.

Femen à la manifestation contre le mariage pour tous

Et quand je te vois, toi qui vient protester "sans homophobie", "sans violence", battre des femmes venues protester contre ta haine, tabasser une journaliste venue filmer tes dérives, je me dis que décidément, nous ne devons pas avoir la même définition de ce qui est bien ou mal.

Je ne renie pas ton droit à ne pas accepter un modèle différent du tien, comme le dit si bien ton président (puis y'en a même dans ta gauche apparemment), c'est ta "liberté de conscience" (qu'elle est drôle celle là d'ailleurs, merci Flamby), cependant n'invoque pas l'intérêt des enfants, quand tu refuses une sécurité aux centaines d'enfants élevés par des couples holebis actuellement. Et pitié, avant de crier à l'atteinte à ta "liberté d'expression", si chère qui semble pouvoir t'excuser les pires ignominies, ait au moins l'honnêteté intellectuelle de présenter de vrais arguments, et non pas des déguisements venant masquer ta pauvreté d'esprit.

If you don't like gay marriage...

Non la France, ces derniers temps tu ne me fais pas envie, et même si pour une fois, c'est les Belges qui peuvent rire de toi, sache que ce n'est qu'avec un sentiment doux amer, de voir ce pays au passé si glorieux, se remplir de ces cris de haine.

Les lettres à France n'ont jamais été très joyeuses, celle ci ne changera pas, j'espère juste te voir évacuer ces torrents nauséabonds vite, très vite loin de toi, et oser te relever. Car ces enfants que tu entends tellement protégés n'ont jamais eu aussi besoin de toi. Et j'avoue qu'en ces temps, je tremble à l'idée du nombre de vies mises en danger par cette haine galopante.

Un sous humain chez toi, bien content d'être un humain complet chez lui.

Sinon tu reprendras bien un peu de connerie humaine?

Avec le temps

Moi, ce qui reste de mon existence, ce condensé de mémoire replié dans un coin du cerveau… Moi, mes souvenirs, ce passé qui peu à peu déserte mon corps, le transformant en coquille vide. Un blanc, ce qui me reste de mon existence… Enfin, c’est pour mon moi extérieur… Intérieurement, je suis toujours conscient des choses qui m’entourent, je reconnais ces visages, ces sourires,… Mais pour les autres, j’ai tout oublié, mon nom ne me dit rien, je ne suis plus qu’un vieillard dans une chambre, un vieillard qui ne reconnait plus personne…

Grand père a eu un accident ce matin. J’ai vu maman pleurer seule dans la cuisine, abattue par la douleur, même plus consciente de ma présence. Il s’est effondré d’un coup, comme frappé par un éclair invisible. Tout allait pourtant bien aujourd’hui, c’était une belle journée, jusqu’à ce coup de téléphone qui a tout bouleversé. Notre petit univers se désagrège. Mes tantes entourent déjà grand-mère, tentant de la réconforter, de la rassurer. Mais, intérieurement, nous savons déjà tous que rien ne sera plus jamais comme avant…

Je vois ma femme me laver, m’habiller, me nourrir,… Quelle femme courageuse… Bien sûr, parfois, elle s’énerve, elle perd ses moyens devant cet homme qu’elle aime depuis tant d’années et qui ne semble plus la reconnaitre. Je les vois tous, autour de moi, me rendant visite, s’inquiétant de mon état. Mais toujours espérant. Espérant un signe, un geste, quelque chose leur indiquant que oui, oui je les ais reconnus. Mais je sais, et eux aussi, que je ne reviendrai pas. Et voir cette tristesse dans leurs yeux quand, en vain, ils tentent de se rappeler à ma mémoire, me déchire. Voir mes petits enfants grandir sans que je ne puisse les accompagner. En voir de nouveaux naitre, qui ne me connaitront pas, ou alors, pas tel que j’étais avant…

Papa est rentré plus vite que d’habitude du travail pour tenter de réconforter maman. Mais nul amour au monde ne peut remplacer un père. Maman devra laisser cette blessure cicatriser avec le temps. Je crois être dans un cauchemar éveillé et pourtant, je sais que ce n’est qu’un des nombreux barrages mis en place par mon esprit afin de me protéger. Ce que j’affronte n’est que la triste réalité. Je sais que nous sommes impuissants face aux dés du destin et qu’il nous faut nous résigner… Que ne tenterais-je pas pour le retrouver ?... Nous avons pris la voiture. Papa conduit en direction du village de ma famille… Nous ne pouvons déjà plus rien faire, si ce n’est se serrer les coudes… Plus rien ne sera jamais comme avant.

Ma femme, fidèle épouse depuis tant d’années. Son amour m’a aidé, poussé, donné le courage d’aller plus loin, de me surpasser. Son amour constant, prodigué depuis tant d’années a fait tant pour moi… Ma rose, mon étoile, que j’aimerais te prendre à nouveau dans mes bras, te murmurer doucement à l’oreille combien je t’aime… Mais le temps est un joueur avide qui gagne à tous les coups et je sais au plus profond de moi que jamais je ne pourrai redevenir celui que tu as connu…

Papy est allongé sur un lit d’hôpital… Tout ce blanc donne une allure macabre à la pièce. Il semble paisible, on dirait qu’il dort… Et pourtant… Pourtant il ne dort pas. Le docteur nous a dit qu’il était dans un coma profond, état que l’on connait encore peu de nos jours… Peut-être est-il encore conscient de ce qui l’entoure, peut-être est-il endormi pour longtemps. Nul ne sait. Personne ne sait nous dire quand nous retrouverons notre grand père, mais tout le monde sait que, quand il se réveillera, il ne sera plus celui que nous avons connu. Ma mère et ses sœurs lui parlent, espérant qu’il sorte d’un mauvais cauchemar en les entendant. Mais elles finissent par s’effondrer dans les bras de mes oncles, terrassées par le chagrin. Mes oncles qui tentent de réconforter ces femmes, ne trouvant pas de mots devant un tel drame…

Comment peux-tu encore m’aimer ? Où puises-tu cette force qui, tel une béquille, t’aides à traverses ces épreuves ? Comment arrives-tu à donner autant à ce fantôme de l’homme que j’étais jadis ? Crois-tu que je ne te voie pas le soir, t’effondrer sur ce fauteuil, terrassée par le chagrin, laissant tomber ce masque que tu portes devant tous, t’abandonnant à ce chagrin qui peu à peu s’enfonce dans ton cœur ? J’espère que tu sais, que tu crois, qu’au fond de moi, cette partie de mon être t’aime encore plus que tout et aimerait te serrer contre moi… Je t’aime mon amour et j’espère que tu le sens, au-delà des mots, au-delà des gestes, au-delà de cette coquille presque vide qu’est devenu mon corps…

Grand-mère apprend peu à peu à vivre dans la solitude. Bien sûr, d’autres personnes lui rendent visite, mais, nul ami, nul enfant, nulle compagnie ne peut remplacer l’homme qu’on a aimé toute sa vie. Cette solitude lui fait escorte, accrochée comme une écharpe à son cou. Mais même elle n’arrive pas à éteindre cette lueur qui brille dans ses yeux, ce reflet d’espoir, cette volonté de croire qui la caractérise depuis si longtemps…

Mes filles, les cinq branches de mon étoile, ces courageuses filles que j’ai vu grandir, jouer, rire, pleurer, se révolter, apprendre les jeux de l’amour et devenir femmes avant de partir loin de nous car telle est faite la vie. Ces filles si fortes, portant elles aussi ce masque de courage, tentant de réconforter mon étoile, de lui apporter leur amour, tel un baume apaisant la brulante cicatrice que j’ai créée… Mes filles, mes perles, je vous vois vous aussi, mon esprit aussi empli d’amour que le sont d’ignorance mes yeux… Mon amour va au-delà de cette tragédie, il est plus fort que tout. Je continuerai à vous soutenir tout au long de votre vie… Quand vous aurez besoin de moi, je serai toujours à vos côtés…

Tout l’amour du monde ne peut combler l’absence d’un être cher. Ainsi, peu à peu, nous nous sommes refermés telles des huitres sur notre chagrin, le compressant, le réduisant à une minuscule aiguille noire enfouie au plus profond de notre corps, là où personne ne peut rien.... Cette aiguille qui nous transperce le cœur quand une vague de souvenirs s’échoue sur la grève de notre esprit. Cette aiguille qui, avec elle, amène le goût aigre du chagrin… Cette aiguille gravée à jamais en chacun de nous. Si les blessures se cicatrisent, les aiguilles jamais ne disparaissent, mais, au contraire, s’accumulent une à une, transformant notre cœur en pelote d’épingles… Quant à nos masques, chaque jour qui passe les renforce, chaque jour nous aide à en porter d’autres… Ainsi va la vie, de blessures en apparences, de coups durs en déguisements…

Personne ne peut imaginer combien la vie de tous les jours peut être blessante quand on est hors jeu. On voudrait trafiquer l’horloge du temps, tirer vers l’arrière ces aiguilles qui ne font qu’avancer diaboliquement. On voudrait le suspendre, le figer, mais, inexorablement, il nous entraine dans sa folle course, ne jetant pas même un regard aux choses qu’il détruit dans son empressement.

Grand père s’est réveillé ! Nous attendions ce moment depuis si longtemps. Cependant, notre joie est teintée de tristesse. Il s’est effectivement réveillé, mais sa mémoire s’en est allée, ne laissant que ce corps doté d’une nouvelle mémoire, vierge encore. Ce corps qui est tout ce qui nous reste de l’être tant chéri. Cependant, cette tristesse ne peut étouffer la joie qui nous envahit et, tous, nous nous serrons autour de lui, le saluant, l’embrassant, heureux de le voir à nouveau parmi nous.

La vie de tous les jours continue. Peu à peu ma conscience reprend possession de quelques parcelles de mon corps, remplissant cet esprit blanc, nouveau, mais désespérément vide. Je recommence à parler avec les gens qui m’entourent, avec difficulté certes, mais quelle joie de pouvoir à nouveau leur parler. Mon corps commence enfin à, tout doucement, les reconnaitre, ces êtres chers qui orbitent autour de moi…. Je ne retrouverai pas l’usage de mes jambes. Cloué au lit jusqu’à la fin… Les fêtes de famille reprennent et, avec elles, ramènent la vie dans la maison. Je les vois tous réunis, non pour célébrer Noël, comme tant de gens le pensent, mais simplement pour célébrer la famille, notre famille, pour cette joie d’être ensemble et de se revoir. Ces fêtes restent ce qui unit notre famille éclatée aux quatre coins du pays au-delà des années.

Papy a été réinstallé chez lui, retrouvant les lieux connus, quittant enfin ce macabre hôpital immaculé. Grand-mère prend à cœur son rôle de mère-épouse, nourrissant, lavant grand père, perdant parfois son calme, mais toujours avec un amour infini, tel qu’il peut y avoir dans un couple que tant d’années unissent et que rien, sinon la mort, ne saurait séparer. De ces couples qui, main dans la main, ont traversé la vie, évitant ses ornières et ses obstacles, qui ont su, malgré les difficultés, rester unis, pour le meilleur et pour le pire…

Le temps qui passe m’affaiblit… Je sais que mon temps est compté, mais j’ignore cependant combien de sable il reste au sablier de ma vie. Peu à peu, je grave ces visages dans ma mémoire, ces êtres aimés, afin de pouvoir garder dans l’éternité le souvenir le plus éclatant de leur être. Tous savent, au fond d’eux, que je ne serai pas toujours là, qu’un jour, sans bruit, enfilant ma veste et mon chapeau mou, jetant un dernier regard sur ma vie, il faudra que je passe la porte en la refermant derrière moi. Mourir, c’est partir un peu du cœur des êtres chers, c’est emporter une partie de leur être afin de ne pas faire ce voyage en solitaire.

Noël arrive, transformant le monde en noir et blanc, entre neige et nuit. Mais, avec lui, il amène aussi son cortège de célébrations, nombres d’occasions de se retrouver en famille, de revoir grand père et grand-mère. Tous unis, on s’embrasse, on rit, on s’échange des cadeaux, marques d’affection. Le tout sous le regard bienveillant de grand père, sous l’égide matriarcale de grand-mère. Mais ces fêtes sont éphémères. L’on voudrait les faire durer éternellement, mais elles suivent le sillage du temps, et nous devons nous quitter et repartir, chacun chez soi. Partir, c’est mourir un peu, c’est être déchiré par les adieux, mais en gardant cependant l’espoir de, bientôt, se revoir.

Je me sens partir, j’entends siffler le train de la vie, ce train qui m’amènera loin d’eux. Je profite tant que possible de mes derniers moments avec eux, en en tirant le maximum, emplissant mon esprit de la vie avant de devoir partir. Je continuerai à vivre dans leurs esprits, dans leurs cœurs. Mon souvenir persistera à travers eux. Il est temps pour moi d’embarquer, de quitter le quai et de faire mes adieux. Lentement, mes paupières se referment sur ces gens aimés et, tout doucement, les bruits alentours s’amenuisent. Les battements de mon cœur s’atténuent, expulsant dans un ultime effort la vie de mon corps… Je vous aime…

Papy est parti… A nouveau le téléphone a sonné et le chagrin nous a submergé, plongeant le monde dans le gris, stoppant un instant le temps sur notre détresse. Plus rien n’a d’importance, tout s’écroule quand un être cher nous quitte. La famille se retrouve à nouveau, se recentrant autour de cette regrettée figure paternelle, étendue sur le lit mortuaire, froide, rigide... morte. Mes lèvres se posent sur sa joue glacée, déposant un peu de la chaleur de la vie sur ce corps qu’elle a quitté. Ses paupières closes lui donnent un air paisible. Nous pleurons tous sur cet être tant aimé qui nous a quitté, ramené par les ressacs de la vie au plus profond des océans…

Le corps descend dans la terre, chaque pelletée apaisant l’amère piqure de notre chagrin. Chacun remet son masque pour ne pas accabler l’autre. Sous terre repose désormais le corps de celui qui comptait tellement pour notre famille. Mais, au-delà de la vie, l’amour persiste et nous unit. Son amour nous réunit, son souvenir nous anime. Et, d’où il est, nous savons qu’il nous aime plus que tout et qu’il veille sur chacun de nous, de son regard bienveillant…


La vie et le temps nous séparent froidement, inhumainement, tel un train que l’on ne peut arrêter. Mais, au-delà d’eux, l’amour persiste et nous meut. Un être aimé ne meurt jamais vraiment. Même s’il n’est plus là physiquement, il persiste dans nos esprits. Et cela, rien ne pourra jamais l’effacer. De toute tristesse il faut extraire l’espoir, cet espoir qui nous fait vivre…

Triste Capitale

Vous avez surement eu vent de ce qu'il s'est passé il y a peu dans le bar le Fontainas (Bruxelles), où deux individus (bourrés) sont rentrés pour insulter / molester la clientèle (principalement gay) dans un florilège d'insultes homophobe. Un des serveurs s'est défendu, et a donné trois coups de couteaux à l'un des agresseurs, l'envoyant direct à l'hôpital.

Ce n'est pas la première agression homophobe, ce n'est pas la dernière, malheureusement. Et je voulais en profiter pour parler de mon ressenti face à Bruxelles. De tous temps, les capitales ont été des lieux de "refuge" pour les holebis, des endroits plus ouverts, plus libres, où l'on pouvait vivre au grand jour, se retrouver dans des bars, sortir (et dieu sait que je déteste sortir dans le milieu gay, mais c'est un espace dont beaucoup ont besoin pour se retrouver). Pas Bruxelles.

Bruxelles était pour moi une belle ville, une ville dans laquelle je voulais vivre, et que j'ai mis du temps à appréhender. Mais à Bruxelles, j'ai vu et subit des choses que je n'ai jamais vu dans une autre capitale auparavant. Les insultes homophobes sont quotidiennes (alors même que je suis le dernier à tenir mon copain par la main où a l'embrasser en public, c'est dire), quand ce ne sont pas carrément les tentatives de passage à l'acte (ou des bouteilles lancées vers moi et mon compagnon). Plusieurs de mes amis ont d'ailleurs eu l'immense joie de se rendre à la police pour coups et blessures.

Mais Bruxelles laisse faire. Bien sûr l'on parle de plan tolérance, l'on fait des débats, l'on fait intervenir des personnes, mais Bruxelles ne fait rien. Pire, Bruxelles se transforme peu à peu, et en tant qu'homosexuel, il y a plusieurs endroits où je ne veux plus mettre les pieds, trop risqués, trop fermés, trop dangereux (et ce y compris Anneessens situé à 300 mètres de mon appartement).

Pire, cela devient une habitude de croiser des troupeaux d'homophobes près des lieux gays (ce à 300 mètres du commissariat, rassurant), n'hésitant pas à insulter toute personne trop "pédé" à leur goût, voir en passer aux mains quand cette personne aurait le culot de répondre, portant atteinte à leur glorieuse virilité.

Alors je ne vais pas déplorer ces coups à un béotien primaire. Loin de moi l'idée de vouloir qu'il y reste (quoique.), mais je ne comprends que trop bien ce mouvement de défense, quand les insultes, les coups, les projectiles lancés contre les holebis sont quotidiens. Je ne comprends pas que dans une ville comme Bruxelles, certains ne comprennent pas les principes de base de vivre ensemble et de tolérance, et je finis par me dire que je n'ai plus les mêmes valeurs que cette ville / ce pays.

Et non je ne pleurerai pas sur un homophobe, je ne me larmoierai pas sur une série d'excuses qu'on ne manquera pas de nous chier: parents absents, vie en quartier difficile, … car de tels actes font partie des bases morales de notre société, ce sont les socles même de la tolérance, de l'acceptation de tout en chacun, et ces valeurs fonctionnent bilatéralement. Non ces actes ne sont pas excusables.

Mes pensées vont au Fontainas et aux personnes présentes ce soir là, mais cet évènement n'est que la cristallisation de centaines d'autres, de brimades quotidiennes, qui rendent notre capitale de plus en plus invivable pour les holebis. Mes pensées vont à tous les holebis de la capitale, et de partout dans ce foutu pays, qui continuent à subir les brimades de beaufs primaires, incapables de vivre et laisser vivre. Le travail qu'il reste à faire est énorme, titanesque, et il serait sérieusement temps de se bouger le cul (et d'ailleurs faites un tour sur la page de l'association Outrage qui tente de changer tout ça).

Des pistes existent, des initiatives sont mises en place, mais où en est l'information dans les écoles? Où en sont les rappels des bases du vivre ensemble? Bref: Qu'est-ce que vous foutez, BORDEL?!

Joyeux 500 jours

Voilà, ça fait donc 500 jours tous beaux tous ronds que nous n'avons pas de gouvernement (ma bonne dame), le pire, c'est qu'on commence à s'y faire, voir même que l'expression est en passe de devenir l'équivalente des dents des poules (au stade où on en est, elle est déjà un running gag). 500 merveilleux petits jours à assister à une sorte de Feux de l'Amour ou de Dallas de nos chers politiciens, entre interviews salopes, coups bas cachés, paroles mielleuses susurrées ça et là.

Je ne sais pas vous, mais personnellement j'ai commencé à ne plus y faire attention, tellement j'ai l'impression depuis quelques centaines de jours d'avoir coincé la touche "RTL à l'infini" de ma télécommande et de ne plus jamais être surpris. Je lisais tantôt le blog de Vinch (t'aurais pas une place dans ta valise?), et je me suis retrouvé dans une expression toute simple "j'aime ce pays autant que je le déteste". Et c'est vrai que ma relation avec ma mère patrie (main sur le coeur, yeux levés vers les cieux, regards extatiques svp) commence à tourner tout doucement en vinaigre au plus cette crise perdure et s'enlise.

Bien sûr il y a de l'espoir (que voulez vous ma pôv dame, depuis que la greluche de Pandore a ouvert la boite, c'est à peu près ce qu'il nous reste), bien sûr on l'aura ce gouvernement (mais si j'vous assure, allez quoi!), mais j'avoue que tout doucement, ça ne me fait absolument plus ni chaud ni froid (bon, par contre les blagues beaufs "Et alors vot' gouvernement?" et autres "D'toute façon z'avez pas d'gouvernement!" me donnent envie de leur faire rentrer le drapeau national par des orifices abscons).

A voir comment notre pays avance, avec quel sérieux on planifie notre futur (oui, c'est ça qui est merveilleux en politique, personne n'en a rien à foutre mais ça va influer sur pas mal de nos petites vies), je crois même que l'envie de mettre les voiles se fait de plus en plus pressante.

Alors bien sûr j'ai tenté de m'intéresser un peu à la politique française (traduction: grâce aux bombardements des partisans socialistes que j'ai ça et là, je n'ai pas vraiment eu le choix), mais pour très vite m'apercevoir que niveau politique, c'est pas plus folichon (c'est pas nous, c'est les autres, c'est rien que des méchants, nous on est beaux et merveilleux (repeat ad libitum). Donc j'ai rapidement laissé tomber.

Donc j'espère voir enfin cette vaste blague se terminer (surtout que bon, elle ne fait plus marrer grand monde), avant que je ne me mette à m'intéresser fortement à l'organisation politiques des Papous d'Alaska (comment ça y'a pas de papous en Alaska?!).

P.S.: Je recherche aussi activement l'assassin de mon Klout, faites signe si vous avez des informations :D

Portée symbolique

Hier soir j’ai veillé, comme beaucoup, veillé dans l’attente d’un espoir, d’un revirement de dernière minute pour éviter la mise à mort de Troy Davis, dans l’état de Georgie aux Etats Unis. L’homme aurait assassiné un policier, et le conditionnel est bien de mise tant le procès est empreint d’erreurs judiciaires, de manque de témoins, de racisme, de preuves, … de justice.

Derrière cette condamnation injuste se déroulait aussi une fenêtre formidable pour toutes les associations se battant contre la peine de mort, pratique d’un autre âge (même si certains béotiens primaires prendraient un plaisir dingue à la rétablir, cfr le cas Michèle Martin: « Tête contre le mur, balle dans la nuque »).

Au même moment, alors que le monde s’agitait pour Troy Davis, un autre homme, Lawrence Brewer était lui aussi mis à mort. D’aucuns se sont d’ailleurs indignés de ne pas voir de voix pour lui. Et c’est là que l’on assiste à une merveille de l’intelligence humaine. Troy Davis a tout pour être un symbole, tant son procès est douteux, empreint d’erreurs, de racisme latent, d’injustice, … Tout pour être la figure de proue sur laquelle appuyer la fin de la peine de mort.

Car ne vous en déplaise, et ceci surtout pour les français, mais la peine de mort n’a en règle générale pas été abolie parce qu’on s’est dit « mon dieu, mais c’est mal de tuer quelqu’un » (car hélas, à notre époque, la loi du Talion en fait encore bander certains), mais bien « mon dieu, on a tué des innocents par erreur judiciaire ». Et c’est là la nuance subtile et la surmédiatisation de l’un et l’oubli de l’autre.

Car Brewer n’avait rien pour aider à soulever l’opinion publique. Et que vous le vouliez ou non, on ne fait pas changer les gens avec des anti héros. Dans les deux cas, cette peine est injuste, elle est la preuve d’une justice s’arrogeant des droits au dessus de sa dimension humaine. Et pourtant, c’est Troy Davis dont on parlait hier. Pas comme cas individuel (enfin certes un peu on ne va pas mentir), mais comme symbole des erreurs judiciaires, des innocents qui potentiellement peuvent être mis à mort (et là en filigrane cette réflexion sur la moralité d’une peine de mort ou non).

Parce que, que voulez-vous ma bonne dame, pour la majorité des gens, le sacrifice d’un coupable, d’une brebis galeuse, d’un « monstre » (oh qu’il est beau ce mot, ça me rappelle Ben Laden l’inhumain), fera toujours sentir chez beaucoup un sentiment de « justice » (hé oui, breaking news: la majorité des gens est con et regarde Secret Story. Rapport choucroute.)).

Hélas, ni Brewer, ni Davis n’ont échappés à cette exécution, à cette application barbare d’une justice d’un monde soit-disant civilisé. Mais c’est les tâches d’ombre de l’affaire Davis, et des autres innocents assassinés, qui permettront de faire changer les mentalités, et d’abolir enfin la peine de mort. Et son souvenir et ses partisans aideront à faire changer les choses, et à faire évoluer les mentalités. Et que « le pays de la liberté » cesse un jour de s’arroger les droits les plus liberticides.

Post Executum: Et on sait que des gens meurent tous les jours dans l’indifférence la plus totale en Ethiopie BLABLABLA, et que demain plein de gens l’auront oublié, parce que c’était « juste un sujet d’actualité. Alors je citerai @guellaty :

« Ils me font rires les mecs qui la ramènent dés qu’on commente un sujet médiatique. Bougez votre cul et vous aurez le droit à la critique. L’actualité crée le débat. Sinon on ne parle plus de rien ou de tout. Et c’est soit le silence complice, soit la cacophonie inutile. »

(Tout ça parce que j’en ai marre de me taper ET les gens qui geignent dès que « la masse » commente un sujet d’actualité, et les bien pensants chialant sur tous les décès terrestres.)

Chère Flandre

Chère Flandre,

Longtemps je t’ai regardée, les yeux émerveillés, tu étais l’endroit des vacances, l’écrin de ma famille, le lieu où j’avais facile à faire du vélo (hé oui, peu de montées :D), un lieu où j’aimais prendre énormément de bon temps.

Peu à peu ton visage a changé, pour moi comme du jour au lendemain, quand soudainement prononcer un mot en français semblait devenir passible à tes yeux de peine capitale, vu les regards courroucés de tes habitants. Quand soudainement l’on me jetait les choses à la figure à un simple « merci », sans compréhension.

Je t’ai vue peu à peu sombrer dans ta folie imaginaire, t’inventant des mythes incompréhensibles et infondés, et j’ai vu tes habitants suivre ces mythes aveuglément, se les approprier et les rendre soudainement vérités absolues. Puis je t’ai vu déformer tes organes de presse, peu à peu, tranquillement, afin qu’ils reprennent tes mythes de grandeur et tes illusions.

Et je t’ai vu te fermer les yeux, aveugle aux exactions de tes enfants, feignant l’innocence face à une violence que tu ne pouvais que voir naitre en ton sein. Et de s’organiser des stupidités comme le Gordel, et de voir des groupuscules comme le Voorpost et le TAK, criant à tout va aux « rats francophones » de s’en aller, tandis que toi, nonchalante, tu prétendais encore qu’ils étaient non-violents.

Ce week-end voilà que tes enfants ont recommencé, face à une marche pacifique, demandant le respect de la loi et de la démocratie, voilà que sont venus en même temps ces discours de haine que tu as fait naitre, cet égocentrisme vicieux qui s’est lové parmi ta progéniture. Et ça je ne peux plus le comprendre, et je ne veux plus le comprendre.

J’ai tenté de te comprendre pourtant, parcourant ton histoire, analysant tes prétendues vérités, recoupant les sources, démontant un à un tes mythes de papier, pour apercevoir ensuite le vide qu’ils abritaient.

Alors non, je ne tenterai plus de te comprendre. Je ne veux plus comprendre ces aspirations, car ce qu’il reste de toi n’est plus que l’ombre de ce que tu fus jadis. Et désormais, je préfèrerai te regarder t’enfoncer chaque jour un peu plus dans cet ostracisme qui te pourrit.

Tristement à toi,

Un ex-enfant.

L'après Shame

Bientôt 3 mois depuis l’organisation de la manifestation « Shame » / No Government, Great Country, et il me vient quand même l’envie de débriefer les évènements qui ont rythmé ma petite vie pendant quelques semaines, avec leurs hauts et leurs bas.

Bien sûr, nous avions voulu cette marche « apolitique » et « neutre », deux mots qui n’ont en fait que très peu de sens à l’époque actuelle, et @Paminaaah a bien vite fait de me rappeler à l’ordre pour un terme plus correct: « aparticratique » (à lire: La poule sans tête et la démocratie postiche), résumant beaucoup mieux l’idée. Je ne peux que stigmatiser l’attitude de certains partis qui ont tenté de récupérer cette initiative à leur compte (quand ce n’était pas carrément nous qu’ils tentaient de récupérer), mais cela ne m’étonne que très peu dans le climat politique belge actuel, que j’aurais tendance à qualifier de populiste de bas étage (quand on voit les sentiments avec lesquels on joue pour attirer la population, ça ne relève pas du haut niveau.).

Neutre oui nous l’avons voulu, blanche peut être au risque de prendre un symbole qui n’était pas le notre, mais qui reste malheureusement une des rares couleurs sans aucun symbole politique (quoique on a quand même réussi à me trouver un parti mort né ayant utilisé le blanc, je ne me rappelle d’ailleurs plus son nom). Mais neutralité dans le sens que nous préférions ne pas donner nous même d’avis, après tout, en quoi 5 jeunes dans leur vingtaine auraient à dire aux autres ce qu’ils doivent faire? Non, nous préférions que chaque personne viennent soutenir son envie, ses idées. Dans le respect de chacun (ce qu’apparemment, ces chers militants du TAK n’ont pas compris.).

Ma boite mail a littéralement explosé durant ces quelques jours, d’idées, de projets, d’aides (je ne peux d’ailleurs que remercier @TweetWallPro pour son geste durant la marche), … Enormément de gens étaient pleins d’idées et de projets à n’en plus finir. Bien sûr, il y eu aussi un lot de mail d’insultes, certaines très vives, que je partagerai peut être de façon anonyme plus tard tellement elles sont représentatives de la bêtise humaines, mais qui n’arrivaient pas à contrebalancer l’énorme soutien que l’on recevait de toute part.

Je ne peux donc que remercier toutes les personnes qui furent présentes ce jour là et l’ampleur qu’a pris ce mouvement. Peut être un moment d’espoir, peut être que pour certains cela n’a servit à rien. Dire que cette marche n’a servi à rien est pour moi se mentir à soi même, car que l’on aime ou pas l’initiative, elle a permis de « secouer le cocotier » et surtout de faire parler. Faire parler tout le monde, tout en chacun, que chacun se mette à dire ce qu’il avait sur le coeur, et dans les 3 langues nationales. Que chacun y aille de son analyse, de son avis, mais surtout, que chacun échange des idées. Et en cela, Shame a été pour moi un succès. De même quand on voit la pléthore de mouvements qui ont suivi et continuent (L’initiative du 30 avril de @Camping16 , l’iniative du 7 mai de Niet In Onze Naam, …).

Je ne peux que remercier aussi une grosse partie de la presse nationale qui a énormément soutenu l’action (j’avoue avoir été très étonné du soutien de journaux tels que De Morgen à l’initiative), et j’avoue avoir été agréablement surpris par énormément de journalistes (merci entre autre à @Codip et ses collègues et aussi @JSLefebvre qui m’a fait beaucoup rire depuis ) (même si pour beaucoup j’ai énormément critiqué le fait de reprendre uniquement le fil Belga, sans vérification aucune de la source, amenant à ce que je devienne un étudiant de la VUB. (rendez moi mes allocations d’ailleurs :D).

Pourtant, dans ces journalistes, j’avoue que cette action m’a permis de me faire une liste noire. Sans donner de noms aucun (manquerait plus que l’on m’attaque pour diffamation tiens O:) ), il s’est avéré pendant cette action que, pour certains groupes de presse, le sensationnel, le populisme béat, et la polémique avaient plus d’importance que la transmission d’une info réelle. Quitte à déformer cette information, quitte à ne récupérer que 20 secondes d’un entretien de 30 minutes, après m’avoir fait répété 10x la même réponse à une question, jusqu’à obtenir une phrase qui, coupée de son contenu, provoquerait polémique. Ces groupes sont à mes yeux la lie de la presse et ce qui se fait de pire, et ont réussi à le prouver encore durant cette action. Cette attitude nous a d’ailleurs mené à refuser de venir à une émission politique au fort taux d’audience, par refus de plonger dans la polémique. (J’applaudis d’ailleurs le coup bas qui fut fait lors de cette émission ;) Sortir le spectre des communistes mangeurs d’enfants, c’était grandiose).

Beaucoup de gens n’ont pas compris notre volonté de réunir sans catégoriser, surement du à notre manque d’expérience, ou à notre façon parfois bancale de s’exprimer (un grand hola pour les nombres de mails reçus déclarant que le texte était écrit un mauvais flamand, quand il a été écrit par 4 personnes parlant parfaitement néerlandais. La connerie ne tue pas, dommage.), et en ce sens, le sondage paru dans Le Soir m’a énormément déçu, car c’est ce genre de sondage qui maintiennent le clivage que l’on connait (oui oui, un jour j’écrirai un article sur ce que je pense de la Belgique actuellement, mais là je suis de bonne humeur, on va donc éviter). J’avoue que je ne comprendrai jamais bien ce besoin de chiffrer, catégoriser, cataloguer, mais bon, il faut s’y faire.

A l’heure actuelle, si c’était à refaire, je réorganiserais cette manifestation. Bien sûr il y aurait énormément de choses à améliorer, mais je trouve que ce qui a été accompli en deux semaines seulement, et alors que nous n’avions aucune expérience, était déjà honorable. Mais savoir si l’on organisera d’autres actions, j’en doute (à cause de la fatigue engendrée, de la pression engendrée, … Nombreux sont ceux qui savent que ça a été extrêmement dur pour moi de ne pas pouvoir exprimer mes opinions durant ces deux semaines). Maintenant, comme nous l’avions déclaré lors du discours de cloture, c’est à tout en chacun d’agir. Certains ont voulu nous voir comme des « messies », nous demandant de fonder des partis, de s’engager en politique, … Mais j’espère que ces gens agiront d’eux mêmes :) (pour ma part, j’ai trouvé le travail que j’aime, et la politique me fait vomir :D).

Je ne sais pas ce que va devenir ce pays, mais j’avoue que la part d’optimisme qu’il me reste est là grâce à ce 23 janvier. Grâce à ces 40 000 personnes présentes ce jour là. Merci.