As I mentioned in the very first post, XOXO caught me at a particularly vulnerable and bad time, mental health-wise. Despite that, I had an overall amazing time at XOXO and for most of it, I managed to forget at least some of my worries and focus on spending time with all the amazing people in this community.
I got to spend time with a lot of amazing people, have great conversations, heard a bunch of good conference talks, watched great performances at Story and so much more.
I got to work on a couple of projects which I thoroughly enjoyed and others did too — my portraits and the prints of them, the XOXO bingo and the XOXO calendar.
This was the third XOXO I've been to and it was decidedly the best one. The festival gets refined every year, and it shows. There really isn't anything I can complain about except to suggest having more Karaoke next year.
I hope to be back — the lottery willing — in 2020 as well. The XOXO community means so much to me: it's an important part of my online, and for a small time of a year, offline social life, full of people I love spending time with (and they seem to like me too?)
XOXO gives me a special feeling: the feeling of “finding my people”. It just sucks that most of the people I want to hang out and spend time with live so far away.
To close things up, here is a non-exhaustive list of people and things I'm grateful for.
Sarah, thank you for telling me that “XOXO doesn't start for me until I see you”. I love you and you are the best XOXO mom and person I know. Thank you for the karaoke as well.
Emory, it was fun traveling with you; I hope we get to do that again.
Jonah, it was great to finally meet, hang out and talk shop about infrastructure/sysadmin things, which I don't get to do very often.
Everyone who came to that #ptsd meetup; it meant a lot to me.
Becky, Josh May, Eliza, Juan, Crystal, Dan, Lyndsey, Joel, Joshua Blunt, Danielle, Liene, Earl, Skyler, Jonathan, Dunja, Robert, Dylan, Tina, Vale, Doug, Jim and all the other people I got to hang out with, thank you for your company and often your kind words. They mean a lot to me.