Monday 22nd May 2017

Today we chased in New Mexico.  The storms never produced any tornadoes but I managed to take a load of timelapses and got treated to some amazing sights.
I’ve been in a bit of a bad mood today comprised of a mix of things.  I lost a memory card last night.  The thing just corrupted on me, and despite trying to use rescue software at 4am in the morning, I couldn’t get the video files back.  It meant that the vlog starts in the middle of the day and has no context.  On top of that our hotel’s internet was terrible and there was no chance to upload.
So I’ve been tired and grumpy today and I hate being like that because other people have to suffer me, and I wouldn’t want to suffer me when I’m like this.   I managed to catch a number of social faux pas early caused by my tiredness.  It stokes a lot of my social anxiety but luckily we have a good group who’ve chased before.  But, I still don’t like not being the best version of myself.  As a result, I’ve been a bit quieter today and enjoyed the storms
For me, there’s something about being out in the middle of nowhere looking at a supercell.  They’re like the Kaiju of the plains.  The flat landscape means that the sky always seems so big.  I never fully understood the description of big sky before I came out here, but I think that because the land is so flat with some few structures, you get so much more unobstructed sky out here.
And so it’s possible to see the entirety of some of these supercells that are the size of a large city.  They’re like giant motherships hovering overhead, except far, far larger.  They dominate these big skies to the extent that the site of them is awe inspiring in real life.
The result is that a combination of sky  and supercells leads to something so incredible it feels like a movie special effect.
And seeing that big sky along with the big supercell… just makes you feel so small, so insignificant.
I’ve heard many artists tell how you need to balance confidence with humility and vice versa, in order to be successful.  As a result, supercells make me realise that no matter what I do… it’s still nothing in the big scheme.
But I also realise that just as I’m small so are all the opinions around me. And so, instead of deciding to live my life small, I decide to live it big… because at the end of the day, none of it matters.
I probably needed those supercells today.  I probably need sleep far more, but I think it’s so easy to get caught up in everyday life that you lose sight of what matters.  Sometimes that’s health, friends and family.  Sometimes it’s that you really love Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Sometimes the stuff we think should be small is actually pretty big in our lives.  And you know what, that’s OK.  Everyone’s small, their opinion matters just as much as your own.
I spent some time re-reading over my agent’s notes in the car today.  I’m trying to let them sink in, trying to make the suggestions be something more organic than going in and changing a couple of words here and there.  We’ve got a few days downtime coming up so whilst there’s been no time to think so far on this trip, I suspect I’ll put my headphones on in the car and zone out for a while to think about Thomas Black and the Shade Knight.
As I’ve previously mentioned, storm chasing can be a little zen experience.  You can’t help be moved by seeing the power of nature.  I always come back from it a little changed for the better.  Of course, it’s impossible to see your own growth due to being so damned tired all the time.  Make no mistake, this is mentally and physucally exhausting, but as I stood under those supercells, thinking about me and my place in the universe, I couldn’t feel more free, more in a happy place.
It’s like the feeling of going up to the top of a hill to watch an amazing sunset by yourself… just multiplied by a thousand.
We checked into Roswell, New Mexico this evening.  We have a couple of down days coming up so the plan is to do some fun stuff like going to the museum here and maybe go to the cadillac ranch.  I might also learn how to some star photography and fire spinning.
But mostly, I look forward to getting some sleep.  I don’t think I’ve had a proper night’s sleep for over a week now, and there’s a bit of me that’s a little spaced out.  Doing the vlogs every day is tougher than people realise, but I enjoy the challenge.
I always enjoy the challenge.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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