I am just home from a preternaturally awesome conference in Los Angeles, CA called Farmhouse. I’ve been to a lot of conferences and as a whole, I tend to enjoy them although the exhaust me. MomentemCon in Washington D.C. was a marvelous affair and I think I shall always file it as my first big family reunion of sex positive feminism and its cousins, second cousins, in-laws, and maybe even a few party crashers, too. I learned a lot and had many a tremendous moment and I was also very much in my comfort bubble.
One of the reasons why I agreed to speak at this crazy little thing called Farmhouse was because it wasn’t but it sounded like a cool idea that I could get behind. I wanted to meet the kind of person who looks out at their backyard in Hollywood, CA with a massive avocado tree casting a fruitful canopy across the space and could see a bunch of people getting together to break down walls and rocks in their brains at a conference. At the same time, I didn’t really think I fit into a very tech-centric conference in Los Angeles. That’s my home town and one that I left because I never felt like I belonged in it. I was intimidated by speaking with a tech satellite event and tangled complicated knots about coming back to old haunts of social and cultural incompetency.
I’ve put a lot of personal work into not running away from things like that. Anxiety is a motherfucker and L.A. gives me a lot of it. That’s the place that civilized me, by and large, produced those early fundamental experiential moments that are etched so indelibly into your brain you take them utterly for granted. Moreover, I literally did grow up in L.A. underneath two large avocado trees that were very likely cross-pollinated over the century they have grown in such a relatively close proximity quite accessible by the L.A. public transit system. These were ideas that ran through my head as I rode a train from Oakland to L.A. Union Station over the course of 12 hours.
Farmhouse was the best conference I think I’ve ever been to and the realization of this hit me in one of those rare and precious times where happiness is a full body experience. Everyone filters the world into something we can navigate. Asking what “reality” looks like is just like asking what the internet looks like. The way the internet looks and interacts with you has a lot to do with with what you’re running, the hardware and the software and the experiences both have had since they first powered on and started to take a look at this universe that humans have created. If you’re a running a committed and positive, “I’m going to get something personally valuable out of this experience,” personal web browser, you’re going to see that which is personally valuable. Part of confronting my anxiety issues was recognizing the kind of project I was going to do and making conscious software decisions that would help facilitate my optimum user experience. I made a choice to stay committed to positivity and listening to people and staying as open as possible to their ideas without letting my very unhelpful anxiety corrupt my network and limit my experience.