A busy Kitten is often a happy Kitten, which is interesting considering I need so much down time in order to get through any particular day. One of the ways people talk about how we balance our social energy is the whole introversion vs. extroversion divide. Most people will say that they are either introverted or extroverted; I myself often identify with introverted just because I find myself craving alone time and feel I have earned the right to enjoy a lot of it. But in reality, I get energy both from alone time and social time, and feel energy drained by too much of either. I've heard from a lot of people that they feel similarly to me, though perhaps identify a bit more on one end than the other.
The past couple of weeks I have been busy attending a workshop in New York and a conference in San Francisco, and working lots in between. I am both rejuvenated from spending so much time with like-minded individuals, and desperately in need of my cat and teddy bear who are waiting for me back home. Well, I won't make an assumptions about the cat waiting for me, but I can make assumptions about my teddy bear since he is an inanimate object and I can assign whatever feelings I want to him.
A couple of weekends ago I went to New York for the Body Sex Workshop done by a couple of women I super look up to, Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross. Betty's work has been enormously influential for me ever since I was about 19 or 20 and first read her advice column in Bust Magazine. Carlin's work toward continuing to get Betty's voice heard over the Internet has been phenomenal and has kept me in touch with both of them and their work over all these years. There's so much I could say about this whole experience; it was a pivotal moment in my life and one that I will always remember. But for the purposes of keeping this piece within a reasonable word count, I will just tell you one highlight: my sexual mentor, 85 year old Betty Dodson, touched my vulva and told me it was beautiful. Later Carlin told me that Betty said I was "brilliant." I can't even use words to describe how amazing that all makes me feel.
There was a wedding in between last weekend, and now I am sitting at a conference I will not name (to protect the semi-privacy of my partners) after just seeing my husband's talk. Last night I also watched a talk from my lovely partner Zephyr, whom you've heard much about. Watching my partners in the midst of achieving their goals after having just achieved one of mine is a whole new level of amazing. What really makes me thrilled is the fact that all three of us are working with, in or around sex and human sexuality. This life I am living goes way beyond my wildest dreams of what I thought I would be able to achieve.
Before his talk yesterday, Zephyr and I spent some time talking about how he's been hearing a bunch of people say "get that life!" lately. He was uncertain what the term was referring to, but was able to discover a Cosmo column with the title of Get That Life by using the googles. The column seems to be a profile piece about powerful/ successful women with a bit of background information about how they got where they are. An instructional piece about how to "get a life" similar to the founder of Jezebel.com, for example. We went into a bit of a critical space on the concept of an article telling women how to get the life they want rather than appreciating the life they have, of course, but hold your thoughts on "get that life" for a moment. I'll get back to it in a minute BECAUSE...
This morning I was talking to the husband about his technology/ business/ life manifesto that he was presenting at the conference today. Basically, I think he's really smart and awesome and I was congratulating him for coming up with his manifesto, which is brilliant. Not just the items on it, but the idea of a business/ life manifesto itself. A personal list of rules to live by and to revisit any time you feel lost or hopeless. Since I'm in such a good place right now and feel that I have gotten that life I always wished for, I'm going to write down my current business and life rules. Using the word rules is a little funny here, but I can't think of a better one. I don't always stick to these, but they are what I strive for.
Of course, everyone's rules are totally individual! So this isn't an instruction manual on how to get a life like mine; rather, it's inspiration to think about what works for you, and what doesn't. Get that life, y'all, whatever it might be.
1. Alone time. Sleep. Relaxation. Quality time with those I'm closest to. These are the most important things in my life and the reasons behind why I do anything I do. Whenever I am drained, I will always come back to these. I will always allow myself to have time for these.
2. Only one social obligation and/ or one task per day. This is a rule I hardly ever stick to, but that I aim for. I tend to become overwhelmed by scheduling too many things for myself in a day, so I tell everyone that this is a rule of mine. This way I tend to flake out on people or things I was supposed to do less often because I don't have too much going on.
3. Sex is my life's work. And it's working out very well for me. I am firmly dedicated to learning about sex, experiencing sex, and sharing what I have learned and experienced with others. To that end I am also dedicated to creating safe space and community that facilitate other people's sexual education and experience.
4. Independence. Collaboration is great- anyone else owning my image, my brand, my schedule/ time, a portion of my paycheck, my words or my ideas is absolutely unacceptable. This means I cannot and will not work for others, unless it is in a consultation capacity. I only work for me from now on. I will not allow others to take my autonomy ever again.
5. Criticism of my ideas is not (always) personal. This is a particularly hard one for me, but I want to be able to hear about the flaws in my ideas without going into a depressive hate spiral. I aim to believe that everyone who is telling me that something I am doing is a problem is telling me that with love, and not because they think I am a worthless human being.
6. Continue to believe that very few people in this world actually intend harm. Continue to approach human interaction with love, patience and compassion.
7. It is acceptable to medicate myself with whatever drugs I feel are working for me at any particular time. My mind is hard on me. Drugs work. I am much more capable, productive and happy on drugs. Sometimes I need to change the ones I'm using. I will continue to work on a comfortable brain chemistry for me, and I will continue to assert that I am not missing out on anything in life because of it.
8. Positive outlook, cynical approach. I am an idealist who understands that shit is constantly and always happening. I want to continue to strive for positive change for myself and for others and for this world while going easy on myself and everyone for our limitations and for what a shit show our current society is.
So there they are, as of today. My life-a-festo is constantly metamorphosing and taking new shape as I live my life. Today I am happy to have the life I have- tomorrow I will continue to do great things and inspire others toward greatness.