This year has been hella weird. I've gotten to grow and move on with some big projects, trying new things, traveling, and more... but also Cheeto Voldemort....
I've been pretty absent here lately. Part of it is how much attention Chronic Sex (and self-care) needs, but a lot of it is that I'm spending a lot of time doing emotional work with people really affected by the election. Some of us potentially stand to lose our lives because of our incoming walking contradiction of a president-elect. I've been in contact with people nearly non-stop since November 8th, and that's really hard.
We are scared, exhausted, nauseated.
We don't have the ability to give someone a chance when we are literally fighting for our lives.
The lack of compassion, empathy, and inclusivity/intersectionality within groups fighting DT is incredibly disturbing and adding another layer onto the fight. Many of us are having to fight to even be recognized as members of the fight against DT.
Our checks and balances can't do much when everything is controlled by one party, and that scares the shit out of me... so, for now, we keep organizing. We keep checking in on each other and providing emotional safe havens.
We don't have another choice.
Anyway... At the beginning of the year, I learned how to swim (kinda). I wasn't able to keep up with the classes because of how it was affecting my health. Still, I felt really cool about being able to finally conquer that fun thing...ish.
I intertwined my Trekkie nature with my PTSD, sharing initial feels about how Seven of Nine is treated for PTSD earlier in the year and final feels recently. I had some weird feels about how I've personified 'Arthur' (my arthritis fun) in the past - and how that has changed, too.
I got to head to New York writing for a conference and, while there, got to meet some great people I'm happy to call pals. I have been lucky enough to head back to the big apple twice this year, once just for funsies with family... and I basically never stopped talking about Hamilton... but then got to see it on my second NYC trip!
I got to attend some great conferences - ePharma, HealtheVoices, Self Care Mvmt in Toronto, both Juvenile Arthritis Conferences, Women in Pain, Stanford MedX, Joint Decisions Empowerment Summit, and more. I've traveled all over lately and I am loving it.
I even got to spend time with one of my favorite humans, Kate McCombs, in Portland running some of her amazing Tea & Empathy workshops. The Arthritis Foundation chose me as the adult honoree for the Walk to Cure Arthritis in May, too.
Meeting some great people has definitely been a part of my list this year, too, from David Tennant and Alex Kingston to Vice President Joe Biden to Kate McCombs to Karen Duffy and more.
My blog over on Creaky Joints (which has been a little neglected lately) was voted one of the '10 Arthritis Blogs We Can't Stop Reading' by Everyday Health! I've been featured several places this year, too - Kids Get Arthritis, Too, Kinkly, BlogHer, and more.
Chronic Sex is up and running with a podcast, chats, affiliates, and more. I've been getting some international attention for that and it's really surreal. A few weeks ago, Kate and I went and heard Dan Savage and some colleagues talk. Instead of feeling unworthy, I felt like I belonged. These people knew who I was and the work I was doing and were excited to meet me.
It was hella weird and validating at the same time.
Some of my favorite products ever got tested by me like healing CBD lotion, Axon Optics migraine glasses, and the Oska Pulse. I also wrote my first e-book on self-love with chronic illness fun.
Our family went through some loss this year - Aunt B and Oreo. Because of Aunt B and her graciousness, we had enough money for me to leave my day job and really focus on what I want to do with my life. Because of leaving my job, I was able to focus on spending time and loving every second of every single day with our boys - especially Oreo.
It's not like my relationship with T has ever sucked, but we've definitely both made strides this year to connect in new and different ways. A lot of this has to do with me learning to let him in a little better, but also ironically with my journey to being a sex educator. I find that we're both more open to questions and not as hurt by answers. Consent-based communication rocks.
New adventures await me in 2017, from conferences to friend vacations to hard work and more. I only hope we can all make it to this time next year unscathed.