Regular subscribers might’ve noticed something this past week:
I didn’t post a Thursday essay. I am really sorry.
Not just because you missed out, but because I made a commitment to two posts a week, one being an essay, and other busy weeks I’ve given you one of my favorite old essays, but I didn’t even get around to that. I’ve been SO GOOD. But I failed to do my second post last week! For that I am sorry.
I literally have five new essays in my draft folder I’m mulling over currently - and one of the big issues is that I’m not satisfied with them and that they’re complex subjects. Subjects about tolerance and acceptance, pride, apologies and redemption, political activism, audacious inspiration and more. Memoirs? Easy. Complex public culture/politics topics? Takes me weeks.
Honestly, I may be too busy this week to finish any of them, so this week my Thursday essay might be either an old favorite pre-2017 or I may literally write about how hard it is to properly convey the level of nuance I desire on these subjects and why.
Since I’m so busy, I figured I’d do a mix for this post of my usual promotions and also let you know what I’ve been up to.
If you have anything awesome you want to share in the comments, please do.
Coming Out of Your Closet
This is one of my favorite Tedx talks, with a woman who talks about her own closet, and the fact that we all have closets, which are the emotional place where we reside before we have a difficult conversation (which we are, understandably, scared to have). She talks about how we cause ourselves so much stress, pain, and even physical reactions from the closets we live in.
“There is no harder, there is only hard.” - she talks about how these difficult conversations we may need to have in our lives may vary between us and at different times, but they’re not exactly comparable - and they’re all hard, and we must have empathy for each other.
I figured it was appropriate for Pride month, and also just one of my favorites.
My friend Aeris just recorded a Tiny Desk contest submission of their track Cottagecore. They are adorable and you should check it out. Not generally my genre but I catch myself humming it anyway. It’s catchy AF, as the kids say.
(I did also get to have a few hours off on Friday and Saturday to bring Aeris to their first 21+ bar experiences which was very fun.)
Coming Soon In My Life / What I’m Doing
I’ve been really busy. I say that a lot. I figure here I’ll flesh it out for you.
This isn’t completely exhaustive but it’s the stuff currently floating in my head.
And it is a bit exhausting.
I am currently working for four different companies, directing administrative & financial matters for two of them, overseeing production of two of them, and getting deep into personal education on a related topic, for a new project related to one of those companies. I’m working literally every day, never less than 4 hours, and often more like 9-12 (Sunday: 6 hours, Monday: 10 hours, Tuesday projected: 9 hours, it continues…). I’m not complaining, I love what I do, and I’m in start-up mode so I’m setting a lot of stuff up with the intention of reducing my workload after things are prepared, but it’s very exhausting.
I have a series of videos on Instagram and Tiktok I’m preparing for, hopefully to start posting this month (once I set up some branding, so stay tuned for my promoting those channels). Focusing on psychedelic education.
I have a three day bootcamp session coming this weekend with some business partners. I’m very excited, but this whole week is preparation (and that’s three days of long work days).
I’m getting active with Decrim CA to do campaigning, fundraising and education for a ballot initiative to decriminalize psilocybin next year in California. We’re hoping to host some events at our home, fundraise, and I tend to be a show-up-and-collect-signatures boots-on-the-ground campaigner, so at some point I’ll be setting up booths next to dispensaries trying to get registered voters to sign.
Last year I founded the Reproductive Liberty Coalition to be an active in-party Libertarian Party caucus to continue the work of Pro Choice Libertarians, with a broader focus than just abortion (but certainly prioritizing that) - defending our abortion plank within the party and advocating for reproductive rights for all (and helping teach Libertarian candidates how to address those issues well) - I’ve been trying to get that organized for the last few months, and need to pull the trigger ASAP to prepare for action items for 2022 that need a long lead time. That’s a priority this month.
I’m still a board member for Feminists for Liberty and wish I was doing more fundraising/education/articles/talks/help for them. I’m excited to attend Freedom Fest in July to do some of that, but there’s a bunch to be done in preparation for that, and so on the plate it goes!
I’m still editing my photos from the Libertarian Party of California state convention. I swear I’m almost done. Plus I did a few headshot projects for friends that week and need to send out those photos.
Of course, I already find myself committing to MORE Liberty projects: the Libertarian Party is celebrating its 50th anniversary in late August in Denver, and I should be attending to photograph it (which is then another editing project!). I’m very much looking forward to it, if you’re interested you can buy tickets here.
I spend a few hours (4-6) each week on this blog depending on the length of the essay. This is a priority for me to maintain. I was also working on a book project but that is taking a complete backseat right now. I have ideas for it, and I jot them down as they come to me, but I’m determined to get past the current projects and get things set up in a way that I can actually focus to write productively with a deadline in mind.
I’m also just trying to be a grown up: cleaning up my bedroom, organizing my closet, exercising, eating well, getting my eyes checked out, new glasses, physical, dentist, setting up insurance and trusts, preparing legal documentation for stuff like Judd & I having power of attorney/wills/advanced directives for each other. It’s stuff I don’t want to worry about if it ever becomes something we need - I want it done before it’s necessary. That’s all on the books to be completed by August (our anniversary). It’s really fucking stressful, but each one checked off the list feels really good.
In the meantime, I still try to maintain human friendships, take care of my two parrots (Petrie & Justice) and my gecko (Mochi), and adore my partner. Judd and I are in an amazing place within our relationship, and manage 3 different business projects together, as well as maintaining our home together and just being blissfully, adorably, happy. It’s really wonderful and I’m endlessly grateful for our relationship. Also, our 9th anniversary is in August and it was my hope to go on a “honeymoon” type of vacation - a few days off in Hawaii or something but it feels like we’ll be too busy. We have a lot of things we wish to accomplish this year and next.
So if you email, message, talk to me and ask me what’s up and I mention I’m busy, know that it may be any of these things and is seriously not personal. Other times I need a break from all of this and will totally take your random Facebook message asking for relationship advice. It happens sporadically. I appreciate the brief breaks from my world, and fixing other people’s problems is a surefire way to ignore my responsibilities!
Plus on top of all of this, my extroversion means the best way to wake up every morning/afternoon has nothing to do with coffee and everything to do with getting on the internet and arguing with people. I don’t drink coffee. I do WANT to engage with people. It wakes me up. I just have to limit the amount of time I do it for.
Anyway, that’s what I mean when I say I’ve been really busy lately. The downtime I get is usually an hour here or there to watch an episode of a TV show with Judd, or 10 minutes at a time to read one of my books (I’m getting through the second Game of Thrones book like 5 pages at a time, it’s an awful way to read). I’m grateful we don’t have kids yet because I think I’d go absolutely insane. I don’t know how parents work and raise kids. Bless all of you out there.
I’m confirmed as a speaker at Freedom Fest 2021! I’ve been attending Freedom Fest since 2012 (it’s actually where I first met Judd in person - he was speaking and I was an attendee). It’s usually in Las Vegas, but this year they moved it to Mount Rushmore, South Dakota (not my ideal situation but I’m open to new experiences). I’m speaking, taking photos, am on a few panels AND I’m hosting Friday night karaoke. We’ve got a great Feminists for Liberty panel as well! It’s all happening on July 21-24th in Rapid City. Tickets are available here and for $50 off, use the code Avens50. :)
In Case You Missed It
Each week I get a handful of new signups for this newsletter, and I’m tremendously grateful for them (you!). I often do not know if they went through the archives to check out my previous essays, and I’d rather not bother them (and some of you since the beginning might miss an essay here or there!), so this subsection each week will be at the end of my non-Thursday post, so you can skip it if you’ve already seen it or read them all, but will present the long-form essays with a single sentence description in case you missed something and wanted to check it out.
Lead With Gratitude- I explain the game plan with this blog, and thank you for your support.
Choose The Better Story - My life philosophy about building your personal story and making choices.
Judge & Prepare To Be Judged - How “Judgement” does not equal condemnation, and being a discerning person isn’t actually a bad thing, but you should also know who you’re judging for.
Look Beyond Representation - Talking about “representation” as a woman - how its purpose is to eventually render itself irrelevant - let there be so much representation that nobody represents us, because we’re individuals.
Count It All Joy - Remembering a long lost friend, and how she taught me to love by letting go.
Appreciate the Mothers In Your Life - A collection of stories of my own mother.
Ask Yourself What You’d Kill For - Expanding on two concepts that explain my perspective on government & politics.
Lemon Tek Your Mushrooms - An essay about mushroom trips, and how to make them the very best.
Be Kind - An essay about how 30 minutes of my day saved someone’s life, and how I learned about it 2 years later.
In conclusion, I’m sorry about skipping Thursday’s essay, but you’ll have something from me this Thursday, and I promise there’s some really good stuff in the pipeline. I love being productive and I really am very excited about everything I’m working on. It’s just… a lot.
Thank YOU for being supportive, patient, and kind. I’ve gotten a few surprise presents lately from people and they’ve been very much appreciated. Sharing your favorite of my essays to your friends, and just letting me know when you liked one of my pieces goes a long way in making it all feel worth it when things are overwhelming.
Thank you, loves.