Make a Toast, a Boast, & an Oath
My annual holiday card tradition - 2021's letter
Most of my 2021 cards have reached their destinations and with them, this letter. I’m posting this year for those who wanted reference links from the letter, or for those of you who didn’t sign up for my holiday card and would like to read my annual letter.
Yule 2021 - Seasons greetings, friends & family!
In Norse tradition, on each solstice and equinox (so each quarter year), we gather together to present a toast, a boast, and an oath. December 21st is the Winter Solstice. I do a personal version of this each quarter for myself, but I do a whole year-in-retrospect version for my annual letter.
This year I lost two friends who inspired me a lot. First, a toast to the infamous John McAfee, who died in prison in June. He was an absolute madman, but I got to know him pretty well on the campaign trail when he chose Judd to run as his VP in his pursuit of the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination in 2016. He was very smart, very gracious, and he was a man who believed in second chances for everyone. He was no saint, but he approached liberty with empathy and a wild heart. I wrote an article about him, linked below.
A few days after John died, my friend Steve Horwitz lost his battle with cancer. I think of him every couple of days, wanting his take on current events. I respected him so much even when we disagreed on things. Steve was an economist, author, professor, and a “Bleeding Heart Libertarian”. His articulation of liberty and of economics as an empathetic, human science is something that still inspires me often and I refer people to his work whenever I can. My heart goes out to his wife Sarah and his family. I miss him dearly. Here’s links to a number of his pieces or books - he was such an inspiration to me.
Austrian Economics, an Introduction
This past year I’ve been leaning into turning my creative passions into career ones. Back in April, I began writing at Substack (here!) to a modest 100+ subscribers. I also became involved in the Decrim Psilocybin movement here in CA, hosting networking events and volunteer mixers. As I’ve watched the interest in, and access to, psychedelics steadily grow, I’ve begun another project: creating short form video content to answer all the questions people never knew they had about psychedelics! You can find these upcoming videos (just started in December with a soft launch) on Instagram, TikTok & other socials at @yourtripsister. Regular videos coming in January - I’m recording them now!
Professionally, Judd and I have been working side by side with business partners on developing “grow your own mushroom” kits - a white market product that is specifically optimized for use with psilocybin mushroom cultures (which are not included!). We intend to have the product to market in Q1 2022, to help increase consumer access as more jurisdictions decriminalize psilocybin and more medicinal, therapeutic, and recreational benefits are discovered.
This year I shared the stage with my fellow Feminists for Liberty for a panel at FreedomFest in South Dakota, and became a Lifetime member of the California Libertarian Party (last year I received my National LP Lifetime membership). It was a light year for travel and speeches, but I got so much done in other mediums!
My birds, Petrie and Justice are happy and healthy. This year I got a crested gecko named Mochi who is very sweet. Judd’s cat Abby is grumpy but healthy and adorable as well. Judd and I celebrated our 9th anniversary of our first date in August. He’s in the process of taking my late grandmother’s 1940s diamond engagement ring and resetting it into a metal and style I prefer, as a symbol of our commitment to make beautiful things together. This has been a year of joyful contentment in my home and in my relationship.
I intend to keep up with more of my writing, create a following on social media with my psychedelic education content, and to help Judd bring our company to great success. I have found a niche issue I feel very comfortable in creatively and professionally (and politically!) and I would like to maximize my skills and productivity within it.
It’s my plan to catch up on editing and posting photos from prior events, and trying to get all future photo albums out within 60 days. I’ve already committed to speaking at and/or photographing three LP state conventions, the National LP convention, and FreedomFest in Las Vegas for 2022.
It is my intention that before the end of 2022, Judd and I feel ready in all aspects of our lives to start a family together.
May your holiday season and new year be filled with love, laughter and light!
If you’d like to see, subscribe to, and/or support my writing and other projects (or just keep up with me year round), I would appreciate your eyes and follows / subscriptions / etc on my various platforms:
Substack has a paid subscription option when you sign up, but I don’t tend to write paywalled content, it just functions as a way for people to contribute towards my work.
You can feel free to select the “free” option when you put in your email - there is no obligation to pay.
Psychedelic education series : @yourtripsister (TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, etc)
Personal : @avensobrien (Twitter, Instagram)
Birds & pets : @justabirb (Instagram)
Links to anything else I’m featured on (podcasts, speeches) : http://avens.me
Thank you so much!
Working on a lot of stuff for January. Happy Winter Solstice, Blessed Yule, Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year - all the winter festivities that help keep us warm!