September 20th, 2008

Willow

Confession

This post is dedicated to redbraids because she is brave and awesome.

For the last two weeks I have been struggling over what I write here and what I do not. There has been something kind of big/new going on with me in terms of my personal journey along the road to being a self contained, stable, non self harming individual. But it's not been something I have felt comfortable or free, necessarily, to blog here. And since I try very hard to make this an honest and open account, I've struggled very deeply with what has at times felt like a lie and at others an enormous omission of what I am doing and processing. I hate censorship and I have hated feeling like I am self censoring here.

I think I have been doing it for two reasons - the first because I have not wanted to offend others in case they might feel that judgements or statements I make about myself I might also extend to them. The second I guess relates to both my self image and how I view that and how that relates to (my version of) feminism. Or more truthfully, how I feel that I am letting down the feminist cause in both the way I process my self image and the way I am now working on reprocessing.

I'm not sure if that makes much sense at 1.30am but I wanted to get it down so that I remember that I owe a really big blog post on the next thing I am tackling to do with reducing the ways I self sabotage. It's sort of another big thing and involves lots of changes both in what I do and internally how I view myself. And it's not like you won't begin to notice the changes in me, in real life.
Willow

And then

Following on from that post, I guess I have also felt that in some ways I haven't wanted to blog here freely about my own spiritual and mystical journey that I am on. Some of the comments left here in response to things I have said previously have been a little dismissive of what I think and how I live my life. And I guess I'd kind of like to ask people to be respectful that this is my space where I place my own little voice. If you don't like what I think or do or you think it's mumbo jumbo, I encourage you to defriend me and stop reading.

Because I guess in addition to the other post, I have also been reexploring my own spirituality and trying to get back in touch with that part of my self. I mentioned before that I had a star chart drawn up for six months, which expires at the end of October and that's been a lot of fun. This week's thing though talked about the fact that I should not be afraid to ask for help when I needed it because it would be ready and available. And I kept wondering what on Earth that would be related to but when I was driving home just now I realised that this week I had two really big issues that both caused me crises of self and or action, in two very different spheres of my life. And I got quite worked up into a state over both of them, quite separately. But I was lucky in that I had people to turn to - several for each (cause it's taking quite a large village to raise *this* child) - and who all willingly stepped in, gently listened, provided unconditional love and then carefully explained why this was not actually a problem at all. If you provided an ear to me some time this week, I want to thank you. I really appreciate it and would not be so calm and collected and relieved without you.

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And also just to say that I am having an awesome time at Femmeconne and callistra is utterly amazing with her catering abilities. I've never seen anyone so elegantly and capably deal with so many dietary issues. She rocks!
Willow

OMG! I am a Nana!

I'm in that postCon buzzing headspace where electrons are whizzing up and flying around in my head and I'm not sure I'm likely to make much sense. But if I don't get stuff down, I'm worried I'll forget it since tomorrow it's a different con entirely and then I will be incommunicado here till Thursday night.

Just back from J's going away party where I had a lovely time, mostly whispering snarkily and laughing loudly with looneymoth on the couch. And I was shown the "colour of sadness". I think essentially I'm like a 6 year old kid - I don't need drugs or alcohol, just a bunch of people I like - gets me the right kind of high, I guess. I met some of J's other friends and had to apologise to her because I didn't put them back the way I found them. Oops! (You're sick ... but funny.)

Also, I met N who had spotted my name on 2012 in Planet bookshop and recognised it only from having seen it on J's group emails. When I met him tonight he asked me as he was being introduced to me, "Are you the famous small press SF publisher?" What a lovely man! And it turns out that he has a stack of 15 or 20 issues of ASIM.

I gave looneymoth a lift there and back and got lost about 4 times, twice there and twice back. I had a splitting headache all afternoon and the brain just stopped doing spatial. Entirely. By the time we were heading home, we were in fits of laughter over it. It was just too sad. But I'd been telling her about my trip home last night where I had seen 3 kangaroos, at 11.30 at night (I was still in the metro area so that's kinda pretty rare). And suddenly I'd noticed that in trying to be very careful and not get sideswiped, I'd leant all the way forward and was peering over my steering wheel like an old granny driver. I feel too young to have experienced that! So tonight we had this uproaring conversation:

L: OMG! Where are we?! Was that Midland back there?
Me: I don't know! Is that a PRISON?!
L: Yes!
Me: Where are we?
L: OMG!! I think we're heading towards the Swan Valley.
Me: Oh NO! I've driven the wrong way. Again.
L: Hang on. I think if we chuck a left here ..
Sign reads: MORLEY
Me: We'll hit Morley.

No idea how that happened. I live not far from there. But I still managed to get off Tonkin Hwy the wrong way and head back up to the Airport.

Me: I've driven the wrong way!
L: And you're leaning forward again.
I sit back up straight
L: Would you like a cap?

My face hurt so much from laughing all the way home.

Willow

Femmeconne

So much to post about femmeconne and probably a lot that still needs to be filtered and processed in my head. I guess I wanted to post here about why I went and why I was too scared to go last year. I think it comes down to this idea that I had been holding close to my chest and feeling guilty about and yet ironically wasn't able to formulate the words and express it until having attended femmeconne on Friday night and talking to redbraids , callistra and mynxi . And that is, the idea of not being feminist enough. I have a whole other post about this, related to what I was mentioning in the post from last night and I want to sit down with a clear head and think it through before I post it. But I think one of the reasons I hadn't gone to femmeconne before was because I didn't think I would be "hardcore enough" or wouldn't really be up to discussing the "F word" for a whole weekend. And I was scared too about feeling intimidated - both by trying to enter a clique of women who had gone to the con several times before and knew the ropes and maybe may not let me into the circle and also of meeting new people and having to share personal things with perfect strangers.

Course, I like to live my life as a contradition - and what's what I post here if not sharing personal things with perfect strangers. And anyway, a stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet. Plus, in truth, I don't actually have much trouble sharing personal things with perfect strangers. And who was I kidding anyway? A weekend is actually not long *enough* for me to talk about women and women's issues. And since I knew several people going to femmeconne , I went because I knew they would let me in the circle. And I wanted to be able to spend a weekend hanging out with some of the women I love, who show me better (and less hard) ways to do things, who happily share the wisdom they have learned along the way, who kindly listen to my problems and offer solutions (or tea, depending on which is needed) and who help make my life more worth living.

And I had a really great time. I thoroughly enjoyed the space. I enjoyed being able to be in a space of women doing and saying awesome things. I enjoyed learning and hopefully offering something to others. I enjoyed being welcomed into the circle and in turn welcoming others when I could. And it wasn't remotely intimidating or scary and why did I take so long to go in the first place?

I have a lot in my head. I have a lot to think about - about myself, about feminist issues, about people and community issues and about how I can be a better member of the community. I really enjoyed the panel I was on because everyone opened up and so many ideas were shared about motivation and trust. There was so much to take away from it but I think one of the things that really struck me is how often we all beat ourselves up about what we suck at but never really credit ourselves with things we are good at or which we can do with ease. I've been thinking about that a lot. For example, I am really good at and love paper filing. Seriously, if you had a study that you had thrown 5 years of paperwork in and never went in and organised it, I would be really excited if you asked me to come in and sort out your taxes. You'd get an overly organised room with things found you never knew you'd lost and all your papers in alpabetical and chronological order. And I would thank YOU for the opportunity! Aren't you glad you now know that about me? I'm sure I could list a bunch of other things too.

So what's your "oh I love it and it comes so easily thing?" wouldn't it be cool to have a community network to draw on and reinforce each other's strengths