Last weekend, I attended CatalystCon, with a large group of sex bloggers, educators, workers, therapists, researchers, and the like. While I knew that this conference was going to be awesome, what I didn’t expect was for it to be life-changing. It acted as a catalyst for me at this point in my life, and I want to share with you how it did this, because it’s so important to me.
I want to make a difference in this world, and I want to do this through the realm of sexuality and sex education. I have known that this is my calling for a few years now, but there is no direct path to such a career. I often found myself pursuing other academic fields and tailor-fitting them to my interests. Because of this, I have a wide array of skills and education, but I never had a support system for the pursuit of my passions.
I cannot even begin to tell you how incredible this was–I finally found the group of people who not only support my goals, but they themselves also pursue them in their own unique ways, and on top of all of that, Tristan Taormino provided us with the basic guidelines to try to make our passions for change and sex education a reality.
After the entire weekend of discussions, panels and social networking, here’s what my gut told me. I felt inspired. I felt validated. I felt welcomed and needed. I felt like I belonged in this evolving, essential community.
I felt humbled.
It was the most encouraging environment to be in, and it couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. One of the most surprising aspects of the con was that a lot of issues that were steeping in the back of my mind were actually acknowledged aloud by others. Part of me hesitated to put voice to those concerns, and that’s why I haven’t discussed them on this blog yet. And yet there I was, listening to other educators and professionals talk about the topics I too found to be important. (Curious? I will discuss them on this blog in due course, and I will write more about CatalystCon too.)
It was so great to meet everyone that I did, and I hope in future CatalystCons I’ll be able to meet and get to know folks all that much more. Although I was terrified, I made it a point to introduce myself to at least a few of my heroes throughout the weekend: Tristan Taormino, Carol Queen, Robert Morgan Lawrence, and Rachel Kramer Bussel. (I can’t name drop everyone here! I’d inevitably leave someone out.) If you don’t know who these people are, I suggest you check them out, as they have been so inspiring to me. They were all great to meet and I hope to work with them in the future in some capacity.
The con also helped me discover new heroes and key people within the field. I even made some social and academic networks throughout the weekend as well, which was a really pleasant surprise.
As if the con wasn’t inspiring and educational and moving enough, Afternoon Tea with Carol and Robert was one of the most emotional talks I’ve ever been at. They moved me.
I found my calling. Finally. xoxo