Purpose and Change

campfireToday, as I pack to leave for my relatively isolated summer camp, I’ve been asking myself the same questions I ask every three to four months while preparing to leave one place for another:

What have I learned here in this place? Is there anything I learned about myself while here that I can work on improving as I move on to a new season of work? Can I be a better friend, coworker, or person for the people I’m about to meet?

I came into this season of work very comfortable with myself and who I am, and I wanted that to show in my conversations, actions, and choices. I also wanted it to show when I offered friends advice or challenged their misconceptions with questions. At times, I think it’s possible that my openness with my lifestyle can make people uncomfortable, and I’ve been thinking about ways in which I can be comfortable and open without being offensive.

But, it’s hard. Sexuality is often automatically thought of as offensive in itself. As I think about whether and how to censor myself, I also think about the large number of people who have, in one way or another, informed me that my own openness about sexuality and encouragement of others to own their own sexuality has, indeed, inspired them to explore, question, celebrate, and talk with others, posing questions to people I wouldn’t be able to pose questions to, because I don’t know them. The journey and discovery has made many of my friends and acquaintances happier people who understand themselves better, and perhaps they’ve managed to pass that on to others.

I know that I can’t please everyone, and as someone who enjoys discussing a topic often considered sensitive, I may wind up pleasing less people rather than more. But, this isn’t a numbers game. I’m not trying to win masses over. I think that, of the many things I’ve learned this season, one that I’m going to remember the most is that huge differences can be made for individuals if you stop worrying about making a difference for a huge number of individuals. For those that know “The Starfish Story,” it seems cliche, but when you consider that I’m applying this to allowing people to think about their sexuality, I feel forgiveness for the cliche is warranted.

Back to packing I go; it will likely be a couple months before I post anything substantial, so have a great summer, and keep being your sexy self!

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2 Comments

  1. I think perhaps as you evolve and mature this summer Shannon, as well as through the years, these questions will become less urgent(?) — “it’s not a numbers game” but that doesn’t minimize the NEED for us to de-stigmatize sexuality. Intense sexuality, I believe, needs to carry just as much weight & significance in relationships (well-balanced flexibility) as all the other aspects between lovers.

    Have a super summer!

    Reply
    • Perhaps. I also recognize that, to an extant, I am who I am, and I am going to say something if and when I feel the need to say something. This might, for example, be when I hear people being sex-negative. I just don’t want to shut out the perspectives of others who might better inform m perspective, is all.

      Reply

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