1. My mom is almost a one-year survivor of brain cancer. It’s been a really intense year. She’s doing pretty well. Her last few MRIs indicated no change. The MRI in November indicated the tumor had shrunk. Considering how aggressive her type of tumor is, this is all very good.
  2. Beau and I moved to the greater Atlanta area for his new job. It’s nice being able to tell GT where we live. I’ve previously lived in areas that were not as anonymous as Atlanta. So if there are any Atlanta meet-ups, count me in! I only have two friends here, so I would like some more, please.
  3. Last night I realized something about the college friends with whom I’ve stayed in touch, or with whom I’ve reconnected. Obviously I mean a little more than the occasional birthday greeting or congrats for career milestones/marriage/babies. All of these friends with whom I have real conversations are a) creative people b) feminists c) both. And group a is pretty small. When I was in college, I had many close friends who were definitely not feminists, or who accept the label but weren’t outspoken about it. Somehow, I’m no longer close with any of them. I definitely wouldn’t say it’s been intentional. After you graduate, you all go your separate ways. I moved to France for two years, and honestly, it’s really really hard to maintain a large number of close long-distance friendships. In fact, I did remarkably well with the number of close long-distance friendships I did keep! But moving to the greater Atlanta area has given me the chance to reconnect with three college friends in person... and they’re all feminists. I think others probably live in this area because the greater Atlanta area is obviously freaking huge. But I end up wanting to spend time with all the feminists. It’s not like I require my friends to be die-hard feminists. In many of my relationships, I’m happy to be the educator. But somehow, since graduating 6 years ago, I’ve slowly disconnected with my non-feminist friends.
  4. Speaking of feminist friends, I’m beyond the moon about reconnecting with one I’ll call Cassie. Out of all the friends with whom I’d slowly grown apart, she is one of the three I regret the most. My best friend Rose and I were really close with Cassie and Cassie’s college girlfriend. The four of us hung out all the time. Even though I was a closeted bisexual at the time (or maybe because I was a closeted bisexual), I had a lot of internalized heteronormative ideas, even while I argued for marriage equality and tore apart biblical arguments against same-sex relationships. My heart was already in the right place, but Rose, Cassie, and Cassie’s girlfriend all set me on the path to who I am today. (Groupthink helped a lot too, more recently, just FYI). Anyway, so Cassie and I had dinner a few weeks ago, and it was instantly like old times. We hadn’t seen each other in almost six years ago, but we fell right back into our old patterns of talking and laughing for hours. I have missed that SO much. Some of my best memories from college were just randomly hanging out with her and losing track of time. And you know she’s a good friend because of all the stuff she was willing to try because I liked it. Like she went to a frat party with me once, and at Halloween, she asked for my help to dress up like a sorority girl (which meant she borrowed all my clothes). So we had dinner, and I thought for sure we’d end up hanging out maybe two hours. 3 1/2 hours later... it was getting late, and we both had work the next morning. Yeah, we spent time catching up on our jobs, our love lives, etc., but honestly, we mostly discussed feminist issues and made amazing feminist jokes that I just couldn’t do with other people. Either other people would think it was okay for them to be heterosexist as a joke, or they just wouldn’t understand our references. Like we cracked that she’s the perfect example of abstinence-only education because she’s still a virgin. And that’s really only okay to say in the context of blasting purity culture and abstinence-only education, with the full understanding that no duh she’s had sex, just not with men. And I sure wouldn’t make that joke with just any LGBTQ+ person, but I can with her, and pretty much only her. We made jokes like that all night long, and I’ve MISSED feminist humor so much. I didn’t even realize I was missing it until we hung out. Yes, I like being a source of feminist information for my friends, but I need to spent time with people who know as much or even more about feminism than I do.
  5. Speaking of being a source of feminist inspiration... y’all helped me out ages ago to brainstorm Feminism 101 topics. I write these on my blog under my own name. Email me at virginconfessions20s [at] gmail [dot] com if you want a link. So far I’ve covered definitions, my own experiences with everyday sexism, privilege, intersectionality, and rape culture.
  6. TRIGGER WARNING SEXUAL ASSAULT My latest 101 post was on rape culture. Since then, one friend has contacted me privately to confide that she was raped 5 years ago. A fellow blogger commented publicly that she was sexually harassed all through middle and high school, and then she was raped in college. I’ve been very loud on the Internet about promoting consent and advocating for survivors of sexual assault, for about four years. And I’ve become the keeper of these stories, from Internet friends and real-life friends around the globe. While I’m glad that I’ve been able to help, even if just by listening or by reassuring these women that their sexual assaults were NOT their faults, I hate hate hate the fact that they need me. I hate that they don’t just need me as one of many supportive people, but that so many of them have been blamed or rejected by their friends and family. I’ve broken down into sobs on more than one occasion. No one should ever be sexually assaulted, but if they are, they should feel safe talking to their friends and family about it. It makes me so mad how many people still want to blame survivors of sexual assault.