So there are a few conventions/conferences that I would really like to attend in the next year or so.
In the past, I’ve only attended (1) Convergence 8 (a fabulous and soul-restoring goth get-together that was – YAY – held in Montreal in 2002), (2) the first Canadian National Pagan Conference (Gaia Gathering) in Edmonton (where I had a lot of financial help, since I was presenting in a couple of areas and got a scholarship to help cover my food and accomodations), and (3) a couple of Leather Dyke events (Spring Fling and Unholy Harvest), both of which have spent most of their history in Ottawa (so I didn’t have to worry about the cost of food/transportation/accomodation while attending), but which are now held in Montreal and Toronto, respectively. I’ve also been to the Rainbow Health Ontario conference (hinto: call for proposals is now), but I work for them, and so it doesn’t really count from a financial perspective.
This year, for the first time, I’m going to be attending the FPAs in Toronto, including the Feminist Porn Conference – which has a huge number of panels and presentations that I really, really, REALLY hope don’t conflict with each other. That said, seeing as I’m attending while wearing a number of different, albeit often overlapping, hats… there will probably be a few places where I need to make some hard decisions.
Regardless of that, though, my excitement about this conference/convention, combined with what-all the twittersphere had to say about CatalystCon East, has got me thinking hard about attending both #ccon and one of the winter-scheduled Dark Oddyssey (either Surrender or Winterfire) conventions in the next year, year-and-a-half. I love the way both of those Cons blend different areas of interest for me – mixing kink and religious practice with sexwork and polyamoury; mixing accademics and activism with pornography and relationships – so I want to attend them, partially to see if they live up to my expectations (I hope so, but I also expect so), but mostly just to revel in the stew of it all. 🙂
When I said this to Ghost, she said “Well… Why don’t you?” and I answered, immediately, “I can’t afford to”. Just like that.
And then she reminded me that I could.
And she’s right. By the grace of one of my ancestors, I can. But the mere thought of doing so scares the heck out of me (to put it very mildly) because, typically, the way I hang onto money is to forget that I have it. To hide it in a sock under the matress and then attempt to forget that the sock is even there. I’m a bit like a squirrel hiding nuts in the hopes that I forget their exact location and so can only access them if I’m willing to do the work of hunting through every nook and cranny where they might have been stashed. (I do this with ice cream, too, although it’s not nearly so effective). I’m scared to death that if I start thinking of 4-didget-price-tag[1] events as “accessible” (to me, at least), I’ll start thinking of them as normal-accessible rather than as a “sometimes food”.
I mean, yes, I get all that stuff about how, if you want to build a reputations as, say, an internationally renouned bondage model, you have to start out by either (a) having a friend in charge of hiring the models for X photo spread in Y well-known fetish publication; or (b) getting your ass on the train and booking paid shoots all across the country in order to get your face/body/reputation out there. I get it that if you want to change your financial/social/physical “set point”, you have to start acting[2] like you’re already at it. I get that if I want to push my life in a particular dirrection, I have to first convince myself (or fake-it-til-I-make-it) that said direction is feasable and attainable. (I know. Half of this talk sounds like it should be on Urban Meliad, rather than here).
None the less, I have a really rough time convincing myself that it’s okay for me to spend large (for a given value of “large” that tends to fluctuate depending on my income) amounts of money on, well, anything at all, let alone something that will benefit me long-term but maybe seems frivolous (or even just “frivolous”) in the moment.
Things to think about and unpack, no question.
Ms Syren.
[1] Four didgets meaning for registration PLUS food, accomodation, and travel expenses. But still. O.O
[2] For a given value of “acting”. Don’t do anything stupid, kids.