Finding My Footing At CatalystCon

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Long, long ago in a city far, far away…

Oh yeah, so I went to CatalystCon West in September. This was my 2.5th Catalyst (only partially counting East where I was so sick I only made it to half of the talks and nothing else).

So aside from starting to get a more confident footing at this conference and not being there with the large crew I had been with in the past, I told myself that I’d get out of my comfort zone and do more with my weekend. It really worked out well I’m happy to say.
My other big goal was to survive/succeed at my first time speaking at ANY conference!

I guess I’ll run through some highlights in no particular order then:

The biggest moment obviously, was the panel I was on (you can find the audio on the GentlePerverts Social Club Episode #7)
Despite some serious anxiety running up to it and a lack of sleep, it went surprisingly well! I had only done a couple of podcasts with the lovely crew
but we gelled quite well. And I think it was not only informative but hopefully a bit fun too.
I’m happy to say we will be reprising my role on the panel at the next Catalyst Midwest!

Another big moment was finally pinning Reid Mihalko down for a few minutes to do a quick interview on his origins for GPSC (see Episode #7 linked above)! That was really fun and he’s always an awesome person to chat with.
Speaking of Reid, the networking event that he ran easily eclipsed any that I’d been to at a professional event, ever. It was made into a sort of game but it really made me not only synthesize my self promotion down to a brief, digestable few sentences, but got me talking to a lot more people than I would have gone up to on my own.
I can’t wait to see all of these new people more…

I also met the lovely Erin Kennedy and found out all about her ventures and path that brought her to Catalyst. Definitely check out her site, sexfortherest.com!
And thanks to meeting Erin, she gave me the heads up and a group of us found ourselves at Bawdy Storytelling on Sunday night! I had heard clips from the RISK! podcast many times and really wanted to see it. I was pumped Dixie was doing one in LA after the end of the conference.

Oh and it goes without saying that a weekend full of sex educators may have included some sexy times, too…

In the end, I was very glad that I spent the extra night on Sunday to decompress with people. It’s a really emotionally and socially intense weekend and that time to be more relaxed around friends is a great way to prepare going back into the post-con world.

I’ve mentioned that my goal was to get a better vibe of the direction I wanted to go in the educator realm. I had been somewhat seriously looking at MPH and Sex Therapist programs/routes but the Sex Educator Bootcamp with Tristan Taromino really opened my mind in terms of going my own route. I’ve settled on bulking up on some small bits of education while I relaunch my site with a new direction soon. Depending on how that goes, I’ll consider a masters program further down the line…

Anyway, Catalyst Con is coming to Chicago in April! I’m trying my best to get everyone I know who is local to check it out…not just to see me but also to see all of the other awesome panels and meet some great educators.

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