Browse Category by moving on
Adventure, Life Changes, Motorhome, moving on, Mystery Box Show, Personal Blog, Roadtrip, RV Lifestyle, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex Workshops, Storytelling, Teaching Tour, Tiny House, Travel, Uncategorized

Surprise! It’s an Edna Update!

It is not yet a 100% done deal, but it is looking like I am going to be trading St. Edna the Sex Ed Mobile for a van. After getting multiple consultations, I’ve learned that a new engine for Edna would be $1200-1600, and I just don’t have that kind of money. As much as I don’t want to part with my baby RV, she’ll have a better life if she goes to a mechanic who knows how to get her running again and keep taking care of her. Besides, a van could be both my every day vehicle and a decent road trip mobile for when I go back out on tour (which I am hoping will happen in July).

I’m having lots of feelings about this, because getting Edna was a huge important chapter of my life and gave me freedom when I needed it most. Plus, the night she broke down was a night that has a lot of memories attached to it and marked the beginning of another chapter for me. So, saying goodbye to Edna feels more loaded than any other auto trade or sale I’ve ever done. Maybe I’m being too sentimental, but this feels like another significant marker in a year that has been filled with heartbreak, change, and learning to let go.

The sweet/good news is that the mechanic who will likely be getting Edna saw the bumper sticker on back and asked about it. So, I told him that I drove the country with Edna to teach sex education. He thought that was great, and he wants her to stay named Edna (which makes me feel a lot better about all of this, as stupid as that may sound). He also wants to leave the bumper sticker on and get a stack for his other cars, and he said it’ll help him talk to his kiddos easier about “the birds and the bees.”

BRB, crying.
divorce, Free Write, Life Changes, moving on, Personal Blog, Poly heartbreak, Relationships, Separation, Uncategorized

Divorce as a Movie

Divorce wouldn’t be so bad if it just felt like getting to the end of a movie you really enjoyed. Even if you are bummed the movie is over, you have the positive memories and the ways it made you feel and you can share the stories and learn from the characters and talk about it with other people and feel connected.

Instead, for me at least, divorce feels more like a movie I was working on (for ten years) that never got off the ground. Or maybe it did, but it was definitely not the movie I set out to create. Were there some really good scenes? Of course. But overall it didn’t manage to come together in a way that worked – it just left me wishing I could go back and try to create something better. Now I find myself disappointed (and heartbroken) that I invested in that particular project and put so much time and effort and heart into something that I can’t look at with pride and that I don’t think represents (or brought out) the best of who I am.

Anyway, I do not recommend, and would give divorce a very shitty score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Adventure, Career, Career Change, Life Changes, moving on, Personal Blog, Podcast, Sex, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Sex on the Brain, Sex Workshops, Sex-Positive Entertainment, Uncategorized

Thank you

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I thought I had made a really stupid choice to leave a great position at a great company (where I made a living wage) to follow my passions and become a (mega poor) full-time Sex Educator Extraordinaire. Lately my risks have seemed a little more like they are paying off though. I’m getting booked all over the place, selling out classes and shows, getting thousands of downloads on the podcast, and finally feeling more like a part of the community.

With the depression and anxiety I felt after the election, I almost gave up on my dream. I didn’t have to energy to actually do it, but I thought about looking for a “regular person job.” Then, and I don’t know exactly what happened or how, a couple days ago I broke open and a lot of grief rushed out. Then energy to move forward and kick some ass settled in. It’s like I got a giant slap in the face, but I am not complaining.

Anyway, thank to all of you supportive wonderful people who encouraged me to keep going. I’m not very good at being my own cheerleader, but your combined forces showed so much belief in me that maybe I finally started believing it too.

xoxo,

Amory Jane

Adventure, Intern, Life Changes, Motorhome, moving on, Podcast, RV Lifestyle, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Travel, Uncategorized

Hit and Run

Content note: This post describes a minor auto accident with vehicle damage (but no gruesome injuries).

On the night of October 5th, as I was driving home from the store to my new apartment, I was in an automobile accident. It was dark and pouring rain and I had a few IKEA boxes in the hatchback trunk area of my Honda Fit. My partner and I were at a stoplight, discussing how we would decorate our room, when we heard a very loud horn and then immediately felt the impact of another car crashing against us.

We were rear ended with the other car going full speed (45 mph), so I still don’t know how we walked away with only some rear bumper and hatchback door damage. Especially once I saw the other driver’s car. Their Nissan was severely damaged – both of the airbags deployed, the entire front bumper and hood were crunched up like a airbagsqueezebox, and the engine was smoking. I pulled off to the side of the road to exchange insurance information and check on the other driver. He pulled over slightly behind me, still in the road, got halfway out of his car, and began to yell at me like it was my fault that he hit me.

I asked for the driver’s info and took out my own insurance card, but he said he didn’t have his on him. He claimed it was at his house up the street and said we needed to follow him there. I told him I wasn’t super comfortable with that and would prefer to at least get his contact info to follow up, and that’s when he got back in his car and drove off. His airbags were puffed out like Jiffy Pop foil and his headlights were barely hanging on, but still, he sped away.

Hit and run. This was the first time it has ever happened to me and I felt confused and angry and unsure of what to do next. Fortunately, Matias was there and caught a partial plate number along with the make and model of the vehicle. We drove the short distance home (keeping our eyes open for the other driver’s messed up car) and called the police and insurance company when we arrived at our new place.

No word yet from the cops or the insurance folks, but I am happy to report that my car is still drivable and the IKEA boxes were unharmed. I, unfortunately, have whiplash, a headache, and back pain. I also had to miss a couple days of work and take my move-in process more slowly than I would prefer, so this is certainly another large and expensive inconvenience.

Speaking oednarainf large and expensive inconveniences, as you may have read on Intern Courtney’s recent post, St. Edna the Sex Ed Mobile bit the dust as we were driving into Portland on the final day of my national sex ed teaching tour. The good news is that Edna got us close to home and didn’t die out in the middle of the New Mexico desert. The bad news is that her engine is completely shot and she is not able to be driven right now.

I am distraught and very anxious about Edna. She isn’t just my mascot, she is a huge part of my traveling sex education business and she was my home and mode of transportation for four and a half months. This is a huge loss and it creates a lot of major questions:

-Should I try to get Edna fixed up even though it will cost me a lot of money I do not have?

-Should I organize a fundraising event and/or crowdfunding campaign to get her a new engine?

-Should I focus on putting in more internal cosmetic work on Edna and rent her out to tourists as a cute and affordable Airbnb option? (And not even worry about her engine right now?)

-Should I lay Edna to rest aka sell her as a “mechanic’s special” and use that small amount of money to go toward a teardrop trailer that I can customize and haul with my Honda Fit (after that gets repaired, of course)? Can I even afford a tiny trailer right now?

I wish I had plenty of time to weigh all of the options, but I have more classes to teach and travel plans coming up in November, so I have to figure it out soon. Eep!

doll-1264034_960_720It is hard to not feel cursed lately; like someone has a voodoo doll of me/my vehicles and is gleefully stabbing away at them. However, I know that this is just another setback I will survive. Everyone likes to tell me that this means good things are coming, that the crap has reached a tipping point and soon it will crap somewhere else and only rain goodness and financial success upon me. I sure do hope all of those optimists are right. 😉

For now, I am focused on moving into my new apartment and enjoying life off the road for a couple weeks. I will be using this time to launch my podcast, get more sponsors, and work on a highly entertaining top secret project that will be revealed on my first episode. Even though stressful things have been piling up, wonderful things are on the horizon. That is what keeps me going.

Well, that and the new Pumpkin & Spice Triscuit. Call me a “basic bitch” and make fun of me all you want for loving on pumpkin spice, but these little cracker buddies are subtle and delicious and pair really well with cheddar cheese, fig jam, and pretty much everything in my cabinets. Let me have this simple pleasure, y’all. I need it.

Until next time,

Amory Jane

P.S. I had a great time at kink camp and can’t wait to write/talk about it! Please stay tuned for a future post about my four day intimate kink retreat and all of the new marriage-wedding-husband-wife-whip-lash-t-shirtsthings I got to try, learn, and teach!

Adventure, divorce, Free Write, Life Changes, moving on, Personal Blog, Relationships, Roadtrip, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, self-love, Separation, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex on the Road, Teaching Tour, Travel, Travel Blog, Uncategorized

Free Write from Love’s Travel Stop

Wet with sweat. Love’s Travel Stop says it’s 101 degrees in Lost Hills, California.

I’ve been through the desert, the dunes, up and down mountains. Cascades, Rockies, Sierra Nevadas.

I expected the ocean to bring relief. I had been dreaming of its salty cool breeze between my thighs.

Instead I found sand. Tiny pieces of glass and shell whipped against my body again and again.

No aftercare provided. Thighs hot and raw and scratched.

And still, four more hours of driving.

“Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper came on the radio and my heart became a crater.

I felt the dread of sinking but I managed to balance on the rim.

Today marks the first time this year I have heard that song and did not cry.

I listened to the end, windows unrolled, heat on every inch of my skin.

One hour down, three to go, temperatures slowly dropping with the pink setting sun.  

My crater heart fills with water, my source of life. My source of near death.

I hold still. No crashing waves. I breathe.

I push the accelerator.

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Adventure, Career, Career Change, divorce, Life Changes, moving on, Personal Blog, Relationships, Roadtrip, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, self-love, Separation, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Teaching Tour, Travel, Travel Blog, Uncategorized

<3 Wyoming <3

www.CGPGrey.com

Wyoming is a beautiful state and we came across some serious magic there.

On Friday, my two travel companions (Amari and Amber) and I drove from Idaho for over seven hours, through the mountains and high desert then on unpaved roads through the dark without having any real idea where we were going. Eventually we discovered an isolated but perfectly set up campsite with wood for a fire already in a pile nearby. It felt like a gift or a prize that was waiting for us after a very difficult day where Amari lost her wallet, phone, and passport and Edna decided that she wanted to temporarily shut down when she was put in reverse. We needed a victory, and finding an empty, free campground in the middle of Wyoming after a long journey felt like we had won.

Since we were basically in the middle of nowhere, we saw the entire sky, including bright clearstar constellations and the Milky Way. Seeing our galaxy made us feel itty bitty and filled with wonder. We realized we were truly newborns on the cosmic calendar; so young compared to the age of our universe. We felt insignificant but comforted. We felt introspective and open to possibilities. I even saw two shooting stars! I took that as a sign that we were exactly where we were meant to be and I needed to allow myself to fully embrace my new life plan and let go of the things from my past that were holding me back. 

It was a new moon and I had just started bleeding. In fact, all of us were bleeding, even though two of us weren’t expecting that to happen. For whatever reason, that felt important/symbolic. Amber gave Amari a tarot reading that helped Amari find closure and shed her former self. It was so moving and empowering for her that she ended the night by shaving off all of her hair.

shaved

While that was happening, I felt called to be alone in Edna. I had my own healing to do. I stared out of the cab window at the vast night sky and felt like I was in a spaceship. It felt good to be alone. I was happy to be with me, in nature, feeling tiny yet connected. I wrapped myself in a blanket and caressed my arms for warmth. My skin was cool, smooth, and sensitive. It felt incredibly nice to be touched, and it dawned on me that I was the one doing the touching. I was doing this thing called “self-soothing” that I have struggled with for the past few years, especially when I was angry with my body over infertility and chronic pain. I continued to hug myself tightly and rub and squeeze my arms. My body felt less sore and uncomfortable than it had in a long time. I sobbed and let the grief and stress come out with it. I rested my hands on my abdomen and sent gentle energy to my uterus, which I had cursed so many times over the past three years. I breathed deeply and slowly and thought warm and compassionate thoughts, and I let my mind fill with happy memories. I imagined my lover’s embrace from afar and pictured his sweet smile, and my heart swelled with love.

Just then, Amari and Amber walked into Edna. They checked in on me and I checked in on them, and we all agreed something magical was happening there in the rolling sage grasslands of Wyoming. I rubbed Amari’s fresh and fuzzy bald head and we all expressed our love and gratitude toward each other. Amber sat down on the cushioned bench in Edna and Amari crawled into the overcab bed with me. We took all of Edna’a curtains down and turned off the lights so we could feel like we were floating through space. With no light pollution we couldn’t even see our hands in front of our faces, and we commented on how it was a darker darkness than we had ever experienced. Then some really special energy kicked in.

We stayed up for a couple hours more, laughing until we had tears streaming down our faces and our stomachs were cramping. We bonded and wrote songs and poured out all of our album ideas into Amari’s handheld recorder. We talked about how we felt like sisters, like a coven, like a little family. Amari pointed out that our coven would be complete if only we had four members, but Amber wisely noted that St. Edna was our fourth. Then we wrote a song about Edna as the fourth Beatle and fell peacefully asleep.

We woke up to a storm, heavy rain pouring down around us, and the sound of the wind and water beating against Edna’s fiberglass body. We were safe though, and the storm passed just as quickly as it had arrived. The next time we awoke was to a pink and orange sunrise, and we finally got to see the wonderful place around us that we had discovered in the dark.

wyomingcollage
Photos by Amber

We walked down to the Teton Reservoir and took a few photos then said our goodbyes. We left Wyoming that afternoon feeling revived, more creative, and closer than ever.

Adventure, Career Change, divorce, Life Changes, moving on, Personal Blog, Relationships, Roadtrip, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, self-love, Separation, Sex Ed Mobile, Teaching Tour, Tiny House, Travel, Uncategorized

The City of Roses (and Thorns)

Ten years ago, on August 31, 2006, I moved to Portland, Oregon. I had spent the summer of 2006 heartsick, couch surfing, and working as a nanny in Indiana. I had portland-415957_960_720gotten out of a long-term relationship around February of that year, graduated from college that May, and found myself ready to move out of the state where I was born and raised. I needed a change, but I couldn’t decide where to go or what to do with myself.

I had interviewed for two very different opportunities in two very different parts of the country, and had been offered both jobs. One was to move to New York City and work with Teach for America and the other was to move to Florida and work as a camp counselor for a year. One would have required me to live in a giant city, in an assigned apartment with other teachers. The other would have required me to live in a teepee next to a lake. While they both sounded like amazing (and kind of terrifying) life adventures, neither housing option would allow me to bring my dog.

My dog, an old blind pug named Buckeye, was my best friend. That little buddy and I had been through a big breakup and homelessness together. He was with me the day I moved out of the house I shared with my co426074_636536074858_1349282714_nllege sweetheart, he was there with me when I decided to skip my college graduation ceremony and go camping, and he kept me warm by curling up at the very bottom of my sleeping bag. There was no way I could abandon him. I had to find a place where my dog was welcome, where I fit in better than I did in Indiana, and where I could get a fresh start.

I knew that place was out there, but I hadn’t yet found it. I asked my older sister, who had done quite a bit of traveling, if she had any suggestions. She suggested I visit her in Portland to think about my next steps in a new environment. Of course, as soon as I spent my first day in Portland, I fell in love with it. I think she knew that would happen when she invited me there. That tricky bitch. 😉

I could write a novel about my life in the Rose City. I have experienced a lot during my ten years there; the highest highs and the lowest lows of my life have all been in Portland. In a lot of ways, it has been a wonderful place to call home and I am grateful that I experienced the majority of my twenties there. However, I have a complicated relationship with my city now, as do many people who have lived there for a while. Oregon is a lovely state filled with natural beauty in every direction, Portland is a special city with gorgeous green parks and lots of rivers and bridges and art and rain, but it is not paradise. In fact, it has some major problems that seem to be getting worse. Portland is becoming more and more expensive by the month, gentrification and overpriced housing are pushing out long-time residents, beloved businesses and buildings that once gave the city character are being demolished and replaced with pretentious condos that most Portlanders could never afford. In many ways, the city is losing the charm and uniqueness that put it on the map in the first place. Homelessness, the rapidly rising cost of living, and a lack of jobs have already caused many people to leave, and it certainly contributed to my decision to buy an RV and convert it into my tiny house on wheels/sex ed mobile.

When grief and the end of my marriage were added to the list of things I was dealing with in Portland, it became obvious to me that I needed to get away from my city. So, it seems fitting that on the ten year anniversary of moving to Oregon, I left the state. Yesterday we crossed the border into Idaho, and today we continue heading east. We plan on visiting the Craters of the Moon, Lava Hot Springs, and having another night in the woods to think and heal and reflect.

Looking forward to the famous Wyoming night sky.

Xoxo,

Amory Jane

Adventure, Life Changes, Motorhome, moving on, Personal Blog, Roadtrip, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Teaching Tour, Tiny House, Travel, Travel Blog, Uncategorized

Chapter 2: Life on the Road

Hello from the road! St. Edna the Sex Ed Mobile and I are officially on tour!

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Two of my dear friends, Amari and Amber, have joined the first half of this adventure with me and I am thrilled! We have been friends for over nine years but have never taken a trip together. It’s only day one so I know that doesn’t say much, but so far everything is great and we travel very well together. We are all sensitive souls who seek to understand others, who love to sing, love to be creative, love nature, and who like to feel connected. We also all appreciate Edna and the hard work she has put in today, driving up steep mountains, through deserts, and around rock falls. Thanks, St. Edna!

We had a hectic start to the day and there were a few hiccups (the bar in Edna’s clothes closet came detached while driving, the table broke, and Amari almost forgot her passport in Portland) but we hit the road and managed to arrive safely to our first stop about 90 minutes before sunset. Our destination was the John Day Fossil Beds: Painted Hills Unit.

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The Painted Hills are one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon and I can see why. They were incredibly cool looking, almost like a Martian landscape. Highly recommended for anyone heading through central-eastern Oregon.

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We were lucky enough to find a convenient campsite about an hour away from the Painted Hills where we could build a campfire, eat a meal, rest our bodies and rest Edna, AND have electrical hookups so I could write this blog post before bed. 😉

It was a lovely first day and I look forward to tomorrow’s plans, which will be driving out of Oregon and into Idaho for more camping (and perhaps some local karaoke). I don’t haven’t any teaching gigs or conferences scheduled during these first few days of the tour, so my focus will be on bonding with my pals, seeking adventure, and doing more adjusting to life on the road.

Looking forward to continuing this new chapter and sharing my journey with all of you.

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Amory Jane

 

Adventure, Career, Career Change, Life Changes, Motorhome, moving on, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, self-love, Sex, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Travel, Uncategorized

She Bop Love

As I am getting the details worked out for my upcoming travel adventures with Edna, I am realizing that I am booking just as many learning experiences as teaching experiences. Hooray for knowledge! I can’t wait to soak it all in and use everything I learn on the road to be the best educator, partner, coach, and sex positive entertainer I can be.

shebopToday is my last day as the manager at She Bop and am having a lot of feelings about it. I love my job, I adore my coworkers, and my bosses are the best bosses I have ever had. Working for a company I believe in, who also believes in me, and who I know makes a positive difference in the world has been a fantasy of mine since I joined the labor force at age thirteen. The fact that everyone in the She Bop family also kicks ass and has similar feminist values has been amazing. Working for a small business that is active in the community, gives back, and is filled with queers and femmes and tender hearts, allows me to be myself and feel good about what I do. I don’t have to work for a big corporation. I don’t have to work for “the man.” I can be openly polyamorous and ethically slutty and it gives me street cred. Y’all, I made a patriarchy-smashing porn (with a coworker!) for HUMP! film fest and my colleagues went out and voted for it and my employers congratulated our Best in Show win with an excited and proud post on social media. There is no way any of my previous places of employment would have done anything close to that. In fact, I would have gotten fired at my last job if they found out I made a film for HUMP!

HUMP! WinnersPortland will still be my home base. I will be here often; teaching, writing, recuperating, and spending time with people I love. I will continue being the Education Coordinator for She Bop, will still present my regular classes and host events, and I will cover shifts when I am in town. I know I will always be part of the Team Bop family and will very actively be promoting She Bop on the road and on social media . Still, this work has been a big part of my identity. I have been with She Bop for over five years and was the first sales associate they hired. I’ve watched the company grow tremendously, they’ve definitely watched me grow too, and now I hope we can continue to help each other grow more and more.

This is such a huge change for me and a giant risk. It could all blow up in my face – who knows? I have to try though. I have to put myself out there, talk to people about sex and shame and emotions and relationships and life, and allow myself to pursue a dream. I have to passionately throw myself into something, and this is the best something I can imagine.

It is very hard to give up a steady job I enjoy (especially one that is pretty darn perfect for me) for something that is filled with a bunch of question marks and no guarantees. Honestly, as I type this, I am wondering if I am making the right choice. But, there is only one way to find out. I’m hitting that road and doing this thing! This baby bird is birdready to fly. I’m going to push myself and heal myself and prove to myself that I deserve this and can pull this off. I know I am a good sex educator. I have the knowledge, the experience, and the drive to always learn more. I know that I can be funny and entertaining and truly help people. I know that as much as I enjoyed my 5+ years working full time at the shop, I have an opportunity to do something new and bold but that is really a continuation/extension of the work I have already started.

The owners of She Bop gave me some lovely parting gifts this morning: a big box of wine, trail mix, gas gift cards, a first aid kit, and (my favorite part) a very kind and personal card. I may or may not have cried a little (of course I did). Working a job you love, with people you respect, in an industry you know is important, and doing work you know is meaningful? I feel like that is pretty much the Millennial Dream (you know, except without the massive student loan debt). I have been very fortunate to work here over the years and am grateful for everything I have learned and all of the opportunities I have been given. Now, I am looking forward to beginning the next stage as a national sex educator and making Team Bop proud.

Giant hugs and thanks to my She Bop family (Jeneen, Evy, Wyatt, Sid, Alyssa P, Alyssa K, Gretchen, Nicolette, Kate,  & Courtney)  and everyone who has encouraged me along the way!

Adventure, DIY, Life Changes, Motorhome, moving on, Personal Blog, Renovation, RV Lifestyle, Sex, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Tiny House, Travel, Uncategorized

Up and Running

Bustlwhirle. Whirl. Hurly-burly. That is how my life has been for the past two weeks. I’ve slept in a few different beds, dog sat a few different dogs, felt a lot of confusing feelings, and memorized the lyrics and harmonies to over a dozen songs that I will be performing live this weekend. I have also been working on my RV conversion (St. Edna the Sex Ed Mobile) whenever possible.

After a few hiccups, Edna finally has running water in addition to having power! The only things not working yet are my stove and shower, and I think that is just because the propane tank is empty. Once I get a free weekend, I should be able to take care of that problem fairly easily. The key is actually getting a free weekend.

Edna is close to being ready to hit the road though. Just the propane, a few more repairs, and a new inverter, and we should be ready to head out of Portland in mid to late August for another sex education teaching tour!

Where should I go?!