Committing to Celibacy (and art!)

Selfie in the Black Canyon park

Ok, it’s probably not the topic you expected to read on The SpokenCoast Project, but this project is all about inspiring hope, right? Right??

What’s hopeful about celibacy? Becoming closer to “god” if there is one, or whatever your spiritual beliefs may/may not be? No risk of pregnancy or STDs? Lots of extra energy?

These are all possibilities, to be sure. But, none of these reasons are why I’m committing to refrain from romantic relations. I already have a boyfriend. In fact, I’m married. I’m married to The SpokenCoast Project.

In recent days my mind has been “fly-fishing” thoughts. I’m standing in the stream that is my life, looking back at the rocks and rapids I just came through with my boyfriend. I “catch and release” thoughts. When I catch one, I mull it over, and drop it back into the water when I feel satisfied. Sometimes I catch the same thought over and over again, by accident.

One huge realization from this process was seeing myself become afraid to commit to my boyfriend. Sure, I had the usual insecurities and fears we all have when entering into a new relationship. Somehow, my behavior went beyond that, though. I overcame those usual things, and had really given my heart over to this person. It all came crashing down after my brother Mickey’s death anniversary.

It’s the same struggle I have every time I go outside to enjoy myself. It was the struggle I faced while on sabbatical in Arizona. I experienced the same doubts and fears every time my boyfriend and I were together. The gnawing, relentless question hounding me was, “What about the project? What about all those videos? What about going back to Alaska this year? What about…”

During the “time off” me and the man agreed to these last weeks, I dove into an edit session, and emerged with a great video. It was a triumphant moment; a huge accomplishment.

I haven’t felt this satisfied since I left Alaska in 2011.

It was a sense that I was back to doing what I am meant to be doing in this world: allowing hope to flourish, offering support to myself and others, providing a platform where folks can help one another.  Completing the video helped me more than I expected. I was surprised at the lightness I felt. I know now it was worth. I was feeling worthwhile. I felt like I contributed something positive and good into the world.

I don’t want to stop, not ever.

So…you, see. I’m already married. I don’t have time to go run off and play with other people. I don’t have time for the distraction of the bedroom. Certainly the last few months were fun and lovely and glorious and juicy and more. But, I discovered I have a fantastic ability to procrastinate when something shiny and more “fun” is dangling in front of my nose.

When I put off this project, I’m only hurting myself.

A dam of tremendous frustration burst the moment that video was published. I don’t want to keep frustrating myself. If I don’t have the ability to balance romance with this project, it’s romance that has to go.

I’ve learned a lot over the last few weeks. Certainly, nobody wants to live a solitary life. Being connected to one another is what makes life so wonderful! I love the connections I’ve made in my life, and crave them more than ever.

At the moment, romantic connection is just too slippery for me. I lose myself, and lose focus on what’s most important to me: this project. Unless the person who wants to be with me is willing to take second fiddle to my work on this project, which most dudes would not do, then it won’t work. This is the “tortured” life of an artist. I accept it.

So, at least for a while, celibacy and a break from dating are what’s on my personal “prix fixe” menu. The sex toy industry is my friend. It’s all good.

Onwards to the next interview!

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