It’s been a crazy week for me here and today I just finished the 10 Day Master Cleanse, which I’m sure many of you have heard about via the various publicity it gets. I’d heard all about it, too and had many friends that had tried it over the years but I never, ever thought that I’d be able to go 10 days living on lemon juice and maple syrup. Guess what? I survived. Me, a total foodaholic who could never imagine even going one day without solid food. I can tell you this…it starts out pretty rough, but after day two or so you stop craving food and start to feel pretty good, more energized, and totally focused on finishing the cleanse. It’s rough…not being able to go out drink, and party with friends, but after years of toxifying my body with junk, I’m getting a new start. I dropped five pounds and feel ready to stop poisoning my body with junk foods that make me look and feel like crap. But no, I’m not going to stop drinking or smoking. I will, however, try to never eat crappy fast food ever again. I am not stopping at the McDonald’s drive-thru for anyone. Taco Bell, maybe, but not McDonald’s.
Last week I also obtained my yellow belt in Hapkido, a martial art I started practicing a few months ago. For martial arts aficionados, yes I know this is pretty low, but hey, it’s a start. I honestly didn’t think I could do it because I hadn’t had that much time to prepare and was pretty nervous, but they passed me despite my making a few errors. I tested in the “slow learner” category. I’ve wanted to learn martial arts for awhile now and it’s a pretty big confidence builder, but I will say I’m pretty timid at my level right now. I’m shy with the vocalizations and my kicks and punches are pretty shitty, but I imagine I’ll have to get it together if I want to keep testing for new belts. I do lack discipline in my life and this is a way to get it back. Maybe.
As a sex worker, I think it’s important that we set goals for ourselves. These two things may seem minor, but they were both decisions I had be mulling around for awhile and had lacked the motivation to follow through with until I finally convinced myself that I needed to do them for the betterment of my life. It’s very easy to get caught up in the whole “work lifestyle” of seeing clients in this line of work that you tend to ignore the fact that you may not be doing anything else with your life that makes you happy, or that will better prepare you for the future. Setting goals, whether they be long or short term, helps us gain more structure in our lives, which can oftentimes be so random and full of procrastination and uncertainty. Let’s face it…many sex workers have a lot of free time on their hands and spending it in front of the TV or feeling sorry about yourself just doesn’t get you anywhere.
I used to be a heavy pot smoker. Every day, several times a day I’d smoke up, gorge myself on food, and waste away in front of my TV waiting for my phone to ring. I worked primarily for escort agencies at this time, working the graveyard shift late at night. It was a really lonely time in my life and save for a few of my pot-smoking buddies, I had very little contact with people in the outside world. Sometimes I’d be too paranoid or baked to take the calls that came in, and I gained a lot of weight from getting the munchies all the time. During this time period, some pretty awful things happened to me, including getting evicted, getting arrested, and getting kicked out of numerous apartments because of my failure to pay rent. It wasn’t until i realized that I needed to get my life in order and stop waiting for things to happen and start making them happen.
I went back to college to finish my degree and stopped smoking pot, almost immediately upon registering for college. Much like the Master Cleanse, I don’t think I could do it. I had been a serious smoker for over five years and didn’t think I could phase it out of my life. I did. I also graduated from college a few years back and started working in a profession that I try to incorporate into my sex worker/activist life, but not really one that promises steady work. It was my choice to pursue something I loved rather than something that was “safe” and that, essentially, is how I live my life. I’m not interested in doing things that make me unhappy anymore. I’m interested in finding ways that I can improve my life, improve other people’s lives, and setting new goals for myself. Get rid of the things that make you unhappy, even if it is sex work itself, and find a new way to re-invent yourself. It’s the very least we can do to stay sane in this industry.
I have some other exciting goals and plans in store for this year, the first of which is the new monthly “Pleasure Salon” that I’m co-hosting with my new friend Clarisse Thorn, curator of the Sex-Positive Film Festival that’s been running at Hull House. This will be a monthly meet and greet, starting Tuesday April 7, for the various sex-positive communities in Chicago to come together in a casual setting and will be hosted at Villains Bar, near downtown. I’m working on a video for the awesome Leather Archives and Museum, on Chicago’s north side and hopefully finishing up some more videos for RLDC (help!). My other new friend Paige has asked me to write a column for her new website, Chicago-Independent-provider-network.com, which should be up in a month or so and I’m re-inventing my work personality to do something fun with clients that I’ve been wanting to do for quite sometime.
And then, of course, there’s that cute boy who’s been sexting me…