Tag Archives: living out loud

The Fear of Moving On


One of my guiltiest pleasures is my addiction to the CBS series The Mentalist. I’ve had a girlie crush on Simon Baker for 20 years, and there’s something about a smart, cynical, fun-loving, light-hearted genius crimesolver that taps into my childhood passion for Encyclopedia Brown and the Hardy Boys. (We’ll get you yet, Bugs Meany.)

And you thought you knew me.

Somewhere deep in the caverns of my dust-ridden closet sits a box of past-life mementos that may, in fact, hold the “Police Kid” ID cards and badges my brother and I made when we were 7 & 9, in an effort to keep the order in our very boring white little verge-of-’80s suburban ‘hood.

Ahh, me in my seven-year-old lisp: “Thtop, sthpeeding car!”

If I was a detective, I’d totally be a chill, happy, funny brainiac like Patrick Jane, not a coke-addled-and-moody one like Sherlock Holmes.

So, this morning I found myself wrapped in thought as my TiVoed episode closed out. Backstory? Baker’s character “Jane” turned to crime-solving after his wife and daughter were killed. This week is the first time they’ve opened the possibility of him moving on after his wife, when he finally feels the nebulous sparks of chemistry for a mysterious smart chick involved in the crime-solving.

Oh, how dramatic! That’d make an excellent TV show, huh? I know, it’s cliché. But I can’t be smart all the time, dude.

Naturally, the episode got me thinking about the idea of “moving on” in general.

Me, I’ve had me a little of that this month. In fact, my entire last 6 weeks has been nothing but movin’ on.

I’m never going to be able to make you or anyone understand how 2006 affected me, and on so many levels. God knows I’ll try.

To go from just being some chick trying to figure shit out to being a loudly lauded new sex-blogging voice and getting so much attention was the most surreal thing ever. And I was not my own woman. I was not strong enough to have the sense of self one needs when people start latching onto you for guru-like input into their lives.

It was fucking weird. I can’t possibly tell you. I’m totally fucked up, and you’re turning to me for insight? Yo, WTF?

Walking away when the shit got weird was the only thing I could do. The landscape of my life was more explosive than a wartime minefield. A girl makes her choices, a girl keeps on keepin’ on. That’s what to do when the going gets weird.

When the beginnings of success come so easily to you the first time, though, there SHOULD be this little seed of confidence that grows deep down inside. I did that. Me. I worked. I got results. Me.

I had the confidence but I also knew my life was a fucking mess.

When they tell you life doesn’t give second chances, they’re right. It doesn’t. We create them.

Sooner or later, I knew I’d have to take that second chance. But I had to have my shit together and feel comfortable with life before I got there… because, well, third chances? Good luck with that, chump. This ain’t baseball, there’s no three strikes.

Moral of that story? Don’t fuck up again, bub.

So, I spent the last year just treading water and enjoying a delightfully boring life after I finally got on a somewhat even keel again.

Then I lost my job.

And it made me happy. Worried, but happy.

And I figured, “Hey, well, if ever there was a time to get in the game…”

But getting in the game would require one major thing:

Finally owning that this meek little Mom-approved chick — raised uberCatholic, with Dad & family following on the wide web — had to come out and be public with sex-blogging identity, and use my real name. And, worse, my face. And, like, speak publicly. And stuff.

Moving on, for me, means swallowing whatever I once defined as “pride” and coming up with a whole new brand of it. For me, it means shutting up that meekness and stop my apologies for being blunt, honest, and irrepressible.

It’s all about putting my money where my mouth has long been.

It’s been a really tough and soul-searching move. Scary as all get-out, man.

Oh, I’ve been terrified. It’s the “real, whole life” version of jumping off that zip-line or standing in front of 150 people and saying, “Yeah, so, I’m a sex blogger and, like, I kinda nailed writing one of the best oral sex guides you’ll read online… and…”

But I did it. And I did the zip-line. And the speaking.

However hard it’s been… I’m real goddamned glad.

Open, honest, in-your-face living is easier once you get the hang of it. It means fewer apologies, more shared grins, and it instantly repels all the twats and asshats you used to secretly wish would fuck off.

Moving on from anything is hard.

The fear of the unknown and the infinite chance to fuck up is what daunts us all before taking on new phases, projects, or relationships in our life.

By moving on, we’re officially closing the door on that past, accepting it’s done, and embracing the future.

“The devil you know,” though, right?

Whatever the hurts and failings and stupidities of the past, at least you know it and know you’ve faced/survived it. The future? Whew. Do ya got that in ya, punk? Well, do ya?

I remember my great friend Jon writing to say he was getting married, the big question got popped, she said  yes, and, dagnabbit, they was gonna wed. I wrote him back, “Geez, Jon… that’s awfully optimistic of you.”

Because it is.

Moving on, stepping forward, it’s all about optimism. Or at least the dream of it. The hope of possibility. It’s what we all want, right? The unscripted to get written with a side of awesomesauce?

But it needs that proverbial leap of faith, the big chance, the trip into the great unknown.

Maybe, just maybe, you’ll fail.

That’s okay.

At least you’ll keep yourself warm with the smug satisfaction of being the one with the guts to make the play in the first place, while the pussies who won’t make that leap sit on the sidelines and jealously watch.

Do it. Move on.

Steff the Singing Fool

Opera Man always makes me smile.

There are a few Vancouver characters that the locals who’ve been here for years know about. Like the Rock-Art Guy. Or Opera Man.

Over the the 12 years I’ve lived in Vancouver proper, once in a truly blue moon the cosmos aligns ever so fortunately, and I luck out and happen upon Opera Man taking a stroll. Nowadays in his 60s, he’s a shorter, smaller, slimmer Italian man who shuffles casually with his hands clasped behind his back and just belts out baritone operas at will. He oozes joie de vivre.

I’ve seen Opera Man when I was depressed as I’ve ever been, and when I heard him and his spontaneous operatic bliss, I couldn’t fucking help but grin. Big. I love that man. Big love. If there’s a “Dude, you rock, and make Vancouver Vancouver” award, he gets one.

Me, I love to sing. But I’ve always been a coward. I have an all right voice. Took voice training back in the day. I’m deeper-voiced, with a throaty, sultry rattle, and smooth power when I want it… but I’m shy.

One of the many “Making Steff Rock” projects I’ve undertaken in this year of conscious changing-of-self is that of trying to force myself to be a bit bolder, less afraid of being spotted for being myself out loud… in all my trouble-making or bold ways that I usually keep somewhat under wraps amidst the general populace.

So, tonight, cycling home along one of the more travelled bike routes, I decided to sing out loud. Continue reading

The Dubious Nature of Anonymity

I’ve had an email or two that has asked what I think about bloggers getting outted and shit like that.

I got outted last year. My name is Steffani Cameron, all right? I really don’t give a fuck who knows, ‘cos anyone with a nickel and half a brain can run my handle through Google and tap into an interview I did last fall in which the bonehead ran my name and unwittingly destroyed any chance for anonymity that I might’ve had. Jesus, if you have half an iota of ingenuity you could probably even find a photo of me, ‘cos there’s at least three of them accessible. Besides, back to the “my name is known” thing — when I did Sex with Emily on FreeFM, I gave ’em permission to use my name. And the CBC used my name in promoing my blog on Zed in February.

I recently did a job search in which I know for a fact at least one of the employers knew of my blog and its content. I almost know for certain that one of those employers sent me a sexually explicit (and very creepy) email to an uber-private email that is NOT in any way associated with this blog, and which no one who has ever contacted me through this blog has ever had the privilege of knowing. That’s the only time I’ve ever been creeped out about my lack of anonymity.

Both my last employer and my present employer, and every parent of every student I’ve ever taught, has known that I write sexual content. My father, brother, and every friend, family member, and longtime acquaintance knows about this blog.

As far as being a public blogger of sex goes, I’m ALL that, baby.

And that ain’t about to change.

My phone number, however, is unlisted. I have caller ID blocking on my phone as well. And that ain’t gonna fuckin’ change either. Last thing I need is anyone deliberately reaching out and touching me.

What do I think of the recent spate of bloggers that I’ve heard about who have up and vanished in the night because someone leaked who they were? It’s too bad. It’s really a shame we live in a society where people can be judged on these bases, but the fact is, we do. I’m doing my part to fight the fuckin’ power, ‘cos I think it’s flat-out wrong. I’m doing my part to prove that a good person can like getting shagged senseless. Sex is a sin if you want it to be. Sex is a shame if you allow it to be. Sex is a stigma if you let it be.

Sometimes people are powerless about the bigotry and the judgmental POV that peppers our society. That’s reality, baby, and it’s the cold fuckin’ light o’ day.

I was having this discussion with my coworkers last week, since I work with highly political people who are well-connected and who have political aspirations that will build on their political histories, and I jokingly said, “Yeah, well, politics is likely out for me.” The web designer guy was commenting how he thought that might not necessarily be the case. He commented to the effect that we’re on the cusp of this era where everyone’s dirty little secret is about to stop being so secret. Just look at PostSecret.com and how hauntingly real all those unthinkable sentiments are. Suddenly we know people’s dirty little thoughts. Suddenly we understand that our own dark and cobwebby little corners aren’t as unspeakable as we might’ve thought, because they beat us to the punch and said it first.

The information age makes everyone Googleable, and the fact is, those skeletons YOU think are in YOUR closet might just be behind far more transparent doors than you suspect.

One day, and that day’s coming soon, we’re going to realize that everyone has moments of shame and degradation. Everyone’s done something they’d rather not have exposed. Everyone’s cozied up a little too close for comfort with shame. We’re all fallible, we’re all products of the same erroneous genetics, but a lot of folks just haven’t the a) balls or b) fortitude to admit their dubious pasts.

Me, I’m honest to a fault, always have been. Why hide my shit? I’ve fucked up, damn right I have, and yeah, I like my sex with a side of dirt, but so what? Who the fuck are YOU to judge me? No one perfect, that’s who you are, so let it go, man. Let it all go. I’ve never met a person I couldn’t find a fault in, so I’ve given up my quest for perfection. Good is good enough. Bad is good enough. I’ll take what I got, man. It is what it is.

So, to those beloved bloggers who’ve been outted and don’t feel they’re in a place where they can be honest and be who they are without retribution, well, I don’t feel their pain, but I understand their reservations. We’re on the cusp of a new era of honesty, but for now we’re still mired in lies, and I understand. Hopefully more people like me’ll come out of the woodwork and be what they gotta be to get this show on the road, but in the meantime…

You got me, baby. You got me.

It’s weird being honest about this shit. It’s odd meeting new people and having them be clued in, either by yours truly, or just because they just know. It’s a little surreal. I get fun grins out of people, but you know what? No one has ever recoiled. No one has ever judged me. Most of the people are impressed, actually, and they’re usually taken quite by surprise, something I really enjoy. They’re amused, they want to know more. It’s awesome. Honesty’s freeing. They may say it’s the best policy, but, dude, it’s one hell of a ride, too, y’know?