SXSW aka A Trip to my Dopamine Drip Comfort Zone


I swore off SXSW years ago, and haven’t missed a minute of it. Don’t get me wrong…fun times were had, great friends were made, good deals were done in the old days. But without the need to make good deals, why on Earth would I go?  

OK, so it’s a reunion of sorts with a lot of those great friends. I’m also wildly curious about how Austin has changed from the Great Migration. And I have new fire friends to visit.   

If I’m deep down honest, I’m also hoping to find some of my past that I’ve shut out in order to grow. Not because anything was wrong with it, but because it was too comfortable. It’s a major adjustment to not get that daily dopamine drip from doing a job you love for people you know you’re helping to follow their dreams. Hook me up!! Except that doesn’t help me to create newly.   I don’t have anything profound to write here. I’m fortunate that I can attend a conference that I have no literal business attending. I should be going to a writing conference. But it turns out I’m way uncomfortable at those. I don’t fit in, don’t know anyone, am not sure which hotel to stay inor what panels to check out. Actually, as a 40+ female, most of those conferences are the only time I’ve ever fit in with the crowd. Ha! Except Worldcon. They’re more like the people I’m used to (and more comfortable around).   

It’s been fun observing the comfortable people at these new to me writing conferences where everyone knows their name. I could build a new comfort zone if I choose.   

In the meantime, maybe I’ll take a play from yesterday’s perspectivethoughts and go in with a different intention.    

Marrying my old world and my new world is a little terrifying. My partner John responded to an email I sent last week that went to my personal contacts. He said that a lot of people had no idea I harbored dreams of moving to an island and writing scifi novels. It’s not like I hid it. It’s just that they didn’t see me that way.    

What an interesting conclusion. Maybe this is a perfect opportunity to observe how my old and new worlds can play together. I started a non-profit back in the day called Edges+Intersections for precisely the reason that innovation doesn’t happen in our comfort zone. It was a series of art shows with some kind of technology link. Because I firmly believe that innovation happens at the edges of our comfort zone, and where our world intersects with seemingly unrelated worlds.   

Anyway, let me know if you’re going so we can find somewhere to run into each other! I’d also love to do a book reading somewhere you wouldn’t expect a book reading if anyone has ideas. Bonus if we can fire dance with the books instead of burning them.