Securing My Oxygen Mask First, a.k.a. I’m Going Offline for November

I used to love November.

It started with dress-up and candy, sugar skulls and Día de los Muertos celebrations; flowed into my hometown rodeo, bar-be-ques and chili cook-offs, a parade filled with grown men in little cars, the longest standing high school rivalry football game in the nation (my hometown versus the town over), rodeo clowns and bull riders; proceeded by my annual pumpkin party potluck, with so much delicious food and revelry; followed by more food and revelry, this time while consciously being thankful for all we have in life, and usually the celebration of my brother and grandmother’s birthdays; ending with the night before my own birthday, a major holiday in my world, one I shared with my beloved grandfather.

All accentuated by the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg and fireplaces, and the sight of orange leaves and cloudy skies.

November no longer fills me with these images of warmth. Instead, it fills me with anxiety and dread.

Queerie Bradshaw

I view this coming November in a different way. I see the one-year anniversary of my brother’s death; followed by his favorite event of the year, one he will never attend again, never bring down 25 frat boys and sorority girls from UCLA to drink every last bottle of Coors Light in town, never get to see his children take away his mutton bustin’ title; then his birthday comes, and my recently diseased grandmother’s as well, and I am reminded of how he will never be older than 25; ended by my birthday, which I don’t have the emotional energy left to celebrate, especially now that my grandfather is no longer here to celebrate it with me.

Add my friend dying last week to the mix, and I just need a break. I need to disconnect the Internet and reconnect with the important people in my life.

For that reason, I am taking the whole month of November off. No blog posts, no Twitter, no Facebook, no online classes, no consulting jobs.

I’m going to write a lot, put the finishing touches on Losing It: My Life as a Sex Blogger (my memoir), finish Simple Street (my queer, diversity-filled YA/teen romance novel) and start work on two new projects: my next memoir about my family’s battle with cancer and my YA/teen paranormal series.

I’m going to honor the practice of self-care. I’m going to put me oxygen mask on first, before trying to save others. Not that I’m some noble superhero (although I was named #8 in’s Sex Blogging Superheroes), but I come from a long line of female martyrs and I want to learn to feel ok being selfish, feel right putting my needs first.

There will also be lots of walks taken, Disney movies watched, novels read (I hope to make it through this list of YA lesbian/bi fiction Malinda Lo made), quality friend, Alex and family time had, crying done, and maybe a few bottles of wine drunk.

I’ll miss my interactions with you all, and I hope you’ll miss your interactions with me, but I know that a month is a very short time and that this break will give me the time I need to recharge and come back at this thing I do with more vigor and purpose.

Ways to get your Queerie Bradshaw fix while I’m away:

  • The Queerie Bradshaw podcast (did you know I have a podcast?!) will still come out weekly.
  • My new bi-monthly advice column on premiers November 7!
  • I’m still answering email info[at]QueerieBradshaw[dot]com (but ask you to please wait to email me until December if it’s not urgent).

Want to know when I’m back? Follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook or subscribe to my RSS feed. Or simply check back on December 1.

Knowing I have such amazing, supportive, understanding readers makes taking this break easier. It was a hard decision, “a blogger who doesn’t blog is no blogger at all” I was once told, but it’s easier knowing most of you will be here when I get back.

Thank you all for being you. You make being me easy.

See you in December!

Subscribe to the Queerie Bradshaw Podcast on iTunes!

About Queerie Bradshaw

Lauren Marie Fleming is a writer, speaker and motivator known for her intimate, informative and often hilarious look at sex, relationships and body-image. Lauren runs the critically-acclaimed blog, writes for major news sources including VICE, Nerve, Huffington Post and Curve, and is the author of her memoir Losing It: My Life as a Sex Blogger. In 2013, Lauren founded Frisky Feminist Press ( as a way to enhance conversations about sexuality through educational guides, online classes and entertaining publications. A law school graduate, Lauren has spoken all over the United States and is internationally recognized for her dynamic, engaging style. In everything she does, Lauren’s goal is to educate, remove stigmas and encourage people to achieve their desires.
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9 Responses to Securing My Oxygen Mask First, a.k.a. I’m Going Offline for November

  1. With the year you’ve had, I totally understand why you need the break from social media. Plus it’s just a healthy thing to do to distance yourself once in awhile and connect with reality. I will definitely miss your presence but just knowing you are writing your books makes me so happy! You really need time without interruptions to work on those type of projects and make any headway. Congrats to you for knowing you need to take care of yourself. 🙂

  2. suggestivetongue says:

    I hope you’re doing well, self-care is so important. Looking forward to reading more.

  3. Reenie says:

    I wish there was something I can do or say to fill in that gap in your heart… I really do hope everything will get better. Rest well!

  4. Take care of yourself and time to connect to the real people in your life. Your right it’s important and I thank you for reminding me of that. Take time to heal your heart and we’ll see you when you get back…

  5. Totally hate November too ..although nothing tragic. Hate cold, short days…hate hate nutmeg.

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