Written by Emma Caviness
I’m sitting in Washington Square Park glowing like a fucking golden orb. I have a yellow dress on and golden highlighter, with golden hoops dangling from my ears and my blonde hair chopped shorty mcshort. I feel like I’m emitting golden vibes, and it feels like just the beginning, I have so much more to channel. All my problems aren’t “fixed,” I didn’t solve anything. But I’m emitting golden energy now so, yanno.
I’m definitely an evolving person, changing and growing gradually, but one moment this summer was a spark… I asked for HELP.
Sam was my interviewer for a summer internship, and like the uppity-goody-two-shoes-hardworking-girl I am, I researched my interviewer. Shit!!!!! She was cooler than the company I was trying to get a job at!
During the interview, as I sweated and jittered, I managed to squeak out that I was a budding feminist and “I like, like your Instagram and stuff! Ya! Ya! Ya! That!” Articulate ey??
As the summer approached and my perspective of the world was in a perpetual collapse… (“welcome to my personal existential inferno!” I would say) I continued to follow Super Normal. On a particularly flamey existential day, desperate for any comfort that could pull me out, I started catching up on a Super Normal episode. This evolved into me, walking in a daze for several hours, listening to 4-5 episodes in a row, feeling light return through listening to the purposeful, clear and educating conversations. “Phew!” I said, as I landed back down in reality.
I was in nyc for the summer and I knew I had to meet Sam in person. I met with Sam on a Friday and spouted like a faucet, I just spewed and blabbed all the shit in my head and she was just as clear, focused, articulate, straight shooting, insightful, accessible, purposeful and brilliant in person as she was on her podcast. I asked for help as I spouted at that introduction, and holy shit has she helped me.
This summer, post introduction, I’ve made new friends, started writing, started creating again, started getting in touch with what the hell I really want, started opting in and out of things, and become a person that is WAY more like me.
Last December, I had a panic attack about feeling like a tiny meaningless speck on the planet with no ability to make any impact. When I met Sam for the first time, she told me that feeling is the most comforting thing to her, which confused the shit out of me. Over the course of this summer, I’ve flipped that shit around, and now it’s an empowering, calming and uplifting feeling. That’s some impact, maaan.
The word “binary” is something I’d scoff at. “Sexuality is on a spectrum” — psssssht. Just pick one! That’s how I was raised. Sam has helped me to see all the switches I’ve been raised to wire in my mind. On/off switches— BINARIES. She told me to instead, do what feels good, and I literally was stumped by that assignment at first. Letting go of the certainty of binary is a little scary at first, but holy shit is it the move.
It must have been when I was in the second grade… I have a vivid memory of being frozen in panicing fear in my mom’s minivan, driving to or from dance class. “WHAT IF I LIKE, LIKE GIRLS MOM?!!!!” I yelped. I can still see and feel the van and the street around the car and the panicing feeling I felt. I think my mom might have said “well that would be fine I guess, but you definitely don’t honey you talk and have crushes on boys all the time!” That calmed me down and I must have gone to dance class or gotten pizza after that and carried on.
Now maybe 10 years later, as I replay that memory in my head, I’ve stopped reliving the panic, and started accepting the idea of fluidity, non-binary (as in choices, not identity).
This summer, if I was feeling extra confident and the bar was dark and loud, I’d ask my new friends… “so like, would you like, ever like hook up with a girl??” And to my total shock and excitement, they’d say “yeah, I mean I definitely would for the right girl, like sure!”
Feeling especially adventurous, I changed my Tinder from just boys, to boys AND girls, and zoned out into the phone, swiping away, seeing if I could open up to the concept. I even wrote it down: “ok so like I could definitely be into girls maybe.”
Last week on a road trip with my little brother, in response to his usual roasts of “you look like a lesbian, nice Subaru, what are you, a lesbian art teacher?” I started telling him, to his horror “HEY sexuality is on a spectrum, we’re all a little gay!!!!!” Later on the trip, in a Pennsylvania mall Chick-fil-A no less, he goes, “yanno, I kinda buy into that whole spectrum thing….”
By the time we were on our way home, I could ask “what’s on a spectrum…?” And he’d respond “sexuality!”
That’s some golden benevolent brainwashing amirite?
Where I’m going with this is totally unknown, who knows who I’ll kiss next and whatever, but what I’ll say and assert is, Sam Sedlack is brilliant, her ability to actionize authentically is inspiring, and the purpose and clarity with which she educates from is unparalleled. I’m a glowing energy emitting person doing things I like to do now. Most importantly, I’m open, I’m here to learn to continue breaking up with the binary.
Sam is doing the kind of work that can chain react change. She’s capable of reaching individuals with privilege and resources that could majorly bolster the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalized groups. Having the opportunity to listen in on authentic conversations with people I never knew I needed to learn from has helped me reconnect and re-channel my own energy. Not only is it powerful to listen to the expertise of the podcast guests, but Sam gets to the truth in a way few people can.
If Super Normal is accessible for me, a blond girl raised within a Catholic, white privilege suburb of Massachusetts, previously on the premed track, the mother of all binary careers, then holy shit is it necessary and important.