August newsletter

About Me Update

I know this newsletter is a bit late. The last 3 weeks have been a bit of a ride. So, a quick update on me:

A little while back I ended up hospitalized due to being unable to speak. We thought I might have had a stroke and I was kept over night. It turns out I had a type of rare and severe migraine. Instead of an aura where I see lights or smell weird things, I couldn’t form words. It, was honestly terrifying.

After they sent me home, I spent the next week struggling to control migraine triggers and get ready for a weekend conference. After the weekend, I missed my flight and ended up in DC. So, I decided I needed some time off to recover… and went to Norfolk.

While in Norfolk, I spent the majority of my time dancing, sleeping, and allowing my brain to reset. I wasn’t able to write very well. I just got back last night (August 21). With moving being pushed back a week, losing my debit card, and more randomness, I’m stressed… but good.

Thank you all for being with me during this time. I’m excited to have a functional brain again.

Future Projects

Interviews are still a struggle for me. I have had lots of interest but technical difficulties and tons of cancellations. I’m thinking of changing my plan of action a bit.

I went to the AA museum in DC, and firstly, y’all should go. It’s intense, beautiful and inspiring. I hope to return in the next few months for a weekend of exploration. I also hope to see more and talk about some specifics on a future trip. It would be great for those of you who are unable to go for a while.

I’m considering expanding topics of obsidian to include more shorter pieces, lighter topics, and a new focus on practical ways to affect race relations. I would especially like to focus on making change in groups/workplaces/events. I’ve done a little of this in the past and stuff on blues will of course still be present, but some of the specific dance stuff (like safer spaces, lindy vs blues) is going to be on my personal blog (greyarmstrong.com).

Why am I making this change? Because (in part), I want more ownership over my dance ideas, but the niche of the dance community is not enough to support the work in full that I want to do with obsidian.

The dance stuff will be the same frequency but just on a different site (unless I find a better idea). Supporting Obsidian still supports that content.

One more thing: The library is being expanded! Once I have officially moved I’m VERY excited to show you all some of the new books I’ve picked up and the site I bought them on. If there is one you’d like to borrow from me, message me!

Lastly, I’ve been looking into grants and fellowships. I’m excited to be applying for a variety of things and will keep y’all updated on how these things go!

Public Speaking and DEI

My last announcement is that I am looking into turning the name obsidiantea into an LLC and having it be a brand for a new opportunity. After some convincing, I finally looked into Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work and found that a lot of the work I do with Obsidian qualifies. I am quietly working on getting together some programming and attempting to get hired for public speaking opportunities.

I’m very excited about this, but am feeling a lot of nerves around getting started. My coach has suggested I try getting my feet wet with some smaller gigs before reaching out to bigger companies. So, let me know if you know of any opportunities? I’m particularly excited to start within the dance community, and expand from there!

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