"do not follow where the path may lead. go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Emerson
this quote hangs in my CabinShack on the wall next to the ladder that leads up to the bed loft (the "Roost") from the main (and only) room. (i love this shack. except for having to hands-and-knees it around the Roost, it's my dreamhouse - complete with fireplace. bet it's not 600' sq. anyway....) i've had the plaque containing it for several years - was a birthday gift, and has always hung over the mantle or someplace apparent - but it's never jumped out and hit me, BLAZED for me, the way it has for the past few weeks of my life. now it seems like it's tattooed onto the muscle tissue of my heart; burned somewhere into my flesh.
i am just now beginning to live with the courage it will require for me to step out and live as a solo poly. and i feel ALIVE again with the energy that realizing this has brought to me.
i'm again delving into the things that once brought me joy (and coincidentally were things requiring much alone time), MOSTLY writing and recording songs.
no details in this post...i just had to start out by sharing this quote and the power that it has to inspire and motivate.
make your own path.
if you're not ready to do it yet, don't give up on the dream of doing so. give yourself time and care, hold the idea (however vague) of your ideal lifestyle somewhere inside you, and move step by tiny step in that direction.
there are powers cheering for you that you can't even begin to know.
all the best! and more later
"Leap and the net will appear."
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
More power to you. Lots more power to you. Nice writing, by the way. Tatoo on the heart?!?! Hells yeah!
Thanks, Windstar! GREAT quotes, too - appreciate you sharing! the second half of the latter quote has always made my pulse quicken. SUCH GOOD STUFF.
best to you!
I have had a quote on the front door to my apartment for... oh, probably 20 years (yes, I've lived in my apartment that long!) and I love it:
The essential conditions of everything you do must be choice, love, passion.
~ Nadia Boulanger
You go grrrl!
thanks for the underlining and reaffirmation, fellowfolk. when you feel like you're out on a limb, it's always nice to hear how others have been out on their own, survived, and come out to thrive on the other side.
after mutually splitting with Z a week ago friday (with the intention of getting clear about what i want/how i want to live and gathering the courage to communicate with him honestly about it), it's been a little over a week's worth of constant affirmation that i've made the right choice at this point. we actually spent a good amount of time together this past week (doing "just friends" stuff, if you will), and then this last friday afternoon, we came upon an opportunity to talk, for me to lay it all out for him, no-holds barred. this has never been easy for me, when what i want clashes in any way with what someone so close to me wants - i've often just "gone along for the ride" in order to keep the peace, or make someone happy, or to keep myself from feeling like shit when their judgment comes down on me - i'm a pleaser from way back, and as much of it has been detrimental to my well-being as it has been good for me and others involved.
the fear i'd had previously - that i was going to lose him from my life altogether, or that he was going to see me differently - didn't hold me back from telling him that i didn't want to lose him as my best friend and lover even though i was not going to dedicate my time/energy to "making a relationship work;" was not going to force this relationship (or any other) to fit a previously ascribed model which had never worked for me before and whose box-walls i felt no desire to live inside anyway; and wanted both of us to feel free to pursue (or be pursued by) whatever may cross our paths and spark a hint of deep interest, resonance, intrigue, desire, etc.
in short, i have chosen to live in a way that will allow me to consciously remain open to any and all possibilities that i may find attractive, and i asked that he allow himself to do the same if he so chose. this was AFTER we'd spent a half-hour exquisitely pleasuring each other - i LOVE to touch him, tease him, make him feel good, and see his face/feel his body respond when i can do so. he says i get him higher than anything ever has, and while i know he's exaggerating, his brain-to-mouth channel also has no filter, so it's not hard to tell when he is really, REALLY ecstatic. putting him there puts me there. and he is SO sweet, tender, and caring in return...very simply put, we make a GREAT team, great partners. our needs and desires in this area coincide magically; sometimes it feels like we were designed with each other in mind. LOVE it. :) he said yesterday, "sometimes i think you came into my life just to stroke all my little pleasure glands, and i didn't know it until we had already crossed the line." (LOL - i agree wholeheartedly, sir.)
we parted ways early that evening, each to hang out with friends and enjoy our friday nights, and as fate would have it, i wound up having a couple of drinks with J, my ex, for whom i also have very tender feelings.
J and i hooked up 5 or 6 years ago as he was going through a divorce - not ugly, but very unwanted. (J, his wife, Z, his gf at the time, and i were all friends at the time, though they had all known each other years longer than i'd known any of them. Z, J, and i were also in a band together at that point.) the way and reasons J and i came together at that point stemmed much from my need/desire to shelter and take care of him, and his own needs to be that partner/father figure in someone's (my) life as well. he had known he was attracted to me before his marriage began to split, and he kept a very "proper" distance between us at that point. (he told me later; i didn't realize that to be the case at the time.) he/they were pretty quiet about the divorce and proceedings; most of us didn't even realize it was happening until he was served with papers, and when i found out, i realized why he'd looked and been acting differently. he's a very tall and slender man anyway, well-built, just very lean, but i realized at that point that his beautiful face had actually been hollowing lately, his eyes more tired and devoid of spark, and he didn't hang out with the band so much, preferring to stay pretty quiet and just pack up gear and leave afterward, while the rest of us had a drink or two and chatted together.
it was at that point that i realized i'd found him physically attractive all along, and when i saw his need for company, support, shelter, and reassurance - he needed love right then at that point - i found myself falling all-in. it was like it became one of the main purposes in my life at that point to make a nest of my heart, house, and arms for him to find refuge in. it was all i wanted to do.
not entirely healthy or clearsighted, i know - but it filled me with life and passion (not that i was lacking in vim & vigor at that point) to do this with/for him, to merge our lives in some ways. didn't take me long to realize i was truly in love with him, that i cared very much for his happiness and well-being, and that i wanted to share a lot of my life with him. we spent the next couple of years in relative happiness together. no doubt we loved each other dearly & deeply, but the discrepancies in who we were and how we wanted to live showed up. NOT TO MENTION the fact that he'd barely had time or room to grieve over or deal with his loss and come to grips with his divorce or his ex-wife (who is a dear friend of mine), who had in the meantime realized that she felt she had made a mistake in her handling of the whole divorce situation.
she initially been "ostracized" from their little clan/circle of friends (one or two i found later to be very harshly judgmental as well as hypocritical, i'll take the liberty of adding), and i kind of felt like shit for hooking up with J without having spoken to her about the matter at all. i selfishly swept the whole mess of feelings concerning her under the rug at that point, because i was in deep with J and mostly didn't want to deal with the matter. i felt for her; the couple of random times i'd see her out and about, i could almost read it in her eyes that what had happened had NOT gone as intended. i guessed she'd needed to put big distance between herself and J as well as the tight clan; she is a pleaser as much as myself - maybe moreso in certain lights - and had probably lost some sense of identity in always going with the decisions of the crowd. i had a pretty good idea where she was coming from. she's a beautiful woman with a big heart and a big appetite for fun and friends; J can be more of a hermit because of his more negative self-image. i think they clashed here, and she got too much of it; needed out. things just didn't go down well.
anyway...she and i started hanging out again, talking, and (this is from my point of view) that was one step toward The Clan's re-welcoming her. (it was inevitable, but she shouldn't have been ostracized anyway, imho.) eventually J began to hang out with the two of us upon occasion, and i always felt really good when this would happen - like, my heart swelled a little, to see them able to connect again on some level. it was obvious that they made good partners and friends, being into many of the same things and being able to speak a lot of the same "languages." eventually everything was pretty cool between them and the rest of the Clan, and people stopped making a big deal about it all.
fast-fwd to two years ago, when i was fully realizing that my relationship with J was limiting me to living in a box and trying to please The Clan myself. i loved him very much, was still in love with him on some levels, but every aspect of me was straining at the chains that held me to the ground. J and i still wanted to be each other's shelter, but i was finding that my wings were big and i felt strong in my passion for life and transcendence of fear, and i didn't really need shelter anymore. or it sure wasn't an overarching need/theme in my life at this point - i was ready to jump off cliffs and keep building my wings on the way down. i LOVED connecting with people - a lot of them, and all different kinds - and J would rather stay home. we didn't like to do a lot of the same things together after all. talk, chat, verbal connection was often debate anymore, and i wasn't on the same page with him - i wanted to find common ground with people, especially this man. i wanted to ENJOY doing things together with him...problem was, we were finding out (tho neither of us wanted to acknowledge) that we just didn't have so much in common. i felt he was living from a fear-based viewpoint, and i wanted to reaffirm and expand my own life-is-huge-short-and-beautiful viewpoint. i wanted to DO stuff. jump in and learn to swim. there was a lot of frustration between us.
that's when Z and i hit it off. like a match to gasoline, it was said. (oddly enough, we both texted each other the same thing at one point: "who had the match, and who brought the gas?!" it was almost verbatim.) he and his gf and been basically finished with their relationship for nearly two years at that point, and (again, imho) neither one of them wanted to pull the ripcord to begin the painful untwining of two merged lives. it began with sexual and SENSUAL sparks that bloomed into awareness of a lot of common ground between us.
it did not go down well, either. the first year was hell, as our haste in our actions caused a similar and fully-loaded split in The Clan yet AGAIN, as J was hurt AGAIN (in basically the same way), and as a lot of guilt, shame, anger, and fear was doled out and passed around. good things subsequently came of it: some old hatchets were buried, old friend-splits mended, etc; but a lot of shit came out of it, too....
(con't from prev. post)
guilt has had its presiding place in my programming for longer than i can know. i was raised very conservatively and into a dutifully-followed, oppressive, guilt/fear-based western religion. what shit wasn't shoveled onto me during The Fallout by angry, judgmental, and some hypocritical parties (i/we made a very convenient scapegoat for some who merely needed to point the spotlight in a direction other than their own heaving, filled-to-bursting dark closets), i shoveled onto myself. the foundation was already laid; at two points during the first 8 months, i found myself on the bathroom floor, suicidal. i hadn't wanted to leave J for Z, not per se, but i felt so ashamed of the pain i'd "inflicted" upon J that i decided to lay in the bed/grave i'd made for myself rather than stir up more shit or hurt anyone else. i was not happy. i was not living. i was a zombie. i learned that Broken Heart Syndrome is an actual medical condition that often feels like you're having a heart attack. i didn't sleep (i've never been an insomniac), i cried daily for weeks at a time, i became borderline alcoholic. for a while, i didn't think i deserved to live - and i didn't know what i WAS still living for.
and i never told Z the full truth of it until later. i tried to put up a good front, be a trooper, squash my feelings, hide, force myself to conform, etc. you name it, i tried it. when all i should've done was follow my gut, get out of the relationship with Z, and spend as long as it took (months) on my own, hiding out and healing. i just couldn't do it. "you made your bed; you lie in it."
people....please never do this. if you're doing it now, for any reason, realize that you're just fucking yourself and your life up further. there is NO GOOD REASON for the hell you're putting yourself through.
fast-forward to now.
time IS a healer. eventually i came out of it. there was a lot of very confusing back-&-forth, in&out between me and Z; plenty of pulling away and hiding (later, when i respected myself enough to allow myself the space), and eventually i pulled through and saw the sky again. (literally. sometimes the only thing that kept me breathing was lying out in the yard or the park and listening to the wind through the tree leaves, watching the clouds in the sky pass over slowly, and thinking how small and insignificant all this was in the big scheme of things - that no one was going to die as a direct result of any of these decisions i was making or needed yet to make.)
it was at this point i started realizing that Z and i DID have a lot of fun together. we DID have a lot in common. and he, being a very strong, bold, opinionated and outspoken creature, was starting to rub off on my week, "wishy-washy", just-nod-your-head ways. his influence in my life was helping me to build the courage i'd always needed just to live my life in the ways i'd (vaguely) dreamed. he was GOOD for me. no, it didn't mean i had to try and force myself to feel certain ways about him. no, i didn't have to act like the perfect gf when all i wanted to do was tell anyone who spoke about "commitment" and exclusivity to shove the fuck off. (!!!) it didn't mean i had to kiss him when i didn't feel like it, or try to reciprocate feelings when they just weren't there.
i started going with the flow of how i felt. turned out i really liked having him in my life, even if i didn't want to wear the label of "girlfriend." (it's a mental thing for me - just having the label slapped on something tends to cause me to try to fit the mold or model. old programming. working on it. :) ) i loved touching/teasing/fucking/pleasing/loving him - even if i didn't necessarily feel "in love" with him, even if i didn't NEEEEEEED him ("or i'll die!"), even if enough of the time i'd rather be without him, alone, or with friends, or even spend a little time with my ex(es).
i LOVE Z. and i don't have to have him. i just want him to be happy, like I want to be happy, and to share the parts of our lives that it makes us happy to share. what's wrong with that?! why does it need a label? who says it needs to fit certain criteria, or that it lacks anything?
it's perfect the way it is, and it simply is what it is.
i know this post has still left holes in "the story." if you've read this far, i want to apologize for the fact that the post could easily rival War & Peace in length (and boredom potential), as well as to THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading it at all (or at least skimming!).
community of this kind and these interests is hard to find 'round these parts... it's really good to be able to put all my cards on the table with people who have, in some way, been there before (and/or are there now).
i seriously welcome any discourse: questions, suggestions, good books, good quotes, any kind of inspiration/motivation, similar stories, as long as it's honest.
go enjoy your day!
Thank you for taking the time to write these last two posts. There were several things that resonated with me and were good for me to read right now, even though our circumstances are different.
i'm realizing lately that i withdraw and close off emotionally as a result of feeling slighted, accused, dismissed, confronted....basically threatened in any way. also, as one who grew up a passive pleaser/peacemaker ("at all costs!"), that it doesn't take much for me to feel threatened.
this is a pretty broad topic, but in my life, it has its own links to being poly, so i go ahead and ask -
uh, yah. That was me. I like to think I'm changing, but it takes a fair amount of attention from me to do so. I've managed to choose some men who love me even when I'm crazy. Some call them detached. I don't know. What I know, is that they show up for me consistently. Not always when I want, but almost always when I need. They just keep loving me no matter what.
When I was living with CurrentBoyfriend, he showed me by example how to keep loving, even if/when you're mad/hurt/slighted whatever. Because he was so kind, I made conscious effort to be kind. 'I'm mad at you, and I'm still going to choose to act in a loving manner.'
It's an interesting journey.
If you're a reader, you might find David Deida's work interesting. He talks a lot about women opening.
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