Am I Learning Anything?
(I just got a message from Vix that she's now on her way to the airport for her flight home.)
I've been feeling oddly contented today.
It was a slightly lazy morning - making breakfast for the girls, practicing music on one instrument and another, hanging out online - which gave way to a little work around the house this afternoon, then to a late-afternoon party at the home of one of my colleagues. After that and a quick stop at home to feed the cats, I took the girls out for Chinese food.
Through it all, there was that odd sense of contentment, of being at ease with the world and not really needing anything more than I have.
Of course, that kind of contentment worries me a little.
I've been here before, you see. Since Vix and I first decided to attempt polyamory, I've gone through cycles of approach and avoidance, elation and revulsion. Really, I've been all over the place in trying to make sense of everything, and to decide both what I really wanted and what would actually be good for me . . . and also to figure out what would be possible.
I played out these various agonies on this and another forum. Once in a while, I would step back from it all and ask: Am I really poly? Even if I am, do I really need another relationship or partner, right now? How much effort should I be expending on looking for someone?
I've gone through several spells of thinking that I shouldn't really be looking, for one reason or another. If I had a profile on OKC or on polymatchmaker, I would delete it . . . only to create a new one later on, when curiosity, or impatience, or whatever grabbed hold of me once again.
I haven't been on polymatchmaker for quite a while now. I returned to OKC just a couple of weeks ago . . . but deleted my profile - again - last night.
So, as I say, it would seem that I've been here before. Am I just running in circles, retreading the same path over and over again?
I don't think so. If I am running in circles, it's really more of a helical ramp, like the Guggenheim in New York. Each time around, I'm a little higher (or lower?), and can see a little more clearly where I've been. This time around, in particular, it seems to me I've undergone a more fundamental change in perspective.
In the past, when I would declare that I wasn't really polyamorous, or I would declare that I was polyamorous but was not going actively to seek a relationship with anyone other than my wife, I think it was part of a desperate bid to impose some kind of order on my shifting reactions to my changing circumstances.
The thing is, there was something valid in those efforts, a good idea about priorities, not putting metaphorical carts before metaphorical horses, and all that. But there was also something false in those efforts, something, as I say, desperate and a little too insistent, as if I could make it true just by declaring it.
This time, though, my sense of contentment has been growing and settling for a while. I think it's backed up by the change in my attitude toward my own responsibilities, the reanimation of my relationship with Vix, and the revelations I've experienced in my relationships with Nyx and with Metis.
I think I understand myself better, now, and I see more clearly what I value and what I might aspire to. I have a better sense of the kinds of relationships that are worth having.
And - again, there's something of Hegel in this - I can both be contented with the satisfactions of living my life and maintaining my current relationships as they are now and open to exploring relationships with others, should they happen along.
My newly reconsidered friendships with Nyx and Metis are part of that openness. As I've noted, I'm astonished by how richly satisfying - and how liberating - that reconsideration has been . . . even if those relationships never go much beyond where they are now.
So, to summarize, I've come back around to a familiar place, but with a new perspective that makes me think my return here is a kind of progress.
At least, that's how it all looks to me right now. Another thing I've learned in all this is never to think anything I post to a forum is the last word on any given topic . . .
Last edited by hyperskeptic; 04-08-2013 at 11:59 AM.