Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why a Break and the Next Quest

It should be noted that I wished for extra time to write and draw this morning and then we got an early dismissal because of the blizzard. And a snow day for tomorrow! It’s pretty superstitious but I do consider snow days to be evidence that the universe hearts me.

As I’m typing this I reallyreally miss my Mystery Man (Yes, I got smitten with somebody via Twitter, are you even a little bit surprised?) but here’s how I realized I had to take a break even from him: On Sunday afternoon I was getting ready to go out and having a nice exchange with a couple of the Mystery Ladies and just for a tiny second I thought they might be displeased with me. (They were not.) Before I could stop and think, tears were coming right out of my face, and I realized several things:

1. Ohyeah, I’m kind of a submissive. And also just kind of not okay.

2. Even though I’ve never (as far as I know) seen him/them and only know some of their names, I have real feelings for him and his family. As Twitter followers and then as friends and then a flirtation, they’ve been in touch almost everyday for the past while, and I can’t afford to lose that.

(Also I can totally understand now how people get invested enough in strangers to be Catfished.)

3. He’s not a loophole, he’s just a guy I really like.

4. The internet is magic.

So when I got home from my weepy date with the new Spike Jonze movie (on not entirely unrelated themes) I wrote a love letter 140 characters at a time explaining why I have to let our cute little nice thing go for a while, and he wrote back all kinds of wonderful supportive poly-mensch things that made him even more irresistible. I feel like I’m fighting the tide of myself, but I can’t can’t can’t be worrying about messing up and losing friends right now.

The tears weren’t about the Mystery Ladies, of course. They were for all of the trying and failing to be good for Sweetie, for the emotional land mines I’ve kept running into over the past few years, for how hard it was to ever do anything right by anybody’s girl sometimes.

Last year, counting immediate metamours, I broke up with/broke things off with/ let go of at 11 people. Given that one of those was my wife of 10 years and there was also the whole Scary Party fiasco and a brand new career on top of everything, it’s no wonder I’m still randomly weeping.

I don’t want to take a break. I don’t want to keep saying no to genuine affection when it’s been my wish for so long. But in order to really be able to experience the love I’ve been wanting, I think I do have to shift the tide a little. I think that some of the crazy, excited, twitterpated love that gushes out of me all of the time (sometimes making a mess) is actually meant for someone in particular: me.

From years of bad decision, self denial, abuse and self-abuse, I’ve got the proverbial hole inside me. Like any vacuum, it’s eager to fill itself up, and will do so hungrily and desperately if I let it. The (sorry, there’s really no other way to say it) hole in my heart doesn’t care what’s healthy or fruitful, it just wants to be filled.

So I think what I really need to do here is to slow all the way down and let it be empty, then work on gradually filling it up with self-love. I’m not supersure how to do that, but I know that if I keep trying to love while I’ve got that emptiness, things will keep getting poisonous and broken, and I will really never learn to let myself be loved.

(It really is hard to write this without clich├ęs, I apologize…)

I don’t think that I can fill up the whole thing in just a few months, but maybe I can learn some new habits, break the old patterns and learn some better ones. I think that if I can find a way to give all of the ridiculous love I keep feeling to myself somehow, I can turn myself from a vacuum to the endless fountain I was probably born to be, and give some nice people the infinite, generous love they deserve.

I got a pink glass vase from the dollar store to remind me of the gap in my heart I’m trying to allow to be not-filled-yet. I didn’t get anything to put in there, it’s just sitting there being pretty, with an empty space inside. (Okay, yes, like some other poor neglected pink parts I could name…)

The first few years of this story were all about learning to love my body, finding my inner Bettie Page, and as the Nakedest Person at thePagan Festival, I certainly achieved that. Whenever my work friends are fretting about their body issues, I kind of feel like they’re speaking a different language.

But now I would like to learn to give some of that brazenness and bravery to figuring out how to love my heart. I’ve spent so much of my life impatient with it, trying to tamp it down, pretending it doesn’t want things that other people decided I couldn’t have. In pursuit of experience and adventure, my poor heart has been through the ringer and I would really love to learn how to treat it kindly.

So the question is, what can I, on my own for now, give to my heart, to make it feel celebrated and loved like I did for my body? What’s the heart equivalent of Shibari or fireplay? Where is my heart’s nude beach?


  1. You are incredibly courageous to take on the challenge of self-love and to share all the triumphs and tribulations with us, too. I've had some success in the last year with making overt projects of/for some parts of myself. I am encouraged by your willingness to do that in your life. :-)

  2. Thank you! Let me know what I can do any time to support your quests, 'cause you're one of the best forces in my life. <3