“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.”
As evidenced by the number of times I’ve turned the blog off and then back on again, this story is very hard to let go of, but my deepest desire right now is to no longer be a project at all, to no longer be worked on but simply cared for, and loved.
So much has changed since I started the project in 2012, yet in some ways, I’ve labyrinthed back to a similar place. Although when I was divorcing last summer I thought I wanted to marry a fellow sex-adventurer someday, it turns out that all I want in a spouse is a healthier (and, okay, more penis-y) version of what I had with Sweetie: someone to hike with, watch long swaths of TV with, cook meals for and take care of, someone to read in bed with on Sundays.
Although it had its share of frustrations and hurts, I’ve come to appreciate the beauty and specialness of my relationship with Sweetie. She and I are evolving into a real (if still a guilty pleasure) friendship, and it’s good to know there’s still someone in the world who knows me better than anyone, to whom I can say absolutely anything without fear of judgment. I hope in the long run we are able to remain friends. My mom would certainly prefer that Sweetie eventually rejoin family gatherings, so we’ll see.
Finishing this story, I feel like I am waking from a vivid, sometimes scary, and very productive dream, but I have the deep joy of actually having lived it. No one can ever accuse me of having an un-thorough midlife crisis, and as I set myself back on solid waking almost-40 ground, I feel sad to let the dream world go.
I’ve seen and felt things that most people only imagine, and I am so, so grateful to everyone who helped usher me to this new, strong place. I regret the projections that I sometimes made you wear, the pain that the interaction of my past with our present caused you, the mismatches I kept creating so I could live the same drama again and again. It wasn’t entirely ethical to let real folks play a part in a dream, however productive it was, but whatever real connections we created, lasting or fleeting, will stay part of me for the rest of my life, treasured forever.
Though it is a relief to let go of any real membership in the world of kink and poly, it’s also a very sad thing. I admire those who have the flexibility, imagination, and suspension of disbelief to walk safely in those worlds, and I’m deeply disappointed that I am not one of them.
There are parts of the journey that will stick with me, loves and epiphanies that will not lose their meaning. The new roles, skills, and even body parts (!) that I discovered will continue to bring great playfulness and joy both on my own and (I hope!) within eventual relationships.
More than sex, this journey was about claiming a place in the world, ceding no further emotional real estate to the archetypal Pretty Sister, accepting and surrendering to the thought that has been chiming through me for months:
I want my own stuff.
I don’t want to borrow or share a person, visit his hands when I’ve reached the front of the queue. I don’t want to compartmentalize any more than life already demands. I want (again) someone who wants me and loves me the best, someone who sees every aspect of me and shows every aspect of himself. I want genuine intimacy to happen through my life again someday, and it’s bittersweet to acknowledge that I don’t want to stopgap myself with anything less than real love.
It’s vulnerable not to know where I’ll land, but I suspect it will look something like sitting in a pretty garden with someone, in affectionate silence, reading a book.
I love you, readers, characters, and friends, and I’ll miss you very much. I hope you can forgive me for the ways I let you down when I was trying to fit, and that our real connections will stay true and happy in our hearts. I wish each person who has ever starred in these paragraphs every fulfillment, every thrill, and most especially, deep and lasting love.