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There's always a bit of a crash, some bouncing, like a cork shooting up and then bobbing in the water until equilibrium is established.

Here's the crash, or the front edge of it. My neck hurts; I haven't pinned down a physio up here yet and pain is wearing. I hadn't realised just how much mine was doing to keep everything functional. I'm tired. I'm... worn out, wanting to rest and curl up in a quiet loved space but there's still so much to do.

And of course I realised that, at least for me, there is no arriving. This is still journey, still passage through, rather than a stopping point. I have lovely things in my life: I do things to keep them lovely. I will have to work at my job, not merely doing the work but learning on a very steep curve both the work and the lay of the land. I will have to do a great deal of work on myself; poly guilt has been strong the last couple days and I'm feeling done with school being so bad for me and I believe I have some spiritual work that must be done in this next year. I will need to be driving daily for awhile so I will deal with the aftermath of my accident very soon. My body will be very demanding when I start physical labour again and I can't let that drown everything else out, though it always clarifies things immensely.

I need to put together my feelings about Dave, and how that ended. I need to go back and nose out what's going on with my end of my connections to people. When I came down from Fort I had essentially been in an environment without close connections but also without feeling obligated. When I left my last job the excellent therapist I had at the time suggested I could have close connections without that sense of crippling obligation. The idea of it was shattering. I seem to believe I am not allowed to have connection without heavy obligation; I jettison connections to avoid it? Maybe?

Here's where it all degenerates. I don't have a narrative to hang anything on right now. Some of my old stories to myself are changing. I need time to walk those old paths again and update my map as necessary. I need time to mourn losses and cherish things that remain valuable. I need to find my well here, to regain the source of my strength. I probably need to spend a surprising amount of time alone and undistracted to do this work.

The process of meeting a new person and getting close to him very quickly has jangled and stirred everything up in there. It's been too long since I've looked, seen, tidied. This is perhaps one function of long rambling nights with old friends: to re-tell your stories, to update someone who knows, to channel the whole chaotic storm of it into a story that informs the rest of everything. This was good for me, this was bad for me, this was a problem, this was safe: I guess these things change as we do.

I had hoped I'd sit down here and the narrative would emerge. I'd hoped that by channelling everything into words I'd understand. There are too many edges and as-yet disconnected pieces, though. This will take some time.
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Living in the whirlwind. Here's the change, the chaos, in which I ride like a cork. Even corks get sucked under, you know, but we pop up pretty quick when we're released.

I trust myself to pop up pretty quick when released. I'm still learning, but becoming better, at knowing what triggers that release. Funny how it's the same litany it always was: creation, intimacy of mind and body, assurance, love, home, connecting with my own body and with nature and with my thoughts.

So many things are forefront in my mind that they're getting lost. I don't want to start writing things down yet -- more paper, more to manage -- but shortly I'll have to.

Househunting is taking a tremendous amount of my motive power: either to do, or to procrastinate on, it takes the same energy. I build dream castles in the sky that come crashing down, I second-guess myself, it's not necessarily the prettiest scene but it's started rolling some. I need to go to the well pretty often to keep up with it.

Tenay is the well right now. She listens, she shares back in kind, she is snuggles and sex and approval in ways that leave me totally unconflicted about my interactions with her. It's pretty great.

It's important for me not to draw too hard on any one of my relationships to support any others. I don't like the idea of being in a relationship that's dependent on any of the other ones remaining the same; what happens then when things change? Does everything collapse? It has in the past.

So I'm thinking a lot about my relationship with Dave. I'm thinking a lot about this often-supportive, occasionally blindingly thoughtless, no-promises, somewhat ashamed of me, encouraging, sweet, sometimes surprisingly responsive, insightful, kind, steady and rather unruddered person I'm starting to have old relationship feelings about. I'm wondering whether it's a net drain or a net benefit. I poke at it a lot, and yes, I've initiated some self-examination on his part, trying to figure out what the fuck is going on. What are we offering each other? Is it worth it? Short term? Long term? Should I be spending all this time and energy I use thinking about it on something else? Should I stomp out the fire and go searching for more appropriate tinder? I don't know. As Tenay reminded me, I'm acting on incomplete information right now. I'm looking forward to getting that information and going on with my life, whatever that looks like.

I'm also looking forward to getting through the waiting list for counseling and seeing if maybe I can find a good fit to talk about this stuff with. My boundary issues finally identified as issues, I'm eager to fix them up.

UBC, the giant machine into which I'm trying to cast myself, is also taking some time to get back to me. At least I can backburner that without worrying too much.

Yoga is fabulous but the difficulty of it is wearing off as my body adapts. Infuriatingly this doesn't mean I can do it better, it just means I get less exercise high and my butt is disappearing. I'm pretty much halfway through the 75-day commitment I made and it's starting to take more willpower to get there, what with less endorphin payoff and my desire to, you know, do things with folks sometimes. Still, I'll make it to the end, it's helping keep me engaged in my body, and by the time I'm done I'll be moved and onto my bike.

I've been ultra flirty lately, and strongly desirous of a new lover/playmate/more spark in my life. I have a couple flirtations that can't go anywhere, so I figure it's time to go out and start seeking folks. Seeking nonmonogamous kinky compatible folks, taking a pass on anyone who isn't actively involved in a compatible flavour of poly already. There are a couple avenues for this I suppose I should explore, but I am somewhat disincentivized by the work involved. So much work. Who knows if the payoff will be worth it? That said, I'm definitely nosing around and should do so in a more organized way to get what I want.

Valentine's day brought a ton of relationship articles from the woodwork. I am meditating on this passage
This person cannot handle sacrifice or compromise. She believes her needs and desires and opinions are simply more important than her partner’s, and she needs to get her way in almost any big decision. In the end, she doesn’t want a legitimate partnership, she wants to keep her single life and have someone there to keep her company.

This person inevitably ends up with at best a super easy-going person, and at worst, a pushover with a self-esteem issue, and sacrifices a chance to be part of a team of equals, almost certainly limiting the potential quality of her marriage.
from http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/02/pick-life-partner.html

Is this me? Is this a problem? I guess I still have trouble fighting off all that internalized polyphobia. I know poly is something I need. All evidence suggests it. But it's hard to remember that I'm legitimately allowed that need and allowed to choose relationships that fit it, instead of thinking that I should just compromise on it and then everything would be fine. It would not be fine. I would be, have been, and am a shitty monogamous mate over the long term.

To complicate everything a little further, my brother is staying with me. I ultra love him, it'll be good to spend time with him and have conversations with him, but... I need to wear clothes in my house, and not use loud vibrators or have loud sex, and I have to use roommate skills like self-checking frequently and knowing when and how to ask for alone time etc.

Plus, the friends group is drifting away a little bit, yoga is getting in the way of some socializing, there's no core of souls to hook my own onto. That's not awful or traumatic but it is different. I can see into a future where I leave Vancouver as gently as a dandelion seed in a slight breeze, nothing holding me here anymore.

Who ever knew, ten or twenty years ago, that all this could be? I never would have guessed. On the whole I'm happy with it, with myself and how I navigate my choices.

Enough of this update. Be well.
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I've been doing a crazy amount of learning lately, and I've been surging forward full speed on a bunch of decisions. Let's see if I can get some of it down.

Sunshine + exercise + food == happy Greenie. This is no news to me or anyone. However, I'd been depending on work for the exercise and sunlight, and work right now is a source of stress and not a source of any of those other things. I had been (have been) having a rough winter; I've got a lot of changes going on, much of the outcomes outside my experience or control, and I can't afford to let this stuff slide. So, I've let my competitive instinct kick in and started doing hot yoga like Dave, just... more often. Every single day I do it I feel better for hours afterwards. I am keeping an eye on overtraining issues and not doing absolutely every single say, but it's good so far. It levels my head so well and is conveniently close. I may keep this up even after I start bike commuting.

Sunshine was really forthcoming this fall until sometime in December, which is when I started to nosedive. Exercise can compensate to some degree for light, especially since I'm being kept too busy at work to get out into the light during the week. Ugh.

I'm getting real good at eating enough, and at asking for help when I'm having trouble. It helps that my neighbour is always up for eating together and I can use her presence to put myself into a better place for food. This all gets difficult when I'm financially stressed, though the meat box and farm stuff really helps.

Sex is a problem in a bunch of different ways. I thought I had this figured out; I thought that by taking back my bodily autonomy so I didn't have to ask folks permission before making choices around sex I would fix everything. Instead I only began a learning curve totally different from the one I've been on most of my life. How do I decide who to have sex with and when? How do I deal with humans when I decide to have or not to have sex with them in general? Per instance? How do I deal with the fact that in people's eyes when I don't have a primary partner I am always on some level available no matter how much I protest to the contrary? How do I let people know the ways in which I am more available than suspected, and how less? How do I deal with not having enough sex, or with feeling subtle coercion around sex? How do I deal with sex that I want beforehand but don't want in the moment? How do I calibrate desire vs complexity and work? How much do I like emotions involved in sex and what kind of sex do I like, anyhow?

I imagine you folks who weren't in serious relationships most of your life are laughing at me about now.

I'm learning that I probably want to have sex with fewer people less often than I thought I did, because the complexities that come with it are just not worth it. I'm also learning how sexual compatibility and emotional intimacy work together for me, and how they don't always go together regardless of how much I might want them to. I think I'm learning that when something works, I should let it work, and when I need to push and work hard on something, I should probably drop the sexual aspect of it.

I don't know that my original interpretation of solo poly will end up being what I choose, after all. Especially with the time and energy I'm putting elsewhere, it may just not be worth it.

Romantic relationships aren't enough. In fact, even non-romantic relationships aren't enough. I've made huge strides lately in learning to have friends, people with whom I'm close in non-romantic, non-partnery long-term and very intimate ways. That enriches my life immensely. I've been treating my home, careful selection and upkeep of my house, with as much attention as I have in the past given major relationships. I really enjoy the result. I have decided to add my career to the mix of important stuff to give that much time and attention to.

This has resulted in my making some information-gathering dates with folks at my old school, formulating a career path, and now doing some more information-gathering from folks in the field I want to head into and (this is scary) applying to, not a technical college, but a formal huge sprawling university-temple of academia. I'm formulating a support team (emotional, physical, logistical, motivational) which I can do really well based on my previous experience with working through my diploma. I actually feel pretty confident about this path of mine, though it's me against huge and arbitrary machines within machines, which is never easy for me to deal with.

I may not be in Vancouver forever. I may stay in the Valley forever or I may not, but a million tiny roots are shaking themselves and working their way loose. I had never thought to leave, before, but in a couple of years I will be able to if I so choose.
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So I've asked Angus to be out more-or-less for May 1st. We'll have lived here for 13 months; together for a couple more than that. He asked if we'd continue a relationship and I honestly don't know the answer to that question. Probably, definitely, I don't know a way not to be friends with him but there might need to be a period of mourning first or he might get his life in order and sail off into the sunset and not want me around anymore? How can you look into the future, anyhow? Certainly not when I've just finished finals (minutes ago), still have a few major assignments due, had the power out in my house for a couple of days, haven't had space to myself for a long time?

It will be very good for me to have my own place again.

I have a lot of thinking to do about moving-- I won't get all my damage deposit back, but I could probably knock $200 off my rent (It'll be about $1225 at that point, which was good when we were looking right before the Olympics but is a little high for this area right now). I need to keep a 2 bedroom or a really roomy 1-bedroom+den because of the rats. I need to keep hardwood floors (ideally) or I'll deal with laminate. I need to keep some sort of garden space. I'd like to stay in this area, or in a swathe directly east as far as a couple of blocks east of Hastings, maybe as far south as 15th or so. I'd like to keep a professional landlord company or at least not a creepy Vancouver landlord. If I move, more light will be mandatory.

I have a lot of self-care to do. I refuse to learn on Michael, who not only has his own very serious stuff (his dad's been diagnosed with terminal cancer. It's not supposed to last very long in the grand scheme of things) but really just can't deal with my leaning at the best of times. He is a good place of refuge, but only if I don't bring my storms along. I need to continue to cultivate friends who are immediately supportive in every important way: who provide snuggles, unweird straightforward comfortable conversation, who can hold me when I cry or allow me to use them as passive company, who offer advice and stories, who offer things sometimes without being asked, who eat with me. I need to continue to exercise well, I need to bike more. I need to spend time with the sun on my skin. I need to continue to connect with my classmates, who are an incredible source of support even through their own stresses-- in fact, those shared stresses are immensely reassuring.

Our school cohort is starting to drop-- the cute South African boy disappeared the other day and was very brief in texting that he wouldn't see us again, don't ask why. Today, trying to write the practical final in the rain, one of us ripped up the soggy mass of pulp that was his paper, threw it on the ground, and left. He may still pass the course and return, it was only 15% of the grade, but we were all pretty crispy today. Those who remain are tightening, a little at a time.

I need to find myself a bed, a bed that's mine, that's squooshy like marshmallows, and some kitchen stuff like pots, pans, and dishes.

I need to tell my mom.

I'm going to be okay. I just need to remember to eat, climb, and breathe.

If you know Angus, please, please be helpful and supportive to him. It's his depression that's the trouble here, he really needs to deal with it, and I can't make him do that or help him do it. I'm worried about him. If you can think of something to do, please, do that thing.
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First, I watched this ted talk. A day or two later there was some discussion of religious fasting as it relates to sex. I've got this crush going on. Finally, I had a good long poly discussion yesterday that touched topics like having 'feelings' (what a turn of phrase) for people outside of a primary relationship and sometimes overstepping boundaries based on that.

And so I've been thinking. One of my personal tendencies is to live in the future-- or maybe as the ted talk says, in my future memory of the present. I'm always one step ahead-- if we've decided on a place to live I'm worrying about whether I can get the rent cheque dropped off and still make it to dinner, or about calling and telling the other places I'm not interested.

This has served me very very poorly in the past in my relationship interactions. As Juggler will no doubt attest, even if I'm happy and snuggled up with you right now, if I have any suspicion that I might miss you or have friction with you in the future, I Will be worrying about that. I never really end up enjoying the moments of my relationships because of that.

Perhaps I should say I did that all the time. I am, as they say, recovering.

Especially in the relationship realm this is helpful. When I'm out walking and I see a magnolia flowering in february, say, it's immediate enough for me to forget myself, forget my little projected movie of the future, and just marvel. When I make that so for my human interactions, I spend all my time marvelling. I no longer worry about the point of friendship or whether this is what it's supposed to be like-- instead I spend a happy afternoon talking so someone who makes me feel good to be around about things we're interested in, and I feel connected and understood. I can look into someone's face and instead thinking about it all, just interface with them. And then afterwards I'm like, wait, I think that WAS the point. When I spend time with someone that makes me tingly, I just relax and enjoy the feeling, and it's good. If I spend the time in my head (in the moment, obviously I'm still going to think about it afterwards) and play potential videos-- sex or no sex? what does this emotional stuff mean? does it indicate x or y should happen -- things get confusing and snarled. I wonder if I should make provision for the future-- should I hoard time? Should I plan another get-together soon? What if I can't? What if this never happens again? What if I feel obligated (yes, that is the normal state of my brain, a hundred worries).

And with sex it's the same thing. It's much more satisfying to spend time with someone sexually if you're paying attention-- whether or not it 'goes this far' or 'doesn't go that far' or whatever.

And so this has relevance to poly for me, because I have had a tendency to push or jump boundaries because I was busy thinking about over there, and not busy enjoying what I had. And when I stopped to enjoy what I had, I realised it was enough. I need to run out the door now, but wanted to get that down.

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