Apr. 16th, 2017 05:18 pm
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Spring used to be hard on me. There was a buzzing in me that wouldn't let me settle. I vibrated all the time unless I was in the garden.

These last years, with school, I've been disconnected from the seasonal cycles and spring has meant getting ready to leave. It'a been, perhaps, a fitting use of the energy and not as bad as it has been previously.

This year, well. School has been difficult. I'm usually okay with time management. I'd thought I wasn't great, but this year was nearly all group projects, nearly all the time, and I'm not sure I met anyone who worked on anything more than two days earlier than it was due, so I'm upgrading myself in my own eyes. I like having things due a couple days before deadline in case anything happens, and so I don't worry about it. But, with all the group projects, and in particular the capstone 10-credit course in which I worked with four other people who mostly didn't do stuff until well after deadlines, my time management this term was fucked up. I tried to front-load my parts of the work, but some things required group decisions that people wanted to wait on, some part relied on other peoples' parts being done, and I didn't feel up to just sitting out the last minute crunch altogether. So.

So basically I lost actual weekends off, maybe all in the last two months or so, because I was always worried about something or doing something last minute. There was always a deadline that was past but stuff wasn't done and my part was contingent on others' parts or somesuch. In a couple cases there was a deadline past and someone saying something was done but it just wasn't online yet, which was not in fact true. It was tremendously stressful, hard to plan (because then suddenly everyone would decide things should be done and work overnight to do them, without lead time to do them in orderly fashion) and intensely unmotivating (because if no one else is doing work, why should I? End product is gonna suck if it's not well-edited anyhow).

All school year I was in places I felt uncomfortable using the kitchen. Halfway through I ended up at A&T's, which was at least let me feel less guarded about clothing and whatnot, but the majority of my hobbies were curtailed. My sense of self lost ground, motivation to do even things I enjoyed lost ground, and I became pretty disinterested in anything at all. It was yet another semester I wasn't sure I'd survive, but because of the difficulty of getting in to counselling at UBC I didn't go see anyone.

And now it's over. It ended four days ago. I spent a day with Tucker doing errands (getting bike in to shop, cleaning house a little, packing up rabbits) and came up to Josh's for Easter weekend. I brought the stuff for marmalade I'd been meaning to make for a couple weeks at least.

The first day was very low-key. I've been researching animal options for a future property, even possible dairy animal options. I've poked a lot at nigerian goats, Guernsey goats (serves me right to fixate on a breed that is basically impossible to find), and highland cattle. The rabbits went to the vet to board for... well, until there's somewhere for them to go. The next day we got stuff for a rabbit hutch, rabbit-tractor-style, for them to live in outdoors over the summer wherever I end up. I cooked some stuff and made marmalade and wandered around the garden. By evening I was turning the main garden, which I hadn't planned to do.

Now the main garden is 2/3 turned and planted (doesn't sound like much but that's a lot of crab grass!), the sunny small fruits patch is mulched with straw, and I'm... not happy, but part of the world again. I'm sad that I may only see this garden once more during the summer, when I come through to go up to Fort. I miss the rabbits. My relationships are in a somewhat rough state. I don't remember much about the last eight months. But. I suspect I'm going to be okay, and that I'll be happy again.

And soon, I think, I'll be able to feel relief and happiness that school is over, and that I've made it out the other side.
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I guess there's a theme to this week. It's a theme I'm already aware of, but that's particularly highlighted by recent goings-on.

For instance, I'd been having some fairly rough motivation/mental health times this last few months. Got back into yoga, have set myself a 30 days/30 yoga classes goal, may add some running back into that, and my body is doing much better, as is my motivation to do, well, anything except the terrible arbitrary class at school. This is the one with no marking rubric, no feedback on what is supposed to be in the final product, and no grounding in the real world. I remember, now, that when my mental health gets back into normal levels, it rejects things that are bad for me: just pushes them out of my life so I can get back to doing proper life things. And school is bad for me, at least this course is. Means I need to put a lid on wellness enough to be externally motivated by school (ugh) but keep myself well enough to make it through (just a few more months).

The internal/external sufficiency is coming up in relationship stuff too. With Josh we're pretty hands-off about each other's stuff: help if we're able, but the default isn't leaning on each other. The newer relationship is a little different than that, and it's been running in a weird pattern the last several weeks: we've had big chunks of time, then big chunks of apart. I'm having a lot of trouble switching between being comforted/buoyed by someone else being here, and being happy/comforted by my home and my self after stressful days. Everything seems to run fine if I alternate days, but not if I alternate longer multi-day stretches. Part of the issue is that I set a default as to who to talk to about interesting/important things (myself via LJ, home partner, friends network, whatever) and have trouble switching that back and forth quickly.

And, of course, my future is a very large dependency/independence question: dependent on the job, independent in a house of my own, etc. It's pretty scary to be talking to mortgage brokers and thinking about making big decisions like this on my own. I want people to talk to about it, but so many of the people I know have a very different experience than I do. How do you weigh intangibles against each other?

But, time for yoga shortly. There's lots to say but maybe not enough of a pattern to write it out yet.
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So: Wednesdays are reliably not okay for me. Wednesday nights I can barely bring myself to stare at a wall. Thursdays, therefore, are difficult.

I need to figure out some strategies for getting myself through the next four weeks (at least) of Wed/Thursdays.

One thing that's always been difficult for me, and that's been slipping lately, is anticipation for activities I like. I tend to feel like I should husband my strength for other activities (mostly relationships because "people need me"), so I don't plan things I like (brewing, garden stuff, good emails, chatting with friends) for specific time slots, I just do them when time comes up. That leads to less anticipation, and thus, I can't pull myself through rough patches by looking forward to these things as much.

I think perhaps I should start planning Thursdays to be good-for-me days.

Also need bigger chunks of things to look forward to in February.


Jan. 13th, 2017 09:59 am
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I had a very intense schoolweek, I guess it's been the second week of school. My classes are frontloaded into the week, there's mandatory home school stuff to get done in that period, and my intricate monthly schedule trying to see Josh and Tucker both in ways that are most convenient for them came apart, and I was exhausted (and still switching courses, since I didn't get my schedule till the first day of class due to "UBC is just like that").

Last night I made it to yoga. And then... I have every second Friday off. I woke at the normal time, then had breakfast and apparently caught up on some dreaming.

I dreamed I had a young/barely adolescent dingo I'd brought home, and I was trying to keep him in the room with the rabbits but he kept getting into the rabbits' enclosure, though he didn't hurt them, and also I was rooting around in the massive deep freeze trying to find meat scraps for him. I dreamed mom was making massive quantities of green and of purple grape jam from on-sale supermarket grapes (mom wouldn't do this). I dreamed dad (!) brought home a pair of rabbits (!) and put them in with my rabbits, and wouldn't tell me how old they were or whether they were neutered but they were mine now. I dreamed there was a family in the house that was going to an expensive student theatre production their kids were putting on, and they had so much money they just stank of it.

I know where a lot of these come from, and some have left me puzzled (hi dad?! Er).

In more outside-world news, the term-long capstone school project I was looking forward to because it had to do with the real world is... not the real world. They ganked data from a place (close to Josh's house) but our client is, unlike other years, entirely fictional. We will not be doing a field trip to the land, nor working with actual controllers of the land to give them a plan they could use. It is deflating, and changes the task considerably: our land is "private" and run by someone considerably like us who happened to inherit it; I've gotta learn about the rules for forestry on private land pretty quick, but we won't need to negotiate with a First Nation that's got actual human contradictions and needs.

One of the people on my five-person team is a gardener type, lives near Lumby with his fiancee, and they want to do market gardening in greenhouses. That's excellent. My chance of surviving this term with an sort of sense of self intact is suddenly so much higher. A tool I will use when I am about to spiral into awfulness is, "Nick, tell me X about your greenhouses/property" (they are currently rehabilitating a seabuckthorn orchard for the landowner).

I got some dog-snuggling time yesterday at school, and realise it would be really nice to have a dog. Still logistical difficulties, of course, but...

And now that I'm circling around to it: the relationship with Tucker is starting to mature, or rather, the NRE is slowly lapping out like a tide and is leaving... us. So we are starting to want to set our boundaries and enclosures with each other, starting to feel the work it takes to make it go, and basically develop sustainability in the thing. I haven't written about him much; you never got an intro post to him. Someday you will. But, he's very special to me and he's here in town and he's also otherwise partnered and so there are things to be figured out.

Probably the relationship is in the place it is because this will be a very demanding term. It requires a lot of physical presence, a lot of writing, and a lot of getting along with people. It is clearly my priority, unlike last term where I didn't much care. I want to get things done, so I will. But, that leaves limited time and energy for everything else, thus learning to set boundaries rather suddenly in the eddies of NRE and also the complications of a distance relationship.

In great news, I've moved into a connected-but-seperate suite in a house shared by my ?girlfriend and her partner. It's been a great decision, though it puts me half an hour further away from UBC: I sleep better here, I can wander around naked (so, so vital to my wellbeing apparently), I can have loud sex, and there are often snuggles and food upstairs in the livingroom if I'm feeling social. I feel more rested, more at peace with myself, and moe comfortable here.

I guess that's the most of it for now. Time for schoolwork. Be well.
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I'm good at doing things in my life that I'll like; good at making it into an edifice that suits me, that fits me. In general I'm purposeful about shaping my life to fit myself. I consider knowing what I want and need to be a practice, an ongoing activity that requires increments of time and effort on a regular basis to achieve. I get some pretty good results this way.

People are a little more difficult. My relationship to my relationships with people (apologies) is more complicated than I can easily get a handle on. Maybe it's only difficult because I don't like the answers.

I've been reading a bit of poly stuff lately (seems people have continued writing and evolving ideas on it in the last fifteen or so years) and a bunch of terminology has been helpful: comet, nesting partner, anchor partner, relationship anarchy. No one's used the term kite string, but I can visualise it as a slender anchor that would snap with too much wind. These words have been helping me to think about what I want from relationships, especially romantic or sexual relationships. I haven't really been mindful about them lately.

There is some degree to which I take what I can get. In general I like people, and I like being close or intimate with them in a lot of cases. Any one person is fairly unique, an opportunity I will not get again, and I don't like losing those opportunities. I want to experience people.

There is some degree to which I want more than I can have. I've been in a lot of relationships. Very few were entered with the idea they would end, and yet somehow here we are, with so much water under the bridge. There was something about all those people that was not a good fit, was not right, was not enough to stay together. Sometimes it was only they didn't want to stay with me. Sometimes, I didn't find them a good match. Here's a secret that's maybe not a secret if you've been reading all these years (I know you haven't, but I have): I want someone to stay, to weave through my life for a really long time. Many of my relationships are founded on principles that should lend themselves to some form of permanency, but I think those principles are inherently contradictory; I want someone sturdy and independent enough to survive me, but pliable enough to shape their life around mine; I want someone who grows and changes enough to keep my interest, but who retains a recogniseable self to which I can attach. I want someone who can live with me, share the daily routines of breakfast and bedtime, but I don't want my home or my heart to need to exclude my many loves for someone else's comfort. I think many of these may be impossibly contradictory, even granted that humans can contain multitudes.

There is some degree to which I want less than I get. My life is intensely engrossing and fulfilling. I really like my life, I really like engaging with it, and a relationship where I feel I need to stop my life or put it on hold is frustrating. It's a waste of time when often there are things I'd enjoy more, but frequently as a relationship gets older I feel like time spent is a duty rather than a joy or contribution, and yet I'm committed to it. Truth is, sometimes I'd rather be writing (or brewing, or on the pottery wheel, or dancing, or reading, or staring out the window, or researching houses, or or or).

There is some degree to which I don't trust other people. I have spent a great deal of time and effort shaping this life, and it's easy to steamroll someone else who likes it, and equally easy to be uncomfortable with how little mindful effort some people put into their own lives. I see that one's own user manual is becoming a Thing, now; I've been working on mine for more than a decade and someone who hasn't put that work into their own, who doesn't engage in /both/ introspection and active self-work, just seems like a lot of extra work for me. If you haven't bothered to learn how to make your life work on your own, how can your life work with mine, and why on earth should you think I should bother to put that effort in for you?

There is some degree to which I don't like other people near. This springs from the lack of trust. People are messy creatures, walls and emotions everywhere, and learning to navigate that together is a lot of work and gets in the way of other things I might be doing. More to the point, it often hurts and is disruptive and is made worthwhile when it becomes a shared journey. I don't like someone flailing in and it becoming my job. People are not my job, though partnership might be. People are their own job. I consider myself my own biggest work. If someone does not consider themselves significant work, pretty much all they can do play bull in my china shop.


No answers here, but there is a little clarity.
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I'm running still. It's good. My body likes it. It does seem to take years to build this level of... comfort? ...even if those years are intermittent. That's reassuring. I never thought I'd be able to run this well (slowly, continuously, for half an hour without it being even very difficult).

I'm passing classes in school, hitting my target grades on average (90 or above I'm misusing my time, 70-80 is about right). This contempt for the knowledge offered me is not coming easy, but school's contempt for my time and individuality is fuel enough to keep me in balance. Note that my professors are not, for the most part, to blame. It's simply that the terrible edifice of higher education is designed to suck people in, grind them up, and spit them out cheaply and efficiently.

I guess I have one more term left.

I've been cidering this fall, and it's very good for me. I'm hoping to get persimmon wine up too. Anything I put up this year will hopefully be done for my housewarming.

I have feelings towards my property that maybe other people have towards being married? I mean, I've felt these warm/expectant/partner/solid/trust/love/dependable feelings before for people, but never for long enough that I could continue to feel them on the lead-up to entering into a contract about them. But my land, in the future? Yes. And the delay doesn't make me doubt them, it makes me merely gently impatient (sometimes less than gently) for When The Time Is Right.

Relationship-wise I am definitely overextended. I'm waiting. I don't trust anyone really to follow me to Fort; I love the people in my life now; I'm sort of holding the space precariously to see who shows up there, who keeps up with the distance, who will remain in my life. I guess it's defaulting to letting other folks make choices instead of making them myself. That's a thought.

I'm pretty excited about my job next May. It looks like I'll be doing more complex, challenging, higher-level work than I originally expected, working directly with someone overseeing a systems change. I mean, it might not be so much working directly with ecosystems, but... well, we'll see. I'm impatient to start that too. I want to see what it's like. I should start poking a budget for that time, and I'm planning to talk to a financial adviser. Sounds so grown-up, no?

The last couple years a lot of the richness of my life came from my work and my involvement in life systems. Now there's some relationship richness, sometimes the dirty messy kind, and also there will be the outdoors. I wonder how those will balance?


Oct. 24th, 2016 12:08 pm
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I found it, at least a lot of it.

It's just that I don't know if long-term, high-contact relationships are possible without scarring for one or both parties. I suppose it hinges on interpretation of scarring vs growth, but: there it is. I suppose I can't know (?) but that's the missing information underpinning this thing, it's why I'm vibrating back and forth on it so much.

Got it.

It's always so anticlimactic pulling stuff out from the pile of work.


Oct. 12th, 2016 06:40 pm
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Well now, here I am again, and so soon.

I guess I have some things to say.

I guess I have some work to do.

I'm at one of those places in my life where everything is pointing me to working through something, making some mindful decisions, but where I'm scared because I don't think I can get what I want and I'd hate to choose a thing mindfully and then be left bereft.

Going to school was a risk like that, where I knew I could take my life up in my hands and shape it to get the things I wanted: a home, a permanent garden, some assurance for the future that wasn't dependent on friends liking me and thusly being supportive. I went back to school. I started going away for the summers. I did these things to further my own life. As happens when I work strongly on my life, other things changed. A relationship ended because there was no future for it with this new plan of mine. I met someone else. I met another someone else. And I have met another someone else.


What can I do with this, and what do I want to do with this?

The most recent someone is a conversationalist. We talk, we overanalyse, we pick things apart. In short, we do a lot of that internal work that I can only do if I'm writing or talking. I haven't been writing lately, but I have been talking. I've been poking around in there.

He posted something the other day about his wife, a fragment of poetry by Elsse Matthessen

"Only another fifty years,"
I say, "and then I promise
to let you go."

It has undone me. It's a couple words that have brought me to the heart of a thing that's been ravelling for awhile.

I have people who have been around for a long time, but the people who have been around forever have moved on, and the people that I meet recently come near and then drift away again, or sometimes are forcibly ejected. Either way, I have not found continuity in relationships. I have not found a relationship that could be made to fit actual-me forward into the future, one where I would not need to make myself smaller or resentful to maintain closeness. I have loved a lot of people; I still do. I enjoy time with people. I like knowing them deeply. But.


I've always wanted someone who knows my context; someone with whom I share my day-to-day until the patterns come clear to both of us; someone I learn to read and who reads me, and who can communicate volumes with a glance across a crowded room with that knowledge. I want... daily routine, not every day but often enough, and mutual caretaking, and the kind of trust that's built on years. I want that, and I thought I had it with Kynnin when I was fourteen, and many of my relationships since I've been hopeful about it.

I am well loved right now. I am so well loved. It feels impossible to turn down a gift like that, and yet I think it's what's giving me the space here to think about what I want.

Maybe thinking about what I want isn't good. I can think it to pieces, after all, and I *want* everything: Josh and our greenhouses and making a pizza oven and a still together and that lovely house (but not Josh who doesn't want other people in his space and cares for me very much but just cannot say yes unless he's sure of logistics when I want someone who is willing to bend logistics for me the way I do for other people?), James who loves me so much and a supportive, nourishing home full of the feeling of family and kindness (but not James who is dependent on me as his whole support network in a northern town and who prefers to background in the world rather than reaching his power out into it when I want someone who proactively creates their life and with whom I perhaps do not share so many activities as all that?), Tucker and who knows what yet with words and poetry and his way of catching the nuances of my meaning and his interest in opening up my insides (but not Tucker who is otherwise committed to his wife and life in Vancouver and who, well, honestly is so new to me I don't even know what else yet but that is a pretty big start). I want someone who takes joy in my poly-ness and who can communicate their needs in a household. I want someone I can hook into for a long time and who puts just as much shoulder against the universe, who pushes hard enough to change it, just like I do: but I want them to do it for me.

And I am not willing to give so much of myself up now as I was, so maybe the cracks will show sooner now, or at least I can't put as much hope in any on thing as I did. I am not willing to take a terrible job I dislike. I am not willing to give up my other loves. I am not willing to sacrifice a home that is open, hospitable, and welcoming. I am not willing to sacrifice my land where I plant trees from which I will, in my lifetime, harvest the fruit. These things are me, and to be permanently partnered would require these things to be loved *as* me, to be accepted as extensions of my actual-self.

I don't know. I mean, I do know. I'm that person for myself, I am my own person. Other people come and go but I am my own heart. I suppose that's sad and huge all at once. I know I haven't met anyone else who would have been as fully up to the task as I have been.

There's more work to be done on this, but this is as far as I can go for now.

it had something to do
with death . . . it had something
to do with love.
-Li-Young Lee
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Well. More love in my life, my ribcage stretching open like wings. Friends, sweethearts: I'm in the middle of a season of connection. I'm renewing old ties, and the age of those ties has meaning. I'm forming new ones.

I'm not spending an excess of time on school, and basically none that isn't in plain sight. That may hurt me long-term. Having written these words, between that last sentence and this, I was inspired to send off an overdue email or two. Writing is good accountability.

Another love post is ripening. My relationship landscape is shifting again and I haven't taken the time, yet, to feel out all the various ramifications. I'm noticing a new level of ...comfort? confidence? in my people now. I trust folks to stick around, not just in the manner best for them, but also in ways that are good for me. It's been a long road since my first couple of posts, since I couldn't believe I had anything to offer or that anyone would find me interesting over the long haul.

I like the long haul.

My car has become what my home used to be, the place I can sing aloud to myself and no one can see me, the place I can expand to fill the space. I am finding ways to exist in my home more-or-less happily. I am spending too much money. I am attending most classes. I am telling myself that I will take my bike to school, or do yoga, but I keep putting those off (yoga: see also: too much money). I am petting Mella the bare mimimum she will allow, but talking to the rabbits more.

I am daydreaming, a lot, about having my own home.

After such a hard winter followed by a numbingly difficult summer, I am back to feeling myself surrounded by love and warmth every day. I am interested in people. I am... human again. It is the paramount wonder of the world.
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I'm settling in here a little. A desk has been cleared for me, home to my sewing machine and my desktop computer. This means my music is accessible again, especially good because I left my cell phone on top of the land cruiser when I was taking lumber off before work and it fell off in the middle of a highway of logging trucks: no more cell phone. I have another on order but it'll be awhile to get here.

Went down to Vancouver to visit James last weekend. It was really good. That's settling into me more comfortably. I feel serious about it, and slightly overwhelmed by the logistics of that plus Josh plus career, but since nothing else is settled at all in my life right now it doesn't feel imminently overwhelming.

Starting to feel angry about Dave again, incidentally. It... feels good? Feels nice to be angry at someone who could be an hour late for a date and didn't care enough about relationship ground rules to notice when he broke them, let alone apologise. Being able to feel angry about it is liberating. I suspect the reason it's taking me so long to get past the anger part and into the 'we weren't good in a relationship' stage is that I haven't devoted any space to the anger yet. Either way, here it is.

The main garden is unrolling across the lawn like a carpet. Greenhouse is built, wired to ventilate at a high enough temperature, and planted. Raspberry bed is made, rose bed is dug and planted and has ornamental patterns of lettuces and tomatoes in it. This week we should plant fruit trees. I'm very happy.

Every day I want to go back to Fort in the summer more. It's difficult for logistics but it feels astonishingly like home. Even though this city lot in Williams Lake is also feeling a little homey and every garden I plant roots me somewhere, the city is not my home.

Revisiting thoughts of kids, but that's another post. Now I go help Josh with some experimental deep-dish pizza done with a really really high hydration dough.


Jul. 23rd, 2015 10:48 am
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Office work, third day, and I have space to think behind the layer of repetitive tasks.

I am thinking about pain, and about choice.

It's always been easy for me to accept my own discomfort in the service of something; I understand that it's usually the price of whatever I want. In relationships, closeness will mean that sometimes edges rub up against each other or knock bits off. Sometimes it will hurt me to be close to someone, or to care about them even from a distance.

I haven't spent a lot of time thinking of that as a normal state of affairs for my partners as well. It's always been hard for me to see people I love in pain, and sometimes it makes me nearly frantic (protip: this helps nothing). I've played with the idea on here that it's ok for me to sometimes cause a lover pain, because that happens, but I'm only now struck with a much larger idea: sometimes someone will be in pain regardless of me, and I'll be powerless there, and they will just hurt, maybe for a long time, and that's how it will be.

This is perhaps the most terrifying thought I've had. That it's normal, that it's part of the deal, to just stand with all those impulses to protect and cherish. That it's part of the deal to witness an entire lifetime's worth of pain in a loved one.

For better or worse, hm? That carries more weight now.

As for choice? Intentionality is a powerful thing.

More later, maybe.
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So I've been habitually posting on weekends. Then Dave came up for a weekend, then I went to a music festival for a weekend. This coming weekend my mom is coming to visit, and the one following that I'm going to hang out with a new um-maybe-friend in Williams Lake and eat oysters and see what physical proximity does to our interaction, then the one following that I'm heading to the Mission Folk Fest, and then to the other side of Canada for the first time to visit Nova Scotia with Dave. So there's a lot to catch up on, obviously, and I may not update lots.

I do, however, have lots of things going on in my head.

The level of casual friendly to strangers here is about the same as the level of casual friendly in Vancouver to someone you've been introduced to through a friend but not previously spoken to much. It's turned up a notch from Vancouver-stranger. I like it. It's ok to talk to folks, coworkers are more invite-able to things, every interaction is just a little bit closer or at least allows for more than the equivalent one in the city.

One of the fun/frustrating things about sex is that you basically reinvent it with each person (unless I guess you wanna follow the standard het escalator vanilla template?). You never quite know what's coming down that pipe.

The Smithers music festival was fun; it had more different types of music than I was expecting. I went up with two co-workers, Jeremy who was the instigator and who's my fellow summer hire, and Brett. It was nice to hang out with them some; they definitely viewed it as a drinking/hanging around experience, and were maybe slightly distressed that I wouldn't accept drinks. Thy hung out in a group together; I realized I'm maybe more independent than I think I am, an definitely moreso than my twenty-year-old self could have understood. I danced a bunch and stayed in a tent. It was really, really good for me. I discovered a couple local bands, one called Black Spruce Bog who write about things like salmon and who might play over here in Fort St James in the fall.

Instead of getting a ride home with my co-workers, I caught a ride with the okc person I met a couple weeks ago. It was basically an excuse to talk, and talk we did... and then the next night we spoke on the phone pretty late too. He lives about four hours away, towards Vancouver, so he's not entirely local, but he's close enough for visits. I'm enjoying the feeling of spark with someone. We'll see where this goes.

Interest in someone else is definitely making me miss Dave extra-much-a lot. Poly is always like this for me; my desire for long-term/current partners always flares up when I find a new connection elsewhere. I love how contrasts highlight each person's individuality. So even though Dave was just here, the separation is hard right now. I just got extended at work, so I'll be here, likely, till November. That's a long time to be away, and I guess that's also hitting me.

I have no idea what will happen in the future. My original goal taking co-op at school was to do a co-op term in a different place each time, to get to know different parts of BC and see where I wanted to end up. I really like it up here, though, I like the company I work for and I like the town. I likely could come back next summer no problem; it wouldn't let me go work on the coast or Vancouver Island to check them out. It's really far to visit.

I don't know.

An 8 month/4 month lifestyle split between locations is maybe even possible for awhile. Do I want that? It's early to tell. I need to sit with it. But, it's definitely in my mind as a possibility.

We'll also see how I feel about the town and the job in six months when I'm not flush with the novelty of it, or when the winter comes. If I'm here during snow, I've promised myself I'll learn to cross-country ski on the lake. How out of character is that?

Everyone here is really outdoorsy, not the Vancouver weekend-outdoorsy but they all seem to play on multiple sports teams and kayak and hike and camp all the time, not just once in awhile. And everyone means everyone.

And there are so many places that are logging-road or boat access only that you can go and there are trees and water and no people.

Yeah, typical poly dilemma of always feeling like, even when some things you love are here, others are distant. It's not like I'm any different with places than with people.

I want to write more, I may tonight, but now I have to (get this) clean my room for my mom. Ha. Since I'm going to install her here when she gets here, it likely shouldn't have clothes and sex toys in her way.

I'm really happy here. It's miraculous how repeatable and reliable the method for making me happy is. Outdoors all day, some space, some people, enough sleep.

Be well, folks. Love you.
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Swing, swing, swing. My mood is all out of kilter lately. I'm going to blame total lack of physical contact. I think I may prioritize seeking out a snuggle/sex person up here over, say, making rosepetal jam or sewing; fewer (the correct number of) hours in a work-week mean I do have some time to decide with.

I guess I've found myself in a distance relationship. I haven't been in a proper one since way back, when I was seeing Jan. I dug up the album Jan gave me then, downloaded it and looked at it in the music player and felt the sharpest and most physical manifestation of pain and quickly put on a different song by a different musician. That was a couple of hours ago, while Dave was out on a date and I was about to shower after my weekly two hours' lawn-mowing. Just now, as I sat down to write, I put on one of those songs and everything feels familiar.

I was speaking with Graydon the other day about the persistence of self of lack thereof, about continuity of personality. The conversation was about death, but I was telling him that I don't/can't remember what it was like to be me ten or fifteen years ago. I can go read it in this journal, but I can't immerse myself in what it felt like.

I was wrong. This music and this situation can do it. I remember this feeling. I remember how many years it took me to decouple the experience of love and pain, to feel them separately and not as one singular emotion. I have not decoupled them. I have merely sought out the rare, rare circumstances where I don't feel them both at once and spent long enough there that one does not necessarily echo the other.


I want to tell you something, but I'm not sure how to word it. I guess it's this: I know what I want out of my life. That thing changes, the knowing flickers brighter and dimmer, but the things which guide my knowing remain. I know what I like when I experience it. I know what's good for me. I want the things I like, the things that are good for me.

I also want to cast things which hurt away from me. Or, back up. There are two kinds of hurt: bruises and well-used muscles, adversity that feels good. And there's suffering that doesn't feel good and leaves lingering wounds, pain to no purpose, broken hopes and disappointment and self-imposed loneliness and capricious meanness. I want to cast that second kind out of my life; I go away from it automatically a lot of the time now. But it's not always clear which is which, and it's also not always clear when a little of the latter must be endured to get the things I like or need.

I'm circling my subject. I always do that. I tell stories, speak of the conversations which initiated my thoughts, wander through generalities, and eventually I even get to the point sometimes.

I'm in a long distance relationship with Dave. I initiated that by coming up here and not ending the relationship. But, this is my job, my career, it's what I'm doing. So. I need to have a conversation with him about what happens next. I also need to have a conversation with myself about what happens next. I've thought it might be nice to have seasonal relationships, six months away makes the next six months together so much sweeter, might fit my migratory tendencies pretty well and keep me from sealing my life too closely to someone else's and drowning them too. I need to play with these ideas. I need to maybe try them more fully.

I'm proceeding on my career front up here, but I feel like I'm waiting on my home and relationship front. I'm dawdling along, existing, not pushing anything, just waiting for things to happen to me. That's not my best position to be in.

I should do something about that.
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Last night, when I unexpectedly got a call offering me an apartment I never thought would be given me (fer gawdsakes, I answered 'do you have bad credit' with 'yes, MSP' on the application!) and accepted because someone was asking me a question on the phone so I said yes, the next thing I did was call Dave. Sure, there were maybe three minutes of staring into space, but my brain wasn't processing and I wasn't thinking so in that space I just dialed his number.

That's partnerspace.

He didn't answer, he was busy, and when next he looked at his phone he didn't hurry to call me back or keep his phone next to him in case I called again. He did make space at the end of his evening to talk to me, and I was pretty confident that he would do that.

That's him.

I'm poly because it's important to me that no arbitrary restrictions be placed on my connections with folks. Time, energy, desire: these can be shifted and bucked sometimes but in the end they are absolute restrictions. Eating together, fucking, kissing, talking until sunrise, saying good night, reaching out in a time of emotional need, walking around the city in the rain: these are intimacies and I cannot honestly set some above others, call some relationship-fodder and others friendships, and call them poison with one set of people and soulfood with another.

I can wrap my understanding around logistics, even logistics that involve emotions: I can't date everyone because time limits me, no other penises in you while we're trying to conceive a baby because I want to be sure, we don't have time or emotional energy to process extra change while we're moving so let's put off starting anything new for a few months, I'm really into this new person so I'll be a bit scarce and can you lean on your support network a little bit harder?

The logistics of dating Dave involve that he is essentially in a domestic poly relationship with his communal house. They have dinner together most nights; he has to cook dinner at a specific time. He has chores and obligations at home. He catches up on his small-talk and general socialization there. He is committed to this relationship, and often it stresses him out in ways that impact or limit his relationship with me, and often it offers him opportunities and support that, were I his full and only partner, I would probably otherwise be giving. This home-partner of his is less restrictive than dating someone with kids or someone with a sexual partner in some ways; in other ways it is more restrictive, and in still others there are striking similarities. It's a funny balance, and I have trouble keeping it sometimes.

The logistics of dating Dave involve how he swings between a general fuzzy non-focus and tightbeam searching regard unpredictably. He swings between an obliviousness so intense as to be jawdropping and a kind of casual unflinching insight into himself and general relationships that leaves me racing to catch up. He swings between casual disregard and thoughtful, care-full intimacy.

The logistics of dating Dave involve that he has never yet said anything in the heat of anger or pain to me. Instead he will say, "I'm feeling defensive, can we wait a little bit to talk about this" or "I'm frustrated right now, let's bring this up another time". I feel safe from lashing out, from deliberate hurt. In contrast to this, which makes me feel intensely cared-for, I also sometimes feel forgotten or unimportant.

It makes me nervous that he apologizes with the tongue of angels. I don't want to feel better about things; I want them fixed so they aren't a problem again. I worry that being without the sting of unhappiness, I won't fix a thing. On the other hand I also know through both experience and pure logic that things cannot always go perfectly between people, even in the best system, and so maybe I should set that aside and enjoy... peace? Being seen and understood in an apology? Either way I want to learn to do it.

To drop these yoked opposites for a moment, to burrow into my spaces of pure desire, I want to learn from him and with him. I want this self-contained competent exploratory curious caring person right there at my shoulder while we navigate whateverthefuck this life thing is. I want to see how he does the things he's so good at. I want to do things that bring surprise and respect to his face. I want his advice because, whether I accept it or not, it's always worth considering. I want to know there's someone there who'll always say 'we'll make it work' and who I can, however skeptically, still believe somewhere inside.

And I want him, the /him/ of him, biker's thighs and a rug of fur, blue-ringed gold eyes and hands to match my own in size and almost in workman's roughness, careful deliberate easy movement and eyes that crinkle just right with each smile and the smell of home on the side of his neck where it meets his shoulder and something about a voice pitched to hit a spot right behind the centre of my breastbone and the totally unconscious warmth that pours out of his whole self.

This isn't a post with answers. It is merely, as they say, what it is: a shape in my head that I do not want to forget.


Mar. 8th, 2014 07:23 am
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Morning has always felt like my secret time. It's the space where no one else is awake, no one else is functional, and when I am most alive. It's the space for productive, internal solitude. It's the space where I haven't yet started reacting to all the day's events, so I can check in with myself about where I am as a sort of baseline. It's the space for tidying my house and my mind before the onslaught of the day.

Where I am right now is a little lonely, a little isolated. When my brother was staying here we were rarely home at the same time, but when we were we talked. I liked having that background of conversation, but more, I liked having conversations with someone who liked to talk as much as I did, who shared details of his day, and who I got along so well with. I had never really thought of family as different from other folks but with my brother there's a very similar underlying set of beliefs and habits that make interacting with him really comforting. It reminds me of how talking with Kynnin used to be; I feel quite normal, accepted, one person among many. I feel like someone else as opposed to very different from them.

It's a good feeling, and it gives one to think. I've been engaging with a lot of non-poly, non-geek, non-environmentally conscious folks lately, maybe people who are only one thing on that list, and often feel like I'm a curiosity in folks' lives. I'm that weird object on the menu ordered to be exotic, or picked up in a foreign country that is cool because they cannot make heads or tails of me. Sometimes maybe I'm enjoyed despite my differences. Either way I'm othered by a lot of the folks I'm hanging out with lately, and it's isolating and it's difficult on my ability to treat myself well. And perhaps a lot of these folks are not so much curious about my life experiences and what informs them and how they are constructed so much as that they exist, and that's enough for them.

I feel, maybe, a little unseen.

There are good parts of spending time with these folks, of course. I learn about other perspectives, I have a wider sense of the world, it's interesting, I get to figure out how other folks work at a deeper level. But they are not my home, not my family, and not my chosen family. Many of them are newcomers to my life. In hindsight it is maybe a little silly to have spent all this wok making lovely chosen family and friends and not spend much time with them. Why do I do that right now? I don't know.

Either way, I am beginning the process of dismantling this house, searching for another (oh, is the searching process ever a frustrating one!) and shifting my life. I want to keep an eye on this process. I want to shift to something that includes a little more family, which I guess is part of the goal of moving anyhow, and where I feel a little more accepted.
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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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Emotional pain is icicles to the chest, full speed. It's almost cold enough to be numb, not quite, and invasive in a way that doesn't quite allow the lungs to function. It's a dull but sudden pressure, the weight of everything in the world squeezing but with no sharp edges to bring even the relief of brightness to pain.

My pain tonight is not my own. It's carried, remembered, empathized, siphoned ritualistically from those around me who hurt as if by taking their pain on I could lessen the feeling of it.

I suppose it never has worked that way, has it? Thirty two years and I'm still learning. I'll give their pain back to them, then, and tell you about my joy and my trepidation, because that's where my own life is right now. Not borrowed, but real.

I keep doing yoga. I am not moving yet. I do yoga nearly every day, and while it's not as heavy labour as bike commuting or proper landscaping it helps me a great deal. Every time it's a deliberate interaction with my body. Every time I leave seated better within myself.

It's not a linear workout progression -- are bodies ever linear? -- but it affords opportunities for practice, for improvement, for small goals within big ones. It works well for me. It demands that I listen to my body. That, too, works well for me. I always need practice listening to myself, to know what I want, what I need, what I do not want, what I must hold firmly at arm's length.

I also keep brewing. Yoga is a ritual that focuses me on the here-and-now, on what I need and can do in the moment. Brewing reminds me of my pagan ritual experiences in exactly the opposite direction: it's a set of actions planned and executed with intention for the future. I brew crazily, artsily, a backbone of research occasionally making up for my intense lack of experience. I brew like I always imagined I would paint or sing if I did those things: to capture a thought or a feeling or a mood and carry it forward to share with people. I don't expect it to be received in such a way, but it comes from that same creative place. Really what I do is more about process than the result. It's too early yet to know how my results will be.

I've brewed an apple mead that's thick and sweet like sunlight at the end of August when it just starts to go gold. I've brewed a juniper apple wine that's resinous and clean like sitting on the rock slope of a mountain where the air starts to thin and looking far down and below to the ocean. And now I've brewed a barleywine that is thick and dark and bitter like strong coffee with a little sugar, like the days right after solstice where you have to go through the darkness again to get out but viburnum and witch hazel promise that spring will come.

I have rose petals for a mead (this one following a recipe, I have had it and it's truthfully like this) that's fragrant and warm and sweet like the sleepy press of a bedmate's skin in the morning, the sensation of intimacy before any pressure from the day forces motion and thought.

So as you can see, I'm enjoying this.

I am enjoying friends, a little distant from them as my life settles into its rhythms. No one, or very few people, match me: I wake up in the morning, I go to bed in the evening, I am not awake in the late evening or the night. If my schedule is an insurmountable obstacle for someone in my life, they drift out of my life for awhile.

I am enjoying my lovers, leaning especially deeply into my connection to Dave to explore it as greedily as my life and his will allow and gently letting time with Tenay unfold as it wants to. My body stays hungry for touch most of the time, definitely also for sex, but my appetite is picky and my time and energy are limited. I'm not sure I remember a time when physical affection has been so scarce on the ground for me. It's an interesting feeling, and not as bad as the complications that can arise when I try to banish it by any means necessary. I am, therefore, practicing patience.

And I'm practicing impatience in my career, exploring my intention towards school and enjoying the uncertainty and trepidation that come with it. It will be good to have a challenge again, I think. I'm always best when I have my teeth sunk into something.

For now I need to shower, still, after yoga, and to eat. Be well, lovelies. Less of the pain to you, and more of the joy.
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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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Super rough couple days.

Here I am, awake on time. That helps. I got a ton of snuggles and a massage last night. That helps. I had time with no demands on it, where I didn't have to be hurrying somewhere or doing something. That did the trick best of all. Now I feel tired, but clearheaded and less overwhelmed.

Those hard times point out where the problems are, but I cannot possibly solve anything from within them. All I can do is hold myself with as much compassion as I can manage, love myself with as much mindfulness as I can scrape together, and wait it out.

I fell down on the last one. I was busy seeking external support and also busy Doing Things. It let me get way off balance.

Now that I'm back near centre, though: what do I want? What can I put up with? Who do I want to be, and for whom? How many faces am I comfortable wearing? How many closets am I okay lurking in, and to what end?

And here are some answers:

I want people who love who I am, and who I love as they are in return. People are not projects for me, except for myself, and I have no desire to be someone else's project. I am neither a fixer-upper nor a display piece nor a garment that needs just a little alteration to be perfect. I may choose to make some changes on myself for someone but that shouldn't be necessary or expected.

I can put up with a lot, and I will, but it makes me unhappy and I don't want to be unhappy in service of loyalty or longevity in interpersonal relationships right now. So my actual tolerance for putting up with uncomfortable things is pretty small except that it's so easy for me to accomodate folks that I often don't notice I'm doing it. Then I get increasingly constrained and unhappy and I don't know why. This is why I'm so happy my anger exists: it's great at showing me where I am putting up with things when I didn't know that's what I was doing. It's important for me to self-check when I feel uneasy and figure out I'm doing this. I don't want to put up with constant friction, with frequent backbends and contortions, with repeated amounts of unexpected relationship work. If I feel like I am not the driver of this work it's much more comfortable for me; I'm better with putting in work when someone else is meeting me halfway or more.

I want to be pretty much myself, who I am now, with a bit more focus on work and a bit clearer social mandate. It's important enough for me to have my close folks around me that I'm going to start my family dinner potlucks up every two weeks again when I am back living in town. I'm happy to put in that work to be a person surrounded by friends of my choice: the people I love most, who aren't necessarily selected in the same way by other social hubs (not that there's much of a social hub right now). It's important for me to sink energy and time into getting and maintaining a job I actually enjoy, one that's good for me. This will necessitate less general social energy since that's where a lot of my effort is bleeding off right now. I will try countering this with those structured social events.

Shifting faces for different people really holds no interest for me. Because it's instinctive in me to try and make people comfortable, to give them what I think they want, I've been exaggerating or suppressing parts of myself. I just don't get good value out of that sort of thing: hiding my self and what I want away to make folks happy just assures that I'm surrounded by folks who aren't happy with who I actually am. That's a bad scene: I start feeling bad about myself, the other person feels bad when bits of me peek out, no one is happy. It's better to part ways than to force the issue. There will always be a certain amount of presenting some parts of myself to some folks and others to others but I can't justify tweaking those faces much in one direction or another.

Of course that bleeds into the idea of being closeted. In order to have a venue where I can be closeted I need to meet new folks, since I'm pretty out to everyone who reads my facebook or my blog or who speaks to me about partners in any capacity or, or, or. What's been happening for me lately is that I've been encouraged to suppress some of my stuff, not for a new person in particular, but for his housemates and workmates and all that business. I find that very uncomfortable and it starts to make me ashamed about my stuff. That shame can only go so far because I know with such certainty this is what I need right now and there's nothing wrong with it, but I feel neutered, suppressed, muffled. My people are really important to me, both poly/sexy partners and close friends, and the shape of each of our relationships is fascinating and dear to me. Knowing I need to cut those things out of how I present makes me uneasy even if it requires no overt change of action on my part because it never comes up. So, I'm not into closeting myself except for brief, not-really-repeatable stints.

So there.
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It's been too long since I've written; I have too much to say. It's been too soon since I've written; I can't step back and pick out a pattern.

When I look up from the keyboard I see seagulls picked out in brilliant pink-white by the setting sun, highlighted against a dark background. I have a three-song playlist on: The Lumineers and Temper Trap, Stubborn Love and Ho Hey and I'm Gonna Wait. I've been listening to it for three days, and it's primed me for something. There are two contented rabbits curled up within sight, and a dying rat in the other room. Bananas are frying quietly behind the music, and their smell of caramel and cinnamon matches the golden dying sunlight. I'm in my house, alone. I've been folded open but there's no one here to receive me but you. So, receive me.

Blake is gone. Nothing has changed in this regard except: we've had contact three times or so, tiny facebook exchanges where he sends me a link or I send him a piece of information about the graff I've been brewing. Last night I sent him a bottle of it along with the stuff he'd left here. He sent me a thank you, he'd drink it when he wasn't sick.

That's twice he's let me know when he's in a bad way. I disregard it because I have to, because being a prop for someone who can't support themselves is one of the things I fear most, because I don't want to set precedent, because I don't want to bow to manipulation instead of an open request, because... I choose to disregard it. But it is hard, and it hurts. I love him and I don't want to see him unwell or unhappy. I miss him and although I need so much distance it hurts me in so many places. I feel like, when he hints at being not-so-well, he's extending me trust and I'm proving unworthy of it when I deliberately turn my gaze away.

It's better to feel pain than nothing at all; the opposite of love's indifference.

Blake isn't the only person I'm deliberately turning my gaze from these days. Some things went down with Graydon that weren't okay with me and I had a couple choices; I could put the work into engaging and explaining and processing and fixing, or I could just turn away. I've turned away, left all that hard work and struggle behind me, sought out a different path. So here I am on a path that feels free and unnatural and rubs against my moral grain or my feeling of being a good person who tries hard for people I love. Here I am alone in a room talking to a keyboard.

The future is certainly unwritten. I trust it both more and less than I should, I think. I trust it to bring my people back to me if it can without harming them or me, not just Blake and Graydon but my very dear others who are off on adventures and lives of their own. I know, though, that I've tethered myself to too many people to ever have them all close at once again. I have-- oh, my dears, I haven't told you of my startling, disturbing abundance yet! --I have so much, sometimes my flesh can barely hold in everything I've been given but the absence will also always be there.

She'll tear a hole in you, the one you can't repair/ But I still love her, I don't really care.

I am becoming a magnet again. People are responding to me as if I were January sunshine. I don't think I'm ready for it. I'm trying to be busy living my own life, spreading myself lightly, certainly falling for Dave but also doing too much brewing and dancing alone in my livingroom and being good friends with my amazing neighbour and starting the ball rolling on switching jobs and dating and reconnecting with oh so very many people and reading poetry too late at night and keeping my fridge marginally cleaned out and, and, and...

...and always, at the beginning of things, I can give people what they want. We've been down this spiral of talk before, I can't live here, but I keep coming back to it. I love intimacy with people. I love closeness and the insides of folks when they open up and are such an incandescent complicated irreproducible pattern inside.

People want to be loved. But on the whole they want something more from that love than I can give them. They want safety and there is no safety on this earth. They want strength but my strength is all from personal momentum and cannot be long lent. They want to lay down the burden of their selves but I consider carrying that self a holy act.

All that comes later, though. Right now people look at me and see that I see them. They open up, let me reach in, bare their bellies. I love that they do this. I've been through it too many times not to be afraid. I suppose that's why I love the self-contained ones, people who are aloof and for whom I don't seem like I could ever be necessary.

I'm too tired to continue. I've been crying as I write. I haven't cried like this in a long time. Winter's finally over. As I've been recently reminded, it's time to move to to spring: renewed warmth but also all the rainstorms that drive decay and growth.


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May 2017

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