Is This The Life I Expected?

September 27th, 2012

Friends of mine have been talking/puzzling about their lives not being what they expected them to be. For some, this is causing great distress. So, I decided to take a look at the question.

Growing up, what did I expect out of life?

When I was little, I wanted to be an astronaut, doesn’t everyone? The stars held me in thrall. Then I found out that astronauts didn’t get to visit the stars, and sometimes their ships blew up, and I thought maybe I’d stay on earth til they got those things worked out.

Then I wanted to be a teacher. Until I found out that kids are cruel, and rude, and unmanageable sometimes. I thought maybe that wasn’t the best place for me, and maybe I didn’t even want to have my own.

So I turned back to the stars. I wanted to study them, from here on earth. Look out into them, and find the mysteries of the universe. Find other life. Figure out how life formed here. I was again in their thrall. But then I went to college, and calculus and E&M defeated me. So I turned away again.

To writing. I loved to read, it kept me entertained as a child, and I loved to write, to express myself in words, because my voice was so soft, and no one could interrupt me when I was typing or writing by hand. I could speak for myself in text, say anything and everything through writing. And I love it.

I work in a bookstore, because I love books. I love sharing knowledge, and helping people find the same joy in it that I did. I don’t teach, but I help them get the information they want. I do not go to the stars myself, but can help other people get there.

But those are only jobs and vocations, those are what I do. What did I expect out of Life?

Growing up in the church, I expected to stay in the church. I expected to be a good little UM girl all my life. To get married to a nice UM boy, and worship every Sunday, and be a part of projects and work groups. And then I got older, and there were politics, and other view points, and intolerance, and hate. My faith became more personal, less contained in a building, less constrained by specific doctrine. I still consider myself a Christian, because I feel I live by Jesus’s overriding message of Love. His words of love still speak to me, and I do my best to follow his example. I didn’t marry a nice UM boy, or even a nice Christian boy. But I did get married to a very Loving man. And to me, that is what is important.

But where did all this poly stuff come from? Surely that wasn’t “in the plan.” No, growing up, I expected to have a husband, forsaking all other so long as we both shall live. It was even in our vows. Promised before family and god. But that doesn’t seem very loving to me. To Forsake others? I didn’t date anyone in High School, but my college relationships were rife with flavors of poly. Not my first, he was a good Christian boy. But most of the ones after that. I didn’t have the understanding, let alone the language for it at the time, though. My second, still in love with his HS sweetheart, cheated on me and left me for her. I often played with him after that, even with a third friend sometimes, and still love him, though not in a romantic way. My third, had a ‘zip code rule’ that I always rolled my eyes at, but he and I had off and on things, despite his other relationships. My fourth, well, he was an odd bird, and I was trying to get back with others during that time as well. Hubby came into play that year as well, as someone I loved, but couldn’t be with. Then my fifth and sixth, openly admitting to love for hubby while dating them. Playing with others while things with hubby went up and down and round about. But things were so messy, that when I got back with Hubby after college, I made the mono-demand.

Which lasted just over three years, until we both started falling for others. My experiment exploded, so I returned to a state of poly=pain, and agreed to swinging. That didn’t go very well, either, and then we found the community here, and I softened and fell, back into poly, where I truly belong. This time, with resources, and language, and experienced people, who taught me to communicate, and to thrive in this lifestyle. Oh, it still goes up and down and sideways, but I am far better equipped to deal with it now, and far more able to accept the bumps and bruises, and keep on swimming.

That was the important lesson to me. It isn’t about trying to keep my head above water, that’s just a lot of thrashing around to keep from drowning, but you never move forward doing that. I’ve learned to keep on swimming, forward, through the waves, and tides. The only way up is forward, and it attracts fewer sharks if you swim fluidly forward than if you thrash around hoping to be rescued.

So, was this what I expected out of my love life? No. But it is certainly what fits me. Love, and plenty of it. To keep me going along my way.

But life is not just job and relationships. What about this kink stuff that fills my waking hours? What about the natural world and the stars I loved so much?

I grew up loving the outdoors. Going camping, going hiking, stargazing. Sitting by campfires, singing songs and exploring the woods. It is still my refuge. When things get too much. When I need to unwind. When I just need to get away. I go to the woods. I walk through the forest, I lie in the grass, I sit by the brook. Nature is still in my veins, but people now fill my heart.

I didn’t have a lonely childhood, in my mind. I had friends, I enjoyed school. I went to parties. But I didn’t have a Lot of friends, I didn’t do the social butterfly thing. I had a couple best friends. That I would spend most of my time with. I never expected this to change, and it hasn’t. I have kept my best friends, from HS and College, but they are far away. I have made a few more since, but not many. And it is with these friends that I spend my time. It is kink and poly that brought me to these new friends. And geekdom. I still do the geek-thing, gaming every week, and a group that goes to geek conventions and throws parties monthly. But the latter are also a part of my poly and kinky circles, too.

I’ve always had a kinky bone in my body, though, I didn’t know it at first. Or at least not what to call it. I found it fairly fast, though, when I got old enough. Kink, I discovered, made sense to me, and was something I wanted in my life. It became part of my regular life with my second boyfriend, growing with my fifth, and really expanding when I met daddy online, and then in person, though I didn’t find community until nearly a year after hubby and I moved back here, only just over four years ago. I tried once, just before we go married, but a missed connection kept us at bay for four years, due to moving out of state after the wedding. Kink, though, once I understood what it was, has always been an expected part of my life. And I am grateful for the people who have guided me, advised me, played with me, and taught me. Navigating the kinky community, and one’s kinky self takes a lot of work and skills that are not necessarily the norm in regular society. And it has also given me an outlet for my early desires to teach and my later desires to write. These things are a part of me and kink keeps them in my life.

What about submission? How does that fit in with my life expectations?

Did I grow up thinking about how wonderful it would be to be controlled? How much I wanted a man to tell me what to do? How much I wanted to serve him? No. I grew up learning to be an independent, free-thinking, self-reliant woman. I went away to college, I went to Ireland alone, I went to Australia to meet daddy. I moved out of the house when I got back. I found a job, I supported myself. Sometimes I fell down, and needed some help, but I was mostly independent of my parents. I got married and moved away. No longer singularly independent, but still in control. In charge of my life, working now as a couple, to be successful. So, where did this submissive desire come from? How does it fit into my life expectations?

In my kink, it has always felt like the natural role for me. At first, it was a desire to be done to, as I think it usually is. I wanted to receive all these sensations, I desired to be spanked, to be pinched, to be bitten, to be held down, to be bound. So in control, so strong, so independent. I wanted it to be taken away. At first, I wanted to know that these things were okay. That I could still be strong and independent, and in control, even though I wanted and liked these things. I didn’t have control over what turned me on, but I wanted to know that I was still in control of myself and my world. My body, my RA, took some of that control away from me, so I gained a desire to control the pain I experienced. I wanted to have the pain that I wanted, not that my body just threw at me. These things came first.

Then I met strong, dominant men, and it wasn’t just about play anymore. It wasn’t just about top and bottom. It was about Dom and sub. It was about being able to give up control, giving them control, and the freedom I found in doing so. Not just in giving to them, but in receiving as well. The give and take, the cyclical relationship, that requires love and trust and work to maintain. It feels good to submit to those I have chosen to submit to because they chose to dominate me in return. One-sided relationships happen, but they are not fulfilling in the long run. The joy and fulfillment I found in submission, blossomed from curiosity to expectation and is a part of my life I do not ever want to be without.

Expectations change as life changes us. But once we find those things that make our lives wonderful and whole, it no longer matters what we once thought we would be or do. It is what we are now, what makes us happy and fills our lives that matters most. No use worrying about what we thought would be, stay in the present, work for what you want now. Not what you thought you should have. If I’d stuck with my original plan, I’d be pretty much out off luck now, NASA’s ended the shuttle program. Expectations are helpful, but don’t let them stay stagnant while life changes all around you.

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