Not So Kinky

November 23rd, 2016

The intention of all these posts was supposed to be getting the things out of my brain that had been floating around. That worked mostly okay… until the election… and then other politics happened. I feel bad about that, I wanted this to be less political, and more personal. Not so much. Well, that’s not true, I’ve done a lot of personal writing, too. Not enough, I feel, but there again, is my self-judgement. I do that a lot. Not enough, not good enough, not ____ enough. Fuck that. I do what I can. It’s not always what I think I “ought” to do, it’s not always what I think “should” do, but it is what I’m able to do.

I want to write more kinky stuff, but honestly, my life isn’t really focused on that right now. Sure, we still hold class every Wednesday, but I’m hardly ever in it. Sure, he practices his whip technique, and now a wrap-shot technique. He even paddled me for his birthday, which was lovely. But, even most of our “kink” time is spent being responsible, taking care of the venue, presenters, attendees, volunteers. And that’s fine, that’s where our focus has to be right now. We’ve got to keep things running, keep our community as safe and educated as we can. I don’t even know where we’d make time to do other things.

I get to see the boy once a month, for a night. And we have a good time, cooking, eating, Netflix, and having excellent sex. But I don’t write about that in detail. Those details private and personal. Sometimes I write about things we say, or conversations we have. But again, it’s not very often.

So, I write about what’s going on. Right now, that’s the disaster that is our President Elect, local and national leadership, politics and fighting. And that’s okay. Is it sexy? Is it steamy? No, but it is a part of my journey. It is what is on my mind, most of all.

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This Brain of Mine, it has a mind of its own

November 20th, 2016

That was not where I intended to take the previous post. But that is where it went. A lot of things have been going on, and I promised myself I would not censor this month. So, I let my fingers go where my exhausted brain directed. And I am pretty much exhausted, drained, and worn out.

But, for all of that, it has been a good weekend. I spent Friday night at the club, reaching out to teach the community about what it is that my crew offers, and helping provide a safe place for everyone to explore. I was present for a very moving Masters Capping ceremony. I got to spend time playing with him, and sharing love with my chosen family.

On Saturday, I got to spend a very nice night with my other chosen family. Sharing drinks, food, music, and laughter. As well as plenty of hugs, cuddles, kisses, nibbles, and yes, even the glitter of a metamour.  Today, there was open, honest, passionate conversation, for the coming together, and not just moving forward, but upward, towards building better things.

Work is going to suck tomorrow, but I spent the weekend doing what I love, with those that I love. Every minute, every smile, and every tear was worth it.

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We Aim to Misbehave

November 20th, 2016

I have Captain Mal’s speech in my head this evening. Only, it isn’t really about misbehaving – it’s about fighting for what is right. In this country, in these times, in our communities – we have a wide variety of people, of opinions, of opportunities – and we must all stand up for each other, for what is right for all of us. That’s not an easy thing to do. To be the first one to stand up, to be the first one to speak up, to be the light shining into the darkness. A lot of times, I see people afraid to speak up for themselves – asking other people to speak up for them. And I get it, it isn’t easy to say the unpopular thing, to call out a leader, to say what needs to be said. But when there is so much wrong in this country that someone like Trump can be elected President, we have to start working harder, fighting harder, to make the changes that are needed.

This happens on a local level, too. Not just on the national stage. And that is where we need to work the hardest. We need to work in our communities, in our neighborhoods, in our cities, in our states. The kinds of changes we need to make, they aren’t just national. They aren’t just in Congress. The folks at the top can say whatever they want, do whatever they want, but if we don’t create change everywhere, these problems are just going to continue.

Our leaders cannot do it alone. We chose them to lead us, but they have to have our help, our support, our voices, to know where to lead. They have to have us working just as hard to make the changes we want them to create. Our leaders are nothing without us, if we are not behind them 100%, they will have no one to lead. And if they are not leading us in the direction we want to go, they need to know that, too. If they knowingly lead us in the opposite direction, then we need to get new leaders.

Many respected figures have stated that they are not giving up, that now is not the time to walk away, that the best way to create change is to stay and do the work. Aside from the few who are walking away, the rest of us have a duty to do that work. It doesn’t end when the decision is made, when the voting is over. Unhappy with the results? Fine, do the work to create change you wish to see. Happy with the results? Fine, do the work to solve the problems that brought you here.

Complacency has brought us to where we are today. No more. It is time to take productive action. To have the hard conversations. To stand up and be heard. To not just shine a light into the darkness, but to bring the light in, and chase the darkness away.

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Missing Days

November 18th, 2016

I keep missing days. This week has been especially bad for it. Stress and life keep be busy and distracted. Two jobs, a busy social schedule, and making/eating way too much food due to the above. I made a pretty decent dinner last night – chicken, veggies, and potatoes. All good. But then I made half an apple crisp (bread pan, not brownie pan)… and ate it all. Halloween was three weeks ago, but I’ve been eating chocolate almost every day since. And not just at work, but buying chocolate when my Mom visited, too. Bags of dark chocolate bark – on almonds and one pretzels. Delicious, I’ve gotta slow down, get back to dessert once a week. Unfortunately, we’re heading into the holidays – Thanksgiving next week, and Advent and Christmas after. And work is planning a “dessert potluck” at the beginning of December – as if we don’t have enough cakes and cookies there already. I may need to get a different job just to get away from all the sweets, let alone for financial reasons.

So, I’m missing days of writing, because I let myself get distracted. I moving so quickly through life, going from one thing to the next, that when I sit down at night, I just want to shut off. I’m feeling more forgetful, too. Leaving things places. Not remembering reminders I’ve been asked to give him. I put stuff in my phone, but it’s a flip-phone, so I have to remember to dig into the note file to see what I’m supposed to remember. It’s almost as bad as the Remembrall from Harry Potter.

None of this is helping all the feelings of insecurity and uncertainty. I try to set schedules to create a feeling of stability – but my body overrides it more than not. A job with flexible hours is great, but trying to convince an exhausted body to go in when I “really don’t have to” is, at times, impossible. I do better going when someone Else is expecting me (my regular boss, him, the gaming guys). Same way I am with studying. Sure, I love learning new things, but unless someone else is expecting an assignment turned in, I don’t prioritize it.

I’ve spent most of my life focused on making other people happy. Living up to the expectations of my parents, my teachers, my bosses, even my boyfriends. He has been very good at helping me remember to put some focus on myself, on creating health and happiness for me. But even that has an outward focus half the time – “cannot serve from an empty cup.” It isn’t for me, it’s so I can serve him. We often talk about how someone with a serious problem won’t change just because you want them to change. They have to want to change themselves.

Change is hard. I’ve made a lot of changes in my life over the past few years. Got a new degree, changed job fields, changed jobs, changed apartments, started seeing a new guy. Soon there will be a divorce. And soon there will be another job change. For someone who spent 13 years in one job, this has been a very stressful year – two internships, three jobs, and looking for a fourth. Trying to create a new “normal” for myself.

I did an experiment at the beginning of fall, to try to change some of my habits – create new habits. I bribed myself to do these things each day, with money I didn’t really have, but could find and reallocate to something “fun” for myself. It worked somewhat well for two months. But once stress reared up again, the habits disappeared. It made me a bit more aware of the bad habits I was trying to replace, but it has not continued to be much of a change. A tiny baby step in the right direction. I need to make more.

Winter is coming, and I’ve got to stay motivated. I’ve got to stop missing days, not just of writing, but productivity. I accomplished a good bit while Mom was in town, but as soon as she left, progress slowed to a crawl. I am important, I am worth the effort, I am “fantastic and wonderful” by his words this morning. Words I really needed to hear today. Words I need to believe in and act on.

I am very lucky in this life, to have this life. Full of love and friends and family. A job, an apartment, enough food, a car. I have the opportunity to follow my dreams and desires. I cannot let that go to waste. I will stop missing days, and live this life to the fullest.

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Responsibility

November 16th, 2016

Leaders take on a huge responsibility. To lead people, to guide people and (usually) an organization/group. They are held responsible for the actions of those they lead. They are held responsible for whatever happens to them, as well. They have taken on the mantle of getting shit done. They don’t have to do it all themselves, but they are the ones responsible for it happening.

I don’t envy those in positions of leadership, of that kind of responsibility. Everything they do is watched, analyzed, criticized, or second-guessed. When things are going well, they are praised. When they are going poorly, they are blamed. When things are messy, they are mired in the muck.

There is a running joke about me “being in charge” in one of my groups. But I’m really not. It is not my responsibility to get the things done, I’m not the one everyone looks to if they don’t. I know my limitations. I don’t do messy well. I don’t have the patience for politics. I do like to organize, and the leader delegates some of that organizing to me, and I’m glad to do it. But I am not interested in the responsibility, and the glowing target on the back, of leadership. I don’t do the big things, I like to be the support staff in the background, getting the little things done.

And some days, I even find it hard to do those. I haven’t got big enough spoons for leadership, and I don’t want them. My little spoons are good enough for me.

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Breathing

November 14th, 2016

I really wanted to write something nonpolitical today. But that seems to be filling up all of our reality right now. The country is full of protests, and violence, and vandalism. People are wearing safety pins, people are arguing about safety pins. Facebook is full of political discussion and ranting and memes. The news is watching every move the President-Elect is making, every word he is saying, as he goes about picking his cabinet, and sorting out his plan. The world is watching, and reacting. Comedians are making jokes, and taking moments to be absolutely serious. Groups are organizing to resist hateful policies and practices.

Meanwhile, New Zealand had a major earthquake. Flint still doesn’t have clean water. The pipeline is still being built. The south and the west are on fire, literally. And there is bird flu in Germany.

So, I’ll try again tomorrow, to take a breath and get back to my usual postings.

Edit: In the meantime, I just finished watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and wanted to post the groups he suggested donating to, to fight against hate and racism:

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/

https://www.reproductiverights.org/

https://www.nrdc.org/

http://www.refugeerights.org/donate/

http://www.naacpldf.org/

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

http://www.maldef.org/

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Asking for Help

November 14th, 2016

I wrote this weekend, but mostly about the weekend. About shopping with my Mom. Car troubles. Money things. Insurance things. And the feeling of being an “adult.” Not really things that belong up here.

But I also wrote a bit about Asking for Help. Earlier this month, I talked about asking for what you need/want/desire. And the vulnerability therein. Asking for help is different. The vulnerability isn’t just in admitting what it is that you want. Asking for help means admitting that you cannot do a thing yourself. It can open you up to derision, insults, or pity. That last may not seem bad, but no one really wants to be pitied.

However, it can also open you up to the love and caring of your friends and family. It can bring you opportunities you never would have had otherwise. You might get the chance to help someone else in return. It can also open you up to a new way, or a better way, of doing things. From asking for help, you might actually learn something new.

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Hate is the Mindkiller

November 11th, 2016

My Mom’s in town this weekend, going to sleep on my couch as I type this, so it’ll be short. We were at lunch, talking about the meeting she’s been attended week. The Rural Advocates of the United Methodist Church here in the Midwest. I asked her if they accomplished anything – mostly just finishing up the year’s paperwork and preparing for next year. So, nothing? She said they were mostly worried about the church splitting.

Splitting? Over the LGBT issue, she says. I posted about the General conference discussion of it a while back. She talked about how the two sides cannot “agree to disagree” on the issue. How her group did not have an issue with LGBT folks and were trying to work with them. How some parts of the church simply refuse. It’s going to come to a head, she says, in 2019, when the commission reports back.

I understand, I tell her, the desire to settle on “agreeing to disagree.” But, I say, Hate is just not okay. They don’t Hate them, she tries to tell me. Mom, I remember the “love the sinner, hate the sin” policy and I’m sorry, but “HATE” should not be anywhere in a church’s policies.

Hate is what is tearing this country apart. People fear religious zealots full of hate, but I tell you, it doesn’t take radicals or zealotry for hate to be in your religion or your church. It starts with all of us, standing up against hate, wherever we see it: in the street, on a bus, at a school. Even in church.

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The Gift of Fear is Action

November 10th, 2016

I still need to listen to the book again, but I want to talk about fear today. Fear is a useful feeling, it is a survival mechanism. It tells us when there is danger. It tells us to lift our head and look around, like a deer scenting a predator. It tells us when something is wrong. But what it doesn’t tell us, is to stand still.

There is a lot of fear in the country right now, in the world. One both sides of the fence. The right fearing the left. The left fearing the right. The election didn’t really change these fears, they were already present. It just shone a brighter light on it, and gave greater power to the side that myself, my friends, and my family fear the most.

We cannot, however, let that fear paralyze us. We cannot let that fear turn to hate and destruction. We need to work harder, we need to find better solutions, we need to support our friends and family.

I am a white, straight, middle-class, woman. I have fears, but they are nothing compared to the fears of my friends of color, my LGBT friends, my Muslim coworkers. These people are afraid for their lives, on top of all the other fears. Again, they had these fears before the election, but racism and homophobia have been given a louder voice, and stronger support now.

We must all work against this. We must all stand with our friends and family. We must not let fear and anger lead. We must not let it win. Fear is a motivator, but it is action that must prevail. Love one another, be good to one another, work together towards safety and security for all.

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Election 2016

November 9th, 2016

That’s the trouble with NaNo – not editing your work, you don’t realize the final word of a day was misspelled… and then I somehow skipped yesterday, so it’s been misspelled for nearly two days. Weee! Despite the desire to drink yesterday, Monday should have ended with everything you can dream, not dram. Awesome, Imp. Awesome.

So, yesterday was terribly disappointing. I’m currently tuned in to Tim Kaine about to introduce Hillary for her concession speech. Only .2% difference in popular vote, but a Massive difference in Electoral votes. Ugh! And Republicans keeping control of the House and Senate.

I am scared. Of what is going to happen going forward. Of who is going to end up on the Supreme Court. Of what terrible things are going to get passed. Of President-Elect Trump becoming Commander in Chief of our military forces. I am grateful that the Presidency is the least powerful branch of government, but Congress now has an aligned President. That’s what scares me the most.

Clinton encourages us to come together and move forward. To continue fighting for what is right. That the fight is always worth it. Trump began his speech with reuniting this country, as well. Though the second half of his speech seems to be thanking everyone he brought on stage with him, family, staff, and politicians. One can only hope he creates a cabinet of intelligent advisors.

The elections are over, the fight has just begun.

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