It is the season for Wrap Ups, for Looks Back, for reflection and “what the fuck happened?” to mingle in the brain. I normally don’t do such things; arbitrary ends-of-years (you do remember that more than half the world doesn’t see this as the New Year, right?) don’t normally appeal to me.
However, I had a dream the other night. It was a class I was organizing, and the theme was “Best & Worst.” I think it came from the series of posts from people like Lochai and Voron on Fetlife about the “end result or process?” or the “most important safety rule“. And as much as I dislike hyperbole and dyadic choices (life is not the Kobiyashi Maru, in my opinion) I think there might be some value in exploring the questions:
What was the best kinky thing you did all year?
What was the worst?
Note the limiting factors: kinky and year. Feel free to expand and try and think of the best or worst thing you’ve done in general, or in your entire life, but when I did that my head either wanted to explode or to wander down a dark spiral of self-recrimination and regret. Neither really good things.
So…what was the best kinky thing you did all year, Graydancer?
Hmm…probably it was the decision to embrace my avocation and try to unite it with my vocation. I tried having a “normal” job for a while, for a little more than half the year. 9 to 5, insurance (sort of, though it didn’t cover the things I actually needed treatment for), overtime, vacation…the whole shebang.
But it was soul-deadening. The contrast between the people that I connected with through writing, podcasting, teaching, and performing, vs. the people I suckered into buying shitty properties on eBay at my job became intolerable. In the end, I had to realize that the only thing I was accomplishing at that job was making my boss richer, and that was at the cost of not only the sucker’s money but also at the cost of my quality of life, and the quality of life of those I loved.
So one weekend I walked in, packed up my personal items from my desk, sent emails of resignation to the two immediate superiors and the big boss, and left. I resolved that it was better to be poor, insecure, and happily contributing positively to the world (at least, as far as I can tell) than to be a dead soul with a steady paycheck.
Since then, life has been one good thing happening after another. I have been able to teach and do things with people I’d never expected or dreamed of, and 2011 is looking even better. Does my bank account suffer? Hell yes. But really, in the bigger scheme of things, having tried both ways…this is where I belong, doing what I’m doing. Best. Decision. All. Year.
Eh, that’s an easy one. What about the worst thing you did all year?
Ah, now, here’s the decision time. Do I open myself up to the teeming masses (ha) reading this blog and go for the intensely personal experience, or take the easy route and go with “well, I didn’t check that I tied that Gravity Boot correctly on the famous Oreo Cookie suspension…”
If you do this exercise, I warn you, this is dangerous territory. Regret and guilt are two of the most insidious and yet worthless emotions there are, because they really don’t accomplish anything. The past is the past, and you can’t change it, and more than that, there is no way to tell if the past is exactly what needed to happen to get you where you are right now – in my case, sitting in bed in my friend’s flat in San Francisco with a happily tired and snuggly DoNotGoGently next to me. I wouldn’t trade this for anything, so how can I be sure that anything I did to lead up to this should have been changed?
Well, ok, I’ll stop dodging the question. The worst thing I’ve done in my kinky life all year…it’s not really one thing. It’s more the area of my kinky life where I wish I was doing better, making better decisions, able to explore and develop it more skillfully.
It’s the area of dominant and submissive relationships. I still carry around a big huge hangup from my first real D/s experience, and while it has benefited me in terms of education, it has certainly stunted my own development. About all I know is that I am “wired” for that kind of relationship – but making that wiring actually function seems to be a very difficult process of talking things out and trying things out with my partners, whether play- or life-. These are some of the more difficult and clumsy conversations I’ve had, and mis-steps and mis-communications and mis-takes have led to a great deal of strife and pain for myself and those I love. So what have I done the worst in my kinky life over the past year? Managed my identity as a dominant kinky person.
There. Now I know what I can choose to work on in the future. Or not; sometimes you just do the best you can, and have to keep muddling through. I’m a big fan of “inching towards daylight” as the saying goes.
Now it’s your turn, if you care to take up the challenge. The comment field awaits:
2 thoughts on “A Simple End-of-Year Post”
The best thing I did, hands down was I got out of my comfort zone. I played with new people, did some very scary (for me) things that I hadn’t done before and initiated conversations that have (or likely will) turn into play.
The worst thing I did, by far was neglect to ask. On several occasions I *didn’t* ask- to play, to come along, to teach- so many things that I’ve let slide by for some stupid reason (like feeling unworthy) or just the bad habit of not putting myself out there.
One of the reasons that my best is the best is because it’s a change from my former normal, though change started this year, and I’m working on keeping it. Shy can be sweet and enduring but being so shy that I miss out on good opportunities just isn’t acceptable anymore.
Best: going to Dark Odyssey Summer Camp.
Worst: the way my relationship with my Dom ended.
2010 was a rollercoaster of a year for me. I ended a 3 1/2 year relationship with a person I truly cared for, but who could not love me the way I wanted or needed. It was hard, maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I’m better for it, happier because of it. My life has only gotten better since I gave him back that necklace.
Having said that, I know not all my reasons were pure. And I hurt him, something I never wanted to do. I had a slim hope we would somehow be friends. Now, a year later, that hope has long since flown away. Que sera…
But then, Summer Camp. Flying blind, I found myself in the 50-something swingers cabin, knowing no one, ready to have an adventure and open up my kink world on my terms. On my terms. In Boudiour Nation, I found a camp Mommy & Daddy. In Polymorphous Perversion, I found my people. And throughout my five days, I felt more alive than I had in years.
2010, you were good to me.