Whoa – I’m feeling good. Maybe it’s because my medication has settled out, or because I’m coming out of menopause-imposed insanity, but I don’t think so. I think it’s because…well, maybe I’m learning some stuff. Maybe I’m finally figuring out what I want my life to look like and how I want to live it. Maybe it’s because I am shaping my life to be that – what I want. I have been doing the emotional labor and now am making the life decisions to put me there: where I want to be. It feels good. It feels right. Also, because some of these are BIG life changes, it’s a bit scary.
But that’s okay. Scary-ness in the service of living authentically can be managed. Even savored a bit.
I am embracing my life as a solo poly person (for a good explanation of the term, see this excellent article: What is Solo Poly: My Take (not mine.)) This style of living has called to me at various times post-W, though out of fear of the unknown, of making changes, of being alone, I have often sabotaged myself and made decisions and acted in ways anathema to that course. You’ve probably seen me working through it (ok, at times agonizing over it) here and there on the blog. I am sure I will do so a time or twelve again, too, just to keep things interesting. But the more I really allow myself to explore what it feels like, to grow and to fully embrace what it is to be solo poly, without the expectations of “should have” or “should be,” the more authentic it feels to me. The more right.
No, I haven’t broken up with either of my guys. I have made changes to both relationships though (and I am humbled and blessed by Adam’s willingness to embrace these changes) and I am also allowing myself to explore other relationships – the new one with my Canadian, LJ; what might become more than a once-or-twice a year interaction with BB in Chicago; and, in a surprising twist of fate (not really a twist, but it sounds so much more dramatic that way), with my photographer friend Allan. And last but definitely not least is my growing friendship (and possibly more?) with Toy. We have become such good friends, and she is a delightful, if occasional, play partner. Could there be more? I don’t know.
All of these budding relationships have a pace and a tenor and a reason (if you will) of their own – what is the through-line in them is me being willing to open myself up to them, to these tenuous-and-yet-enticing relationships, and, once open, to allow them to grow into what they are and will be, without expectation. I am being open and responsive and…trusting…in a way that I once used to be. Trusting in myself to make good choices – and that means setting and keeping boundaries to ensure that those choices remain good; to make the most of the opportunities I have been given to learn and grow; and in myself to be vulnerable, knowing that, “Vulnerability is not weakness…[but defined]…as emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty,” as Brene’ Brown says.
I am also exploring – gently but insistently – my relationship with myself. Discovering who I am when I am not “who-I-am-when-I-am-me-plus-someone-else.” This is an oft-visited theme since W’s death, but seldom with such conscious thought, such clarity and sense of purpose. I am driven by a need to discover and uncover this Jade who is her own person, to discover if I can stand on my own and who I will be in doing so.
This weekend I am child-wrangling for V and his wife while they have a weekend away. I offered to do it a long time ago; since then and actually doing it I waffled back and forth about it: am I sorry I offered, based on my often-conflicted feelings in the past 3-6 months regarding our (his and my/her and my) relationship(s)? But I’ve been in their daughter’s life now for 4 of her 7 years, and we have a relationship of our own; though I know I would not be a part of her life if V and I were to split up, she has a place in my heart. I guess the bottom line is, I don’t mind spending these days with her because I love her like an adjunct daughter; and I don’t mind doing this for them in the interests of giving them much-needed time alone together. No matter how our individual relationships are faring and no matter how things shake out, I love them both and wish them happiness with each other. I strongly believe that the stronger they are together the better all of our relationships are – but doing this doesn’t hinge on my part in that relationship. Making that decision – to be happy to do it no matter where I stand in my relationship with either of them – is right for me to do, because that is the kind of person I want to be. That is the kind of person I am.
I’ve got lots of other things going on too. I’m (hopefully) buying a house, after living in the one that Adam owns for two years with my roommate. It seems a sudden thing, though it isn’t, and there are very good reasons for doing it…I’ll have to post about them soon. Meanwhile, my life has been busy as all get-out while I work to get everything done for the purchase. It’s crazy and wonderful and terrifying, and I am beyond thrilled. As I said, more to come.
I’ve got quite a bit of travel coming up too. Although my Thanksgiving plans got cancelled, I still have 10 days in Toronto/Cuba with LJ and a group of his at the beginning of December. I’ll be housesitting for my sister and her two Great Danes (seriously, Danes! OMG *sqwee*!!) from Dec. 21-28 and my house closing is on the 27th. That means that in between Cuba and then I am going to be packing for the move, which I hope to happen the weekend after the 28th. Then I head to Milwaukee in February to see a dear friend, and go backpacking in the Indiana Dunes in April with the daughter and Toy, and up to Kinky Kollege with Toy in April as well. Then another dunes backpacking trip Memorial Day in preparation for my daughter’s and my next big trip: backpacking 25 miles of the coast of California in late June for her birthday, followed by four days of redwoods before we head back home. Then, if all goes well, Exxxotica in September in Miami with BB and New Jersey in October, as well as Hedonism in October with Adam. And…dare I say it?…I am hoping that my trip with LJ leaves us both wanting to see each other more, which means traveling to see him wherever he is, or him to see me, however much we are able to wrangle that. Whew!
Okay…I’m done for the night. Butterfly House and LEGO castle-building and 7 year old questions (Her: “Are you Jewish or Christian?” Me: “Um, neither. Have your daddy explain agnosticism when he gets back…”) have worn me out.
Oh but wait, to prove that that joy of children never ends, no matter how old they get, here is a funny conversation that happened this past weekend hiking with Toy and the Girl (my daughter.)
Toy had injured her arm while at KK. Specifically, she’d tweaked a tendon in her bicep or shoulder swinging a flogger at me. She was massaging it when I emerged from the restroom.
The Girl: How’d you hurt your arm, Toy?
Toy: *schools her face to blankness* Umm… *looks at me*
Me: *looks back at her, smirking a little*
The Girl: *stares between us*
Toy: I hurt it swinging a really heavy flogger. At your Mom.
The Girl: Seems like if you used a lighter one you could hit her harder and cause yourself less pain.
Toy: *snorts with laughter* Whatcha think, Jade? Should I hit you harder?
And with that, I’m off to bed.