The Rollercoaster of My Life

Yoga Calming the Rollercoaster

The past few days have been a shiny example of the rollercoaster of life, and true to form I am going to openly and honestly share a few of the highlights and my thoughts. My personal life is going through some pretty significant changes. I am questioning what I want from future relationships and openly exploring what that might look like for myself, and those around me.  My book has taken what I consider to be an incredible turn, and I am writing with more passion and purpose than I have in a long time.  Also, I have met a person who is treating me the way I had always hoped was possible but never dreamed I deserved. It’s new, fresh, and very exiting.  And while I am just trying to live in the moment, and take things that are really new day by day, it’s difficult not to look back on my past and wonder why I made certain decisions.

While all these pretty significant things are going on and bringing me beautiful little highs, I am getting slammed back into reality at what seems every fricken turn. Physically I am in a pain, but healing from a sprained wrist and body aches from an icy fall I had. Emotionally, I am at a place where I am trying to be vulnerable with one person, and putting up walls and boundaries with another. It is an exhausting struggle, that multiple times during the day I worry that I am just going to break, say the wrong thing, or cave all together. The balancing act is treacherous, and I look forward to the day when all this emotional regulating pays off. Unfortunately, I see no end in sight, and that makes my emotions difficult to anticipate. Which in turn, makes me a little volatile, and wanting to just run away to some safe haven, and hunker down until everything has stabilized.

So, while all the real world stuff is playing ping pong with my emotions, I spent yesterday reading the comment section from my last blog post. Not only, did I get to read fully unsubstantiated claims, I also found out that my troll is back. Normally I just smile, and calmly respond to haters (I’ve done it for years and am pretty adept at not taking things personally), but yesterday, it broke me. Call it bad timing, or whatever you want, but honestly, I just dropped my head down on my desk and started crying.

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Breaking Away from Monogamy is my blog. It is filled with my words, my experiences, and my truth. To have that questioned, and then my integrity called out within a few hours by multiple people just shook me. Yes, I recognize that by admitting that the troll got to me, I am opening myself to more trolling. When it comes to random internet attention seeking there is nothing I can do or say to make it stop aside from ignore it which I usually end up doing. Today however, I am choosing to be honest in saying that the so called “truth” seeker is a thorn in my side. And the timing of that person coming back into my life just plain sucks.

But, here I sit, writing about all these rollercoaster events happening, and thanks to an amazing nights sleep, I may finally be regulating on the side of that little thing called hope. There are great human beings out there. A few of you even reached out and supported me yesterday, which was beyond appreciated. And that is what I will try and focus on. Hope is healing me. And I wish the same for each and every one of you out there. Take a pause and focus on one tiny thing that glimmers with possibilities. Hold that in your mind, visualize it, materialize it before you, and let that be your 2021 ray of sunshine. I’ve got my hope written on my calendar beside me, and I read it every morning and smile. And I want all of you to have the same.

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My Life is Not Perfect and It May Never Be

My life is not perfect

Over the past year, I placed a big carrot in front of me.  I wanted to achieve something I have never had in my adult life, and I focused my attention on that one thing.  At the age of 36, I was finally going to be debt free, by making a huge life change, and sacrificing home ownership for the removal of this mental burden.  Why am I sharing this with you?  Because, it hasn’t happened yet.  And in the interim of this will it, or won’t it scenario, I am learning a whole bunch about myself, and my mental health.

It turns out, having a carrot to work towards, is not something that gives me peace.  It is just too big a goal, and far beyond my direct control.  Thus, I placed my mental happiness on something in the future, and one that was not a sure thing.  I am going to tell you with complete honesty, that it came close to destroying me.  I forgot to find joy in the day to day.  I became consumed with this idea, that my happiness depended on this far off event, and if I just held out for a few more days, weeks, months, then I could finally smile again.  Then, I could breath a huge sigh of relief. 

I’ve made this mistake in the past.  I put all my eggs into a basket, that seems like a sure thing, and allow my mental well being to just kind of simmer, until this goal is achieved.  I’ve done this with my career, with my past relationships (maybe even my current one, but that is too close to home to analyze right now), and I just snapped myself out of doing this for a moment longer with my debt.

The thing is, I do have to make sacrifices right now.  I have put the exploration of my sexual fluidity on hold.  I was so excited to have a first date with a female, but the reality is, dating is expensive and very time consuming.  I know this.  And it would not be fair or even rational to put myself out there right now.  But, as I am figuring out, not everything I do has to feel like I am giving something up.  I can enjoy my 20 minutes of yoga a day, with clarity.  I can take breaks to play video games because it makes me happy, and my brain needs mental breaks throughout the day.  And yes, I feel proud of all the writing and progress I am making working from home part time. 

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In the past little while, I have resisted posting pity me social media status’s and it has been difficult.  I cried out loud to my partner, that I just wished someone would finally feel sorry for me, and tell me that I have come so far after such a difficult journey.  Let me just have one person feel sorry for me, I sobbed.  And you know what?  He did the complete opposite.  He told me that I could be proud of what I had done, and reminded me, that it is OK to take breaks and not work so hard.  I don’t have to prove to myself that I work 80 hours a week, to feel good about myself.  I can work half that, and enjoy my breaks and the little things.  And that my friends, is when I realized that I was using this carrot as my permission slip to be happy.  And, well, that is change I am making in my life.  I may never be out of debt, and I may never enjoy the financial freedom that I believe I would as a child.  And you know what?  I very well still could.  This isn’t that I am giving up on achieving a goal.  Instead, I am trying to be more aware and conscious that I can be proud of myself right now.  That I can celebrate small victories with as much intensity as the big ones.  And well, just writing that, the lump in my throat went down.  I breathed a sigh of relief, and the tears that were brimming as I typed, slowly just went away.  I don’t need to spell out all my obstacles and hurdles to you all to elicit sympathy.  Instead, I can let that go, and focus on the joy and the smaller moments.  Life is what you make of it right? 

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Fall is Upon Us Once Again

So many people look forward to the springtime, the season of new beginnings and the much anticipated break from the winter.  I, on the other hand, look forward to fall.  Autumn is the season of change, growth and  exciting new beginnings.  Yes, I am biased because my birthday is a few weeks away, so of course this is the full circle for me.   But also, it is the time when a natural schedule sets in, either as a result of school starting or just the days getting shorter and a necessity to plan a bit better.  There is a rhythm that fall brings, a sense of stability after a summer full of random adventures.   Or in my case misadventures and unexplored opportunities.  Le sigh.

I keep telling myself that I will grab every new opportunity that comes my way.  To take the challenge of never saying no.  But my reality is, (if you read my last post I go into a bit more detail), that I am finally comfortable with my opinions.  I have spent years finding my voice, and when even the subtlest red flag presents itself it’s so hard to just ignore and choose adventure.  It’s such a double edged sword.  One that I am not sure how to reconcile.

As far as sexual adventures go, I am 100 percent on board if they involve my partner.  I want us to continue exploring as a team.  But all solo expeditions almost feel selfish right now.  Does that make any sense?  I want us to experience new people together and get to laugh and share stories as a united front.  I don’t want to put in the effort of building up new solo prospects that are just a bunch of going nowhere men.  I know, that sounds super jaded, but if you have seen the state of online dating recently, you may have an ounce of empathy for where I am coming from.  Men who have never heard of non-monogamy just want sex.  Men who have, are really, really difficult to find.  And it becomes too time consuming to even begin a conversation.

But, here I sit, writing with my favorite movie on in the background (Labyrinth) and fall is setting in.  It is the time for a shift in mentality, and perhaps even towards a more positive and hopeful one too.  A season of soft changes, and little waves of chillier weather.  As the leaves fall, perhaps my barriers will do the same.  Maybe there is something just incredible waiting for me under the next leaf pile…

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Alone Time

Whenever my partner is away I find myself going through that same cycle over and over.  It starts with me making big huge plans for everything I am going to do with all my new found free time.  Then I spend a little too much time binge watching a TV show that I have been waiting to watch, that I know he hates.  Soon after, I put out my little loneliness feelers, to scratch my sexual itch, especially if he is going to be gone more than a few days.  Almost every time that plan falls flat and I resort to draining the charge on my toys again and again.

At this point, I realize that it may not be sex I am looking for, but just merely a little human contact.  I become a little more hug prone and I set up coffee dates with someone I haven’t seen in a while at least once a week.  You know, to just get out of the house and keep social.  And then I throw myself into whatever job I am doing.  In this case, I am working as many hours as I can, and when I get home I crack a beer and continue working my book.

And then, it hits me, and it is a surprise every single time.  My life is the same with him away, or right here beside me.  What I choose to do, and how I live, doesn’t change based on the distance.  Sure, I might only see a friend or make new friends once a month.  And perhaps I get a little distracted in the summer with camping, sunshine and adventures so the writing takes a bit of a pause.  But I am supremely focused on my craft.  Although it may not seem like it, I always am daydreaming, working out character arcs, and working through things that I may or may not share via blog, or social media.  And there is no amount of distance that can break my connection to my partner.  We have a symmetry about us, that just seems to work.  Two stubborn, souls, living in a beautiful cosine arc, that peaks and falls with the passing days, in a perpetual path towards our individual goals.

And as for the dating and sexual aspect, my goodness do I miss having a couple in our lives that we can get excited for, and excite us in return.  I know we will find a few “someones” at some point, and it will be the most amazing, invigorating time of our lives, but in the right now, it remains a fantasy, mixed with a few blissful moments from memories.  I almost look forward to the fall, whereby things seems to settle out a little, and routines become more predictable both in our lives and in the quest to edge into someone eles’s.  The variability of summer leaves too much up in the air to really get something started.  A few sparks here and there, but it’s the fall that proves if those sparks will smoulder out, or ignite into a warm glow.

My imagination grows rich with fantasy, and it is time to put pen to paper in a more poetic form.  Until next time my dear readers.

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An Unbalanced Gender Culture

I wrote a post in 2013, discussing the loss of male identity, and I highly encourage you all to please give this a quick read before continuing: A Push for Individuals.

I wrote that piece after a particularly difficult genders studies course in University.  Our professor was discussing rape culture, and the variation of machoism throughout our world.  How in some cultures men are encouraged by their male counterparts to cat call, grope and fondle passing women as a signal of how masculine they are.  While there are other cultures where men are the main caregivers, and they are taught to take care of, educate and play with the children while the women sew, farm, and make the political decisions.  What I found striking about all these cultures is that men and women seemingly had their gender specific place, putting aside natural outliers for the moment, but gender roles served their society.  The cultures existed and thrived based on gender specific traits that were cultivated and taught for generations.

Ok, so where am I actually going with this?  I have been cautiously waiting for the gender breakdown to occur in our own society.  And right now, before all of our eyes, it’s happening.  And I am nervous, anxious and trying to find a place of hope.  What do I mean by that?  Well, women in the 60’s right up through the 80’s gave a very hard push for equality.  Everywhere they looked they felt inferior and less valued in society, and they rallied together to change that, now known as the feminist movement.  A push for a female identity that was equal to men.  And the only way to do that successfully was to overshoot the target.  Woman not only proved that they were equal to men, but in many ways reached further to show that woman were and are actually better than men in many areas.  This was a revelation.  Women were not lesser, but rather had strengths and weaknesses, and enriched our culture outside of the home as well as in.

Are you with me so far?  Because here is where I get a little nervous.  Women united as a feminist movement with a clear goal of seeking equality.  And not only was there a vision, but there were real monetary and social checks that would show when we had succeeded.  To be clear there was a specific goal, that goal was clearly defined, with a finish line so to speak.  To be treated and receive the same rights as the husbands, fathers, brothers and coworkers.  Just one clear example is the wage gap, a clear monetary goal, that once achieved, we would get satisfaction and could do our jobs with security and certainty.

But now we have run into a little snag.  In all the focus on raising women up, to an equal place with men, we forgot that many men would feel that they have to come down to achieve gender equality.  That in order for the scales to find balance, men will not get to keep their status quo, the position of power and dominance.  And do you remember what I mentioned in that piece I asked you to read about men being breadwinners, etc?  That is a fundamental part of their male identity and it is being taken away.  So, in order for equality to be achieved there is a real give and take.  And the thing is, if the men are not willing to give, the women are fully prepared to take.  All personal opinions aside for a moment, the tides are changing, there is no stopping this forward movement, and there is no telling where the new shore will be.

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I personally think this is why men are having such a difficult time with the consent movement.  Not only are women telling the men that they are no longer allowed to grope, or touch females without their express consent, we are going back in time to show example after example of when men crossed a huge line.  Now, my issue here, is that although its obvious now looking back what that line should look like, it wasn’t so clear back then.  We have told men that sexualizing women without permission is a crime, but we have not offered any solutions for them to fix the behaviour other than to stop it, change overnight and in fact somehow go back in time and stop their past from doing what they did.

Feel free to pause here for a moment and yell and scream at me if you want.  Men should never have objectified women in the first place.  When a women says no, or looks uncomfortable or is in a position of lesser power such that her future and livelihood depend on pleasing the male at the top, men should have recognized that this was a problem and stopped.  But they didn’t, they were in fact often encouraged to continue by their fathers and peers, and now here we are.  In a turbulent time, filled with apprehension and discord all around.  In a perfect world, I wish  men could change over night and undo their past indiscretions.  Obviously that cannot happen, and women are so angry that nothing is filling the void we feel.  No apology is good enough, no career damaged enough, no action heartfelt enough to sooth the injustice of male dominance over our bodies.

It’s bad out there, and I think it’s going to get worse.  The male identity is lost, and they are going to get angry and push back.  Female equality feels so close to our grasp, and yet, there is so much past pain, that when we finally have it, in every single part of our lives, are we going to be content or do the scars run just too deep.

From my personal perspective I do not feel a part of the feminist community.  Instead, I feel like I align more closely with the humanist movement.  One free of genders, or biases, and one filled with individuals working together for a common good, the expansion and survival of our beautiful species.  I envision a world where we break free from gender norms or roles, where the boxes that contain us are broken apart.  I look for a world beyond equality, a world where we just exists in peace, love and unity.  For now though, I want to bring clarity to the real issues.  Men fucked up.  And women, we need to figure out how to educate them on how to treat us, and figure out a way to move forward after a harrowing past.  So keep spreading the #metoo movement, and explain why consent matters, that all people are equal, and autonomy over our bodies is a positive thing for both men, women and all future generations to come.

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