Tuesday, May 11, 2010

fits and starts - or - like a river

"Life is really crazy for us right now." I find myself saying that a lot - not just now - but over the past few years, no - actually many years. I guess it boils down to life just is crazy. It moves, not forward in a nice predictable way, but all over and with all kinds of crazy accelerations and reversals. I know someone who compares life to the flow of a river - he's not the first one, I'm sure, but I'm borrowing shamelessly from him. Our river always seems to be straight off a glacier, down a steep mountainside, in a windstorm. Except that, when I look backwards at it, it seems so pleasant and lovely. I don't know if that has more to do with the way our minds gloss over the difficult stuff in hindsight (why else would I have had child # 2), or the fact that, in the moment, I tend to see things as more daunting than they really are.

The fact is that we are in transition now. I have been a professional student for some time. I've recently finished being a student and have taken a "real" job. We are packing up and moving, far away. And we have a very short time in which to do it. The past year has been a year of finishing one phase of things and planning for the next. It feels good to finally know what needs to be done, and to begin doing it.

The past year has also been a huge year of change for my husband and me. My discovery of D/s and our initial efforts to learn, and to reshape our marriage, coincided with the hardest part of my studies. Maybe it was fate, or just a huge coincidence, or something quiet within me knew I needed a different way of being. It was a time that I needed all my energy to be focused on finishing - and being a wife, and raising children, and ailing parents, and, and, and... Yet I was obsessed, distracted, and off balance by this new thing, these bizarre new feelings, and I couldn't put the genie back in the bottle. It seemed to me then that the timing couldn't have been worse.

It has been just about a year since we stepped into this particular river (and yes - i find myself frequently wet - take that as you will). I have changed so much, and learned so many things about myself, and about my husband, and about how we can interact. There was a lot of "well, I would never" that passed my lips, at least in my internal conversations. Except that now I do, and happily. Words and ideas and ways that I had found frightening, repugnant, weird or extreme have come to be enticing, intriguing, useful or already integrated into our lives. I am slowly learning to read and listen with a more open mind.

I feel we've barely started. I certainly feel as if I know nothing. If you go with the peeling layers of an onion analogy, I'm still clinging to that papery outer skin. I even avoid taking those polls about "how do you identify?" because I feel like I don't know enough to know if this is really me. Am I submissive? I mean the adjective, not as a noun; I'm not wading into the miasma of trying to label us. Am I submissive? An awful lot fits. An awful, awful lot grabs me, pulls at me, socks me in the gut and levels me. To some extent, people form some identity based on what speaks to them, what resonates and what doesn't. In the end, if the proof is in the pudding, it is working, so much better than "not D/s" was.

Mouse asked recently if falling into submission was a slide down a slippery slope or a jagged edge on which you catch then slip, catch, then slip some more. For us, for me at least, because that's who I can really speak about, it is a jagged edge, fits and starts, a raging, calm, winding, wide open, slow, churning, never the same spot twice, river. I get stuck on something, then work through it and move on. I get really stuck, throw a huge fit, calm down, work through it, and move forward. My husband has even joked that he can predict what my next post will be like based on the pattern of ups and downs. It is much like the rest of our lives. And, in the hind view, the panorama from the vantage point of now, it has been quite lovely and good.

The timing for my initial introduction to all this really probably could have been better. Why did this particular self discovery led to such an obsessive frenzy? Why couldn't I just take bits and pieces and ease into it all? Why did it have to be more like a drug addition than, say, taking up piano lessons? But now that we are here, somewhere downstream, I am glad, so glad, we jumped in when we did. I will save the nuts and bolts for other posts, but I know I am handling the changes and challenges in our lives better than I would have, I know I feel more connected to my husband than I ever have, and I know he feels stronger, more confident, and more joyful in us.


  1. gg,

    Thanks for the mention...there is always more to learn...we just never stop. Don't worry about defining yourself either...unless it's something like blissfully happy.

    Thats a definition mouse can get behind!


  2. GG,
    I really enjoyed your post. It absolutely amazes me that along with everything on your plate that you could post anything, let alone one that is so beautiful. I love the imagery that you use, the photo is gorgeous and solidified the whole meaning of your post, as throughout reading, I had to glance back at it.
    Congratulations on the completion of your studies and best of luck with all that you have to do! I'm so glad you found all that you have found, it really helps me today.

  3. snow does not get to decide when it will melt and start down the river. It just happens when the conditions are right.

  4. My dad always used to say, "You think you have life all figured out and then it throws you for a loop. All you can do is keep moving." Far better than staying stuck, anyhow!

  5. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Glad you found what you needed to get you to where you need to be today... and congrats again on the new job!



  6. Mouse,
    We are indeed happy - I don't know abotu blissed out - but happy - and connected.

    Thank you. The picture is from a really pretty hike in Vermont. If it helped lift your day at all, I'm very glad.

    Sir J,
    Figures you would be able to jump right into the middle of the metaphor and extend it to make me see something.

    You are so right - a wise man your father was.

    Thank you. I think this one was a good reason indeed.

  7. I hope you continue to enjoy the journey now that you have discovered your real self. You know what you want and it sounds like you're taking the steps to get it.


  8. FD,
    Thank you. I imagine it will have it's ups and downs, like any other.