For the last 10 years or so, my job up has allowed me to be largely isolated from adults for most of the day. It’s allowed for a tremendous amount of introspection, a whole lot of learning about myself and my relationship with M, and it’s allowed me to be present for my children. But, it’s also allowed me to retreat to an extent, inside my head and those affects have been both positive and negative. I over think everything. I doubt too often. I try too hard. Yet, I’ve come to a place of peace within myself, amidst any churning emotions or struggle, a place I know I’m meant to be. A place where I can be ME. A place where I’ve made true friends.
On top of all the things M and I have been working on and talking about since that catalyst event, I can’t stop thinking about these friendships I’ve made. The ones I’m making. The entire process of connecting with others via the internet, actually. Of putting myself out there, honest and raw, for anyone to see. It all began about a year ago…..
After M and I returned from our 15th anniversary trip in October last year, I knew something about us was different and moving in a direction we were both pleased with, but I was still rather lost. I’d read dozens and dozens of books. We’d been getting kinkier and I’d been consciously facing some difficult things, trying desperately to make some positive, lasting changes, and beginning the process of letting go since earlier in the year.
It began with Tumblr. I’d been reveling in the freedom of expressing my sexuality and exploring it in ways I’d never done before. Looking at and reblogging photos and talking to M about them. Trying my hand at some pretty poor erotic writing. Then, I ran across the blog of a woman who wrote about her journey of submission, which quickly turned to frantically seeking words written by other women who’d maybe walked or were walking a similar path. I found some. Wonderful, expressive women who shared their beautiful words and experiences and I was profoundly affected. This thing in my head, this idea of how I might want my life to look, it was no longer something I just read about in fortyhundredtwentyseven books. It was REAL. I immersed myself in reading all the things I could find on Tumblr about D/s and submission. As I did, I ran across a letter, written by a woman which affected me so deeply. It resonated, it mirrored thoughts and feelings, and it gave me hope like I hadn’t had before. Most of all, it helped me have the courage to speak to M about what I really wanted. About what I felt we needed, the both of us….and so it began, this journey together.
Immediately, I felt this urgency to get my emotions out in writing, a medium I hadn’t used in years, apart from things I’d written to M. I needed to sort and feel and experience it all and I NEEDED to write it as it happened, as I felt it. I felt as if I desperately needed to create a space to connect with others who seemed to be helping to light my path. I felt as if we’d be lost without that connection. As I wrote and others commented, I realized just how desperately I craved that connection. Not just the reading of words, but the exchange between us. Tumblr makes that exchange process rather difficult with it’s awkward system of character limiting commentary and who-the-fuck-knows-if-my-message-was-received messaging. It takes forever to have a conversation and get to know anyone. I felt like I was pouring my heart and soul into my blog, but I just couldn’t connect on a deeper level as much as I’d like. Add to that this terrible confusion festering in me, because I always feel as of I have something to prove and I was just awkward. I tried way too hard to fit in. I wanted so desperately to meet others, I often wondered, just who I was blogging for. Still, I was fortunate enough to make a few friends, ones I care for dearly, but I was frustrated.
Another blogger mentioned WordPress, so I checked it out and decided to try the same blog there, too. Same posts, same blurbs about me, same story. It was a slow start, but I loved the easier format. I LOVED that I could read and comment and have a continual dialogue if so desired and that others could do the same with me. I felt such freedom in being able to just be me and have actual ongoing commentary with others. I just wrote, the real me, and didn’t worry about proving anything to anyone. I reached out and commented. I felt validation and comradery. I felt such unbelievable connection to the words of others; some I felt I could have written myself, others that opened my eyes to hidden parts of me, and still others that gripped my heart so tight I wanted to reach through this square box and hug the person on the other side. The best part was that I could say so and get a response in return.
That’s the thing…..there is a human being on the other side. Living, breathing people, tapping on keyboards, purging their hearts into this virtual medium, just like me. The more I read, commented and connected, the more visited me. Not only was I able to find some sort of peace in the writing process while learning about myself and M along this journey, but I got to know some of you through your words. For the first time in my life, I felt like I belonged somewhere as ME. I could say all the things in my head, real and uncensored, and just be me. I made connections within myself that I’d spent 40 years trying to make, simply by writing out my thoughts and feelings, reading and connecting to deeply thought provoking words on blogs, and by commenting and connecting to those lovely people on the other side of those words.
It’s never been about the number of followers or how many people visit my blog, love my writing or how famous I can get. I’ve only ever cared about keeping a diary of my process, of our journey, learning about myself, and connecting with open-minded, real PEOPLE. Doing so almost became an obsession. I jumped in with two feet, posting on both Tumblr and Wordress, starting a Facebook account in my pen name, and joining a couple discussion groups. This whole world of fantastic people opened up. It felt so free to just be me. To be accepted.
But, all the time I spent doing all those things takes away from time spent out here, in the real world. What a conundrum, huh? This world, the one where my free, raw, real words float, it seems just as real to me. It’s just as me as this me out here and sometimes much more free. It has seemed that all this time, I’ve been struggling to find out how to be the real me, how to uncover and rework and build this me, and I can say all those things here, in this medium. But out in the real world, not so much, aside from with M. So, the worlds seemed to be apart from one another, competing for my attention. I had to find a balance….
To my surprise, the more I shared, the more people reached out to me. I never imagined I’d meet people who’d want to reach out. Amazing people offered emails and phone numbers or began to chat. On the one hand, I wanted nothing more than to develop real friendships based on just being me. But, that prospect also scared the shit out of me. What if, outside of the words I can tap on my keyboard, I don’t measure up in real life? So scary. What risk that takes to jump in. And, knowing and speaking to real people outside of blogger land also made this way we live much more real. It’s felt real, the realest thing I’ve ever known, in fact. But, it’s so validating to know that real people live and love and grow as we do. It’s also scary and saddening to know that if some people were to find out, my family’s livelihood could be affected. Yet another risk. Yet another reason it felt as if the two worlds were colliding, becoming one, as I got to know others.
As silly as it sounds to describe it that way, that’s how it felt. It’s also one of the best things to ever happen to me. I feel as if I found my tribe, finally. I live in this one big world, comprised of all the people I encounter in a day, whether it’s behind a keyboard, on the phone, or walking through the grocery store. I am lucky enough to have people in my life who live freely and love deeply. Awesome people who understand me, have common goals and see the world though some amazing lenses. They’ve helped to give me the courage to be me, all the time, even when it’s difficult, behind the keyboard or not. This whole experience has helped me to realize what I find important in this life.
Blogging has given me the courage to take risks in allowing others to get to know me, to find and accept who I am, and the beautiful friendships that have resulted are more than I could have ever imagined.