I think I can do this.
No, I really do. I think I can be happy.
I think I can be content.
I think I can accept what is, without pining for what is not.
There’s been many times in the past – what’s it been, almost 2 years? – that I haven’t been sure of that. That I’ve doubted and wondered “why” and wished I was anywhere, in any other relationship(s), than the one(s) I am in. That it was all too hard, too complicated, too not-what-I-wanted out of my relationship(s). Out of my life. Sometimes I still feel that way. I love Viper and would be devastated not to have him in my life and I adore and crave the D/s dynamic we have created; I still love and appreciate Adam as much as I ever did (if not more so), even after almost 18 years; and I love my independence. But I also acknowledge that the architecture of this relationship (mine and V’s) is not what I would have chosen, had I sat down and written a paragraph of what I wanted my relationships to look like, way back when we started dating.
Not having a roadmap in mind, not having what I wanted clear in my head – or at least having allowed myself to be swept into a relationship that didn’t appear to fit into the type of poly relationship I wanted – has had its pros and cons.
Polyfolk talk all the time about allowing relationships to form organically. “Don’t go in with set expectations,” is a favorite aphorism of polyfolk, and for the most part it is a sensible one. You’ll never know what might have been if you require a relationship to follow a specific path – and more often than not, the relationship won’t fit into the structure you’ve created for it anyway. Relationships are growing, living things, but they cannot be pruned, like bonsai, into the shape you want to force them into.
On the other hand, I have long been a proponent of shaping our own destinies, of creating the love and life we want. Following that creed is how I ended up with the relationship I was in with W and Ad. Yes, I believe in serendipity and accidental good fortune – meeting and falling in love with Adam and subsequently W were two such occurrences – but I also believe in being courageous enough to accept the gifts the world bestows upon us, and in being deliberate in our choices so that the life we lead is the life we’ve chosen. It took forethought and effort to craft that life – it could not have just “happened.”
So as I contemplate this relationship I am in now, I am often of two minds. It has brought me so many good things and taught me so much – and I continue to learn and grow in it. But it’s also challenging and sometimes even disappointing, primarily because it is not the relationship structure I would have chosen.
If I had started out with, “I only want a relationship that looks like X,” I would never have experienced so many good things, from Viper’s love and support, to getting to know his family, to being introduced to and embraced by his circle of friends – who have now become my circle of friends. I would never have known the D/s dynamic that we share, and that is such an integral part of my wellbeing now.
And yet it is still challenging in so many ways. It’s hard because I want something different —
As I write that, I have to stop and think a moment. It sounds true. It’s what I’ve been telling myself for two years. But as I sit here, basking in the glow of contentment from a week filled with so much good, I have to ask myself, do I want something different? Or is that just something I tell myself because it’s familiar?
I did want something different. For a long time.
I wanted what I’d had. I wanted what I’d lost. And I blamed every uncomfortable feeling, every growing pain, every time something wasn’t just right, on the fact that it wasn’t my old life.
Of course it’s not my old life. Nothing again will ever be my old life. But that’s…okay. Better than okay. Thinking about it this past weekend, I realized…yes, of course I still wish desperately that I had W in my life. But this new life? This life that, yes, I have once again created – crafted – for myself? It’s not just what I have. It’s what I want.
I need to remind myself of that when I am feeling down, though. It’s sad that the thing that brings me one of the greatest joys in my life is also the thing that causes the most angst. If I get to feeling down it’s because I can’t have more of V in my life, or in the way I want. But the reality is…maybe I don’t have time for more of him. Or if I do have the time, I don’t know that I would want to spend it the way that we’d have to. Because there are weeks like this past one, wonderful, abundant weeks, that I wouldn’t want to give up, for what I’d have to settle for.
This past week was full to bursting. It was a week that started with a Sunday morning by the pool relaxing with Adam and good friends after a wild party the night before, then challenging myself and my daughter at a paddleboard yoga class with V’s wife (too much fun!) It was a week where serendipity gave V and I an extra night together, but I still had time for school, some time for myself, Adam, friends, my parents and even my new beau.
Viper and I had our usual Monday night together, though not in the usual way: this Monday we were able to go out on a real date. We took a blanket to the park by my house and listened to a band playing swing music under the trees, before going back to his house for the night. It’s the second time it’s happened recently, that we’ve been able to go out together on a Monday, rather than being stuck at home, and it was lovely. Then Thursday, though our original plans fell through due to me needing to deal with family issues, I was able to stay overnight with him again, and we had hot, angry sex when he deliberately provoked me before dragging me upstairs by the hair, pushing me facedown on the bed, and taking me from behind like an animal. And then Saturday night we had another date night, going out for dinner and movie before heading back to his place for play. It was a week of play and sex and orgasms, with and without him. And we got to sleep together for three whole nights.
Wednesday was my first class night of the Launchcode CoderGirl program (yes, I got in!) and afterwards I went for a marvelously exhausting, mind-clearing run, before returning to the house to hang out with my roommate and friends of ours, drinking wine and shooting the breeze on our back deck. That night I slept alone, happily, blissfully, and by choice. Friday night I took the plunge and asked L, my romantic-vanilla-not-vanilla guy, on a date – and to stay overnight at my house. We went to a food truck event in the park and then to a blown-glass exhibit at the botanical gardens, held hands and talked and talked. That night was our first time sleeping together. And while the sex wasn’t earth-shattering, it was very nice, and I can see us growing together in that way, too.
Saturday day I spent on my own. I went for a swim at the Y, cleaned house, napped, read a book and masturbated to a leg-quaking, Viper-inspired orgasm. Saturday night, of course, was my “official” date night with V, and then I spent Sunday with Adam again. We shopped for house things and did little house projects during the morning and early afternoon, before taking a walk to a local ice creamery in my neighborhood to celebrate National Ice Cream Day (yeah, yeah, a totally made-up “holiday”, but I love ice cream, so who cares!) And this place is sooo good, having it within five blocks is going to be dangerous. On a whim I invited L over to go with us, and he and Ad and I walked up there together, then we three sat under the trees eating ice cream, listening to music, laughing and talking. It was sweetly reminiscent of our days with W. When we got back Ad and I worked in the yard a bit together, then ate take-out and cuddled on the couch watching TV. It was not being on a “date,” which was exactly what I needed. Sometimes I miss just hanging out with him, doing normal, couple-y, things. I miss having a companion sometimes, a partner that lives with me. But of course that is one of those things that has changed in this new life, at least as it is structured now. It’s a delicate balancing act, this being solo and yet needing connection, wanting to stay connected. For both of us. We benefited greatly from our day and night together, though, and snuggling up to him that night in bed (Felix in the middle, of course) I was so grateful to have him in my life, solid, dependable, loving.
Getting to wake him the next day with a morning blow-job wasn’t bad either. ;-)
So yes, my life is incredibly full. Full of friends, full of love, full of sex and play and laughter and caring. And…though the structure of my relationship with Viper is not what I would have chosen, I’m pretty glad that I am in it, and that I gave it a chance to evolve into the shape it is now – and am giving it a chance to become what it will be.
So yes, I think I can do this.