Is it just me or are these coming faster and faster? It seems like just yesterday that I was twenty-nine. Tomorrow I am going to be fifty. Fifty. It sounds kind of old doesn't it? Gah. I felt that way about thirty too. I think this will be ok. It's probably about time for me to set some new life goals. I have this bad habit of only planning for a fairly finite amount of time and then getting stuck. I did pretty much everything I wanted to do by the time I was thirty like I wanted. Fifty is pretty much the same. I think that is a life well lived. Oh man.
I decided long ago that the thing I wanted most was to produce children who were happy and healthy and free from the cycles I grew up in. Well... that's an interesting thing to judge. Shanna is 23 and Calli is 21. They don't look anything like the other members of my my biological family in behavior. Does that mean I broke the cycles? It's hard to judge that sort of thing. They feel free to do things I dislike. I try hard to make my disliking the thing an impediment to a relationship. That's one of my cycles I've had to work on. I wasn't trying to raise people who would be compliant. Which means we have complicated relationships. It's been humbling to have to listen to my children give me valid criticism. I have had to learn to tell the valid criticism from the hyperbole and grow in productive, useful ways. That means there have been up periods and down periods and right now we are in an up period and I hope it lasts a long time. I think that being ok with the strife and knowing we will eventually find a way through has been tremendously healing for me. I have been able to love my children in a way I was not able to love my family of origin and that proved to me that I was not simply a broken person. I am capable of having healthy relationships. That's been maybe the biggest success story of my life. It may have been a humble goal but my husband likes to tell me that happiness comes from low expectations.
I tend to think of people as being in my life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I've been continually surprised by who falls into each camp. I think that I have been more socially nomadic than most people. Either that or I'm just searching for a lame reason to category my life into phases. Take bdsm for example. I was very involved when I dated Tom but then I left that community. I did sporadic play but rarely what I would term a "scene" by the standards I was raised in for many years after that relationship ended. It was in examining my own weird feelings about my relationship with Tom and my feelings about bdsm that I grew to understand more about the concept of the Old Guard. In the first four years of my experience in the bdsm community, I wasn't learning what I wanted. I was learning what Tom wanted. It was hard for me to grow to accept that. I didn't know what I wanted. It wasn't until I got into a deeper cycle of work on incest stuff that I had to look at the ways in which we goaded one another into places that were hard on me sometimes. He always had my consent. But my consent is a pretty messy thing. It exists some days and then I revoke it and feel angry about the incursion. That set a pretty intense pattern to how we played. He did not handle the backlash well at all for understandable reasons. He thought the amount of after care was more than the play was worth. That's a gross simplification and not really what happened, but it is how it felt. It is how I processed what was going on.
In the next portion of my life I firmly set aside a lot of those feelings and went off and explored other parts of life. I treated the bdsm community like a phase to be gotten over. I did still play occasionally, but I treated it like somewhere I was a tourist. I had to go away and learn a lot about myself before I could come back and find out what I actually wanted. I learned how to have a shape in my life that fit into the sex communities. It took longer than I was happy about, but that's ok. I gave myself a big window on purpose.
Teaching was this brief intense, idyllic world for me. I did not know how to have life balance with it. Some people can, but I couldn't. The funny thing is, for that I homeschooled my kids I have the utmost respect for good teachers. As the girls grew up I found my calling. I always knew that I needed to take up more space in the world than most people. I didn't imagine when I was young what that meant. The thing I value the most about the people who have been in my life the longest is they provide the most consistent mirrors. They give me feedback on how I have changed that surprise me. I wouldn't be anything without my friends, right?
But mostly I think I'm well on my way to my last life goal. My funeral is going to be epic. When I die it will matter.