Wow. What. A. Year.
A whirlwind of activity. Of change. Of growth. Of introspection.
Of mistakes. (Oh, so many mistakes). Of road bumps. Of hiccups. Of stumbles. Of bruises (both the good and bad kinds).
I suppose I should step back and look at the positives first before moving on to what I want to work on. First off, my biggest accomplishment would have to be related to my mental health. I feel like I’ve finally found a good balance between drugs and therapy that I am mostly happy with. Curiously, I love going to my therapist but it doesn’t *feel* like therapy, nor do we ever get particularly deep (deeper stuff gets discussed with various confidants), but somehow it helps. On the same note, I have not been to the hospital this year for mental health reasons (or at all), which is a change from earlier years. In fact, in the general scheme of things, I feel like my life is finally going somewhere and progressing after a few years of stagnancy.
Which brings me to the job situation. I fucking love my job, I really do. I’ve worked exclusively for start-ups since I was 16 and this is the first one where I feel relatively secure. I get paid what I’m worth. I get paid on time. I’m not constantly worried about running out of work to do, or praying that the next investor meeting doesn’t have me or my co-workers out of a job. Perhaps what’s most important is that this job has allowed my to become confidant in my ability and skill as a professional in my line of work. My previous two work-from-home contract gigs often felt like a farce, like I shouldn’t be there. This is no longer an issue, and even if my company folds tomorrow, I have the skill set, confidence, and industry knowledge to be back to work almost immediately. I’m in high demand and I know it.
Then there’s school. I have struggled with school, a lot. This is for various reasons. Reasons that really don’t matter (anymore). What I do know is I finished the fall semester with straight A’s and will be graduating at the end of the upcoming winter semester. This in turn will free me from a tremendous amount of stress and the feeling of being locked down to my current area. I had always intended to move out-of-state after graduating, for professional reasons more than anything. But if my current company continues to grow as I expect it too, I will have little reason to and have the very real chance of being a key member and part owner as we continue to break ground and innovate in an industry where innovation can be difficult. I love the challenge.
I’ve left the biggest for last. Relationships. What complicated, rewarding, sometimes terrible, interesting things. My regular readers know, of course, that I spent the first half of the year or so with GeekDomme. We both learned a lot about ourselves and each other. I finally had the chance to experience sexual intimacy, which was fantastic and has only left me wanting for more. It was also my first real chance at in-person D/s. There were certainly some road bumps, but overall they served as moments of growth and introspection and I’m glad to be able to have shared them with her. I also had some dates and some not-dates with a handful of others in the latter part of the year. These, of course, were experiences in their own right. And while nothing stuck, they provided joy and opportunity for introspection, which are always positives.
On the platonic front, 2014 has brought me a new best friend. A spot held since middle school has a new occupant. It’s not that I lost my previous best friend, but as I have continued to grow and move forward in my life, he has not. It has become difficult to have meaningful conversations with him and, due to some political differences, it has become hard to engage him even on basic current events. And while he is in a unique situation due to health concerns, making it difficult for him to move forward with life, I feel like it is a constantly one-sided relationship. This is energy draining and difficult to keep up.
Fortunately others have stepped up to fill the void and I have gained several new friends and continued to strengthen other already existing friendships. Thank you all.
Going forward into 2015, what are my goals then? The simple ones first: graduate, move out (which now means an apartment a few miles south), continue to save and invest for a financially stable future. I will continue my ever going struggle to get to a healthy weight. Compounding positives will continue to make this easier. Less stress from school means less stress eating. Less stress eating means less depression from overeating, which means it’s easier to stay the course, and thus easier to lose weight. Wins all around.
The real focus is going to be on happiness. I know I mope a lot on this blog about not finding the relationships that I want. While it’s good to save a safe space to vent, I need to focus on enjoying life for me. The last few months have had me reading a handful of books on relationships, meditation, and mindfulness, and the one constant is that it is critical to be able to create and take responsibility for your own happiness without partners. Further, I am no longer going to concern myself for looking for a very specific niche style of relationship. Looking back over the last two years as a member of the kink community, there are a handful of potential enjoyable relationships that have slipped by because of my need to stick to a rigid set of labels. Going forward, I am gong to focus on building and nurturing any and all positive relationships that come into my life and see where they go. Instead of trying to look for some idealized relationship, I will take each as an individual and new relationship, and, more importantly, treat the people involved as people and work from there. I have the power and agency to build a variety of fulfilling styles of relationships and I should focus on the people and not on the relationship.
On a final note, I need to stop being so goddamn hard on myself. I’m the first to remind people that they are indeed human and prone to mistakes, yet am hypocritical in that I don’t want to heed the same advice. This may be the hardest challenge of them all.