Reflections, Instincts, and Milestones

I’m not going to comment on the events in Charleston, because my voice is not the voice that needs to be heard.  I would encourage anyone reading this to instead, read and listen to black voices, absorb their words, and consider, if you are able, making a donation to the church targeted by an act of domestic terrorism.

This weekend is the Nunes-Wilson Anniversary, and that makes me feel peaceful and happy. I think I might take him to the Zoo this weekend, and we’ll play some FFXIV together while I relax and prepare for my new position to begin on Monday.

Things were a straight up mess this time last year, as I was performing in my last show with my former troupe while they tried to wring the blood from the stone of my heart.  A week prior, G had broken up with me badly, attacking my primary relationship, my capacity for polyamory, my value as a partner, my integrity, and my worthiness of family.  Via e-mail.  From a conference on polyamory in Atlanta, while I was at a concert with my boyfriend in Philadelphia.

I often wonder how things would have gone for me had I attended that conference with her as she had asked.  Deep parts of me said “No” to that and I’ve always been thankful to whatever pre-verbal instinct in me always seems to know when things are in jeopardy even if my conscious mind is off in fantasy La La Land where Everything Will Be Fine Probably.

It was strange.  She texted me with the typical, “I have some thoughts I want to share with you” text message.  I turned to Tom and said, “So she’s probably breaking up with me, today.”  He, sagely, asked, “Is this because you’re fed up with being her additional free therapist about a breakup in which you played an already supportive role?”  And I nodded.  “Probably.  I can tell that’s the thing she wants most from me, and I don’t want to give her that anymore.”

I parked the car.  We had stopped to get gas when the text had arrived.
Tom helped me put on sunscreen, and asked, “So it’s shitty, what she just did, huh?”  And I said simply, “Yup.  Now I have to wait for the stupid email.”

We talked briefly on how we were glad that we had established an agreement early in our relationship that we don’t do “We Have to Talk” texts or emails.  There’s no reason to inject dread or apprehension into someone’s day.  Just be a person.  Wait, or ask if they’re free. This wasn’t relevant at the moment, because she knew I wasn’t free.  But it would have been nice to have been asked.  He hugged me in the parking lot, while the attendants stared, guarding me from the hot sun and sheltering me from the gravity of my own feelings.

“Do you think you’ll stay friends?”
“I don’t know.  I guess it depends on what she says.  I’ll probably need some time.”
“That makes sense.”

…. ding.

The email came in, and I sat down to read it on hot asphalt.  It stained my dress.   I noticed melted chewing gum had clung to my sneaker. It was strange that it was exactly what I expected from her at this point, but also still managed to flood me with disappointment.  I had hoped for better.

I finished reading it and wrote a brief response. “I have read your email, and understand its contents.  I will talk to you on Monday when you get back from the conference.”  I asked T if he wanted to read it.  He didn’t.  I gave him the broad strokes, and he said plain as day, “It sounds like she had some pretty unreasonable expectations of you, and of us.  I’m sorry, Love.  Do you want to go home?”

I told him no, that I wanted to see the show and spend time with him.
My phone blew up for a significant portion of the afternoon, and at one point I considered throwing it in the river.  Did Monday mean not before Monday (yes, that’s why I f*cking said Monday would be when I would talk to her FTLOG).  Well what about now, though.  Then from others, G is upset (neat story, so am I) et cetera.  How about now.  Maybe now though.  Okay I understand, but one more thing.

I gave Tom my phone.  We enjoyed the show.  We danced.  We spent $15 on a 9 oz cup of beer, and split it.  As the sun dipped and the show ended, we walked to the car, his arm around me.

“How are you feeling?”
“… relieved it’s over.  I don’t want to give them what they want from me.”
“Proud of you for knowing.  You gonna stick to it?” (He knows me, this man.)
“Yeah.  I want to get through this show.  We’re supposed to rehearse Monday.”
“Eugh.”
“… yeah.”
“Is this gonna get bad?”
“Oh, almost certainly.”

I had no idea how bad it would get, but my instincts were at least in the right ballpark.

It’s funny how much can change in a year.  In a day.  There’s more news, and our household is growing a wee bit, but I will wait to share that until next week when everything is different!

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Reflections, Instincts, and Milestones

“After what we’ve been through, it would be very easy to give up, to lose hope. But not here. Not today.” – President Laura Roslin, Battlestar Galactica.

Have we discussed how Laura Roslin is my Science Fiction Patron Saint?

She isn’t flawless.  It’s one of the reasons she resonates with me as a person so much.  She, like the best of us, gets swept up in the force of circumstances and must atone and make do as best she can.  exCUse you. She’s sentimental and ruthless in turns — I can relate.  She’s resilient and forceful.  She’s unimpressed with your bullsh*t, and her instincts are well-developed.  She is also someone worth having around in an actual crisis.  I can relate.  She takes the starkness of her mortality in stride, managing to love ferociously anyway.  She knows what it means to have to make irrevocable decisions on short notice and simply live with the consequences, imperfect as they are.  And she’s usually right about who to throw out the airlock.  You know.  Usually.

I’m a bit squishier than she is at this stage in my life, but hey.  I’m young.  Cut me some slack.  There’s time.  It actually turns out that Ros is a fairly decent screening process for most people daring entry to my life and heart.   Chances are (and the data shows this to be the case!) that if you are not down with L-Ros, we’re not going to get along for long.  You’ll admire the wrong things about me (my compassion!  my good looks!  The things you need, rather than the things I enjoy!), you’ll want needs met I’m uninterested in meeting (basically anything having to do with free therapy, a fight you think you can win, sex that doesn’t serve me, endless endless support without reciprocity, narcissistic supply, validation of your ego, or someone who pulls punches to hand-hold you through life with perpetual patience and nary a word about her own desires, needs, or limits), and I’m gonna end up making this face, when we’re done:

So all of that said, I’ve been channeling President Roslin a lot these days.  Life has required a lot of me, lately.  Don’t get me wrong — Veni, vidi, vici, bros.  But I could use a lie-down once the dust settles.  Maybe a trip planet-side.  Stretch my legs and feel the sun on my face.  I’ve still got a Cylon or two showing up on my sensors, and I’m throwing some serious shade in the direction of one Gaius Baltar (eugh, what a ceaseless chode), and any collection of Sixes and disciples he might have at his disposal; but it’s mostly bright stars and blue planets these days.

I’ve had to make some pretty fast choices with incomplete information, state uncomfortable truths with as much grace as circumstances will allow, and maintain some semblance of diplomacy in the face of intractable assclowns in order to extract myself from situations that no longer serve me or my goals.  It’s been an adventure.  I’ve also needed to look my partner in the face and apologize for how hard things have been.  How I haven’t been my true self.  How sometimes my decisions might have been the right ones and gone poorly anyway.  How some of my choices were the wrong ones and went about as poorly as, perhaps, a less thinly spread person could have anticipated.  There have been some crying jags.  There were days when hope felt far away — days where change felt completely out of reach.  But here we are.

  Throughout, I think it has been helpful to have models available in fiction to shape our responses.  Adama-Roslin is a relationship we both hold in exceptionally high regard, and desire for ourselves and each other — maybe minus the cancer diagnosis, but hey.  We don’t call all the shots, do we?  One of the things that helps is that they’re both rather obstinately principled people whose principles are not always in accord with their partner’s.  And yet, decisions get made.

Orders are issued and executed in the spheres proper to the influence, authority, and expertise of each individual.  Autonomy is flexible, but preserved, respected, and intact at all times.  Our conflict is healthy.  He does not balk at the vastness of my emotional landscape, nor do I expect him to disclose his without being asked.  There is also a medium-sized human who looks to both of us, now, to augment her sense of family, support, and acceptance.  She has some Starbuck moments (sometimes heartbreaking to watch, but also inspiring), these days, and we expect and look forward to her impetuous and opinionated nature to continue to assert and reveal itself as she grows.  She’s bound for greatness, and bearing witness to that is a singular honor and joy.  It helps that she’s irreverent, hilarious, and insightful in turns.

So.  Saint Laura Roslin, guide my thoughts, words, actions, and occasionally, sartorial choices on this day and the days to come.  Continue to grant me shares of your courage, decisiveness, determination, curiosity, and razor sharp wit.  May I always reflect the pride I have in my partner out into the world, and feel with depth and intensity for the people worthy of my care.  This, in the names of the Lords of Kobol.  So Say We All.

“After what we’ve been through, it would be very easy to give up, to lose hope. But not here. Not today.” – President Laura Roslin, Battlestar Galactica.

The Wheel Turns, The Times Change

It is difficult for me to fully grasp that, this time last year, I was in the throes of one of the most heart-wrenching break-ups of my life, a catastrophic shift in what I considered my family unit — referred to here as Gallactic Collision 2014.  There are a lot of moving parts in that equation to this day, a full year later.  A lot has changed for me, entirely and wholly for the better. Freed from toxic, oppressive, and limiting influences, sexual manipulation and emotional exploitation, I never dreamed I could be this new creature.  It’s amazing what a person can accomplish when they are not spending ten hours a day up to their elbows in psycho-emotional vampires.

My chosen family has changed a lot.  I’ve gained Caitlin, Dirae and her partner, So Many Shouty Women, an entire enclave of wonderful people in Toronto I adore, Hanif and Alex are back in my life.  Ginny, Shaun, and I are all neighbors.  I’ve gained three adorable cats I love dearly.  My family from Alliance LARP is stronger than ever (Congratulations, Sean and Samara on your engagement! I love you!).  And Thomthulhu and I …  are wonderful.  I am gifted with an amazing partner who, despite how challenging the last twelve to eighteen months have been, looks me in the face every day and says: We Have Got This.  I know we’ve got this, because we run sh*t.

And today is proof.  With the help and support of more people than I can even dare to try thanking (though Hanif, you’re at the top of the list), I’ve resigned from my position at the law firm.  

My last day as a paralegal is Friday, June 19th.  That Sunday is my second anniversary with Thomthulhu, as well as the Summer Solstice.  The next day, I begin my new role as a Systems Analyst at a small, but well established niche software company.  My salary will almost double.  Innovators at my new place of employment basically write their own tickets and design their own positions.  I will be working with an intimate team of weirdos and nerds who recognize my skills and talents, and want to see me rise like a sun on the horizon of an uncharted planet.  I will be on-site quite a bit while I get up to speed, but the goal is eventually, for me to work two days on site most weeks, and the other three from wherever I choose.  I will be selecting my own core hours, and my work day will be over in the early afternoon most days.  I will have a lot more responsibility, and will be required to learn unceasingly for the remainder of my career.

So basically, it’s the total best and I cannot wait and I’m excited, terrified, and starry-eyed all at once.

The paperwork is signed, sealed, and delivered.  In half an hour, I will be heading out to see BoringBot’s art show down on Penn’s Landing and plot what will happen to him and his pals in tomorrow’s session of Jade Regent.  Then I see Nyree in person for the first time at a Picnic in my neighborhood, which will be a delightful preview of my impending takeover of Toronto later this summer.  Sunday, I meet baby Ada for the first time.  Amanda is in town with her new daughter, and I will also meet her wee Lily next week, and will see much more of the Birdwell family this coming year!

So many strong arms have held me through this year of transitions and uncertainty and hope.

Arms I never could have dreamt to even hope to find.  And yet, and still.  Here we are friends.

I could never have made it without you.

Love, Love, Love, Love, Love.
RD

The Wheel Turns, The Times Change