I turn 40 this month and starting thinking about the last decade or so. The words that spring to mind are the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness…”
When I started writing the list, it felt dark and negative and then I realised it’s completely not. There’s loyalty, strength, hope, achievement and so much more in there. I now feel really positive, empowered and so pleased I did this exercise. In no particular order:
- There was a divorce.
- A marriage.
- A miscarriage.
- A near mental breakdown.
- A near-breakdown of my second marriage.
- The loss of important people in my life and then the realisation of ebb and flow and knowing the way forward is brighter than the way back.
- Understanding that I am the outlier of the family and finally being okay with that.
- But at the same time, not being able to be who I am in certain circles.
- Reducing the presence or mental impact of selfish and/or toxic people.
- Seeking help for the sexual abuse.
- Starting this blog and discovering a love of writing this way.
- Making connections and untangling the wiring that the intensive coaching started.
- Learning to love my body.
- Realising, finally, only a few weeks ago, that I’m not broken.
- Accepting wholeheartedly that kink is hard-wired in me. I don’t have to apologise for it or justify it to myself or anyone else. It’s just who I am.
- Knowing that I can set the bar of expectation high and that’s okay. And some people will meet it.
- Accepting and owning my icks and squicks and learning they’re also okay.
- I kissed a girl and I liked it (and realising I’m a sucker for a woman in bright red lipstick).
- Finding out that a woman’s touch is different from a man’s.
- Finding a love of rope.
- Falling hard for the wrong guy.
- Understanding that a lifetime of monogamous relationships has not made me happy.
- Realising that I’m poly; knowing that my love is not a finite thing.
- Finding that kink is everything I both want, and need, it to be.
- Learning to like myself.
- Finding better ways to bounce off negativity and jealousy.
- Equally, learning not to ignore warning signs such as jealousy and petty behaviour in any relationship.
- Knowing that I don’t have to be sucked in to other people’s drama.
- Knowing that despite being quick to flare, I don’t act on it.
- Realising just how fucking loyal I am.
- Valuing my time, my alone time, my down time and my headspace without feeling selfish.
- Knowing that I have some of the best people in the world in my life: friends, people I work with, my husband, and others. I have a huge safety net.
- Realising that I don’t have to be self-sufficient. Help from other people doesn’t come at a price.
- Finally learning to ask for help when I need it, without apology.
- Having the confidence to be myself, be brave and ask for what I want.
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