Protected: Gratitude Journal 1 (1/4 – 1/10)

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All Clear

I FINALLY got caught up with my “awesomeness journal” entries. I was 5 behind, and there was so much associated stress. I didn’t feel like I could really process anything else until I did that. Now I just need to go through the crap in my room and clean it out as well as choose a google reader replacement, and all the little to-dos will disappear.

I’m out of country for work right now. Back in the warzone, basically. It’s been ok, overall. I’m getting more familiar with my supervisor, boss, and some coworkers. Work is going very well. I’ve led some meetings successfully, was told by my supervisor to apply for a promotion soon, we’re getting what we need out of our trip, and our final product is going to get major press which will look good for my career. I’m learning a lot, too, including how to play spades! Today was a rough one – 4:30am wake up call with the alarms to take shelter. I heard several explosions, apparently they were about 2 miles away. It wasn’t as scary as I expected it would be, namely because my coworkers were with me and I was in a “hardened” building. Machine gun guys were all around, which also helped me feel better. I did, however, go through 3 cups of coffee to make it through the workday, which is a VERY rare occurrence for me. I was oddly having a dream about an attack on government buildings when I awoke, so that was kind of creepy too.

One good thing about this trip is how much I’ve been in contact with folks back home. I feel like I’m getting fun emails from friends that really make me value the relationships I’ve developed. I’m lucky to have these people.

I’m missing a new roommate moving in, which is sort of comical as the other prior roommate tries to adjust. She’s introverted, and the new girl is young…apparently they both were sequestered all weekend. It’ll be interesting to see how things develop upon my return.

I’ve read a ton of books while I’m here. I think I’m at 6? I need to blog/review a few good ones I read in Vegas. I also keep meaning to write about certain other topics, but we’ll see if I get there.

That’s all for now.

Randomness.

Life is mostly going quite well, minus work today. It’s ironic, because my friend just mentioned an insight I had forever ago about how it’s much easier and more liberating to submit to one person since then you don’t have to submit to everyone. I kind of forgot I’d written about that. Thing is, that’s really at the root of my cravings for some power exchange, I think, especially relating to work.

Specifically, I’m trying so hard to do my best and please people, but my manager doesn’t give me any rules or boundaries to do so. As a result, now all these other people that I should be pleasing aren’t all happy, but I don’t know what to do to fix it, it isn’t my fault when I had no way of knowing how to do so, and yet I still feel guilty and upset that I’m not what they want me to be (or arguably what I should be). Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t massively screw things up or anything, but there are little things that I could have done better and didn’t know until it was too late. I want to be the best at what I do, but I can’t do that without guidance. Anyhow, I really want to just focus on pleasing one person, on obeying and submitting to his will, and knowing clearly what boundaries exist and whether or not I’ve crossed them.  Someday.

On to all the positives!

First, I know many people aren’t religious at all, but I do believe in a higher power. Getting that out there. Over the holidays and in the new year, I’ve put a huge focus on getting my finances in shape. It isn’t that they were out of shape before, so much as I want to budget better, save more, put more away for retirement, and eliminate any debt I have control over. (In that I don’t have control over student loan debt because it’s large and I’m working on public service repayment, but car loans, credit card bills, etc. I control.) I had this nagging stress because of my stupid credit card bill and no immediate or quick way to pay it down. Then, I did my taxes…and POOF! My return is almost EXACTLY what I need to pay them off! It’s amazing! To me, it feels something like a miracle for the level of relief it provides. I feel like my prayers were answered, and it’s awesome.

Second, Rapture was this past weekend and it was fabulous. I didn’t do many scenes, which fit my mood, but I did get to play with two of my very good friends. I feel like lately playing with folks has been more ridden with anxiety, stress, and worry than with pleasure, and it’s amazing what playing with friends changes. Namely, there’s no anxiety, worry, or stress, just pleasure. I can relax. I trust them, and I can just enjoy it. Plus, both people are great at the whole shit-eating-grin-sadist thing, making it all the better. Actually, in one scene, some random guy from the party popped in and interrupted us with “I just bust a nut!” taking me completely off guard and making me crack up, then later another friend made all of us dissolve into hysterical laughter. So much fun. I really just do better only playing with people I know very, very well. Not a surprise, per se, but annoying when I’d love to be the type of person who could play with anyone at will.

Another Rapture-related thing – I’m now training to be a DM. It means more work at parties, but I don’t mind. I learned during our first training session that I know a lot more about rope and safety than the average kinkster. I’m going to be compiling a list of safety points to share with the other monitors.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with new experiences lately too. I went to an Indian cooking class with a friend, which was fun and informative. Raw meat is disgusting, lentils are amazing, and I need to master spices. I also had Korean food for the first time and did karaoke with a group of mostly new friends. I always forget how much I love singing until I do it for a while. I’m also working on slowly building my spice tolerance so I can enjoy spicy food; hopefully one of these days I can avoid being the one to order mild everything.

Other random thoughts of the week:

  • It is really important to recognize and acknowledge the importance of your friendships with others. Moreover, knowing whether or not your love for another person makes it worth changing behaviors for them is vital but extremely difficult.
  • Yes, I’m type A. The satisfaction I get from planning things and executing them well, looking at a full calendar, crossing things off lists, and organizing my junk is unmatched. I hate how easy it is to be ashamed of these habits. When I embrace them, I’m much happier.
  • Being Type A doesn’t mean you can’t be submissive…it just means there’s more benefits there for the Dominant partner, should he choose to make use of them. It also often makes me that much more inclined to submit.
  • It’s wrong of me to stereotype groups of people by assuming they are going to stereotype me. Assume = ass out of u and me.
  • Despite all the progress and growth of the past few years, I still frequently fail at flirting. Unfortunate, that.

8/26

First, on the buggy note: it wasn’t bedbugs, it was fleas. While better in that they are somewhat easier to eradicate, they also transmit disease, so that’s not great. It took 21 loads of laundry to wash everything fabric I own. After that, vacuuming, and a flea bomb, I’m hoping my room is safe. The rest of our apartment is still unknown. God save me from the fleas. In the meantime, I have new pillows and a new comforter, and everything I own is clean (yay options!). This also was a good push to buy mattress protectors to keep me from getting bedbugs in the future.

For a quick update: Life is good. Work is picking up, but only marginally so. I’m set to go to the war zone the second half of October. I’m a little bummed to miss Halloween, but it should be ok. I’ve realized that my boss isn’t exactly great at his job, so that’s a bit strange. It’s going to get tricky soon enough, trying to do quality work to impress the bigger boss without showing up the immediate one. Ugh. But, I have training soon, and that’s exciting too. Taking training makes me feel like I’m taking concrete steps to better myself and advance my career, so I’m trying to get as much as I can while I’m in this job.

Otherwise, I’ve gotten even closer to some vanilla friends which is great. I met some new people and have been seeing them more, which is also great. The positive energy of these people is awesome. I got to see Cirque de Soleil, which was amazing. I got to catch up with the old roommates, and that was also very refreshing. We did a color personality profile – I’m Blue dominant and Red secondary. This means I’m motivated by intimacy.

These are the do-gooders. Intimacy: connecting, creating quality relationships and having purpose, is what motivates and drives these people. They bring great gifts of quality and service and are generally loyal, sincere, and thoughtful.

Reds are motivated by power, “Power: the ability to move from point A to point B and get things done, is what motivates and drives these people. They bring great gifts of vision and leadership and generally are responsible, decisive, proactive and assertive.”  Blue and red are innately in conflict, because one seeks acceptance and the other approval, which are contradictory in nature. One seeks to share intimate details, the other seeks to hide intimate details. It was very interesting and insightful. Try it here: color code personality test.

So, while some things have been pretty good, I’ve had a lot of negative energy in my life the last few weeks as well. Aside from the fleas and relative discontent at work, some of my friends have been dealing with extreme relational complications. I take on the emotions of those around me a lot more than most, and it deeply bothers me for those I care about to be unhappy. I spent a lot of time trying to cheer other people up and listening to their issues, and the negative energy kind of seeped into me.

Thing is, I’m not big on being the center of attention, and while I can enjoy attention paid me, I don’t like all eyes on me especially during moments of vulnerability. I guess more specifically, I don’t like verbal acknowledgment or reminders that eyes are on me. If I’m in the throes of climax, I don’t want to hear spectators commenting on it, or on any part of the interaction. Even more, if there are any notes of negativity in those comments, the moment is entirely ruined for me.

This weekend, the negativity brought me down for a bit. I’m tired of people trying to make me jealous or mess with my head. Really, I need to stop being so willing to listen to other people’s issues. I don’t mind trying to be there for my friends, but sometimes what they are discussing intertwines too closely with things in my life and ends up leading to comparisons. I don’t want to be forced into situations where I’m putting my relationships and encounters side by side with someone else’s – it never ends well.

Basically, I need to learn either learn how to tell people to shut it, how to detach when listening to others, or how to minimize the time spent with people who bring me down.

4/22

My friend’s wedding was this weekend. I’m very happy for her. She was beautiful, the setting was gorgeous, and it was great to see old friends. It was heartbreaking that her mother wasn’t there, especially since she danced with her dad to “I Remember.” Other than that, it was a frustrating experience. I was invited to be a part of the wedding as a bridesmaid originally, but the whole weekend I was not included as a real part of the bridal party – wasn’t introduced with the party at the reception, wasn’t in the program as a bridesmaid, didn’t receive the pre-wedding jewelry, and wasn’t included in the wedding party photos. I mean really, the bride didn’t care enough about me being a part of the memory to include me in the group photos? I only wish she had made it clear up front that she felt that way, and I would’ve declined being part of the wedding at all and saved myself the $1200 I spent (no exaggeration, unfortunately) on this wedding.

With that, I really hope that my other friends getting married remember that a wedding is supposed to be a celebration of your love with your partner. It’s about rejoicing with your friends and family that you’ve found your other half. The emphasis should be on the marriage, not the wedding. The wedding is one day/night, and the marriage lasts (hopefully) a lifetime. So, spending ridiculous amounts of money and getting incredibly freaked out seems like a waste of time. All the small things don’t matter in the long run!

In other news, I checked my mail tonight for the first time in a while, and had mail from the agency I worked for during most of the year. I was mailed an award for my work on one of our projects, which was awesome! I had no idea I was being awarded anything. It’s really nice for them to acknowledge the time and energy I put in for them. Plus, it’s from the managing director of our team, which is pretty high up. This should definitely help me in my endeavors to return back to this agency once they start hiring :).

Other things are all lined up and working out. I have an apartment lined up including a move-in date set. Rapture is coming up, and some rope experts are visiting in early June. I’m going home, visiting my grandmother, and then graduating with my Masters. I’m going to visit family in Boston, and a good friend is going to visit me in DC. Then, I start my new job and have Dark Odyssey: Fusion. In the last weeks of June, I’ll be able to settle down and I won’t be doing any traveling/visiting for a good long while and the real fun can begin! I’m hoping to spend at least one weekend at MD/DE beach this summer, rent a boat for a day, catch an Orioles game, and enjoy all DC has to offer. Summer is the best, what with Jazz in the Park, fireworks, etc.

And to throw in some kink, I’m really enjoying playing and experimenting with electrical play. It’s another one of those things that I didn’t start out fantasizing about, although I’d always been curious about it (I’m curious about everything…). I did read an ebook once where a girl was hooked up to an electrical unit – attached to her nipples, clit, and anal/vaginal probes – and then the settings were put just high enough to sexually stimulate without taking her over the edge. She was left that way for hours as payback for an investigation gone awry. I found it incredibly hot, but more for the teasing/denial than anything else. Well, turns out the electricity can be pretty hot in and of itself.

There are different types of electrical toys, and they’re all very different. Tens Units stimulate deep within the tissues and muscles, and cause involuntary contractions. Violet wands, on the other hand, are more immediately painful/reactive and stimulate the surface of tissues. I’m really curious about using the tens units around the nipples or immediately around the clit. I’m also really intrigued by the idea of insertables for either piece of equipment. I very much enjoyed feeling the violet wand on my nipples, which are incredibly sensitive and delightfully responsive to pain; I’m almost positive I could climax just from that. It’s almost enough to buy my own toy, although I don’t know that I’d maintain enough sanity and control of my movement to be able to even use it on myself. I’m still not into stun guns, cattle prods, and tasers, though – they’re all still way off-limits (if not for the sound alone)!

I’ve also gotten to the point where rope is my safe place. I mean, I’ve always been able to find peace in being tied up – something about being forced to focus on the moment – but it’s more than that, now. When things go poorly or I have a terrible day, I can find  comfort in rope. It calms me down and can cheer me up. It also can arouse the hell out of me…but it’s strange that something so mundane can have such an intense, visceral reaction. It really makes me feel kinky. I like to placate myself into feeling “normal” by thinking about how the toys and tools of the BDSM trade are just icing on the “I like strong, power-wielding men” cake. At the end of the day, though, I’m just as kinky as the rest of the BDSM community. I may have to acknowledge an actual fetish for rope. Hopefully, I can not feel too weirded out by the fact that I have fetishes. It seems so much more extreme than saying I’m kinky, and I really don’t know why the words have such vastly different connotations in my mind. Something to explore later, perhaps.

1-22

I feel a little bit like I’m leading a double life lately. I mean, I kind of am, but it’s been a bit more real. I have to alternate which group of friends to hang out with, and I can’t divulge details about one to the other. It really became noticeable this weekend. A lot of my female vanilla friends keep encouraging me to get together with one of our male vanilla friends. It gets tricky because I do have some feelings for this guy, but he’s as vanilla as they come and he leans more s-type anyhow. I’m not to the point where I feel comfortable saying I can go without kink or without at least talking openly about it in a relationship, but nor am I at the point where I think it is a necessary thing either… I don’t know. I’m just not ready to risk a solid friendship, especially added to the fact that we are in classes and everything together too. I can’t explain the kinky reasoning or this dilemma to the friends pressuring me, so they don’t get why I’m not going for it. Seriously, it gets messy and I don’t have time for drama.

That aside, I’ve realized that I have issues with authority. I find this highly ironic given my intense attraction to authoritative figures. Thing is, I’m a skeptical person. I don’t just accept what I’m told – I question and figure out for myself whether or not to agree or accept things. I like to make up my own mind. Once someone has proven themselves knowledgable or essentially just gained my respect, I fully defer to their authority and I love having it there. I just don’t accept it as easily initially as most people. This translates into my BDSM interactions too. Basically, I’m not going to defer to someone who isn’t worthy of it or whom I can’t respect.

I keep warring between accepting and reveling in my masochism and kind of shying away and hiding it. It’s so complicated. I experienced my first cutting scene (which was horrifying and exhilarating), and I can’t wait to do it again. On some levels, I’m proud of that. I’m proud of how much pain I can endure and enjoy, and I’m excited that people want to hurt me. I want to show off my marks and play with pain. But then, at the same time, I’m worried I’m going to seem too extreme and scare off potential partners. I don’t want to be too extreme, or considered even freakier among the kinky community. I don’t know, my brain gets too confused about it sometimes. I don’t like being outside society’s norms, and I feel like my masochism pushes me even farther out than most of my kinky interests.

Random, but we have a 2 hour delay for work tomorrow. I’ll have to skip some lunches or something to make up for it if I want the money, but the extra sleep will be worth it. Since I start earlier than 9 normally, it’s even more sleep for me! I guess I’ll have to head out at 10:15am, which pretty much makes my day.

I was supposed to go dancing on Saturday night, and my friends flaked. I still got to hang out with some great people, but still it kind of was a kill joy. I realized that I don’t have people down for adventure around DC. My friends are fun and no matter what we do, I enjoy it. Occasionally, I can convince people here to do something random and different. Thing is, I’m used to at least having one person always down for a last minute road trip or dancing or snow tubing or something. I understand getting tired and introverted, or wanting there to be more people involved, but it’s nice to have one person who’s always up for it. I’m spoiled because last year I had that person, and this year she’s back in Pittsburgh. I need to figure out who that person here can be.

Community?

One thought on my mind recently is that part of my enjoyment of the kinky community is just the community itself. It’s not easy to find an established community of welcoming, open-minded people. I have never found a church that I could agree with in all ways, and I don’t have a particular hobby that I’ve pursued to the extent that there has been community involved. If I had a different community – from my ethnicity, religion, sport, game, etc. – I might be less inclined to be a part of the kinky community. I’d still let my freak flag fly in the bedroom, but I don’t know that I would have gotten involved to the extent I am now. I like how the kink community ties me to the city I’m living in and opens my friend circle, but really any community could have done so. Odd relevation.