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.

3/27

I finally did my taxes today, and I feel inordinately proud of myself for it. This was the first time I’ve done them myself, and I was able to get a lot more back than I thought I would. I’m glad I insisted on filing myself, even though it was a conflict with my dad.

On a different note, the pollen count for DC was a 10/12 today. My allergies are horrid anyhow, but usually claritin keeps it under control most of the time. The last few days I’ve been sneezing/headachy/itchy-eyed nonstop. The first thing on my to-do once I’m on my own insurance this summer is to see an allergist. I need to get this crap under control.

I saw the hunger games today, which was great even though I hadn’t read the book. I will say that the initial suspension of disbelief was quite difficult for me (I mean really, they’re making kids fight to the death? C’mon.), but once I got past that I really enjoyed it. I wish they’d delved more into the use of fear and hope as political strategy. It sort of borders the type of utopian/dystopian debates that really interest me, but doesn’t quite go far enough with it to satisfy.

I also went to a BR class on flirting, which was very helpful and interesting. The presenter broke flirting down into a 5-step process: look, talk, touch, kiss, close. Thing is, closing in the vanilla world versus in the kinky world is vastly different. For example, in the vanilla world (and this is all my interpretation, not stuff taught in class) closing will either mean rejection, deferment, or going home with someone. The first is obvious. The second will either result in delayed rejection or will usually indicate a more romantic interest (getting someone’s # to plan a date, etc). The third option is pretty clearly physical only, though at times could evolve into something more. In the kinky community, all of those options exist, but then there are multitudes more options for play dates, interest in play dates later, etc.

What confuses me the most is that the signals someone is romantically interested in you from the vanilla world don’t translate as easily in the kinky community. Those signals could still mean romantic interest, but they could also be the exact same signals purely for a play-only interest, or a friend-only interest given the more sexually-open nature of the community. In this class, I kind of threw this out there as an issue, and was basically told you have to lay it all on the line and be direct/forthright, or you could go months without knowing. I feel like the awkwardness of that sort of makes any smooth flirting moot.

3/12

I just spent several hours playing a game with some friends, and it was a blast. I haven’t played many games in a long time, even though I always really enjoy it when I do play them. I think the last time was playing Taboo with some alcohol before Christmas. Anyhow, we played Settlers of Catan, which is ridiculously fun. There’s something about getting a bunch of competitive people together to play a strategic game, especially in this one since you have to work together. It’s funny how much glee you can derive from shutting down someone else’s strategy. I’m not normally a bitchy person at all, but it got more than a little heated.

I was thinking more about power exchange and different roles over the last few days, and I’ve decided I’m done with it. I am who I am. I like to tease, laugh, snark, challenge, and debate those around me. Sometimes I might want to jokingly beat up on someone, and I enjoy teasing my partner a bit sexually too (so long as he enjoys it), but I also hate confrontation, hate upsetting other people/love to please, and enjoy when a guy is stronger and has power over me. I have no idea what labels fit me best. Labels are useful, in that they can convey so much to potential partners in just one word, but I’m so tired of trying to defend my label choice to people. Hell if I know what box I fit in – decide for yourself, I’ll just be me.

I’ve had a great few days, in all. I forget sometimes how awesome my Pittsburgh friends are. First, the networking event this past week was great. I had two folks show sincere interest, so I’m going to follow up with them both. One would be great, but isn’t better than the offer on the table. The other one is private sector, which goes against my desire to do public service, but since it’s a contractor it kind of still is. Plus, it could have better benefits. So, we’ll see. I got to see a bunch of folks from last year, and then got ridiculously tipsy afterwards on tequila. The career center staff ended up showing up at the bar we were at, which was funny – they took shots with us and everything. Only in grad school… The next morning was not great given the liquor and lack of sleep since I don’t normally drink very much, but it was really fun.

Other bonuses of the weekend: I tried dim sum (from rolling carts!) for the first time and I bought my first corset (corset-dress, actually…happy graduation to me). Now I just have to get my stuff together for the capstone project, play a bunch of catch-up on emails and phone calls, and figure out how to do my taxes. Filing for 3 states is NOT going to be fun. Correction – I just did the research and I can not file in Indiana! Thank god, or I’d owe significant money back for no apparent reason (I don’t live there!). Anyhow, a two-state file still is going to suck a bit. We’ll see how it goes.