Archive for October, 2016

Of Tigers and Feathers – Day 54

Yesterday, I spoke of tethers.
Today, someone suggested that I meditate to bring myself to the choices that I am considering.
So why not?

Let’s talk terms of service, shall we?

As I said to Jack, I am looking for the emperor who will treat me like an empress. Wanda laughed when I mentioned this to her the other week and said, “Yes, there are those who stand above princesses and queens, but an empress need bow to no one’s rule but her own and none will be placed before her.”

Tethers. Mutual tethers.

If you scream fire, I will stop, drop, and roll. I need you to do the same in order to tether to you.
I’ve looked within myself and I am made of glittering obsidian mirrors. There can be ease here, but only if you are serene within your own skin.
I can be content to drift and wander on my own, but I see those I am tethered to in every blossom, every sweep of the wind, and I would bring back the scent and spice of my travels to share. I need you to see me as well. I need you to carry me in your heart while you are away, the same way you are a sweet ache within mine.

I need someone who knows what they want, who will act upon that desire, and who is clear about their needs.
Be an emperor. Rule with tender mercy. Conquer with accepting wisdom. Judge with passionate truth.
It’s fine if I’m not what you want. It’s perfectly all right if what I offer isn’t what you need. What’s not acceptable is the refusal to figure it out.
I promise to be honest, to always strive for clarity in what I need and what I want. I need you to do the same.

The Aquarian horoscope for this month suggests that I let go of lists and lighten up about love, to go with the flow.
So I shall, because why not to fun and games? Playing can just be playing. I am a cat, after all.
But I am who I am, fangirl of Hades and all – I can only stray so far from my roots. Know yourself, know your enemy, and go on to veni, vidi, vici. In this case, as always, the enemy is fear. I do not need lists, but I do need a sharp knife to defend my line.
Now I know my boundaries. Now I make my prayers to Saturnus, god of time, master of karma. Now shall we open the fifth palace and dance.

Of Tigers and Feathers – day 53

Reason #5001 of why I love Thene: she asked me the question that I’d been thinking about for the last day or so.

By the way, I think one of these days I need to put together a list of all these reasons I love Thene, with their corresponding non-linear numbering and possible repetition and put it on one card. It would be hysterical.

I’ve reconnected with someone from the past.
Jupiter in Libra, dude, it’s no joke.
And somehow things went straight from “oh hey, we haven’t talked in years, but hi” to “your assignment for today is to put on something silky and send me a picture” in about 800~1000 messages (as calculated on the inestimable Facebook) and in about two days, maybe three.

Therefore, the logical and immediate question is: “Are you still single?”

Good question. I was just wondering that myself. <3 Thene.

What is being single anyway?

According to most surveys I’ve filled out, single is unmarried, regardless of whether or not you have “it’s complicated with ___” attached to your self-perception.

So, yes. I am single.

According to conventional thought processes, of the type where you have The Talk and you hammer out the terms of service, and most likely agree to exclusivity…

Yep, still single.

Then, of course, there’s the thought experiment part of the situation. After all, I didn’t really start counting myself fully single until I’d shifted my mindset from “I am a person with an ex-boyfriend who is mired in bitterness” to “I am a person who once knew X and had a relationship with them but have mostly reclaimed my mental space from this person and they are of interest only so much as backstory rather than a prominent landmark in my life”. Scars rather than gaping wounds, so to speak.

So what constitutes being not single?

I once defined romantic love to Thene as when 50% or more of one’s emotional needs and desires are being fulfilled by this other person, or when one desires this other person to be fulfilling the majority of one’s emotional needs and desires. Emotional labor, so to speak, and important, because often one does not simply wish for a certain thing to be fulfilled, but also has needs as to who fulfills it. A hug from a stranger is all well and good for certain situations, but it’s not going to replace the need to be hugged by a loved one under other circumstances.

We’re still not agreed on this, but that’s a definition that works for me.

If we take that definition and then start thinking about being single or not, or, as I am starting to think of it, how “tethered” one is to another person, or “moored”, then…

I think that I am not single when:

I expect my emotional needs and desires to be met by a specific person, and when those same emotional needs and desires cannot be met by another person with the same degree of fulfillment.
To a certain extent, I also expect that “entitlement” comes into play. Do I not only expect these needs to be met, but in a specific sort of time frame and urgency?
Do I expect to come before hobbies, non-urgent work, and normal events? Or do I expect to be placed in the top five after breathing and normal cardiac/brain function?
Of course, whatever I expect of this person, there would be an understanding of reciprocation as much as I am able, the terms of which to be negotiated as things shift. Should I be a caretaker of a small child or an elder, or they are, then of course priority lists shift.

We can discuss how “fair” it is and how “desirable” it is to have this sort of entitlement later.

But for now, the verdict is: still single.

So.

Day 53. In which pictures are taken and flirty words spoken, but tethering has not occurred.

Possible questions to consider: is there a fear of being tethered? is tethering desired (by both parties)? what does tethering look like in long distance relationships (aka what sort of entitlement is possible/acceptable)? and, perhaps most importantly, if assuming a base state of being serene and content in of myself, what sort of tethering would be ideal for the sort of life I want to live?

Of Tigers and Feathers – Day 43

October 2016!
I am so very ready for 2016 to be over. This year has been a doozy.

The worst part is – I’m not even sure what I’ve learned in all this.
Maybe I learned that some days it doesn’t matter how much you claim to love another person – if you’re hurting them, then it’s time to just cut line and let go. Corollary: if someone is hurting you, then it doesn’t matter how much they claim to love you either. Maybe I learned how to let disappointment roll off my back because it’s inevitable, only a question of sooner or later. Maybe I learned that many hurts are self-inflicted through entitlement and in that case, no one should feel guilty. Maybe I learned that some liars never change and that there’s still hope. Maybe I learned that a lot of my humiliation is only within my mind and everyone else has already forgotten it. Corollary to the previous: things are so different when dealing with people who don’t fixate on your every stumble.

Tree frog update:
We were talking after class and just sort of walking along…and walking along…and walking along… At some point when I was getting further and further away from my dorm, I started feeling antsy because I had sorta asked what he was going to do and he’d said something non-committal and I decided that since I had no idea where he lived and he hasn’t said anything about dinner, I wasn’t about to risk walking him home and feeling super awkward.
So I kinda-awkwardly said, “welp, bye!” and turned and walked off back towards my dorm.
It’s funny in retrospect, and I shook my head at myself while I was walking back home. Awkward penguin is freaking awkward. Part of it, as I said to Iago later on, was that I have no idea how people are expected to behave in Taiwan and I didn’t want to risk sending out the wrong message or committing some sort of social faux pas.
Either way, whatever, you know?
If he wanted to have dinner with me, he could have said so when I asked him what he was going to do that evening.

I told Wei and Wanda the other day that I’m done chasing after affection. If people want me, I’m standing right here, they should feel free to come and get me. That’s not to say I won’t make effort to reach out, but I am exploring the line between being available and reaching out and carving into myself.
The new frame of mind to reach for is: casual and flexible.
Iago asked: “Who wants to have dinner?” yesterday and I went along with it even though I was tired had plans for a nice night in with fridge-food. If everyone had just scattered, I would have gone home and had a good time. As it is, I now know there’s a very nice Korean restaurant somewhere near the school’s back door that I have no idea how to get back to and I did enjoy actually having dinner with someone for a change.

This is another reef I’m navigating carefully – the line between self-care and punishing others for sins that were committed by others.

The JJs want to do a get-together. Originally, people wanted to do Tuesdays. I imagine that me once upon a time would have gone along with it despite the fact that Tuesdays are hell, but yesterday I said no. No, I can’t, because Tuesdays start at 6:30am and end at 6:30pm and at that point, I’m ready for bed, not dinner, booze, and karaoke.
It felt good to be honest about it being a no. Even better, I didn’t feel very anxious about being the sole dissident. Despite wanting to fit in, despite feeling lonely and sometimes desperate, I stood up for my own comfort and took care of myself and didn’t second-guess myself about doing so.
So now we’re going to pizza and maybe karaoke next Thursday after class ends at 5:30pm. Works for me. Mostly.

In other news, now my father’s hopped on the bandwagon. He said, with chagrin, “I was at the concert with your mother, and I saw this sweet-looking girl and said that I wouldn’t object to having her as a daughter-in-law.”

In further news, my grandmother was very taken aback that my mother had said, once upon a time, that she didn’t need or had any great desire for grandchildren. I almost laughed myself silly when my grandmother denounced that statement and said it was very poorly done and wondered what my mother was thinking.