Gaining Competence - Journal
These past months with my household have been hectic and emotional. Persisting through them has made me feel confident in my competence.
Firstly, it's worth addressing that I haven't blogged here for months. My capacity has been saturated, and I've let writing for the blog slide so that I can cope with life's demands.
Yet I've pushed past every day, and it feels like things have finally recovered to the point that I have spare capacity again.
There is value in embracing life's chaos for a time, and I'm glad I found myself resilient enough to weather it all.
Doing so has honed my competence, and also shown my dear lady her own capability. Let's look at the different little snippets of life that are involved!
Getting Outside and Doing New Things
The largest change in the past few months started with my anti-frugal experiment. Dining out with my dear lady led into doing more activities outside the house.
I learned to spontaneously hop in the car, drive somewhere without definite plans, and do something. Thus, I talked to people, led situations, and arranged social events.
My dear lady pushes me to go out, then hides behind me.
It's a dynamic that works, as it gets me to enjoy getting outside instead of just being a homebody.
My dear lady also encourages me to experiment more with kink. From the basics like paddling to edge play involving blades. Through the lens of her experience, it's all novel again.
We had our first dungeon visit together, at a small local one. There we experimented with electro play.
Engaging in vice and lovely, lovely sin is so much fun to share together!
I'm growing more capable of doing what she wants, but there's the constant struggle with energy levels. I'm spread thin, so my exhaustion overtakes us sometimes.
Every kinkster I know struggles with energy, in the long run. For me, it's due to processing emotions constantly...
Processing Emotions and Developing Play Books
Being polyamorous means emotional processing happens multiple times throughout any given day.
I grow with every person I know, and this latest relationship with my dear lady is no different. I'm learning to better communicate, to better understand my emotions, and to give support to my partners when they need it.
One of the major steps we have taken is to learn from our interactions to develop play books.
For instance, rather than stonewalling a partner, we can say stuff like: "I love you, but I need space right now." It's demonstrating care and communication during an emotional time, which is when we're most insecure.
There are other gestures and words and actions we can perform to help each other through emotions and insecurity. Cuddles are a classic case, as are back rubs.
Our problems are able to be worked through, given good faith, vulnerability, communication, and grace. It's important to remember that.
Infect Your Friends And Family
Over thanksgiving, we caught COVID-19. It was rigged from the start by living in the US, and thus inevitable that we would get it.
I'm just glad we managed to avoid infecting our friends and family over the holiday with the virus.
Yet there's another way of infecting people: with an idea.
We live in "interesting times," which is both a boon and a curse.
I'm awakening finally to the fact that I need to actively engage my family and friends about politicised issues, and that I can no longer claim ignorance befitting my now-dwindling youth.
That is to say, I'm getting too old to be an ignorant apolitical bystander.
Since the identity I most identify with openly is that I'm queer, a lot of my focus goes towards the growing persecution of queers, especially trans people.
It's therefore something of my duty to remind my older relatives and friends that times are scary now for us queers, and that we need help to show up and fight for us.
A lot of these concerns I found reflected in a talk by Deviant Ollam, actually...
Risk And Preparedness
One of the people I like to listen to talk is Deviant Ollam. Lately, he released a new talk about risk and preparedness that hit me hard, called "Lawyer. Passport. Locksmith. Gun."
It's over an hour long, and there are a few content warnings towards the end.
In short, the talk is about being prepared for things going wrong, and having what you need before you need it. The talk is filled with interesting tips and beyond-the-ordinary advice.
This talk dropped at the same time that I looked into setting up a trust for my household, to prepare for the possibility of my death. Trusts will likely be the topic of a future article.
The take-away I found from the talk, though? I'm not nearly prepared enough. My household is not resilient yet. We don't have play books. We don't have robust plans.
There are two factors for this: nothing gets done unless I do it myself, and I'm kept too busy working to be proactive about resilience.
I'm working on the latter half by drawing myself closer and closer to the financial independence "finish line," racing through my career.
The first half, however, is the nature of having partners who aren't proactive self-starters.
Money Serves Needs
We got an apartment for my dear lady and I! It's an anti-frugal step that forced me into handling life administration and paperwork.
I am young and sheltered enough that I had never faced such a process before. I managed to live with family and partners before this rental agreement.
Doing this has bolstered my competence, from emailing back and forth with property managers, to heading to the credit union for cashier's checks, and so on.
Having two housing arrangements is something of an anti-frugal surprise to most of you, I imagine. Where's the minimalism, frugality, and efficiency?
The answer is that money serves our needs. At the time, we needed two places to live.
Now, however, we're consolidating back into the condo with my dearheart. I turned in 30-day notice to the apartment, and we moved out all our few belongings that had gone over there already.
Getting the apartment was expensive, in terms of money and time and attention, but it was necessary for us to do at the time. Then the plans changed, and it turned out to no longer be necessary.
Plans are worthless. Planning is everything. Pivoting makes it all work.
I'm On Mastodon
In other news, if you are vaguely tech aware, you might know something is going on with Twitter.
I'm a lurker by nature, so I've never particularly been involved with my Twitter account, but now I'm deciding to dust my hands off of that mess.
A few years ago I discovered Mastodon, but due to my lurker nature I had no reason to engage with the social media. Now that I have my blog, I decided to give it a chance.
Thus, you can find me on the Fediverse here: https://kolektiva.social/@mohaf
I'll continue to lurk and be open to discussion, boosting the occasional rad toot I see on my timeline! 🥳
Winter Solstice Reflections
A year ago for Winter Solstice, I reflected on my education experience for my night class:
It's interesting to re-read some of what I wrote now that it's been a while:
The present season of my life has been about necessary sacrifice.
That is to say, I decided on a course of action that will bring me closer to my goals. In the choosing, I also accepted the cost associated with bringing it into reality: my precious time, energy, and sanity.
My life comes in many seasons and themes. A year ago, the theme was "sacrifice in the pursuit of education." There were distinct costs to schooling, and whilst they didn't quite cause burnout, they definitely stressed me.
This current season's theme, a year after that blog post, is "breaking the scarcity mindset."
What that means to me will likely shift throughout the coming year, but... I'm finally preparing myself to move out of my beloved California. I'm getting closer and closer to the baseline financial independence goal that I desired.
Next up is to embrace the big plans I have for my lifetime, and to achieve greater degrees of financial independence. More on that later.
From here on out, the light will return more and more until summer comes. Hopefully that is metaphorical too, and that I will be restored to my usual vibrant self with this new year.
This hopeful statement turned out to be more optimism than reality.
My vibrancy remains modestly mediocre. I've had ups and downs throughout the year, but most of all I've had a lot of emotional processing that leaves me little time for the casual pursuits that make me feel most vibrant.
I'm burning out.
Therapy To Cope With Burnout
My ability to be on top of everything in life is compromised at the moment. I'm struggling to handle problems one at a time, slowly, and I need external assistance just to come up with ideas of how to address problems healthily.
Thus, I finally got myself a new therapist, after a year or two without one.
One of the uncomfortable realities I have to confront is that I overextend myself to care for my people. I do not self-care sufficiently often.
In large part, it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make – for as long as I think it's valid. Yet I know that in the long run it's not sustainable. Something has to change.
Therapy is a helpful hand tracking the pulse of my burnout, keeping me informed and externally validated about when things are excessive.
I'm glad to not be doing this alone.
Emerging From Scarcity Into Abundance
I'm in this transitional phase at the moment, where I'm re-learning my habits and my self.
I have enough money saved up now that I don't need to stay in situations that inconvenience me just for the savings. Likewise, I have reached the point that I can shape my life to be more enjoyable, to be Coast FI, to be free to take vacations and change up my living arrangements.
I'm still not yet financially independent, but I'm preparing myself for that mindset.
The big goal right now? I plan to establish a housing arrangement in Washington state in 2024.
There's plenty of smaller steps and goals that are required before then: visiting Washington in 2023, for instance. Freeing up financing for a house, secondly. Determining what our search criteria are, and more...
Yet, I'm ready to think of life in terms of "what do I want to do with my time?" instead of just "How do I make more money?"
With that in mind, I'm ready to grow my household now that I have multiple partners to consider.
What I want most right now is to build up my compound, share in the multiple happiness that comes with polyamory, and to work on my own personal projects like writing!