I had a reality check from a friend recently. As some of you may or may not know, I was featured in a documentary. Due to the wackiness that is my current life at times, I still have not seen it, even though it aired over a week ago and has already had a repeat showing.
But me seeing the show is not the point of this entry.
The point is how my friend, who did see the show, reacted to my section in it. They were proud of me, of how I held myself in the interview section, of how poised and eloquent I was in answering some tough questions surrounding kink, race, and feminism.
Not only did they greatly enjoy the time I was featured in the documentary, others who I also respect gave me praise via Twitter. The night the show aired, even though I was getting pretty sick, I still felt pretty awesome.
But here comes the rub.
In my friend’s email, they praised me, but they also chided me. In their opinion, my current life was the equivalent of a person driving a Lamborghini to the grocery store and back, fearful that they’d get into an accident if they really took their vehicle out for a ride.
My friend feels I am not pushing myself to do better, be better, in my chosen profession. They rightly pointed out my level of intelligence far exceeds the needs of my current field.
I am, often, the most intelligent person in my group of work colleagues. I didn’t really take note of it before, didn’t really care unless someone was being ridiculously ignorant because, for me, all that mattered was getting the job done quickly and efficiently and going the fuck home.
But there have been times when it has stuck out like a sore thumb, needling me in the back of my mind. Why am I doing this? Why am I here? Yes, I do this for the money, but I could be, shouldn’t I be, doing something else? Something more challenging? Something more profound?
Ever since my friend challenged me to think beyond my current circumstance, to envision a more challenging life, a harder life, but a more fulfilling life, I haven’t been able to keep my mind from tumbling.
The problem I’m currently faced with, the issue that really keeps my brain working, is the what. What should I do? What do I want to do? What can I become? What do I want to become? What?
Some ideas that have floated in my whirlpool of neurons seem so daunting.
I could become a doctor. Like my father. But not like my father. I’d want to be an abortionist. I’d want to help women, to do the hardest thing possible because it seems very few others are willing.
But that’s ten to fifteen years of my life. And that’s a highly uncertain future. And so much money and time.
And what if it isn’t what would make me happy? What if doesn’t give me a fulfilling life? What if it is just a dream from a feminist who sees the horrors of misogyny and religious views being thrust down women’s throats, and it is the hope of stopping the outrageous rather than the life I actually want that captures my possibility? What if it is just a strong woman’s fantasy and not an actual reality I want to come true?
There is the baby step towards medicine: becoming an EMT. Schooling, but less than a full medical degree (and internship and residency). And I would be helping people. But again, is this a career that I want for my life or a half measure to make me feel like I am making a difference without investing all-in?
Then there is the love I have had since childhood: writing. Being a professional, working, paid author of books. Erotica, yes. But thrillers. And horror. And fantasy. Taking all the stories bandying about in my head, putting them to print, and having the world revel in my imaginings. There are plays and screenplays. Poetry and short stories. And, of course, this blog.
No matter what, money or not, I will write. But if I could somehow parlay that passion to an actual vehicle for my existence, that would be the best gift I have ever given myself.
Also, though, having experienced the work of putting myself out there, allowing my views and opinions on heady subjects about our community to be broadcast on television, there is this other thought quietly murmuring too.
What if I became another leader in our community? What if I put in the effort to create presentations and gave them at events? What if I wrote more of my opinions and thoughts on this blog? What if I opened myself up to be another leader, another personality, an avenue for people to find and learn about kink? What if I committed more of myself to this part of my life I adore and wish for others to find?
And the last thought, the scariest thought of all, is the one I’ve held back since… forever.
I love to act. Love to act. But I always thought opening myself up, baring my soul on stage or screen, would be the scariest thing I could do. And the most thrilling. And challenging. And exciting. And, quite possibly, were I to pursue this avenue as my work, as my life, the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s the one idea that brings tears to my eyes, the one thought that makes me tremble. And I have no idea where to start.
So now, however many words later, I’m still not sure what I will do with my life. I don’t know how much longer I will be in my business, though it feels like my days as a tech are numbered.
I do know I will still write, paycheck or not.
I know I have to do some research on my options, for medical school or EMT training (maybe), and remind myself that research does not equal commitment, and I can always change my mind. And I really need to ask myself why this thought even comes to mind. Is it what I want, a dream for my future, or a fantasy of a world we do not live in?
And I need to keep talking, to my friends, to those in my community, and realize that every kinky person is a representative, known or not, for the kink world, whether they help people find their first event or just ease the nervous temperament of a newbie they happen to meet.
And maybe, just maybe, scary is good. Maybe I should go for the thing that scares me most. Maybe that is the answer.
Beyond these words, I guess both you and I, dear reader, will just have to wait and see.
But, since you’re here, dear friends, do you have any suggestions?
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