Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Lamenting the Loss of Lowewood...

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Monday, 15 August 2011

Cruisin' for a Bruising...

For the last few months I've been AWOL from this blog, and quiet on other formerly frequent haunts across the kinkosphere. It's not that it's been a kink-free time completely; I could have written about what an amazing time I had at the Lowewood Academy boarding school weekend back in May, about beginning to dip my toes and make friends on the Australian scene or about starting to play with someone new. However, it hasn't quite felt right and I haven't been in the right place so I've stayed quiet. All in it's been a very tough few months with a lot of challenging trips overseas, a few unpleasant incidents over here, too many courses of antibiotics and a lot of emotional upheaval, a lot of which I haven't wanted or felt able to share.

Things are slowly changing for the better, bizarrely following something awful (that I don't want to talk about) happening last month. I was horrified, upset and a lot of other things, both by what happened and the reactions of others but then something good happened...I got angry. Angry at how badly things ended with my ex, angry about all the shit that's happened in the last six months, angry at how some people have treated me, angry at Australia, angry at the world. Somehow that flipped something inside my head and a part of me that's been buried for a while awoke and declared war, because letting all the shit that's been going down ruin my life would be letting the world win. And that is not Rebecca's way.

Don't worry though folks, I have resisted the urge to acquire a brazier and burn the place down but mentally have been feeling a lot better. I've been back in Aus for two and a half weeks now, which is the longest I've spent in one place since January and finally seem to have kicked the flu that's been snapping at my heels for so long. It's also given me a chance to get out and socialise and just enjoy simple pleasures like actually working in my office, getting into a bit of a pattern, and being at home for long enough to make it worth stocking the fridge.

I've also found a new love in roller derby, which I think may be the ultimate sport...it's a team sport, it's full contact and you get to wear cute outfits involving knee socks, fishnets and short shorts - how could this not be made of win?! It feels good to be throwing myself into something again, more like me than I've felt in a long time. There is something strangely comforting about the awkward feeling of turning up and knowing nobody, the physical challenges of starting a new sport, the camaraderie, the joy of being part of a league, the whoops of 'nice fall London' when something goes awry. Mentally I enjoy teaching my body new things and adapting to a new discipline and the subsequent sense of a achievement. I'm not sure jumping over things in roller skates is an essential life skill, but it is a lot of fun. Then there's the fear, the delicious pressure of upcoming testing, silently wondering if I'm better or worse than the other freshies, wondering who will be first to bout...I've missed it.

It has all got me thinking though that maybe for the last couple of years kink has taken up too big a part of my life at the expense of other things. When a recurrent injury stopped me rowing perhaps I should have been quicker to find something new - there was a spate of pole dancing, another of martial arts but nothing serious or regular. Perhaps kinky socialising became too much of a part of my life, I was still busy with work and panto and seeing vanilla friends but maybe the balance was a bit wrong, or maybe it's just that now is the right time to indulge in some shameless athletic masochism. It made me laugh that the shorts above I found on a derby website would also suit many of my spanking friends - it's all about the synergies in life!

Whatever, I'm just looking forward to feeling confident enough again to skate around in tiny hotpants! And hopefully getting a bit better at this whole jumping in rollerskates malarkey...

Oh, and there is more to tell about kink-plorations down under, but that can wait for another day :)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Ready or not?

I've been somewhat silent for the last couple of months because there really is only so much you can say about feeling hurt and lost. Intentions to throw myself into the munches and clubs of Melbourne weren't quite followed through as I realised I needed to establish a normal life first (though I did meet a couple of lovely friends). Not to mention having spent five of the last six weeks abroad with varying levels of internet access. I did see the cutest lion cubs though, which kind of makes up for it!

If I'm honest it's been more than being busy - I've not felt ready to head out into the big wide world and meet new people to play with. Too big a part of me has been feeling hurt, rejected, mistrustful and wondering why on earth anyone would want to play with me anyway. I've also been feeling sort of desexed.

Bizarrely after an awful experience in China a few days ago (robbed at knifepoint) being home has made me feel so much better. It's not like I have loads of close friends here but it's lovely seeing new friends, being in my own flat, eating normal food - lots of little things like that. While I've been away I've been having a bit of a flirtation on fetlife, despite stating that I was only really looking for friends. We had a lovely coffee and he gets me rather well and I'm wondering whether I'm ready to dip my toes with somebody new, or whether it's not a good idea when I'm often still tearful from the break-up.

It is strange how real danger can somehow make you feel more alive though, my energy levels are higher than they've been for a while, despite the jetlag. I actually feel like traipsing along to a club, cooking properly, trying out for a girls soccer team. I actually feel up for the prospect of taking a risk and playing with someone new but am a little wary of opening Pandora's box. He did have a lovely way of tugging my hair though...

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Little Victories

This week has been a really hard week. For no real reason I've been exhausted, struggling to get out of bed in the morning and wanting nothing more than to collapse by the time 5 o'clock rolls around. Work has been incredibly stressful with a lot of uncertainty around whether or not I was heading off to Africa for weeks only resolved a few days before I fly. The novelty of being in a new country and a new flat has worn off and left me missing friends at home, the familiar grime of my London commute and staples like Marmite, Look Magazine and proper Cadburys chocolate. Then yesterday to make things worse my auntie went into hospital with a stroke and the guilt of not being there for my family has been pretty unbearable.

Therefore it's been a week for small victories. Making myself go rowing and play mixed netball with strangers when all I really wanted to do was go home and eat ice cream. Taking getting into the office on time and putting in nine or ten hours as a victory in itself. Accepting 'cleaning the flat' as an activity and that actually it's alright for the shiny floors and surfaces to be the achievement of the day. Picking myself up, prettifying myself and heading out to meet lovely new friends for dinner and cabaret because staying at home wouldn't make it any better. Feeling incredibly lucky to have met lovely people who have been so supportive - thank you Star and Eternity. Trying to take the pressure off myself a little and to accept that I can't make everything work overnight and don't have to.

Anyway, it is a new week tomorrow and rather an exciting one. I'm off to Tanzania and then Kenya for work. I've not been feeling great about it because I'm still settling in here and in honesty would rather go to Eternity's birthday do and get stuck into rowing and netball. However I'm determined to make the most of it and have plans to head to Zanzibar next weekend - somewhere that has haunted my dreams for years (since a gap year visit was aborted after a mountain biking accident). With any luck I'll also find some adventures in Nairobi!

Not to mention I'm going to have lots of flying time - so I promise to have written some new fiction by next week as I've been procrastinating for far, far too long. I would say if I don't you can spank me but I'm on totally the wrong continent - so there!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

More like me

Yesterday marked my first month in Australia - it certainly hasn't been plain sailing but there has been a lot of good. Am happily settled into my new flat, have met some lovely friends, joined a bookclub and work is keeping me very busy. It's really hard being so far away from family and friends, to miss exciting social events, giggling over a glass of wine or just being able to have a bit of a gossip.

But all things considered it's going pretty well. I miss the boy and still feel very sad and broken in that respect but in other ways I feel more like me than I have in a while. It's quite nice remembering that I can meet people and sort out a life for myself on my own and that actually it will all be ok. I'll miss people a lot and my heart will take a while to mend but in the meantime I'll be fine, or even better than fine.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

All By Myself

I really am all by myself. My first two weeks down under have been something of a whirlwind - not many people succeed in needing emergency dental within 48 hours of arriving in a country! One wisdom tooth lighter (I never was very wise!) I've realised a few things about myself...

- I'm actually quite good at looking after myself. Within 10 days of arriving I'd found and signed the lease on a new flat, handled the dental crises, set up a mobile and bank account, joined the equivalent of Tescos Clubcard and had my first week at work. My parents friends think I'm 'scarily capable' and I've managed to hit the ground at work not so much a running as a flat out sprinting.

- Sometimes things beyond my control will throw a serious spanner in the works. I hadn't really envisaged antibiotics, minor surgery, reinfection and more antibiotics and then getting ill during my first fortnight. Needing time off work is making me feel incredibly awkward but not as awkward as feeling so wobbly that I really couldn't be confident that was I was doing was actually correct. They will get over it I'm sure but is quite embarrassing that I was off for the extraction, off again when it got infected and am now sick. HR are being lovely (apparently I looked like death warmed up) but get the feeling my boss is somewhat less impressed.

- I'm fine at meeting new people, even if it does scare me and I haven't *had* to do it for a while (as in if I don't I really will have no friends). I've been out to the pub with friends of a friend, to a gig with a girl from work and her friends, seen family friends for dinner, hit the ageplay munch and met kinky girls for drinks. I still feel horribly lonely but I'm going to make friends in the end.

- Other people think I'm competent even if I'm not so sure. Work is throwing an awful lot at me and that includes an awful lot of travel over the next three months. I'm less sure if that's a good thing as it means I can't really join any sports clubs or music groups as I can't commit. I've joined a book group though and once I'm over this bug am going to look into going climbing.

- The break-up may have been for best in many ways. It was however very traumatic and it's only now that I'm realising how various negative aspects have really affected my self-esteem over the last year. I have to put myself back together and realise that I'm an ok person and worth bothering with because right now I'm quite broken. This is going to take time and I don't have to push myself too hard too quickly.

- I need to put some walls back up because I've let too many people inside my head in a spate of trust and it hasn't done me any favours and left me hurt and confused. Better just to rely on myself for a little while as then when it goes wrong and I'm sad I'm the only one to blame.

Which feeds a bit into the realisation that I'm all by myself for now. No partner and no friends in a new place preparing for a few months of nomadism. Hopefully it'll give me the space I need to mend a little bit, to decide who to trust my emotions to in the future, to get over the shit of the last eighteen months. As a teenager I always wanted to be a traveller, so we'll see how I fare with 4 continents in 3 months. I guess it means I won't be putting roots down here just yet, so will continue to view the UK as home and a bit of a grounding point - it's where everyone I care about is anyway.

Monday, 27 December 2010

With a little help from my friends...

Just a quick post to say a massive thank you to all the friends who've held my hand through the last year and a bit and offered tea, cuddles and a shoulder to cry on when I've needed it, which has been quite a lot. I haven't blogged much for quite a while because frankly life has been mostly less than sparkly and too many 'feeling sad today' posts are very dull and very self indulgent. It's not to say there haven't been good things - Lowewood, the reformatory and house party, my Central American adventure, the Lakes with uni friends - they've just got a bit lost in the mire of feeling sad and lost.

It's funny how things sometimes all go wrong at once to create a sequence that seems bent on keeping you down. Eighteen months ago I was blissfully happy - I'd just started an exciting new job, met a wonderful new boy, had fabulous friends and all seemed well with the world. What I didn't know (maybe I'd have done things differently if I had) was the boss of the new job would continually sexually harass and bully me for the entirety of my time there leaving me emotional and unconfident. That I'd get glandular fever but be working too hard to rest properly, making me tired and ill for the next year. That the boy interest would move far, far away, that we'd survive the long separation (with lots of tears) but that the damage it did wouldn't be something we couldn't fix. That when I finally got the guts to leave the job the ex-boss would stalk me and turn up at my house, making me scared to be alone. That my Dad would get sick, a lot. I could have predicted various minor annoyances like anaemia, a moth infestation, frauds on my bank accounts. I couldn't predict that the boy and I would plan to go to Australia, envisage a life together and then split up weeks before I was due to leave leaving me to go alone. That all of this would make me teary, tired and blaming and hating myself for not being able to handle it.

So yeah, it's been a weird and emotional time of coping with one problem before moving onto the next. I honestly don't think I'd have retained any of my sanity were it not for lovely friends who fed me tea or wine, listened to me sobbing incoherently or debating the same things in circles and dragged me out of the house when I just wanted to hide. I've not been very myself or very much fun and owe a huge debt to those who have helped hold me together - friends are the superglue of life. I'm not going to name people but you know who you are - so thank you. It really is true that you do get along 'with a little help from your friends'.

For better or worse 2011 will be a year of change - I'm moving to Australia, far away from everyone I care about. It's scary leaving people behind, knowing that they'll move on and I won't be part of things but true friends will always be friends and always have time for each other. It's especially scary going all on my own without the boy by my side - but that's out of my control. I'm hoping it will be a chance to draw a line under the sadness of recent months, recollect myself and re balance a little. One of my vanilla friends commented that she was glad I'd decided to go because it was the most 'me' decision I'd made in a while and she worried that I'd seemed a shadow of my normal self recently - that all the tears and worrying were out of character. Hopefully she's right and it will give me a chance to sort myself out so that when I come back I'll be a bit easier to be around, more fun and less sad. Hopefully there will be more fun kinky posts on this blog detailing my adventures down under too.

To all those who've looked after me - thank you so much - I have really appreciated it and hope you all know that (even if I haven't enunciated it very well through floods of tears). True friends are forever and I love you all so much.

R xx