The Burning Man Miracle 2011
Straight Shooter Q, learning to push boundaries in comfortable ways.
On sharing the Temporary Autonomous No Pants Zone, gypsy wagon of delight.
A follow up to Camping With A Monkey
Burning Man for some is about pushing themselves into uncomfortable territory. As much as I might talk about being a straight forward communicator, it's actually very challenging for me - my action is in response to pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, pushing my own boundaries and forcing myself to communicate rather than stew in my own mind making molehills into mountains. A lot of this very blog is about trying to keep molehills a manageable size. Getting things out of my head makes me accountable for them in some weird way. It forces me to some kind of follow through I guess.
This Burning Man from the get go was filled with challenges - expected challenges, lost work, money to get there and missed school are some of mine, as was camping with a monkey I'm in love with. Putting away my expectations and trying to simply live with him was to be my biggest challenge. He came with his own challenges and tossed in a couple extras for good measure. In the last few days before we left he asked if we could add a rider to bring the cost of gas down - I hemmed and hawed about it; I hesitated because it was another woman - I was unclear on the boundaries of their relationship and it made me uncomfortable. In the better interest of pushing myself to face fears and truth I accepted her as a rider, we'll call her Sparkle. She too came to Burning Man with some challenges - together the three of us pushed ahead. On the way down we talked about how Burning Man serves as a test scenario for reestablishing boundaries. Monkey said something to the tune of challenging his control to allow his predetermined boundaries to be more flexible. Sparkle had never been to Burning Man before so the whole experience was established as a big fat challenge for her. I was walking into a new job and new responsibilities that turned out to be far larger than I realized.
How'd it go? Without getting too specific... awesome. We established that I'm a princess and he was my cabana boy early and often - I'm half joking, but not really. The first few days we still had Sparkle with us as her camp was not present yet - later she said the tension between monkey and I was getting awkward for her, making her feel 5th wheel and that she was anxious to get settled into her own camp.
Monkey gave me permission to challenge his boundaries, being the woman I am I did exactly that. when we had some time alone I straight up said, you have to tell me "I'm not into you" or... something. Cut me free or engage me. Do something! Nice opening eh? I asked him what his 'red flags' were and, asked for an opportunity to address them - as I tend to disallow people assuming things about me, when the assumption affects me directly. His red flags were issues I was happy to speak to and very willing to clear up, although we both admitted that the conversation sounded like a negotiation and that I was telling him what he wanted to hear - I speak my truth, if that happens to fit well, then great! In this situation I was not going to talk myself up to get what I want because that kind of inflation leads to painful failure and I'm not into that (for either of us). After that portion of the conversation he stated he was willing to give a more intimate relationship with me a try (I found out later he was stepping that direction on his own). From that point on the shift of our relationship from friends to lovers has been magical and transformative.
I'm of the mind to believe that Burning Man can make or break a relationship - having broken a few at Burning Man already I'm aware of what doesn't work, but not entirely up to snuff on what does make it work. The place is ripe for irritability as well the environment is a perfect incubator for super hawt awesomesauce. In 12 days on the road together we covered a lot of territory from working on projects jointly, as superior/subordinate, exploring, maintaining human functionality and, meeting each others people to list a few and we pulled through all of it with flying colors. Black Rock City is a magical place of special circumstances, it is not the real world. Most folks don't have jobs and obligations to negotiate while on the playa - here I have a slightly different situation as I do work and I do have a schedule and even that is an alternate universe to the real world, my responsibilities, reputation and accountability are considerably higher in Black Rock City than they are anywhere else. Which is to say we weren't joined at the hip on some burny honeymoon for the duration of the excursion. But also, in the specialness of the place, while living in Black Rock City I am able to care for an nurture someone in a different way than I have resources for in the Default World - I am hoping that I can bring some of that experience home to learn from and pass on to Monkey.
I'm overjoyed with the current development to say the least. The relationship we are beginning is wonderfully amazing. I'm trying to not be "dickmotized" as a friend would say, at the same time trying not to hold back or, race into the future. I knew that I have been completely in love with this person before we renegotiated our relationship - knowing him more intimately I can honestly say that I am surprised and delighted by what I'm learning about him and love him that much more for trusting me with his stuff. I see now that he was really holding back in what he was giving me before - he has transformed, he's shining brighter, smiling more fully and openly, physically more engaged. Transformed. It's magical to me that I can touch him when I want to, hold his face in my hands to kiss him, dig my fingers into his incredible hair, to nom upon him. Not to completely objectify him as a beautiful man, he is an amazing and beautiful person, incredibly compassionate, giving and, kind, a smartypants and, we're two great tastes that taste great together. Oh man.
Back in the Default World I'm back in school trying to figure out how to manage my homework and he's back at work on two of three jobs - yes three jobs. Trying to figure out how to spend any time together awake and with energy is a going to be bit of a trick. Our quality time together is quickly vanishing. As it is I will probably only see him once a week. I've said here before (as well to him a few times) I don't want to make his world more crazy. He's got enough of other peoples crazy as well as his own. I want very much to help shore up his world so that he may exist in it with ease and comfort, so that he may succeed at his dreams. This isn't a one sided statement, it is however my statement - I can't speak for him, but he has discussed with me supporting my efforts with his nurture and care as well.
Persistence? Amanifestation? I did make this happen, that much is true. I was openly accepting the possibility of a romantic relationship never happening - the conversation in which I asked him to clarify his intentions could have ended a different way. Of course I would have been disappointed, but it would have released me from the tension and torture allowing me to move on. I pushed. I challenged boundaries (with permission) and happened to strike gold. Since meeting I have been pushing myself to communicate with him honestly and vulnerably, exposing myself to him as much as I'm willing to (I've held back a little a couple times), setting a precedence of open and direct communication, probing for answers and information so that I can be the best GGG partner possible. So far the communication is promising to pan out for raging successes.
The other day he was in my bathroom, brushing his teeth, getting ready for bed, my bed. My bed. MY.BED. I took a victory lap around the house. I couldn't help it. I am so completely stoked that he's stepped farther into my life. Pinch me!