Once again, it’s Thanksgiving Day. For me, I have much to be thankful for and much to be thoughtful of.
- My sister (and her family)
While I don’t always agree with all of them, they’ve welcomed me and my freaky lifestyle in their home to live when I first moved down South and then, later, when I moved out on my own, helped and supported me to do that. My sister doesn’t fully understand my life, but she loves me. Sometimes I take it for granted that I can tell her that my husband’s girlfriend is coming to visit and ask if she can partake of Sunday dinner my sister hosts. We agreed to introduce said girlfriend as our friend to the rest of the family, mostly to not have to get into a discussion about what polyamory is with the 4 and 6 year old nieces who are not my children, but my sister knows who she is and is welcoming her to break bread. When I think of families who have disowned people just for coming out as poly or an alternative sexuality or kinky, and then I think of my sister, the wellspring of gratitude I have to just be allowed to be me is sometimes overwhelming.
I’ve had conversations with her about kink stuff and while she doesn’t fully get it, she now knows a few things like a) it doesn’t always have to be about sex, b) I’m not into being a lamp post, and c) furries exist and she may know one or two (not me). She knew my silver bracelets with my ex-husband were a collar and didn’t try to tell me I was wrong or bad because of it. She did, however, try to point out ways I wasn’t being treated well in that relationship overall, but it wasn’t because of the kink aspect. And when it came right down to it, she was right. Hence the “ex” husband part.
She’s joked with me about my job running programming for Geeky Kink Events, listened when I mooned over a new crush while currently married, and flown halfway across the country to be my Matron of Honor the weekend I decided it was a great idea to get remarried at the Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire, perform with the burlesque troupe I co-founded (White Elephant Burlesque Society – OMG so fucking good), and because I didn’t have anything else to do on Sunday, audition for The Voice. My sister is hardcore supportive love in action and living proof that you don’t need to think alike to love some one. I am truly blessed to have her as my sister and best friend.
- My job(s)
I run programming for a company called Jeff Mach Events. It involves working with an insanely talented pool of international writers, singers, bands, dancers, actors, performers, artists, poets, craftsman, tech people, editors, kinksters, and presenters. These people inspire me to keep creating and recreating myself. The opportunities and friendships I’ve made because of this job are too numerous to go into now, but I’m incredibly grateful for them.
In my other job, I am grateful to be allowed to teach water aerobics to people. I actually get paid to exercise, and in the water, which is amazing to me since I’ve been a water baby from the time I was born. However, it’s one of the few places I have to be careful when I talk about my other job, because this one is vanilla to the Nth degree.
- My husband.
He and I have come a long way. To be blunt, he hurt me a lot in the beginning of our relationship and I wasn’t sure if we’d survive it. But I took a chance. I felt that if he followed through on the promises to change that he made, we stood a chance. Hell, even better than a chance. It was hard to explain, but I knew in my bones that if he could follow through, we could have something special.
And he has. And we do. We’re going to therapy. We’ve worked through some difficult trust issues. We’re building a life and a future together. He’s now teaching other people about good poly and safe sex practices. He encourages me to pursue my dreams. He’s helped make me a better person, more able to express myself out loud than I’ve ever been able to.
- The extended family whom I’ve chosen and who’ve chosen me.
My ex-husband’s mother, for one. It was probably a clear sign that that marriage was over when I was more upset that I’d lose that particular mother-in-law than I was over the fact that my husband and wife were leaving me for each other. However, the first time I saw her after her son told her the news, she took the awkward bull by the horns and pulled me aside to tell me that no matter what happened, she loved me and I would always be her daughter. I went back to my soon to be ex-husband and ex-wife and said it wasn’t like they were losing a wife, it was more that they were gaining a sister. Ya gotta laugh, right?
Then there’s the intentional polycule apartment I live in. The poly community I’m getting to know. The kinksters I’m friends with. The burlesque dancers. The fire eaters. The hardcore punk ballerinas and fiercely fucked up clowns. The trans and non-gender binary people who’ve let me share in their journey, the multitude of sexually diverse people, and the blended families that crop up out of the most unexpected places.
- My cell phone, computer, and car.
Holy fuck, amirite?
- An awesome therapist and healthcare
In the South, it’s a rare therapist indeed who doesn’t try to tell you polyamory or kinkery is wrong or a sin. Who congratulates you on publishing erotica. And just…healthcare. Sweet mother of happy, healthcare.
There’s more, but I think I’ll end it here. My goal is to remember I’m thankful for these things every day, not just at Thanksgiving, because they make all the other 364 days not just liveable, but a celebration of life. Thank you and I hope you either find yourselves similarly blessed in your tribe or that you find it soon.