Tuesday, November 16, 2010

That's The Way Life Goes

In her post With love from me to me Emma Jane published a very touching letter she had written to her sixteen-year-old self. The idea was inspired by a book called “With love from Me to Me: letters to my sixteen-year-old self” which consists of several letters of that kind, written by different authors. Emma Jane's letter moved me and made me think about what I would write to my sixteen-year-old self. But when I started writing my own letter, I realised that I'm not sure which things I would like to tell my sixteen-year-old self and that the letter definitely wouldn't contain any thoughts about spanking.

Because, quite frankly, my kink didn't bother me much at the age of sixteen. I only remember one particular occasion on which I complained to a very close friend about those strange fantasies I had. But most of the time I just accepted the kinky pictures in my head as being a part of me and didn't worry much about them, although I didn't really understand at that point of my life what they were all about. I knew that my fantasies were sexually arousing and had a vague idea that they somehow had something to do with S&M, but they didn't really fit to the pictures of mistresses in leather outfits shown on TV. It was not until more than ten years later that I read the words “erotic spanking” for the very first time and began to understand. At sixteen I just enjoyed the pictures in my head and the feelings they produced. My fantasies weren't of any practical relevance, anyway, since I didn't have a boyfriend and therefore had no sex life at all (apart from self love, of course). And actually the idea of living out any kind of BDSM fantasies with a partner any time in the future was way beyond my imagination at that time.

There were many other things on my mind at the age of sixteen, though: Changes in the family structure, school, friends and, of course, the question if and when I would find Mr Right. As I know now, that didn't happen during the next ten plus years. A lot of other things did happen, though, good ones and sad ones. But actually, I wouldn't like to tell my sixteen-year-old self about them and I don't feel any urge to give her much advice either. Because first of all, I think that knowing all those events in advance would have unnecessarily scared me. It's hard enough to deal with sad things when they happen, there's no need to waste any energy beforehand. And secondly, from my point of view today I think that all those experiences were extremely important, maybe especially the not so nice ones. Because they showed me that I can deal with difficult situations and taught me to treat myself with care and respect.

So, I don't regret anything I've done so far in my life and I wouldn't want to change anything. I made some experiences more painful for myself than necessary, but obviously I sometimes only learn the hard way. And I guess I can be very glad to have a body which tells me off on not taking enough care (and instead putting too much pressure on myself) rather quickly. The only advice that might have been helpful in order to go through all those things could have been that one simple insight: There's always a light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can't see it and everything around you just seems to be completely hopeless and dark.

There is only one specific event (or rather two events) which I would love to change. I would even be willing to pay a high price for it. And that's my mum's death and the fact that Ludwig's dad passed away before I even got the chance to meet him. Both are greatly missed! And yes, one can definitely miss a person one has never met! There are so many questions I would like to ask Ludwig's dad, so many things I can't tell him. At least Ludwig had the chance to meet my mother and we had a wonderful time together, but still I would have loved her to stay with us for much longer and to hold her grandchildren in her arm one day! I miss her love and heartiness, cuddling her, our excursions and the daily talks on the phone, hearing her voice, telling her about my day and asking her for advice.

So, I thought that I could for example tell my sixteen-year-old self to send my mum to a doctor at a certain time in order to save her life. But being the INTJ that I am, of course the question of changing the time-line and the possible consequences of that action came to my mind. Well, I don't have the ability to change the past, anyway, and maybe it is somehow good that I can't change anything, even though I don't see the greater good of my mum's early death. But since I can't change things, I'm again very happy I didn't have a clue that my mum would die so young when I was sixteen. Because at that age I wouldn't have been able to deal with that thought at all.

Apart from these two big losses I'm very happy with where I am today! Even though many things are very different from the expectations my sixteen-year-old self had. I think at the age of sixteen I would have pictured myself now as being married to a guy I met many years ago, having a child or children, living in a little flat and having an intellectually challenging but safe job in a nice stable little environment with a lot of numbers but not too many people around (because people are scary, you know?).

Instead I'm living in a long-distance relationship with a man I only met a little under two years ago. My home is much different from what I would have expected. I'm no mother, yet. My PhD thesis is still in progress and my job situation is quite different from my old plans, too. I'm exploring the world of spanking, writing posts for an erotic blog in English, posting sexy pictures of myself and planning a future that holds many more risks than I thought I could ever take. And you know what? I'm very happy with my life! But I think my sixteen-year-old self would be scared to death (and she wouldn't be able to believe that sex blog thing, anyway). So I better don't tell her...

Because to my mind it was okay to start out with a clear, simple picture of life. I've just learnt throughout my journey that trusting my gut feeling and changing some of the “musts” and “That's the way life goes” premises to “Why not?” and “Which way is the right one for me?” opens up many new wonderful possibilities. Life is much too short to waste it with fears and clinging to traditional or “normal” (whatever that is) paths that don't work out.

I would never have found my way into this community if I had not learnt to be more open to the things around me. I would never have met my mate, I would never have felt womanly and sexy and I would surely never have been as content as I am today. Of course I've still got my insecurities. Of course I'm still scared of things (maybe even more than I was at a younger age). I still don't know where my journey might take me, but I'll take it step by step. That approach worked out quite well so far and I hope it also will in the future.

So, maybe I could cut down my letter to my sixteen-year-old self as follows:

Dear K.,

unfortunately I still don't know much more about the meaning of life than you, but I can definitely tell you that life is an exciting journey. And it might take you to places you haven't gone before. Like in Star Trek, you know? Yes, I'm still a trekkie and a geek, don't worry, some good things won't ever change! ;-) Just trust your gut feeling (you'll learn that, so don't put yourself under pressure).

Of course there aren't only happy days, there are sad days as well. But believe me, you've got the power to deal with it, no matter what. And there is always sunshine again, even after a longer period of rain. I know that this sounds trivial, but there will be times when the end of the tunnel seems out of reach and remembering this little simple line might be helpful and comforting.

I don't want to tell you everything about your future, just that much: In some years you'll be much more relaxed and content than you are now. And I guess that's the most important thing in life! Oh, and you'll even be a little bit cool... :-) Okay, one more secret: You'll find your mate and he is sexy and sweet and a wonderful partner! And another thing: You'll even feel womanly and sexy yourself. Okay, I better stop here before I have given away everything. You'll find out about all the things that'll happen step by step. So don't ask me why I'm writing this letter in English. That's another strange and very exciting story! And no, you haven't emigrated...

Enjoy the ride and take good care of yourself! And don't worry, you'll never be alone, there will always be people around you who love you and care about you.

I'll see you in about fifteen years from now!

Love and many hugs,


How about you? Would you love to give your sixteen-year-old self some advice? Would you like to change the time-line? Or would you just want to write your younger self some words of reassurance? Would spanking play a role in your letter? And did your kink bother you at that age? Whatever thoughts you have on that topic, feel free to share them in the comment section! And thank you very much, Emma Jane, for all the thought fodder!


Abel1234 said...

Emma Jane's original post was quite wonderful, and your own your letter is also incredibly touching - as is the rest of the post. Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful, open, moving perspective: this is a brave, memorable post.

Val said...

Very intriguing. Very touching letter.
To answer your questions: no, I wouldn't mention spanking details -that whole process is part of growing up, and no one can do that for you, not even yourself through a timewarp of some sort. Did the kink bother me then? Yes, through the feeling of weird solitude, but if you trust yourself and are truthful, you will survive and be wiser in the end. Hmm, a corolary would be: do you feel you missed out by not figuring it out early, opening up and acting the kink earlier? No, at any point you are only as wise as you have become by then, and anything extra would be just that, and over your head, you wouldn't benefit.

Indy said...

Kaelah, I enjoyed this post very much, too, for the reasons that Abel has already described.

I would talk to my 16 year old self about kink, because I was bothered by it by that time, even if I mostly ignored it. I would definitely have liked to know that I wasn't the only one, to know that I could make such wonderful friends by delving into this world. I don't think I could have made sense of it at the time, but it would have been nice to know I wasn't alone.

simon said...

very moving story kaelah thank you.i do not know what i would say to my sixteen year old self as life is what you make it as you grow up.love simon.

EmmaJane said...

Great post Kaelah. I do agree that I wouldn't really want to tell my yiunger self how the story turns out, cos life has to be lived, afterall.

But I would have liked to give that little bit of reassurance about things. That said I still remain an awful worrier, even though I know i is pointless :)

Kaelah said...

@ Abel:
That's funny, I have to admit that I didn't consider this post to be “brave”. I think that's because being quite open about the things that move me is not too difficult for me. Of course I've got my limits, too. Had this post contained any confessions about mistakes on my behalf, it would have been much more difficult for me to write it.

@ Val:
I asked myself the question you mentioned not concerning kink but concerning finding a partner. Wouldn't it have been better to find my mate earlier in life? But like you said, the answer is no because I wasn't ready, yet. So, I think I should be glad that I've got Ludwig now, instead of thinking about how much better it would have been, had we met when we were a few years younger.

@ Indy:
Yes, having the ability to give one's sixteen-year-old self a bit of reassurance would be great! That's an important part of my letter, too, only that the topic that bothered me the most when I was sixteen wasn't my kink.

@ Simon:
I also needed some time to think about what I would like to tell my sixteen-year-old self. As you said, the process of growing is the important part and there aren't many things one can say or do in advance to make that process any easier.

@ Emma Jane:
Thanks again for the inspiration! I also think that I'm still worrying much more about things than I should. Having experienced the process of dying and the meaning of loosing a close and beloved person doesn't make me any less fearful. Although it might have changed the amount of risks I'm willing to take and how I categorize problems. No one dead? No one badly injured? No one became homeless? No one was separated from a beloved person? Then maybe the problem can be solved and is no reason for sleepless nights... :-)

Rich Person said...

I'd probably want my 16 y.o. self to send the first letter. It would help to know exactly what he wants to know!

In theory, I can remember what I wanted to know back then. But, a specific request would make it so much easier.

But, as far as I can remember, the main thing I'd want to tell him is to throw himself into it. The universe would respond to him better than he might think. Perhaps that's true for everyone.

Kaelah said...

@ Rich:

Yes, a specific request really would have been helpful! I wasn't really sure about the things my sixteen-year-old self would have liked to know, either. But then I remembered some experiences which shaped the person I am today. So I thought that addressing these might be the most important task.

Throwing oneself into it definitely is a good idea, although I don't think that this advice would have helped my sixteen-year-old self very much. I just wasn't ready, yet, and I had to learn it step by step.