“When you think of love as being stretchy and able to expand, you can see that there will always be room for everything.  You can love as much as you want. ” – Allie Brosh, from Hyperbole and a Half

Anybody reading this probably already knows that my personal life has gone through a lot of upheaval in the last week or so.  I am rearranging and reprioritizing a lot of things, and it is turning out to be very, very good for me.  I am evaluating a lot of the things I have learned about myself and what I need and want and am looking for out of life and love, and trying to come to some intelligent, well-thought-out conclusions.  If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m really, really good at solving other people’s problems, and really, really bad at my own, just like everybody else.

One of the big things that has always haunted my life is my complete inability to manage time wisely when it comes to myself.  I will put off everything simple – sleep, food, things I want or wanted for me – to serve someone else’s needs, because I have a very basic presumption that other people’s wants or needs are inherently more valid than my own.  If somebody else looked at me and said that, I would give them a Patented Motley Speech about how one has to take care of oneself if one wishes to take care of anyone else, and if one fails to care for one’s own system, the system will fail when the people one wishes to care for are in need.

It sounds simple – poly people come from a basic premise that you can love more than one person, right?  We start from the idea that you can dedicate yourself to the happiness, fulfillment, and joy of more than one person, even simultaneously.  Why, then, would it be such an alien concept for me to grasp that I have enough love, enough time, enough resources to be dedicated to my own happiness, fulfillment, and joy without it having to be a detriment to someone else?  I am responsible for my own well-being, because I am an adult.  It is my job to take care of me, so I can keep my commitments and do the things that make me me.  If I am too busy or tired or apathetic or depressed to take care of myself, then I am not doing my job.  That simple.  And I am no longer qualified or allowed to give the kind of Patented Motley Speeches that work so well on and for others if I am not willing to practice what I preach in my own life.  That simple.  Not easy, but simple.

I owe it to every woman I have ever fussed at to order her own entree in a restaurant.  I owe it to every man I have ever held while he cries and said it was okay.  I owe it to every girl I have ever taught that her vagina was not a spring, and every boy I have ever shown “girl’s clothes” to and stared down a shitty sales clerk who didn’t think boys should wear pink.  If I am going to be an ally with any credibility, any authenticity, any fucking right to say I support a world in which people have room to be themselves fiercely and forthrightly and with power and pleasure and consequence, then it fucking well behooves me to be myself, fiercely and forthrightly and with power and pleasure and consequence.  I matter, because if I don’t matter, then I have no right to tell anyone else that they do, and no credibility when I open my mouth on the topic.

I have no one to blame but me for where I got myself in the last year, because all of the decisions and non-decisions were mine to make.  The changes are also mine to make, and I have re-found a path to being a dyke, a woman, a deity, a writer, a reader, a dancer, a singer, a putterer, a shop rat, a crazy motherfucker, and a fierce and fabulous being who defies every fucking pigeonhole.  I am Motley, and my love will stretch far enough to include whatever that means.

Love is stretchy.  Thank you, Allie – I’m stealing it, with gratitude.