Category: Boundaries


It comes on slowly, creeping up like crackling frost fingers blooming in slow motion across a windowpane. Just a few careful skeletal fronds at first, adding a pleasant accent to the view outside. White dancing patterns frame the bare branches of the trees outside, just barely brushing against the depth of the field and woods disappearing over the hill. Moonlight makes those fingers glow, and lures you into believing that they’re an addition, not a mask.

The hours pass. The fingers curl around more and more of the glass, deliberately and unstoppably greedy. They begin to caress the larger branches, crawling up and over the grass stubble at the bottom of the window, a measured crackle that whispers “mine, mine, mine” as it encroaches. The clear glass in the center gets smaller and smaller, all the fringes being nibbled away one “mine” at a time.

As the fingernail sliver of moon rises over the ridgeline, there’s more and more hard silver glitter making the whole outside world look different – ethereal, unreal and hyperreal, and all of it covered in “mine, mine, mine.” After a while, it’s easy to hear the things you can no longer see, because they’re all joining in the whispers of possession. It’s a rising susurration of desire and ownership. It claims as it clutches, and it throttles as it loves.

It’s beautiful, still. It will always be beautiful, even as it strangles. It is a thrilling, fascinating death.

You would never know anything had ever been any other way, coming in when the window is all covered over with greedy beautiful fingers and fronds. The only thing to be seen is the glow of the moon – you would never know there is a field out there, and woods, and a ridge. The only thing left is the glow, refracting off the prisms of clutching frost fingers, making shards and slivers of what used to be a lush, warm landscape.

It’s beautiful. It’s fascinating. It’s death, one “mine” at a time.

It bears no resemblance to what it was, what it could be. In the fallow season, the ice changes everything, even how the land breathes underneath its cold mask. It kills as it hides. It destroys an inch at a time, and it doesn’t understand how to regret the destruction it wreaks.

Eventually, the fronds and fractals will cover even the moon’s glow. Watch long enough, and you can see it move. It’s a beautiful death, fascinating even as it cloaks.

You will never know which was the first inch, where the first “mine” was whispered, hungry in the silver glow. If you’re very, very lucky, you may be able to see which one was the last.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt (common attribution – if someone has factual backup for a better one, I’d love to know)

Here’s the thing.  We’ve already stuck ourselves in a ghetto – look at how we all congregate to the kink-friendly, open sites, and many of us put a sharp delineation between kink life and real life.

Well, fuck that.

I am kinky, and queer, and a raging cunt, and probably one of the simultaneously funniest and most offensive/abrasive/irritating people you will ever meet.  I am myself, with no apologies for the content of my character, unless it’s something that I am trying to uphold and failing to achieve.

Remember, there is a difference between judging someone’s activities, and their person.  A first hand example, that will speak to many of you in the Florida area and other places:

I knew a girl.  She was a lovely girl, quite bright, and determined.  The thing holding her back was her addiction.  She got hooked on some very nasty shit, very early in life, and it became both a physical and psychological crutch.  There came a day when she needed to dose, badly.  She told me so, and asked me if I wanted to leave.  We were in a conversation, and sharing parts of ourselves that don’t see a lot of light.

What are you, crazy AND addicted? I asked.  (our relationship made this a joke, not an attack.)

No, she says, I just don’t know if you want to see me do this.  I don’t know what you’ll think of me afterward.

Let’s get this straight, says I.  You’re an addict, and you must have an external chemical dump in order to keep your brain in order.  Well, welcome to the club.  I’m a crazy motherfucker, and if I don’t keep my meds on schedule it can go bad in a hurry.  Just because you take your meds differently than I do, because you get them a different way, doesn’t make you less than me.  It doesn’t mean I don’t want to know you.  I already know you – seeing you going through your daily routine isn’t going to affect me any more than watching you brush your teeth.   It’s part of the ritual that gets you by.”

And as she got spoon and tab and needle ready, I told her the very short version of my own wrestle with that particular demon, which goes on to this day.

So I watched her shoot up, and she was afraid, even after, that I would think differently of her, or not want to be her friend/confidante.  “Listen,” I told her, putting all the sternness in my voice I could manage,” You were my friend before, and you’re my friend now.  If you tried to shoot me up, it’d be different, because you know I don’t want that.  But you’re a grownup, same as me, and I have no right to judge what you do with your own body, your own mind, your own life.  You know, rationally, that it’s not the best decision for you right now.  But it’s not my decision.

“All I can do is give you the best, most unbiased information I have, and hope that next time, maybe the consequences will be enough to help you make a healthier decision.  If and when you ask me for help, then I have right to try to convince you to do the right thing for yourself, and the people who still love you, unconditionally – those people you can ask to help, who see the junk and still can’t stop loving the girl underneath, even though they may have tried, time and again.  Until then, it flat fuckin behooves me to keep my nose here where it belongs, and my trap shut about things that are quite certainly not my damn business.  And anyone who wants to flap their gums about it learns the very first time not to do it around me.  End of story.”

And she laughed, and finished her process, and I watched over her while she cried with pain and relief,  vulnerable.  So agreeable, so malleable, so obedient while the drug coursed through her, carrying her on its broad white back to places I couldn’t and wouldn’t go with her, not anymore.

There are some things you just do for people you care about.  No cops, no hospitals, no sentencing them to incarceration in a system with too few staff, too many inmates, and no time to try and help, just to keep the arrest record looking right, and the comfortable people’s happiness level just above the place where she might be able to apply for a real job, with real hours and steady pay.  And, no need to look over her shoulder every time a car slowed on her block.  And I wrote her a letter.

“You may or may not read this, but I can hope.  Following is a list of little shit, baby steps that helped me try to climb a little way out of where you are.  You’re unhappy with where you are – the first thing, the only important thing to remember is that you, and the people you love, deserve the best of you.  The worst is inside that needle, and we both know how bad it is and how good it feels.  This is my contact info.  When you’re ready to try one of the other roads, let me know.  I will always be here for you.  I love you, little sister, and all I want is to show you what I’ve learned, without having to go through it all the hard way. I love BOTH the person you are, and the magnificent star you may become.  No matter what happens, you are loved.”

I do things that a lot of you find bewildering, unpredictable, or downright offensive.  I’m not sorry.  I don’t ask you to participate with me, where you are not comfortable.  I refuse to feel culpable for your emotional state anymore.  You do not have the privilege to shame me.

So I say this: Be not ashamed of who you are, who you want, who you love.  Be not ashamed of what you want or don’t want, what you don’t know yet whether or not that you want at all, or maybe sometime.  You get what I mean.

Do not give power to the people who would make you less than you are, you beautiful and complex human being.  Do not cut off your arms and legs so that you’ll fit neatly in their comfort boxes.  They aren’t worth it, because somewhere there is a person who wants all of you, intact, so that they can frolic within without about around between and inside the whole person who is you.
And I say this to you, the makers of boxes: please, I beg you.  Stop cutting off the arms and legs and heads and hearts of the people I love, or wish I knew well enough to extend the hand of human love to.  I ask nicely, because you are people like me worthy of civility, and of a chance to change. Be aware, though; I will be here, and I will be watching.

But there’s a plus side to that, too.  You, the makers of boxes, are not evil, any more than I and my loved ones are.  You don’t know any better, because no one has shown you how to love someone who doesn’t fit in a box.

Here’s a dirty little secret: none of us fit in boxes.  You are cutting just as much off yourself as anyone else when you try to regiment the inherently entropic human experience.

Hold out your hand to me, and to us.  We love you, no matter where on the path you start, or which path(s) you choose.  There will be someone to take your hand.  Even if it’s not who you expected to be, not someone you want to partner with, accept the hand.  It leads into a bigger, brighter, more diverse world than you ever imagined.

Come play with us.  We have a fierce joy that we only want to share – no strings attached.  We want you with us, happy and free and fierce and loving.  Come talk with us, play with us, teach us, learn from us.  We will find love in similarities and differences, and together we will create something new from the still-blazing embers and fires of the old.

You are loved.  Every piece of you.  Whether you are a box-maker, a box-dweller, or a box-smasher, you are loved for every fallible inch of yourself.  Do us the favor, the kindness, the lovely joy of showing us who you are, so we can love you more deeply for the complex and fascinating creature that you are – or want to be, or might be, or desperately want not to be, or wish you could be but “know” you can’t.

You are loved.  Deeply, and without hesitation.  Every part of you, every strange fractal vision and equation, becoming more complex the more deeply you explore – all of you is loved.

Welcome home,
– Motley

(Post script and polite request: Please feel free to take any piece or the whole of this and link/like/love/dry-hump/repost with attributing links.  If you’d rather repost outside the walled garden, please do! An almost verbatim copy of the text can be found at my regular blog. https://motleymayhem.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/take=-pride-in-your-complexity If you patronize FL.com, I will be happy to provide a direct link via email or fmail.  Please, if you choose to do any of these things, link back to either here or FL.  If you can, I implore you, tell me what you ignored, what you hate, what you wouldn’t mind seeing more of.  If I don’t get feedback, I have no idea whether I’m doing any good, or just ranting in the dark, alone.)

(Much of this is recognizable to me, minimal prismatic action.  It is, essentially, the narrative thread that life “ought” to have, but so often doesn’t.  It’s the story I’m starting to tell myself, in a lot of ways, about who and what I am and what I want and what I am willing to do.  Assume some things have been scrambled, and also that I made up most of the actual events, because many things are easier to process if they are posed as fiction.)

 

Singing for Myself

 

“It’s like being hit by a truck,” I told her, pulling a drag of smoke deep into my lungs and exhaling, feeling melodramatic just putting it that way, even though it was the only simile I could find.  “I mean, that sounds stupid, but it’s true.  It’s just this noise, that doesn’t even process as sound, and then a flash of impact, and then you’re lying there on the ground, trying to move, trying to get up.  And it’s this horrible feeling of helplessness, because there’s something wrong, and you can’t make everything work quite right anymore.

You know, in a minute, it’s going to hurt like nothing else ever has, and the pain is going to be a wave that rolls you under it if you don’t hang on tight.  But you also know that if you could just get UP, make everything MOVE, that you’d be back in control, and that no pain would stop you.  But because there are whole sections of you not answering the call anymore, the pain rolls you under, drags you into it, leaves you washed up on the shoals of your own mind gasping for breath and praying not to get hit with another wave.  But the whole time, even under and inside the pain, the voice in your head is telling you just how MAD you’re going to be, when you can just. Get. UP.”

She had her head cocked on one side at me, smiling a little bit.  She waited for me to hit the end of the picture I was trying to paint for her, and took another drag off her own cigarette.  Slowly, slowly, she nodded.  “I know what you mean,” she said.  And she did.

 

So, here’s the thing about being me: I’m stubborn, and I cannot let something stand once I know it is standing dead in my way, if I have control over it.  The picture I was making was about a song, that hurt in a way I couldn’t even begin to process.  So, like all the other stories I tell myself about myself, this story is about love, and about getting the job done.

 

There was fire in the sky, and I chased it.  I ran gladly to meet it, knowing it had no thought or opinion of me, no thought or opinion at all, but I wanted to meet it, to see it at its strongest and most glorious, to stand in the middle of it and be alive.  So I chased the fire in the sky, and caught up to it, for a little while.

There’s a thing that I can never really decide whether I believe: that everything happens for a reason.  I know that my life is too full of coincidences for them to be just coincidences, but I also know that I’m a pattern-identifying primate working under a load of genetic sample distortion that’s pretty fucking epic.  But one thing in the last couple of weeks definitely happened for a reason, and it makes me happy that it did.

A few days ago, I was engaged in a series of conversations by text message that were surreal, sleep deprived, and quite entertaining about the oddnesses that one encounters in this or that county, as I was driving.  It was between 5 and 10 A.M., and I was on small roads, with almost no one else on them.  One of those conversations was lamenting that I had been all over a particular piece of parkland, hunting for the entrance, and could find everything, apparently, but the main gate.

I found out, last night, why I spent a few hours muttering in frustration to myself.  It was so I could chase fire in the sky, and know where I was going and about how to get there.

Because, see, here’s the thing: if there are roads, then I will drive on them.  Your polite sign about permits makes my problem with authority itch.  I will politely close gates behind me, and I will not damage the terrain I explore.  I will not litter.  I will not start uncontrolled fires.  I am a safe, intelligent person.  And so I have decided I am permitted to drive on your roads, because you have made them fit for my car.

And, frankly, because I care enough to do it and you don’t care enough to stop me.  Not really.  So I win, because I give more of a fuck about whether I do it than you do.

So I saw the storm, in all its rolling, lightning-lit and multi-splendored glory, from below the epicenter, listening to the wave of silence that rolled in before the wave of rain.  I sat on top of my car and laughed to myself, gleefully, watching the sky open up and rain hell down on the forest around me.

And somewhere in all that, I remembered being hit by a truck, and feeling parts of myself go weak and numb, refusing to respond to my commands and calls.  I remembered singing in their kitchen, cooking, happy.  I remembered singing because it meant I was happy, and so they’d know.

And I remembered when the only times I sang were because I was so happy it needed somewhere to go, some way out of me so I wouldn’t have to try to contain my joy at just being fiercely and amazingly alive.

There in the rain, sopping wet in the wind and dark, I sang because I remembered what it was like to overflow with joy, to have my self run over without fear or worry that it would be damaging, somehow, to anyone else.  I found how to sing for myself again, and I sang to the storm because it was sing or explode.

So I wandered because I was lost, but wandering lost would show me the way when I needed it.  And I found the self that overflows again, and is not afraid.  It’s probably just coincidence that I found that particular piece of myself again just in time for Pride weekend, right?

Engage as equals.

This could be a diatribe filled with profanity.  It could be a gripping personal memoir of everything I have seen and done and been in the last year, providing every sordid moment in glistening, horrific 3-dimensional detail.  It could be a long, woeful ramble about what a horrible person I am, how much I regret being myself, and how I should never be trusted to make choices about anything of note, ever, because I am also an idiot.  It could be a lot of things, but really it’s just one thing: I have distilled everything I have learned from all that into three words, easily understood.

Engage as equals.

Easy to understand the concept, but hard to understand how it applies in so many walks of life, and why it is the first tenet I have added to my own personal code in a very, very long time.  I will give you some examples of why I think engaging as equals is critical, is necessary, is indispensable in being a functional adult.

DON’T BANK ON WHO YOU ARE:  If you make your living with your brain, but you are not willing to take your statements, opinions, and arguments into a forum where no one knows who you are, you are refusing to engage as equals.  That is demanding a handicap of reputation, and in many cases, a handicap of perceived superiority over the individuals who may disagree with you.  Your professional reputation was (I hope) based on your ability to state your case well, to research well, to debate intelligently and to prove your points or convince others that you had.  Refusing to engage when the other party is seen as your equal (in intelligence, in reputation, in ability, in whatever) is cowardice, and I will not abide it.

DON’T PITY FUCK:  If you have any interpersonal relationships that involve any level of intimacy, it behooves you to engage as an equal inside them.  Even if you have a negotiated unequal power dynamic, that power dynamic does not change the equality of the partners as people.  And, in a more mainstream sense, it is all too common for one partner to assume that they are more intelligent, more resourceful, more qualified, more attractive, or more *something* than the other.  The catch is this: that usually cuts both ways.  If you are both in a relationship where you feel like you are doing the other one a favor, on some unspecified level, that seems to be to be a great big giant red flag.  You must engage each other as equals – persons of equal value, of equal worth, who may have different things to contribute to the relationship, but whose contributions as people are essentially impossible to measure on a quantitative scale.  If your relationship devolves into measuring who has done more for whom, get out.  Refusing to leave just because you’re used to where you are, or you feel that your partner deserves your treatment of them, or you deserve their treatment of you, is laziness and cowardice.  Again, I will not abide it.

MAKE FRIENDS YOU LIKE:  This is a corollary to the previous point.  If you are in a friendship or acquaintanceship, and you feel like you are doing the other person a favor, get out.  It will drain you and make them feel small.  The same logic applies for friends who feel they are doing you favors – it will drain them, and make you feel small.  Neither situation is one in which friendship can flourish.  The only people who can last as friends, honest and open with each other, are people who engage as equals.  If they do not believe that the other person is bringing as much value to the table as they are, then there will (of necessity) be some sort of commodification of the friendship.  Doing people favors is only kind if you are not waiting to call them in, and not waiting to capitalize on being “that guy” who does people favors.  If you do it expecting a return, that is not friendship, and cannot effectively be masked as such.

KNOW YOUR LIMITS: There are people in the world who are less intelligent than you.  There are people in the world who are less adept than you.  There are people in the world who are less attractive, less motivated, less everything-you-think-is-important than you.  I have bad news for you, chum – those people are still your equals.  No more, no less.  Your criteria for importance are just that – yours.  Those criteria have no bearing on their actual validity as human beings.  Those people are your equals, and if you want to get anything out of your interactions with them, you have to treat them as such.

KNOW THEIR LIMITS:  Corollary.  There are people in the world who are more intelligent than you.  There are people in the world who are more adept than you.  There are people in the world who are more attractive, more motivated, more everything-you-think-is-important than you.  I have good news, this time.  Those people are still your equals.  No more, no less.  Your criteria for importance are just that – yours. Those criteria have no bearing on your actual validity as a human being.  You are the equal to those people, and if you want to get anything out of your interactions with them, you have to treat them as such.  And, corollary again, they have to treat you as such if they want to get anything out of those same interactions.

REMEMBER, CAESAR: Thou art mortal.  Even when you are in the height of your field, at the top of your game, in your best element, and absolutely top-flight of where you will ever be… There is still someone who knows more about it than you do, for a correctly phrased definition of “it.”  That is not a reason to despair – it is a reason to make sure that “someone” has to be so narrowly defined that it takes serious research to find anyone who *does* know more, or is better, in your chosen field.  “Thou art mortal” – praise and damnation all neatly wrapped up in one package.  Thou art mortal, and so is everybody else.  You are, at the basest level, and from a fundamental human perspective, their equal.

Engage as equals.  Give your friends and your opponents the respect they are due as human beings.  Anything less is ego, hypocrisy, cowardice, or outright denial of fact.

Stand up and kill.

If you’re going to cut somebody up, have the decency to do it face to face.  If you’re going to gut a person, it behooves you to be a human being about it and do it right up close, where you can see what it does to them, where you cannot escape the consequences of the actions you take, where you cannot deny the essential humanity of the person you are cutting.

 

I am thoroughly tired of watching maiming and murder by proxy.  I am not a nice person; anyone who has known me for any length of time is well aware of this.  I am eminently pragmatic, and this often leads to me thinking thoughts that are quite uncivilized and extremely antisocial.  My brain is, by and large, short, nasty and brutish.  (Pun definitely intended.)  That being said, I am completely fed up with watching people who do not have the balls to pick up a knife pick up pens or keyboards instead, and go on tirades and rampages about the denial of rights and humanity to their fellow human beings.

 

These are humans, you ignorant bureaucratic cowards.  They eat and sleep and love and live just as you do.  They have lives and dreams and aspirations and loves big and small, just as you do.  They are three-dimensional, complex, and fascinating, just as you are.  So if you are going to call for them to be made small, to be made to fit, to be denied rights or reasons or justifications or simple humanity and complexity, it fucking well behooves you to do it to their faces, to gut them in person.  Pick up your damned knife and watch them bleed, because you owe them that as people.

 

It is even more infuriating to watch it happen in small communities, rather than large and impersonal ones.  Watching relationships dissolve, and then the partners dehumanize and demonize each other, or uninvolved parties take sides, and only talk about or villainize the participants in their absence, is becoming actively and aggressively repulsive.  I have always tried to maintain a policy of being unwilling to say things about people that I will not say to them, and I am finding it more and more intolerable to see that other people do not hold the same.  People are not steak, to be bought cleanly dissected for your convenience and consumed at leisure.  They are messy and must be butchered in the first person if you want them to fit into neat packages.  Pick up your own knife.  Do your own dirty work.  Don’t murder by proxy.  Stand up and kill.  If it’s a crime worth killing for, do it yourself.  If the person they are or the behaviors they engage in are worth cutting or gutting for, get your hands dirty and keep your fucking gorge down, because it’s work that needs doing.  If you can’t make yourself do it in person, then question whether it needs doing at all.

 

If you can’t do it to a real human, standing in front of you, what gives you the fucking right to do it at a distance, where you don’t have to feel it?  Because they do.  I guaran-damn-tee you they do, because they’re people.  They are not steaks, or Guy Fawkes effigies stuffed with straw.  Just because you distance yourself from them in the confines of your own mind does not make their selves any less real.  You cannot unmake them for your convenience, and pretending you can is hubris of the most disgusting kind.  Murder by proxy is cowardice.  Stand up and kill, or sit down and shut your fucking mouth.

 

Pick up your own knife, or put down your weapons and deal with them like people who have rights.  There is no middle ground.  Not in my world.

 

(This rant has been brought to you by the Stop Feeding Me Coffee And Then Getting Me Started On Politics and Ranting Fund.)

“Don’t fight what you need or it will fight back. The more you deny the essential the more belligerent the essential becomes.” – DiViNCi, from the Solillaquists of Sound

(It may be a quote from one of their songs; I don’t know their work well enough to tell.  Found it on DiViNCi’s Twitter (@solilla) and it stuck in my head.)

Too many people play Gandhi and Attila and Hannibal to their own needs.  They make their own lives into a constant battle of needs against wants, themselves versus the world, and they pit their own desires of flesh and spirit against those of everyone else, as though there could only be one winner, as though there had to be a loser in the game.  As though there was a game to begin with at all, as though the pie was only so big, and could be no bigger.  Fuck that.  Stop starving your needs, because needs are predators in their own right, and a starving predator will fight for its territory.

Belligerent essentials.  They will take back their ranges, and tear up your life in the doing, if you tear down the wild places that they need to survive.  Belligerent essentials will ravage the nice, neat little cubicles and boxes you build to keep them constrained and orderly, to compartmentalize and organize and satisfy the civilized outlook and the calm and sedate way of putting the civilization and its needs before your own.  Belligerent essentials will bully you, will berate you, will badger you and tree you and howl down your walls and crash through your windows and blow down your houses and eat your children and your creations alive in the dark forests of your mind, because you refused to give them enough room to grow and live in their own wild places.

If you don’t ruin the wild places with paving and portraits and politeness, the wild creatures have no reason to eat you.  Isn’t it nice when we all get along?  Don’t fight what you need, and your needs won’t eat you alive.  Belligerent essentials.

And by you, I mean me, of course.  I mean us.  No dodging, no assuming innocence.  We are all guilty until we shoulder our own work and fucking haul.  Belligerent essentials accept no less, and no one can excuse us from ourselves.

Love is stretchy.

“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.

I hate “ought to.”

I have a deep and burning well of rage for a lot of things.  One of the biggest categories is the social manipulation inherent in words and phrases like “should,” “ought to,” and “obligated.”  It makes me angry every time I hear someone go through their day, their week, or their life making decisions and engaging based on the ideas of should, ought to, and obligated.  Those are concepts I could do with just never hearing again, and never hearing anyone whose sentience I respect adhering to ever again.

Every time you look at yourself and go “I ought to” or “I should” or “I am obligated” to do something, engage someone, or otherwise modify your behavior or yourself, question it.  Question the fuck out of it.  You know why?  Because should, ought to, and obligated are tools to make you behave better.  They inculcate shame of choice, fear of ramifications for misbehavior, and a desire to conform to a norm that may or may not be healthy or even possible.  It is that inculcation which inspires behavior change, and behavior modification makes you easy to control.

Question it.  Demand logic of it.  Demand rationality out of anything where you are obliged, told you should, or feel like you have to.  Words and phrases that make you behave are designed to make you easier to control, and sentient, sapient beings are inherently healthier when they are less under the manipulative control of an agenda-driven society.

Every time someone tells you that you should behave a certain way, or talk to a certain person, question it.  Ask yourself (or hell, ask them, because it’s a question they need to be prepared to answer) what they want out of you – what they are trying to make you do or be or feel by obliging you to engage in a behavior that would not naturally occur to you.  Socialization is all well and good, but the tools and tricks of obligation are effectively equivalent to emotional blackmail, and everyone should (hah) question anyone who tries to blackmail them into acceptable social behavior.

I don’t give a shit what relation the person obligating you has to you or with you – question their motives and their methods, and question your reasons for acquiescing, if you do.  Don’t do shit that doesn’t make you happy.

That’s what it comes down to, basically – don’t do things because you ought to, or because you should.  Do them because you can take joy in them, and do them in ways that make you happy and fulfill you on some level, be it emotional, mental, spiritual, or otherwise.  Every time you do something today, question it.  Ask yourself how it makes you happy – and if it doesn’t, don’t fucking do it.  Go do the things that make you happy today, and see where it gets you.  Happiness is worth more than any amount of social prowess or political gain, and it is worth dedicating the time to achieve.

You are a person worth making happy.  Remember that, and take it out into your day, and do things based on that premise.  You’ll be amazed what it changes.

I am tired of watching people gum their way through life.  You have teeth for a reason, people – use them!

You live and you love and you learn every day, and a lot of it is hard work, because many things that are worth doing are hard work.  Doing a job well is hard work.  Creating relationships that last and have meaning are hard work.  Living a life that has meaning, affects people around you in a positive way, and leaves a lasting impression on your world is hard work.  And it’s all worth doing.

So pull out your teeth and sink them into the things and the people you do.  They are your best weapon, your best tool, your best expression of “I am dedicated to this cause or this person, and expressing an intimate connection to this person or thing.”  Show serious dedication, serious drive, a determination to hang on through thick and thin, and a motivation to chew through obstacles like they are so much paper pulp.  That is how you get places; that is how you achieve goals; that is how you make things happen that otherwise would stay dreams.

Defend what is yours.  It is not a crime to say “This is mine – back the fuck off.”  Defend your boundaries, defend your territory, defend your people if they want you to and have given you permission.  Make the world around you a better place by not allowing the people around you to create havoc and unwarranted chaos by letting them walk into your space and your head without a fight.  Most people who are shitty like that will pick a softer target rather than fight, so let them go somewhere else and pick a softer target.  Don’t make that softer target be you – show teeth! Be willing to use them in defense of yourself!  It is not a moral failing to be willing to bite someone, either literally or metaphorically.

I am feeling bite-y today, and tired of watching other people getting railroaded and run over and not do anything about it – can you tell?  Use your teeth, people – they are there for a reason!

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