I’m not a risk-taker. Although I’m sure lots of people might say that I am, especially after having read my blog for any amount of time. I guess it’s relative.
But, in my bones…I know I don’t take chances. I hole up in the safety of what I know, and I panic when faced with newness and change. Eventually…and slowly…I might take a step or two forward.
But still…unlike some who may see opportunity in chance, I see all the things that may go wrong…and I fixate on that rather than on the good that could come of it.
Unlike some who may see adventure in change, I see fear.
No. I am not a risk-taker.
Instead…a life expected: good grades, a college degree, a safe career, a marriage, a child, a home.
Plans…for a 2-car garage, more space, retirement in the country. Safety.
No. I am not a risk-taker.
But, I married one. And I keep that bird in a cage right along with my own possibilities.
It’s definitely caused some angst, as he has sought to fly (and pull me along) and I have simply tried to decorate the nest (and encourage him to like it).
He’s always been much more sexually adventurous than I…the one to suggest swinging…the one to suggest polyamory…the first to make pretty much every sexual shift in the bedroom. Although, I will take credit for bringing up D/s (which wasn’t like me at all). Otherwise, I’ve been along for the ride, and I’ve usually had the emergency brake on the whole way.
Sometimes, I don’t even know what I’m hiding from (or that I am). I simply know that there is something out there…calling…and I’m not entirely sure I want to hear it.
But it doesn’t mean I don’t crave.
Usually for me, that craving is to feel something deeper…to feel passion and lose myself to it. Even though it terrifies me…that I might walk down a path and never find my way back. Why I should be so worried about that, I’m not sure. Is that point beneath my feet so necessary to my stability that I am willing to stand there forever in order to ensure its continuance?
Often, I’m afraid, my answer would be a sad yes. And that I would be willing to stand there, my toes madly grasping at the sodden ground, looking out into the world beyond, wistfully wishing, a growing, sucking cave in my chest, unable to let go or lose control…it’s hard to admit it, but I do it all the time.
I’ve held myself back from lots of opportunities in my life out of fear and a desperate and unhealthy need for perceived safety…a worry that I might disappoint others or hurt them…or that I might not like what I find when I head out into the great beyond.
But at some point, that safety can become exactly the opposite. It can turn destructive.
I am happy with my life. I have made safe choices, and they have led me to a beautiful place with a family and opportunities that I might otherwise not have had.
I remember when I was young, and I wanted to grow up to be a foreign correspondent. I wanted to travel, stay single, never have children. But somewhere along the way, a switch inside went off, and I chose another path. I went to college to become a teacher, I married, I had a child. A whole different type of risk.
And now, in my 40s, I look at the choices I have made and realize that, while I don’t regret one of them, it meant that other choices couldn’t be made.
And also, it means that other choices can still be made.
I am young still. And I am married to a man who wants to travel down sexual paths I never would have gone down had I not chosen him. But, I did. And that alone means taking my toes out of the ground and stepping forward. I, too, want to go down sexual paths that I never would have considered. Not to say that I haven’t fantasized about it. But fantasies are safe. They exist in my head. I don’t live them. Right? I don’t have to pay for those choices or regret them. I can just consider them…dream about them…write about them. Right?
But what is the cost of keeping them always caged?
This is a bit of a rambler, I know, but really, what it comes down to is that our fantasies exist for a reason, and while some of us follow them, others of us (like me) freak out and hide from them. Sometimes we even feel shame. Or at least we know that we wouldn’t want to follow that path completely.
For example, I have fantasies about women. It doesn’t mean I want to leave my husband for one. I have fantasies about rape. It doesn’t mean I really want it to happen. I have fantasies about pain and humiliation. It doesn’t mean I want to live in a dungeon and be kept as a slave.
But these fantasies do tell a story of desires and wants that are at the heart of who I am. And that heart is a heart that I keep silenced and caged out of fear of both being judged for having them and being expected to act on them. I’m both afraid of liking it and of being expected to commit to it…to continue liking it…to want to make it a regular part of our sex life.
And yet…there does come a day when remaining tight in the bud is indeed more painful than blossoming. There is relief, though, in simply taking those first steps, even if they are laced in apprehension.
Especially if you aren’t taking them alone.
Besides…we’ve taken steps together before. And even when we’ve fallen, we’ve gotten back up and walked again. We’ve taken first steps dozens of times before. And there will be dozens more to come. It’s like learning to fly…repeatedly…only higher and higher…further and further.