Do you consider yourself successful? Have you achieved everything that you want out of life? I’m not just talking about your BDSM life, but what of your vanilla life (if they are separate as mine is).
I have been reflecting since finally settling into our own home in May. Growing up I had a very broad and yet specific definition of success. To be successful, I had to make money. A lot of it. I actually hate money with a passion. Everything about it. My parents worked hard, but we didn’t have a lot of money growing up. I watched the toll that that took on them as they tried to give my brother and I everything we asked for. Looking back, I regret all my years of competitive dance as to this day I have no clue how they paid for it all. The shoes, outfits, and travel expenses were enormous, not to mention private lessons. I wish I could have made the connection when they were so stressed about funds how much of it was going toward my selfish happiness.
So I needed to grow up and get a good job and make a lot of money. When I was in college I was surrounded by trust fund babies. Lazy kids with an endless supply of mom and dad’s money which they used to go on trips across Europe. I worked and saved and somehow decided I was better than them because I refused to take money from my parents to pay for my education or my hobbies. Sir and I paid for our wedding ourselves and took on quite a bit of debt paying for graduate degrees. I decided that we were successful as we were living on our own; even though at that point we didn’t have great jobs or made a lot of money.
And now, now I still don’t have a great job. I have my own business, but it’s not really making me a lot of money. We still have debt, but we have finally gotten away from renting. But my parents and my mother-in-law are helping to pay for the boys school/daycare while we get settled and Sir sets up his business. So by my definition of the last three decades we are no longer successful.
My reflection, however, has brought me to two interesting conclusions. One) I was wrong to judge those college kids with trust funds. It’s their life. I would probably be doing something different if I had access to that much money, but that may not be true if I had been raised with it. Maybe I would have skipped across Europe with a drink in each hand just like they did.
And Two) We are successful as I currently define it. We have two children who are happy and healthy. We both have jobs (though I am currently applying to others). We pay our bills on time and try not to live outside our means. And we take care of our house so that it can be a home for our family.
It’s certainly not the goals I had when I was a teenager. But at the same time, teens all want to be pop stars and professional athletes. Redefining success for this era of housing bubbles and extreme education debt is a necessity. And with that in mind I would say we are doing pretty good.
Not to mention the redefining our BDSM life has taken. When we started this journey almost three years ago I wouldn’t have thought that we would have gotten to such a good place with the inclusion of others. Our communication has improved so far beyond what we ever had before kink. Success doesn’t even begin to define what I consider this experience.
So I will continue my positive outlook on our lives right now. I’m headed to the office today for meetings and then another section of my sleeve. Hoping for a relaxing weekend of letting my tattoo heal and possibly coming really hard, repeatedly.