First Love

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The erotic journal challenge today is all about first love. One of the suggestions is to write a letter to your younger self.

Dear N

Twenty years ago you met someone who is special to you. He always will be. Out of all the people in your life now, he is still around. You keep meaning to visit him more often but you’re too busy with a bunch of other things. Life on the whole is easier, and more fulfilling but the truth is that you still struggle a lot. It’s hard to believe there may be a point in the future where you don’t yearn for his approval, or want his attention. But there will be moments when you think of him and marvel at things you have both gone through. He is a strong tie to your life in the past – which is both a blessing and a curse. You still have to get a bit tipsy around him because he reminds you of the way you were. That hurts you, because you just think of teenage you and want to give her a big hug and tell her she is worthwhile.

He’ll do something that will upset you deeply. But, in your true style, you’ll be an ass about it rather than talk about how you feel. You’ll lose a couple of friends – and probably the two closest friends you’ve had in your life. But you’re not angry at them. You just feel vulnerable that they’ve seen your pain. It’ll take you a long time to realise that opening yourself to love is worth that pain. Right now you’re shielding yourself and it’s helping you cope so I have to give you that. But you have the potential to be so much more.

Eventually you forgive. You realise that you were two young insecure people who may have worked out if the timing was right. But it will never be right because of what you are about to experience. You may allude to moments in the past around him, and you’ll wonder if he thinks of you. Time weighs on your body and spirit, and you come to realise you were too hard on him. He did nothing wrong and the only reason you were hurt by him is because you cared but you didn’t show it. Or maybe you did.

The only time you’ll think of him is to share a nerdy or political joke. Or if something reminds you of him in passing and you feel like catching up. Or if there’s a story of your hometown in the news.

I’ll see you on the other side.

N

First Tour

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The ninth erotic journal challenge prompt is TV/film.

Well today marks three years since my first public blog post here. I am amazed I managed to kept this blog going for so long, and I love looking back to see how much I have experienced. Three years ago I was wondering what to do with my life after withdrawing from my undergraduate degree in HOAD. I built up so much hope on the idea that once I got to university I’d be able to reclaim the teenage freedom I never had. In fact, I felt more isolated than I did as a teenager and that is saying something! Luckily I was surrounded by great people who helped me believe in myself. Fast forward three years and I’ve got a Postgraduate Certificate in Inclusive Arts Practice, paid blogging work, a job in academia, an offer to do a Creative Writing Masters Degree and I am in the early stages of training to be a counsellor.

This prompt has brought a few memories back. Mainly surrounding the early 00s and, perhaps, what it all was about for me.

Suicide Girls: The First Tour really just encompasses that time in my life. I was living in my first flat, my friends were damn cool, life was fun and felt full of possibility. Suicide Girls: The First Tour feels like a snapshot of that time; a real moment of camaraderie (although the fetishisation of youth/subcultures is troubling for my adult brain now).

Also, interesting fact*. At this time Brighton was the UK city outside of London with the largest amount of Suicide Girls. I worked with one, studied with two and got my haircut by another.

* OK I might be wrong here. I seem to remember seeing a map back then. Though now I think about it, London probably had more.

Reading books

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The eighth erotic journal challenge prompt is reading.

I wrote about my favourite books a couple of years ago. It is really interesting that the subject came up again because (i)my partner bought a copy of the Tamas Galambos print last month, (ii)home and senses are things I have been reflecting on loads as part of this erotic journal challenge and (iii)my reflections in discovery touch on the first erotica I discovered and how off-putting it was!

This weekend I am going to Eroticon and I’ll get to spend time with some of the bloggers I like to read. Because since I started blogging more regularly blogs are the only things I read now (and my course textbooks).

Distress and the rest

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The seventh erotic journal challenge prompt is distress.

There are moments I’d rather forget. Yesterday I went to an open day for a counselling trainer provider locally. We did a sandtray therapy exercise, in which we used the sand and toys to portray a representation of the relationship in our lives. It was a long day, and after that I did a counselling role play where I was observed.

I didn’t do well in my observation. The feedback was that I may have missed key points in the speaker’s comments. I felt like I hadn’t – but then I was afraid to say that because it sounds defensive. But the feedback got me thinking about how often I skirt around issues… I frequently notice and want to acknowledge something(s). In the case of the role plays I have been doing in this open day and in my college – I sometimes question whether what I notice has meaning or not. I also have an acute awareness of my fear to be suggestive. What if the key phrase I heard is no more than my perception – by drawing attention to it am I have too much influence?

In my role plays I try to stay on safe ground. If I think I have recognised a key phrase or feeling I like to talk around it. It helps me clarify what I am thinking.

But it also hinders my progress.

The things that cause me the most distress are l’esprit de l’escalier moments. I relive them in my head – they are the most vocal of my intrusive thoughts. I hear the times when I have not confronted a situation that has caused me pain. I don’t regret my lack of action, as I am aware I need to process things a lot longer than most. But I find it hard to escape the pain of the moment.