“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.”
apophenia : the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.
I was introduced to this term by J one day we were at a fab lab chatting with some hackers. I believe she had said something vaguely non sequitur and, in response to the raised eyebrows, explained that she’s apophenic. While in its most serious, “true form,” apophenia is a pathologic term, a phenomenon suggesting an underlying neurologic or psychiatric disease process, I see glimmers of it in nearly all creative people I know. Pieces of life taken from here and there, woven together to form a sort of nest. Art is not created. It is gathered.
I suppose it’s only natural that during this period of great personal growth, of experimentation, that I find experiences that are seemingly disparate sorting into overarching themes, forming patterns.
One of life’s current lessons: There’s a speed at which things will unfold. You can have it all, just not all at once.
At a party we threw, I was swept up at the door by one of the guests, someone I don’t know terribly well. She’s a friend of J’s, been to a few parties, and is nice enough, but being that we’re not terribly close, I was a bit taken aback. “Page, Look at you, you gorgeous woman, ” she said, “You should be so proud of yourself.” I was confused. What was she talking about? The training collar I was sporting? “I saw the pictures on Facebook. It’s incredible.” Ah, my weight loss progress pics. Gotcha. “What’s your secret?” she asked. I responded with a basic outline of my program – low carbs, counting calories, and working out. It felt inadequate as I said it, but it wasn’t until later that I realized what I should have said.
The key to losing weight was taking the long view. When I was 144 pounds heavier, I ate like I was on Death Row. Every meal was my last. I wanted it all, and I wanted it now. It’s no wonder I was eating far too much, often 3 or 4 times what I should. I ate with desperation, with fear, and never really enjoyed what I ate.
Now I try to savor what I do eat, slow down, really experience my food – rather than worrying about what I’m going to eat next and or what I will do when my food is gone. I know I can eat whatever I like, I just have to budget for it, stretch it out over the appropriate amount of time. Pace myself.
This is true of money as well. As Skyspook and I work towards shared financial goals, the key seems to be a blend of patience and strong examination of priorities. What is needed this instant? What can wait? What is worth the wait? What historically makes us happy? Where do we see ourselves in 10 years?
Similarly, I’ll find myself worrying at how gradually the D/s dynamic with Skyspook is developing. The nature of his being a Dominant and my being a sub are so vastly different that it’s tough for me to really grasp the reciprocal relationship sometimes. He’s working on gently calibrating experiences for both him and myself. He’s concerned about harming me (as opposed to just hurting me) or the relationship. He’s trying to figure out what he likes personally. So he takes things in little pieces, shifts one variable at a time, tries to be scientific about the process – where I find myself gorging on sensation and taking off as big bites as I can muster and emotionally choking and sputtering.
All the advice says “go slow.” He does everything “right.” But because so much of our experimentation is within me, happening when I am most vulnerable, I end infused with passion and insanity about the whole thing – so when I see him being responsible, cautious, etc, it’s hard for me to recognize that despite his (totally warranted) caution, he is passionate about what we’re doing. Emotionally passionate (I can of course touch, feel, and taste his physical arousal, that sort of passion, which proves itself easily).
So it ends up feeling from my vantage point like I’m way more into him than he is into me. It seems an easy trap for a submissive to fall into.
There’s little more to do than take a deep breath, trust in the process, and extrapolate past data into tomorrow’s trend line.
Skyspook kinda has a thing for Excel.