Let me tell you a story.
When I was sixteen, I was a teenage anarchist. To me now, this is so silly and cute and brave, but at the time I was DEAD serious. I idealistically believed that people were smart enough to rule themselves, control themselves and live in harmony without idiots interfering. I believed that I personally knew how to live that way and that did not need government to tell me what to do. I thought that absolute freedom was an external thing and eliminating the government would provide that. Little did I know.
[Sounds real conservative, huh? Like keep the government small and keep it out of our lives? The similarities were only in the way that a teenage brain fails to be able to reason out certain things, because it is under developed still. Dissimilar because: the conservative line is to keep the government small but then they want the government in our bedrooms saying who can be married and in our bodies saying that women cannot chose abortion, so really they want the biggest most intimate government of all. Scary. But I digress…]
So as an anarchist, I and my boyfriend, also an anarchist, figured that it was ridiculous to be monogamous because saying I love you did not mean that you were the only person I could laugh with or hold hands with or have fun with. Why would love mean that you had to cut your self off from all of the other people in the world you might have feelings for. You do not need to be an anarchist to feel this way, but for us, at least for me, it was a principle. This is the simple version, as I do not have time or energy to write the whole manifesto, dig?
Really what was going on was that we were teenagers and we wanted to try it all, (who doesn’t?). But we had a relationship that felt like soul mates and we didn’t know what to do. So we had an “open” relationship. It looked great on paper. For me, the whole thing was a stormy mess, exactly what I was used to and what I felt good with. I felt jealous of every girl my boyfriend was with, but I was happy to be with all the other guys I dated. Our experiment was brilliant and my life was big with experience. And we are still good friends till this day, so there was something to it.
Really, the only problem with our set up was that I judged my jealousy, thought I should be above it, tried to change it and never admitted it- the opposite of absolute freedom. I never admitted that I felt pain, to myself or anyone else, and I stuffed and fixed and judged all of those feelings into fights with my boyfriend. And man did we fight! My inability to be honest and just feel my pain was criminal. I probably would have been equally miserable staying faithful to one guy during that time period, 16-20 years old. Either way, I feel sad that I was trying so hard to be something I wasn’t, or rather to feel differently than I felt. The world would be a better place if we all accepted our selves and our feelings, particularly if they are different from what we wish they were. Then it would be easier to live and let Live. Accepting and respecting others begins with accepting and respecting ourselves which leads to less war, less hate crimes, more peace, inside and thus outside.
Life is an amazing and unexpected journey for me. I am taken to so many surprise places with depths I never imagined, lived so many lifetimes in this one already. I applaud my young self for being so brave, and challenging the rules in a quest for freedom. Really, I was just from a very troubled home and I found comfort on blaming in other institutions. I have come out on the other side of my experiences knowing that absolute freedom is an inside job that very few have mastered, but the beauty of life is in the seeking it.
Life is long and wonderful and I have done all I have needed to do thus far and have few regrets. I probably don’t need to say this but I have no interest in an open relationship these days. True intimacy, where my partner and me are open about what we feel, is still a challenge, but a challenge I confront, not avoid. Don’t fight it, don’t fight it, baby feel it.
I loved Crass. They still sound good. I will always have a soft spot for you…..