I feel the rumbling itch to erupt growling underneath my skin. Spring brings this out in me. It starts slow: a warmth, a steady rush that permeates my skin on that first warm day, and I feel like I am in deep thaw, waking from a hibernation of which I was oblivious until it was juxtaposed with sense of being alive. Then the itch starts, the desire and drive to do something reckless, something I will probably regret and not understand why it was so important after the damage has been done.
My partner wants me to go to New York for a few days, see an old friend. It’s probably a good idea- traveling helps the itch, but I need to submit to the hurricane and find my world still intact when the storm passes. I need an outlet, a channel for this kind of passion and drive. I might find that in New York, I might not, and there are moments that it seems worth the risk, and moments that I feel far too fragile to embody so much desire and run the chance of disappointment. I worry that will only make it worse.
Stubbornness is not my friend in these moments. My instinct is to dig in, prove that I can muscle my way through the growing mania on sheer willpower alone, but I already know I can’t—partially because I don’t want to, and partially because I’m not sure I could if I wanted to. Every spring, this is the fight: how far can I stretch already-thin patience until I can combust somewhere relatively safe? Every spring, the same response: I inevitably find the worst possible moment, and burn the world down.
I don’t want to do that this year. (In truth, I never really want this cycle, but this year, especially, I am around people who have seen this before, understand the tempest, and can help me manage the chaos. I want to do it better. I love the people in my life so much, and these relationships are far too important to let the chaos of my own mental health tear down that which I have worked so hard to build.)
The language around kink is really helpful to me at this point in my life. It allows me to verbalize what it is that comes out in me in the spring: it’s a desire to fight and lose, to bathe in tension and fully submit in a way that is instinctual but not practiced; natural but not gentle. In these moments, I can feel the core of my own power rising up, and I want to offer it with my hands, but only to—for lack of a better word—to someone worthy to hold it. I want someone to look and see, to look and meet and match and surpass, to know that the wealth of what I can bring, in a moment of strength, is never going to be enough. In that, I am able to submit with grace, when I know I have lost fully but not because I let myself lose—but because I truly lost, fair and square. The desire to submit in this very particular way becomes an overwhelming emotion, something that will come out in one way or another. I already know this. So I need to let it out safely.
Every sign I can read points to a season of transformation and change, a shedding of old skin and an embracing of something new. I hear the messages cautioning patience, and it fuels the impatience. I hear the messages that direct me to seek balance, that change does not have to be catastrophic but can be handled in gentle, tender ways that build actual balance, not precarious balancing. I am desperate to find a way to embody these things in my life, and that is a scary thing. I am afraid of losing the passion, and that fear is what builds the momentum, the desire to ride this feeling just a little longer, just a little farther, until it becomes more than my body is capable of containing.
So New York, maybe. There’s an old friend there that I am always eager to see and will take any excuse to visit. There’s an acquaintance there that simultaneously fuels and calms the mania, provides an outlet for the electric energy exploding from my fingertips. There is the manic rush of the city that terrifies and bolsters me (little known fact about me: I love New York, and I am terrified of it. I truly believe that, if I stay too long in the city, it will chew me up and spit me out. I do not know how I would survive in New York, but I believe that is my own association with that city, and not necessarily reflective of the heart of the city itself.). I need something to fuel this feeling into, something to anticipate that is closer at hand than graduation or Fusion. I am setting small goalposts for myself, and rejoicing as I reach each one. But each achievement sets the standard higher, and I am climbing a precarious set of stairs that grows more rickety and unstable each day. I need to find a slide somewhere in here, something to bring me back down slowly, instead of reaching the climax of the volcano, and sliding down molten rock to find that the world has disintegrated into ash and I am left, once again, to start again.