This camp was about giving up control.
I knew this walking in, although I didn’t expect it to manifest in such a literal way (I did a lot more bottoming this camp than I have in the past). But this camp was about letting go and giving up control: not frantically looking for people or things, not trying to orchestrate or generate, but allowing things to happen as they happened, following my intuition, saying scary things when they felt right to say, staying put, breathing through.
As I was reading over my “things I’d be into doing at Fusion” list, I realized that I did, in some form, every single one of those things- even if they didn’t always look like how I thought they would.
In a serendipitous moment, I made out with someone I care about in the rain. I flirted- apparently with moderate levels of success. I had sex, more than once.
Amend that: I had good sex, more than once. I had sex more than once with the same person.
I got to have a fire scene that I have been looking forward to for months, and it was incredible. I got to help a friend reset their brain by participating in an elaborate scene constructed just for them. I got rope. Holy fuck, I got good rope that challenged me and pushed me, but in really good ways that I could breathe through. I got my shorts cut off of me. Fuck, I had someone ask to play with me multiple times during the same event (which I don’t think has ever happened before). My partner and I got to do some trauma catharsis and play with knives. I whacked a couple people with a baseball bat. I did cartwheels and played with makeup. I made out with people randomly. I walked away from something because I recognized that accepting it was settling for less than I am worth. I acknowledged out loud something I needed instead of expecting people to be mindreaders. I instigated shit without pushing it.
I had some feels and I figured out how to deal with them (with the help of friends listening to my spinning, overanalytical brain). I was able to transition from a place of “need” to a place of “want,” which is a lot healthier- and I was actually able to be present and enjoy it when the thing I wanted actually manifested.
Holy fuck, I was blissed out. And also, I was still. Completely quiet and still inside my brain. These were the two altered states that people noticed and commented on. As one person pointed out, “quiet stillness” and “bliss” are not emotions I often exude.
In that vein, I learned some things about how I express (and don’t express) emotion like excitement, enthusiasm. In what ways and to whom, and I sort of understand why, but also recognize that my “why” is silly. I have a crush or two. I’m letting that just be ok.
I had really amazing conversations with people I haven’t had a chance to connect with before now. I helped the people I care about in the ways that I could. I set boundaries when I knew that I wasn’t in a space to give care without needing my own care after. I was on MOD staff and didn’t destroy anything.
I’m parsing out my ongoing, complicated relationship with masochism and pain. I let three people see me cry (in good ways, but still, I’m not really a crying sort of person). I opened my eyes and let myself actually see.
In short: I spent my camp mending some bridges between my very comfortable analytical brain that is overly skeptical of everything and trusts nothing, and my unbridled heart that wants so badly to ooze out inconvenient emotions like ‘bliss’ at inopportune moments. (Oooof. No bias here.)
I needed this camp. Walking into this, I snarkily commented, “I know you get the camp you need and not the camp you want, but one of these days, the camp that I need to have is to have the camp that I want to have.”
I got the camp I needed. Which is to say, I got exactly the camp that I wanted.
(There is more here, and more coming. I think I’m just hitting delirious and can’t actually read the words on the screen anymore because my eyes are blurring. But I needed to write the things. Don’t mind any typos; I’ll fix it later.)