I was going over some old journal entries today. Writing here has made me think about what it was like right when I embraced the poly part of myself. I am a very different person now than I was in 1998, and some of what I was thinking is hard for me to relate to now. I am okay with this.
But there are definitely some feelings I had back then that I understand just as well now, if not better. When I was in that triad, things just felt right. The relationship I was in and the way that my brain thought had come into some kind of harmony, and I felt complete for the first time in my life.
I remember that the three of us went apple picking one day in October. We were holding hands, and getting looks from people the entire time. I was happy to be out with them, and I was happy to be out with our relationships as well. For a long time, I described that moment as one of the happiest in my life. The time in between has changed the tint on that lens for me, but I do still think back on that day and remember how utterly beautiful that was to me.
When I was monogamous, I was happy, but never in that vivid way that I had been before. I came up with a bunch of justified reasons for that discrepancy. I was more mature, or I was more dedicated to my partner, or I had romanticized what the triad had actually been. I largely framed that feeling as something that was dangerous, and was best held at arm’s length. And as far as my desire to keep my monogamous promises, that compartmentalized treatment was absolutely necessary.
When we finally opened up the marriage, suddenly that feeling changed from hazardous to necessary. I wrote then that I was hopeful that I could find stability and hope and love in those places where my marriage didn’t reach. I remember wanting it on my first date after eight years of monogamy. But I was nervous and awkward, and was over-thinking everything. But I started coming back into it in little steps. I had a hard time phrasing those feelings to myself in a way that I could understand, or could explain to my wife.
It was the morning after the first night I stayed over after a date that I found the words. I was walking to the bus on a Sunday morning in the middle of the summer. It was hot already at nine in the morning, and the sky was clear and the sun was really fucking bright. I was out in the bright world, and I was so happy to be there. It was NRE and feelings and freedom, and I was back in it. I wanted to explode into love notes and rainbows. I couldn’t wait to go home and tell my wife. I was back. I felt whole.
There are tons of those moments in my life now. I feel that way at happy hours, or meetups, or craft nights. I think about it when I’m organizing my calendar, or even sometimes when I’m sitting at home while my wife is out. I’ve talked about this feeling with other poly people, and some of them immediately recognize that sensation. I’ve heard it called ‘glitter’ and ‘flow’, and I think those ideas work just as well.
Even when there are shadows, and it’s hard and I’m feeling mopey, I’m happy to be out in the bright. I’m happy to be back in the bright. I’m happy to feel complete again.