It's been three years.
I read that sentence, and shake my head in wonder. It doesn't seem like it's been that long... on the other hand it seems like it's been forever. I love my Elliquiy playground, and the people I've "met" here. The amazing thing is that some of my best friends are you people. You live just up the highway, or on the other side of the world, or somewhere in between. I've befriended you, and you me. I've fallen in love with some, and lost some, and found the most incredible group of people with which to share a very creative and fulfilling part of my life.
I was lying in bed this morning, thinking about my year in recap, and I realized this last year has been both a difficult and amazing one, even here among my E friends. I quite literally got dumped by a real-life lover whom I met on E one year and one week ago today. I took some time off of E to heal, figured out a way to juggle my job, a new relationship, (I am polyamorous, for those who don't know. And I even have E thank for giving me a forum in which to explore that sort of openness to people and love.) and my desire to continue creating fiction, and connecting with people here.
Upon my return to E about six months ago, I found myself offered limited collar by a friend who lives over 1200 miles away, and the mental and emotional connection there has amazed me, has taught me that I have much to learn from people no matter what their age is. I didn't expect to fall in love on E again. Life has a way of handing you those things you need. I hate to think what I would have missed had I not explored that relationship with my young Dominant.
In the past six months, I've made so many new friends, I can't even begin to tell you. Still, I have held onto and strengthened friendships that began three years ago. Those friendships have seen me through some tough times. When I was recently hiding in a safe room while eight tornadoes wreaked havoc and destruction on my home town and the surrounding areas last month, it was my Blackberry connection to Elliquiy friends that kept me informed regarding the weather channel reports, and the threatening storms. I hadn't felt such an outpouring of concern and love from an online community until that night and the days that followed.
Even as recently as yesterday and today, when friends found out my family is going through the ordeal of a courtroom trial, and only a handful of you may remember offering emotional support when my sister's life was threatened and her home destroyed by her ex-husband. Again, the emotional support I've found on both IRC and in Mumble helped me deal with the stress of yesterday's testimony. That support makes it easier to face another day of testimony today.
On a positive note again, I've picked up several new games, a couple of which will certainly challenge my language skills and my poetic dexterity. I've found a community of dominants and submissives with whom I can discuss my own personal growth in the lifestyle, those who rejoice with me when I have a scheduled weekend with my sadistic Top, and who comfort me when after a weekend with him I fly home. They talk with me in the wee hours on Mumble about the headspace that comes with submitting to that Top, or to my young Dominant who amazes me even from a distance with his instincts. We enjoy lengthy conversations about sexy words, lovely images, and the endorphins and adrenaline that come from simple things like rope, and a cane, and clothespins and headphones.
It's wonderful to be able to be me, without censoring that darkness here among friends. I am excited to be creating again, and connecting with some of the most amazing people on earth. I spent some time this weekend, completely revamping my Ons and Offs list, then realized I need to set up my Elluiki page soon. I've begun posting in the poetry threads, and have found creative outlets I didn't know existed here.
There is much to do. I've got a great fourth year ahead of me on Ellliquiy, and I have you all to thank for it. You are amazing. I'm so glad you have willingly opened your lives to me and shared to whatever degree you could to make my life here in the E community amazing. So today, I'm not tossing confetti, or popping out of a cake as I've been wont to do in past anniversary celebrations. Instead, I'm headed back to the courtroom, knowing that friends with hugs and kisses and support are just a click away, and when I need you, I can find you here, where everyone knows me as Ephe, and nearly everyone welcomes me with open arms.
I truly love you guys, and count myself lucky.
Thank you for being you, and giving me a place to belong.
With ink and affection,