Monday, August 22

When I first met..

There's a very nice topic trending on Twitter this past week: #whenIfirstmet. The idea is to tell about your first meeting with who ever in one single tweet. For example Jessica said of me "#WhenIfirstmet @lilemmaj I thought she was trouble. The good kind". And I said of Abel: #WhenIfirstmet @AbelJenkins I wasn't as scared of him as I expected cos I was laughing so hard at his shirt."

I've enjoyed this topic for many reasons. Not least because it's lovely to think back to the moment I met so many wonderful people who play a huge part in my life right now. And of course it's fun to hear what people's first impressions of me have been. But I also find myself analysing those early meetings: how I came across, what people thought of me and what my initial impressions were. And what, if anything, changed over the years.

Particularly considering where I am in my life now. I went from a spontaneous trip to London to meet Abel and 14 other kinksters to see a play, to having close relationships and friendships within that circle, to moving country to be nearer this group, this community.

Over the past two years, via the Gods of Ryanair, I bounced along to parties, roleplay events, the odd night-out I could manage and several intimate weekends with my partners. I was carefree, without repsonsibility, an escapee from the real world. So for at least 80% of that time EJ was on show. The vibrant, attention-seeking, entertainer. Less frequently you saw the real me: the career girl, bossy oldest sister person.

Of course people like Abel and HH saw it the most. Not least the arguments in the kitchen over the best way to 'skin a cat' or in HH's case avoiding my kitchen altogether. Or listening to me in work mode on the phone or my tales of older-sister-ness. (For example when my lil sister failed an exam she asked my Mam not to tell me!)

For most other people they are seeing that side of me more often; the grown-up me. Particularly those that have visited my house and experienced me trying to be a considerate host. (One can't dance on the tables whilst dinner needs preparing.) And I find it near impossible to play with anyone if I've been entertaining first.

Or those who've met me on week nights out. A couple of friends have even asked me was I alright, so quiet and different I seemed. On these nights, especially when I've come from the office and am still dressed in my suit, it's very hard to be the carefree EJ. And of course my housemate certainly lives with the real me. The person who is anal about matching crockery, laundry being sorted into three separate loads and what chopping board we use for the meat.

Not that I feel this is a bad thing. And certainly don't think people love or hate me any the less. I know people who like me accept all sides of me and that fundamentally I'm the same person. It's just a very interesting situation to have to relearn the person we thought we knew so well. Because of course it's the same for me: I am also learning about 'real' people. Having to change my perceptions, realign values, do things a different way.

The more we interact in non kink environments, the more we share and show our real selves. The thing that brings us together, our kink, for some of us our greatest secret, has been like a fast track system to immediate friendship. My friend Morena visited a few weeks back and was both curious about, and delighted at how comfortable I was with people I knew for what, in reality is a short period of time.

In comparison she and I have built a deep, lasting friendship over 10 years. She knows everything about me, my past, my family and my what makes me tick. We have a trust based on time and experience, from being together through the highs and lows of life's experiences.

Yet with my kinky friends there was almost instant trust, an immediate liking.  For me I suspect that I'm predisposed to liking other kinky people. Especially those who I've met through blogging or via a mutual kinkster friend. I expect to like them and for them to have similar values to me: I want to like them and I want them to like me.

So for me #whenIfirst met was as much about reflecting on what I thought then and what I think now; what others thought of me and how they see me now. The initial uncertainties that steadily developed into deep friendship, the chemistry that became love, the dynamic that became the deepest of kink connections, the spontaneous friendships that grew to make me move country.

#whenyoufirst met @lilemmaj I was a child standing enviously on the edges of the playground. Now I'm firmly in that playground, usually playing messily in the sandbox amd I've even learned to share it. But sometimes I find myself retreating from that playground and want to be seen and treated like a grown-up, and for everyone around me to be grown-ups too. But that's OK, cos that's just being ME.


Abel1234 said...

Lovely post. I think I can distinguish between #whenifirstmet *you* as opposed to @lilemmaj, and it enriched my life no end xx

Anonymous said...

Amazingly thoughtful and insightful posting. Like you, there are many versions of "me" and only some know all of them. You are an amazing person and writer.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. Sometimes I think my kinky self is my real self, and my non-kinky self is my make believe self. I really adore my kinky friends.

Martha said...

#whenifirstmet you, it was at that play on your first visit, part of the group Abel drew together for a great night out. Good fortune seated us next to each other at dinner and you were so easy to talk to (gift of the gab!) that we connected immediately - and a friendship was born :-) Much has happened to both of us since that night, but one thing is indisputable: time has cemented those initial "I like her" instincts into true friendship, and getting to know the real you better has made us closer. I think all friendships need some common ground to spark a connection, whether that be shared kink, football or crochet! Or all three! A lot of people are very glad you made that tentative first trip, can't imagine life without you now!

Indy said...

I love this post, too! Not least because it reminds me so strongly of when I first met you-- both the boisterous EJ who repeatedly dragged me out of my chair to dance to the St. Trinian's theme and your quieter side, tactfully and sweetly checking up on me during the same party. So I didn't so much meet the "real" you at a later date as experience the richness of your various sides right from the beginning.

And I'm so glad I did!

Graham said...

#whenifirstmet EJ, she was Caoilfhionn! I hope your schoolgirl alter-ego isn't offended when I say I prefer the real live Emma Jane. (Who is indeed, I will second, a very thoughtful hostess!)