It has been quite a journey for me. I have met some real sweethearts and some very nice people through this "hobby." I also enjoyed the insights of many posters in various threads.
But now the time has come to say goodbye. I always hate saying goodbye but there is little choice for me. I have gotten too involved and I need to take a step back from Merb and the "hobby."
Someone on this board sent me a nice email message yesterday. I will not reveal who it is to anyone but one thing this person wrote struck a real chord with me:
"...it seems to me that you need to face the future resolutely and honestly, and decide how you want to live your life going forward. Who and what are really important to you? Who will remember you once you have gone?
...You seem like such a decent guy, but perhaps it's time to take stock of things. If after taking stock you can return to the hobby with realistic expectations then that's great. But the hobby can too easily be both an addiction and an excuse for not facing up to the challenges of life. "
The hobby for me has by and large been more of an escapism. I can blame my wife for denying me sex but ultimately I acted out of pure selfishness. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I had certain needs that were not being met and chief among them wasn't sex, but the need to communicate my deepest fears in life. I needed to escape or at least attempt to escape.
I so desperately needed someone to listen to me, knowing full well that once the encounter is over, it's back to reality. My reality isn't fun - that much I know - but it is whatever it is. I have to "take stock and face the challenges of my life."
I don't regret what I did because I needed to cope with something that is extremely difficult to cope with. But I now recognize that this lifestyle isn't doing me any lasting good - not on a mental level or physical level.
I never really wanted to admit this to myself but it is the truth. It takes a certain attitude to be a permanent hobbyist and I just do not have it. I get too involved and when you start caring deeply and thinking about the ladies you meet, it's a sign that you're not cut out for this.
I think the hardest thing for me is that I do not want to meet someone special just for two hours, two days, two months or two years. I want to live with someone special and grow old together. I want to love that person with all my heart and give her everything I got. I think I have that someone special in my wife and now I hope we can try to make it work. We both deserve to be happy.
I also need to spend more time with the people that mean the world to me - i.e., my family and close friends. There is nothing in this world like family and close friends and I am blessed to have them in my life. I want to spend more time with them.
Finally, let me wish each and every one of you a long, happy and most of all healthy life. Try not to take anything or anyone for granted.
To my gems - Samy, Karma, Gia, Emely and Catherine - please remember that I will be praying for you and thinking of you. Nothing will make me happier than knowing you have found true and lasting happiness in your lives. I would love to see you all one day but I am not going to pay for this privilege.
To Stripper Lover, I'm just glad we met. You may be cynical on the outside but I know you've got a heart of gold. Take care my friend and please give Celine a big kiss from me. Let her know that it would be my honor to take her out for dinner one day.
To Doc, EB, Regnad, btyger, Daringly, Anik, and too many others to all list here, please take good care of yourselves. Yes, even you Special K, I wish you all the best.