The Reality of Regret
Where did you go?
Well, I let the environment affect me. I live in Southeast Louisiana. We seem to, for the most part, do things a little different here. There are people here who spew hate every chance they get. But, overall, this community is one of acceptance, while judgement falls by the wayside like junk Mardi Beads at Endymion.
Work is grueling and Covid doubled down on that. My industry boomed when everyone else’s was shutting down. Work went from 50-60 hours a week to 80-90 hours a week. I found little time to decompress and absolutely no where to do that.
My normal escape from the everyday stress of life and work was the lifestyle. Not like sex therapy where I would have someone pound away on me, beating the stress out of me. But, hanging out with open-minded people where the topics of life that often add to the weight of the world are usually off limits – work, kids, family, politics…. I would say religion, but that was OFTEN a topic of conversation. Crazy, I know.
Then the escape became full of rage. No more could I hop on Twitter or *insert social media name here* and get lost in a world of community and encouragement. Suddenly, it’s “I hate you because we think differently!” Several times I deactivated my account over the months leading up to my complete withdrawal. Several times I redownloaded the app, logged in, and within minutes felt overwhelmed by controversy.
Honestly, it should not bother me so badly. It should be easy to ignore. Maybe if work wasn’t just one big confrontation, or if I didn’t have more than one or two kids to sort arguments for, or if I had some actual human connection with my friends from the internet, I would have been able to withstand it. But, it all came to a head about the same time I walked off of my job (in a blaze of fire and glory, as you’d all expect if you have read my blog or know me at all). The boss was doing some sketch shit and dragging my name through it. The internet was a beast of “I fucking hate you” and I had a kid trying to jump off the deep end of lostville.
I told Pete we had to go. He pushed back, told me I would regret it. Why in the world would I listen to the rational voice of my husband? That’s dumb….
Pete was not worried about the things we would no longer be able to do. His focus was not the sharing. His concern, as usual, was me. He had jumped on Twitter for the community, to broaden our horizons and see what the rest of the world was doing. I followed because I loved interacting with so many people from across the world; and my Twitter, became an expression of the parts of me I wanted to grow - happiness, self-love, caring for others, positivity, grew pretty quickly. As far as leaving was concerned, Pete could care less if he never saw another woman in a sexy light again. He was worried about how I would feel if/when I woke up and found myself in the exact pair of stilettos that I currently do – regret. But, I’m a hard headed woman, to say the least. So…
We deleted everything. He kept one account open out of necessity, but deleted the app. I disappeared.
Thirty days goes by and I think I am finally free. The account was gone and no amount of temptation would bring me back to the nasty world of the internet, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn.
I start living my vanilla life again. We keep in touch with a few friends. But not many. My circle grew smaller and smaller and smaller.
**You have to know I am typing this out and fighting back the tears. Mr. Cajun was right. Per the norm. I missed you all. I missed this life. I missed Twitter and my friends from around the world – the ones I have met and the ones I hoped to.**
I thought at the time, that I was doing the right thing. Mental health over lifestyle. Personal happiness over a voice. I swore I had made the right choice. And until a few weeks ago, I never doubted myself.
Before we rolled out, we had dug ourselves pretty deep in the LS. We found ourselves closely connected to several couples. Then some things happened with very close friends of ours that probably made the “It’s the LS making me sad” thought more real. Love was lost. Hearts were obliterated. These moments in the lives of my friends made me second guess the whole nature of the lifestyle. “Ugly on the inside” people creep their way into our lives all coated up in dimples and happy and then they show themselves. It’s hard to sort out the real people from the fakes when you have something like that go down in your living room. Picking up my pieces and those of my friends made the disgruntlement in the LS even louder for me. It was like looking at my life over the last few years and thinking it was all a lie.
It wasn’t. Some people were. Just like not everyone is hateful. We all have our moments, little miss sunshine and rainbows over here, included.
But I digress.
Through a series of events and conversations with some old and new friends, I realized how much walking away was a mistake. It all started a few weeks ago when we received a text from some of our most favorite people, whom I shall call Dean and Cara. Something along the lines of, hey!! Dinner and drinks?
Of course, we said, “YES!!”
We met them for dinner and have the worst food but the best conversation. (I swear it was not good food. It was New Orleans, but I have no idea where in the hell this chef was from…. Not here). The drinks were pretty sketch, too. But the company made none of that even matter. It’s crazy to go a year without seeing and barely speaking to your friends. And then BAM!! You meet up and it’s like there has been no time or space between you.
They tell us they asked another couple to join us at a speakeasy in town. And then the world went full circle.
Other than Dean and Cara, the first couple we meet as the world starts to open up is the last couple we spent time with right before it shut the fuck down. She’s a gorgeous red head, so I’ll call her Red and her husband, who is *bites fist* also gorgeous, I will call Nick. We spent our last weekend in New Orleans with Nick and Red. And then I went home and promptly came down with Covid.
What the shit! Of all the people, sitting at the table, it would be the people with whom we closed down our adventures. Fate is a bitch, a sassy, smack your mistakes in the face, why the hell did you walk away, bitch.
Big hugs all around. And then we started drinking. Well, we kept drinking!
They had just returned from Podcast-a-palooza and were full of stories. They told us people asked about us. Where are the Cajuns?? We had not kept up, so they were all shrugs and palms up.
A little twinge of guilt and regret rolled over me, sitting at a speakeasy table in New Orleans. I knew Pete had not wanted to leave. He loves me deeply, though. More than himself or his wants and needs. I saw his face and read his thoughts in an instant. He hated not being a part of it. He missed it. But, he kept quiet and kept his secret love of the LS community to himself. I squeezed his hand under the table. We excused ourselves after a short visit. The next day started early and was a pretty important day for one of our kids. We weren’t partying all night and winging vanilla life the next day anymore. We felt old and tired. It was a quiet ride home. Much different than the year prior, when a wet and wild ride home was the norm.
A few weeks go by and it’s time for Purgatory. I’ll plug it here and then give you all the details of its greatness in a future blog. This is one you definitely want to attend if you’re down for a PARTY. A friend of mine is a burner. He attended this year and said he felt like it was a mini burn. Like the love burn in Miami. Only, in a hotel in Texas. Lol. It’s music and lights and sorcery. It’s free love and open relationships mixed with DJs, dance music, and a light show right out of a major festival.
Pete literally DRUG my ass to the event. I wasn’t excited about this year like I had always been. I almost regretting agreeing to go, buying the tickets, and booking the hotel. That was not me anymore. I wasn’t Sara Cajun. I was an old lady who had her hay day and pretty much let the hate I wanted to escape overtake my heart. The light was gone. I was half a person. I’m dramatic, I realize that. But, perception is reality, and this is how I perceived myself. Especially after calling it an early night only weeks prior.
How in the hell was I going to party all night? I have let a lot of the things I loved go to funeral. Running long distances, included. No more 13- or 15-mile runs. It would be a good day if I could crank out three or four. How would I dance all night? I kept telling Pete we were wasting a weekend, since I’d probably be in the room by 11. Think of all the unpacking and DIY we’d miss!
“Pack your shit, woman.” That’s cajun for: “baby, I would really like to go, and it would make me very happy if you could act excited and pack.” So I obliged.
We arrived at the hotel just in time to unpack, shower, costume/glitter up, and roll out.
We meet a fuck ton of people on our way to the grand ballroom. Old friends we hadn’t seen in a year or two share warm embraces with us as we pass them in the hall. Quick catch-up conversations, and “I’ll meet you on the dance floor!” fall one after another as we walk. As we enter the main hall, Pete turns to me, with an expression I had not seen in quite some time and says with a tone full of emotion, “I MISS THESE PEOPLE!” I stare him dead in the face and tell him, “Don’t speak and make me cry.” I was completely overwhelmed. I MISSED THESE PEOPLE. MY PEOPLE. My regret overtook me and I had to shove the sad down, determined to make the night amazing.
I tell myself leaving the internet wasn’t a mistake. I repeat this mantra. I’ll exchange phone numbers with my friends and stay in touch, old school style. Texting!
My mind was changed over the weekend through a few conversations I had with a few LS household names. I won’t drop them here. Name dropping is dumb. I will say they have a combined follower count of close to half a million across a couple of social media platforms. Two of them, I had never met. One of them, I had been a “fan” – for lack of a better word – since his story debuted on a podcast. Fan of his story, his ways, his cool and down to earth attitude would be a good way to describe how I felt. He’s hot af, too. But, I’m a sapiosexual, so that’s not always a turn on for me.
Their messages were all pretty much the same: You can’t let your light go out because of others. Snuffing yourself out does not make the world a better place. Having a smaller circle doesn’t make your world happier. It allows darkness to become more present. Ignore the hate. Block, delete, scroll quickly past…. Whatever it takes, just don’t let it get to you.
Why does that sound so easy? Why had I let myself fall to the wayside. Why did I drag Pete down with me? Fear? My own hate? My own closed-mindedness? That all sounds YUCK, to me honestly. I let what I did not want, to be not only defeat my alter ego, I let it infect me.
Pete and I spent the five-hour car ride home talking,
crying, and reminiscing over the last weekend and the last few years. We spent
time digging up wounds from the last year and a half that had not been healed
or even acknowledged. We found peace on that car ride home.
I told him I would see if @mcajuns was even available. If so, I’d let Sara come back to life. I downloaded Twitter in the last 30 minutes of our ride, signed up under my old handle, and let it sit. I needed to be sure this was good with my heart and my head and not just a whim. I needed to get out of the LS for a few days and see if I felt the same.
The next day or so was me digging like crazy to find my avi and bio. I know I screenshot that shit right before I deleted it, but to no avail. It was no where to be found. My blog was still alive, just set to private. The first few blogs I had left up and just unpublished them. No idea why I did that. I was resolved to be gone forever when I started deleting. The rest are on a hard drive somewhere in the piles of boxes I am currently looking at from our recent move. I’ll finish unpacking in the coming weeks and upload the rest of our early days as soon as I do.
As for Purgatory, ya girl shut down the after-after parties. We went hard until well into the morning. I am very happy to say, I must have hella muscle memory because dancing and whatever all night didn’t even make me sore. Pete, a few years my senior, held is own quite nicely, as well. We completely enjoyed ourselves.
It’s sunshine and rainbows again in the Cajun house. I realized, just today, why I had felt so beat down over the last few months and why I could not pull myself out of the haze of general sadness I constantly felt. I missed me. I missed the me I had only recently discovered. The me that was born out of forgiveness after an affair, who feared nothing, and loved all. The me that wanted to live every ounce of life I had to live and leave nothing unchecked on my bucket list. The me that loves my husband so insanely that nothing else matters. And, I missed the man who loves that woman.
The worst part about this whole stupid decision - the reality of regret - is it does not just affect the person who made the choice. Depending on the decision, it can be very far reaching. The hardest part for me was seeing Pete’s face come back to life. Not because he was at an LS event with hundreds of women dressed in next to nothing, many of them willing and ready to partake in the Pete. But, because he saw my light flicker. He felt the passion flow out of me that I had locked away. He felt my tenacity for life that he loves so much. We are the keep me safe/keep me wild couple. I had my safe. He needed his wild.
And now he has it.
Love and hugs, friends,