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Prom brings loss of virginity for Hey-Jude.

When I grew up and got married, I thought everything would be all right. I had someone that was all mine. A best friend. Someone I could count on. Except it was more about him counting on me. Me being what he needed when he needed it. When the chips were down, I was always alone. I was the one facing the hard choices...alone. Don't feel sorry for me. I made those decisions. I took the consequences. And I survived. That is what matters.

When I had children, I thought...at last, someone that will love me forever. And I poured my heart and soul into them all. I loved them. I taught them. I mentored them. And then I let them go. To be the people that they were meant to be. Don't feel sorry for me. That is how it is supposed to be. Children grown into adults and have their own lives. And if you have done your job well, they fly back home every now and again. Just often enough to remind you that it was all worth it.

These days I have my friends. People around me that care for me and I care for them. When I need someone to talk to, they listen. If I truly need something, they give it if they can. They are wonderful people. But they cannot be there all the time. The truth is that unless you are a twin...all of us enter this world alone. And even if we died in the arms of the person we love the most, we all leave it alone.

One of my favorite authors is Dr. Seuss. The man offers some of the best advice about how to live your life that you could ever have. Forget self-help books. Forget philosophy. Forget gods and religion. Go with Seuss. And my favorite book of all is "Oh, The Places You'll Go." These words are immortal:

All Alone!

Whether you like it or not,

Alone will be something

you'll be quite a lot.

It is the one thing that most of us spend a lifetime trying to avoid. As babies, we wake up alone and cry to get someone to come and just pick us up. And if no one comes? The sad thing is that we learn not to us...and it fucks us up for the rest of our lives. As teens, we do almost anything we can to be 'popular.' Drink, smoke, do drugs. We discover the one that we will continue to manipulate well into adulthood...sex. If we have sex, then we are not alone. Right? We marry. We have children. We make friends. Hell, we work crappy jobs. Just so that we won't have to be alone.

Except alone is not that bad a place. Alone is quiet. Alone is peaceful. Alone is freedom. To do and be what you want. Alone is serenity. Alone means just for me.

But getting to that place is not easy. I know that. I spent forty-nine years trying all those things that I mentioned. Two marriages. Six children. A dom. A daddy. A master. Friends. And way too many lovers to mention. I tried them all to avoid the one thing I have come to love and embrace the most. Just being alone.

So what have I learned? How did I get to this place? What makes it so wonderful?

1) Spend time looking in the mirror. Yeah, for some of us that means actually looking in those glass things. But that is only a first step. The more important mirror is eyes...the windows to our souls. Look into your own. See yourself for who you really are. The good. The Bad. The Ugly. The Special. The precious being unlike any other. Yeah, you have made mistakes. Welcome to the human race. Embrace them, those mistakes, those ugly parts of you. Know that they are there and probably won't ever go away. Then choice to focus on the good parts. Choice to see the amazing things you do get right. Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.

2) Find good people. They are out there. People like you. Basically good but horribly flawed. Let them in. accept them as you accept yourself...for who they are. Not who you want them to be. Not who you think they should be. Don't try to change them. Just be there for them when they fuck up...and let them in when you do.

3) The most important words you will ever learn are.

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