open door

So, I’m independent now, you guys. I started out independent, I got fed up with being independent, I went to a fetish house, I got tired of the fetish house, and now I feel like I have a new lease on life.

Initially, I wasn’t intending to be fully independent this early on; I intended to test the waters of independence, see how I liked them, and go from there. The problem: when I posted a fairly innocuous, vanilla-targeted advertisement which mentioned in passing that I welcome fetishes and fantasies, it got a lot of attention. And because the world of Chicago fetish is what it is, a lot of the attention it attracted came from the established clientele of Dolorous Delights. This would have been all well and good–until a few of those clients decided my boss needed to know about my ad.

I hadn’t been actively hiding my independent activities from Mimi, but I also didn’t see why she needed to know. I was using a different name and pictures I’d paid for on an ad that I’d also paid for. I didn’t see it as competition, but when several clients emailed her about my ad, Mimi did not agree with me.

When she asked to speak with me, I suspected it was about my advertisement. I didn’t expect her to be too upset about it; I thought she was just going to ask what was up. I was wrong. Mimi was very, very upset. Despite the fact that it seemed clear to me that my ad was targeted towards an entirely different demographic than the official ads posted for the dungeon, the fact that I mentioned being fetish friendly was sufficient for Mimi to see me as competition, if not particularly threatening competition. I was mildly upset. While I’d been considering leaving on my own terms if my independent career went well, I hadn’t tested independence out as thoroughly as I’d hoped.

Despite this, I wasn’t about to grovel. I explained that while I felt my ad was targeted to a sufficiently different demographic from the official dungeon ads as to not be competition, that was ultimately up to her to decide. I’d stay if she’d have me, I said, but if she felt it best to fire me, I wasn’t going to fight her. I’m not sure if the outcome would have been different had I begged or cried–I probably would still be at Dolorous Delights–but I guess Mimi interpreted my apathetic response to be an expression of my desire to be entirely independent.

I was frustrated at first. I had wanted to leave on my own terms, not Mimi’s, but by the end of the evening I realized I was happier than I’d been in a long time. I felt free, something I hadn’t felt for a long time. The truth was that I’d been dreading going into work for months. I had been tempted to call in sick every day for at least the past three weeks. I hadn’t, of course, except on days I’d actually been sick, but boy, I’d really wanted to.

I had been getting a really good response to my independent advertisement and was planning a trip to D.C. the following week. As I write this, I’m sitting on a couch in a beautiful hotel room. One of my best friends is sleeping down the hall from me and we have nothing but high hopes for this trip. This is our first tour, and we’re in the big leagues now. Fancy hookers tour, the ladies who get things done, who have gone from regular working girl to personality.

This trip is a risk. Nice hotel rooms and transportation and so forth is expensive, and, well, I don’t have a steady job anymore. Sure, I have ways of making money, but “ways of making money” is not the same as a job. It’s scary, I’m not going to lie, but if this trip pays off, it will likely be a good omen for my future. If I can make it in D.C., I can make it anywhere, right? Besides, where better to really launch my career than the capitol of this country that I love so much?

I alternate between terror and excitement: the knowledge that I will be okay because I have to be okay and the fear that I won’t be okay, that I won’t be able to make it. I know that no matter what happens, leaving Dolorous Delights is for the best. It’s never good to stay somewhere that makes lying in bed all day doing nothing seem more appealing than going into work in a field you’re passionate about, but it doesn’t change the fact that this all could go very wrong very quickly, and in the middle of the night, worst case scenarios occur to me with disturbing regularity.

Worst case scenarios aside, though, I’m optimistic. I’m going to succeed because there is no other option. I’m going to succeed, I’m going to get my own space, and I’m going to do it on my own without having to answer to anyone. I am my own boss and I’m not going to let myself down. I tried independence and it was going well. It will keep going well, and I will triumph. I don’t know how long it will take, but I can’t wait to see what will happen.