I’ve been wanting to make this post for months but I wanted to wait until I could do a proper review with pictures. This will be a long post because of that, but in order to be thorough I wanted to give you as much information as I could for me, personally, so you could calibrate to see if any of this might be helpful for you.
I have this thing where the more I want to do something, the less I allow myself to do it. Why? What even is the point of that sort of self-sabotage? It’s usually really innocuous things, too, like – I want to read this manga series, or, I want to write a story, or, I want to play Sims, or, I want to watch a movie. Where is the disconnect in my mind between that interest and my decision? Why is it that I have seemingly given myself a strict allowance of how much mundane satisfaction and happiness I’m allowed per week or day or month, or whatever other arbitrary designation I have apparently set without telling myself? I genuinely don’t understand why my brain does this, but it’s very frustrating.
So anyway. Lately I’ve allowed myself to play Sims for the first time in 3 years. There’s that.
Some things I will probably ramble about here and there – a warning in advance:
I am going vegan after being vegetarian for 20 years. It’s a process, but I’m figuring it out.
Also I’m trying to do health-related shit this year I’ve been putting off forever. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow I am 1000000% dreading but I’m going to go because I feel like I should.
I told the doctor at the first time I met her that I should probably see someone related to my anorexic thought processes that I’ve mostly conquered on my own but which still affect aspects of my life. She referred me to an ED clinic and they’ve tried calling me 4 times now but I haven’t answered yet. The first two times I didn’t know it was them, I thought it was just a random number. The second two times I had them added into my caller ID and I just. Couldn’t pick up.
I really appreciate they tried so many times to contact me. I’m trying to tell myself to contact them back.
That is one of my low-level goals going forward.
Anyway, I have the anorexia-related posts I wrote years ago but never posted online. You may see those at some point here, too.
Taking care of my health is the worst.
I hate going to doctors. I like doctors as people. I respect their profession. I just super hate spending all this time on my health ugh ugh ugh what a waste
But I know it isn’t actually a waste so I’m making myself push forward on things I kept putting off for years and years. It doesn’t become less important by ignoring it for years; it only becomes more.
I’ve been thinking about makeup lately…
Bear with me a second.
When I was young, my mom was an Avon lady and then later a Mary Kay lady. She used to use makeup all the time, and taught me when I was around 14ish how to do my own. Maybe younger? I forget. Back then I wasn’t super interested in “girly” things, though. She had this super cute, very fashionable style and she’d buy me things on these great deals at thrift stores or wherever she found great discounts, cute skirts or dresses or the likes, but I hated wearing anything but pants. Oversized ones, at that. I didn’t wear much makeup back in the day, but when I got contacts I did start wearing more because my eyes were more visible than they had been behind my thick ass glasses.
Time passed, it’s probably a boring and long story, eventually I started wearing cuter clothes. Venturing out in my own style.
YouTube became a thing. I started slowly learning more techniques by following people.
For my 30th birthday, I saved up and bought myself LASIK. My eyesight was ATROCIOUS. I literally couldn’t do most eye makeup looks because I couldn’t see. In order to see what I was doing, I had to be too close to the mirror. The brush handle would hit the mirror and I couldn’t do anything. But I didn’t like wearing my contacts while doing too much eyeshadow or mascara (at all, I HATED wearing mascara with contacts) because shit ALWAYS got into my eyes somehow and it was a mess with the contacts, and then I’d ruin the eye makeup getting the contacts out and flushing my eyes and ugh. Just. Ugh.
But after LASIK, my makeup game really accelerated. I realized I could actually fucking see now. I could actually do shit with my eyes. And the thing is, my eyes are the one thing about myself I’ve always loved, even throughout my anorexic episodes, even throughout depression or just, everything and anything. I have found reasons to criticize literally every part of me, except my eyes. I love their color. They’re like a mix of grey and blue with a bit of a weird hazel-green sort of??? When close enough in very certain light? Mostly they read as grey-blue. Usually they just read as dark blue.
I found that makeup made me really happy. I could switch things up completely day to day if I felt like it. Where my clothing was dictated by my weight, by my comfort, by my body dysmorphia, my face remained enough the same that I had a canvas every day that didn’t make me feel bad about myself. It didn’t matter if I looked ugly with or without makeup – it let me play up what I wanted to that day, or downplay what I wanted other days.
I just realized I posted about this everywhere but here.. Sorry if you already saw this on tumblr, but if you didn’t here’s a bunch of info in one post:
For the midday folks who missed my late night announcement, and for those who saw that but want updated links of stuff I’ve done since, I present to you:
I’m now on patreon! patreon.com/ais.
Do you have to be a patron to get my stuff? Nope, most things will eventually be free to the public too, but patrons get early access on items plus more. They get at least one chapter a month of Incarnations, and a wildcard option I decide every month, and they get to vote on another small project they want to see that month. Their names are also on a thank you page on my site. Plus maybe more in the future!
What I’ve released on Patreon for Incarnations will be released every quarter or so for free to the public so you can read it too if you can’t afford Patreon or don’t want to. I may change that timeline in the future to more like every 6 months or something, we’ll see. This first month in September, though, I’m releasing a lot of stuff to the public so you can get an idea of what to expect on Patreon.
Incarnations chapters one and two are already released! Find them here!
What is Incarnations/why should you care about it/what’s the quality of editing like on the releases? All those answers here: How edited is Incarnations, anyway? And other overview info
Did you know I have a newsletter for my stuff? (aka, not an ICoS newsletter, but an Ais newsletter) If you didn’t, you can sign up here, find past issues here, and I just released the newest newsletter today!
It’s right here: http://mailchi.mp/6568f7557ee3/ais-is-now-on-patreon
What’s the context on that? Find out here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/avoid-like-boyd-14434923
I think those are the main updates but you should really check out my posts at Patreon because I’ve already made a bunch of them: https://www.patreon.com/ais/posts
I’ll be honest: I’m exhausted. There have been many years of different situations wearing me down in an ebb and flow but I’d mostly figured out how to manage that stress. The last several months have been far more exhausting for various reasons, though. In addition to personal circumstances that are stressing or tiring me, I’m also continually disappointed by humanity and the state of the world.
I don’t mean that as a dramatic statement, it’s just… as I’ve always said, I believe in humanity’s capability of change. I believe people all have the chance to choose positivity or empathy or at least not jump to hate or hurt, all of this of course very dependent on their specific circumstances at any given time. But that possibility regardless of its plausibility, I feel, is always there.
Being positive or kind or caring is not something that is always inherent. It’s a choice to try to see the best in people, it’s a choice to try to understand or try to reach out, just as it’s a choice to dismiss or distance other people, to belittle other’s opinions or belief systems or how they were born. It can be tiring sometimes to choose something more empathetic or positive, but I think it’s more important to try that than to take the easy route of hatred, which itself is a slippery slope downward.
I’ve always been used to feeling like an outsider to society, and I’ve been used to not always fully agreeing with other people on almost anything. That’s normal, really, to not see eye to eye on everything. It would be a boring world if we all did. But as the last few years have developed, I’ve grown increasingly disappointed by all sides of so many issues. I feel like so many people have become convinced they are in the right, morally superior to the Other they have designated in their mind, without recognizing that they are an Other to that person. And if they don’t like the way they are treated as an Other, why would they treat anyone else as an Other as well? If you believe in equality, for example, why is your loudest and most lasting message that of inequality?
The best way I can describe it is I feel like what I’m seeing in reality is becoming more and more Janus-like and I don’t think that’s a good thing. I don’t think this idea of reckless “RESIST” is good. Nor do I think it’s good to stay silent and complacent.
There’s a balance and frankly I don’t fully know what it is yet, which is why I haven’t been saying much because I think words have power. I do think it’s really important to fact check, fact check, fact check, because our “news” organizations for years have become entertainment bent on making money with little regard for actual journalism or truth, and yet at the same time that doesn’t mean they should all be disregarded with a broad stroke or even that a disreputable organization tells only lies or manipulated information. There could be phenomenal and fair, unbiased journalists in even the most biased of publications, and biased information put in allegedly neutral sources.
The trouble, I feel, is that more and more people are trying to turn everything into extremes. It’s black or it’s white. It’s good or it’s evil. It’s right or it’s wrong. Simultaneously, people seem to be blowing things up to be so much larger than they sometimes need to be, and other times ignoring things which should be looked at more closely. The fickleness of the public eye has become its own beast, where I fully believe you could have the exact same incident with the exact same things happening, but just flip one or two details of it and that will swing public outroar from one extreme to another. The hatred laid on this commercial or that brand or that person or that situation would easily have the exact opposite reaction if this or that part of it hadn’t already been deemed “good” or “evil” by the public eye–based, in part, on money, and based, in part, on convenience. What is a cute and funny meme can become an object of extreme disgust if only one or two pieces are different, and vice versa. The same words could be seen as sassy and endearing, or outrageously inappropriate, dependent on the bias the person reading it has toward the company or person saying it.
This idea of unified hatred speaking louder than anything else is incredibly distressing and disturbing to me. And yes, I do think the way people are constantly getting offended by things in massive waves is an outlier of hatred, because it seems more and more disconnected from a normal reaction to the instigating force. Therefore, my personal belief is that it’s a result of other anger or negativity being suppressed on individual levels, and then exploding out elsewhere disproportionate to the catalyst, feeding into a greater whole. Creating a mob mentality of swinging this way and that on the pendulum of public disgust.
I just posted this also on tumblr – 2017: Voice – thoughts about self-silencing and circumstances
So, my friend Ashley (aka @smokesinatra) did some vlogs this month and she mentioned in one that she has a really interesting way of doing New Year’s resolutions. Instead of the usual “I’ll do or not do this thing!”, she chooses a word that is something that represents that year or what she needs to work on for that year and then every day she tries, in big or small ways, to do something related to that word. The word she’s chosen for 2017 is brave/bravery.
I freaking love this idea and have been telling other people about it, and so far everyone has really liked it too. I thought about what I wanted to do for 2017 and my word, and I’ve decided on what it is:
My word for 2017 will be: Voice
Something you may or may not know about me is that I silence myself a lot. It’s the byproduct of simultaneously being so used to not being mainstream on just about anything that I know I almost never will agree with the majority of people on something, and literally having a personality which is called The Mediator. I don’t like confrontations, I don’t like hurting people or alienating people. I would rather silence myself to let other voices grow in my presence if that’s what it takes to make a harmonious interaction. I would rather let other people feel heard in my presence than have to always be heard, myself. (I mean, sometimes I’m sassy and don’t let them feel heard, especially if I’m worked up on something, but generally speaking I try to make sure people know their voices didn’t just fall into the chasms of silence)
I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing all the time, honestly. I get along with a lot of people who don’t really know each other because I try not to alienate people, and if I realize I did I try to make up for it if possible. I’ve been able to have really great conversations with people who believe the exact opposite than me, even convinced people to change their minds on controversial topics, because I respected their differences instead of alienating them from the start.
But at the same time, I’ve always been someone extremely unwilling to change myself to fit mainstream society because fuck that shit, I’d literally have to euthanize my entire personality and become a 100% different person for that to happen. Because there is so little about me that’s “normal” or fits together “normally.” Which means I struggle daily with not hurting others while still being true to myself. I’m outspoken on a lot of things but so many other things I silence myself on because I think it’s safer to hurt myself than others.
That’s not a good mindset to have and it feeds into a lot of the issues I have that I don’t know that I talk about often?