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A Reinvention of Myself

A Reinvention of Myself

This space over the last 7 years has documented my journey from newly married, just-out quiverfull daughter, to outspokenly queer, artistic, techy, advocate for making homeschooling better for homeschooled students. This blog is where I came out as agnostic, bi, & nonbinary; this is where I posted the process of learning who I am and what that means. Chronicling what life looks like for me outside the bubble I was raised in. This has covered a lot of firsts – all the firsts since getting married 7 years ago, actually. Art, cars, moving, college….I’ve documented my growth publicly because I need to be reminded of where I am, where I’m coming from, and where I hope to go. I need to allow myself the authenticity, honesty, and acknowledgement of self that I was never allowed as a child. I need to show myself that it’s okay to be open about flaws, mistakes, and sadness – that it’s okay to get angry and have emotion, and I hope that by doing so, others will take that as permissions for themselves too.

 

I’ve been processing and re-evaluating everything I was taught here. It’s here that I face the stability of the past with the uncertainty of the future. I have uprooted my life and everything I once knew, I’m starting fresh and reinventing myself; sharpening my tools and forging ahead.

 

You’ve likely noticed the name changes that have slowly been taking place over the last few weeks. I’ve been paused, unsure how to talk about what I’m about bring up. Slowly rebuilding and re-naming pieces of my life that have been home since before this blog started. I don’t know how to change course subtly…

I’m getting divorced.

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There are a lot of weird feelings associated with that, that don’t actually have anything to do with the divorce itself, but everything to do with the things I was taught about marriage, love, and relationships. Bridging the Gap is about evolution – getting from where I am to where I want to be. I won’t be going into reasons or details about the divorce more than to say: we still get along amicably and Alex is a good person who deserves good things. Forever is a long time and sometimes things don’t last through eternity, and that’s okay.

 

The last 7 years I’ve been wearing a name I happily adopted, the 18 before I wore a name I inherited, now I wear a name of my own making. I’m Kierstyn Fin Darkwater, and I’m venturing into uncharted waters guided by the stories in the stars and the compass in my soul.

My Life On Paper

My Life On Paper

The first quarter of sort of college is almost over, and I feel like I’ve fallen into a rut of sleep – school – sleep and like I’m not getting anything much done (besides school, which totally counts). So last night I wrote down some of my priorities, to help focus and get out of said rut. Whether or not that will actually work, we’ve yet to see, because I still feel like living under the blankets until class and then going back to bed. Although I did manage to flesh out the design for my next tattoo last night, so that was something.IMG_0021

I’m hoping I can crank out some comics for E.R.A. over the two week break between quarters so I can get back into that, hoping to also finish the js course on code academy and start on making a crawler. I also need to take the english placement test to see if I can start at college level english next quarter, and get some more canvasses so I can finish the series to submit to the Gender Odyssey conference this fall.

My school is paying for me to go to a LGBTQ summit for college students at the end of the month so maybe I’ll do something with my hair before that too.

What I really need to do is break things down into bite-sized chunks for the daytime hours, but I haven’t had the energy to do that yet. Right now weekends are my making stuff time – The Sims4 Series, and hopefully drawing and programming…but I really should work some of those into week days.

Right now I feel kind of like, I know generally what I want to do with my life, but I’m not sure how to do all of it. It’s a bit overwhelming and I think maybe that’s why my body is set on knocking me out until class and then crashing again. So many options, my school alone has so many things going on that it’s super overwhelming and I think maybe I just need to loosen my grip a little and see where it takes me.

Oh, and my birthday happened! I was in San Francisco for it and it was lovely.

So far, 25 has been emotionally intense, but good, I think. So many plans, and ideas, and things that I can’t quite make tangible yet…and a lot of creative energy that I don’t have the physical energy to express.

I’ll get there.

Fairy Dust and Awesomeness

Fairy Dust and Awesomeness

IMG_0516My body is changing. I’ve talked about it before.

It’s confusing, disorienting…scary.

I can’t hide my boobs anymore, because they’ve grown too much.

I have massive cleavage in a sports bra.

My hips and thighs are bigger, rounder, more curvy.

My body is growing into more of a “woman” shape than I would like it to, personally.

And sometimes it’s really easy to feel betrayed by it, as I move fluidly between genderless/genderneutral and somewhat demigirl?

The confusing path of my gender identity that I wrap in the titles of femme-presenting non-binary and genderqueer.

Feeling like my body is betraying who I really am isn’t unusual for me. It’s been doing that since I started having periods.

It’s easy to hate myself right now – to hate my shape, my weight….

To hate it in the night when I can’t get to sleep because my boobs are in the way, and my bones and muscles are unsure of how to hold all the sudden…extra that occurred, leaving bright stretch marks and dull aches in it’s wake.

It’s easy to hate it when I have to re-learn how to use my body, because my belly is softer and rounder, my skin rolls, my thighs are bigger, and I generally take up more space than I’m used to.

 
More space than I ever have.

 

It’s easy to hate it when I feel like I have to be small, invisible, and take no room because I’m not worth having space.

It’s easy to hate because I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know how to be growing, physically, changing sizes. Even as a child my growth spurts were few and far between. I was 3’6″ until I was nearly 10. I was always underweight, and my mom made a point to note how even at barely 100 pounds and age 16, I was bigger than she was at my age.

I don’t know how to be okay with letting my body be.

And I don’t think many other people do either.

We’re socialized to hate it. To hate it because we take up space, and people who were assigned female at birth are also trained from birth not to take up space.

I went to the doctor the other day, because having a period means I need Women’s Wellness Exams.

Anything related to periods and uteri and….general having the ability to reproduce tends to trigger a beautiful dysphoria fun time.

Easiest time to hate myself…easiest time to hate my body.

I was weighed for the first time since before I moved, and they didn’t tell me my weight when I told them I wasn’t looking, and they didn’t judge.

But my weight was on the take-home paper, along with proof that I have a heartbeat and blood pressure.

I’m 162 pounds.IMG_0527

I weigh more than I was told (lied to) that my father weighs, more than my mom thinks she weighs when she’s pregnant….

And for the first time that knowledge didn’t bother me.

For a moment I had the realization….

 

I’m 162 pounds of awesome, and that’s perfect.

 

Hillary Rain started Lush Folk and is doing 7 Days of Tenderness and the timing is good, because moments pass and it’s easy to hate myself. But it’s beautiful to be reminded that I’m allowed space, I require space, and I don’t need to feel guilty for taking it up. I should own it, and so should you.

 

Right now I’m in a good place.

I am 162 pounds of star stuff and magic and fairy dust and awesome. I take up space and that’s actually good. I’m worth space, I’m worth taking care of myself, I’m worth having clothes that fit and not trying to squish my changing body into clothes that are the size I think I should be.

I’m healthy and alive and perfect.

And so are you.

let downs

let downs

Sometimes it feels like the universe just really wants me to not get in to any of the communities that would help me grow faster and it’s really frustrating. I instantly hear the words of my parents when they ripped away my only social outlet and community as a teenager (competitive speech and debate) “you’re not going anywhere, so obviously this isn’t for you” and were one step closer to securing my life’s focus to be entirely on raising their children, cleaning their house, and cooking their food. My parents weren’t much with the keep trying thing, they were more with the, if you do it twice and don’t succeed to our standards, give the fuck up and go be invisible, doing what we want you to do.

 

I know it’s not personal, but years of living with people who make any “failure” out to be because you specifically suck is a hard mental cycle to break, even though I’ve been away for 6 years now. And when I try to apply to places where learning and community happen – whether it’s Ada or Geek and Sundry or cool jobs – and I don’t make it, it feels like it is because I specifically suck, and I specifically don’t deserve to have a community or group or boost to learning, because I specifically am horrible and have to do it the hard way.

 

Come to think of it, another piece of this feels onion is the about 18 years my parents spent saying that never having good things happen to you is the most holy thing, and working to improve and make things better is pointless because if it’s going to happen god will just plop it on your lap with no effort from you.

 

A theory I strongly believe to be bullshit (aided by my general agnosticism: I don’t have any celestial being to drop something good in my lap), but that comes up when I try really really hard to improve myself only to have that avenue not be open to me at the moment.

 

Basically all I learned from my parents is: why bother? don’t even try, and live in that miserable pit because it’s holy.

 

And I know it’s a lie, and abusive, and unhealthy – but then when I do try, and I put my heart and soul into a thing and it doesn’t pan out…guess what’s the first thing I hear?

 

So I’m going to cry today.

And then I’ll come back next week and do the things. I can teach myself, I did it all of my education. I’ll keep doing that and looking for opportunities. But right now I need to just be sad.

tangent

tangent

I didn’t do any WordPress videos on Tuesday, because a work project came up which meant I got to play with MySQL databases and mess around on the server side, so learning was still a thing. Had this huge problem that was created by my browser deciding to insert my email address in the whitelist space…so, just a day in the life.

Monday was the one year anniversary of Kiery’s Fairy Porn and I drew a fairy, obviously.

While averting minor crises today I also managed to get out a full E.R.A. comic. I moved my Wacom tablet to my laptop, which means the way I usually export and upload is different so the compression is weird but all the tools worked while drawing, so. It’s weird how much an OS change can really fuck you over if one of your incredibly commonly used pieces of hardware didn’t make a driver for it. 😛

Anyway. I had a lot of really great thoughts while I was taking a shower, but now they’re rescinding.

It really feels like autumn here. The weather is lovely and finally starting to be the drizzly Seattle I was promised. Night is heavy and dark and magical. We have a planter with a grow light which helps – it’s basically a sun light, but it’s currently over three pods of basil. I love how the colors outside are more vibrant when it’s overcast. Happy to be somewhere it can be chilly and grey but not monochromatic and snow covered.

I’m helping a friend out by testing a product for her (called It Works) that’s basically a vitamin complex to make your hair/skin/nails grow and be all nice and stuff. “But Kiery, you just cut your hair! Why do you want to grow it again?” Because I can cut it again, my dear! Also my hair could use some nourishment after being mostly bleached and colored for the last couple years, so it can’t hurt, right?

I also grabbed some scalp happiness/damage repair shampoo because my hair has been angry with me; right now my hair is super soft.

This is something I know all of you wanted to know, YOU’RE WELCOME. (The shampoo/conditioner I got is Clear, from Target, if yeah, anyway). I just want my head to be less itchy and dandruff-y 😛

I’m having feelings and thoughts about lip hairs, so maybe there’ll be a comic on that on Friday.

untitled

untitled

When you have a lot of silent thoughts but not the words to say them.

So you decide to just start somewhere in hopes of matching words to the feeling on the tip of your tongue.

 

Having my week split into days to focus on things worked pretty well. It works for me because then I end up making a little bit of progress on everything and not feeling overwhelmed by options or running myself ragged because I’m trying to do 5 things in one day. There’s also the room of it being a wide swath of time so I can just do the thing when I feel like it, stop when I feel like it, and go from there. Enough of a blank canvas that I don’t feel stifled or bogged down by routine, but focused enough that I’m not paralyzed by indecision — with the ability to stop and reevaluate at my whim.

 

I made some progress on the WordPress theme project, decided Ruby is my true love, and caught up on the Drawlloween prompts.

Tomorrow I’m going to go to the Short Run comix and art festival dressed as a fairy, and the rest of today is convincing myself to chill out after a couple of very very long weeks.

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Fairy prototype.