The Passion Spectrum

Good morning, folks!

I recently announced on my private Facebook page that I am moving back up to Los Angeles this summer. For those readers who don’t know me personally, Southern California has been my home for the last few years, and while I live close to LA now, it’s not close enough. I moved out of LA for a job, and now that the job (and treatment) is over, I’m ready to head back. Which, of course, means looking for a new job.

Which brings me to the subject of this post! What happens when your career is part of your identity, but you realize you want to switch careers? I’m currently figuring that out.

Theatre has always been a part of my identity; it’s the only passion and love I’ve ever really had. But lately, I’ve come to the realization that it’s been a long time since I’ve felt fulfilled by theatre. Particularly in a creative way. I think my time in San Diego and in treatment gave me the perfect opportunity to take a step back and take a look at what I truly want to be doing. And right now, as shocking as this realization was to me, that thing is not theatre.

A good friend of mine runs a blog called “Tipsy Theatre Traveler.” A few weeks ago she wrote this post regarding theatre and how it’s often tied to identity, and the relationship between dreams and our idea of failure. Her post really spoke to me because I definitely believe theatre is a part of what makes me me, and that has what made it so difficult to begin pursuing other career options. All my life, I have worked towards a career in theatre. I was a theatre major, I moved to Los Angeles to work in theatre, I moved to San Diego to work in theatre; this will be the first time I won’t be chasing the theatre dream. And I gotta say, it feels incredibly strange.

I don’t know what comes next for me. The last few months have been incredibly overwhelming because I haven’t known where to turn or how to begin searching for a new dream or passion. Theatre feels like all that I am. Recently, I have been starting to formulate a new career goal- which has been exciting- and yet it still feels very foreign and unlike me. Honestly, not feeling fulfilled by theatre feels very unlike me. All because it has been all that I am for most of my life. When people think of me, that’s what they see. And now that I want to change that, it feels disappointing; almost as if I’m letting myself and others down.

As I am discovering other skills and fleshing those skills out into careers that interest me, I am excited for the future. And I am flippin’ terrified. But I am a different person than I was before treatment. Now that I am not so focused on my health, it’s time for me to allow myself permission to explore other careers in a non-perfectionistic way. I am not a failure because I’m shifting gears away from what I know best. Theatre is not all that I am. My dreams are allowed to change.

 

 

 

 

Happy Pride, btw Gender is a Construct

Happy Pride month, to all my beautiful humans!

 

GENDER IS A CONSTRUCT

 

I’ve been ashamed of discussing my fears of expression, mostly because I don’t fully understand them myself. But it’s Pride, so screw the fear! I want to live up to my core value of authenticity. It’s difficult to share my insecurities, and I know that when I do it, I always feel better. And I hope it’s helpful to others, too.

 

I have never felt fully aligned as feminine; I prefer pants and shorts to dresses and skirts. If I can wear Keds instead of heels, I will. I hate carrying a purse, and wished women’s pants had larger pockets. When I can afford it, I will get breast reduction surgery, but in the meantime I bind my breasts. This is how I feel the most comfortable.

While I’ve felt this way for a long time, I’ve recently been able to label those feelings. I feel extensively uncomfortable in my own skin and I don’t feel like I have any sense of personal style. I have been discussing gender fluidity and gender as a spectrum with my therapists and friends lately, which I am finally starting to understand on a level I hadn’t before.

This weekend is LA Pride (so of course I’m sitting in an LA coffee shop in tie dye as I write this) and it will be my first time binding in public. Actually, it will be my first time presenting masculine in public. I’m still very nervous, but I think it’s fitting that my first time presenting this way is during an event that was created to be a safe place to do this exact thing. Yes, it’s scary as shit to suddenly change my look in front of everyone, especially when I worry about folks thinking I’m a “poser” or something like that. And I am so excited to feel comfortable in my own skin and feel like I’m wearing clothes that make me feel like me.

I recently overheard a guy in a coffee shop yelling at his girlfriend who told him she’s cutting her hair. He kept yelling “No! Why?!” Really? Will she be so repulsive with short hair that you won’t want to be with her anymore? Will she not be feminine enough for you? These are the reasons I am afraid of expressing myself in other ways.

Earlier this year I cut my hair pretty short to defy female beauty standards; I was tired of feeling like I would only be attractive if I had long hair. I once wrote a post about my experience working at a pretty high quality restaurant in Beverly Hills when I first moved here (read it here). I hadn’t figured it out yet, but when I would cry on my way to and from work because of the way I had to present myself, I was experiencing this same conflict that I plan on defying tomorrow. This is the beginning of me exploring my own gender presentation. And it doesn’t mean I don’t identify as a woman, because I do, I’m simply wearing the clothes that make me feel like me. This is the start of my journey to figure out what my style is; what helps me feel a bit more comfortable in my own skin.

It’s ok if some days I wear a binder and other days I don’t. I can paint my nails one day, remove it the next. There is no right or wrong in the way I choose to express myself. The bonus: I’m now feeling freedom to discover these things as I am not as focused on eating disorder behaviors.

Love is love is love is love, and my friends will love me no matter what clothes I wear.

Happy Pride, everyone.

 

101 Thanks You

Dang…turns out my last post, It’s the Final Countdown, was my 100th post on the blog! Holy mackerel!

I just wanted to express my gratitude to all of my readers, old and new, for caring about what I have to say. This blog has been one of the best decisions I have made, and I am so happy my random stories, poems, opinions, etc. have an audience. To each and every one of you reading this right now, THANK YOU!

There’s more where that came from! Get ready for the next 100 posts about life after treatment. You can look forward to posts about Pride, chronicles of my move back to LA, and a new and exciting addition to the blog! Stay tuned!

Much love and endless thanks,

K

Life After Bullies

i wonder if adults
ever look back
to the havoc they caused
in other children’s lives
i wonder if the bullies knew
their hateful words affected
someone so deeply that
twenty years later
that person finally began
to claw their way out
from under the stone
you threw all those
years ago

why don’t we try harder
to teach children that
words hurt
how did they learn
to be so cruel
at such a young age
life throws enough stones
we don’t need bullies
to pile on

i wonder what my life
would look like if
i wasn’t told
i wore the wrong clothes
or ate the wrong lunch
or liked the wrong music
i wonder what my life
would look like if
i played with friends
at recess instead of
walked the track
with my math teacher

i’d like to think
i’m stronger now
but it would have been
so much better
to develop that strength
independent of fear
and rejection
to test my strength
in other ways

now adults are
picking up the pieces
left by hurtful kids
trying to become their
own person separate
from the who they
thought they were
because others
told them so


I am very passionate about the affects of bullying and cyberbullying that children experience in schools. To learn more about how to make a change, please visit the following sites:

https://www.stopbullying.gov/

http://stompoutbullying.org/

https://rachelschallenge.org/

160,000 STUDENTS SKIP SCHOOL EVERY DAY FOR FEAR OF BEING BULLIED.

 

Allowing Rest (& giraffes)

Y’all, it’s been a crazy week. I’ve been hella busy between program and my lovely mother visiting!

I beat myself up when I don’t post as often as I would like, but today I’m going to allow myself to rest, enjoy time with my mom, and allow my brain to incubate. This weekend I promise I will be back to your regularly scheduled blogging! In the meantime, please see the picture below of a giraffe trying to eat a branch stuck in his lil’ feed basket. (Unrelated: the San Diego Zoo is bomb.)

Peace and love,
K

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This picture is without zoom. That’s how close I was to this majestic creature.

A GoFundMe for the Blog!

To my beautiful readers,

I had an exciting opportunity arise recently that would be an amazing way to promote this blog! However, I don’t have a domain name yet because it’s a luxury I literally can’t afford at the moment due to treatment and my lack of income. I would love your help so I can start giving out a real web address, and continue making my blog the best that it can be. Even if you can only give a dollar, I would be eternally grateful.

https://www.gofundme.com/aud6hg-my-official-blog

Endless love and gratitude,

K

a letter to my therapist

how do i open my mouth
and let the truth pour out
like cement
hot and slick
until it hardens
and coats my legs
until they’re stiff
immovable

how do i express
what has never
been expressed
a new thought
that has formed
and taken hold
of my mind
so much of me says
keep your mouth shut
you are beautiful
just the way you are
but another longs
for someone to
see me
reach in
and yank the hand
that’s holding me
so tight
too tight

how do I thank you
for your kindness
your patience
and compassion
when i invite you
to reach into my
mind and grasp
that hand that
grips me tight
massaging the muscles
until I can feel it
release
ever so slightly
for allowing me
to feel and breathe
again

When Your ER Doctor IS Dr. McDreamy

First things first: I’m fine. I’m typing this at home, in my bed, with a stomach full of hospital Jello.

As much as I would love to write this post about how hot my ER doctor was (I swear, he was super attractive), I wanted to capture the hours I spent in the ER with some amazing friends.

I had to leave my ED program early today because my treatment team was concerned about some new symptoms I began experiencing. One minute I was getting ready for cooking class with my dietician, and the next I was checking in to the Emergency Room. I had called a friend who had already left program for the day, and she came to hang out with me in the waiting room. As I was waiting with her, my friends from program reached out to me, asking if I was okay and wondering where I had gone. When I mentioned the ER they all sprung to action, asking me if I needed anything, particularly some company. I ended up having multiple friends come hang out while I spent the evening with an IV in my arm and heat packs strapped to my body. Those who couldn’t come still improved my evening and were comforting just by being there via text.

Yes, I spent too many hours in the hospital today, but I actually had a great night hanging out with my friends. It means a lot when your friends move mountains for you, and I am eternally grateful that mine were willing to come hang out with me for so long. In a hospital, no less! (They didn’t even know about the cute doctor before they came!)

All of this reminded me that while treatment has been incredibly difficult, it has graced me with so many new friends that I would do anything for. And of course, a bomb-ass roommate who brought me a sweater when hospital blankets did not do the trick.

Now, please enjoy this photo of hospital socks on my hands- a past-time I enjoyed when I was approximately 4 years old.

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Where is Oz

Dorothy had it easy
She had a goal she was pursuing
and came to a fork in the road
where the Scarecrow to gave her two options
of which road to go down
Only two choices
That way is a very nice way
he pointed
It’s pleasant down that way, too
See, Dorothy
You have two options
And both are described as nice and pleasant
Plain and simple

I, like Dorothy
have an end goal I am trying to reach
A wizard waiting for me in the Emerald City
But instead of a scarecrow
pointing to two distinct choices
There lies a tangle of vines
All whipping in the wind
Each end pointing in a different direction
There is no friendly face
There is no pleasant choice
There are endless trails with no clear beginning
that I must forge myself
by cutting through the bramble
But which way to go?
How do I reach the
Great and Powerful Oz?

This is what I face
in my depressive mind
Every decision is coming to a fork
in the road
But the fork isn’t a fork
It’s a tangle of vines
And no matter which direction
I choose
Cutting through the thorns will hurt
and I can’t see through it to the
other side
Nothing is pleasant or nice
It’s scary and exhausting and
more often than not
not worth it as the
fog that fills my mind
twists my life into one long
puzzle that will never get solved

Count yourself lucky Dorothy
Life isn’t always in multicolor
With friendly scarecrows to
join you on your journey
to hold your hand and pull
you forward
in one direction or another
There are endless roads
Never-ending paths that
seem too daunting to start

So I just
stay where I am
sunken into the earth
too confused and tired to
pick myself up off the
Yellow Brick Road
and skip towards a
new direction
Instead I sleep like the
Tin Man waiting for someone
to free him from his
Stillness