When I began reading the comments, it was amazing to see the discourse the post spurred. I was more insecure in my identity at the time, and it felt like a personal attack. I couldn't fathom being called "fat" after working for years to mend the pain and self-doubt that had been caused by that word. It was really scary and new, and my reaction was to publicly state my fears (or at least try). Was that messed up? Yes, of course it was. But mistakes are an inevitably of being a silly mortal. Now I revel in the fact that I'm able to be a "unconventional" representation of personal style in both mainstream and alternative avenues (Tumbl-o-sphere, I'm looking at you). I'm loving the communities I get to be a part of.
Not to say that I am in a perfect mental state at the moment, but the past month has been very introspective for me. I was feeling quite blue this past spring, and even into summer, just confused, discouraged and lost. At the risk of sounding like a corny sap (which I kind of am anyways...so not exactly inaccurate), I think that am really starting to settle into my own skin. I'm finally relaxing. My identity is not just a singular, it's not just one thing, or a even a binary. Yes, I am a woman, one who is young and African-Canadian. Yep, I'm a blogger, and have spent large quantities of the past 5.5 years awkwardly figuring out my shit via the internet. Oh, and I'm a chubster too. I would even say that I am fat. And that's quite alright with me. I'm realizing that many of adjectives that I associate with myself (femme, feminist, body positive, beautiful, black, vintage lover, sarcastic, funny, loud, cheesy, singer, passionate, caring, loyal...the list goes on) are not the only things that define me. They aren't the sole source of my value. Sometimes elements of my personality and self are at odds with each other, but complexity and paradox are some of the most beautiful things about being human. I'm getting used to the fact that I will always be flawed. Go figure...only took 24 years to get here!
I've come the conclusion that I feel best about myself when I am able to balance my creative expression with time spent with people who love and support me. So that's what I am working on now: creative work that makes me proud, and surrounding myself with people who are open minded and support me.
On a related note, these minor epiphanies are part of why I decided to finally get my septum done. I've wanted the piercing for about 3 years, but for various reasons (including rules against facial piercing at my former workplace) I didn't actually follow through with it until now. Of course the piercing is largely an aesthetic choice; I love the way it looks, and I seldom wear jewelry. I think it adds visual interest without overwhelming me or having to put thought into it when I'm getting dressed. An easy way to adorn myself. But it is also serving as an outward signifier of significant change within myself, which is pretty rad.
This post may just end up sounding like a convulted, corny and confusing journal entry, but I'm okay with that. Just wanted to keep y'all in the loop.
the photo is from my instagram.