Sparkly Politics

My own mother unfriended me on Facebook today.

No, surprisingly, it wasn’t because of my weird hobby where I dress in spandex and capes and squish myself into a room with a bunch of others doing the same. It wasn’t because I swear, like, a fucking lot. It wasn’t because I finally conceded that pineapple on pizza isn’t all that bad (or maybe I’ve just lived upstate too long). It was because of a man.

Specifically, an orange skinned man who used to be known as the rich guy who screamed “You’re Fired!”, with a flick of his wrist ushering hopefuls out of the door on ‘The Apprentice’, who, in a bizarre turn of events, is now the president of our United (?) States of America.

If you’ve been around this blog or any of my other social media for any period of time, you’d know that I’m plus sized, suffer from anxiety, depression, mild OCD and ADD. As a kid, although I wasn’t chubby, I was insufferably annoying. The ADD was one of the major reasons why I was bullied in elementary school. I was “the annoying girl” who nobody wanted to invite to their birthday parties, the one who was often the punchline of jokes, and the one who would come home day in and day out sobbing because I felt alone. They also told me I was ugly, a fact I believed for most of my childhood into my teenage years. I would often wonder why I looked this way and why I couldn’t look like anyone else. I really believed I was a disgusting creature who would eventually end up like this one particular neighborhood bag lady who would push herself in a wheelchair, uphill, wearing a bright yellow rain poncho.

However, when I would collapse on my bed sobbing into my pillow, my mother was always one to tell me to stand up for myself. She said the bullies just couldn’t handle my sparkle, and that one day I would see that they were just unhappy inside, and that bullies always got what was coming to them.

Unless, of course, the bully grows up to be the President of the United States of America.

Politically, I’ve always been the black sheep in the family. I listened to loud, angry, punk music growing up. Am I necessarily all “fuck the establishment?” No. But I was obsessed with Green Day and I thought the loud, angry strains of American Idiot were the deepest, most genuine things I’ve ever heard of. But before teenage me, there was younger me. Until around 8th grade, I didn’t know a thing about politics, except for what my parents would talk about in front of me. We rarely watched the news when we were younger, as my parents made a big deal about not exposing us to anything that might upset us. Things were also a lot less intense in the early 90’s. So, it’s no surprise that once I went out into the world, and began exposing myself to these different viewpoints, that I was able to figure out where I laid my priorities in the grand scheme of things.

But I felt this insane need to hide it from everyone. At home, I echoed back everything my parents said, because all I’d ever wanted was their approval. In high school, I remember not weighing in on political discussions, for fear that people would actually discover that I was [GASP] having different viewpoints than my parents. As if they’d punish me for something like that. Which, let’s be honest, I really don’t think they would have, but it just goes to show what type of power parents hold over their children, regardless of the fact if they know it.

My mother had always exposed me to real world issues, allowing me to express myself without weighing in herself. I remember vividly the day I came home after learning about abortion law, stating that I was pro-choice. My mother listened carefully to me about why I made that decision, and I remember being proud to have come to the conclusion that a woman’s body was her own, and she should be able to decide whether or not she should be able to birth a child. I don’t know what my mother’s stance is on this issue, but I felt, deep inside, she was proud of me too.

That’s why, when I saw [Add Friend], rather than the familiar Facebook timeline on my mother’s page, my heart sank.

Earlier today, many people on my timeline had been sharing around a quote regarding the protests and political unrest. It said, and I quote,

“I can be silent no more!” This sentiment is widespread, as if typing out our grievances will somehow solve the world’s problems. The democratizing force of the internet makes us all feel like our opinions are much more valuable than they really are.

It sounds harsh but most of our opinions don’t really matter. The only thing that matters is truth and action, and that is not the same as opinion. Of course, the problem is that we often confuse having an opinion with knowing the truth. We step onto our soapboxes and pontificate as if we have a full and comprehensive understanding of the truth. But we don’t.

I try to stay quiet when I see posts on Facebook to this effect, because while others have different opinions than me, I do try to respect them. But reading this post, alongside the quote “I couldn’t have said it better myself!”, I felt nauseous. Like all the air had been sucked out of my lungs. Suddenly, for the first time in this election saga, I felt truly defeated. My opinions don’t matter? I shouldn’t be able to stand up for myself? And the worst thing: my mother agreed with it?

I stared at the photo for a long while. I took a deep breath, and I commented on it. Why? Because I was told to stand up against bullies. I was told not to let anyone dull my sparkle.

Sister Theresa, whoever you are, who wrote this article, I honestly pray you find a shred of compassion in your cold heart. Your sentiment has effectively ostracized mother from child.

And to anyone who believes our opinions don’t matter…true, action is important, but without advocating for the cause, how will we know when to take action? How will we get the truth out there?

I for one, am sorry if my opinions upset people, especially my mother, who I have nothing but love and respect for, but that doesn’t mean I will censor myself for your comfort. In the next four years, at least, I will be plenty uncomfortable. So will many others.

And I won’t stop sparkling.

Reflections on Cosplaying : Undies Update 6/28

So, if you’ve been following my page for a little bit, you may have noticed I’m winding down on the cosplay front lately. I honestly didn’t realize this myself until a good friend of mine messaged me and said “you seem like you’re over the whole cosplay thing, lately, are you okay?” And she’s not wrong. I am kind of over it lately. If you’ve been following me since March you’ve seen first hand, my interactions with [the con that shall not be named] and certain individuals in this community, you might think, well, it’s no wonder that I don’t want to do this as much anymore.

But I mean when I say I refuse to let people steal my joy. And to spit on cosplay as a hobby isn’t fair at all. Cosplay isn’t the problem, it’s certain individuals that are the problem. I can honestly say if not for this hobby…if not for the cosplay community, I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today, right here, at this very minute.

I remember in 3rd grade, being on Weight Watchers with my mother. Kids in my class were calling me fat, and I didn’t want to give them any ammunition. I followed the diet, went to the meetings, and thought that this was normal. It’s really not. I had always had a very negative self image. I remember one girl in my class, we’ll call her C, was ALWAYS picking on me. If it wasn’t my looks, it was the way I spoke, the way I sat, the way my headband looked in my hair, whatever she could use to tear me down. I remember having a crush on a boy in my grade, in 4th or 5th grade, he used me for my kindness and made fun of me behind my back. And the insults were all the same. Fat, ugly, annoying. She can’t wear a two piece swimsuit to the pool party, she’s too chunky.

Their words replayed in my head well after I’d left elementary school and remained there throughout junior high and high school. I also remember saying to my mother, “Nobody will ever want to be with me, I’m way too ugly.” She assured me I wasn’t, that I was beautiful. “You’re just saying that because you’re my mother.” I remember replying. I sincerely believed it. In high school, mind you, I wasn’t even anywhere close to the weight I am now. I was probably BARELY plus sized, breasts aside. Even those caused me problems, unwanted comments from teachers, relatives, and boys at school made me want to crawl into a hole and die. I even tried to hide the fact that I had breasts by wearing boyish, baggy clothes, and doubling up on sports bras. I thought my body was something to be ashamed of.

Now here I am, modeling for a bunch of photographers, posing for shots at conventions, and being invited places to speak about my journey to self acceptance. If you’d told me, this insecure, depressed and image obsessed girl, that this is what I’d be doing right now, I’d probably have laughed right in your face. But here we are, nonetheless. “You have to get lost before you find yourself”, may seem like a cheesy, Hallmark quote but it couldn’t be more true in my case. Cosplaying, and being able to dress in costumes of characters that I know and love, has gotten me so far out of my comfort zone as far as how I dress and what I wear in my daily life.

While going to cons is fun and I enjoy meeting new people, I really feel like my goal next year needs to change. What I really love to do is to get content out there for you all to see. These blog posts, other writings and reviews, speaking on panels, managing things with C-Mart over at EvilGeeks.com, that’s what I really love doing. Cosplay has become too competitive…and it’s not a game I want to play. I didn’t sign up for scrutiny, backstabbing, drama, etc. I just want to have fun, do what I love, and give back a little to this community that’s given me so much. Sure, I’ll delve into cosplay here and there in the future, but I have a feeling Undiesofwondy will look really different a year from now. With grad school and my adult life beginning, I think it’s time for me to hang up the star spangled booty shorts for a bit.

But they will always be there for me when I need them, sitting in my closet, waiting for me to put ’em on, just to serve some justice.

Undies Update : Summertime Edition

Hi all! I haven’t posted an update in a bit so I wanted to share with you all what I’ve been up to and where I’ll be in the next few weeks. FIRSTLY, Summer has officially begun and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be getting some time off and to myself. And what better way to ring in the summer than with some convention appearances? I’ll be at CONvergence in Minneapolis, Minnesota from June 30-July 3rd, and InfinityCon in Lake George, NY the following weekend on July 10-11th. I’ll be doing panels at both events and will be hosting and judging the cosplay contest for InfinityCon! Both have great guests and events and you should check them out if you’re able to.

I have no clue what I’m wearing to these events, cosplay wise, so figuring that out will be fun. Stay tuned, I guess, for what I’m doing on that front. It’s hard to focus on cosplay stuff when I’m doing so much work and planning for so many other big life changes! I’ve been finally officially accepted to graduate school so I’m making big plans for that. I’m definitely not quitting cosplay, but I’m going to be calming down a lot and not starting as many new projects and not attending as many conventions as I have been. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, guys! I’m just really excited about starting this new journey and that I’m on this amazing path of self improvement.

Reading wise I’ve been killing it lately. Thinking of blogging specifically for the books I’ve been reading. I’ve gotten really into some contemporary poetry, and my two favorites are “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur and “Eighteen Years” by Madisen Kuhn. They’re both awesome, and very personal. I almost felt as if I were reading something I shouldn’t be. Both speak so candidly and I could relate to a lot of the topics they discussed in their books. Madisen Kuhn really impressed me — she’s only 20 years old and is already a published author. A successful one! (Who is on Twitter and super nice, by the way.) I really need to get cracking on my writing…she definitely inspires me. I also have read some other great books. ‘Hamilton, The Revolution’, which is all about the Broadway show and the making of it, ‘Love Letters to the Dead’, and currently I’m reading a sci-fi book called ‘The Broken Stars’ which already has me hooked!

Aside from conventions, I plan to study for my CLEP examination which I’m taking over the course of the school year, prepare for school and work in the fall, and write “like I’m running out of time”, as Aaron Burr would say in ‘Hamilton’. (If you haven’t listened to it…you should.) Hope you all are doing well, and share with me your summer adventures in the comments or through my Facebook page/Twitter/social media!

Metamorphosis: Undies Update June 2016

I’ve been itching to write something since I’ve finally got some time to spare (for a change, huh?) and believe it or not, this entry was inspired by my class. For those of you who don’t know me in the muggle world, I’m an assistant teacher in a Universal Pre-K classroom when I’m not cosplaying/blogging/reading comics. Recently, we did a unit on the life cycle of a butterfly, and we got some caterpillars in our classroom. My class was able to watch the life cycle of a butterfly firsthand, and this week, after our Memorial Day break, we let out butterflies free.

Clearly this blog isn’t to inform you on how butterflies work, so I’ll get to the point. The metamorphosis got me thinking about my own life, and how I’ve changed as a person, writer, and cosplayer, in this past year alone. My favorite human, Walt Disney, once said, “”Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” I feel the same is true for all of us, whether it be about creativity, personal growth, or whatever, we are always changing and evolving as people. Do I think that I’m a perfect person? No. Not by any means. But thinking back to last year, I can see such tremendous growth in every aspect of my life.

I don’t talk about it much, because I hate being pitied and I really hate divulging any deeply personal details of my life, but last year I was going through so much. I was struggling so much with depression, anxiety and mental health in general. I hated my job. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I felt like a failure as a person, cosplayer, and friend. Now, here I am, getting regular treatment, taking care of myself, (hopefully) attending graduate school in the Fall for my Masters in Teaching, and sure of myself as a person.

This blog isn’t to brag about how great my life has been compared to last year, I promise. I’ll always struggle with my mental health, I had my fair share of drama in the cosplay community this year as well. But the important thing is…I’m still here, breathing, cosplaying, and living my life. And while I have bad days, I know that I don’t have a bad life. And it could be far worse. It HAS been far worse. And I’ll get through it.

Growth is a necessary part of life. And in order to continue that growth, sometimes we need to go back to square one. If you’ve ever seen Mean Girls– do you remember that one scene where Lindsay Lohan’s character, Cady, goes to visit Regina George (Rachel McAdams) at her house, after she was hit by that bus? Even though Regina was an uber bitch, Cady is able to recognize that she’s made some mistakes too. She says, “When you get bitten by a snake, you have to suck out all the poison, that’s what I had to do, suck all the poison out of my life.” Like Cady, I know that I’ve made some bad decisions and I’m not a perfect person. I can be overly defensive, and it’s caused me to burn some bridges within my friendship circles. It stems from my trust and abandonment issues and my anxiety as a whole. I’m not making excuses, though, and I fully intend to take responsibility for my actions. If you’re reading this and I’ve upset you in some way, shape or form — I’m really sorry. I want to suck the poison out of my life, and I’d love nothing more than to start over with a clean slate for everyone involved. Life is too short to hold grudges. Cosplay is an escape for so many of us…nobody should have to be riddled with anxiety or fear when gearing up to go to a cosplay event. We should all be there for each other, lead by example, and make this community an awesome one.

 

I suck at updating this thing 2k16

Hi guys, I’m sorry I’ve been so absent lately. I’ve been kind of feeling meh lately and I thought maybe a blog post was in order. This convention season has been nothing short of amazing thus far — every event I’ve attended has been amazing, full of kind staff members and great guests, and an amazing experience for myself and those attending alongside of me. However, I think I may have overbooked myself slightly and I’ve kind of watered down my appearances for the rest of this convention year. I’ll be at Albany Comic Con, doing a panel with my COSUnity crew and helping to judge the cosplay contest.

Recently I’ve been really questioning my involvement in this hobby as a whole. I’m really sick of a lot of things that have popped up recently. The egos, the bullying, and the backstabbing have got to stop. This isn’t a fame game. I can honestly say I have NO desire to be cosplay famous or well known in the convention world at all. It’s just sort of something that happened for me. I hate the term Cos-famous…I think it only really has negative connotations and like I said, that’s never been what I’m about. I am SOOOO grateful for every opportunity I receive and I love that I have such a large support system for doing what I do. But I’m not here to be a master craftsman, or to outshine anyone else. This has always, always been about love of characters for me, and through portraying them, making others smile and feeling great about myself.

I’m just kind of baffled about the way I’ve been ostracized from my local community. One day, I feel like I have a million friends and that I’m wanted, and the next, I feel like everyone hates me. I’m vocal about many of my issues, yes, but it’s not for love of drama. It’s because I’m always trying to help others. That’s it, seriously. I never meant to start a turf war between local conventions, or cosplayers, or anything like that. The way I’m being portrayed, as a monster or bully, couldn’t be further from the truth of how I am. I will literally forgive someone who treated me like dirt just to avoid confrontation…I have this weird complex where I want everyone to like me. And yes, I get that’s not the way the world works, but I still hope, and try, and wish that I could be liked and accepted by everyone.

If you’re reading this and you actually have come across me in any way, shape or form, where I came off as a negative person, I really am sorry. I struggle with my demons daily. I have anxiety and depression, as well as a number of mental health issues I don’t really feel comfortable discussing. But I have a handle on them. And I live every day trying to be the best person I can be.

My creativity lately has been so severely stifled by some of the things going on on this community, especially my local community. I literally am afraid to show my face at events for fear of being bullied or made fun of. I just want to go back to having fun again.

Back when I started, there were no groups or social media I had to worry about. That’s when this was new and exciting and the most fun. I did what I wanted to do and didn’t care about likes or who thought I was this or that or the other thing. I just WAS. And I’m really hoping to get back to the core of that, from here on out.

A friend of mine gave me some good advice recently. Delete Facebook off your phone, she’d said. At first I was worried that I’d miss out on something (the FOMO is real, guys) but then I realized the world keeps going without Facebook. I still have Messenger activated, and I have a separate app for my cosplay page management, so I’m not totally shut off, but you’d be surprised how much less negative your life is when you don’t mindlessly scroll through FB at all hours of the day, and see anti-trans, homophobic, negative, shit posts. I really do feel like a whole new person, and it’s only been a few days.

I guess the moral of this story, kiddos, is to know your limits, and don’t be afraid to take a step back and take some “me” time. I started cosplaying for myself, and that’s the only person, ultimately, who needs my approval.

Am I quitting cosplay? No. No, I’m not. But 2016-2017 is going to be full of big changes for me. I’ll probably (if all goes well) be going for my Masters, continuing to work full time, and trying to adult a bit more, in terms of paying off some loan debt and trying to save up for a future for boyfriend and I. But one thing is for sure. Undiesofwondy will always be around, in one way, shae or form. I love writing and keeping this website and blog active are some of my core goals for the rest of the year. I love being able to share myself with you through my writing, and it’s therapeutic as hell to just get it all out, regardless of if someone, or…well…anyone, for that matter, is reading this.

If you are reading this, hi. I love you. <3

Deep Thoughts and A Moment In Someone Else’s Shoes

Hello, all. I have to apologize for my absence. Life kind of happened and I’ve been pulled in a million different directions. Between work, the possibility of going to school, and the decision I’ve been struggling with as of late; to potentially quit cosplaying and focus elsewhere, to say I’m stressed out is an understatement.

Today, a good friend of mine posted a bit of writing on his Facebook page that I thought would be worth it to share. He goes by The Squid Cosplay online, but I just know him as my friend Nick.

Me and Nick at an event in Saratoga last year.

He writes:

“Hi everyone I just had feeling to share with you so here I go about get real with you. I also been afraid to admit I had these demons in me and let my family and friends know I had them cause I wanted them remember me as go-lucky and happy person and not some crazy person. I have been really struggling lately with some demons in my life, I finally got to my breaking point and I lost it. Yeah I know that I have many stories to tell but this one is most serious and important one I can tell in my lifetime. Yeah, I know that I have great support by a lot of family and friends but sometimes even that isn’t enough from stopping me from reaching my breaking point. I want share my story how I to that breaking in my life because I to help others not get to their breaking point and how I beat it and how they beat it too.

As most of you know that year ago I moved into a supportive apartment in Regency Park Apartments in Queensbury, New York because I just thought that it was time leave my parents even tho it was hardest thing I done in my life. Why you ask cause, I wanted to expierence life I wanted to even tho I had 30 great years of my life and 13 years of it as a only child with one of the best and wonderful family that I deeply appreciate and care about, even tho they don’t seen it from me but I do. I also know they feel the same way about me even tho I feel like some of time don’t show it but I know they do. Which leads me to my first demon in my life cause when I was younger I was one of those quiet kids who kept to myself and did my homework cause mainly no one really forced me to be sociable with the other kids or be active in any social groups. Which I can’t put all the blame on them cause I didn’t actively look myself however, at that time I didn’t have any desire really look or realize that I would regret it later in life. Once I realized that I would regret it which was my junior year of high school I started to think to myself that I didn’t want be that hermit kid anymore but at that point I was so far behind socially I didn’t know where to began even now I am still trying to make up for lost time so I thought that CosPlaying would help that void which has some cause I am very creative person and I am also self taught artist. Yes I have made some great friends along way, but I am still looking for that deep serious conversion with about my life and there own and watch movies with or whatever. But the problem with most of my friends is that they aren’t mental all there where I am or they are too far away do anything with. Back in high school I had that and I thought it would last lifetime, which it didn’t. I even thought we would able move in together but he moved to Ohio, which hurt me deeply.

Which brings me to my second point I wanted make is as I watched my brother and sister grow up, accomplished things and experience life before me pains me deeply, I also realized I haven’t experience enough life myself cause I am late bloomer to help them grow and make right choices cause I wasn’t faced with that they are faced issues wish. This pains me deeply, cause I wish I did so I can have that relationship I so desperately want with them so that if they don’t want go Mom or Dad with their problems they always have me lean on even tho I wasn’t faced with same issues. Another thing about them and when I watched the Special Olympics that pains me deeply is when I watch them play sports and stuff in back of my mind this thought is always there, which is that could have been me out there cause if you know really know me I love sports mainly basketball. I want make my our parents happy most all, I know for fact our parents want grandchildren before its to late, and I don’t want let my siblings beat me to that expierence having children first cause I want be the one who gives our parents grandchildren first, plus I want help them though it.

Which, brings me to my third point I want make which is how I am ready to find that special someone to share my life with and settle down with them. Cause its my fear that I will be living alone then the thought of “what if” especially when I don’t know when I might break cause I am very fragile person. When that happens I tend to freeze and forget right thing to do. I want someone who will treat me with honor, respect, loyalty, trust, and compassion, which is the code I live by. Second fear I have is that I can’t be the sole provider for my family yet even for myself because of my disabilities as much I would love to be only provider but I know it won’t happen that crushes me deeply.

The fourth point I want make some social anxiety let me have different fears, things that they won’t do and only certain people they are willing open to and trust in there lives. For me I have fear of really opening up men but be honest with you I don’t have any rhyme or reason other than fact that men aren’t really type person who will listen and emphasize with anyone. For me I think its because I never had special bond with my father when I came out of womb as much I love my father even tho I am adopted. So when it comes doing things with just guys it freaks me right out then I just shut down if I have to do anything with just guys. However when it comes to just women I have no problem letting myself loose cause I had that special bond with my mother from womb even within the womb. Especially I love doing and talk girly things minus sports part of me. But even that I basically like doing that alone and for those that know me well enough you know why. For those that don’t I like play General Manager and Coach mainly for the New York Knicks but I also do it for Steelers, and for Mets, you may wondering how basically on my Playstation 3.

Well I think that the roots of my problems are because I have Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephus. But to be honest with you I think that we all have a disability that we have deal with no matter what it might be. We just have to suck it up and deal with it, be willing to make do with what we got dealt and yes we all have times where we are down when comes to that we just have get back up even tho it maybe hard but we just have to do it. Yeah there are some people that can deal with their problems easier then others but that goes to show you we all move in our own pace. Yes there are some people who don’t even try to deal with their own problem and just put others down make themselves better, but with people like me who can’t take it which make feel like crap. The best advice I give other is treat others like you want to be treated.”

I have to say, this piece of his writing really had such an emotional impact on me for many reasons. The first being, well, he’s my friend, and it pains me to know a friend of mine has really been through so much emotionally, physically and mentally. Living with Cerebral Palsy is not something I’d know anything about personally, but seeing that Nick has worked so hard to push through and overcome his disability has really changed my outlook on my own life. I think the line about “sucking it up and dealing with what we’re given” sums it up. We may struggle with our various demons, but no matter what they are, we should always remember to be strong and power through them. Additionally, we never know what someone else may be struggling with, so treating others how you want to be treated is extra important.

I really just wanted to post his piece of writing because I hope it will open your eyes as it opened mine. I am truly honored to know Nick and I am so proud of him for using the gift of writing to get his emotions out. I plan to do the same in the coming weeks.

 

Unplugging, Recharging, Updating – Undies Update Week of 3/29

I had to step away from social media for a bit this week. Unplugging is both a necessary and helpful thing for me when I feel swallowed by the anxiety and negativity others impart on me. For those of you who follow me, you’ve probably been privy to at least some of this negative wind garbage, and for that, I sincerely do apologize. This is the last I’m going to speak on the matter and I want to make sure I get absolutely everything off of my chest.

A good friend of mine, who happens to be a cosplayer and person I admire and trust, posted a status today that inspired this blog post. “If I cared about what people said about or to me as much as the rest of the cosplay community does, I would have killed myself by now.” This struck a chord with me completely. I won’t lie. These past few weeks have been by far the worst experience I’ve had with the local cosplay community as a whole. I’ve been so depressed and anxious, to the point that if I weren’t medicated and speaking to professionals, maybe I would have killed myself.

People may think the Internet is all cat pictures and dank memes, but the things I’ve seen about myself in the past two weeks on the Internet have both shocked and sickened me. I seriously laid in bed for about two days straight and sobbed, thinking about it. I was accused of perpetuating negativity, drama, and using my charity/activist endeavours to further my own gain.

I will say this much: I may overshare on the Internet. I only do this because I consider you guys my friends, and I want to be real with you. I’m also highly sensitive, and sometimes I react by posting or oversharing to an unprofessional point. I’m not saying this is right. I know that I have my issues. I’m not perfect. I’m a regular human. My defensive nature comes from years of bullying and mental abuse. When I feel threatened, my claws can come out. I know there are people I’ve hurt and pushed away that did not deserve it. For this, I am sorry. I can admit when I’m wrong.

However, to accuse me of things like “being fake” when I’m genuinely trying to reach out and mend a friendship or open up and share my feelings is sickening to me. How can you base your opinions of me off of the way I reacted to a situation in which I was treated SO poorly, I considered doing something drastic and harmful to myself? Clearly I was upset, my emotions were running high, and after being wronged time and time again by the same individual, I think I have the right to speak out and air my feelings without being accused of dumping my dirty laundry on people.

You don’t have to like me, or even believe me, but I’m a good person. I work hard to make connections in the convention community, not to further my own popularity or means, because this is not a job for me, but to try and help others so nobody has to feel the way I once did. Small, insignificant and alone. I want people to know that they can come to me with their problems and that I will be there for them. To spit on my charity work is also highly disrespectful to me. I was raised by a mother who always taught me to give back to my community in any way I can, and to share my talents for the good of others. I would NEVER use a charity event to further my own means.

To those of you who feel you need to “expose” me for the monster I am — I’m truly sorry you feel this way. If you have a problem with me, I really would like to talk it out with you and hear what you have to say. I guarantee you it’s either misinformation that has lead you to believe I’m this monstrous person, or a misunderstanding based off of how I’ve presented myself in the heat of these super emotional times. I’m willing to talk it out and, yes, even apologize if it calls for it. I’m many things– but unreasonable is not one of them.

For those of you who refuse to reach out and continue to hate on me, I’m choosing now to not let your words affect me. I feel sorry that you have this hatred or void in your hearts that causes you to not accept me. If you would take the time to get to know me, you would know I’m a compassionate person who just wants to make a good impression on this world. I could care less about my social standing — but I care about whether or not people think I’m a good person. Probably because of the aforementioned mental abuses I’ve had to endure that have made me believe otherwise for 3/4 of my life. I’ve worked so hard to love myself and it sucks that people would try and undo that just for their own sick gain.

Consider this a moratorium. I’m bidding adieu to the drama of [convention name redacted] and the people perpetuating this drama. I’m going to continue to hone my craft, to better myself in mind and body, and cosplay like there’s no tomorrow.

 

 

Reflecting Back : Moving On and Moving Out

I said I’d be getting more personal with this blog, which may be a good or bad thing, I’m not sure, but I love writing and I’m doing this for me more than for my cosplay related stuff and to promote myself. I said in an earlier post that I keep journals regularly and I stumbled across an old entry dated March 2014, and realized that this week marks my 2nd year living here in Albany, NY.  It has honestly FLOWN by, I can’t believe I’ve lived upstate for two years. For those of you who don’t know, my “Just a Girl from Brooklyn” is more than a Captain America reference, I was born and raised there and have lived there for most of my life (barring my time in Orlando where I worked in the Disney College Program, but that’s a blog for another time, kids). What caused this spark and change in me to leave my childhood home? Well, I think all of that’s kind of way too personal for this blog, but let’s just say I had a need to get out of the city for my mental piece of mind.

Moving out of the city was honestly the best thing I’ve ever done.

People poke fun at me when I tell them I’m originally from Brooklyn, with the jabs ranging from “Ew, why?” to “Don’t you miss real pizza?” (The answer to the latter is YES, and is honestly the only thing besides family that I miss on a daily basis, but I digress.) But, I honestly love it here. People here don’t (usually) scare me, it’s much cleaner and actually affordable. But living at home until I got married just wasn’t for me. I knew I couldn’t do the long distance thing, from prior experience, it may work for others but it’s simply not for me. And when I first visited Albany and got to know what it was like in my boyfriend’s neck of the woods, I knew this is where I wanted to be. Chris and I discussed it and we thought, financially and all, that it wouldn’t make sense for us to have two separate apartments, and thought we could definitely make living together work.

The catch, and the thing that shocked most of my Brooklyn friends and family members, was at the time I’d moved up here, we were only together for 4 months at the time. Yes, it definitely widened some eyes, and perhaps 4 months is a bit too soon to move in with a significant other, but it just made the most logical and financial sense for both of us. I won’t lie: it was the furthest thing from easy. Coming to a place where I didn’t know ANYONE except those people I was introduced to by my boyfriend and his family (who, by the way, massive credit to them, because without them I wouldn’t have lasted two seconds without friends or a car)  was jarring in a sense. It hit me way later that I really didn’t have much of a life. I secured one job for myself, and at first, held a total of 3 jobs when I first came here, because I was really adamant about not receiving help from family, who at first, were not too happy about my choice to move in with someone who was kind of a stranger to them. And I don’t blame them for that in the slightest. It was pretty sudden of a move to them, but they did support the decision since they knew I would achieve the piece of mind I needed.

I would be lying if I said it was easy for me. It was a hard decision to make. But I knew I didn’t want to be that kid who relied on their parents for everything and I knew the only way I could figure out who I was as a person was to get out there on my own and experience new things. Don’t get me wrong, I love Brooklyn. I love my friends I have there but it just wasn’t enough for me to stay there. I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford my own place and the job market out there was just really unwelcoming. Hard times financially took a toll and it was a hard rut to get out of. Add that on top of first apartment shopping, moving in with a significant other and getting used to living with a BOY…all huge changes.

A friend of mine recently brought up my move and asked how I did it…and the answer is, I’m really not sure. I don’t know how I managed to even survive. But I did, and I keep on surviving! When I look back to where I was when I started out here, and how my life is today, I’m honestly really proud of myself. Even with my anxiety issues I was able to push through and make this all work. Of course I had some help, but I’m so proud of the fact that I did something for myself. I spent so much of my life trying to please others and it was such an eye opening experience realizing that not EVERYTHING I do needs to be done with others in mind. I knew I was done driving myself crazy just so other people could have peace of mind. I deserved piece of mind and I’m honestly so lucky I got it.

Moral of the story kiddos: Change can be scary, but ultimately necessary in order to grow as a person. Even though I’ve made mistakes, I’m so glad I have support and that I live in a place where I can be free of the negativity of the past. I was given the opportunity to start over fresh and create the life I wanted for myself and I can honestly say I live a much happier life. Do YOU and make sure you’re living the life you want to be.

 

 

Amazonian Musings : September Suicide Awareness

As we’re approaching the two year anniversary of my blog (I know, crazy, right?) I’ve resolved to get back into the habit of actually maintaining this thing. I do, after all, pay for the website, and I feel like it could be used way more often. And one thing I’m resolving to do on here is to get a bit more personal. [Potential Trigger Warnings]

If you’re active on any social media site, you’ve probably seen a post or two about September being Suicide Awareness month. I felt like I should do something for it, and what better to do than to share a personal experience? I’m kind of nervous to write this out, I’m shaking a bit as I type. I get a ton of messages every day from people saying things about how I’ve inspired them in one way or another…through cosplay, through promoting positive body image…but this is a topic I haven’t touched on yet, or even spoken about publicly. I do keep a private journal, because in this age of hustle and bustle and social media, it’s rare that many of us new-age writers have anything personal to call our own. We post online where we receive comments and instant feedback on everything we publish. Having something like a private journal is nice because you don’t need to stress about post reach or feedback. It’s, well, private. But in the interest of helping others, I’ve decided to share this with you guys, whoever you may be. Not for comments, or likes, but because if I help ONE person by sharing this experience, I feel my job has been done.

I never really talk about it openly, but this year I was officially diagnosed with anxiety and depression. It didn’t come as a shock to me, since I’ve been struggling with it for nearly my entire life up to this point — alone, and without therapy or medication. I can’t pinpoint where it all began, but I can tell you it’s been a source of many other problems in my life. Depression/Anxiety is something like my ongoing antagonist. It’s destroyed friendships, my GPA, some job opportunities — the list can go on and on. I always thought it was just me. I was lazy, un-motivated and a failure. Years later, I can now understand that it wasn’t me. It was this stupid final boss I needed to conquer. And this year, I finally took steps to help myself get better.

Did I finally slay the final boss? I’d be lying if I said I did. That the mean old monster was vanquished, I cleared the last level and the final credits rolled. I’m a long way off from that. But hey– I’m not doing so bad thus far. I have a pretty awesome track record for surviving — I’ll be leveling up to 24 in a day or so.

It sounds cheesy, but it DOES get better. Whenever I see a story on the news about a teenager or child being bullied to death, I feel personally affected. That’s just my way. I’m sensitive and empathetic, sue me. I was bullied A LOT growing up for one reason or another. It’s so crazy to think that I get messages of support daily, have nearly 5,000 followers on my Facebook page alone who see me as some sort of body positive pioneer. If you’d told me back in elementary school that people would literally stop me in the mall or at conventions for photos and thank me profusely for helping them through a hard time, I’d probably blink at you all confused-like and walk away. I really can’t wrap my head around it, even today. But it’s not about that. You don’t need 5,000 people to tell you you’re awesome. If you’re reading this, you’re awesome. YOU ARE AWESOME. Unless you’ve committed serial murders or bludgeoned a baby or something…in which case you should probably stop reading my blog and go turn yourself in?

We may not be able to defeat the final boss alone, but we can do it together. Your party is always stronger when you’ve got different weapons equipped and different skill levels. Reach out to a friend in real life or a friend on the Internet. Reach out to ME, if you need to. You’re never alone.

I’d like to close with some inspirational words from one of my favorite Disney attractions, ‘The Carousel of Progress’. I hope they resound with you the way they do for me.

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day. There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, and tomorrow is just a dream away!.