How In The Hell You Love Yourself?

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This was how I rocked up to work on the day that my company turned pink in support of Cancer Research (note the sparkly pink nails!) Now this is a far cry from how I would normally dress. Normally, given the choice, I’d sport all black with maybe a dark coloured t-shirt but I wanted to be fun and participate in the event. Sadly not a lot of people followed suit.

Now I’ll begin with the positives. I got a lot of compliments on my “barbie” t-shirt which, if you know me at all, is actually Trixie Mattel but perhaps that was a little too niche for the small town folk where I live. I also got a lot of compliments on my Grease Pink Ladies jacket.

I did also receive my fair share of small-town gossip, gender prejudice and basic sexism/homophobia. One person said “I hope you’re not going out like that, you’ll get the wrong kind of looks.” Another one asked “Why does it say Ladies on your jacket when you’re a man?” And I got a lot of Princess and Barbie comments.

Something I did rather enjoy was the personality that came out when my confidence came through. It was a defence mechanism but my brain was already planning responses to comments before they were even said. Somebody asked me if Danny was picking me up after work for some Summer Lovin’, to which I replied “There are worse things I could do.” Or when somebody else asked me which Pink Lady I was supposed to be, my reply was “I can be whichever one you want.” It was a kind of confidence I’d never expressed when other people were around.

But my confidence didn’t last very long and after about three hours I was ready to call it a day and never leave my room again for a couple of weeks. What could possibly have happened that is so drastic? Well, his name’s Charley. If you follow this blog then you know about Charley. He comes into my work and I’m fairly besotted with him because he’s gorgeous. I don’t have the confidence to talk to him (because he’s young and cute and I feel old and overweight) but recently a friend at work happened to let slip to him that he had an admirer (that admirer would be me!) Apparently, according to her, he was flattered etc. I found all this out on Wednesday and the first time I saw him was today, when I was dressed in my Pink Ladies and Trixie Mattell outfit.

Well, he didn’t say anything. I was operating the self-serve checkouts and he always goes through self-serve, apart from today when he decided to go through a manned checkout. Well, I felt like I was being ignored or at least avoided. And it made my confidence come back down to earth with a thud.

I’ve spoken of love and lust before and about how sometimes I don’t feel that I’m anybody’s type and that I’ll be eternally single. In my head I had built my hopes up to when I next saw Charley that he might initiate a conversation and then I’d be able to go from there with things. His avoidance of me was a bludgeon to my soul. And it’s funny how one simple thing can undermine all of the compliments you’ve had during the day. Suddenly I felt like a freak and an idiot for even attempting to step outside of my comfort zone.

The sad thing is that I did like the outfit. I like sort of cosplay movie/video game drag and since watching RuPaul’s Drag Race I’ve found myself able to admit that to myself and others. But I’m so desperate for love that I’m willing to bend and break who I am just to fit other people’s likes. Like now, I have a list in my mind of things I want to change to make me more of a person that Charley would like. I see the slightly camp things I like (high heels and drag) and want to change them because what if that’s what he doesn’t like about me? I want to lose weight because I feel I’m too fat for anybody to ever love. I want to basically change myself to be the ideal person for Charley, but I know then that I won’t be me.

There’s a sort of resentment too, that this would be the first day I see Charley since he found out I liked him, and I was dressed like that. Surely it shouldn’t make a difference but I need something to blame about why he doesn’t like me and I’m currently inclined to blame the outfit. If, next time I see him, he doesn’t talk to me, I will blame something else; my hair, my weight, my glasses etc. The list goes on.

This shows up in other ways too. I’ve been considering getting a tattoo for a long time but I recently read on somebody’s dating profile “I hate tattoos” and so now I’m scared to get one because what if my ideal guy (perhaps Charley) hates tattoos? Then I’ll end up hating that about myself because I feel it’s preventing me from getting love.

What I really wanted was some open and honest advice about how to love ones self and how to be comfortable in doing things you want to do. How do you say “Fine, if you don’t like that part about me then that’s your problem because I’m not changing it.” And when I hear about the drag performers from Drag Race having boyfriends or husbands or partners, I wonder how they were comfortable enough with their drag side to attract a partner that was also comfortable enough with that side of them?

 

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To Tattoo Or Not To Tattoo?

When I was younger I never wanted a tattoo. It never crossed my mind and I didn’t particularly idolise anybody with tattoos. For a long time I couldn’t understand why people would want to get a tattoo.

I didn’t expect to get the reaction that I did when I posted this question to Facebook. I half expected nobody to reply or nobody to even care. As it turns out it was one of my most popular Facebook posts to date with a lot of people commenting. The majority of people said tattoo which wasn’t entirely surprising as I know a lot of people with tattoos and a lot of people who like tattoos.

What did surprise me though was the people that said otherwise. Nobody outright told me not to get a tattoo, it was more of a concern of whether I have thought it through. It was a surprising reaction given that nobody I know is explicitly against tattoos (that I know of). One of the more thought provoking comments was “What do you wanna get done is probably the better question… if you know what and where you want it and think you can live with it… get it..” This raises some interesting points but troubles me considerably because I’ve never considered my mind very trustworthy a lot of the time.

So here’s some backstory to this idea;

The idea of a tattoo isn’t new to me. It has always crossed my mind as a way to symbolise my devotion to something. At one point, I will admit, I considered having a musical note with “Backstreet Boys” tattooed somewhere around it. I was young and naive and I will admit I am glad that I didn’t have it done. Not saying that the Backstreet Boys haven’t played a huge part in my life, just that my devotion to them has cooled down over the years (not gone completely, I’m not that crazy). So I’ll admit I’m also glad I didn’t get an O-Town or Nsync tattoo for very much the same reasons.

My fear is that I have to justify everything to everybody, I can never do something just because I want to do it. I always end up hating myself if I do that. So I needed to think of a reason to justify getting a tattoo. For me I never had a reason. My brother has three tattoos; one that represents a once-in-a-lifetime trip, one that he believes represents his personality and another that he got for his children. I don’t have any milestones like that in my life, my life has been controlled by depression, anger and hate for the most part.

But this was something I had to take into account when considering a tattoo. I didn’t want an angry/angsty tattoo that I would regret later in life. I needed something that spoke to who I was. I actually didn’t have to search too hard before I found the design I wanted.

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This is the design that if I were to get a tattoo that I would get. This is a Rune from the book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. This is important to me because those were the first books where I actually read about a place I wanted to be, about people I wanted to be with and worlds I wanted to live in. It was my perfect escape from the crazy going on inside my head. This Rune in particular stands for Angelic Power and I didn’t give it much thought till I had a depressive few days a couple of months ago and needed a reminder that I was special, that I had something special inside of me that made my life worth living. This, to me, is what that symbol represents. It represents the power inside of me to continue on living, to carry on regardless of what other people think of me and know that I do have something to offer the world and that I do have something special.

So there it is. That would be the design (although I’m unsure if I’d get it in colour or just all black) and I would get it tattooed on my wrist or forearm as a place I could look at when times got tough and I needed that reminder. Do I think I can live with it? I don’t know. I don’t know what that feeling is supposed to feel like. Does anybody know what that feeling is when they get a tattoo? I wouldn’t know if I felt it because I’ve never had to make a decision that permanently affects the rest of my life. If worse comes to worse I could find solace in the idea that at least mine means something, people get tattoos for considerably worse reasons than mine.

So I’m still up in the air. I’m still undecided about a tattoo which will come as a disappointment to some but a relief to others. But rest assured this is not a decision I am making because of peer pressure or because of fear, it is a decision I make based on who I am as a person and whether I can justify getting a tattoo or not.