The Bloggers Recognition Award!

welcome_banner_gif_by_winterette-d73is2l

Hello, my lovely readers! I know, I’m quite late to this boat, and I know, I haven’t been posting much. Queertastic gets busy once she’s in school, chasing your dreams gets tiring every now and then. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, though, it’s that late is better than never. Varun over at myartandme.com (he has a lot of kickass poetry, I suggest you check him out) has nominated me for the Bloggers Recognition Award, and after reading about it a little more, I think it’s an awesome way to spread goodwill within the blogger community.

Now, there’s a few rules that come with accepting this award, so I’ll just get over with the formalities and list them out below:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you (thank you, Varun) and link to their blog
  2. Write a post to show your award (done)
  3. Briefly tell people how you began blogging
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award (wow, that’s a lot of bloggers… I’ll see if I even have 15 friends xD)
  6. Let the lovelies that you’ve nominated know that they now have this shiny nomination!

So basically, I ventured into WordPress looking for a place to vent and be myself. There’s a lot of things I can say and do as Queertastic that I cannot as myself. Things like talking about my sexuality, my past issues with mental health, even embarrassing shit like raving about my crushes and relationships. Queertastic was just a space I needed to create and write as myself, and it morphed into a way to reach people like me. I later expanded to write for BayArt and now blogging has become a way to pursue my love for poetry as the poetry editor for BayArt. I’m running a featured poetry program (check it out here) which brings me my weekly dose of joy. If there’s any takeaways from this that I think new bloggers could learn from (I feel so strange writing this though, because I feel like a newbie myself) it would be a) follow your passions and b) don’t be afraid to be original, innovative, and proactive. To me, these tips basically mean that at any point, you shouldn’t ever be writing about something you aren’t passionate about. If your blog is a personal one like mine is, this is key to producing content that you love no matter what that content might be. It could be a petty rant, or a deep unwritten letter, or a strange metaphor you’ve had in the back of your mind for a while. I think those two tips compliment each other, and they’re in my opinion the most important things behind writing.

Now, on to nominations. The lovelies that I’m nominating are:

Belle Unruh, https://whoisgodsite.wordpress.com/ 

 the monarch of midnight

 fauxcroft

 Bold Soul

Lira, heartbeatsblue

 thegreenteafashioncafe

 The Sound of Ed’s Voice

 AVA

 Broken, Tainted Glasses

 Alisa Hutton, dusted words

Kim, I Like Things

 Breath Math

 Midnight Ranter

♥ Heartlectics

 life is a gift

Go forth with your nominations, and once again thank you to all my (admittedly limited) readers for sticking around and being awesomesauce 

Good Poetry, Inspired By Shitty Things.

I recently started reading back on some of my poetry, and while my vague verses and somewhat cliffhanger-esque wordings did intrigue me, I noticed a recurring theme- I write a lot about shitty events or feelings, and usually my poems about aforementioned shitty things turn out pretty good. As someone who’s an aspiring writer, a sucker for lyricism, and as a poetry editor for BayArt (let me just shamelessly plug my featured poetry program, which you can find here) I read a lot of poetry. I try to write a lot of poetry too, but mostly reading these days. And I’ve noticed that amazing poetry comes from horrible events and emotions.

Pieces about breakups, depression, losing someone to suicide, cancer, and a plethora of tragedies that make me feel down just thinking about them. And yet, there are so many beautiful ways to capture failure and defeat. There are a myriad of different ways to depict the downfall of the human spirit, and I will never stop being fascinated by them. Yes, the difference between joy and happiness can be what makes a poem beautiful, but sometimes it’s the line drawn between denial and defeat that make a poem insightful. Sometimes the worst of the human spirit is what all of us can relate to, and while I know this doesn’t sound too rosy, it’s something we should think about. Because we’ve all experienced failure, and heartbreak, and disappointment. Writing poetry about your struggles is an absolutely wonderful and bold way to personalize your poems and make them a unique and grabbing piece that you can look back on with pride and love. Perhaps you can call this a case of artist’s irony, because to see beauty in tragedy seems a bit twisted at first, but slowly it starts to make sense. Just look at some of my old, slightly cringe poetry, where I write “there’s beauty in betrayal / there is truth in tears”. I found my old poetry journal from years ago. After a lot of digging I was both mortified and more informed on why poetry is so dynamic and subjective. Also, I learnt that younger me was super angsty and emotional, and upon further reflection found that not much has changed on that front! Now I just vent out my angst with self-depreciating jokes to strangers on the internet via a tiny, anonymous blog. Fun, right?

So what was the whole point of this little rant of mine? Why am I here, telling you guys what you already know, that bad experience can make good poetry? Maybe it’s because I realized that in our attempt to capture what we believe are universal experiences- things like sadness, heartbreak, and betrayal, are so varied and so different. We’re all clamoring to put what we feel into verses, and it’s chaos in one of its most artistic forms. Maybe I just thought that was something I had put into words because as someone who indulges in poetry in her free time, I found this sudden epiphany very valuable.

What The Hell Would I Be Without You?

This week, I’m obsessed with dodie’s recent breakout single, “Sick of Losing Soulmates” (along with Ed Sheeran’s latest releases because I’ve been waiting for them for forever and half). This post will be inspired by her song.

Image result for sick of losing soulmates edits

There are some people that enter your life and stay there to be a continual source of sunshine, joy, happiness and in general just love. This song really got me thinking about one of my friends who’s been a constant of pillar of support throughout everything. She’s honestly just everything I aspire to be as a friend, and as a person. She’s so amazingly empathetic, and whenever I’m low she’s always around. So when I heard this song, I thought of her, and I thought of her quite naturally. As the line “what the hell would I be without you?” rolled around, I was convinced that I would be in a shit hole if it wasn’t for her. When I came out as bisexual, she accepted me and gave me rational sensible advice that had no trace of bias in it at all, all while being supportive and in general awesome. It’s always hard to capture an epiphany, simply because the title of this post asks an unanswerable question. Such is the nature of everything we relate to our emotional experiences, I guess. “Watch how a cold broken teen will desperately lean on a super good human for truth”- she let me lean on her time and time again, and it gets me so emotional looking at the extent to which she’s always been around. So much that I’m making a post about it. Because through times where she was against my decision making, she never stopped supporting me. It didn’t matter how much she hated my choices at a time, she would support me if I told her it made me happy. That just captures the essence of being good- no personal agendas, just personal opinions that won’t act as an obstacle towards anything. Here’s my catch though, this is something (or rather someone) that I want to be. I want more than anything to be someone else’s sunshine, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever achieved it. When working as a volunteer Listener at 7 cups of tea, I have had people tell me they wouldn’t have made it another day without me, but I still cannot believe that I’ve been someone’s guardian angel the way this song so beautifully describes it. It’s just hard to believe that I could ever have been that pillar of support for someone, simply because I’m busy and I’d love to be there all the time for support, but I feel like I’m not. I feel I get irritable and snappy and that my shortcomings as a person mean that I can’t be someone’s “guardian angel”, so to speak. Of course, I do know everyone has their shortcomings, but somehow I still think mine are just enough to limit me from ever reaching this coveted state of angel-ness. I don’t know if that makes sense. There’s only one or two “guardian angels” that I have, which has led me to believe that they’re very rare. I thought I’d put this out there, take it how you will, blogosphere! I know this is a somewhat weird and even irrelevant ramble but I thought it was worth a ramble. I’m not sure if everyone else has these real life angels that just swoop in to always be there as a safety net and source of comfort and protection, but I know that I’m very lucky to have one.

Fifty Posts Later…

I just got notified by WordPress this morning that my last post on Queertastic was my fiftieth post, and wow. I had no idea I’d actually been writing that much, especially considering how inconsistent I’ve been with posting. Well, it got me thinking- what is it that’s changed fifty posts later? I’m still me, duh, but I thought looking back at all my posts to see what’s changed and what I’ve learnt would be fun. Well, that is assuming I’ve learnt something (fingers crossed that I have). So come with me, lets go back into the somewhat cringey depths of my blog. I put this in a numbered list just because it’s easier to read, and I’ll be going post by post. I’ll got from my earliest posts upwards, that is in reverse chronological order.

1 – I have had to reconsider if kisses are the sole way of healing scars. (based on this post)  

il_340x270-985369378_1bcf

Here’s some context- I wrote this post about my self-harm scars (a topic that I now try to avoid) and how having my then boyfriend accept them shaped my recovery. I wrote-  “Relapse now seems to encapsulate a lot more than just my pain- now it also sees to break the invisible line of trust draw by that one kiss on my most prominent scar.” I suppose I grew out of this perception. Yes, the kisses helped and honestly I still smile back at how wonderful it was to be helped through recovery in such a raw and empathetic manner, but I later realized that there were far better incentives to avoid relapse. Back then, I wanted to relapse and had to hold myself back because I didn’t want to hurt the people that loved me. Now, I can’t bring myself to relapse (though I will say I’m guilty in that I still think about it too much) because I’ve come to far. I can’t bring myself to relapse because I would herald it as sort of sacrificing my sanity and all the progress I’ve put into improving my general state of mind. Kisses help heal your scars, yes, but now I realize I should’ve been even more cautious not to over romanticize the concept of healing. Reducing it to a kiss was my attempt at being optimistic when in reality I put a lot of mental muscle into recovering. Did the kisses help? Absolutely. Was there more to the story of recovery? Definitely, but I didn’t know it yet.

2 – I now have a collection of afterthoughts on being “the freak who self-harmed” (based on this post) 

images (5)

This post was me wrestling with myself on my then mixed emotions about self-harm. While reading it, I couldn’t resist pulling down my sleeve to look at my scars. My desire for a smooth wrist have somewhat waned, and my scars are slowly (very slowly) fading. Time has led me to accept them as a part of me, and now I don’t think about my scars and self-harm nearly as much as I used to. In fact, I’m surprised by how much my scars affected me back then when now I only occasionally feel embarrassment over them. It goes to show that feelings are temporary (if you read posts by me a lot, you’ll know I love that quote) and eventually what used to be a source of distress to you will be whittled down to simply a fact that you’re mildly indifferent to. It’s heartening to see how far I’ve come, and yet I know I have so much further to go.

3 – My thoughts on coming out to myself have, strangely enough, not changed one bit. (read the first part here and the second part here)

tumblr_static_tumblr_static__640

Reading back to my emotions about how I had to learn to stop shutting myself out is insane, because I still identify so much with learning to live as my true authentic self. There’s still homophobia that I face, and as a result of that the internalized hatred towards myself hasn’t quite dissipated. I read my description of locking myself in the bathroom stall just to breathe, and I could remember that moment so accurately in my head that it scared me. I know that eventually will spread my wings (my gay, gay, wings) and fly. The memories of the people and experiences that helped me to come out and discover myself still leave me smiling, and I guess this just all goes to show I have far more to learn about my own sexuality before my perspective on coming out to myself changes. It’s a work in progress, y’all 🙂

4 – One definitive thing I can say: I loved cutting my hair. (there’s a post about it here)

4fb6e608512e415c191021bb863ba0d3

So I know that at first read cutting your hair seems like a superficial change, but cut me some slack- as a sixteen year old girl, I can’t help but be superficial every now and then. For almost forever, I got complimented on my long brown curls and how perfect they were, and how I was so lucky to have them. It was something I started hiding behind a little bit, and some days if my hair didn’t look good I’d feel as though I didn’t look good. Stupid, right? And for the longest time I was scared to cut it all off- what if it looked awful? Well, now that it’s all short I’ve actually stopped giving a fuck about my looks. It’s a nice feeling, and now whenever anyone (or any boy) tells me they liked me better with long hair, I can confidently tell them that it’s okay, because I like me better with short hair, end of discussion.

5 – I now get more sleep, but the memories of troubled nights don’t fade. (read it here)

sad-depressed-quote-quotes-Favim.com-1999364

“Depression Is Not A One Night Stand”. Gosh, i remember that title flashing past my eyes one day when I was bored in a class, and it stuck with me because if you’ve ever felt the pang of chronic sadness, you’ll know the nights are the worst. Summarizing this post is difficult, mostly because I still have difficult nights where my stomach tosses like a troubled sailor. There’s this one quote I love by Andrea Gibson- “To think, a sweater, is made entirely of knots. My stomach could clothe a village.” All the different types of nights I had to sleep with. Now my mind finds sleep somewhat easier- of course, I still have awful nights (don’t we all?). Recounting how much more frequently these awful nights used to last, all I can say now is that confronting your insecurities and fears is scary enough. Having them sing to you in the dark and not being able to do anything about it? Well, that’s worse than any thriller horror movie you could throw at me.

6 – Rereading my posts about recovery, I now see that some things can’t be explained. (here)

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_32cag23mm82swc00wgok8c0ko_640

There are so many things that caught me unawares about the recovery process, many of which I just couldn’t put down. Delicate knots in your lungs when you learn how to stop drowning, and the works. I tried my very best to put down the basics of all my unknown forays into recovery, but it got so much harder than that- I remember needing to endlessly edit this post because of how much I thought was unsaid. The emotional explosions and complicated guilt were just the beginning of it- and maybe a post on the nuances of recovery (one that veers more towards the side of poetic rather than anything else, to do the process of recovery artistic justice) is in order. However, I love that unlike me previously, my voice in this post is one I can hear today. I can hear me from the past reading this out to me from the present, and I really like that (oh gosh, I hope that made sense) because up till today I still think this post is realistic. And I love that, because I’m a firm believer that the prospects of recovering are realistic.

7 – It isn’t about loving someone more, it’s about loving someone better. (based on this very angsty emotional post)

tumblr_o3zvz8gwgu1vooyxqo1_1280

This was a post I wrote to say goodbye to an ex after breaking up with him. Ah, yes, Queertastic wouldn’t be complete without a heart-wrenching unsent letter. As a matter of fact, I’ve always loved the ideas of unsent letters- I’m a sucker for the right kind of pain, and I could ramble on and on about the metaphorical questions raised by unsent letters, but for now I’ll spare you the rant. You see, my lovelies, on thing I realized is that you can only achieve so much with the quantity of love you dole out. When I left my ex, the amount of mushy messages I sent him while we were dating weren’t insufficient, (in fact, I’d argue looking back that I sent them too often to the level of cringe) and that at the end of the day it was my waning faith in the relationship that caused me to leave. A perfectly loving relationship, and yet I left, because yes, I loved him, but not as well as I should’ve. That being said, most of what I said in this post stands true. I just think that as a reflection maybe my word choice was a bit off, and while it didn’t strike me then I think for some reason the subtle difference hits me hard now.

8 – I have far more than ten thoughts on pain (but you can find ten of them here)

559428_361248150631330_2074543483_n_large

But I knew this even while writing that post. My thoughts on pain are not containable, and maybe a part two is due. Wow, I’m finding a lot of post ideas from just looking back- strange how I can be my own idea factory just by looking through old work. Nothing much has changed as far as my thoughts on pain go, but my thoughts on pain go deeper than this.

That’s about it. To be honest, I will say that the fifty posts flew by really fast for me and also that I would’ve gone past 8, but that would bore everyone and become a rant. Thank you to everyone who’s been reading (lol so like basically 5 people or something), I thought I’d tag some supportive people by just linking to their most recent post (that’s the only way WordPress lets you tag other bloggers I think!) BelleUnruh , the monarch of midnight, Sound of Eds Voice, kimkasualty, the green tea fashion cafe, fauxcroft, Lira, and Alisa Hutton, to name a few. There’s more lovelies that have been nice and supportive throughout my journey as Queertastic, but these are the people that first popped up in my mind. I know, my readership is fairly small/ non-existent, but nonetheless, fifty posts later, and I like this space I’ve made for myself.

Much love, Queertastic 🙂

Terrifying.

Sixteen years old and dewy-eyed,

she’s looking at the possibilities.

She ferociously peruses internship listings.

Editorial. Content management.

Resumes, suddenly a professional bio.

She knows, this is necessary.

But she also knows-

this is going to take forever.

Forever, to reach a destination she isn’t sure she wants to reach.