FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: To Homecomings and New Beginnings

Knock, knock! Who’s there? It’s me, Friday, ya silly!

We’ve made it through another week and it’s time to rejoice — especially because, hi! I’m new here! My name is Priya and I’m one of Autostraddle’s newest staff writers! Thanks to the amazing team and community (you guys), I’ve been full of queer-tastic feels all week.

This week was extra special, from my first piece going up on Monday (yay!), to having dinner with a friend, and from dying of laughter while watching India’s first Netflix original to brainstorming new creative projects on the side. To cap it all, I flew from NYC to Carlsbad, California yesterday (and I survived a LOT of turbulence! and Delta gave us a free “meal!” What!) to attend a work thing. And while the prospect of working extra hard into the weekend is daunting, being just south of L.A. means I get to see my parents for a couple of days.

I guess it’s a homecoming of sorts, especially the not-being-stared-at-for-having-a-California-ID thing. Being back in my home state is nicely overdue (sometimes, you really need to get away from New York) — and also, I kind of forgot what sunshine was like. This week I’ve been thinking about chosen and birth families, the burden of representation, the privilege of travel, and how to refocus my energies away from stressful, draining, or stagnant ventures towards things that inspire, sustain, and captivate me. Something about being here, talking to all of you, makes me think I might be onto something.

Between binge watching The Handmaid’s Tale and traveling, it’s been a heavy week, to say the least. I’m looking forward to a little poolside reading (*ahem* napping *ahem) time at this super nice resort a la pseudo-vacay! What have you all been up to this week? Did you snooze that morning alarm a few extra times? How are your pets doing? Do you know what causes turbulence?

Come in, say hello, and share a fun fact about yourself if you feel like (maybe an old AIM screenname)! I want to get to know each and every one of you — cue group hug! :)


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Priya Arora is a queer-identified community activist, editor, writer and Netflix enthusiast. Born and raised in California, Priya has found a home in New York City, where she currently works as a Web Editor at Hearst Business Media and the Humanities Editor at Brown Girl Magazine. When she’s not working, Priya enjoys watching old school Bollywood movies, laboring over NYTimes crossword puzzles, reading books she never finishes, and eating way too much of her partner’s homemade Hyderabadi biryani. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Priya has written 7 articles for us.

103 Comments

  1. I kind of feel new here all over again. I haven’t visited Autostraddle since January due to work being crazy busy. But I’m back, I guess, so yay? Also hi!

    This has been a pretty good week. I took a day off on Wednesday to go shopping for a dress for my friend’s wedding. As much as I hate dresses/shopping I’m pleased with my choice and am really excited to see my friends in June. I just hope WWIII hasn’t broken out by then, or something hasn’t gone wrong to bar Americans from entering Europe (the wedding is in England).

    And nothing beats California sunshine! I live in Northern California, so I’m really excited to not see a drop of rain in the forecast. My fun fact is that I lived in England for 8 years, so I never take the sun for granted ;)

  2. Wow. It’s been months and months since I left a FOT comment. Too long.

    So, new beginnings. TBH, I’m in the depths of a kind of vocational crisis. It’s been reflected in my work for the past year, and I honestly expected to come in to work today an find myself fired. (Day’s only half done, so it could still happen.) I’m mostly terrified about that, but the part of me that knows I should be doing other work maybe wouldn’t mind the kickstart?

    Not much to say beyond that — just trying to get work done and not get distracted by the huge knot of dread in the pit of my stomach.

    • Hey, it’s Willow Rose! I missed hearing from you, how’s your kid doing?

      Sorry about the job. I hope that whatever happens, you’re able to figure out the path you want to take forward, and take it, without too much life-necessity bullshit getting in the way :-)

      • Hey there! My Kid is doing all right. Coming up to the end of semester 2 at community college. Math is hard (hard enough that he may, um, have the opportunity to repeat the course), but the other three classes are cool.

        We went to a great event tonight, “How to be a Transgender and Queer Advocate/Ally,” and (in addition to enjoying the great panel presentation) got to see a couple or three of our favorite people.

        And, as it turns out, I’m still employed. That could change on Monday, but by the end of the day today the knot of dread was gone and I was feeling good about what I’d gotten done.

  3. Welcome Priya!! I’m super excited to read all the stuff you do for Autostraddle!

    I’m moving TO California in a short time, so I’m starting to mentally sift through my things to decide what I sell/give away and what I bring. I’m driving there from Florida, so that sets a limit on things, but I’m actually looking forward to offloading baggage (literal and figurative).

    And now thanks to the Fanfic article & comment thread I’m thinking I might have a go at a gender-swapped-Danny/CJ West Wing fic this weekend…

    • I am also planning a long distance move and will only have my tiny hatchback to put things in! I’m driving from Connecticut to Louisiana! And it’s very hard to decide which of the many many items I have acquired in my 26 years should come with me and which ones shouldn’t. It is kind of a good way to get rid of things I don’t need. Good luck with your move!

  4. Welcome Priya! I really liked your Bollywood piece!

    My week has been mostly boring… I did almost get a new project at work (which sounded cool, but would have required me to be in the US quite a bit (I’m in Canada)) But I was “lucky” enough to not get it. By luck I mean they didn’t think I have enough experience… My instinct would be to call bullshit on that, but I’m kinda of glad I didn’t get it because I’m enjoying my current project.

    Besides that, I’ve been enjoying the warmer weather!

  5. Welcome Priya!

    I’ve been applying to jobs in the city I want to move to. And then I got sidetracked learning about house plants for the apartment that I will have in the new city. My small spider plant which is the baby of my mothers 20+ year old one will definitely be coming with me. Any recommendations on house plants that are easy to care for and also weird looking?

    My dog is doing fine but is a brat. She tinkled in the house right after she didn’t go when she was outside. I really think I’m going to litter train her when we move to the afore mentioned apartment. Also, once I’ve settled in, I’m finally getting the pet snake I’ve wanted since I was 6. But I don’t know what kind yet. I like too many different species.

    • Oo a baby spider plant! I wish I knew more about house plants, I unfortunately don’t have any with me in NYC.
      What species of snakes do you like?
      My partner and I are thinking about getting a dog later this year, and we don’t know a lot about the various breeds, so there’s definitely some research in our future!

      • My current favorite is the Vietnamese Blue Beauty, but they need quite a bit of space, so I’m not sure if I should go for that one just yet. Same with boa constrictors. The leading contenders are the Corn Snake, Ball Python, Cape House Snake, or one of the smaller Asian rat snakes.

        Also, I know a lot about dog breeds. Do you have any that you’re possibly considering?

    • They’re not “house plants” in the traditional sense, but air plants are pretty awesome. Damn near impossible to kill and you can do all sorts of cool things with them, like hang them upside down or create a little terrarium situation. Plus some of them look very weird indeed.

      You should also consider getting an aloe vera. They’re really easy to care for and they’re practical, too, since you can use the gel for everything from sunburns to smoothies.

  6. It’s been an exciting week! In both good and bad ways.

    The bad: my body has decided fainting is it’s Fun New Thing and it’s happened twice (actually almost happened and did not happen because I was quick enough to lay down under my own power before I actually fainted) and had one ER visit that was absolutely useless other than giving me a bruised-to-heck arm from where the EMTs butchered putting in an IV.

    The good: I got out kayaking twice (TWICE!) in the past week. I didn’t do great, but for the most part better than I expected.
    Here is a fun screen grab from kayaking shortly before I was forced to vacate the kayak (the river did 3/4 of the work to get me out of the boat) but I’m still in it and upright you just can’t see my boat or paddle.

    And here are two ridiculous photos of my cats (the second one is caught mid-yowl and boy is it reminder that cats have TEETH)

    • Thank you for sharing! I’m sorry to hear about the fainting but the kayaking sounds amazing! Yay for the end of winter meaning the return of outdoor sports!
      And hiiiii cats! You have inspired me—I might do a little yowl here myself…

      • I’m NY-based so most of my kayaking happens in the Adirondacks, but really anyplace you have water+gradient there will be whitewater!

        So you sit inside whitewater boats typically, but there are a few models for newer people on more moderate whitewater where you can sit on top, or with inflatable kayaks you sit on top and some people do run some ridiculous stuff in them, but it’s mostly more mild stuff.

        My main boat is a creek boat that was designed for creek racing (in the short boat category), so it’s FAST and 9 ft long and has 78 gallons, which is on the low side for creekers–the largest boat on the market has 108 gallons but it’s also a damn tank. There are also long boats that are made to go even faster but are also harder to control and much tippier because they’re so long and narrow. The other big specialized category is playboats which are for freestyle so if you’re like “heck yeah I wanna do flips and cartwheels and stuff like that in my boat (but mostly get a LOT of water up your nose while you learn)” that’s the boat and it’s really short (<6ft typically) and has kinda bulbous ends and is pretty slow and has less volume than a creeker (my playboat has 56 gallons). The most moderate boats are considered river runners and they're not as short as playboats but also usually not as long or with slightly less volume than a creeker and tend to be more forgiving and easier to roll than playboats.

  7. Hi Priya! Yay!

    I watched the first 3 episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale last night with my friend and so I’m in that waking-nightmares stage of aftermath. Objectively I think the show is amazing, but it takes an emotional toll. I read the book about 9 years ago and I literally don’t remember a single thing that happens in it but I vividly remember how it made me feel. This show is those feels but more, probably partially because it’s frighteningly relevant.
    It feels a lot like when I watched Jessica Jones and I just spent the next month looking at every dude I passed on the street thinking “does he want to control my every action and turn me into a live slave/doll? Does he? Would he if he had the slightest chance? WOULD HE?”

    *deep breath*

    In other news I spent last weekend with my mostly crazy/horrible family for my uncle’s funeral and it was hard and infuriating and had moments of laughter sprinkled in there too. And I found myself really actually letting go of the idea that my parents and I are ever going to have a real relationship. Like. It’s just never going to happen. And that’s really sad for them because I’m awesome, but while they’re denying that anything is wrong between us (even though 9 years in they’re still convinced I’m not really gay and that if I rejoined the Mormon church I’d be fine/straight) I’ll be over here building a life and a chosen family. I have felt like they had this power over me for so long and last weekend as I drove away from my Aunt’s house I realized that that power is (mostly) gone.
    So. That’s a thing.

    Oh, and my very first AOL screen name was Glitterhed12. Because I liked glitter. And I was 12.

    • Oh my gosh, the first three episodes killed me. I too am interested in revisiting the book.

      And wow, everything you said about family… kudos. It’s so inspiring to read about your journey—my own relationship with my parents is fraught too, and homecoming does open up some of those threads again. I need to, at all times, keep reminding myself that I’m awesome and my life can’t stop while they process the queerness. Phew. I may reread your comment a few times this weekend.

      OOO Glitterhed! That’s a good one. My first AIM screenname was b0llyw00dfreek44. Four’s had no relevance to me, my grammar nazi adult self cringes at spelling freak like that, and omg why the zeroes?! AHHHH

      • Family sucks yo!! It sucks so hard. I’ve been seeing a phenomenal therapist for about 8 months and while I’m sure he would want me to own all the emotional work I’ve been doing, he’s been amazingly helpful. Even a few months ago after I visited my parents for Christmas and came back home a complete wreck in total meltdown/’maybe I’m just crazy and making up all these micoraggressions’ mode, I would never have thought I would feel the way I do right now. I’m sure I’ll cycle in and out of more anger and hurt and betrayal and other feelings, but it’s pretty amazing to feel like I really am moving forward and not just spinning in place.
        Which is all to say – you can do it! I believe in you! I support you and validate your feelings!! And you are so awesome. So so awesome!

    • Im 20, still living at home and everything at least seems fine if i never mention that im bisexual. Its doesnt upset me to think about my (horrible/unecessarily emotional) coming out any more, so im just gonna move forward and trust in God.

      I dont think i can watch the handdmaid’s tale, Im afraid of how emotional it will make me!

  8. Welcome to your first of what I hope is many Friday Open Threads. It’s rough winds, if I remember correctly that causes turbulence.

    My week has been mostly good. My grandmother made Iranian style dolme(which is way better imho than the more well know Greek kind) with grape leaves from our backyard(my grandfather, her husband planted). It was like a party in my mouth and everyone is super gay, queer, or trans, and having a blast!

    I also had one of those queer check list moments this week. I ran into a person who I think ghosted me. We went out and had what I thought was a positive first date last year; unless, I misunderstood the term, “be still my queer heart.” I actually forgot her name and had deleted her contact cause I thought I was ghosted(the OKC convo is still there). Said we should get drinks or something and asked if I consent to a hug. I said yes because my type is usually nice Jews people(not men) who are queer, and of course recognizes I’m trans woman aligned. Just now have to see where this leads to as the last person I went on a first date with ghosted me in person and her track record in my book isn’t the best.

    On Sunday I also went to the beach as the weather was nice. I had some dysphoria and was nervous wearing my biking top as I was solo, but thankfully have a wet suit to cover up the fact I had a bikini(as not to get weird looks or harassed) on and a flat chest. Also had a water housing for my other camera so I was able to get shots in the water.

    My favorite shot of the day.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

  9. Today, I’m feeling like this:

    Spongebob

    I got an on-campus interview for a job at one university (for those not in academia, this is the last stage before they extend an offer to somebody) and a Skype interview at another (this is after they look at the apps and decide who interests them). This is super-amazing awesome news for me because it would be really nice to get my first actual-factual career position at the tender age of 32 :p Anyone else here experience the frustration of years of largely unpaid labor mixed in with odd jobs just to break into your chosen field? Oh, academia.

    In other news, I’ve had adventures in medicating a cat for the past couple days, and I will again a few minutes. She’s on my lap right now as I type this, but fortunately, she can’t read, so she can’t know I’m about to squirt gross liquid down her throat. Poor girl is having a rotten tooth yanked out on Monday. I hate to subject her to that, but she did OK the first time she had to have teeth removed, and this time it’s just one. Still, I wish it were over with and she were on the other side of it. I will have to be Super Extra Nice to her next week. She is my fluffchild.

  10. Hi Priya! Welcome to Autostraddle!!

    This week I did something which was (for me) A. Big. Deal. So when I came out as a lesbian in August I got tired within a few weeks of hearing “but you don’t LOOK like a lesbian” which was super annoying, but which also played a lot into (still existing) self doubt about not being “gay enough”. So I started taking random photos of my outfits with the intention to create a “this is what a lesbian looks like” gallery. I decided to post some on Wednesday for Lesbian Visibility Day. Now posting on instagram was no problem as my insta is already super gay. But the idea of posting it on facebook freaked me the fuck out. I’ve come out before on fb but it was so subtle I think most people missed it. In the end I swallowed my fear and just posted it. Then had really bad anxiety for the rest of the day haha. But it’s fine, everything is fine.
    Here is the photo, if it works because it never seems to work for me! This is what a “dancer-aesthetic lazy hard femme lesbian” looks like! Also a pic from the Lesbian Visibility Day demonstration in Madrid.


    I hope you all have fabulous weekends, lots of hugs!

  11. Welcome Priya! Looking forward to reading all the fab content you produce :)

    I handed in the first (and biggest at 8000 words) of my final essays of my undergrad degree. Ive got 3 more, 2 to hand in on tuesday and one for the monday after that. I cant wait until Im done with these, but today I also felt that sense of anxiety that comes with leaving education after it being a part of my life for so long. Still not enough to get me to do a postgrad though!

    In other news I found out Im starting my paid internship at a visual publishing house on 15th May and it’ll be for 6 weeks. I never thought I would work with comics and picture books so Im really excited! I start a week after my final essay is due so that gives me a week to get my hair done, return my books to the library and go shopping for new clothes. Its a casual dress code so I can at least look cute and comfortable <3

  12. So since I started working in an office I’ve started celebrating Power Lesbian Friday, which means wearing your best power lesbian look for Fridays, and one of my colleagues I have only spoken to maybe once is also dressed super queerly today so either she is queer too or straight people are catching on to Power Lesbian Friday. On my commute I was looking particularly exhausted because it’s Friday and I have to take a lot of stuff to work and my shoulders never work any more by the weekend, and this woman got up to get off at her stop and offer her seat because I was “looking way too sharp to be on this train,” so I’m doing something right, I think.

    Also, my author copies of my book arrived this week!

  13. Hi Priya!
    I took an atmospheric science class last quarter so theoretically I learned what causes turbulence (I think it’s something about atmospheric pressure imbalances and instability) but I spent most of the class zoning out or listening to podcasts so idk exactly.
    Y’all, my first academic conference is tomorrow! I feel like i haven’t prepared at all! But i’m going to be wearing a really cool pair of plaid trousers so i’m excited! Ahhh!

  14. hi kitty woos,

    Hi Priya! The link on this article for your first article isn’t working, I don’t think? Otherwise I would’ve read it (again probs) and told you what I liked about it; I’m sure it was great.

    I’m fine! This week was 1000x calmer than last week, and I didn’t work past 8pm any nights this week, and this weekend I’m going to visit the tulip fields and pull honey with my friend who’s a beekeeper. (pulling honey->out of the honeycomb) And get a haircut and maybe buy a fancy office chair so that I can like, have better posture because it’s one of those getting-old things like moisturizing I’ve learned to do in the last 5 years.

    I wrote a blog post about sexual assault & the impacts of trauma on the brain!
    http://www.seattlefeministtherapy.com/2017/04/28/rapists-not-evil-geniuses/

    And I’m okay! Girlfriend and I are gonna go for a walk in the sunshine, my new tattoo is healing marvelously (tattoo artist used a weird saran wrap thing called tatu-derm that apparently they use on burn victims, removing it is the goddamn worst but has had considerably shorter healing time compared to most other tattoos I’ve gotten with way less peeling/flaking/grossness, and that is pretty great!

    I read a couple queer books this week: A Good Idea, which is a rural noir, and actually super well written, and one called Our Own Private Universe, which I’m less enthused about (sort of overwritten, maybe?) but may speak to folks with more religious upbringings than mine.

    And this morning I listened to podcast about urban explorers and this cartoonist who took a break from making cartoons to wander into abandoned buildings and sell the door hardware on ebay to make a living. Interesting stuff! (Sagittarian Matters podcast, most recent episode)

    Girlfriend is traveling for a week for work, I’m super excited to be hella single for a week and do shit she doesn’t like, namely eat salty snacks (she’s pregnant and she can’t fuck with salty stuff rn bc blood pressure) and watch garbage reality TV. (she loves like british mystery bajazz, which is fine, but I’m like BUT WHEN WILL THERE BE A PSYCHIC AND SOME EXPLICIT CONFLICT WHY IS EVERYTHING GRAY AND MOODY AND UNDERSTATED AND OPEN TO INTERPRETATION I DON’T UNDERSTAND). I like her a bunch, it is also nice in a relationship to miss your honey for awhile and have some space to later be like YAY YOU’RE HOME.

    have a good weekend, pookies!

  15. Hello all, ya girl has been unemployed for over 2 months now and boy oh boy I could use a new beginning pretty soon. I mean it’s going okay–every day I get to wake up and not go to my bad job that I dreaded, which is legitimately great!–but all the free time is giving me anxiety.

    I’m just trying to nail down a routine, you know? I’m getting better at it. I started going out on bike rides every morning again, which is good because I live in Providence and you need serious gams to bike in this city (the hills here!!). Next up: regular meals. tbh it’s discouraging how long it has taken just to get to this tiny bit of structure…but it feels a lot better than trying to do Everything in a random burst of energy and then moping the rest of the time.

    Here’s something nice I just found out: they have this really good drink at my favorite coffee shop that’s just an iced Americano with coconut water and it’s life changing!

  16. I officially had my days off for A Camp approved at work! Ahh!

    For some reason I had a terrible feeling that there would be some complication with getting the time off because I kept forgetting to request it and I just kept imagining everyone else had already requested time off and they would be like, SORRY BOUT IT. It’s all really happening!

  17. Wilkommen, Priya ^-^

    My week has been a bit brighter than previous weeks except for that bout of nausea and dry heaves that was my Monday.
    Turbulence in air travel is caused by air flow basically and like the plane’s wake. I know this because science is fun and there was a horrifying but nearly completely forgotten in the national consciousness airplane accident in my area back in the 70’s that had an influence on safety and turbulence studies. The anniversaries are still marked by local news and always some stuff about what causes turbulence to develop and wind sheer in those pieces.

    Yeah I’m kinda creepy and have lots of dower knowledge
    Uh ok fun facts, fun fact…um I hand grind fenugreek with my trusty mortar and pestle, only use it in one dish because that dish is kick-ass totally worth it.
    The color scheme of my boyshorts match that of my Soul Caliber II Ivy Valentine t-shirt.
    I’m making congri for dinna using celery instead of green pepper in my own version of the dish.

    Dance music of the week

    Santa Esmeralda – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

  18. This is my first foray into FOT and posting in general. Yay for Friday and yay for therapy after work today and yay for Autostraddle for helping me visualize that someday soon I might be out & happy (gay in every sense of the word). Happy Friday, y’all!

  19. Happy Friday, fotters!

    I don’t usually use my google calendar for anything anymore but some relic from the past always adds my travel plans to it automatically so right now whenever I open my gmail, the calendar says “flight to Chicago” next month, and I’m always like “haha I don’t have plans to fly to Chicag–ooh! Camp!”

  20. Hi Priya, congrats on the new job and I’m so excited that you’re here and to read your work!

    I remember the past couple of weeks being really rough and also really good in certain spots? We buried my grandma last Tuesday, which was rough because it was two weeks after the funeral, a month and some odd days after she passed, and I thought I was okay, but as I had an academy thing this week and cancelled participation, I’m guessing I’m not as okay as I thought I was.

    So, it’s tough with that, and like trauma in general and stuff. Spring is the worst time of year for me (April all kinds of ick) and I’m just trying to get through it.

    Good stuff! I’m doing the 30/30 this month, and even though I’m behind, I have considerably more poems than I did when I started. I saw my best friend earlier this week and she helped me a couple of weeks with some stuff I was going through and she’s made her decision for grad school! And we went to get her a longboard and ate and it was lovely! I’ve finished two projects that were kind of hanging over my head/I didn’t think I’d get done and I’m really happy about that! A kind of good is that, well, I’ve finally admitted to having an alcohol problem (which tbh is just really a self-harm problem and is more ‘socially acceptable’ than cutting really) and so I’m like sad about disappointing people but also really glad that I’m not doing this alone. I didn’t feel that way last night, but I didn’t do the bad things and I wanna celebrate that! (And I did by eating a lemon drop cookie :P)

    I’ve got work and books and fic to read and movies to watch and the sun is shining and it doesn’t hurt at this moment, so I think I’m doing okay. Like I’m sad as shit, but I’m also okay. Does that make sense?

    Hope you all have a great weekend!

    • So sorry that you’ve been feeling sad and miserable. Don’t know if this will help but I’ve remembered something that was said to me when my Mum died ….. sadness is the price we pay for loss of those we love. I suppose it’s a bit trite but it made me feel better at the time and it also felt right then too.
      The courage that it’s taken you to see the problem that you have and to take some steps to change it is also outstanding. More power to you.
      Bet that lemon drop cookie tasted good.
      Take good care of yourself and have some long distance love, courage and healing from the other side of the world if you’d like it.

  21. My in-laws have been visiting this week, so I have mostly been holding my tongue and tried to tune out the non-stop classist, misogynist mansplaining lectures and the weird disconnect between the mansplaining and the complete lack of basic everyday knowledge (my father-in-law will mansplain boiling eggs to you, complete with a lecture on the evolution of eggs, and then turn around and basically be fascinated by how you personally appear to boil them in water and do eggs always have to be boiled in liquid or is it ok to just put them straight on the stove—and no one except him is allowed to talk, ever, so this has been my entire week).

    My partner has been great though and even calls me my legal name in front of them, and explained the whole thing in detail to them, which means soooo much to me even though they don’t care. My mother-in-law made an effort to call me by my legal name once, I guess. Sometime early this week she called me my old name, followed up with “or maybe I should say Faustine” and then laughed, which is a pretty hurtful thing to do, but I honestly think she was just nervous.

    • You sound like you both deserve a treat. Has Kitty Fantasticico been giving you both plenty of “post biting your tongue” cuddles?

      Take yourselves out somewhere nice for the day and laugh lots. I’ve found it helps sort the “in-law” blues, although I didn’t have as much to complain about as you.

      • Thank you! They left this afternoon and we actually have a full day at-home spa date planned for tomorrow, starting with mimosas and breakfast in bed and lazy couples self-care until it’s time to go to sleep.

        Miss Kitty Fantastico has been a champ the whole week, giving out lots of comforting snuggles, and even charming my animal-hating father-in-law with her pretty blue eyes and ability to do a few tricks on command.

  22. Hello! Welcome!

    This week was incredibly long. I just ended a frustrating work day by getting a quick oil change, and the guy actually told me to SMILE!

    After he tried to upsell me $100 worth of stuff! It caught me off guard. It almost seemed too surreal, at this point.

    SINCE you asked about old AIM screennames, I once had one called CCD0DROPOUT. I think I had a xanga with that name too…

  23. Welcome, Priya! Happy weekend everyone!

    After some confusion about my care package, I write this as I wait for my car (affectionately named Breq) to get routine maintenance. This week has been super busy as now that I am less green at my job, my lead counsel has started giving me more responsibilities so I feel like I’ve taken a few steps back in that I am learning these new tasks and I am learning how to time manage new tasks with the ones I am more comfortable with. But I am still loving my job and who I work with so I’m giving it my all!!

    Non-work things have been lovely. The wife and I are enjoy each day trying new recipes, taking walks, cuddling with our cats, and avoiding social engagements (we’ve been too social for introverts the last few weekends). That said, I feel some looming emotion on the horizon as my former best friend messaged me “to talk some time soon.” We kind of had a break up a few months ago. Then I had a moment of clarity and catharsis and felt genuinely ready to leave a lot of things behind that I unconsciously didn’t want to after we had that moment of honesty. I have been pretty happy since. I feel like I’m being tugged back now but I’m prepared to stand my ground and continue my course forward however this goes.

    In a short and loaded statement (because it would take wine, cake, and many hours to explain), after 26 years of living, I feel like I’m taking back my life.

    Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend <3

    • Have a dose of cute for your stress.
      And this mental image of a human noodle in naughty Santa boxers joyfully flailing about to cheesy dramatic 70’s music in approximation of something resembling dancing.
      A wet noodle in human form filled with the joyous spirit of dancing
      Picture it.

  24. I’ve grown really quiet the past few weeks, like there is a question I don’t know the words to, that I’m pondering.
    The good part is, that I basically took a time out from friends and TV shows and parties and dinners and movies and meet ups and spent days upon days of throwing my phone into a corner and reading, something I haven’t done in forever, but now, returning back to real life, its emptiness strikes me.
    It’s really hard, toeing that line between quietness and depression that’s tugging at me again, I can feel it on the edges.
    A friend asked me yesterday, whether I wanted to join her self help autotherapy group, well, she kind of really wanted for me to try it, she was really pushy about it, because it’s like, so great for her.
    I said no, no and no again, because I sincerely have zero interest of listening to some stranger’s issues for three straight hours in my little time off, and also, and I told her this, I really don’t want to scratch at my carefully controlled surface without professional supervision.
    She still went on and on,how some people there have depression, too, until I literally had to say, that I get very suicidal very quickly and that this will be the disease that will likely limit my life one day, and that I, sorry, will not ever go to that group no matter what she is going to say, because I need a professional therapist if and when I decide to go back into therapy.
    In short, I triggered myself and now I will have to spend the next few days meeting people, making sure I get half an hour of sunlight, half an hour of exercise, drag myself out for walks, take the bike everywhere, sleep, eat regularly, etc.
    What a nuisance.
    But on the other hand I have thought about my utter lack of dating and meeting someone and how my life seems so without spice and tenderness, and I’m afraid that these things might be related.
    You know, Life being about more than just surviving.

    P.S.: If anyone with depression or struggling reads this, and needs to hear it right now: It’s really hard,getting through those valleys of darkness, fear, anxiety, madness.
    Maybe there will always be a shadow or an echo lounging around the next corner, maybe things are never going to be 100%, but it’s totally worth it, even if its not the perfect life, it’s worth it.
    It really is.
    xoxo

    • Hey,so good you were clear abt whats healthy for you!Also all the stony path of intentional, willful selfcare… At times I am there, too, for me it feels like walking through a thourough sandstorm, eyes narrow, one step, another step, and yet another, because what else could you do. Functioning rather than living. I feel you in the part of non-belonging, too.
      Keep going, there will be a new day, and there will be good times.
      (And, tbh, curling up with books is sooo good, I need to find calm to do that again soon, too!)

  25. Hi Priya! and everyone… Welcome to friday :)

    I am really curious to know what peoples live feed suggestions are on their youtubes. I keep getting Lofi hip hop with Ghibli studio animations and it making me nostalgic af.

  26. Is anybody watching Degrassi Next Class? I find it to be progressive and pretty fun to watch. Also I’ve been into video games lately. I finished Oxenfree and it was amazing and creepy and affecting… I will probably will play Night In The Woods next.

  27. Welcome Priya!

    I’ve had another minor setback in my “getting a diagnosis for this damn Mystery Condition” situation. Basically, last time I saw the specialist she wanted to send me for a special ultrasound, and said it would take ~2 months to get an appointment. Well, it’s been almost exactly that, so I called the hospital to see if they had a date for me, and… the doc forgot to submit the requisition >.< So now I get to wait another 2 months, which means I'll probably be trying to travel to Canada's capital right around Canada Day, during the Canada 150 celebrations. I may end up walking.

    That said, it's not all doom and gloom. I've started hanging around some endometriosis subreddits, and have found a few people with similar symptoms to mine. Which is really encouraging, because I've been made to feel so alone through this whole diagnosis process.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to turn this into a rant. I just… needed somewhere to vent.

  28. Welcome Priya :)

    Well I was planning on commenting earlier. But then I started reading a good book and each chapter took about half an hour to read properly & I finished half the book in seven hours with corrie & dinner too so that was my evening.

    Something about me. I realised George from Famous Five was transmasculine before I ever heard of any trans terms, probably when I was about seven. Yeah blyton probably didn’t intend it but author is dead, y’know?

    I keep having dreams about the same girl. First night, I told her. Second time it happened, I wasn’t sure if I should so I didn’t.

    I’m getting into drawing with pastels. It’s so hard! I’ve drawn one third of a picture I’m actually happy with in about seven pictures. I can’t find my camera app on my iPad or I’d show you guys. I enjoy it though and it’s fun to be developing and seeing progress.

    I keep feeling insecure about being unique. Deep down I know everyone is. But I feel like a mass of contradictions. Do other ppl ever feel scared of being unique? Do women genuinely find non-binary ppl hot?

    • Also yes. To both of your questions. I do worry if how I am and how i feel about my gender (which is more of a questionmark anyway) will effect what people think of me.
      However I do know for sure that some women find nb people hot, because I have seen it happen! I also know from personal experience that ?-gendered people (who are probs nb, but whatever) have found nb people extremely attractive, so much that they feel tingly inside and go week at the knees.

      Also your evening sounds fab.

      • Yeah it was :) I’m aspie and I read every night (I pointed out to my dad that I only do it as much as other ppl watch tv, he was like ‘you read a lot’ and I’m not sure if he was judging or impressed) but it was a good book in a week of bad ones. I’m not being a lit snob here, just judging on how rewarding they were for me to read personally, the academic book was ‘better’ but so boring & slightly sexist/classist. Oh well clearing the shelves.
        I hope you’re ok now. You were sad on Friday :(
        Lol it says you’re a younger version of me. I never dressed up as George cos that would have been a lot like my regular clothes (i was old fashioned for a 90s kid) but George was why I realised it was ok to change your name from your birth one to fit w gender. So why I had a similar name to the one I use here. So much politics in my renamings lol. I dressed as another hero of mine for our school fancy dress thing, Huckleberry Finn. Nobody knew who that was except my teacher :(
        Hm a question mark is why I call myself nb. For a while I wondered if I was a trans man but there are feminine sides to me that don’t fit with/like that. I love women, nb ppl and pretty boy guys who are probably not the type to feel threatened by androgyny. It seems it’s just certain cis men who can’t handle nb ppl being hot. And I’m not into them either, it’s just a shame they run the media/contemporary notions of who’s attractive.
        Ugh I get it so much. I’m a huge jumble (just listed all the reasons why and then deleted them as I’m scared they make me less anonymous) culturally/being technically bi/being nb. But hopefully ppl like jumbles. And I’m a happy jumble ATM.
        If it helps I like nb ppl/tomboys who aren’t totally sure about their gender. Both in ‘that’ way and also in a fist pumping kind of a way.

      • Thanks you two :) and yay I love cats :) I feel immature & unattractive cos I live at home and I’m 4″11and I went to a public garden thing last year and the guy asked my age and said ‘really? I would have said you were thirteen’. And ppl keep giving me kids menus & colouring in at cafes…
        I’m over worrying what men think, esp middle aged cis men. It’s not like I’m into them either. Trans men I care about as they’ve considered gender themselves but cis straight men are probably on average the least informed ppl about gender/sexuality…

  29. Welcome, Priya!

    I, like several other people on this thread, am planning a cross-country move. I’ll be going from Atlanta to Portland, and I have no idea whether I’ll be driving or flying. I’m going to grad school starting in September, so I have a few months to figure things out. It’s intimidating, for sure, but as much as I enjoy the Atlanta queer scene, I’m even more excited for the scene in Portland. If anyone has any tips, either Portland-specific or moving-specific, I’d love to hear them.

    Also, it looks like Freeform is doing another Harry Potter weekend, and Angry Orchard just started selling their summer flavor again, so I’m having a pretty great evening. I’m thinking about having a gay movie night tomorrow, too. Possibly involving drinking games.

    • Congratulations on your move to Portland! I live in Southern Oregon, and I’ve been up to Portland several times to visit family. It’s a great city with a unique atmosphere- I’m sure you’ll love it. My Portland recommendation would be for Sanborn’s- it’s an awesome place for breakfast. Good luck with your move!

  30. Hi Priya! I’m fairly new to Autostraddle myself, and as a newbie I can tell you it’s a great place! Welcome! I have to confess I don’t know what causes turbulence, but I do know that scientists recently reported turbulence is getting worse due to global warming and climate change. As if we needed yet another reason to support environmentalism…

    My week’s been so busy it’s flown by, it feels like Monday was just yesterday. I’ve had tons of meetings at work and piles of homework at home, but life is pretty good in general. I hope everyone is having a happy Friday!

  31. My week in a nutshell:

    Hormones control my life. They whisper sweet nothings and put pickled everything on food without my realizing.

    Each morning I don the cute swim skirt I was coerced into buying on a drunken girls night out gone wrong. The goal is to start swimming again, but when I pass the mirror before leaving the house, I take shelter under the covers with Dar Williams and cry instead…

    Which is funny considering the positive new direction my YouTube channel and blog are taking. Per my Women’s Empowerment group’s suggestion, instead of focusing on all the negatives of transition and how the world wants to erase my very existence, I started writing/vlogging about how wonderful life is.

    At first, it was really hard. I challenged myself to keep all negative crap off my Facebook feed, and have started only writing/making videos about how positive topics like how to see your inner light, love yourself, and have fun with the changes brought on by hormones…

    And so a week into it, it’s like magic. I’m already happier. My audience is happier and more responsive. And I’m hoping that if I tell others enough how to love themselves, then maybe someday I can figure it out too… that and how to not eat so many damn fried pickles.

  32. Hello humans, it is I, the weird girl!

    Simple week for me. Had two exams and got a 97 on one of them. After 2 months, one class mate who sits next to me in business law started talking to me and we joked around a bit before and after class. I didn’t get all socially awkward either. I tried to help my friend realize that her crush is no good for her and a pathological liar but that didn’t work out too well. Oh, had sex with the wife. Why should it matter? School takes away from my sex life so can I brag a bit? Yay me!

    Also kind of getting used to keeping to myself now. I like that I can focus on my mental health and my own well being instead of ignoring my needs for the sake of others. Been meditating more and feeding the squirrels at school. My wife makes me talk about my day more. We kind of have a no phone policy when we eat together so we talk way more. That makes me really happy.

    Have a safe and happy weekend.

  33. Hi Priya! I can’t wait to read your future articles :)
    This week has been pretty fun. On Thursday I went to a battle of the bands type event on campus which was awesome! And I got to eat a deep fried golden gay time for the first time :)
    And then today I went shopping with one of my friends and I bought a bomber jacket from the boys’ section of zara. And it was way cheaper than the adults’ section so I’m pretty pleased with my purchase ;)
    Tonight I’m going out to celebrate a friend’s birthday and then tomorrow I’m having afternoon tea with some other new friends which should be nice.
    I think though I might be having slightly too much fun as I don’t seem to be doing enough uni work… I do feel like I’ve made quite a lot of solid friends though, so that’s probably the most important thing!

  34. First time here, but the title of your post drew me in, so here goes…

    New beginnings: this week was the first back at school, for the summer term. Started with INSET (that’s English for a full school staff training on youth mental health (so important). It was awesome, and the bloke leading it was just like Michael mackintyre (so he made us laugh when we needed it most.)

    Homecomings: had an offer accepted on a house, nearer to my work. For my partner and our blended family. Now we’re stressing about all that the move entails and yet are totally excited about what’s to come. (Only snag for M is the north facing garden). Man what you don’t know about a woman until you buy a house with them…

    Sleeping now x

  35. Yay another queer Desi! Hi Priya! Hey Everyone!

    A little late to this but I’m so happy this week is over! (I’m now realizing I’m exclaiming everything.) But yeah, this week has been weird and I’ve been super low energy lately. But now it’s the weekend and I’m seeing Tosca tomorrow!

    Not a lot else going on that’s comment worthy, but fun fact:
    My old AIM screen name was mfunnierthanyou.
    I thought I was so clever ?

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