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I’m working part time in customer service, freelancing graphic projects from time to time, and in search of further full time employment. Majority of my money comes from my part time job. Every month I make about $1,000 to maybe $1,500. Not enough to survive if you have bills, including rent. Which majority of the money goes towards. Because I haven’t been making enough and the company can’t afford to make me a full time employee, I have been forced to look for a second job. Times have been so hard. So bad that I haven’t been going out with my friends or even talking to them. All I’ve been doing for the past few months is look for work, interviewing, going to work, and going home. My life has been pretty boring. I am still surviving so I’m definitely not ungrateful. I’ve just been feeling a little ashamed. I don’t call my friends or try to hang out,simply because I know that money will be needed. Rather than express to them that I just don’t have it, I’d just stay in. I don’t like being in this rut. I don’t know how to do anything with little to no money. I don’t like wanting to go out and do something and feeling the need to worry about my gas and if it’ll last me for the rest of the week if I go out. Hopefully something will come through soon. I know I’m not the only one going through hard times, so I commend everyone who is working their butts off and still trying to make it.

0_o how exactly can you do that? If you’re gay, you’re gay! You can’t be too gay or not gay enough. Anyways! I’m a lesbian who enjoys dressing in men’s attire. I guess you can label me stud, stem, or androgynous. Doesn’t matter. I’ve always liked dressing this way ever since I was a kid. The only time I’d wear  a dress or skirt was on picture days, family occasions, etc. My mom had my brother and I dressed as twins on a daily basis, so… (trust, he wasn’t walking around looking like a girl). As I got older, my mom started telling me what to wear. She’d pick out my clothes to make sure I would look girly for the day ahead. I hated it! I wore fitted jeans, maybe some Valor sweats but sneakers and construction boots (Timberlands), that was all me. Semi-feminine/tomboy. My mom began throwing out my clothes and buying me new, more feminine clothes and shoes which left me no other choice but to wear what she wanted me to. I began to like it too. Once I started making my own money and had my own place with my own rules, I bought clothes that make me feel good and comfortable. I don’t want to be a boy or a man, I just like what I like.

I’ve notices that ever since I came out of the closet that people acted differently towards me. My family treated me the same until they got upset with me about something. We would never be able to talk about the issue though. All of a sudden, I’m a ‘Dyke!’. It would come out of nowhere when they’d say it to me. I’ve never been called a ‘dyke’ by anyone, not to my face anyway. It really hurts having your family call you that especially after they seemed okay about your lifestyle. Then they have kids and they try to keep you away from them. Never really having a real reason why. But then I hear, ‘it’s not right that you’re gay and I don’t want my kid around you if your going to be gay.’. So I can’t be around some of my family because of the fact. True, that’s their kids and they can have them around whoever they want. But people are who they are, they aren’t going to change for the comfort of others. Me, being a lesbian or should I say ‘dyke for life’ (might as well wear the homophobic slur from a family member proudly), hasn’t hurt me in a mentally, emotionally, or even physically. It’s the fuckers that were apart of my life that I trusted and confided in, that hurt me. That,  ‘blood is thicker than water’ shit is pure bull. People that understand you and love you regardless whether they are family or not treat you better than assholes that  are so-called  family of yours. Everything can not be justified just because the wrong doing was against a gay man or lesbian woman. People need to get over themselves.

I’ve Become A Recluse

Growing up, I would always be surrounded by people; Large family, groups of friends, going out almost every night. Most of my childhood I had to share a bedroom with my siblings. When I was old enough to get a place of my own, I did. I enjoy the fact that I’m in my own space and I don’t have to be around anyone.

The first few months of living on my own was amazing! I started to become my own best friend. I set dates for myself; movie nights, cheesecake and wine, candle lit bubble baths, etc. Just loving myself. I never had time or space from others to cater to myself. It suddenly ended when a family member and her new baby needed a place to stay. Shortly after that the person I was dating for a couple of months wanted to stay too. I allowed for my family to stay and denied my gf’s request. The family member and her baby found a place and I’m back on my own. I was excited to go back to focusing on me. Doing things for myself and making me happy, after getting my place back was the best feeling in the world. Recently, my gf and I decided to go our separate ways. She kept asking if she could live with me and I kept denying. That became problematic for our relationship. Its been about 2 months since we ended things and I happy to get back to me. I want to focus on making myself happy, working in customer service, and freelancing graphic design projects right now.

I’m going to be honest, I do get a little sad sometimes. My phone barely rings unless it’s work, family, or clients, maybe even the occasional potential employer. Going out, if I’m not working that is, I go by myself. I like to walk around the club when I feel like it. Most people I go with, dance for 5 seconds and the move to another section of the club and repeat. When people that I go out with do that, I stay where I am. Can you tell I’m not a follower? Even though I may be isolating myself, I believe that it works for me. I love ‘me’ time. When your crowded by a group of people, you don’t get the chance to have time for yourself. Take advantage when you can.

How do you honestly feel about the public service announcement AIDS/HIV commercials on BET? The commercials have gay and straight couples in them. While watching tv, one of those commercials came on. It was the one with a gay couple. My friend said,“Oh God! Now I gotta see this shit on tv too?!” It kind of hurt me, because I’m always around her and she knows that I’m a lesbian. It just makes me wonder; how does she really feel? That commercial just proves that there are other people in the world. Plus it shows that we are all having sex and everyone of us need to protect ourselves. Thoughts and opinions are welcome.

I’m asked this question time and time again. I’m a graphic designer. 2 year graduate of The Art Institute of Charlotte. I’ve had a few internships and freelance projects, but landing that full time graphics position has been hard. I work part time in customer service, so that’s been paying the bills and other expenses. Even though landing my dream position has been tough, I don’t know what else I would’ve taken up in school. All I do is draw and I wanted to expand my talent. I learned alot about myself while attending art school. I’ve come a long way from drawing with pen and pencils. Now I can freehand my designs and create them digitally. I really don’t know what I would’ve majored in it if wasn’t for Graphic Design. People, love what you do and make it work for you. Even if it takes awhile to make your dreams become a successful career, it’ll work out for the best.