How I started at the bottom

And didn’t really get anywhere close to the top but I’m higher up! 

(Content warning: depression and suicide attempts)

Before I started drawing and thinking about art as a hobby, I was a tomboy of a girl who loved Pokemon and Digimon and Dino Riders.  I watched that last one on vhs probably hundreds of times. 

(This shit was the bomb omg Photo credit to VHS shitfest )

When I was about nine years old, my father passed away from a heart attack. That summer, we moved to a bigger city, which my parents had been planning for a while anyways. 

My first day at my new school, I met my best friend. We joke that the way it happened was something like this:

Her: hey do you like Digimon?

Me: yeah I do. 

Her: wanna be friends?

Me: sure.

Her: good, please sign this paper.

Me: I don’t have a pen.

Her: it’s ok we deal in blood

Apparently she has my soul. It’s probably safer with her anyways.

With her, I started to focus on drawing. It was a great past time for two kids who didn’t have many other friends and felt like outsiders at the best of times. We would draw from those how to draw anime books, and they still greatly influence my art today. 

In that year of grade 5 and on, I kinda went from a decently stable kid to this confused, angry and sad teen. I developed depression and, in later years, a suicidal tendency.  So that happened. I’m still not sure what offset it – entering my preteens? Moving? My father passing? Idfk. I do remember taking too many pills one day and stopping only because I ran out; only by luck was it not enough to even require a hospital visit. This would be a trend in any future attempts, much to my depressed self’s annoyance.

Got through high school. I technically walked the stage (most boring ceremony ever) but didn’t actually graduate. Tried doing upgrading at the college, dropped out, and went to Katimavik, this nine month long volunteer tour across Canada.  We went to Nova Scotia, BC, and Quebec. It was fantastic. I moved back to the town in NS to attend a local adult high school which was super easy (since I didn’t have to take math or science, only easy subjects for me), got my diploma, then headed to art school.

I went to ACAD for three years. You may note – it’s technically a 4 year diploma. I did not leave with a diploma. 

I got frustrated with my art.  I felt it wasn’t good enough and decided to change degrees and schools and cities. Which kind of sucks now, because I really enjoyed screenprinting there and only found it in the last year. There’s many things I could say about art school but that’s another time.

Somewhere only this way, I got engaged to a fantastic person, and I discovered I was transgender. Which makes navigating the gatekeepers super fun when depression tags along! Yaaayyyy. I started testosterone before I left Calgary. 

I went to Ottawa for event management. Got through that despite a strong amount of depression. Slept a whole lot there, and I didn’t do half the things I should’ve because there was simply no point in my mind. Graduated, promptly missed the graduation ceremony because I messed up, and returned to my mother’s basement the September following.

(Cover the studs with flags!!)

That was not quite 2 years ago. I worked Walmart for the beginning of that, quit that shit and worked several part time jobs, then got my current full time job in the fall and a couple part times. My goal is to get rid of my debt and move to be with my partner. I’m pretty happy with the point I am at, which is rather unexpected. 

I’m at the point in my transition where I visually pass, though I still need to work on my voice. Got a beard and moustache and a binder that works, and a hysterectomy and masectomy being lined up. Legally I still need to change my gender letter but that’ll come after surgery. 

Mental health wise… I’m probably at my most stable I’ve been in a long, long time, and have been here for almost half a year, a goddammed record for me. Perhaps it’s from working all the time? Maybe it’s because I’m happy with my art? I’m excited about my life trajectory? Maybe it’s something in the water.

And that, my friends, is how I went from the bottom and now am kinda up a bit. 


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