O Tannenbaum (now with more .gif)

treedecor

(click on the picture!)

I love Christmas more than I love most things. But I have rules. The first one being that no decoration shall take place before Thanksgiving. As soon as Thanksgiving is over though, all bets are off. Yesterday I went to town and decorated the hell out of my house. But first, the tree.

I got it off ebay a couple years ago. It’s the scrappy underdog of aluminum trees. The stump was found at a friend’s house, who also graciously drilled the hole for it (here’s a DIY turtorial if you want to have one yourself). I don’t have a color wheel, which is traditional for these trees. They are expensive, and hard to find, and I don’t really want one (so there). I have this little worklamp with a colored bulb I feel works perfectly for the minimalist-modern-scandinavian-rustic aesthetic I have going.

Thanksgiving with the Royces

Before I hit the gas on Christmas season, I thought I’d share some photos from yesterday. The Royces have had a big Thanksgiving gathering in some capacity for 57 years. Still going strong.
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Being cool with my identity.

There’s a picture of me when I was a really young kid, probably 4 or 5. My hair is a little scraggly and I’m doing a super goofball pose. I’m wearing leggings and a baggy shirt. Every time I look at it, I see who I really was and how I still am now. Through the years you change your look, your clothes, the things you like, the people you love, but you can’t really ever change the person you are.

I’ve struggled with my identity for years, and the more I think about it, I think it’s always come down to how I dress. Since I was old enough to decide what to wear, I’ve had some bizarre choices. When I hit middle school age I’d already been shopping exclusively in the boys’ section at Old Navy. I chose comfort over conformity. I didn’t want to dress like a girl. I didn’t really want to be a girl. For a few years I identified much more with boys and how they got to act. They could tell crass jokes, wear comfortable clothes, play sports, and they seemed free of the sorts of expectations that girls had. All my friends wore the same flared jeans, the same tight Abercrombie t-shirts, lip gloss, highlights, glitter eyeshadow… All of it.

Naturally, my sexuality was called into question in the schoolyard. Hell, I got called a Faggot by a boy I had a (HUGE) crush on. He screamed it at me across the playground. Middle school was a brutal experience. But I never changed myself, never tried to make me like them. I just kept being me. And even despite all that, I really didn’t like “Me” because nobody else seemed to.

I went through many phases over the year, tried to dress like a Pretty Girl, shop at the trendy stores and wear makeup (I started in ninth grade because a boy told me I’d be really pretty if I did).

Finally, right around the time I turned 21, I started going out, and I immediately found the place where I could feel most like myself. And I met people who I really loved – still do to this day – and I felt like, yes, here I am at a point in my life where it’s never been cooler to be Just Me.

I experimented with jewelry (really cool shit, like spiked bracelets claw rings) and make up (dramatic eyeliner wing-tips and bright red lipstick) and that was fun for a while, but after all of it, I came right back to what I was all along: That goofy kid dancing around in leggings and a t-shirt. My tomboy unifrom consists mainly of black jeans, a grey t-shirt, a black cardigan and wayfarers. Generally some black flats without socks, and a rockin’ black pea coat.

I know so many women who look lovely in a dress, and have meticulously painted nails, and awesome shades of lipstick, and gorgeous long hair. One can’t help but feeling inferior in the presence of these women. I really have to fight those thoughts though, because I KNOW, and I will always maintain that my identity is my greatest asset, and I must own it, and be me. And I’m pretty cool with being me.

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