Autonomy

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What does home mean anymore?

Is home a physical location? Is it the people I love? Is it a hybrid of both, mixed with some nostalgia and memories? I haven’t lived in any one place since I was 18 for more than two or three years at a time, so home for me doesn’t necessarily mean a geographical location. I am a Montanan with a fierce love for my enormous, multi-faceted state, but I’m also a creature who has inhabited the mountains and valleys of Switzerland and the green, lush south part of Vancouver Island. Home for me is definitely when I’m with the people who light me up, but my relationship with the land is strong.

Part of this is because I’ve been alone much of the time. Not lonely. Alone. There is a big difference, and I think that learning to be alone, truly alone, and find peace in that is absolutely necessary. We often live in a weird state of semi-connected isolation in our technology tethered society, but I think that as human beings it is vital to be able to find yourself totally solo and not be bothered. I find that some of the most pure memories I have are when I was alone, whether it was on an early morning walk around Paradiso or sitting on a rock listening to the waves, looking into the ocean. I am alone with the earth and with everything around me. Savoring the taste of a good latte with a book in my favorite coffee shops or seeing “The Scream” at The Met and crying quietly in front of it. These are not happy moments in the sense of joy or exhilaration, but they are serene, smooth, and utterly mine. They were created by me, for me, and I allowed myself to be okay with the fact that there was nobody to rest my head on, to look over and smile at, and that feeling of being alone is terrifying but so good.

We live in a world of wage stagnation, nutter politicans, and dreadful news 24/7. We live in a world where technology defines relationships, where not having internet can feel like a death sentence. We are surrounded by media screaming at us that we are not enough, that we could be better. In such a vicious, often callous world, the ability to go away on a walk or sit and have a meal alone in a restaurant or even just look out the window and (not to be morbid but) we will die alone, and in between we will spend much of our lives being alone. This is not a bad thing but a reality we must face and I and many people I deeply love and respect have chosen to not fight it and find peace and serenity in our autonomy and the human experience of existence.

Don’t dictate to me what you think is sexy

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“You look so much sexier with your hair straight”, said my best friend’s boyfriend to me on a Monday morning in Switzerland. I wanted to take the nearest fork and lodge it in his jugular. Instead I calmly told him I could care less what he, this particularly puffed up male specimen, thought looked better or made me more desirable.

“I like it when girls don’t wear make up”/”You look better natural”/”Lipstick makes women hard to approach”/”Too much eyeliner makes you look old”/”Ponytails are sexy”/”Insert something here that men don’t/do like”.

There are literally thousands of things that guys may or may not like about a woman’s appearance. However, we have been told by society that this is something that we should care A LOT about.

Why?

Because if you’re not paying attention to what men want, you’re going to waste away alone! Become a cat lady! Go to the grocery store and buy dinner for one FOREVER! Cry to the Notebook night after night, stuffing your face with chocolate wailing because YOU DIDN’T LISTEN! You didn’t notice that Cosmopolitan put in a really awesomely helpful guide to making sure that you fit the men’s bill? Well, you better get your shit together because time’s running out!

As a young twenty-something who has spent years discovering how absolutely exhausting it is to adhere to modern beauty standards, let me tell you my end conclusion: nothing makes me feel better than when I dress for myself, and myself only. I wear old man sweaters as dresses and really bright lipstick. I like my eyebrows thick. My hair is untamed and more like a mane. I don’t wear foundation. I like it when I look like a pale corpse, and I like painting my nails grey. Because it makes me feel awesome and invincible and like I could ride a chimera into Hell and back. 

So to every single male on the planet who has ever given me “helpful” feedback I beg you to please swallow those comments and choke on them. I would rather spend my life living it being unattractive to pathetic men who think they have a right to say how we should look than be a babe. Also, I am a babe in my own awesome way, because I decided I am and nobody can take that away from me. Kate OUT!

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