The Versatile Blogger Award – Opening Up
I have been going on for a few week about doing this, but things has kept getting in the way and there are quite a few things going on personally, that has been eating up the time, I usually have for blogposts. If you are a subscriber and thereby a member of my RtS family, you’ll get to know what that is more specifically in the next newsletter.
But for now, let’s stay on topic and cast our eyes to the person, who nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.
The Gardener, The Blogger, The Friend
Sometimes we encounter situations or people where it seems like time and space really doesn’t exist in the way we normally understand it.
This is pretty much how I feel about the person, who nominated me for this award. On each of our side of the planet, with oceans between us, distance should be something I would be very aware of. And yet I often find myself thinking about this person as if she lives just across the city and as if I have known her for longer that I have.
Writing to her gives me an odd feeling of us sitting on a porch, feet up with a cup of coffee (preferably strong), the sun strolling across the sky, playing hide and seek with the clouds and cats chasing butterflies in the grass, messing up a flower bed – and just chatting away about everything and nothing, one string of thought leading to another – while her hubby hammers away on her latest project for the garden.
And I feel like if those strings of thoughts should run out and all that is heard are birds in the trees and the beforementioned hammering – that would be okay too.
Ladies and gent’s, let me introduce you to the person, who nominated me for this award, a kind and supportive blogger colleague and – inspite of distance – someone I’ve come to consider a dear friend:
Dawn out of Crazy Organic Mama, who has the loveliest gardening blog, with freebies (especially if you are a subscriber), lots of tips in gardening (inside and outside), recipes, freebie – and she just created a “need-no-other-ever” garden journal to help you keep track of all your projects.
Dawn, thank you so much for this nomination.
I am honoured that you would consider my wee little Rocking the Spectrum blog for an award, that acknowledges great content, dedication and awards blogs that brings a good feel to the reader.
Actually, that just makes me feel really humbled and grateful.
So thank you, my friend, I will try and live up to it in the future as well.
I’d nominate you right back if I could.
The Rules of The Versatile Blogger Award
I actually feel there is some confusement as to the little specifics of the rules, but I will do my best to bring forth, what I know:
First of all, you of course thank the blogger who nominated you – which is really just the decent thing to do – I mean, if someone gave you a gift or flowers, would you just ignore it? So thank the blogger who nominated you and of course link to their site.
Secondly, you find 7 new bloggers to nominate; bloggers with great content, who touch you with their words and show extra care in their content, be it the writings or the pictures or something else.
Then you spill the beans: 7 things that people don’t know about you, 7 secrets – or at least things you don’t talk about a lot, must go into this award post.
And finally you publish and tag everyone, so the nominees will know they’re nominated and the nominator knows you passed on the flame.
Sounds easy enough, right….
So, I guess that means, that I know what time it is….
Opening Pandoras Box
I’d like to think that I’m pretty open on Rocking the Spectrum, and any of my social media platforms, so finding secrets, that are actually secrets, is not the easiest job on the planet. It’s not that they are not there, they are – after 4 decades of chameleonery and hiding anything that didn’t fit normality, anything else would be odd. Finding the 7 is piece of cake in that sense, but finding 7 I’m ready to spill NOW – that is a whole other matter.
But then again, if you have read my blog carefully, you’ll know that conformity and constructed social normalities tend to rub me the wrong way. Put me in a box and I will likely start eating the walls!
So none of the following, IF you’ve paid attention, should really be any surprice to you.
What I’ll give you here is a mix of odd secrets – and a few bigger ones, that I haven’t (as far as I remember) mentioned before – not explicitly at least.
I was saving them for a rainy day, when I’d run dry of autistic matters to discuss – but hey, we might as well get started.
Buckle up! Some of it gets really personal, so please be nice.
Secret number 1 – I don’t like hair!
Anything thicker than the hair on my head, eyebrows and eyelids…
It’s not a fashion thing. It’s not (strictly) about being vain or succombing to modern culture grooming.
It itches, tickles and annoys the shit out of me.
It’s that simple.
I don’t care what others think or do about and to their various hair “collections” – I don’t care about ultra feminists claiming it’s all natural.
I DO NOT LIKE IT ON MY BODY!
I said not strictly…it means that, like everybody else I have my own opinions on how it looks like. And personally I don’t find it attractive. That however doesn’t mean that I’m telling you what YOU should do. It’s YOUR choice.
I will say this though to all the hairy men who want their ladies tightly groomed: what the fuck makes you think the hair on YOUR legs is any prettier? Your arms? Your backs?
From my nonbinary perspective, I don’t see the frecking difference.
“But Linda, a real man HAS hair on his legs and all…”
Guess what – so does a REAL woman.
And to the women reading this: I don’t care what you do, shave/ wax or not – just make sure you are doing it for YOU. If you do things for YOU, you get more confident and strengthen that spine. And THAT is ultimately what makes you attractive and breathtaking, if those are things that matter to you – and I’m not just talking appearance here. Appearance has never been and will never be more than skin deep.
There is no photo editing and no amount of make up and anti-wrinkle routines or botox on the planet, that can measure up to a strong woman owning her shit. I have a little over two decades of practise in falling in and out of love with women, so I should know. But of course – that is really just my personal preferences and someone might have other preferences. I will say this though – anyone making you feel bad about being YOU, is soooo not worth your time. Period!
Let me tell you a little story: one day My Lady and I were walking home fro the urban G, as we passed a girl, pretty overweight, a bit goth-like, wearing a cropped top and hot pants. There were big thighs and belly fat very visible. I will admit right here and now, that probably like most people passing her, I frowned at first.
And then I turned around.
Are you kidding me with the bravery, it must have taken for her to do that? The amount of love and acceptance of her body as it was, to wear whatever the fuck she liked – and smiling doing so… When I think about the concept of strong women, she is one of the images that now pops into my head. Most of us could and should take a lesson from her.
Secret number 2 – I have a comic crush on Black Widow and Poison Ivy!
Hoooly mother of….
I don’t even know if I should say this, being in a steady relationship and all, but…
If there are two fictional women I’d love see come to live it’s Black Widow and Poison Ivy. They are both in the future being tattooed on this body of mine, along with the red balloons from IT. I don’t know how to afford it atm, but it WILL happen, even if I’m getting fucking 80 years old before it does.
They are seriously badass, and before you go all feminist on me, advocating that they are not promoting healthy body images for women – I have my own imagination and in my head they are more realistic, than the man-drawn comics, and they are STILL awesome AF. Besides: it’s a comic book charater. The male superheroes in comic books aren’t exactly realistic either!
And yeah, as you’ll see if you pop by that “Fictional Character Crush”-board I have on Pinterest, I have a thing with power red hair. Guilty as charged – that was a bonus secret for you. You’re welcome!
Secret number 3 – I could’ve been a dude!
Yeah, you read that correctly. This is one of the biggies, that really shouldn’t be a biggie, but has turned out to be anyway.
From I was about 17 ’til mid twenties, I had a lot of serious thoughts about getting a sex change. I did not feel right in my female body and it got as far as me secretly going online in old-school shady chat rooms (because back then, it HAD to get shady if you needed to talk to someone who KNEW about these matters), chatting to a guy, who had had some treatments done, to figure out what to expect. It got put on hold for the simplest and oddest reason: he told me that there was no way telling if you’d grow a beard or not. And I already told you how I feel about hair! It IS rather odd, that testosterone treatments, operations, transitions etc were like “oh well” – but beard..? Fuck no!
I consider it a good thing though, that it got put on hold, because I wouldn’t go for the change today.
I think the proper term for me would probably be bigender or nonbinary – had I had the change done, the tables would just have been reversed: I’d instead have periods where I wouldn’t feel a male body was right. And it took me a few more years to understand this, that it wasn’t about either/or but rather both!
It’s not that I would have regretted it immensely, but from a mental perspective, it wouldn’t have changed anything really. Just the same problem from another perspective.
I’m quite okay with my body today. Sure, I’d like my hips and boobs to be smaller and less womanly, but that is mostly only an issue, because of the very binary focused fashion industry. I’m one of those people that look forward to the day where fashion actually becomes inclusive. I love to go clothes shopping – but finding something I really love – and am able to wear – is a bit of a challenge.
And besides, if we consider the fact that I DO get very feminine on occasions, an hour glass figure isn’t the worst, I could come by.
I’ll manage – but we can talk more about this and body issues some other time.
Secret number 4 – I was addicted to Real Housewifes!
I was on a mental break down sick leave, it was only for a month I got addicted, but there are still images and dramas in my head, I wish I hadn’t seen! Talk about making stupid people famous! Shit!
And yet, I was completely fascinated with the women’s lack of reality sense, common sense and any kind of ability to think beyond their own nose tips. I felt like watching one of those National Geographic shows on some rare animal species. I guess it’s a matter of perception and where you stand in life, but to me, I don’t have the foggiest as to how lives like that would feel full and satisfactory. That anyone can make such a fuss over a clothing object or shade of nail polish, kind of beats me. I know, I come off as judgemental right now. And maybe I am. But really, Real Housewifes is a vomitting display of how bad first world problems (and humans) can get, when you are just a little too priviledged for your own good.
For the record, I can’t remember the subtitle, and I realise that there a several versions – I’m talking the posh version, maybe it was “Beverly Hills” as subtitle?? I think it was, but not sure, so correct me if I’m wrong.
Secret number 5 – I don’t have preferred pronouns
This kind of relates to my secret number 3.
Maybe you have noticed some fellow bigender/nonbinary people outthere announcing their preferred pronouns in bios and stuff – and maybe, after me telling you about the thoughts I have had on sex change, being bigender and nonbinary, you are wondering: “How does Linda want to be addressed? There is no mention in the bio…”
There is no mention in any bio because I don’t really care if you use she/her or he/his. When all comes down to it, I’m pretty practical about the entire thing, so even in my most male-like moods and feels, I don’t have issues with female pronouns, because I get it: my body is biologically female. That is what you see, especially with my body shape.
When it comes to ticking off boxes choosing between male or female or Mr or Mrs – I go female myself. It’s my given biology. It’s what people can wrap their heads around.
I must say though, that I do prefer at least having the option of ticking a third box. And unless it says “intersex” (which I’m not), I tick that third choice whenever I can.
And no! Gender perception is NOT “just a matter of different personalities” as some opposers claim. I get that it can be hard to fathom, but let’s see if I can explain:
If you are a cis woman, you have a biological gender, but you also have a sense of female identity. Your eyes are maybe naturally drawn to articles like “Empowering women”, “10 reason why women are the stronger sex” – stuff like that. Shopping for clothes, you never even consider going into a men’s store. You have a strong identification with your “sistas”. These things are not your personality, like being humorous, patient and being straight forward.
Being bigender, I have my biological sex, which is woman, but my sense of identity is both male and female. My eyes does not catch those female addressed articles. I shop at women’s stores (because I don’t get stared at that much) but if I can’t find what I need, I check out men’s stores – and sometimes I don’t even bother checking out the female sections, because nothing “matches”. I don’t have a strong identification with other women – I have a strong identification with people I can relate to. Men AND women.
I don’t feel right in very feminine clothes; I can feel pretty, feminine and stuff, but I have a sense of playing dress-up, rather than being ME.
It’s not my personality.
There are plenty of women with classically male personality traits, that have a strong female gender identity.
I don’t FEEL like a woman. Remember Shania Twain’s “Man! I feel like a Woman”? I never identified with it, I never felt the song was about ME. It was catchy as FUCK (and she was hot, and probably still is) but that feel you can get from music when you feel like it’s about YOU – didn’t get that. Sisterhood…apart from my actual, biological – amazing – three half-sisters, I don’t know what sisterhood is.
I hesitate when writing about women empowerment, feminism, womanhood – because I quite honestly feel like I am imposing. That is not personality – that is gender identity and gender perception.
Okay, we got a bit off the path here, so let’s close up gender related stuff and move on with those secret – I have a funny one for you….
Secret number 6 – I have my own written language
As I was diving into English as a kid, I used the public library’s Foreign Section a lot. Here I discovered books written in cyrillic. In another section I discovered braille. I think this is where my huge interest in codes started, because I didn’t see it as an alphabet, but rather a written code. I got incredibly fascinated and decided to work out my own written code.
I still use that code today for my diaries and I’m also looking into how I can maybe convert it into an actual font in Word.
I will let you know if I figure out how to do just that – hey, I might even annoy and tease you and write an entire blogpost in that code. Just to see if someone breaks it.
Secret number 7 – I have dermographism (“Writer’s Skin”)
Not a lot of people know what dermographism is, so I’ll explain.
It’s a sort of hives, that is induced by firm rubs on the skin. You can actually see it on some of my photos, if I have scratched, even lightly, some itch, my skin goes red, and sometimes even swell up a bit. This means that I can basically take some pointy object, “write” my name on my arm – and in about 30 seconds or so, my name is visible in red lines on my skin.
A lot of people have been like “oh my God, you’re having an allergic reaction” and been worried about it – but it’s actually pretty harmless. Just visually a bit annoying, especially if I go to a job interview. Then I’m very aware on NOT scratching any skin visible. ANd the problem is that when I get stressed or nervous…yup, it starts itching everywhere!
So this means that if you ever see a YouTube video from me or a photo and you are wondering if I’m having some accute allergic reaction or something – it’s just dermographism. It’s annoying, visually and itch-wise – but it’s really harmless – and sometimes a bit of a party trick!
My 7 fantastic nominees
Are you still with me? I haven’t bored you to death or scared you off, because you figured that bigender thing might be contagious?
If you’ve found this interesting, I will take the liberty to question your sense of quality – but if you haven’t been frightened by all the gender and sex change talk, then I like your attitude. You are an inclusive, openminded person and there can never be enough people like you on this planet. Thank you for being so incredibly fantastic.
Speaking of incredibly fantastic, that leads me to the final part of this post – the nominees.
Now hold on for a sec – if I have nominated you, I need you to know, that I know that scedules can be brutal, that writing an award post might fit poorly into your blog (for instance if it’s a very fact based and informative blog), that you might not even feel up for the task….
And you know what?
It’s absolutely okay. I will never ever want you to feel stressed about something, I will never pressure you into spilling the beans and reveals 7 secrets. It’s not why I nominated you – I nominated you, because I enjoy your blog, your posts, the way you arrange photos, the way you interact with people… I nominated you because I think you are an incredibly talented blogger – and I want you to know that and I want everyone else to know that.
So, here goes:
Being a constant inspiration for fierceness and positivity, while decorating the thoughts with beautifully orchestred photos this is one of my regular go to blogs. My brain is fed, my lacking travelling courage is triggered and my eyes are being soothed with subtle, but beautiful colours and a clean structure. Or as I usually say and think: this blog should be a book. One of those books you go through, leaned back in your couch, while sipping your coffee or latte or tea. I am a bit indecisive about one post to promote, because there are so many – but I’d like to spread the word on those bucket lists, for the simple reason that it inspires to transform your wishes into actual goals. But really, you should just dive into the archives, because there is PLENTY of good reads.
2 – somekindof50.com
To anyone above 30 or 35 that wants to read words from someone with a little more life experience, this is a really great place to turn your gaze to. At somekindof50 there are a variety of subjects discussed, but if I should pulled out one word, it would be “positivity” and a determined attempt to try at see the brighter side of things, and this is done without making things too corny. I really love one of the recent posts about Mondays, why we hate them and why we should love them a little more.
I may not be a traveller myself (but I’d love to be). Our national poet in Denmark, Hans Christian Andersen, oncce said “To travel is to live” and while I reckon that is a simplification, it has some truth to it too, I think. It is through experiencing other ways of doing things, that we grow. So I have my share of favorite travelblogs, that I stop by from time to time, to get inspired and slowly building up the courage to defy my autistic preference of the comforts of home and maybe one day myself be on a journey to somewhere. On this blog the graphic and visual side of things is neat and tidy and easy to navigate. If I get to travel myself, my first stop will probably be England (because it’s not that far and the culture is somewhat similar to the Danish) – but like so many others, I would like to set my feet on American soil one day and Roots, Wings and Travel Things has numerous posts, not only on what to see, but also about tourists traps and alternative ideas (which is something that has great value, if you like me need things to run smoothly). There is a recent post about places to see in New York as a local, that really tickled my imagination and dreams. But – you will find loads of other great and amazing posts, so you should just hit the site, pour a cuppa and dive in.
I normally don’t read a lot of beauty blogs, because generally I just do my own thing and don’t give a lot of shit about what people think about it (and some beautyblogs are just too affiliated for my personal taste). But The Newbury Girl is different. My path to the blog was through Instagram and what attracts me to this site is a very pleasant visual look and a smart mix of topics, that I will characterise as beauty inside and out. This is being explained in the About-pages too:
“While I love the beauty industry, true beauty is more than skin deep. When we’re healthy, happy, and leading fulfilling lives, that radiates.”(The Newbury Girl)
To me, this is taking the regular beautyblog to another level and it is doing so with lots of colours (and I’m a sucker for colours) and life in the written word. One of the posts I really love is the Busy Boycott series, but you can start with this one, where we are on the verge of entering the challenge.
The blog that got me reading graphic novels!
If you are a book worm there are plenty of cool bloggers to follow outthere – of course, I will recommend one of your first stops to be beforewegoblog. Why? For one it’s insanely dedicated to books and the reviews are inviting and thorough and the pace with which books are read, digested and reviewed is – well, equally insane. What I enjoy a lot here is the variety – I actually think there might be a review to fit any taste. So beforewegoblog is a great place to hang out for ideas for future reads…. and the woman writing those awesome reviews is just the sweetest. Super supportive, talented and dedicated blogger. One of many posts that showcases the thoroughness and use of inspiring visuals is the review of Tales from Outer Suburbia – go check it out.
6 – thecreatorstribe.com
For one, this site kicks ass visually. It’s not too messy, it’s tidy and it is loaded with great content. Want inspiration from business owners and their ideas? Want to be inspired to get that work out kickstarted? Diet tips? It may sound like it’s all over the place but that is just because I’m explaining it poorly. It will make sense once you head over there and indulge in some of the many choices, you have. The content itself is thorough, well written, inspirational and serious. If there is one thing that can be the “usual suspect” in mental health recovery it is various way off self-sabotaging, it ccan be something as simple as not being nice to ourselves. Go check out her post about Self-Sabotaging – it is written primarily for business builders and entrepreneurs, but the thoughts are easily converted to mental health as well.
And finally – if you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen my tweet searching for new bloggers to show some love and attention to. But also because I wanted to give the final slot to someone new on the scene, who had a great blog but maybe not the biggest reach – yet. That choice was…
7 – mumforce.co.uk
Really, she had me at “Edinburgh” but let’s set that fact aside for a moment and turn our gaze to the blog.
You will find a lot of well-considered parenting posts but also posts about anxiety and medication.
This is a parent both juggling kids and mental illness and while she may not be the only one, we need the voices – ALL of the voices – outthere, to slowly but surely break down stigma.
I shared her post on children and social media on Twitter, but I will share it here too, because it really addresses some important issues and questions as to how parents can/should protect their children from viewing hurtful content online. There are so many ways of doing this, so many questions and as technology keep advancing, it is so important to stay on top of things.
I have told you my 7 secrets and crossing my fingers that I haven’t scared you off.
And provided you with 7 fantastic bloggers that I think you should go check out. I have tried to spread out the “niches” a bit so there should be something for most people.
And with that, I will pass on the torch and the flame, rest my case and leave you to the discovery.
Next up on Rocking the Spectrum – oh, I have so many plans and so little time these days. But I have a pretty important newsletter coming up on April 4th, and I have a few posts up my sleeve that are dying to be written, such as a post on visual reality on social media (I made a teaser on Instagram some days ago, you can find the video in my Stories under “Blogposts”).
Until you and I bump heads again, please take the greatest care of yourself, be strong and fierce and remember…
Luv Ya :-*