As I ramp up to strongly promote this month for getting sign ups from Patreon and single donations through kofi, I figure it’s a good time to explain why I run the site this way and why the support is important.
When I was a kid my mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I stared at her blankly and simply stated “ I don’t know, all I know is that I don’t want an office job” And on I went. I found myself flip flopping between wanting a job that really forced me to think and one where I was physical and creative. All through my childhood, I read and studied AND did artistic things, until there was a choice to be made. What do I study at university?
I settled on art and still found it unfulfilling. I became friends with an English professor and found myself enjoying our 3x a week conversations. He helped me realize maybe what I really wanted to do was educate. At the same time I’d just fallen in love with dance and was just excited to be working on something hard and expressive. I was at the top of my college career! I started working that summer. In the winter, the problems began.
One day, I noticed my stomach hurt, more than normal. I took some Ibuprofen and laid down. The pain didn’t go away. It got so bad I called my mother, crying and begged her to take me to the ER. Off we went. “Here, you’ve had ovarian cysts in the past, it’s probably that. Take some ibuprofen and go home.” I suffered and went on with my life. A few weeks later my body was on fire again. Back to the ER and doctor I went. “You need imaging,” they said. I went and had my first transvaginal ultrasound. It would not be my last. I had an ovarian cyst. “Come back later,” they said, giving me ibuprofen. As the months passed, I became more swollen, more fatigued, and more in pain by the passing day. I went to work and school and dance as much as I could. I was trying to save money for an internship you see, to come to Colorado and learn about dance.
I had surgery and they told me, “You have endometriosis, but it’s controllable with birth control.” And it was. For about 3 months.
I came back from my internship and declined rapidly.
My pain went up so much and so fast that I started telling professors what was happening. One minute I was dancing and the next I was bedridden. Deep down I knew I’d never be able to do anything of merit and succumbed to the sadness. 3 hours awake a day wasn’t enough time. 2.5 years and 1 surgery later, I found a drug that suppressed most of the pain but caused hair loss and I decided to go to blues geek. I won a competition, became and all star and was suddenly on everyone’s radar.
My drugs only lasted 7 months and back in pain I went. I could only take the pain for two months. I had my other ovary removed in October 2017. During recovery, I started Obsidian. After years of trying, I’d come to realize something: my younger self was right, I’d never be able to work in an office. Between all my health issues combined the only way to go was to work for myself. To build my life around my body and its limitations, and no matter how “controlled” the condition is, it is and always will be with me. As the blog gets more interest, I’ve gotten curious why so few of the readers support the project. It’s free, another post for another day, coming from someone with a lot of hardship.
I’ve started to wonder if it’s because so few people know the writer’s circumstances. I am not wealthy, nor do I have a primary job and this isnt my hobby. This is my work. I spent a good chunk of my week thinking and writing articles, reading books, and finding videos. I’m excited for future Ideas and obsidian gives me a way to contribute that allows my body to be. I write these posts from a chair in my tiny rented room, shop at thrift stores, and have been attempting and failing at saving for a car for years. A car that will mostly be used to go to the library and museums and the grocery store. At the end of pieces when it says consider supporting us, you are mostly supporting me, Grey, to do more of this work with higher quality each time, and personally my quality of life. Every dollar goes a long way to making this project sustainable. If you can’t monetarily support it, ask your friends if they are. Share it with the Patreon or ko-fi link. Send it outside your dance communities. Send me connections if you have them. I’d love the support!