Thursday, October 20, 2016

It's Time...

After having this blog for four and a half years, it's time I moved on.

I've decided to permanently shut down, and say goodbye to, In The Shade Of My Wide-Brimmed Hat.

Why am I doing this? First of all, I've changed a LOT as a person since I started this blog. Who I was at the beginning of this blog is practically a whole other person compared to who I am now. It's been really interesting looking back to see my transformation shown in my posts, but it's time to let this blog go and start anew. It's part of embracing the new me I've been searching and finding for the past year or so. I'm ready for a new start.

It's also for professional reasons. I really need to develop my fanbase if I'm going to find any success as a writer and artist. A fresh start with a new blog is an open door for that.

But this doesn't have to be goodbye!! Some of you already know my other social media contacts, but if you don't, here they are:

Twitter - @gaycadbane
Pinterest - /writeroutsider
Instagram - tatumbane

Thank you to everyone who followed this blog!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

On Self Harm

I have been struggling on and off with a relapse into self harm since September 2015. And it has gotten me thinking a lot about my history of self harm since I was about eleven years old.

When I was that age, I thought that "self harm" is only cutting your arms with razors...which, it is, duh. But self harm is way more complicated than that.

Self harm can be exercising until your muscles are so sore you can barely walk the next day. It can be listening to music on your headphones so loudly that it gives you a headache and makes your ears pound. It can be turning the water in the shower so hot it stings. It can be stepping out in the snow to test how long you can last before you start to get frostbite. It can be staying in a position or putting on clothing that is uncomfortable and staying like that for as long as possible. It can be trying to get hit in a sparring match so you get bruises or cuts. It can be burning your hand when you pull something out of the toaster oven...and making all of it look like an accident. It can looking at images or videos that you know will cause you extreme emotional distress.

Turns out, I have been doing all of those - and other things - since, again, I was about eleven years old. So self harm has been a problem for me much longer than I thought.

And I wish I had known what I know now about self harm. I wish someone had been there to tell me that it's not shameful to hurt yourself. That it's not about 'God gave you such beautiful skin, why ruin it?' It's about finding the cause of why you want to hurt yourself and working towards healing that part of you...and forgiving yourself when you relapse.

People should not have to cover up the cuts on their arms and legs...or, like I did, come up with ways to hurt themselves so it looks like it wasn't on purpose. But our society has yet to become more open-minded on this issue. They still treat self harm like a dirty thing, thus shutting people who self harm away from the love, care, and support they need the most.

It needs to stop.

As for me, therapy and medication have been mere stepping stones on the road to my recovery. Having a family member or a friend I know I can talk to when I go bad again is tremendously helpful. So right now I just hope that anyone struggling with self harm can find someone to talk to, stop seeing themselves as shameful or ugly because of their pain, and find the light again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

life update

I haven't made a personal post in about a year. So I guess it's time to update whoever is still reading this blog. Here's the short version of what has happened since I last opened up.

In June 2015, I graduated from college with a Bachelor's in English. I also began working on my next book.

In July, I began seriously questioning my gender and sexuality.

In September, I chose my new name: Tatum (Tate), started discussing a possible move out-of-state for our family, and relapsed into self-harm.

In November, I began going to professional counseling for my depression and anxiety.

In December, I came out as transgender and bisexual to my family. I also saw Star Wars VII in theatres twice.

In January, I visited my old hometown.

In February, I became public about my gender and sexuality and began dealing with the various responses from people I knew, varying from complete support and acceptance, to grief, to cold rejection. I also began taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication.

In March, I got my second tattoo: L's logo from the anime Death Note.

In April, I shaved my head into a mohawk because I had wanted to since high school and I was done caring what people thought of me.  I also turned twenty years old.

In May, I got my third tattoo: a coffee pot with a skull and roses and the caption "Death before decaf." I also got to see the Indianapolis 500 race with my family, and my family began the process of moving out-of-state.

I think that about catches you up. I might be forgetting a few other things that happened, but that's the major scoop. Right now I am still going by my name Tatum, taking medication, and preparing for a big move over the summer. And collecting some Kylo Ren and Darth Maul merch along with my always growing Cad Bane collection. Which is basically full; other than the occasional sketch card I have purchased every Bane item I can possibly buy!!! And working on my next book, holding out for Rogue One, slowly fitting the pieces of my life together. so to anyone who was interested in my personal life and decided to read this post, thank you for being there.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I got bored so I used (very fun website, highly recommend) to make a Cad Bane pixel character

And then I decided to animate him tipping his hat and winking.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

More additions to my Cad Bane collection from 2015

promo cards for Season Two of The Clone Wars

Game card, lightswitch cover, stickers, and a temporary tattoo

The Hello Kitty sketch card and painting were made by the wonderful artist Ani Thomas (Facebook, Patreon)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I have a bad cold and all the new Rogue One rumors are making my hope for this movie waver.

I think I don't want Cad Bane to be in the movie anymore. I am too afraid they will ruin his character or that he will die and 2016 is just not the year I want to deal with that.

Also apparently in Disney Infinity (I don't own the game, a friend does), Bane is only in one level and you can't play as him and there are no extras for him? What the hell? At least I have no reason to buy the game now.

But Rogue One...I like how it's been described as a war movie and more "dark and gritty." All things I want to see more of in the Star Wars franchise. But I cannot get my hopes up too high, I guess.

Anyway, on a more personal note, 2016 is going to be the year I move out of the house finally and live on my own for the very first time! Yay! Hard work ahead but I can't wait.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Goals for 2016

  • Get shit done
If you'll pardon my French. I have a lot of things I need to do this year in preparation for moving out on my own for the first time, and all that needs to happen before and after that. Just thinking about it stresses me out. It's going to be a lot, but if I can tackle all those things one at a time, I know that by this time next year, I will be in a much better place.
  • Care less what people think of me
Listen to honest criticism? Sure. Pay attention to how people respond to my personality, behavior, and words? Absolutely. But when people are going to judge me, misunderstand me on purpose, or act like they know me when they really don't, I'm not going to listen. I've spent too much of my life - and way too much of 2015 - letting people's judgement of me wear me down. I will actively work to not let that happen in 2016. This year, I'm going to be me, without shame.
  • Play hard
I don't do enough fun things just for the sake of having fun. I spent two years doing high school and college at the same time, and two more years being a hermit at home while doing college online. I deprived myself of a lot of fun activities, to the point where letting myself 'have fun' feels like a chore. For 2016, I'm going to set aside time where I can let myself get away from work, get away from writing or tasks I need to do, and let myself enjoy something fun for a change. I don't do that enough.
  • Read a lot
I make this my goal every year, and I never end up reading as much as I want to. But this year, I really want to push myself harder. There is so much I don't know about how the world many things to know and study and explore. Part of why I loved college so much was how much there was to learn. I miss that. 2016, I will do my best to get back into reading a lot of books, and on all kinds of subjects.