New Year, New Me(atwad)

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Dear Readers,

I warn you now because I am about to talk about myself in great detail.  Leave this place while you still can.

When I was in high school, I would always do a Big End of the Year Discussion with myself, where I would pace outside my parents’ condo for hours, talking about myself and analyzing how I changed. This is a routine that faded away as time went on and at first, I thought it was because I was getting older and that my self reflections were immature.

The reality was that I wasn’t analyzing anymore because there was nothing to say; I had stopped evolving.

I became a person I didn’t recognize for many years. I was this person stuck in Pre-Everything Transgender Life. I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t reading, I wasn’t learning, I wouldn’t go to the movies by myself, an I wouldn’t even go out just for a walk; I didn’t do the things that made me who I am right now, and this went on for years.

2017 was a really rough year for me. For starters, I lost my job as a Receptionist at an animation studio. I ran away from home at one point, which quickly escalated into me nearly jumping in front of a bus. I wasn’t well.

Then, sometime in May, my friend Laura convinced me to start writing prose again, and when I gave it a go and liked it, she shared me a Google Doc that contains hundreds of fantastic writing prompts, a list I still use today.  If you want access to it, shoot me a message.

The first week after losing my job where I was actually a functioning human being was the one where I plowed through writing prompts. I must have written somewhat like twenty stories that week.

After writing one particular fun story, which happened to be The Wizard Who Knows All Forms of Magic But Prefers the Heft of a Shotgun in Their Hands to Anything Else, I realized I should start putting my stories online and here we are. We’re about seventy posts into this blog and honestly, I haven’t been prouder of anything else in my life. So before I continue, I want to thank each and every one of you that have read my stories. It means the world to me.

Running this blog has completely changed my life and here are some things that have changed in my life as a result:

  • I got my name legally changed to Katrina Jagelski. It’s a name I have wanted to adopt for a very long time, but I was scared of the permanency of that. But as I have learned from the many podcasts I have listened to: The things that scare you the most are the things that you absolutely must do.
  • I have finally let go of the toxic people in my life.
  • I like my job. I’m a Starbucks Barista at a store I used to work at before my animation studio job. But because I feel more hopeful and positive than ever before, I do a much better job and bring it in every day.
  • I use my library card every week. I have read so many books and seen so many movies because of the amazing Los Angeles Public Library this year. I’m going to include a list of stuff I really liked that I experienced this year at the end.
  • I drink coffee and tea now.  Wowe.  What fun.
  • My writing and drawing skills have improved tremendously.
  • I have done lots of great volunteer work for the LGBT Center which felt really good.
  • I used to have this insane list of goals for the year, or rather, a regime to getting better that was totally unrealistic. I have since stopped putting the pressure on myself and have let my healing flow naturally.
  • I take care of myself. I am now on the proper medications that I should have tried to get on years ago. I also take the time I need now to enjoy things, which I never did before. I would always feel guilty for taking time to do self care.
  • I found over half of the 900 Korok seeds in Breath of the Wild and I have no fucking idea why I did that still.

I am now the so called best version of myself that I always wished I was. I’m not insecure about my talent or intelligence anymore; I am who I am. But of course, life is a never ending struggle and I can’t just stop here.

My goal for 2018 is to take myself seriously for once. I think that’s something we should all do. I have so many wonderful people in my life who could do so many great things if they just took themselves more seriously.

I need to start submitting my work to magazines and websites. I need to start marketing my blog and YouTube page, getting more eyes to fall on it. And on a personal level, I need to stop covering up my true emotions with jokes and just say what’s on my mind because my feelings matter.

Before we part, I’m going to make a hype train for some concrete goals I have in mind for this year.

  • I want this blog to still be active by the end of next year.  It doesn’t need to have a following, I just want to make sure I’m still doing this.
  • In 2014, I shot seven short films about the character that I constantly write about, Katrina Gawain.  It ended up not being very good and not what I wanted, so I never finished it.  This is the year that I will.  I sat down yesterday and scratched my noggin for a long time and outlined the edit that will make the footage into something truly special.
  • I want my YouTube page to have enough of a following that I can maybe get three or five comments per video.  I have 104 subscribers right now and it’d be nice to break 1000.  I also want every “series” I plan on launching for my page to have enough entries in it that you can call it a “series.”

Thank you again for being part of my story, and I’m excited for the future adventures we’ll have.

Love Katrina,

PS. Here’s an overwhelmingly large list of media I experienced this year that changed my life.

Books
Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi
Raise High the Roof Beams, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction by JD Salinger
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Movies
Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo
Birdboy: The Forgotten Children by Alberto Vasquez
Brazil by Terry Gilliam
Celeste and Jesse by Lee Toland Krieger and Rashida Jones
Colossal by Nacho Vigalondo
Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles by Chantal Aukerman
Lady Bird by Greta Gerwig
Millenium Actress by Satoshi Kon
Morvern Callar by Lynne Ramsey
My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea by Dash Shaw
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
Ratcatcher by Lynne Ramsey
Shin Godzilla by Hideaki Anno
Starlet by Sean Baker
Synecdoche, New York by Charlie Kaufman
The Boy and the Beast by Mamoru Hosada
The End of Evangelion by Hideaki Anno
Touch of Evil by Orson Welles
Yojimbo by Akira Kurosawa
Your Name by Makato Shinkai

Podcast Episodes
36 Questions: Act One
Beautiful Anonymous with Chris Gethard Episode 51: Made Out With My Teacher
Beautiful Anonymous with Chris Gethard Episode 79: Civil War Survivor
Heavyweight Episode 6: James
Heavyweight Episode 9: Milt
I Was There Too Episode 13: Groundhog Day with Stephen Tobolowsky
Invisibilia: How to Become Batman
Invisibilia: The New Norm
Nancy Episode 6: Here’s What It’s Like
Off Camera with Sam Jones Episode 92: Gillian Jacobs
Radiolab: Space
Still Processing: We Are Tired of Sexual Harassment (and Sequels)
Terrible, Thanks For Asking Episode 14: Best Friends Forever
WTF With Marc Maron Episode 734: Kristen Wiig
WTF With Marc Maron Episode 801: Anne Hathaway
WTF With Marc Maron Episode 824: Jason Mantzoukas

Neon Genesis Evangelion also changed my fucking life this year.

Fun Home, The Simpsons, and Revolutionary Girl Utena were also game changers for me, holy shit. Freddie Wong and ProZD’s Anime Crimes Division filled me with so much hope and excitement for what we can all do.

And fuck it, here’s some YouTube things I really liked.

A Skyalogue about JonTron by Sky Williams
Commander Holly’s Lets Play of Abzu
Game Grumps’ Lets Play of Mario Maker
Groundhog Daying by Chris and Jack
Jogging in tune with Take On Me
Marvel Symphonic Universe by Every Frame a Painting
Old Dunkey and Cuphead by videogamedunkey
Palpatine Says “Do It” 268,435,456 times
Press Buttons & Talk’s Lets Plays of Kingdom Hearts
Star Wars Palpatine Shooting Stars
Steamed Hams 10 times, sync point when Chalmers says “Aurora Borealis!”
Steamed Hams but it’s a Piano Dub
Stop Playing the Public Piano by Gus Johnson
The Runaway Guys’ Lets Play of Mario Party 6
The Whole Plate: Film Analysis Through Michael Bay’s Transformers by Lindsay Ellis
Wendy’s Anime OP

Have a great fucking 2018 guys.

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