In Praise of Stank

So here I am, whining to my digital therapist (it’s a thing) about how moving to the only part of the country where I don’t speak the language may not have been such a great idea. I had never even visited Montreal really, before I decided to pack up my life and move here.

I am not usually such an impulsive person, but more about my move another time.

I figured that with my four years of French classes from one of Canada’s most prestigious universities, I would be fine. I pictured myself ordering for my parents at a restaurant when they came to visit and exchanging pleasantries with my new neighbours.

False. Super false. I cower. I have somehow become a mute of sorts.

So because I am a mute, seeking full-time employment in Montreal is moot. It’s okay because I actually really love freelancing, but it is really intense.  I have been side-hustling forever, so I have a pretty good reputation and a handful of loyal clients, but side-hustling is very different than jumping into the pit of uncertainty that is full-time freelancing.

The fear was (and is) real. I was pitching to 30 jobs a day, for anything and everything (which is a bad practice P.S.). Once I got a couple gigs I realized that pitching willy-nilly is generally a bad call. I wasn’t interested in what I was writing about and some of the contracts were only offering me on average $3 an hour.

Fuck that.

So I slowed my roll and started looking at some marketing courses. I began networking more, connecting, and finding jobs I was actually interested in.

This was clearly a much better approach. The adage that any action or decision made out of fear isn’t usually the best option, rang true as always.

But my fear hadn’t been entirely dispelled yet. The same question kept coming up from potential clients: Where can I read your work?

My Work

My portfolio, though very fancy and pretty, didn’t have many examples of the niches I actually wanted to work in.

I do have a WordPress site set-up (you’re on it, congrats all four of you… hi mom), but every time I wrote something and got ready to post it, I talked myself out of it.

I was scared.

Sometimes I would even go back and take the post down.

I have never been scared writing for other people. Whether I was pretending to be them, or pretending to be an expert, I was never afraid of jumping into a topic I hadn’t previously considered to be in my niche. Producing a how-to guide on a topic I couldn’t pronounce didn’t phase me. I am interested in almost everything.

So what the hell? Why couldn’t I post any of my own stuff?

The issue is that I am pretty raw. Writing for other people is like wearing a mask.

I am a private person and exposing myself through my personal writing was, and still is, daunting.

As my partner likes to point out, the real me is full of stank (not just the toot kind).

My Stank

I am angsty. I am blunt. I am melodramatic. My life is not glittery. I complain a lot. I have problems with a lot of things. I express and express and express. I work shit out.

Most days I don’t shower unless I am trying to convince someone to have sex with me. I let my armpit hair grow out (how radical) and all I talk about is sex, love, emotions, gender, feminism and cultural politics.

I dabble in depression, anxiety, and agoraphobia. I change my mind a lot. On some days I am convinced that the Cult of Happiness is a thing.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, I was afraid potential clients wouldn’t like all that. I was afraid that they would think that I let these sorts of things get in the way of my work. When you are freelancing, getting people to like, trust, and hire you is pretty essential to not being homeless.  I am still afraid that if I am vulnerable and talk about my everyday experience that people will be like ‘ew’, ‘oh god’, or ‘oh no’.

The truth is, I am not afraid to dabble in the dark side of everything. The existential dread sets in, like, 15 times a day.

Authentic Growth

I often find that words I write as myself come back to bite me because of my tendency to change and grow.

I personally see the desire to challenge myself, grow, and change, as a strength. But I also understand that it could make me seem unstable, or controversial. Flip-flopping is not a bad thing if you are trying to understand an issue from all the angles. I am afraid of anyone who has believed vehemently in the same thing their entire life and refuses to consider alternatives.

This is also why people who have met me in real life generally like me a lot (or are terrified of me).

I like exploring thoughts with people. I like being there while someone reflects on an experience. I like quietly nudging them to ask more questions and go deeper.

Vulnerability is my super power.

And it is my greatest weakness.

The Middle Finger Project

When it came to posting my own shit, I was waiting for validation. I was waiting for someone to tell me it was okay to just do me, and come out swinging.

I was honest-to-goodness terrified of swearing in my ‘About Me’ page.

Then I found The Middle Finger Project. It was everything I wanted and needed. Here was a bad-ass bitch, not apologizing for who she was and people LOVED it. I am sure some people shake their head because there are all types, but she was doing brilliant stuff, and she was dropping f-bombs left, right and centre.

Labour Escapism

Here’s the thing: Work has always been my escape. I am a workaholic, and I am proud of it.

When I am not working, I am in an existential cloud of doubt (or sleeping). For me, mixing my labour with the world is how I make life meaningful. Nothing has ever stopped me from giving everything I have to a project.

I’ve realized that because this is the kind of person I am, I probably shouldn’t try and hide it. I am a terrible liar anyways. If we were going to work together or become friends, you would have figured out I was a potty mouth with a heart of gold pretty quickly. So I will beat you to the punch…

Introducing ME

My name is Kyla Rose and I swear. I curse a lot, but never around kids. I do things like they are going out of style. I have an addictive personality. I am a jump-in-with-both-feet kinda gal. I am not flowery, I am honest. I can be sweet and I believe myself to be kind. I look at every angle, analyze every aspect, and still believe in magic. I care.

And I work harder than anyone I’ve every met. (Except for maybe my mom, shout out!)

So, here’s my stuff. Enjoy.

Love always,

Kyla Rose
whale-of-a-tale-27Ps. If you are picking up what I am throwing down here, why not sign up for my newsletter? You’ll get fresh stank delivered right to your inbox. Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best way to put it. Just sign up already. 

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6 thoughts on “In Praise of Stank

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