I once dated a couple that told me I was like a feral cat because I was wild and naive about social rules. (The wife also gave me a 2 page list of everything I did wrong on our last date so I realized the issue was not me.) Being called feral is the most blatant example of my being othered because I don’t understand and don’t care about social rules (or rules of any kind really – I prefer agreements). It was a contemptuous acknowledgement of my transgressive nature (I think they hoped to train:tame me).

I grew up poor surviving on welfare from ages 10-26 (living in a condemned house with no plumbing and going eeling off the jetty for food kind of poor). I had my first child at 17 and so I needed welfare and low income housing to get through college. All of our resources went to surviving, everyone we spent time with was poor, and we didn’t do things in the bigger world that would teach me the rules of being a socially acceptable woman:human. Between my lack of resources and innate rebel nature, I consciously decided at 15 to give no fucks about the rules. At that age I was already proclaiming the absurdity of wearing masks, and the ridiculousness of conformity and fakery in exchange for belonging. I’d rather not belong than compromise myself.

So while I get that there are rules on IG and I may be inspired to take a pretty selfie for my own reasons and that will innately grow my visibility, I have no interest in the rules of social media or algorithms or the 5:7:1500 rules to becoming visible and selling my work. While I’ve learned some things on my life’s journey that I will share, I am not interested in being a guru or thought leader. In fact, Transgressive Woman is all about being my own guru, thinking my own thoughts, and the freedom in such a life.

I prefer the idea that I am an emotional and relationship adventurer who came back to my community to tell stories about the medicine I experienced on the margins and in the wild. What you do with those stories is up to you, but I do hope you’ll share yours with me, too.

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