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For many people, life is difficult. Many are dissatisfied with their personalities, with their bodies, with their lives. It is easy to become frustrated, and easier to forget that you control who you are, and it is up to you to change yourself if you are unhappy.

There are many ways that you can change who you are. Remember that those around you have come to count on you being a certain person. Even if you change in a way that you feel is beneficial, they may become upset, feel let down, or even think you are crazy! There are many ways you can alter your personality. Some people make alterations to their conciousness with meditation, drugs, or unusual sexual techniques, such as tantric sex or BDSM. Others turn to any of a seemingly infinite number of religions to bolster their spirit, or ritual magick (alone, or with a group) to train their thought processes and hone their will. Many people use a combination of these techniques.

A (possibly) less drastic change is possible by teaching yourself to behave differently. If you have ever acted or played a role-playing game, you know how it feels to portray a character with a personality that differs from your own, maybe a little, maybe a lot. Maybe this character has some personality traits you admire, and wish you had. If you act as if you do, in fact, have these traits, some of them can "rub off" on you. If you get accustomed to behaving a certain way, it will become more and more natural to you.

Sometimes making a dramatic change can help make a transition in your life more real. This has been especially true for me. I have had some major difficulties in my past, and have worked hard at making myself a different person. Many important changes were internal, and are still an ongoing process, as I work at becoming more self-confident, less timid, and less dependent on the approval of others.

But it is the external changes that are most readily apparent. Recently I found the courage to begin altering my physical appearance with facial piercings. I had already gotten both of my earlobes pierced twice. Not long ago, I chose to have my right eyebrow and left nostril pierced, to mark an important birthday. The act of changing my face was so powerful! A few weeks later I went back and had my tongue pierced. Again, a truly cathartic experience. Indeed a way of changing myself, a way of becoming a different person than the frightened adolescent I once was.

Most recently, I got my first tattoo. I'd been half-considering the idea for years, and thinking seriously about it for months. Finally, I went ahead and did it. It hurt more than any of my piercings, and for longer. The design I wanted took an hour and a half to complete, and even so was shorter than the estimate I'd been given, since my skin took the ink easily. The finished product was exactly as I'd pictured it. As painful as getting it was, it was worth it. The pain ends, but the tattoo will always be there.

12/97- Piercing update! I went out and got a labret... a piercing centered beneath my lower lip. The sensation of having something going through my lip is kind of strange! I also got a shorter barbell for my tongue (5/8" instead of 3/4") and a smaller bottom ball, and had some photos taken, so I may have pictures here soon!

Still 12/97- I suppose this is just the month for new piercings... my latest 'addition' is a 16ga CBR in my ear cartilage (the left ear). I also began a stretch on one of my lobes. So far it's gone from a gunned pierce (bad! but I didn't know any better at the time) to a 12ga. I'm not sure yet how big I want to go with it... right now, I'm thinking 2ga.

1/98 Made the next jump in my stretch... it's at 8ga now. The piercer told me to wait 3 months before stretching further! Oh well, I'll just have to get something else pierced while I wait.

3/98 New piercing again! I now have a 14 gauge industrial (if you don't know what an industrial is, pay BME a visit!) in my right ear. I also have a scanner now, so pictures should be up soon!

9/98 Yeah, I know, I haven't put any pics up yet. I'm lazy and I suck and I'm just a terrible person. I haven't gotten any new piercings for a while, but I did take my stretched lobe up to a 4ga, and I got my second tattoo! It didn't seem to hurt quite as much as the first one, or maybe I'm just tougher now (yeah right).

10/98 Not my best ever month. Went to see a doctor, who thinks I have a hormonal/metabolic imbalance. He seemed to have this fascination/repulsion thing going with my piercings... lots of "THAT one must have hurt" and "Were you sober for all of those?" comments. But, his nurse had a very nicely done navel piercing (curved SS barbell, looked like maybe a 12 gauge) which she showed off to us... yay! Had to have some blood taken for tests, and the phlebotomist didn't believe me when I told her I was scared of needles. But when I almost fainted while she was drawing the blood, she realized I wasn't kidding! After getting poked with nothing to show for it, it was *really* time for a new piercing, so I got my left tragus pierced. 18 gauge CBR. It's almost too cute! When it's healed enough that I can sleep on that ear I might get the other one done.

2/99 Yes, I finally got off my butt and started getting some pictures up! After all, I've only had a scanner for 11 months.

8/99 So, I've been lazy about doing a much-needed update. Oh well. Here are the new stories. Back in late May I got a couple of new piercings; my navel (cute as a button & din't hurt a bit) and a tragus-to-conch industrial (looked awesome, I'd been coveting it for ages, hurt a lot). But all was not well... after six weeks of healing nicely, the tragus part of the tragus-to-conch industrial migrated out. It happened fast, too... one day it was a little sore, the next day it looked like it might be migrating (and I decided that I would take my butt down to my piercer to get it looked at at my earliest oportunity), the day after that, it was hanging on by the merest thread (and I figured it was a lost cause). Oh well. I put a circular barbell in the conch part and within two days the tragus had healed back up. The worst part is, I never even got a photo of my lost tragus-to-conch industrial, and it looked so neat! I also got the stretch-in-progress in my left ear up to 0 gauge, and started stretching one of the lobe piercings in my right ear (it's at 8 gauge right now). And not really bod-mod related, but I've found that a low carbohydrate diet controls my metabolic and hormonal problems. I've lost more than 40 pounds since mid-March, and my overall health has improved considerably.

3/02 An insane amount has happened since the last update, of course. On the mod front, I've abandoned a couple of piercings (let the navel go because my weight kept fluctuating, had to take out the labret for a job), gotten even more (various ear cartilage, both nipples, and some below-the-waist stuff), and got a stunning celtic knotwork pentacle tattoo on my chest. It hurt more than any of my other mods but it's completely what I wanted and I love it.

In more personal matters, I've gone through a nasty little divorce, the sheer joy of being diagnosed bipolar and its attendant fun of trying out different meds, and most recently a repetitive strain injury that's kept me from working for the past few weeks. The learning experiences just keep on coming, don't they? On the plus side, I'm engaged again (not to the same person!), live in an actual house (that's really something when you've grown up in apartments), and am using my newfound free time to try and do more writing.... when I'm not making half-hearted attempts at housework, or cuddling with the cats, or mindlessly surfing the Net, that is!

So who am I "really"? Well, that remains to be seen. But there are other sides to me.

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Links to other sites on the Web

Body Modification E-Zine
The Tattoo Machine
The Book of The Law
Robert Anton Wilson Homepage
The D/s Kiosk...... *ADULTS ONLY!*
The Hyperreal Archives

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