Mortality and My Sense of Self

On March 2, 2021 by Kim

I’ve been thinking a lot about mortality lately and it’s not hard to guess why. 2020 kicked off with our world literally on fire and now it seems like the earth is fighting back with a global pandemic. 2020 was the disaster movie of our nightmares, so it’s natural that I’ve been thinking a lot about death. Or, more specifically, my legacy. 

As I look back on this blog, what I have written, and even my life, I realize this is not how I want to be remembered. This is not me. 

I was told recently that I hide behind this party girl persona. Harsh but not untrue. I’ve treated my life up until this point as one giant act in one grand play. It’s not surprising so much weird stuff happened to me when I actively admitted that I would do a lot of things just for the story. 

And the stories were good. My life was fun. A lot of fun. 

But I’m not sure there was much truth to it. In fact, there was so little truth to it that when I started to realize all of this and look for my truth, it was nearly impossible to find. 

So I set out on a journey. I started my own trip to Mordor. 

Which, it’s funny that I would use a Lord of the Rings reference here because one of the first things that I realized was that I always defined myself in relation to pop culture or even other people. I spent all the time thinking of other people, real or fake, and never just of myself. It was this creative way my brain used to let me avoid some hard truths. Some truths I was taught to keep deep down and be ashamed of. 

Cutting my hair was my first attempt to find my authentic self. I had never liked my hair and therefore never did anything with it. I would wake up, shower, and then without blow drying it, just brush it and let it dry straight. For the longest time I even parted it down the middle. I never gave it a thought. Why think about something I do not like, enjoy, or appreciate? 

New hair lookin fresh

That’s the crazy thing about trying to figure out who you are: one confident first step and all of a sudden you start to stumble down the stairs of the basement of your soul; the basement you previously kept under lock and key. I won’t deny that my haircut has me “feeling myself” but that is largely due to the fact that it made me realize I never looked at myself in the mirror before. 

I mean sure, I would check to see that I didn’t have toothpaste stuck to my cheeks (sometimes), but I never really looked. I didn’t like what I was seeing. I didn’t ever see myself. 

And as soon as I cut off my hair, this weird thing happened: I started to see me. And moreover, I started to find myself attractive. 

My sister told me she thought I would get bored with my haircut quickly as soon as I realized I had to spend time doing my hair every day but the effect has been quite the opposite. I spend more time getting ready now than I ever did before.

I’ve always had a healthy ego but all of a sudden, I was feeling vain for the first time. 

Coincidently, and maybe to even things out, my ego has taken a huge hit. Turns out, stumbling down the stairs into your own soul is down right confusing and terrifying. I was suddenly faced with truths I probably stopped acknowledging before I turned 6 years old. 

My mom started, for lack of a better phrase, word vomiting at me as soon as I cut my hair. She couldn’t help but be reminded of these stories of when I was younger. 

The first was a relatively easy one: she told me I had always wanted to shop in the boys section. Although the way she tells it, she wouldn’t let me because it was embarrassing. She used phrases with me like, “little girls don’t wear boys clothes.” My grandma, always the badass, piped up during the recounting of my early shopping trips to say, “I told her she should let you if it made you happy.” But, my grandma was overruled back then and this is why I realized I came to hate clothes and shopping. This is why I almost ended up on What Not to Wear

The stories gradually got more intense. My mom told me all about how she signed me and my sister up for a dance troop called “Sunshine Generation Kids.” She told me I loved it. Dance class was one of my favorite things… up until the first performance. They had given us these orange and yellow frilly dresses and she told me that as soon as I had it on, I refused to dance. I wasn’t a shy kid. It wasn’t the audience that prevented me from wanting to dance. It was the dress. I flat out refused to do anything in that dress and sat on the sidelines of the stage during the whole performance and quit the group soon after. 

I obviously knew I always hated dresses. There is a notorious story of me being a flower girl at my uncle’s wedding and putting up a huge fight about the dress and shoes. I lost the shoes shortly into the wedding and only tolerated the dress because I found I could do a “Turtle spin” with the giant bow on the back. 

But there was something about a story of me hating a dress so much that I would quit doing something I loved. Sure, I was a little kid throwing a tantrum but I was trying to tell my parents something very real: this isn’t me. 

As a kid of the late 80s, I grew up in the age of the Spice Girls. Their first single came out in 1996. I was 10. As my mom tells it, I went up to her one day and asked her why they always said, “Girl Power.” I was like, “Why don’t they say ‘Boy power’?” My mom, bless her, had to try to explain to a ten year old that boys didn’t really need power. I didn’t get it. I evidently spent the rest of the day running around yelling, “Boy Power!”

And finally, the story that really smacked me in the face: we moved from Southern California to Washington when I just turned 8 so I was very young back when I lived in Orange County. My mom told me that one day, I was playing basketball with my friends in our Californian cul de sac and I wanted to play “shirts vs skins.” My mom pulled me aside and told me I couldn’t be on the “skins” team because I was “a lady and ladies don’t do that.” Evidently, I just screamed back at her, “I am NOT a lady!” She responded the best way she knew how back then and explained that “little girls don’t get to run around with their shirts off like boys do.” I broke down on the spot in tears. 

The weird thing about this story is that I have that memory. Unlike the other stories which I don’t remember, the day my mom told me I couldn’t run around with my shirt off anymore was one of my most traumatic childhood memories. I’ve even written about it before, but I didn’t remember specifics. I had no idea the context behind it all or the words I had yelled at my mom before I broke down crying. 

“I am NOT a lady.”

So what does that all mean? Well, you might not be surprised to hear that after suppressing all of that and any sense of self for 34 years, I don’t fully know. Well, I certainly don’t know everything. How could I? I spent years trying to fit a square into a circle and I’ve come out blurred at the edges. 

I don’t feel like a girl but I don’t feel like a boy either. At least not right now. 

One thing I am sure of and have always been sure of is how I certainly don’t like presenting feminine. So much so that I have always hated my boobs. I was lucky enough to be an extremely late bloomer and didn’t get my boobs until the summer in between my Junior and Senior year of high school. And ever since then, I’ve hated them. They didn’t feel like me.

As you can imagine, it’s probably not healthy to hate a large chunk of your body (and in my case, very large). It led me to not respect my own body at all. Instead of treating my body as a sacred vessel, I abused it and let it be abused. I’ve even written several times about the particular abuse my boobs have seen over the years

I’m lucky enough to be in a financial position to do something about it. So, I did it. I got top surgery. I made the little kid in me the happiest person ever on the first day I was able to step out into the world shirtless and proud (and dancing). 

Nipples Out and Proud

What does that mean to all the rest? I don’t know. I don’t have a strong inclination to change anything else about myself. I love my name and always have, although that could be due to the brand, or the act, I’ve had around it. I’m Kim fucking Wetter and I made sure everyone knew it. Wetter has always been better.

I don’t know the rest of the answers yet but hopefully I have enough time to figure them out. Hopefully I find my true self and leave a legacy I can be proud of. Because I used to think that all everyone wanted in the world was to be seen by another. I’m just realizing now that the greatest gift I can be given is to be seen by myself. 

2 Responses to “Mortality and My Sense of Self”

  • Happy for you Kim! Glad to see you are doing well and being authentic to yourself. Good luck with your self-discovery, I haven’t spoken to you in forever but this makes me feel glad that you are fearlessly doing your thing. Lots of respect.

  • Deserae

    Super happy for you, Kim!

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