A Space for People of Color, By People of Color. Be Cool.

The Professor is in to talk Academia, Mental Health, Sluttiness, Polyamory, Navigating the Binary, Literature, Wrestling and Video Games

So, hey all. It’s been a while. Several months since my last post, two years since I was last anything approaching a regular user. A lot has changed for me in that time, and I’m sure a lot has changed for you as well.

A bit about me. I’m Dr. Ridley. The Dr. part is new - I defended my dissertation in May, and am currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in search of a more permanent position. If you know any medievalist or translation gigs in academia, throw me a bone. I’m Puerto Rican, part of the OG Salad Bowl crew, and yeah. That’s the stuff that hasn’t changed (or changed much).

What y’all don’t know is the following.

I spent pretty much all of 2017 and 2018 in a hole of depression. It was awful, it was affecting my marriage with the Prophet, it was killing my productivity toward my degree. I made stupid decisions during this time period, and I loathed everything about myself at the time. I considered giving up entirely on grad school, and while I wouldn’t say I ever seriously entertained the idea of suicide, I can see with distance that I wasn’t that far from doing so.

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One thing I didn’t know at the time was that deep in the recesses of my mind I was struggling with my own self-concept. A very long time ago, the Prophet asked me after seeing how much joy I had as I geared up in drag if I were trans. I had said no. I had meant it. I wasn’t entirely wrong. Just wrong to assume I was totally cis. This year, I’ve gone to my first conference using neutral pronouns, and I’ve introduced myself to my students this semester with they/them pronouns as well. I own more skirts and am trying to learn some makeup. I’m keeping my beard, though, and trying to find my way toward a happy middle zone in between masculine and feminine expression. I have a hard time pinning down if I’m just nonbinary or if I’m more fluid, but I’m trying to figure that out.

The Prophet and I have also opened up our marriage and are trying the polyamory thing. It’s going fairly well. The Prophet has a boyfriend. I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch, but things look promising with three local women (two of whom are dating each other and the husband of one of the two) and one from a bit further away. I’ve learned a lot about myself through this, including about my kinks, about how to be honest and forthright in communication, how to be a better partner, and that I am also a complete slut (a fact which comes with trying to figure out how to combat slutty-brain impluses that sometimes try to land me in trouble). This is a whole ass experience, and I’m not going to be able to explain everything here, but there will be more in the future).

And then there’s the rest of the stuff. Still love language and literature. Still all about translation. Video games and wrestling scratch my itches like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve even started streaming on twitch, because I fucking love Horizon: Zero Dawn and I want one of my friends to experience it even though she can’t play it due to motion sickness issues.

I can’t promise any kind of regularity, but I do promise to come in now and again when something’s weighing on my mind about any of the topics up at the top. And when I do, it’ll be unfiltered and unflinching, and more than willing to hold the mirror to myself. If I tell a story and it involves me doing something shitty, I won’t shy away from that. And if it looks like I’m trying to excuse myself when I talk about my own bad behavior, I fully expect and welcome you to put me back in my lane. Because I’ll deserve it. So yeah. It’s me. I’m back. And I’m a mess, but I’m an honest mess.

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