HOW THE SITE HAS CHANGED OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS
“THE WAY THE SITE HAS EVOLVED OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS, PERFECTLY REFLECTS MY OWN PERSONAL JOURNEY.”
– Sophie Lawson
It was over the course of 2014 that I began to realise the site wasn’t just a place for me to show my art, like I had originally intended. It had teamed up with my art, resulting in a form of therapy. A place where I could write about my life, charting my journey, as I started to put all the pieces together. Art gave me so much strength, and during 2014, for the first time ever, I started tackling my gender issues head on.
At this point, I knew my Art had become way more than just Art. Art was effectively allowing me to get onto the path of transitioning from Kevin to Sophie. How this happened, I will never really know, but I am so grateful to the Universe for introducing art into my life. It was towards the end of 2014 that I was able to accept the fact I was transgender. This acceptance found its way onto the site, in a very visual way.
By sheer coincidence I was in the process of redesigning the site. The site was still blue at this point, but was no longer just a gallery of my art. I had added a favourites section, where I was studying other artists, models and artwork. This has since evolved into the newly named inspirational section. The blog was also keeping me honest, allowing me to process things I was learning, and the theme of femininity was now pulsating throughout the entire site. It was, however, becoming a bit of a nightmare to keep everything cohesive. The site was still running on WebPlus and Blogger, two separate platforms, so I decided it was time to move over to WordPress, something I had been thinking of doing for a while.
Art was put to one side as I focused all my energy on getting the new site created. Weeks later, I was nearly done, but the site was still blue. ‘PINK‘, I thought to myself, ‘MAKE THE SITE PINK!’ Art had given me such confidence, that I started to visualise a world where I could be open and honest about being transgender on the site. It felt natural. Like it was always supposed to be this way.
Pink felt right too. Everything now needed to be changed from blue to pink, fortunately WordPress made this task a lot easier than I originally feared. Once everything was finished I sat and asked myself, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ There would be no going back. I knew that. Once Sophie was on the site, everything would change … and not just visually. I would have to come out as being Transgender to everyone in my life. Family and friends. I thought long and hard, sometimes doubting myself, sometimes thinking I couldn’t do it, that I should revert back to the blue design. However, something in my heart was telling me to do it, and in November 2014, I relaunched the site in a new pretty pink shade.
I then spent months changing things around: first Sophie was just a section hidden away, than she was added to the front page and than I started to find a nice balance between Sophie and Art on the site. But I still didn’t have this same balance in my life. I was still living a life where it seemed I had to focus on either my art, or my gender. It seemed impossible to find a way to do both. I was becoming more and more aware that I needed both to feel whole, which was leading to so much confusion. It was at this point, in March 2016, that I reached breaking point and decided enough was enough. I meditated daily for hours at a time. I knew what I had to do. I had to start my transition from Kevin to Sophie. The fear and anxiety would be intense, but it would be the only way I could get balance in my life. A place where I could focus on my art, while embracing my true self.
Once I made this decision, I felt a sense of ease. I was starting to turn the chaos into clarity. However, this decision, like coming out as being Transgender in 2014, was going to bring about so much change, take me face to face with my greatest fears, and take me miles out of my comfort zone. I still question if I will be strong enough, but I can only try and see what happens. I believe having both art and this site in my life are key to my transition.
The decision to transition again coincided with another site redesign. I had been aware that the underlying structure of the site needed updating to house the ever increasing content I was producing. “Why not restructure the whole site, and transition it into SophieLawson.com?” I thought. So that’s what I did. All the same feelings from 2014 resurfaced, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ It’s so scary, but I have to, again, my heart is telling me to do this.
A nice balance is taking over. I’ve started to sprinkle fun things back into my life, like videogames via the PlayStation Vita and PS4. 20 minutes a day while I wait for my dinner to cook, it’s a nice compromise, when the alarm goes off to signify dinner’s ready, the Vita goes into sleep mode doesn’t wake up till 24 hours later. I realise now cutting everything out of my life wasn’t healthy. You need to find a balance in life. Yes you want to work your butt off to hopefully make your dreams a reality, and you have to make sacrifices, but you have also have to to slow down and have fun time too. That 20 minutes a day of gaming will be like a little treat, a carrot on a stick, a reward for all the hard work.
I can tell transitioning will help me focus on my art, it’s hard to explain, but it’s bringing with it an inner sense of ease. Restructuring the site has been massive for me. It feels like the site is beginning to mimic this same inner clarity. Everything is beginning to be where it should always have been.
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“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”