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GROW n’ PAINS ISSUE #2 Self-Exploration

A zine full of rad females/non-binaries who create neat stuff & do rad things 1

Grow n’ Pains Thank you so much to everyone who makes this zine possible. Whether it’s submitting art/writing, supporting Kinda OK comics on Patreon or just reading/ sharing the content, it all makes being super honest and making weird art worth doing. Grow n’ Pains started as a project to put all of the cool stuff the females/non-binaries in my life were creating in one collective place. So, this zine is all about creating a space to encourage and support rad females/non-binaries who create stuff, to encourage more people to create/do more stuff. This issue is about Self Exploration; finding yourself, losing yourself and loving yourself. Love you dudes, Sarah xx


C O N T E N T S Mind Your Head...........................Pg 4 Sarah Rae illustrations.............Pg 6-8 Emotional Impatience.................Pg 9 Sonia Lazo illustrations.............Pg 10 Lily Cross in Paris................Pg 12-15 Harry the Girl comic...................Pg 16 Luise Sander illustration............Pg 17 Dott Cross doodles....................Pg 18 Shannon Leigh illustrations.......Pg 20 Privlege & Self Portrait..............Pg 21 Elizabeth Joy McDonald...........Pg 22 TroldKunst artwork....................Pg 23 Finding Yourself....................Pg 24-27 HowDoYouAdult........................Pg 27 Stasis, Amy Dajorne..................Pg 28 Personal Growth........................Pg 30 Friendly Advice...........................Pg 31 Sab Travierso Travels..........Pg 32-36 Sky Banyes illustration..............Pg 37 Help............................................Pg 38 Honor Sullivan-Drage..........Pg 38-39 One Step Back...........................Pg 40 I Am Blob comic.........................Pg 42 Just Fucking Do It......................Pg 44 Check Your Tits..........................Pg 46 Contributors...............................Pg 47


It takes a long time to get to know yourself enough to like yourself, Crossley never mind love yourself. Sarah May 2018 Between desperately trying to figure out who you are in the first place and trying to fit into the world around you, it’s overwhelming at best. There are some topics that might be difficult to read or triggering in the article onwards. When my hormones kicked in, so did depression. I was 13 years old

when I first self harmed. God, I scared the shit out of my mother. I’m sorry, mom. I was 21 when I finally stopped. And so, of course I carry those scars still, but now they are a reminder of how far I have come and how much I have grown. I was 15 when I stopped eating. I say stopped eating but actually,

I was living off celery and cucumber for the daylight hours, working out endlessly and then binge-eating at 2am. It was a very healthy lifestyle, obviously. My brain was telling me I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t lovable, wasn’t interesting or even wanted. It was as though I thought I did not deserve love, even from myself. I had not yet taken the time to learn how.

then I practiced being kind to my actual self. Keeping a journal really helped; writing down positive thoughts, lists of gratefulness, tracking what I learned from failures, focusing on what gives me self-worth/self-respect/self-love, lists of things that made me happy, giving myself the advice I give others, and redefining my idea of perfection. I stopped asking myself to be a perfect version, and started just trying to be OK There is a constant struggle with how I am. Suddenly, little pieces between being yourself and being of myself started leaking into the other who you think you ought to be. The things I was doing-- I started making “should” thoughts are sometimes like a more art, listening to music I actually loudspeaker-- drowning out everything liked (not just pretended to like), I began else. YOU SHOULD BE _____. And making plans (and being excited) to do then anger sparks, for not adhering to the things that I genuinely wanted to, your own standards or ideals. Ideas and I began learning to say NO to doing of failure or not being liked by others things I didn’t want to do. I had to stand flood your brain so much that it makes up to myself to stand up for myself in it difficult to focus on anything EXorder to start being myself. CEPT failure or not being liked. You end up acting a role that isn’t yourself. I thoug h t I did not You end up pretending to be a version d ese r ve love , e ve n of yourself that doesn’t actually exist. f ro m myse lf. It’s hard work, being someone else. It takes a lot of effort to constantly add water to your personality-- to make I started spending time with people that yourself less of who you are, in case made me feel more like ME, too-- others who you are isn’t wanted. that are okay with being weird, honest (sometimes brutally) and focused on After 7-8 years of trying to be enjoying life. Some situations require a different people, trying different ways lot more self-care, sometimes external (both healthy and unhealthy) to cope care, and a longer time to learn to be/ with depression and feeling like I was love yourself. It might not be easy, it in the wrong skin, I started telling that might take years, it might sometimes negative voice in my head to SHUT mean going backwards, and it might THE FUCK UP. Every time thoughts mean making lots of changes. Learning would sneak in saying, “you’re not to love yourself means finding yourself, good enough!”, I would tell them to which sometimes means losing yourself fuck off (sometimes out loud). And in the first place.



@Raeable, United Kingdom



Emotional impatience Today I don’t like the sun. The heat intoxicates me, and I am the wasp drowning in your first pint of summer. My lungs stick, drenched in thick humidity. I’m reminded of when I was a child. I’d lie under my duvet, hiding from monsters. Still, re-inhaling every exhaled, carbon dioxide breath, until the oxygen was replaced with waste and fear. But what am I afraid of now? Failure? Rejection? Lonliness. I’m certain each will come, and each will pass, come again even. And maybe it will rain tomorrow. -Yolande Lomas, United Kingdom



@SoniaLazo, El Salvador


LILY CROSS IS A RAD FEMALE AND HISTORY BUFF THAT MOVED SOLO TO PARIS TO BE AN AU PAIR So you’ve lived in some different places. What are the places you’ve lived?

anything there but then she emailed someone who worked in another museum and they had a spot for an intern.

Well, technically I was only in Auckland, New Zealand for three months so I don’t know if that counts as living in, but I feel like commuting means you live somewhere. Then I lived in Glasgow, Scotland for University for 4 years. I don’t know if that counts ‘cause moving for University isn’t really going somewhere for your own volition. And now, Paris.

Wow, so you kinda just asked for an opportunity and got one?

Yeah, but you could choose to go to a local university so I think it’s still a big step to move to a whole other city. How did you make the decision to move to New Zealand? I wasn’t really looking for an internship, but someone I know was working in a museum in Auckland and I emailed her asking if she knew of any jobs I could have for 3 months between years at university. There wasn’t


Yeah, I had previously been to New Zealand in 2013. I just went and traveled there with two friends for six weeks and I knew I wanted to go back, so I did. We also went to Australia, Thailand and Fiji. It’s cool that traveling with your friends helped you figure out where you wanted to be, and then you just went out and got a job there. Because it was an unpaid internship, I didn’t have to get a visa which made it easier. I had spent the summer before saving up for a fun summer, so it was only the flight I had to pay for. What kind of preparation did you

have to do with your life and your brain did you have to do to move to a new country – especially Paris, where you didn’t speak French fluently before? I think actually, I did not prepare. When I arrived I was a bit like, “ahhh shit”. I joked before I came saying to everyone “I don’t like children and I don’t speak french”. I kind of made a decision and did not think it through, um, but then it all worked out? There’s so much to do in Paris so you can kind of force yourself to stay busy so time went faster at the start, and now time is just flying by anyway. I don’t know if that answers your question… No preparation, got it. Haha, very little prep. Well, I try and get a history book on the place. Like a general overview. So I did that for Paris, as well. I studied the French Revolution before so I was expanding that knowledge, but I think it’s quite handy to know the history of a place before you go there. Otherwise, you’re walking around places and you have no idea the historical depth behind it. Preparing my brain in terms of understanding the history of a country to understand what it’s like living there. It’s not an essential thing, but it helps. What feelings did you have before you made your move? I was excited. I’d never been to Paris before, so there was so much to do that

I had never, ever done and so much to see that I’d never seen. The job side of things took the forefront when I was thinking about the change (the fact that I was going to be looking after a child) so living in a new city and not speaking the language kind of took the backseat. And then I got here, and was like “OKAY, UH, THIS IS GONNA BE INTERESTING.” What feelings did you have after moving? It was quite difficult at first. Kind of a feeling of isolation at the start. Not to be dependent on WiFi or internet, but like, it’s very important because we have it. Moving somewhere and not having it makes it so difficult to talk to anyone back home. Obviously it’s not isolated, there’s so many people here but it’s so easy to feel lonely in the city. I don’t know if it’s a thing with all cities but there’s always so many people sitting in groups or sitting outside a cafe with friends, it’s easy to feel so isolated. I think that’s a part of any sort of move or traveling, as well, that doesn’t get talked about enough. How lonely it can be, because you are truly on that adventure by yourself. Yeah, if something cool happens you think, “do I choose to tell someone about this, or just keep it to myself or write it down?” And who do you tell? You don’t want to badger people


with stories that aren’t that significant. Where, if someone was there with you, you could share the thing with them at that time. Do you have any other tricks to get more comfortable and make a place feel more home-y and to not feel like a stranger to a city? It was my birthday right after I arrived, so I stuck up a bunch of birthday cards on the wall. That made me feel quite happy at the start. I didn’t bring any photos with me, which I think was stupid. So then, I got my mom to send some over. Good basic things. Also, getting a plant, I found, was quite important. I have a balcony and I knew I had to get a plant, so after three weeks I finally got one and then I had a tie to the place because I had to keep the plant alive. And then, having a massive to do list. Having a list and being able

to tick something off, you feel like “I’m getting to know this city” while you’re getting through it. How has it been moving somewhere where you didn’t speak the language and what challenges have you had with communicating with people? Um, well, it was quite difficult when I first arrived. Just being able to go into a shop and being scared whether the cashier was going to try and strike up conversation that would go past the three words I knew, like “ahh shit I don’t even know how to say have a nice day”. I got here and realized the french I knew was really not very much at all. There’s also a lady on my floor-- the toilet is out of my apartment, shared on the floor, and she had a go at me the first time I used the toilet because she said I was being loud. So, she was shouting at me in french and there was me just, “I can’t do this! I can’t speak french!”. Now, I speak french and I had an argument with her just last week. Haha, holy smokes. That might lead into this next one, what has been the scariest part for you? The whole first month everything just seemed quite overwhelming. Just like, “I don’t know if I can do this!” and then not being sure I could do any of it, makes all of it quite difficult.


Just that being comfortable being on your own doesn’t mean you have to

be. Like, it’s still good to go and make friends. At the start I thought because I was comfortable on my own, I didn’t have to force myself to make friends. It was two weeks before I tried to meet anyone and by that point, I really did need a friend. Meeting new people, that’s a scary thing. Like dating, for friends, is really difficult. You got for drinks with people and you don’t know if you’re going to hit it off that well but you have to try. Making friends as an adult is really hard. You just forget how to do it really. Yeah, and you forget that your level of weirdness you have with your friends has built up over years and years and you can’t just go in and be that way at the start. Or maybe you can? And then you find real friends. You weed out the people who can’t handle ya. What have you learned about yourself in all of this? Because I’m comfortable being on my own doesn’t mean I have to be on my own all the time, or even can be on my own all the time, just that I can be on my own some of the time. Maybe most of the time. But, I think I am quite a sociable person, and I’ve learned that here. I need pals, people to chat with and share things and share adventures with. Like Christopher Mccandless said, “happiness is only real when shared”. Haha, no I don’t think it’s true, you can be happy on your own,

“Tout ira bien à la fin, et si ça ne va pas bein, ce n’est pas la fin.” and I am. But I also think it’s nice to be able to chat about random stuff with people. I also learned that I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was. I kept saying “if I make it through this year, I’ll be so much stronger of a person” and I honestly did not think I was going to make it through. I made it less than a week before I got my friend to come visit me because I was having such an awful time of it. Recognizing that I needed help was quite good. I called people like my mum or my friends in tears for the first three weeks, crying “I can’t do this!” and I guess, “I can do this” is a thing I learnt. And now I’ve just signed up to do another year. How times have changed. How the turns have tabled. How we grow. 15 Photography by Dott Cross


Loving, losing and finding myself It stands for my grandparents who taught me (finding myself) My parents who raised me; and it was not easy (losing myself) And my belief in love and soul connection between people (loving myself) -Luise Sander, Germany





@ShannonLeighMacD, Toronto, Canada

Privilege You there, You are not a boy But your voice broke a long time ago. Speak. I want to curate An exhibition of your voice. Extract The scarf-like reticence Knitted from within your larynx, Unravel The thread of muteness Sealing vocal folds longing to vibrate Unpick The stitches of silence Doctors sutured across your lips when they designated you a girl. From these fibres I will hang your words on red walls in galleries, Like codes of insoluble dreams. I will frame your shout, Display your whisper Flaunt your retort, Parade your rage, And spectators will rave over your laughter, the centrepiece, mounted atop a tall plinth. So speak. Let the seedlings of your sounds Mushroom out of the pit of your pain. Silence is sinful For those who have much to say. To hear you is a privilege. -Rachel Bates, Nottingham, United Kingdom





Chloe Bren, United Kingdom

When I sat down to think about Sarah’s topic for this month, I was really at a bit of a loss. Self exploration? I’ve never done any of that. I’ve never travelled alone for months on end, living out of a backpack, or sofa-surfing on the couches of those I’ve met that same day. I’ve never hiked up to the top of a mountain and stopped to consider who I am. When I took a year out, it wasn’t to travel the world and find myself, it was to work – and I don’t regret it. That’s not to say I don’t love, or want to travel, and I’ve certainly been lucky enough to have had some great adventures. It’s just, so far, I’m still testing the waters as to who I am, and what I stand for, but I’ve not had any significant moments of movie-style epiphany…


But! Most recently, I did discover something about myself that I did not know before. Something hidden, mysterious, elusive. Something I’d only heard dark tales about, and had come to believe was in fact mythical. You guessed it – I found my cervix! I’m only joking of course, despite popular opinion, the cis/assigned female body isn’t at all mysterious, in fact it’s been around a pretty long time. But because we have little-tono education about our bodies it can be confusing when you have no idea what’s going on. Sure, you can look at a diagram in a biology text book, but when we consider how vastly different bodies are from one another, why on earth would we think a cross section of a vagina is going to help us when we actually go a-hunting for what’s down there. Why was I looking for my cervix in the first place, you might ask? Well, I’ve recently returned to using a menstrual cup (my new one is the Me Luna sport – it’s great) and for that to work properly, ideally the rim of the cup needs to sit around

your cervix. This creates a seal, so all the blood goes directly into the cup, rather than making its merry way straight past your beloved menstrual cup, and onto your favourite pair of comfy pants. It’s all well and good knowing this is the best method, but if you’re like me and didn’t know what you were supposed to be feeling for, some guidance might be required. As typical for me if I don’t know how to do something, I turn to YouTube videos. I found some videos that really helped from a channel called ‘Red Herring’, see the links below. If you’re used to clean jump cuts and slick editing, you’re probably going to find them a little slow, but in this case they’re worth the time. She uses a moving model of the vagina, cervix, and uterus, so you get a clear understanding of how the height of your cervix can change throughout your cycle, and how the individual locations of people’s cervixes can be low or high. This means you might be able to

reach your cervix with your finger relatively easily if it’s low, or you might have a bit of a stretch if it’s high. 10/10 would recommend warm showers, lube, maybe a bed to lie on, and definitely time for this particular instance of self exploration.

You guessed it – I found my cervix! So how did I figure it out? Well, your cervix feels like the end of your nose (weird, I know. Perhaps the female body is strange and mysterious like the Patriarchs have been telling us us, after all?).


When I put my cup in, it rarely finds its way around my cervix first time. If I run my finger around the rim of the cup, I usually run into the little bump/ end-of-nose thing just to the side of where my cup is. To get the cup in the right position, I have to bear down, which is something you’ll hear about in the videos. It basically means squeeze your pelvic muscles (Kegels), and at the same time push your cup upwards.

I REALLY WOULD RECOMMEND THE EFFORT For me, this means my cervix gets pushed into the rim of the cup, and sits comfortably so it doesn’t leak. Don’t be fooled if you experience a small amount of spotting or discharge – residual blood is sometimes still on the walls of your vagina even after putting a cup in, and discharge can come from any part of the vagina too. I doubtless need to tell you all the reasons why menstrual cups are the best thing since sliced bread (environmentally friendly, 26

better for your vaginal health, cheaper in the long-run, can wear them for longer that tampons and pads, the list goes on…). But quite a few friends have got in touch recently asking my advice on their initial teething problems with cups, or whether they can be used if you have Vaginismus*. To be quite honest, I don’t know much about vaginismus, but I’ve been reading some threads that recommend the soft MeLuna cups in the smaller sizes, Lunette cups, and/or cups with long stems. Advice threads also say to be patient with yourself, and contact the companies direct for their advice and support – you may even get one free to try out. I would say this also applies even if you don’t have vaginismus or similar, it certainly takes time and practice, and I gave up with my first cup (the Lily compact) almost straight away. But I really would recommend the effort. Like I say, I’m all for soul searching on south-east Asian islands or gap-yar adventures, but really, finding what’s actually a part of my actual body has been more revolutionary for my ‘self ’ than a sandy beach and someone playing Wonderwall. Okay, that sounds a little bit like the Inbetweeners film, but seriously, I feel as happy as the women in the Always adverts look! Now the only stains I have to worry about are the

pit stains on my cycling jerseys and grass stains on the last clean pair of jeans I own – yay! In all seriousness, I really would recommend trying a menstrual cup, or other re-usable products. And if you manage get your hands on a pair of Thinx period underwear, let me know! Anyway, hopefully some of this information might be useful to those with vaginas wishing to try cups. Good luck exploring for yourself! [How to Insert and Remove a Menstrual Cup + Tips and How to Locate & Measure your Cervix – Menstrual Cup 101 ( and] *Vaginismus is when the vaginal muscles tighten without your control, and can make it painful or impossible to insert things into your vagina, such as penises, sex toys, tampons, fingers etc.


Because I know that time is always time

And place is always and only place


And what is actual is actual only for one time

And only for one place - T.S Elliot 29



SABRINA TRAVIERSO IS A RAD FEMALE THAT TEACHES AND BACKPACKS ALL OVER THE PLANET Maybe we’ll start of with a list of everywhere you’ve been? Let’s see if I can remember-- hold on, just let me get a map out. South Korea a few times, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, then Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, England, then Costa Rica. What was your first solo travel experience like? I just did like a solo backpacking tour with a company for two weeks-- hated it. Then ended up staying in Thailand for two weeks more just on my own, and I liked it a lot better. Just sort of easing my way into it. You get free time I guess, but you can’t go anywhere. Or you’re in a little hotel in the middle of nowhere. I slipped through the gates at one hotel and then


half an hour a van came around to look for me. When you’re traveling and 20 something years old, you don’t need to be parented. So you started teaching English in South Korea, what was your first work abroad experience like? I found out I could teach abroad a couple years before I went. I found a short term contract and they were able to pay for everything, so free trip and I went for it. I went back two times after that and traveled Asia after that. What a good money saving tactic, too, using work to facilitate exploring is pretty smart. Yeah, the flight alone would have cost me $1500 if I had to pay for it each time. So, I made about $500 for two weeks of work, then spent $300 from Korea to South East Asia, so essential-

ly pretty free travel. Did you ever find it difficult being on your own? Uh, nope. I wasn’t really nervous, I feel. Maybe the night before I was, but then the morning of-- it’s just adrenaline just packing last minute getting your shit ready. The nerves I feel is my lack of preparation like dealing with my life. So it’s more like, “shit, I have to get up at 5am to pack” but once you’re in the car on your way to the airport, you’re ready to go. It’s kinda just anticipation. And I like not having things planned and not having expectations, just going and dealing with everything when you get there. It’s nice not having to plan out your life or keep track of anything, or other people and what they want. Yeah, when you’re on your own you don’t have anybody’s expectations or worries or concerns to keep in mind. It’s nice being able to change your mind at the last second and do something else but I mean, it also makes you grow up pretty fast and you do have to be a reasonable judge of character, because you meet all kinds. Gotta make quick decisions, good decisions, you’re gonna make mistakes too but you learn from everything. How do you feel all those experiences helped you grow as a human?

It definitely made me more independent. Made me stress less about the little things that are out of your control. And I feel like I am a better problem solver because of it. Like, what’s the problem how are we gonna fix it let’s do it now and then move on. Otherwise you do waste a ton of time. So it has helped me become a better person and more mature. You meet a lot of cool people and you really learn how to deal with different personalities-- and how to stand up for yourself. Again, as a solo traveler and especially as a female, people will

“It's definitely made me more independent” take advantage of you and you will be a target so you really have to learn to watch out for your own interests, as well. You learn different behaviours and how to deal with them. So, did you ever feel that being female specifically was a challenge at times? I think it always depends on the kind of individual. I’m pretty stubborn so in terms of tourist traps and things like that, I haven’t let it get to me. It’s the same for everybody, you’re gonna get hit once and you’re gonna learn from it. You kind of have to step back and realize that these people have nothing and you have a lot more than they do, so I don’t mind paying a premium being a tourist but I also don’t want to pay 50x more than a local would pay.


In terms of being a female though, I’ve never really had too much of a problem that males wouldn’t have, as well. That’s almost something in itself, to not be able to recall immediately a situation that was different for you because of gender. Did you ever find it lonely at times or difficult to make friends? It depends on where you go and the kind of hostel you’re at and the type of people that stay there, that can make or break your experience in a certain area. So, in Cambodia, there was a chain there that wasn’t on the app, Hostelworld, that everyone stayed at and I didn’t know about. I stayed somewhere on my own for 3 days, so the social aspect-- I didn’t really have one. On average, my trips are usually about 3 months and I do expect about 3 or 4 days where I do spend the whole day alone. I choose places that are either a little cheaper or out of the way, too. I’ll try to do a city and a small town or national park in each of the countries. I do go to places off the beaten path, so I expect to be there by myself anyway. I think that’s good advice for other solo travelers to genuinely get to know the country, not just the tourist highlights. A city is a good indicator of the culture but there’s other aspects of the country not just the backpacker things or tourist things. I liked getting to meet the locals. I probably have 5 or 6 people now in Serbia that I could go and visit again. Even in Bosnia, there was a lady with a


BnB and I just brought her cake and went over for breakfast and talked with her. She lived through the war in Bosnia, so that was really cool to learn about. I think you sometimes meet more people when you’re on your own. It pushes you out of your shell, definitely. Like, if you don’t want to spend months by yourself, you have to come out of your shell. I don’t have a problem being like, “what are you guys doing today can I come too?” No one’s ever really gonna say no. You do a lot of cool things that way too. A lot of people who are traveling have traveled or worked there or taught there and know more about the place, that they’ve learned from locals. That’s why I hate planning before I go. When I get there, I ask people where they’ve been and they’re favourite places and I go by that. Did you ever find communication a problem at all? I wish it was more of a problem than it is. It’s not a problem. It’s an industry, sadly. I wish it forced me to learn another language, but I haven’t ever had to. It’s nice to know something about the culture before you go, though. How you should be respectful, but also knowing nothing is good because you have no biases or prejudices or expectations. Kind of just

being ready for whatever it throws at you. Different religions require your to cover your shoulder and knees, so there are things that you do need to know. Can you remember any situation that was difficult or scary that you found yourself in? Yeah. I can tell you that nice story if you want. Okay, so, just making decent decisions-- it doesn’t always happen, and mistakes get made. There are no safe places, even at home. There are things you shouldn’t do in any city. So I was walking home alone from a bar, I was leaving with a guy and then I decided that was a bad idea, so I walked in the opposite direction towards the hostel I was staying at, by myself. So yeah, I was drunk and it was 3 or 4am and I turned to my right and there was a guy who had a knife by my throat. And he grabbed my wrist, tried to get my money. I don’t really remem-

ber but he didn’t say anything to me. So I clenched my bag with my arm so he couldn’t get it, and I basically-- I was drunk, so I started laughing and I’d been working with preschool kids at the time, so I just waved my finger at him and said “No thank you” and then I think I kicked him, and I yelled for help once-- he let go and I ran. That situation could have gone very, very differently but people might not be as lucky, but that taught me how desperate people are. He could have hurt me if he wanted to, but he didn’t. They don’t want to hurt you, they’re just desperate. It’s a last resort for them. So on that note, what’s the best experience you’ve had? When were you grateful to be on your own? There’s a lot of those. You miss out on a lot, but you also experience things that millions of people will never, ever see in their lives. I worked at a hostel for a week, I didn’t get to do a lot in that time


and I wasted a week to save $50 bucks but I ended up meeting a lot of cool people and doing some cool day trips. In Serbia I was staying at a national park in a little family run hostel, everyone there was super nice, they gave me a free night at the end just for making my bed. You meet people along the way-- there were people I met at the start of my trip in June, and we met back up in Spain, and then met back up in Hungary and Serbia. You form pretty cool relationships. There are 15 to 20 people I still talk to regularly that I met just from traveling. Everybody’s like minded and really open. What would you say you’ve learned most about yourself? Just that I can be independent. I feel like I hadn’t been in the past. I’m still living at home but I’m my own person, I can make my own decisions, I don’t need anyone’s approval to do the things I’m doing. I’m definitely not scared to


do things on my own or talk to new people. I’m more outgoing because of it. It’s made me grow as a person. Is there anything you want to add for anyone who’s nervous? Just go for it. Find a flight deal. Just go. Traveling is actually cheaper than paying rent at home. If I had to rent somewhere in Toronto it would be $1500 a month on rent, which is 3 months travel in Asia. It’s insane. It’s a cool experience, it’s amazing, just go, just do it. If you’re afraid at first, find a short little tour cause some people are anxious. It helped me. Helped me realize I don’t want to do that again, but, still helpful.


Help Trust me To help you, to help yourself. To shed the guilt laden on boney shoulders. So tired of this familiar routine, Screw, unscrew, re screw. High pitched scratch of metal on plastic, But my ears are trained to decipher sounds beyond music. We have lived, we have struggled, clasped on for to long. Trust me. To help you. To help yourself. -Amelia Lytton, United Kingdom


@honpaper 39

I lived in London for 4 and a half years. After I left the Isle of Wight, I vowed never to move back. Alas, trying to manage working in central London while dealing with anxiety and depression took its toll and I moved back to the Isle of Wight. It was an incredibly hard decision to make; I had a well-paid job, very supportive colleagues and the chance of a promotion, and I lived with my best friend in a lovely flat. But most days I would cry on the train on my way home from work. I’d spend the evenings in bed from the moment I got in, crying and wishing I was somewhere else. I had no motivation to do any of the things that interested me before; it was just cry, work, cry, eat, cry, and sleep; day after day. I was prescribed Sertraline and was signed off work for 5 weeks. I was lucky to get no side effects from the Sertraline and it seemed to be helping. However, once I got back to work, I realised not much had changed and I started having panic attacks. I was home alone one night and had 2 panic attacks in the space of an hour. It was terrifying; I was afraid of what I might do if it didn’t get help. I carried on denying my problems for so long that I became physically ill and had an infected ulcer,


infected gums and a very bad case of tonsillitis (yes, all at the same time), and was signed off again. So, about 6 weeks ago, I decided to bite the bullet and just get out of London, and I moved back to my mum’s on the Isle of Wight. Admittedly I expected to feel better straight away, but I still often suffer with the same low moods as I did when I was in London, which often leave me crying on the floor over things like being unable to put a shoe on. I still get intense waves of anxiety, and even recently decided to increase my dose of Sertraline, but I can feel my mental health improving and I know I’m in the right place to work out how to deal with it. I have to sometimes convince myself that it was the right decision, that I haven’t taken a step back by giving up an amazing job and moving in with my mum. If it was someone else in this position, I’d say they’d made the right choice to put their mental health above all else and that they should be proud of themselves. But it seems much harder to tell that to yourself. I guess the moral of the story, if there was one, would be to remember that it’s ok to not be ok, and making a change to put your mental health first is not a step backward, but a step forward, no matter what direction you go in. -Roseanna Morrell, United Kingdom




Patreon creates a really cool artist community! It also helps fund things like art supplies & time to make comics, produce new merch, and create other cool stuff (like this super neat zine you’re reading). For less $ than you lose in the washing machine, you can get access to exclusive artwork and rad blogs about the struggles of being female/being a feminist. It would be really cool to have you part of the patreon community! See ya there, dudes. xx 43

JUST FUCKING DO IT -Krysta McMikle, Paris, France When I made the decision to move from Boulder, CO, USA to Paris France, I knew that the changes I was making would have a permanent impact on my life. I wasn’t just moving for a year, I was completely giving up the life I had on a gamble.

to truly live my life without wondering, “What if?”

So I broke my own heart, with the knowledge I would heal it when I found my way. I left the boyfriend, the house with the boyfriend in it, the roommates, the cats, the dogs, the fish and the Before I left, I lived with six snail. I left behind my home, knowing people- one of them was my boyfriend that I could never live there again, knowof four years- four cats, four fish, one ing that the life I was giving up would dog and one snail, whom I’d affection- not be there when or if I came back. ately named Antonio. I had a job, that I was quite good at, and was being promoted to management. My boyfriend and I were planning our lives together, discussing where we were going to live and what kind of dog we were going to have. In short, I was building what would have become my version of “The American Dream.” That’s when I took à look around and all I could hear was à little voice inside my head saying, “You’re not fulfilled; is this what you really want? What are you waiting for? It’s now or never.” I knew that if I didn’t take this plunge, now, I would never take it. Something would always get in the way: à boyfriend, a dog, a house or even a pet snail. If I let my dreams run by, without chasing them, I would always wonder why I didn’t know any better, why I didn’t try any harder. I knew that if I let this moment go in my life, I was never going to be able


I needed to get away from the toxic cycles I had been building in my life. I needed to remove myself from the equation and find à new one. I needed to discover who I was when nobody cared or was watching. I needed to push my courageous heart as far as it could go. I needed to feed the fire in my heart that told me adventure was around the corner. I needed to create the best person I could out of myself, and I knew that this would be this first step. Sometimes what one wants is different from what one needs. I gave everything I had, everything I had built, for à life I knew would make me a better person, would help me grow, as opposed to staying comfortable, and I have never once regretted my decision. I am so happy that I listened to myself, that I listened to my heart. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”- Confucius

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cya l8er

Grow n' Pains Issue #2  

Grow n’ Pains started as a project to put all of the cool stuff the females/non-binaries in my life were creating in one collective place....

Grow n' Pains Issue #2  

Grow n’ Pains started as a project to put all of the cool stuff the females/non-binaries in my life were creating in one collective place....