Thursday, February 19, 2009

Re-Inventing Me: Call me Katie

Boy, how things have changed!

Several years ago, when I first started going out as a girl, I called myself TJ. My friends from Wildside still call me that. It's was actually a rarely used nickname that I acquired in high-school, when I was a very awkward tenth-grader. TJ is actually the initials of my real name. When I started posting online profiles to meet other t-girls, I filled in the letters with Tara Jennifer. I'm not sure why I needed a middle name, but it seemed to be very common with other t-girls, so I went along. Added to it is a surname Young, which is the anglisized spelling of the Chinese surname Yeung. It is not real of course, but I found it rather appropriate since I am Chinese (okay, only 98% Chinese) and I was a young-ish t-girl in my twenties.

My life was--and still is--full of striking dualities. Often I'm a girl, but sometimes I'm a boy; I'm shy but also chatty; I'm a science geek--background in physics, math & PhD in engineering, but dammit, don't call me a nerd-- and a reasonably accomplished freelance violinist; I'm a serious intellectual and a crazy flirt; and I'm very intelligent, but sometimes I do the dumbest things.

Two life-changing events in the past year or so had put me in a little bit of a sabbatical. And as I get back into things, I feel that I need a fresh start. So, to re-introduce myself to the community:

Hello! My name is Kate, but you can call me Katie too. (If you must, you can continue to call me Tara or TJ, I won't mind. Afterall, "Kate" is no more real than "Tara".) The nice thing about these "girl names" is that I can change it whenever I want to. Not that I want to all the time, but I feel that in this case it is completely appropriate. Kate, hopefully, is a more mature version of my former self: less crazy chick, more woman; less flambouyant, more polished, more gounded; and hopefully less of a flirt, more composure. Fellow geeks: think of Kate as an upgraded, debugged, cleaned up version of Tara.

As for those life-changing events, if you had read the blog carefully (I dare you!), you would have read something about a PhD in engineering. Yup. I just got one. The "Permenant Head Damage", "Piled Higher and Deeper"...and whatever you call it. This has been a rather long and lonely intellectual journey. It had many ups and downs--more downs than up really--and had taken many different turns--some of them in the wrong directions. But at the end, it was very exciting to see all the pieces come together. It did mean that for the pat year, I hardly hung out on Saturday nights. Think: "Oh, it's Saturday. I really should lie down in my bed and sleep."

But as lonely a journey it has been, I never felt I lack companionship. Which brings me to my second life-changing event. I have found my life partner. My soul-mate. My best friend. And now we live happily together. We started out as close friends in my undergrad years..12 years ago, and after I moved to Toronto, we began a long-distance relationship, first through e-mail, then over the phone, and now we have a new life together.

Which brings me to the close of this blog. You probably won't find me on Toronto's Church St. as often anymore, but Tara....umm, Kate, is back!


  1. katie,
    would like to be your friend. hope to get to know you. you seem so interesting.
    you can find me as dawn on yahoo.

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