Sydney Shewmaker

by The Bathtub Project

Name: Sydney Shewmaker

Age: 28

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

How often do you bathe or shower?

Only once or twice a week. I think that your body can self regulate if you let it and that you don’t need to shower that often. Also, I don’t like being damp. I don’t like the drying off process. I like showers actually. And when I take showers I take very hot showers and stay in them for a very long time. And when I take a bath I’m usually in here for an hour or two. But I don’t like drying up afterwards. I don’t like the in-between. It just feels weird. You’re usually kind of cold and if you put clothes on they feel gross, and they stick to you so you have to get dry enough. I don’t know. It just feels weird.

If you were an underwater creature which one would you be?

I’m between a couple. I would either be a squid or a cuttlefish or that shrimp that sees a million 

Why for each?

I actually used to go by Squidney, and that was one of my animals for a really long time. And it was when I had dreads and my dreads were green, and they kind of looked like tentacles. But I also do kind of naturally identify as a water creature, so it’s fitting. And squids are just really cool. They don’t really have any– they’re all just cartilage. Cuttlefishes just because I like the name and the way they look. I like cuttles and cuttlefish have that nautilus shape to them too. And then I’m just also fascinated by– which you should look up the actual name of the shrimp, but because they have like 20 cones or something in their eyes and humans only have like 3. And it is also one of the most beautiful, colorful creatures. But I just think it’s so interesting that there’s so many colors and stuff that we don’t– there’s so many things that we can’t see and that’s proof that there’s so many things that we can’t see. And also shrimp are kind of cool because they’re like the insects of the ocean and I like bugs.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about creating which from the bones you can tell I’m also kind of into that. And I like the whole life, death cycle and I think that we are constantly going through life, death, rebirth cycles and that’s just part of the human experience and just part of our natural process for most of the world. But by processing roadkill or taking found bones and stuff and turning them into something new, you’re giving them another life. So it’s part of the life, death, rebirth cycle.

When did you start really looking at that cycle?

A couple of years ago I mean I’m also into yoni magic and red tents. And that is something that they talk about a lot with that too is that your menstrual cycle is part of that life/death cycle. And that is part of what’s so beautiful about people who menstruate is that they carry both of those energies simultaneously which everybody does but especially people that menstruate. It’s part of it. And just realizing that– I don’t know, death is important. Change is important. And it’s something that everybody sees as being really scary, but it’s actually really beautiful.

What is yoni magic?

Yoni, I get messed up about the origin. I think it’s Sanskrit, but it is the pussy portal womb magic, vaginas, vulvas, all that good stuff. But a lot of it is just kind of embracing the power that you get from having a yoni and menstruating which definitely you can still tap into that whether or not you have– you don’t have to menstruate or have a uterus to be able to tap into yoni magic. But it’s just been really empowering and a really positive experience. I’ve been able to find a lot of community and feel more connected to my body and also paint with my menstrual blood. It is wonderful. Everyone should do it.

What is something you feel accomplished with?

I’m just pretty happy with where my life is at right now for the most part. I feel like I have a really awesome support system with my friends and my family, and I have a job that I like. And I actually get to– I get paid to make stuff which is what I always wanted. I have a beautiful studio that I’m neglecting. No, I do just like– I feel pretty happy with where I’m at right now.

What is something you still struggle with?

Taking care of myself. It’s a lot easier. I only just noticed recently that it’s something I struggle with. I have a lot of caregiver energy, and it’s a lot easier to take care of other people than it is to take care of yourself. And I will often dump an excess amount of energy into other people and neglect myself. So I’m learning boundaries for that so that I can also have better self-care.

What are your thoughts on relationships, platonic, sexual, or familial and otherwise?

I have recently been embracing the idea of romantic friendships, and I think they’re incredibly fulfilling and beautiful. And I’m so happy to have few relationships like that in my life right now. I also identify as polyamorous and pansexual, so gender identity isn’t super important to me in terms of who I’m attracted to. I’m kind of just like– I also identify as demisexual. I really need to get to know somebody to have a connection with them to even be able to be attracted to them on any kind of real level. And then polyamorous just been something I’ve been figuring out how to navigate for the last 10 years or so. But it provides a lot of interesting– and then communication skills get a lot better. And you get a lot better at navigating boundaries. And it just had a lot of potential and freedom. I need freedom in my relationships.

What about familial relationships?

I actually, recently repaired and still working on repairing my relationship with my sister. They’re always complicated. There are a lot of layers to it and a lot of– I think that if you have family that you’re connected to that’s willing to work on the hard stuff. I think a lot of people don’t because they’re like, “Oh, it’s blood.” You just do it because you’re blood. We don’t have to buy it. There is something interesting to blood ties but also figuring out how to navigate that in a healthy way.