After getting involved with the “old web revival” scene, I’ve spent a lot of time going back and looking at my old websites recently. I’m still impressed by and pretty proud of the layouts and graphics I made back then, but going through the content has been an extremely cringey experience.

So of course, to embrace the cringe, I’m going to share some of that content, specifically my about pages, complete with commentary (in the coloured text). I’m going to start with the more recent pages to ease you into the cringe, but here’s a glimpse into who I’ve become over 15+ years of blogging.

Age: 30

Hi there! I’m Darnielle Sarjant, and like my name, I am just a little bit unusual. I’m an ambivert who can’t get a consistent result on a personality test to save her life. I’m a metalhead with an undying love of pop music and a fondness for gangsta rap. My favourite colour is rainbow, but I’m almost always dressed in black. I’m a potty-mouth with a fairly extensive vocabulary (word games? I fuckin’ love ‘em!). I regularly have some kind of caffeinated beverage right before nap time. And I’m irritatingly charming. Maybe? Probably not.
The only thing that has changed is that I have learnt the difference between an ambivert and an omnivert (which is more appropriate for me) since writing this.

This is my personal blog. Without sounding too much like a special snowflake, I’m not your ~typical~ blogger. I have no “lifestyle” to speak of, the idea of niche blogging makes me twitch, I’m not a mum, nor am I crafty, an adventurer, or a shopaholic; and I’m quite frankly an awful writer. You may be asking yourself why I even bother having a blog. To be quite honest, I think I just like the feeling of running my fingers across a keyboard at speed. It’s very therapeutic.
Still true, but I guess “snowflake” hadn’t become as awful a term as it is now because I wouldn’t use it these days.

I’m a thirty-year-old New Zealander living in the Netherlands with my husband, Sam. He’s a highly skilled migrant, and I’m highly skilled at being unemployed. Somewhat. I do sporadically make websites and get a small wage from doing the accounts for my mum’s small business, but I don’t have one of those fancy grown-up jobs. I lay most of the blame for this unfortunate situation on the fact that I currently play host to six chronic illnesses.
Wow. What a comedian. “Highly skilled at being unemployed”. 😂 Still unfortunately true. I ended up with another two diagnoses as well. Hooray for me.

Learning is one of my biggest passions in life. I am an autodidact (self-teacher), but I also have a fondness for formal education, as evidenced by my collection of qualifications. So far, I have a BSocSc and PGDip in Psychology, a GradCert in Education Studies, and a Certificate in Tikanga Māori. I am currently doing a Dutch Language course, and I intend to eventually get a Master’s degree in one (or maybe more, if I can find a way to combine them!) of the following fields of psychology: Criminal, Developmental or Educational.
I did not finish that Dutch language course, and I can barely speak the language 6 years later. I’ve also abandoned the idea of getting a Master’s degree because it’ll just be a waste of money. I do still love learning though!

Quick Bits

I’ve wanted to become a criminal psychologist since the age of 12, but that goal has since expanded to include working as a probation/parole officer, an adult and family educator/facilitator, or an at-risk youth support worker.
Fact hasn’t changed, but less likely to happen now ☹.

Although this doesn’t mean a damn thing to anyone outside of New Zealand and Australia and I’m now far less likely to refer to myself as one offline, I’m a bogan.
I’ve dropped this as part of my identity because it really doesn’t mean much now that I’ve been out of New Zealand for so long.

I am a rather obnoxious Devin Townsend fan. I channel this into my Townsend Tuesday feature here on the blog.
This obsession unfortunately fizzled out after he released his latest album last year. It lasted a really long time though, and I still do love his older stuff.

I am just a little bit obsessed with Harley Quinn from the DC Comics universe.
I think this was before Suicide Squad came out, because I kinda let go of this obsession as well after she became a super popular character.

I am currently resisting the urge to type ‘PUPPIES!’ here and be done with it… but it honestly and succinctly sums up my feelings about dogs. I also love (pet) rats.

I count Netflix among life’s essentials, will watch anything that Quentin Tarantino or Kevin Smith put out, and can quote Mean Girls like nobody’s business. I also watch a lot of YouTube.

Despite my health issues, I am an aspiring derby girl.
LOL. I would have loved for this to actually become a thing, but yeah… but health absolutely would not allow for that.

My other leisurely pursuits include planning, playing casual video and modern board games, doing word & logic puzzles, indulging in my stationery fetish, playing mini golf, and non-fiction reading. I also like to cook & bake.

I also have a more-than-passing interest in make-up, particularly the stuff that costs very little, but looks very good.
It was passing. I now have a “beauty desk” full of unused and expired make-up. 👍🏻

I like to refer to myself as a cultural liberal, social moderate, and economic asshole or a half-assed libertarian. I am also an atheist.
I refined this a bit and figured out that this is radical centrism. I’m less of an economic asshole now than I was then, and social moderate is a silly way of putting it, because I wasn’t apathetic to social issues.

I’m a very nostalgic person. I grew up in the nineties, and I had an amazing childhood.

Age: 25

Hi there! My name is Darnielle, and my favourite kind of people are the ones who get my name right the first time. The correct pronunciation is ‘dah-nee-el’. The stress goes on the ‘dah’, as illustrated, and there are three syllables, always… again, as illustrated. I’ll still answer to any variation of my name because it’d be rude not to, but that doesn’t mean I’m not cringing on the inside every time I referred to as Danielle, Darnell, or ‘darn-yell’. To avoid this, at least with people I am likely to see more than once in my lifetime, I will give one of my much harder to mess up nicknames. The general rule is that, online, I will also answer to Nellie, and offline, I answer to Dal (“dell, like the computer”).
Moving to the Netherlands was great for this! The way the Dutch pronounce Danielle sounds like how I pronounce my name, just with an extra syllable at the end. It’s been great to hear people probably still reading it incorrectly but still pronouncing it properly!

I am a 25-year-old who still gets carded and asked if I’m the younger one when out with my 21-year-old sister. This seems to happen on even my most haggard days, so I’m thinking I may need to look into bottling my pee and selling it as ‘Fountain of Youth Juice’, even though my youth is only skin deep and my body is functionally comparable to that of a rather unhealthy 65-year-old woman. Would I have to disclaim that on the bottle? WARNING: side effects may include becoming a decrepit old lady with a bad back, achy joints and the urge to take at least 3 naps a day. But hey, at least you’ll LOOK 18 again!
I still look fairly young and have been carded recently, but my skin has gotten crusty, I’m grey as hell, have a couple of age spots, and have been growing chin hairs like crazy.

You may be asking yourself “Why the old lady jokes?” right about now. Or you’re not. Which is totally cool, but I am going to tell you why anyway. I have three chronic illnesses. Two of them have been using my body for evil for the entirety of my twenties (as well as my nineteenth year of life), and the other was diagnosed in mid-2013. This is something I could write an entire thesis on, so I’ve dedicated an entire page to the subject (which not thesis length, if you happened to take me seriously back there).
Haha. Three…

I live in Hamilton, New Zealand, home of the bogan and Kimbra. The former is more relevant to me than the latter, but most of you reading this would probably be more familiar with Kimbra than the concept of a Kiwi bogan. I haven’t lived in Hamilton all my life though. I grew up in Whangarei, which is the home of Nicole Kidman’s husband, and much of my family is from Rotorua, which is the home of Jango Fett. In fact, Rotorua is the city of my people. Despite what my lily white skin may suggest, I am part Māori, and Ngati Whākaue is my iwi (tribe).
I now live in Ede, the Netherlands, home of weird wappie Christians and no famous people. I also found out I am also Ngati Pikiao, but skin is still lily white!

I share my life with an awesome dude named Sam, who also happens to be a totally grym and brvtal PhD-holding nerd. We’ve been together since July 2007 as the result of a couple of dead baby jokes sent via a dating website. I guess some people are just made for each other. Due to the overabundance of pet-unfriendly landlords in our area, we share our house with two dog analogues of the rodent variety, Harley and Poe. I am also really close to my parents, sister, and their King Shit named Wicket.
Sam actually got MORE grym and brvtal. His taste in music is black metal heavy these days. I miss my ratties, but I did end up getting real dogs so not continuing to have my dog analogues is okay.

My ultimate goal in life is to be happy and healthy, but I’m also pretty damn keen on becoming a criminal/correctional psychologist. I hold a BSocSc and a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology, which I refer to as “expensive pieces of toilet paper”. I need a Master’s degree and clinical training to actually get anywhere, but the effort needed to study at that level is beyond my capabilities at the moment, so I am working as a web designer and developer in the meantime.
I ended up going back for a Graduate Certificate in Education Studies, which probably wasn’t harder than going for a Master’s, but 🤷🏻‍♀️.

If you watched the video I linked a few paragraphs back in reference to bogans, you may have noticed that I am in it. This is because I am one. If you didn’t watch the video, the basic gist is that I am a metalhead who embraces the working class lifestyle. Being well off isn’t something that interests me, and any wealth I do happen to accumulate would be spent on concert tickets and flights to countries that don’t suck for metal. It’d be fair to say that metal and my bogan brethren are pretty important!
Again, I have dropped the whole “bogan” thing, but I’m still in the whole “working class” mindset. And moving to Europe has been fucking AWESOME for going to metal gigs!

In a weird contrast to the whole fondness-for-the-working-class thing, I am actually a fiscal conservative (read: economic asshole). My overall philosophy on politics (and life, really…) is that people should be free to do what they like with their own lives, including their money, so long as it doesn’t impinge on the rights of others. This also makes me a cultural liberal, and even though it’s not entirely compatible with my other views, I support social centrism. And I am an atheist.
So I apparently knew what social centrism was at 25, but not at 30?! But yeah, pretty much the same deal now.

I am a pretty intense person. Some would refer to me as Type A. I’m a chronic complainer who finds ranting incredibly cathartic, and if something bothers me, I’ll let you know about it. I am also veeeeery stubborn. On the flipside, I don’t go a single day without laughing. Despite everything that has been thrown my way, I am a happy and content person. Something else I really like about myself is that I am not terribly conventional. It makes me slightly more interesting than the average bear.
It’s so hard to read descriptions of myself/personality from years ago now knowing that it was ADHD all along. I’m less intense now that my ADHD is being treated, but the rest is still pretty accurate.

Age: 21

I go by Nellie, an online nickname given to me by a friend and a typo of my given name, Darnielle. Be not fooled, the extra letter is meant to be there. I celebrate an age change every year on the 5th of May and have been doing so since 1987. I am a first-year BSocSci student, majoring in psychology, at The University of Waikato. I am working towards a career as a forensic psychologist. I also want to be a PI, but that probably stems from watching a bit too much Veronica Mars.

I live with my boyfriend, Sam in our own little love nest in the thriving metropolis of Hamilton, New Zealand. Hamilton is also known as Hamiltron: City of the Future which is obviously an ironic stab at how desperately the city needs to remove itself from the 80s. However, it’s a pretty decent place to live if you don’t mind not having anything to do except drink yourself into a stupor and get a 16-year-old girl with chlamydia pregnant. You probably think I’m trying to be funny, but I’m not. It happens… often.
Wow. This paragraph was particularly painful to read. I WAS trying to be funny. I failed. Spectacularly!

I suffer from a poorly understood disorder known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and have done so since July 2006 after a bout of glandular fever (mononucleosis). Because of the restrictions this disorder has put on both my body and mind, I’m unable to work and theoretically unable to study but I’m a rebel and my sanity was at risk. Aside from the physical and mental effects, there’s the rather large emotional stress of boredom and frustration. The biggest issue is not knowing when I’ll recover.
Psst, 21-year-old Darnielle: you never recover… but you do graduate and go on to do further study, you lil rebel!

It would be easier for me to tell you what I’m not interested in than to rattle of a list that would result in a load time of days, but I do have a few interests that would automatically be at the top of any list. Psychology is first and foremost. This is not only my chosen field of future expertise but also a subject that has played a big part in my life from the age of four. Music, web design and watching movies are my other major interests. I also like walking, which is something I don’t always have the opportunity to do due to my illness.
I actually get to walk a lot now that I have doggos. Nice to see that I got well enough to at least manage that! Still love psychology, music, and webdesign too, but I am more likely to watch a TV show over movies these days.

I also like to debate, especially when it comes to politics and religion. My political standpoint would be best described as fence sitter. My views are moderate left, but I wouldn’t hesitate to vote for a right-wing party or candidate if I believe they’d do a better job. I am essentially an atheist, but I identify with the principles of Philosophical Satanism. This may come to a shock to you, but no matter what “the devil” may tell me to do, I could never harm a living being in any way. Including puppies… especially puppies.
Oof, more cringe! Although I technically still identify with philiosophical Satanism, I think I said this to be ~cool~. But pretty consistent political views, innit.

I have a pretty complex personality. I get told I pull the ‘Oh, but you don’t understand me!’ card a lot, but 90% of the time, it’s a viable card to be pulling. Previous incarnations of my blog have included personality pages with verbose descriptions of myself but they were always incomplete and never portrayed me even half as well as I’d like. Now I just let people draw their own conclusions. If they’re wrong, they’re wrong. Unless they are constantly expressing their distaste for me, I’m not too bothered what anyone thinks.
A wild pretentious douche appears! But I did find out that I’m neurodivergent 14 years later so like… the douche wasn’t too far off. She just could have explained it a little better than this. 😒

Age: 18

My name is Darnielle, which is one of those names. You know? The kind no one ever gets right the first time. So, for the sake of simplicity, you can call me Nellie. I was born in the early evening of the 5th of May, 1987 which currently makes me eighteen years of age. I live on a dairy farm in the Waikato region of New Zealand with my parents, younger sister (Katrina, 14), a farm worker who I cannot stand, my 10-year-old Cattle Corgi cross, Cosby and two goldfish, Nigel & Natalia. I am currently studying as an adult student on Correspondence at a 6th Form level, due to dropping out in 2004. I plan to go on to university and do a double major in psychology and economics. I work part time as a checkout chick at Woolworths (which, in NZ, is a supermarket). I’m currently single but not looking due to being in unrequited love.
What’s with these ridiculously long paragraphs, Darnielle? I am absolutely cackling at the idea of a double major in psychology and economics now. I did really enjoy economics in school, but the idea of working in economics makes me so uncomfy now.
It took me a moment to remember who I was in unrequited love with, which goes to show how dramatic teenagers can be, but I did really love that dude so it’s sad to remember the whole dealio. It’s fine though. I ended up with the right guy in the end!

I cannot remember much from the first few years of my life, apart from the times I spent with my grandmother before she passed away in 1991, shortly after my sister was born. It might seem silly to most, but the death of my grandmother was what shaped my entire life. About a year after her death, I was diagnosed with major clinical depression but because I was so young, I wasn’t offered any medication or counselling so I was pretty much stuck with it until mid 2003 when I started seeing a fantastic psychologist. I was cleared on October the 10th, 2004 and have since been depression free.
Oh boy! Yeah. Um. It wasn’t depression. It was fuckin’ ADHD. I think I might have just learnt to mask at this point, and that’s how I was cleared. The death of my grandmother wasn’t really a trigger. It just happened to coincide with me starting school and they needed something to blame my shitty behaviour on.

My personality relies heavily on the personalities of others. While one person could think the world of me, another can think I’m the biggest bitch out, but that’s not really a reflection on me… it’s how I interact with others. I personally think of myself as an outgoing, strong-willed and generally optimistic person. I’m extremely loyal and affectionate and I always try to accommodate people to make them feel welcome and wanted. I’m passionate and opinionated and I don’t back down from any argument. I’m the type of person to say what I feel, and not think about the consequences. I’m quite the drama queen and small situations tend to turn into huge soap operas in my head, but I’ve been trying to kick that habit.
All I am reading here is “THIS KID HAS ADHD BUT NOBODY HAS REALISED THIS!”. My personality is based on your personality? Masking. Everything else? Not so well masked ADHD.

I’ve never really been concerned with how I look because I believe I have other qualities to attract people, but I guess I’m okay looking. I do well with what I have without having to enhance it. I only wear makeup on special occasions and I dress in whatever feels comfortable. I have naturally medium brown hair which is currently died black, brown eyes, pale skin and rounded features. I’m 5’10” and weigh… a lot, but carry it pretty well. I don’t have any body modifications, but I’m looking into getting a heartagram tattooed on my wrist when I have the money.
All still true, except for the fact I’ve shrunk an inch and am SO glad I didn’t get the heartagram tattoo. Like, I still like HIM, but not nearly as much as I did when I was 18. Getting band-related tattoos just isn’t a good idea for someone with ever-changing hyperfixations.

I am obsessed with the country of Finland, mainly due to the awesome bands (HIM, The Rasmus, The 69 Eyes, Nightwish etc) to come out of Finland, but also because I love winter and Finland has some of the best winters! I’m also obsessed with Idol for reasons unknown. I watched a couple of episodes of American Idol 2 when it was screened here and just became completely wrapped up in Idol. My favourite Idols are Constantine Maroulis (American Idol 4), Chanel Cole (Australian Idol 2) and Jesse O’Brien & Steven Broad (New Zealand Idol 2). I also love webdesign, doing word and logic puzzles and writing.
Not mad at Finland at all, but I replaced that obsession with Canada when Devin Townsend and Sumo Cyco came along. I made some amazing friends through that love of Idol, but my god, I still don’t understand that obsession. Still love web design, word & logic puzzles and writing!

I don’t watch a lot of television apart from Idol, but I do make a point of watching Veronica Mars, Everwood, Gilmore Girls and Charmed. I have a wide range of favourite movies, but I will probably forever be a Lord of the Rings fan. My favourite actors are Johnny Depp, Evan Peters, Jake Gyllenhaal and Drew Fuller. My favourite actresses are Erika Christensen, Eva Amurri, Brittany Murphy, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kristen Bell.
I watch SO MUCH freakin’ TV now, and Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls are still favourites! I still love Lord of the Rings, but Mean Girls usurped it as my favourite movie. Johnny Depp, Brittany Murphy and Kristen Bell are the only actors I still like.

I listen to a wide variety of music but my favourite bands and artists would have to be: HIM, first and foremost followed by My Chemical Romance, Coheed and Cambria, Tool, The Used, The Rasmus, Cradle of Filth, The 69 Eyes, Lacuna Coil, 48May, Green Day, Sugababes, Girls Aloud, The Monkees, The Clash, Duran Duran and Lostprophets.
I still listen to most of these bands, but 😬 on that last one. I mean, it’s still good music, but um, yeah. TW for child sex abuse if you Google what’s bad about Lostprophets.

Age: 16

I was born Darnielle (pronounced DAH-nee-EL) on the 5th of May at 5:27 pm, a week later than my due date. I was physically healthy but my mental health left something to be desired. When I was just four years of age, I witnessed the death of my grandmother which in turn, led me to become depressed. My primary years were spent being teased and taunted for unknown reasons and the only way I found I could deal with it was to get angry and scare people into being nice to me. One horrible side effect from being depressed. I was also very anti-social and reclusive, spending my time reading books and basically doing all the ‘geeky’ things. My parents always tried to give me a normal childhood but I was just someone people found easy to pick on so no matter what they did I was picked on. Mum finally took me to the doctor and got me put on anti-depressants when I was 13 and I’ve been alright ever since.
I seemed to really like large paragraphs as a youngin’? I’ve already talked about how this all ended up being ADHD rather than depression, but wow, this is so sad reading it back. But also irritating because I used the word “anti-social” to mean asocial. I fucking HATE when people do that now. Also, “alright ever since” was a hell of a stretch.

I grew up in Whangarei, New Zealand but I have lived in Rotorua, NZ and I’m currently living in Te Awamutu, NZ. Being uprooted has made me a bit depressed because I left everything familiar to me back in Whangarei. I was given the option to stay up there and finish my 6th Form year at Whangarei Girls’ High but I decided to move down with my family and go to Te Awamutu College but that was a bad idea because I ended up making more enemies than friends and had to leave because it was getting to be me and making me relive primary school. So I’m now doing Correspondence from home, out of the firing line of nasty people. Online, I find I’m able to be myself without people attacking me constantly. I have the power to delete and block whoever I want.
I definitely didn’t mask so much online, so this makes sense, but again, really sad to read this back. I was really struggling at 16!

In the real world it’s not like that so I spend most of my time online and I find I have more online friends than offline friends because they’re easier to make and don’t prejudge you. Offline, you’ll find I’m very shy but when I’m with my friends I’m loud, shameless, open and very friendly. At school, I was in the ‘loser’ group as the ‘popular’ people would have called it. But I found that the ‘loser’ group were much easier to hang out with because they didn’t care about anything.
My loser friends were all actually cool as fuck. I’m still pretty close with one of them (holla @ chu, Lisa!), and she’s absolutely the coolest person I know.

I live with both my parents (most of my friends are from broken families) and my little sister Katrina, who is 12 and a bitch. I also have a pet dog called Cosby and although he’s a family dog, he’s tends to hang around me the most (it’s my job to feed him!). We live on a dairy farm, south east of the Te Awamutu township and we’re 45 minutes away from both Hamilton and Rotorua so I have two places to go when I get bored. I have the biggest room in the house. It’s actually a second lounge and the best thing about it was that I could have the computer in my room instead of having to sit out in the cold dining room or hallway!
HAHAHAHA. Oh god. My sister: “… and a bitch”. We actually became pretty good friends in our adulthood… until she married a conspiracy theorist.

I have never really excelled in anything in my life. I’ve always been average Joe. But I am quite bright and I do alright at school. I also used to be a good runner (until I hit puberty and it hurt to run). But I think the thing I’m best at is webdesign. I spend hours making layouts and graphics and then coding everything. I taught myself how to code and make graphics and I don’t use anything else but Notepad. I have recently taken an interest in Sociology and I would like to become a Counsellor or a Psychologist. I also love writing, my speciality being short stories. Ones where I fictionalize the truth!
Holy shit. 16-year-old me was so nasty to herself. I know I’m actually not that much nicer these days, but damn! Also, I literally do not remember ever writing short stories. I did write a few self-insert fanfics, which is what I think I was referring to here, but they weren’t short stories. They took up entire 80-page notebooks!

Most people don’t understand me and what is going on inside my head. And whenever I tell someone I have depression, they tell me it’s all in my head and that I can just snap out of it. Or that I use it to hide behind. The truth is, it’s not like that and as soon as people realise this the better it’ll be for the sufferers. I know it seems that I dwell on it but it’s there, a part of me. And it always will be! If you want to use me in any sort of psychological probing school assignments, I’ll be more than happy to help. I think that my experiences and triumphs could save a life one day or just make one person believe that if someone else can get through it then so can they. I intend to make people as happy as other people have made me in the past.
Say it with me, guys: AY, DEE, AITCH, DEE. It’s actually so frustrating to see this laid out in so many of my old about pages: being misunderstood, masking, people-pleasing, etc. I can’t help but think about how much better life could have been with an earlier diagnosis.