Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Itch

I've got the tattoo itch, bad. As an already tattooed individual, I can completely stand behind the claim that once you're tattooed, you'll want more.

I got my first tattoo around 2007, after months of deliberation. It was a small piece, but I remember the drive was incredibly long and I was sweating bullets the entire way down. When I finally arrived at the tattoo parlor, my nerves vanished. I gave the artist my design, he copied it down and placed it on my shoulder blade, and went to town. Within 25 minutes (or less), it was complete.

Sometime around six months later, I felt the itch to get another. I can still remember driving up to a concert with a friend, and thinking "why don't I just get it now?" I didn't, mind you. I waited...about a month later, and then finally broke down. I went to the same parlor and it was just like before. In and out within a few minutes.

The last one I got was around my birthday in 2011; a birthday gift to myself, if you will. It was by far, the most painful out of the bunch, as it's down my abdomen - from my bra line to my panty line. It took a little over two hours and I cringed the entire time. But, ironically, it kind of reminded me that beauty is painful. To me, expressing myself through art was more than enough motivation to withstand a little pain.

All of my tattoos have meant something personal to me. Despite the insatiable urge to get another, I typically dwell on the design for months to make sure it means enough. My first was about beating depression. The second was about cutting. And the third, was a reminder that I am beautiful, despite what gets thrown my way. I've never once regretted any of my tattoos.

Now, after an over two year waiting period, I'm beginning to feel the tattoo itch stronger than ever. I have the means; I have the idea; I just have to get the specifics. Though my parents would freak, my mind keeps wandering back to the half-sleeve tattoo I've been contemplating for years. The idea behind the half-sleeve holds its roots in my urge to move across country to Washington state. I've been told many times by countless people that I am strong and independent, and that I've got more guts than most to uproot my life and settle elsewhere. While I may over-think (a lot), I still have a tendency of sticking to my guns and doing what I can. Because of this, I want my next tattoo to represent that nothing is out of reach. Whether it be love, happiness, or a shiny car; it's all within your reach as long as you try.

So that's my tattoo story. Three down, many more to go. What kind of tattoos do you all have? Or any that you'd like to get but haven't yet? Let me know in the comments!

Update: I did get a new tattoo. See below:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This Is Love

I realized today that I am one incredibly lucky woman. Not only do I have a great place, great friends and more money than I need...I have one hell of a catch in the man that I call Boyfriend.

We had a minor spat yesterday, and it made me realize just how lucky I am to finally be with a nice guy. My exes were relatively nice guys as well, but there's a distinct difference between them and this guy. Rather than avoiding conflict and creating more issues in the long run, we address what makes us tick and actually fix the issue. It's the most honest relationship I've ever been in, and I love that.

All the passion in the world can't save a communication-lacking relationship. My two previously failed relationships are proof enough of that. Maybe I'm wise beyond my years. Maybe I've just had enough crap thrown my way prior to this that a nice guy shines like a beacon. Regardless, I'll take it. :) We haven't been together for very long, but I find that the longer we're together, the better it gets.

Lately, work has been rather stressful. The reason for this is because I got a new coworker who's a little behind on what he should know. Not a big deal...I kind of figured I'd have to pick up the slack regardless. However, because this guy isn't performing as the company expected, they're left wondering who could take the spot of Lead Dispatch. Some think it should be me; others believe it should go to someone more qualified. Regardless of what happens, there's one thing that annoys the hell out of me. If you've never worked in an office before, let me tell you one thing: It's as bad as high school when it comes to talk. There's gossip, cliques, and lots of I'm-better-than-you type of interaction. This dispute of who should be lead is a treasure trove of possibilities in the aforementioned ways.

I mention this whole work thing because if it had happened in the previous relationships, the significant other would be annoyed and frustrated with me for venting my say. I know this because with my last ex, anytime I talked about work, his eyes glazed over and he found ways to change the topic. However, with Boyfriend, he listens to me rant and gives constructive criticism. He reminds me that, specifically in this instance, I'm good enough to do anything, despite what my brain might try to tell me. And I think that's another important thing in a relationship. Support and belief in the other is a big deal to me. I want to feel like the person I'm with has my back in everything, and for once I actually do.

Lastly, he's got a child from a past relationship, and while I've dated a single dad before, with that one, I'd never actually met the kid. Not so much with Boyfriend. He brought her along on the zombie walk, which was before we were even official. He invites me to things, and she's taken a liking to me. And honestly...I have with her as well. I'd always wondered how someone could fall in love with the man and his kid, but it makes sense now. She's amazing. He's a great parent with her, and I adore that little girl. When she gets super excited when I show up and screams "Jessi!" it's best described how my bestie says it "my heart does that 'thump thump' thing." I love that he's incorporating me into his family and that it's not weird being around them. It's an awesome feeling.

So alas, that is my life. This post turned out a little more look-at-me that expected, but whatever. ^_^

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Danger: Boredom

This morning, my alarm scared me into consciousness, and I felt entire being seemingly screaming at me saying "No....stay here! There are bad things ahead!" And you know what? My mind was right.

Today's not necessarily a bad day, but it's definitely one where the comfort of my warm bed and the privacy of my own house are very appealing. I find myself drifting in and out of daydreams and wishing for unconsciousness while at work. My tasks are repetitive, my coworkers are annoying and rather bossy, and I can't help but yearn for the blue sky I can see out my window. 

My thoughts exactly.
It's interesting, however, that when waking up this morning, I had the sense that I should call in. I'm sure we all experience the sense of dread from work or school or some event we don't want to do. I know at least three of the five workdays, I wake up dreading work. However, today it was almost overpowering.

My drive to work was fine, but it seemed as though as soon as my butt hit the chair and my hands touched the keyboard, there was junk to take care of. The sense of urgency is like the ocean at the office I work at. At some points, it's calm and relaxing. But other times, all hell breaks loose. The phones ring off their hooks, the technicians go crazy and act like children, and the supervisors or fellow coworkers squawk around like chickens with their ego-boosted heads chopped off. It's all rather distracting, to say the least.

I find myself daydreaming until 1pm, so that I can take my lunch break. Little known fact: 1/2 of the time, I take a nap on my lunch break rather than eat. (Oh the joys of living close to work!) Once I clock back in from lunch, it's a 3-hr wait to go home again. Typically it goes by rather quickly, but on days like today, it wouldn't surprise me if it took forever to go by.

Time is a funny thing like that. The moments you want to last tend to pass you by quickly, while the ones you wish would speed past tend to drag on. The first day that the boyfriend came over to hang out with me, time went so quickly. He came over around 7 or 8pm, and the next thing we know, it's 4am. However, it's nearly noon at this very second, and my brain keeps saying "Good God, we've still got five more hours!" I try to make the time go by quicker, but today it's just not happening.

Looks like it's time to break out the drawing utensils to pass my time! Got any ideas as to how to pass the time? Or want to speculate as to a) why time gets slower or faster dependent on what we're doing or b) how our minds know (sometimes) about the hell-day we're about to walk into? Leave me a comment!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Inspiration: Tom Hiddleston


I am a huge nerd for those of you who may not know. I spent the majority of my weekend watching small panels from this year's Comic-Con in San Diego, specifically from The Nerd Machine. They hosted panels called "Conversations for a Cause" that helped raise money for Operation Smile (an organization to help children born with cleft lip/palate). The Nerd Machine was founded by Zachary Levi -- who you might remember from the awesome show "Chuck."

Anywaaaay...while filling my brain with people like Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk, Matt Smith, Steven Moffat, and Jenna Coleman, and so many more. But amidst all of those, there was one that caught my attention more than the others.

Tom Hiddleston. 

This man is amazing. Most people know him from his portrayal of Loki in Thor and The Avengers, as both were incredibly popular films in the past years. The upcoming movie Thor: The Dark World (out November 8th of this year), is perpetuating his fame even more. However, I learned a lot more about his character after watching the video below. I would definitely recommend watching it. If you've got an hour of your day to waste, do it!

Regardless, the whole point of this post is that watching the video below absolutely inspired me. I posted a quote that he had referred to on my Facebook page. It was from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and said, "Take pains, be perfect." He then goes on to describe how to him, this means that it's ok to feel. He talks about doing what you love and how you've only got one life to live, so why waste it. Something about it really resonated with me.

I sometimes get into moods where I'm complacent with what I'm doing. My job works for now - it pays the bills, and it's not too incredibly difficult. But after watching this man speak, I feel like I'm meant for so much more. The hopes and dreams I have don't seem unreachable, and I feel my brain push me towards art, books and music. I hope this new found inspiration sticks with me and that Tom Hiddleston can help you into inspiration as well.




Monday, July 15, 2013

Butterflies

It's interesting how a kiss on the head is such a small sign of affection, but it can mean so much. Strange how the word beautiful can mean so much more than pretty. So many little things take on such a bigger meaning after time.

I'm fairly certain that despite my attempts to thwart it, I am and have always been a hopeless romantic. When in a relationship, especially one in it's infancy, things are so exciting and captivating. My brain craves cheesy love songs and movies, while my heart skips a beat at the tiniest of things. Aww is one of the most constantly used parts of my vocabulary during that time. It's like with the flip of a switch, I am transformed into a different person.

I mention this because I'm in a new relationship. He's an amazing guy. He's incredibly sweet and easy to talk to. His hobbies and interests mirror some of my own, without being overwhelmingly similar. I feel like we mesh well together and we're both incredibly honest with one another.

And here's the kicker...I get butterflies with him each and every time we're together. Don't get me wrong, I've gotten butterflies before in past relationships. But they always tend to fade quickly. Things get complacent and the spark loses its glow. The attraction is still there, but the excited feeling fades. However, with this guy, it hasn't happened yet and that's amazing to me. I've got a perpetual smile that won't seem to fade, and I'm ok with that. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fears vs. Dreams

I mentioned the organization To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) in the last post. They have a very popular campaign called Fears vs. Dreams in which they urge people to write down their deepest fears and their greatest dreams and share them with the world.

 I remember when this first began, I thought for days trying to think of what my fears and dreams were. I feel like I have so many dreams that it was difficult to narrow down. Also, in regards to the fears, the only things that I'm aware of are failure and the occasional snake. However, after looking at some of the other posts, I felt as though I should get deeper and find my true fears and dreams. Finally, it all fell into place and I realized what they really were for me.

Fear: That I'll never truly love myself. 
Dream: That I'll make a difference & help people smile again. 

If you've read any other posts in my blog so far, you know that I struggle with self-esteem and am definitely the type to tear myself down before others have the chance to do it. You'd also know that I have quite a few things on my "To-Do" list of life. In thinking of what I'm most afraid of, I discovered that more than failure and snakes and even drowning (which, lets be honest, is pretty freaking scary), I am afraid of never loving myself. 

On the other hand, when thinking about the dreams I have, I realized that most of what I want to do is about helping others be happy. When I imagine my future bakery, I picture lots of smiling people diving face first into a cupcake. When my mind wanders to the band I'd love to start, I hear my goofy lyrics and see a crowd singing along with smiling faces. Yes, some of it is about making myself happy, but I feel like my dreams are also meant to allow me to be a person people can go to for a smile. 

So let me ask you...what are your biggest Fears and Dreams? Leave me a message!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Help

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think it'd be a safe assumption to say that the majority of the human population has experienced depression at some point in their lives. Obviously there are different variations, treatments and outcomes, but it still seems like a topic that is somewhat taboo despite the number of those who've gone through it.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that I, personally, have had a relationship with depression. For me, it struck in the winter of 2007, right as I was about to graduate from my community college. I remember thinking that I would never be good enough to find a job in my desired field (communications and film editing), plus I was about to embark on the last stretch of schooling before I entered the "real world." I had just gotten out of what I thought at the time was a big relationship, and my mind freaked out. I fell into a pit of despair, felt constantly alienated from those around me, and couldn't seem to find my way out of the dark enveloping hole I had fallen into. I was too afraid to ask my family for help; too scared of the judgments to even consider therapy or medication. Eventually, I began to feel a little better. By August of 2008, I was enrolled in the college that I would experience most of my life experiences thus far and meet several people who would change my life. I got on and off Prozac twice. However, the entire time, I could always feel depression looming over me, waiting to strike again.

My tattoo, my contribution, my reminder.
www.twloha.com

A somewhat little known fact about me is that I also used to cut. I started at the young age of 14, and continued up until I was nearly 24. It was my go-to relief. I reached for the razor when I had a bad day, when I felt guilty about something or when I didn't feel at all. It's been researched and apparently the medical field agrees that cutting can release endorphins. Keep in mind that these endorphins are the things that make you feel good when you exercise or after sex. To people who have never cut before, it can be unfathomable. "Why on earth would you deliberately break skin and create scars on yourself? Life can't be that bad!" Honestly, this thinking caused me to cut even more because I felt guilty for feeling depressed. The organization To Write Love On Her Arms was a big factor in helping me get over everything. They're a resource available to anyone experiencing depression, suicide, cutting or addiction.

This leads us to the topic of suicide. While I've never attempted, the thought has crossed my mind once or twice. On two occasions, I've dealt with suicide. One of my friends from my community college shot himself in his hometown. Another of my friends wrote me a suicide letter and tried to hang himself on my birthday. When that failed, he called me atop a tall building, saying he wanted to jump off. I was on the phone with him for hours, trying to remind him of the things that make life worth living. Thankfully, he came down and is still alive today. The first guy I mentioned was not as fortunate, and his friends and family are left wondering what they could have done to help.

As someone who has struggled with depression and cutting, it's not hard for me to understand what leads people to take their own lives. Things get too difficult, hurt too bad, and it seems as though it's the only viable solution to end the pain. Personally, whenever those thoughts tried to cross my mind, I'd find myself thinking about my family and those I'd leave behind. This alone was reason enough to keep trying. The whole reason for this blog post is because one of my closest friends was informed the other day that a friend of his OD'd on pills, leaving her brain dead, and eventually forcing her family to pull the plug. It made me think of my past, my friends who have resorted to suicide, and what could have been done.

So here you go, world. This is my plea; my call to arms if you will. If you, or anyone you know feels depressed, suicidal or just needs someone to talk to, please get help. Call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. It's confidential and free. Get a hold of a friend. I'm always available to talk, if you feel down and out. Just please, please try.