Tattoo’s and the stories our bodies can tell.

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word tattoo? Do you think biker? Gang? Unemployed? Well growing up that’s what I hear, that tattoo’s were reserved for “dirty people”. Now I understand tattoo’s haven’t always had the best rap, until recently so I don’t fault anyone for having those ideas placed in my head. I mean I am someone daughter for crying out loud. Of course my parents didn’t want to see their precious angel covered in tattoo’s, but as I got older I started to understand the meaning behind why people are so addicted to getting them.

I went under the needle for the first time when I was eighteen, young, dumb, and stupid. I went to a tattoo shop over the summer with a high school friend of mine and got a four-leaf clover tattooed on the left side of my pelvis. It didn’t have any meaning other than the fact that I am Irish and Scottish and it looked cool. That first tattoo cost me $100, which now I understand was way to much money to pay for something no bigger then a silver dollar, but it’s apart of me and I’ve grown to love it. My next tattoo wouldn’t be till five years later, I got a stitched heart in red and black with the words famiglia inside it. I got this tattoo with a friend of mine, I have since had that tattoo covered up, by a beautiful water colored owl.

The reason I had my tattoo covered up was due to a falling out with that friend and the owl was there to remind me to always be wise about  my decisions in life. My next tattoo was not one of happiness. It is a black rose with the number thirteen inside it. I received this the day I lost my first baby, Friday April 13th, 2018. I was devastated and I needed something to block out my pain. I needed something to remind me that my baby was real and was mine. It is by far my favorite tattoo I have.

You see, I am not a “dirty person”, I am not in a gang, and I am not a biker, I am married and employed. I own a home and I drive an SUV. I am defined more by my actions then my tattoos. My tattoo’s tell my story, my pain, my happiness and for many people this is a type of therapy. I’ve gone with people to get tattoo’s to remember a lost loved one and tattoo’s to help a rape survivor reclaim her body. Tattoo’s aren’t meant for bad people. they are there to help people express how they feel in a way that helps them grow. I look back on all my tattoo’s and remember the lesson’s I’ve learned. They can help someone close a chapter of their life and help them move on.

Tattoo’s can be painful and are permanent, not to mention expensive pieces of art. So trust me when I say getting a tattoo isn’t just a spur of the moment idea, It’s a life altering one. We save and wait months to get a tattoo, we research artists and go to consultations. We pay deposits, and buy all the things we need to help heal and protect our artwork. Not to mention researching the tattoo show to make sure they are licensed in the stated and they have passed their blood born pathogens tests.

We don’t go into this lightly and for many of us our tattoo artist is like our therapist. They see our happiness and our pain and they listen to us, they share an understanding. They work so hard to make us feel comfortable and safe.  We sit for hours with artists as they painstakingly get every detail and line perfect. This is our therapy, this is what helps us heal and move on so we can close that chapter of our lives and start a new one.

So if you’re not into tattoo’s I understand and I don’t judge you for that, but I hope instead of seeing a “dirty person” I hope you see the warrior behind it all. I hope you see the woman who’s lost her babies and still fights the good fight, or the veteran honoring his service to this country, or the rape survivor who bravely says to the face of her attackers “this is my body and I am taking back whats mine”.  My body is a temple and I’m just painting the walls.

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Selfish or Self-Preservation?

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, with the holidays and personal life crisis’ I haven’t had much time to write, but I am back with some interesting questions. I have found over the past couple of months that there is a mutual relationship with being selfish and self-preservation. Now when we hear the word selfish we immediately associate that would with something bad like only caring for one’s self instead of the needs/wants of others. Well I’ve been thinking. Is that such a bad thing? Is it so bad to want to focus on your own need and wants over someone else’s?

I think not, They say on airplanes during the safety briefing “Please fasten your own mask before assisting others” meaning you can’t help anyone if you don’t help yourself first.  I think in order for us to grow as human beings we all have to be a little selfish, for example the mom who hides in the bathroom just so she doesn’t have to share the cupcake with her screaming kid on the other side of the bathroom door or the spouse who just wants to take a drive just so they can have some alone time with their thoughts. I think in order for us to keep our sanity and to survive we all must be a little selfish. We everyday are faced with making choices that could either benefit us or benefit someone else and in the midst of that we generally make the decision to make someone else happy instead of ourselves.

Why is that? Are we incapable of our own happiness? Are we so afraid of offending someone by declining a favor, or going out to dinner, or listening to someone’s problems for hours on end? Are we afraid of losing favor with someone if we don’t bend to their will? That to me is insane, how am I as a person, supposed to be a loving wife to my husband, a good employee to my job, and a caring friend if I can’t take care of my emotional needs first? It’s not possible for us to give every bit of ourselves to everyone else and be left with nothing in return. Now I’m not talking about doing someone a favor and getting nothing in return, I’m taking about having nothing left in our emotional arsenal to defend off our own attacks of self-worth and emotional distress.

If we have nothing left for ourselves how are we supposed to defend off attacks to our own personal well-being? We all have to be a little selfish for our own self-preservation. We all need that alone time to just gather our thoughts, we need that emotional down time to scream, kick and curse just to let out that steam of pent-up frustration. We need to all be a little selfish, so we can continue to be the best wife, friend, partner, mother we can be. Some people might not understand it and some might not agree with it, but it’s something we need. So don’t feel bad if you need a break from your kids or your wife and don’t feel bad if you choose to ignore that phone call from your friend. You can’t help anyone if you can’t help yourself first.

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In the blink of an eye.

Ever have one of those months where one moment its the beginning of a new month then in the blink of an eye it’s over and a new month has begun?

That’s been happening to me lately, I’ll wake up, go about my day and then next thing I know one month has flown by. Where did the time go? I’ve begun to notice as I get older the faster the time fly’s. Days start to blur together, and we barely notice.

It’s hard to grasp onto fleeting moments and we have a tendency to take those days for granted. For instance my wedding day, all the months of planning and freaking out. All were gone in an instant, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed every minute of it, but I didn’t expect it to fly by without so much as a kiss goodbye.

It got me thinking that every day is special, whether I’m going to work or just wasting a day off by laying in bed all day. Everyday has something new and exciting. I want to look at each day and take it for something new and not just another day.

We get so wrapped up in work and home life that we forget how beautiful a sunset is or how fresh-cut grass smells, or the sound of absolute silence after fresh snowfall. All these things we take for granted and we miss it because we don’t take the time to admire and take in the world around us.

So next time you find yourself racing, take a moment before you leave work or when you’re drinking your morning coffee and just look around. Notice how the leaves have changed, notice how the amazing your coffee smells. Just take one moment and focus on it. Because next thing you’ll know it’ll be a new day, new month, hell a new year and by the time you notice what happened all those fleeting moments become distant memories.

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After Every Storm There’s Always A Rainbow.

Everyone knows the saying, but few know what it means. For those struggling with infertility or those going through the loss of  a child/pregnancy this is so much more than just a saying; it’s a beacon of hope in an otherwise dark and barren place. It means that one day, after all the struggles and sadness you will one day have your baby, your rainbow baby.

For me personally this saying has brought me back countless times from the brink of hopelessness. On April 13th 2018 I lost our baby, I was only 5 weeks along, but I still loved my baby just the same. I never expected to have a miscarriage, I expected to continue for the next 9 months and at the end have a happy and healthy baby. My dreams of that were shattered and for the months following it only became worse.

Every pregnancy test was negative and at every turn someone I knew was announcing their pregnancy. I wanted to be happy for them, but all my heart could feel was pain and jealousy. I needed to break this habit of hopelessness and being angry at God for taking my baby away from me. So I decided that I will go in to each month with hope and that one day God will bless me with a child of my own.

So next time I see those two little pink lines, I will not take it for granted. I will love my little bean with everything I’ve got. I will not stress or doubt. Finally I will not expect that pregnancy to end in failure and sadness. I will get my rainbow baby. I will weather this storm and come out with my rainbow.

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The other side of Death

Everyone has lost a loved one at some point in their life and the grief we experience is different for everyone. When my father was sick I knew I might not have much longer left to spend with him so I made the best of the time I was given, When my dad finally passed it wasn’t that it was unexpected, but he was getting better  and it looked like we might get a little more time until he had a heart attack.

I was devastated, but I knew I had to take on a much bigger role now for my family. My mom needed some kind of support and help after losing her partner of almost 25 years.  I never cried at the funeral, I never allowed myself to feel anything because there were other things that needed my attention and undivided focus.

Years later I finally grieved for my dad, I wasn’t some stone cold, unfeeling person. I loved my dad very much, but we all grieve differently. Some choose to celebrate a person’s life and make it a fun occasion, where others can’t help, but feel that a hole has been ripped in the fabric of their lives. Both ways are a great way to remember a loved one. I now have learned I feel much closer to my dad and his memory if I keep the memories I have of him alive. I’ll tell stories of him and that prompts my friends to share stories they have of my dad.

Death is hard on everyone, sometimes all we can remember are all the missed opportunities we should have had with a loved one, like how my father never got to see me get married or walk me down the aisle and he’ll never get to see his grandchildren, Hell he was never able to meet my husband. There will always be things that I’ll never get to experience with my father, but I am so grateful for all the memories I do have.

Those memories will always live on and will always be bitter-sweet, but that’s how i grieve.  Don’t be hard on yourself if you choose to block out the memories, because they sometimes hurt too much. It doesn’t mean you didn’t love them it just means you need time to heal. So take all the time you need and grieve in your own way. Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to express your feeling or to tell you that what your feeling is wrong. Many people feel anger and hate when a loved one is gone, but that will pass with time. Everyone is different and all we can do as friends and family is to respect that.

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Change In Command

Let me start this post off by saying, I’ve been here for a little over a year and we’ve changed our General Manager three times since then. First was an awful woman who we’ll call Karen, for the sake of privacy I’ll be changing the names of everyone involved. Second was Kevin, he literally pulled our sinking hotel out of the ashes and made us new and better, and now we have Jake he seems nice enough, but also seems like he has no clue how to run a hotel let alone work in this business. I guess only time will tell if he’s got what it takes to stay in the business.

For those of you who have never worked in a hotel before it can be a fun job, but it is also a personal Hell for many, myself included. Don’t get me wrong I love the people I work with and I enjoy my job, but you really have to have a thick skin to work in the hospitality industry. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been yelled at, had things thrown at me, been called names, and had my ass handed to me. I never have once cried about it thank God, but I know many that have.

Working at the front desk, you are in the line of fire so to speak especially since every guest coming in thinks you are personally responsible for every little thing that goes wrong. For example our check in time isn’t until 4 PM and our check out time isn’t till 11 AM. So if a guest doesn’t check out till 11 AM housekeeping probably won’t get around to that room until 12 PM or 1 PM which means the room wont be done till about 2 PM or 3 PM. We at the desk have no control over this, yet when a guest walks in at 12 PM and expects their room to be ready its just not possible.

Yet still it is all our fault, like I’m really just standing here lying to you about your room not being ready, because it brings joy to my heart. No, I literally don’t need an irate guest in my lobby having a temper tantrum worse than any toddler I’ve seen, all because they didn’t get what they wanted right then and there. If you are nice to us we’re more then willing to help you like by moving you to a room that’s ready or Hell we’ll even give you an upgrade for free! All you have to do is be nice to us and treat us like oh I dont know HUMAN BEINGS!

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“Fuck It” List

Have you ever had one of those days where your head just wants to explode? I’ve had a few. My head likes to do this awesome thing where it takes every stressing trigger and throw it in a closet. Kinda like when you were a kid and your parents told you to clean your room and you interpreted that as “stuff all my crap in the closet and not actually clean anything.”. Yeah that’s what my brain does so when the closet gets to full and explodes open I literally feel like I’m drowning

. Thankfully I’ve found a way to combat this “hot garbage” as I like to call it.

My “Fuck It List”. I basically write down everything that stresses me out especially the things I can’t control and I put it on the list and say Fuck It! It helps me to de-clutter my mind and focus on what I can change and improve, like for instance I can’t stress over something that happened in the past so it goes on the list and when there is something on the list I can change I set out to try to fix it. There’s no time stamp on when it needs to get done, just as long as I work toward fixing

the issue.

Once the issue is fixed I can check it off and move on to the other things on the list. I suggest everyone try this from time to time. You can’t go around all day carrying stress in your head and expect not to have your head explode at some point. When your head explodes you usually take that stress out on some poor unsuspecting victim who just happened to be within range of your unfocused anger.

It’ll also help you with your anxiety a little bit, Now I’m not saying I found a cure-all for anxiety I’m just saying what helps me, but relieving yourself of stressful issues will help you reduce your anxiety. I know writing down things has helped me get past a few anxiety attacks I’ve had, but everyone is different and we shouldn’t expect something that works for us to work for another.

Everyone has their own way of coping with life’s stresses and to each their own. Just never forget that you’re not alone in this battle and there is always a guiding hand just waiting for you to talk hold.

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