Tattoo Me

I now have a total of four tattoos. Judge me all you want if you don’t like tattoos, but I love them, and before you step on your soap box, here me out. Each and every one of them have meaning.

The first tattoo I got at 18, young, wild, and free. My best friend at the time and I got matching butterflies on our ankles. The artists weren’t the greatest, and the butterflies are lackluster, but in that moment, it was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to do something crazy, something our parents probably wouldn’t like, but most of all, I wanted to make a lifelong memory with my best friend. Now, it’s a forever reminder of that crazy summer, one I will never and don’t want to ever forget.

My second tattoo was in two parts. The first was a word, Fayeth, and later I added a Navy anchor and the article “of”, so it became Anchor of Fayeth. This is my dedication to my husband’s grandparents who passed in 2011 and I was very close with.

Next and more recently, I added a tribute to my maternal grandparents who passed in 2015. A horseshoe and rose over my right shoulder will forever symbolize the greatest memories I have with them.

Lastly, the sparrow and nautical star on my other ankle. This is extremely emotional for me to discuss because the greatest sense of loss I have ever experienced in my life thus far is the day I lost one of my closest friends since childhood. It was just too soon, completely unexpected. She drew this sparrow and star so long ago, but it’s because she drew it that I have placed it on my body forever.

So, you may still not like them, but you cannot deny that sometimes they have a greater meaning and purpose. They may not be for you, but they are exactly what I need.

Saying goodbye to the past

When my life rocked sideways during a time of loss, a friend I once considered a sister came to stay with me. photo-1461720486092-b6ee3f33d726She was only with me for twenty-four hours before we went our separate ways, but by the end of that time, something beautifully ashen transpired. We could feel it the moment she walked back into my life, but it wasn’t palpable until the end.

It was in the goodbye.

When I hugged her goodbye, it felt like I was letting go party of my childhood. I felt the angst of my teenage years, the pain and awkwardness as I passed through so many milestones. There was wonder and excitement at finding myself, testing my personality and finding that self actualization. It was all there within our embrace. A tangible energy I could feel gathering between us began to slowly fade away. Like I was releasing a part of me that I had outgrown and moved beyond. Not because it was immature or some underdeveloped piece of me. It was as if this piece of myself allowed me to become the person I am today, completed its mission, and was ready to be released.

The seconds it took to release the hold around her tiny frame were the most drawn out moments in my life. Everything that had once built me up disapated as her arms unwound around me. All of the years I had spent trying to find the person I wanted to be evaporated like a summer rain from the forefront of my mind, finding their place within my mind’s archive. I could feel it slipping from me, all that time spent angry and confused, fumbling and jubilated as I made my way through the day to day.

It wasn’t being thrown away or stuffed into the attic, never to be thought of again. No, it became the diploma hanging on the wall, or the photos you frame to never forget a memory. It became a dormant piece to my life puzzle, the outer frame of my past, but no longer what constituted my center, present day me. It became the footprints in the sand behind me, the path that led me here, but no longer the dominant pieces of me.

As she looked at me, possibly for the very last time, I could see it in her eyes, too. She felt it. The pillars in our lives shifting. We smiled and said one last goodbye. She looked over her shoulder at me, and for the first time in my life, I felt renewed. I had finally released my past and became the full realized person I had fought so hard to be.

She helped me get to this point. I will always love her for that. I will never forget or regret my past. It was the only way to get to where I am today. I look upon it now, hanging on the wall in my mind’s gallery of memories and smile, thankful for it all and overwhelmed by the journey.

I’m not who I was. I’ve grown and become someone I had always hoped I would be. I have a longer road ahead of me to become even more, but to the road I have left behind, its been a beautiful ride.

What’s your story?

I’m sure we’ve all heard this before. Someone random or even an acquaintance asking what makes you, you. It may be any variation or form of the aforementioned question, but it holds the weight of your lifetime in it’s punctuation. 
If someone were to ask you this question today, what would the answer look like? What would the events of your past, accumulating to the present, show? 

Would they show a hard worker, striving for success? Maybe even showing some milestone(s) of achievement? 

Would it show a family oriented series of memories, leading up to the creation of your own unit? Would you be surrounded by people who you love and are loved by in return?

What’s your story?

What does it look like?

The best part of this story, the one you are currently starting in, is it isn’t finished yet.

Sweet Summertime

Sjason-long-718un peaking through the blades of grass and dancing on the dandelions delicate seeds,

secretly wishing their own little wish to be whisked away to your little hands.

Warm nights spent filled with late evening rays and brilliant mornings crowning each memory

with more heat than can be felt in the dog days of the Sweetest Summertime.

Light and warmth is what makes it summertime, but family is what makes it sweet. We’ve already begun our summer of memories, so instead of pining with anticipation, I’ll say that I am eager to make more!

Need to Decompress

I have always said that I am a gluten for punishment, and I live up to it regularly. I find new ways to add on to my plate, and eventually, I get so overloaded that I have to take a step back, regroup, and figure out how to tackle everything I promised to take on. This is definitely one of those moments. I am looking for my center then trying to add things slowly back into the mix to find the balance I lost somewhere along the way.

The good news is that I am scheduled to graduate this time next year with my Bachelor’s degree from SNHU (Southern New Hampshire University), so that will be one large chunk of weight off my shoulders. I also just finished another certification program at work, so I am officially a CAP-TA through IAAP. See a previous post for more information about them. My daughter is hinting at wanting to be potty-trained, so that will be another alleviating moment once she masters that feat. All in all, some things will be falling off my scale here shorty, so I am trying to see the finish line through the haze of the bombarding present.photo-1473624566182-509e437512f4.jpg

Through all the chaos that seems to happening around me, I have tried multiple times to pick up the diet and workout plan I had successfully been on before I became pregnant, but to no avail. I’ve come to determine that there just isn’t enough time in the day to deal with everything I have taken on, and try to diet and exercise as heavily I had been pre baby. I don’t have time to make a breakfast or lunch, so I grab a protein shake and whatever Lean Cuisine I can find before hitting the road. I tried doing it the night before, but again, I don’t have time between dinner, bath, and bedtime routine if I want to get to bed at a decent hour and/or have some “mommy time” or pay any attention to my husband.

So I did what any mom would. I scoured the internet for what other moms do when they want to diet and exercise with a full plate of commitments. I found that you are either a “fit mom” or an “excuse mom”, and I was definitely an “excuse mom”. These type of moms are the ones that come up with a whole handful of reasons as to why they can’t lose weight or diet while the “fit moms” have ab muscles and tiny waists, and say that “excuse moms” are just lazy.

How about I’m just a mom trying to do the best I can for my child? I may not be taking care of myself as well as I should in the diet and exercise aspect, but I am filling my heart full of memories, and trying to better myself through education and hard-work in my career to provide the best life I can for my daughter. That may not make me a “fit mom”, but that sure as hell doesn’t make me an “excuse mom”, either.

I digress on my rant, but I hope I leave everyone with the idea that life comes in stages. Right now, my stage is self-enlightenment through education. Maybe as my daughter gets older and more independent, and I finally add a diet and exercise plan to my balancing act, then it will be healthier mom time. Until then, I’ll just enjoy making memories.photo-1466699514193-d2327ed2cccb.jpg