The person who is reading this right now is currently impacting my life. You are becoming part of my inspiration and I appreciate you deeply. You are taking your time and your energy to read a bit of my experience and encouragement, therefore I hope I am able to make you feel safe as I do so. You are fueling me to continue writing and to keep trying to create more and more. You are the reason I have new projects coming in an effort for us to be better connected and hopefully, you will find more people who share similar beliefs, thoughts, and opinions as you through the spaces I'm trying to make. Whether you're feeling lonely, happy, sad, upset, or don't quite know what you're thinking and feeling, I am working on trying to give you a place to take a break from all of it. Whether you are learning who you are, adding to who you want to be, or already showing the world your authentic self, I will always support you.
I have never posted about my tattoos publicly. I tend to not say anything about them until someone notices. They've been part of me for almost two years and they seem so natural to me that it's strange to imagine myself without them. I've tried to find a short way to explain the story of why I got them when there's limited time, and I only share the extended version when I feel comfortable with the individual I am speaking with. One day I will share the extended version for the world, but today I only want to talk about one of my tattoos in hopes that it encourages whoever needs to see this to learn to not be so afraid to be who you really are at your core.
When I turned twenty-one I had no desire to do the traditional celebration drinking. There are cases of alcoholism scattered throughout my family history and when you watch how that impacts an entire family it makes some people not want to drink themselves. (Disclaimer, it does not bother me for other people to drink in my presence, I simply just do not want to participate myself.) Instead, I wanted to get two specific tattoos, two words that hold meaning to me, one for each wrist. I had chosen these words carefully a year prior, even had them written in my journals, and pinned them to my wall to keep looking at them and making sure they were what I wanted.
Now, the word 'Authentic' is tattooed in cursive near my right wrist and when I see it I'm reminded to never feel afraid to express myself. I always tried to be genuine with people and I never faked my kindness, I can proudly say that. I've never had to force myself to be kind, perhaps I've forced myself to be polite in situations where it would be easier to be equally as rude as the person I was dealing with, but my kind words and actions have always come from real places within me. While I was being kind to everyone else I was not being kind to myself, something I think all of us are guilty of. I was filtering sections of my beliefs and thoughts because I recognized not everyone understood. Sometimes I would get the courage to share whatever was going through my mind, but then I would be met with either a look of confusion, an awkward moment of silence while they seemed uninterested, or sometimes a joke would be thrown my way when I was trying to have an honest conversation. I would shrug it off and then change the topic and then go home and write something to take my mind off of all the stuff in my head. It didn't help that one of my emotional fears is being lonely. I'm not afraid of being alone, I can be left alone for hours and entertain myself just fine. The idea of being lonely? I can't do that. It's a miserable thing to imagine. During the year 2017, I had started working on my upcoming novel (the world will have it in Spring 2021), and I was determined to make something completely opposite of my previous work. It is a book grounded in reality, it has no fantasy elements, it has no exaggerated adventures, and it's written in a different style too. Yet, as I kept writing as a form of self-therapy I noticed two similarities about all of my stories; there was always a yearning for a sense of belonging and sense of self. Every character I have made wants to grow into who they really are with people who support them and add happiness to their lives. I was writing a story that was unintentionally beginning to reveal numerous parts of me, including those same yearnings, and it hit me that I needed to be more transparent. I wasn't writing a fantasy series anymore. People know when someone is being fake. People know when something isn't real. People are tired of seeing fake, including me. I've worked on that story for almost three years now and it saw me during a time of confusion, frustration, and depression, but it also saw me in a time of healing, learning, and growing into my authentic being. I have always wanted to create authentic art. I have always wanted to have my own authentic voice. I wanted to move forward in my life in a natural way. So, I requested that the word authentic be tattooed on my right wrist where I can see it and remember not to filter myself. I love that it's visible when I write because it keeps motivating me to write from my heart and soul even if it worries me that I'm sharing too much. I believe to truly enjoy this short life cycle we're given is to do it with as much authenticity as we can. There will be some places and situations when it may not be safe to express who you are, I'm aware that not everyone has an atmosphere where they can throw away all caution and exist as they wish, but I can tell you that I will always try to create a safe space for you. I'm not capable of healing the whole world or befriending everyone who needs a friend, but I can promise you that I will continue to make stories, interact with messages when I can, and hopefully make future projects and investments in safe spaces for all of you to be your authentic self without worry, fear, or judgment.
Thank you for gracing me with some of your time. I hope you stay safe. I hope you stay healthy. I hope you find all the moments where you can take a break. I hope you find all the things that bring you joy. I hope you become your authentic self and I hope to see you again soon.