Monday, April 30, 2012

Hold This Thread...

It's been a little over six months since I made this blog public, an experiment, a curiosity, an effort to build "my platform" as suggested to me by an agent. I have been writing on this blog since 2008 and a small handful of people had the password to it. Back in those days, this blog was a smattering of poems, conversations, photos, deeply personal writing and sarcastic rants, even thank yous and love letters to other people. When I went public I didn't comb through the blog and take down old posts. I threw caution to the wind and let the writing I considered "somewhat private," writing I did on a public (albeit protected) platform as a means to keep me accountable to myself, stand on its own. (I have since combed through some. It's more than a little upsetting to learn you have hurt someone's feelings over a post you don't even remember writing and never intended to be public. A lesson in responsible blogging. Be careful with your words.) I started this blog so I could spend time at my desk job still doing something creative and something expressive for myself. I watched other friends' blogs, blogs that were started after my personal one, blow up to crazy proportions and I have watched other friends get book deals and agents and advertisements, all stuff I secretly covet and yet I refuse to allow myself to "be big." I refuse to monetize this blog under the guise that the few pennies I might make would not be worth losing the "integrity" of this blog. I have said this for a while while posting things like Tramp Stamp Thursday. Not to say that Tramp Stamp Thursday is not bursting with integrity. It's just when you read the word "Tramp," integrity might not be the first adjective that comes into your head. And this is nothing against all my fellow tramp stampees. Part of the reason I love that segment so much is that it's what I really want to be doing - writing stories, and not just any story but stories most of us can connect to. And so many of us can connect to a wild night that ends with a tattoo, a wild youth that concludes with a memento to remind us just how precious we were and still are, we with all of our convictions and regrets.

For a decade, I have watched myself be a backseat writer. I write plays and work on them for two years and then when the story has helped me process whatever unfinished business I needed to process or helped me swallow the residual shame I feel from this failed relationship or that unfulfilled dream, I pack these scripts away. My college thesis sits at the bottom of a filing cabinet I can't even get into anymore. My play that I had a reading of at a playwriting workshop through Voice and Vision, is crammed into a metal mesh file holder sandwiched between scripts I haven't looked at in five years. I have ten minute plays unsubmitted. Short stories abandoned.  And now 80 pages of a memoir I am running from. 

I blame the blog. I blame the wedding. And these are half truths. I am "happy" right now and don't really want to continue writing about a time where I suffered immense complex grief. Why write about how the night my parents decided to divorce was a scene that really captured the essence of them both? Why write about growing up in a one-bedroom apartment with my brother in a single-parent home? Why write about the deep regret I have for never accepting my grandmother's invitation to come over for tea? Why would I go back and sit in the shit, I think to myself, when I can write about Things I've Learned from Living in NYC and Tramp Stamp stories and things that are just fun?  I stopped interviewing artists and finding my Tuesday Treats, even though I know the talks and writing the posts always inspired something in me. I stopped posting poems. I stopped getting too personal. I find it harder and harder to just write uninhibited. And then I ask myself, am I stuffing the script back in the file drawer? Will I delete this blog in the near future or abandon it entirely? I hear myself reminding myself, This was just a an experiment anyway. A year, remember? I feel myself losing steam. I feel myself running out of excuses. I feel the same old thing with this writing problem of mine. I don't always love to write and sometimes I hate it. But to not do it is inconceivable. To consider a life without writing is one I can't bear, even if it's writing about tattoos and wedding planning. But now I'm wondering if the blog is the obstacle? I still have another desk job where I can blog from,  a job I tell myself would be perfect for a writer when I know a part of me doesn't consider blogging "writing" or at least not the kind of writing that I want to do in my heart.

I tell myself the blog is about connecting. Blogging is about connecting through writing. And I still believe that. And not just connecting with people but connecting with myself. It has also become a sort of truth meter for me and in some unfortunate cases an unintended weapon. In both cases, a great teacher. And for that I'm grateful. Maybe because of that, it's exactly what I should be doing.

So where does this leave me? I'm not quite sure. Maybe I need to get messy again. Shake things up. Write from the heart. Not look at the stats. Not follow my routine segments. I'm not sure what I need, but I know that I needed to write a post to get honest for a moment.  If you're reading, thank you. And if you keep reading, thank you. I don't know where this blog is headed, but if you hold this thread, you may just watch it all unravel.  

Inspiration


Friday, April 27, 2012

Losing Steam


"It seems as though your muscles have forgotten how to relax," the doctor says. He wiggles his fingers along the vertebrates of my neck. He continually tells me to let my head fall and I think to myself what a funny concept.

"Your head's not that heavy," he laughs and I laugh, too, and finally let my head...fall.

He cracks my back and cracks my neck. He presses on spots in my back that angrily press back. He tells me about taxed adrenal glands and stress and unprocessed sadness.

I think This doctor is a fucking genius.

He tells me how the mind and body need to have a relationship that isn't based on the body being a slave to the mind. He tells me to make time in my schedule for resting and after I leave I understand what kind of rest he is talking about.

I wander into a coffee shop and try to read the menu but my mind is foggy and my body feels foreign. The barista finally asks me if he can help. I muster up the clarity to ask for tea. I sit with a cup of green jasmine and I watch New Yorkers run across streets, some with umbrellas popped, others with hoods on, heads down. I watch the new green leaves on the tree in front of me, heavy and delighted with these long-awaited showers and I watch the rain fall...one drop at a time.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tramp Stamp Thursdays: The Child of God Tat

Alexis, Indianapolis, IN
Tramp Stamp: Cross with 2 doves on each side holding a ribbon

Tramp Stamp Meaning:  Something meaningful.

Time of Tramp Stamp: 2-0!

Bio:  Alexis is not one to brag on herself but fortunately, Courtney of tribal/Celtic tramp stamp fame, filled us in on the elusive Alexis.  In Courtney's own words, "She is an AWESOME Life Coach (at an adult charter school) and works with adults who are coming back to get their high school diplomas.  She helps them set goals, checks on their progress and helps them remove barriers that might prevent them from being successful." Do you expect anything less from a Tramp Stampee who gets a cross draped in ribbon carried by the symbols of peace? I mean, c'mon! How awesome is that!

When I asked Alexis if she had any wild tales surrounding this experience like a night of drinking 40ozs on an Indian Reservation or being overcome with the idea of getting a tat at the shop Fred Durst worked out during spring break in Jacksonville, Florida or feeling inspired after too much fresh air and granola to get the image of children holding hands over your ass while working at summer camp in Vermont, Alexis admitted she had no wild tales but that she is a Christian now and would rather have only two tattoos instead of three. (Forgive me father for I have sinned...again and again and again....Of course, I had to ask about the other two!)


Alexis said, "I went through a phase where I wanted tattoos and piercings. I kept saying to myself anything I get must look good on me when I am 80!" (And what's more timeless than a cross?!)
"My first tattoo was on my shoulder at age 16." (Niiiiiiiiccccceeeeee) "It's my name in cursive next to a cross covered in flowers. My second tattoo is on my right thigh and it's a cross, wood grain, with my mothers name on top." Alexis said she did it to show her mother, who she had a strained relationship with, how much she "loved her." She also admitted that she got the tattoo on her arm because, "I was young and thought it was cool." Oh, Alexis, so many of us inked up derrieres feel you!

Tattoo Goal: While Alexis doesn't love her tramp stamp she won't be removing it.

Thank you, Alexis and Courtney! This has been another successful story on Tramp Stamp Thursdays. 

If you are interested in having your tramp stamp profiled, leave a comment or tweet me! (@rewindrevise)



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lessons I'm Learning to Lead a Somewhat Manageable Life

1. If you can't figure out why your coat won't zip, it might be because your trying to force the inner zipper to zip with the outer zipper. Don't force a solution.

2. When you become extremely angry at a colleague for asking to relay a message for her even though your not her fucking assistant, you are not really angry at that colleague. In fact, you may be angry at something that happened over the weekend, but because you didn't want to make a big deal about it and didn't process it, you ended up giving yourself a bad Monday. Sometimes, trying to skip over the mess and trying to be perfect or "the bigger person" just leaves you disconnected from your feelings and plants the seed for a resentment that will grow like dandelions blowing over a prairie. You don't know where those seeds will land but one day you will look out on your field and wonder how you got so many fucking weeds.

3. You can start your day over at any time.

4. Just because you rolled over on something you actually didn't agree to doesn't mean you are stuck with that decision. It's never too late to get up and stand up for yourself. And if you find yourself rolling over again, don't beat yourself up about it. Life is full of rolling and standing, rolling and standing.

5. You have as much time as you would like. Appreciate your minutes by accepting where you are, right here in this moment, right here on this planet. Look around.

6. There is always time to stop and smell the roses.

7.  It's nice to believe in something bigger than yourself. The world feels a lot more welcoming when you are not in charge of it. Problems don't feel so heavy and loneliness begins to turn on itself when you start to believe or even just pretend that a peculiar occurrence may just be something more mysterious and more purposeful and more infinitely profound that you can possibly imagine.

8. A piece of chocolate a day is more than just a treat. It's a way of life.

9. When you're hungry, angry, tired, lonely, or cold - STOP. Eat something, sit down, warm yourself and maybe that will take care of the rest.

10. Keep moving - for your body, for your mind, and for your wallet. Clothes are expensive and nothing feels more frustrating than to have to buy "a size up."

11. People are not interested in your opinion unless they ask for it. Even if you think it's just a "helpful suggestion," a "friendly piece of advice," if it is unsolicited it will most often come out like judgment. Get out of people's ways (including your own.)

12. You live in a city. Wash your hands every chance you get.

13. In a conversation, how much listening are you doing and how much waiting to talk are you doing? Sometimes silence is all people really need to figure out their own shit. Sometimes listening can be enough for you to figure out your own shit.

14. People cannot read your mind. Likewise, you cannot read theirs. Don't assume anything. Say what you mean, but don't say it mean.

15. Keep it simple and don't give excuses. If you can't make it to that party, that lunch date, that soccer game - you can't make it. But, if you don't go to the gym, don't say I didn't make it. Own it - I didn't feel like it, okay?!

16. Life may give you lemons, but you can do whatever the fuck you want with them.

17. When your brother tells you he is chilling out for a few minutes before a big audition, that is not the time to complain about something happening in your life. Even if you caught yourself and apologized for usurping his few moments of peace, help a brother out and nip that shit in the bud. (Next time, next time.) Likewise, when people are eating at work, they are probably on their lunch break. Send an email. And when they bother you on your lunch break, ask them to send an email. Continue your lunch.

18. When someone offers you a hug, accept it.

19. Pay attention. It's your job as a human being.  Don't drive, talk, or walk while texting - ever.

20. Love. Love. Love.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

When A Cowboy Gets Down On One Knee...

...he's coming back up with a bride to be.

Have I ever told you that my Dad is a character? He cooked up this proposal with his girlfriend's daughter and arranged for her entire family and some of his family to witness him asking for her hand in marriage. After being a bachelor for almost twenty years, it's about time he finally settled down!

Congratulations to my dad and Claudine! May you have many dance floor clearing moments and all the two stepping life brings you.



And because a cowboy wants to make damn sure...



Love you both!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Zodiac Tramp Stamp

Jenny, Manhattan, NY
Yesterday, a friend of mine revealed she had a secret she had been keeping from me and it was making her feel really guilty. She then whispered, "I have a tramp stamp." Here is her confession, perhaps my favorite story yet:

Tramp Stamp: Libra scales in a tree...with some stars (Finally! A Zodiac tramp stamp!)

Tattoo Meaning: In Jenny's own words, "Seeking balance...and I really, really loved trees, I guess." In my words, "I once listened to The Doors."

Time of Tramp Stamp: 19 years old in Albuquerque, New Mexico...it gets better. Jenny started off her tramp stamp tale with, "So, I was living on an Indian Reservation in New Mexico..." Jenny was doing a community service and camping program and one night she and her fellow...colleagues?...hippies?...what is the right word? Anyway they all got drunk off 40's of the fine malt liquor, Old English, and promised to all get tattoos, which led them to a headshop in Albuquerque. Jenny added, "My tattoo artist's name was Slick." It gets better... But how does a girl pay for her tramp stamp when she's living on an Indian Reservation? Jenny explained, "I called my parents from a payphone and asked if they would send me money to pay for it." Furious, they said NO and to this day her father has refused to ever look at it. But luckily for Jenny, her fellow Reservation friends pooled together their money and bought her a permanent memory of such an awesome story. "In the end only me and one other girl went through with it. The other girl got one on her foot which looked painful...and right before I went in this huge buff guy covered in tattoos told me, It's the worst pain of your life." (Well done, Albuquerque!) But Jenny said it wasn't that bad and she definitely got that "adrenaline high" people talk about.





Bio: Jenny is an artist, an illustrator and a third grade teacher living in New York City. While she has never really received any annoying comments about her tramp stamp she does suffer from the Tramp Stamp Teachers Dilemma. Sometimes when leaning over or reaching for something, one of her students will accusingly ask her if she has a tattoo. When I asked her how she answers, she said, "I roll my eyes and use body language to suggest that there ARE stupid questions and you just asked one." But Jenny said she hates that these tattoos got the nickname tramp stamp. She still believes, as do I, that it is a great place for a tattoo...mainly because she never sees it.

Tattoo Goal: Jenny thought about just saying "Fuck it!" and extending the tattoo so that maybe her whole back would be turned into a giant tree..."But , then I thought that was kind of stupid."

Jenny, thank you for finally coming forward and letting me profile you on Tramp Stamp Thursdays! When I thanked her in person Jenny said, "I just felt it was the right thing to do."

Do the right thing and tweet me your tramp stamp stories @rewindrevise!






Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gnarly

It's been awhile since I've written something other than blog posts. And I've had fun on this little blog of mine. But last night I started to miss this book I was working on for about a year and a half. I couldn't even remember where I left off. So I opened my last chapter and within a few sentences I remembered why I stopped. Because I'm happy. I don't necessarily subscribe to the whole idea of the depressed writer... but sometimes the proof can be in the pudding. A lot of my other writing, my more emotional writing, the stuff I only share with five women in a writing group that has been meeting for over two years, was also me working shit out. It was me processing extraordinary grief. The problem is, I'm kind of proud of that writing and I'd like to do something with it. I'd like to finish that book, but right now it just seems a little abusive to throw myself back into the emotional turmoil and twists and turns of heart wrenching grief. Perhaps, the writing will get even better now that there is some space, now that there is some peace, but do I really want to find out?

I have never been able to really describe the feeling that comes when I know there is something in me that needs to get written. Almost like the winds changing direction, the turn of a season, an internal shift in mood, a more sensory experience that leads me through the day. Before the words reveal themselves there is something that tells me Pay Attention. There is something alarming about this feeling, but also something gravitational. Something that makes me feel firmly cemented to the earth and yet disconnected longing to connect. Maybe it's because I'm reading really good writing right now. Maybe it's more inspiration than anything. The pure pleasure I get from reading a string of well crafted words strung together in a mouth-watering sentence. How my heart leaps when I read a line that moves me to move.

Maybe I'm just getting ready before jumping back into a work in progress that I know cuts me right to the core. Or maybe I'm just feeling a little gnarly.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Letter to all Brides To Be

Dear Bride To Be,

We get it. It's your wedding day, a day you may have dreamed about since you were a girl, a day that has been mythologized to be the most beautiful, most perfect, most romantic and memorable day of your life. You want to look your best. Who doesn't? So you diet and you exercise and you get into high-end skin routines and bizarre beauty regimens. All of this, I get. But this latest thing, this placing a feeding tube in your nose to your stomach to shed those last 10 - 20 pounds to fit into a dress you will only wear once, this living off a feed bag for ten days. This I do not get and hopefully you don't either. 

What does it mean to be beautiful? Does being "skinny" really outweigh all the other factors? Does being small matter more than a healthy glow, than a warm smile, than an attractive energy? Sure, I want to lose ten pounds before my day but not at the expense of my sanity. And I hope you don't either. The day is not a beauty pageant. It's a celebration of your love and commitment to the one you love. Let's not forget it, deal? Deal.

Sincerely,

Another bride-to-be

Friday, April 13, 2012

Guess What I'm Reading?


"Ah, sir, you dwellers in the city cannot enter into the feelings of the hunter."

Seriously, guess.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Seven Reasons Why I Love Tramp Stamps


Okay, so here we are, eleven tramp stamps later, and I feel I should tell you WHY I love these often ridiculed tattoos.

1. It's actually a really good spot for a tattoo. What other part of your body, besides your back side is a perfectly flat canvas? I guess maybe an arm could count, but even that can go through some major changes.  The lower back pretty much stays the same barring the occasional stretch mark. (Thanks, freshman year of college)

2. I remember when they weren't called tramp stamps and they were just lower back tattoos and DAMN they were hot!

3. The tramp stamp seemed to capture the rebellious spirit of the grunge era of the early 90s along with the "girls gone wild" movement in the late 90s. A time when Spring Break went on steroids and the most profound image of my generation was that of a girl on her knees in a string bikini drinking from a beer funnel. Don't get me wrong, then the shit hit the fan in this country, but for a while, we didn't care about shit nor did we feel we needed to.

4.  There is something so hopeful about the tramp stamp. Something so pure and free and full of "stick it to the man" sexuality. A tattoo that says, You know you want me AND I totally want it. A tattoo that knows no limits or boundaries. So what if it's peeking out from my jeans? So what if you can only see it when I bend over or raise my hands above my head? The tramp stamp doesn't care. That's part of the allure. One minute you see me, the next you don't...but you hope to meet me real soon.

5. The stories. The meaningfulness. The unadulterated youth that oozes out behind every tramp stamp that  no matter how deep that tramp stamp was intended to be ultimately screams the same message everywhere, I'm an adult, Mom and Dad!

6. The part time tattoo. The great thing about the tramp stamp is that you don't really see it. I remember my Dad asking me what was the point of getting a tattoo that only other people would see? But, maybe that's the point entirely. We put tattoos on our bodies to say something about ourselves.  And the grace of the tramp stamp is that you don't need to be reminded everyday that you once wanted the world to know you were a total badass at 18, or wild like a wildflower, or that you got crazy on spring break in Florida, that you loved a boy enough to get his number tattooed above your ass or that you once really thought believing in faeries made you the uber hippie, or that you once were totally in love with Anthony Kiedis, or that you once were very serious and deep and contemplated things like life and death and time. You don't need to be reminded everyday that although we are each unique in our own special little snowflake way and as individualistic as tattoos can sometimes suggest that we are, that one time you conformed to a trend that made the first generation feminists wince just a little bit. Go on, burn your bras, but a permanent marking above your ass, really? Can't you co-opt more than just the sexuality part?

7.  I regard my tramp stamp as a sort of tribal marking, as if by having one makes me a part of something larger that connects me with that camp counselor in Vermont who just got back from a 20 day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon, or that teacher in Indy who still knows how to get funked at a Galactic concert, or that sociology grad student going after her PhD who's not afraid to blast Rihanna's We Found Love with me in a car full of dudes from Jersey.  There is something about the tramp stamp that signifies a certain kind of characteristic, something fun and uninhibited and for so many of us "old" broads now, a good sense of humor when reflecting on the ink crowning our derrieres. If you have a tramp stamp, chances are, you're pretty fun.

So thank you to all of my Tramp Stamp Thursday lovelies! Keep on trampin! And to all of you sexy neck tattoos and flirty ankle tattoos and badass wrist tats, don't be shy. Shoot me a picture and tweet me @rewindrevise . You know who you are! 



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Disembodied

The topic of body image has been on my mind lately. Dress shopping and stripping down to your skivvies while a stranger wraps a measuring tape around your breasts, waist, and hips, can do that to a girl. At first, the old habits of being very critical of myself came flooding in. I think more women suffer from this type of "not good enough" body image than is talked about, which is why I LOVED Ashley Judd's article in The Daily Beast. If you haven't read it, here's a taste of the beginning: 

The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us. The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.

PREACH! Ashley Judd just became my hero with this essay or maybe more of an idol because I wish I had written something as eloquent like this about an issue that I care about, an issue I experience, and an issue that has much more dire consequences if there isn't a dialogue happening.

During college, I worked at an all girls camp in Vermont for the summer. Growing up with boys and having boy cousins like brothers, there weren't too many girls in my life. Don't get me wrong, I  had women. Mainly my Aunt Gail who was a great example of what it meant to be a strong woman. To this day she still doesn't take crap from anyone. But in terms of my battle with body image, that crept up slowly and quietly in those moments where I got stuck inside the mirror, in the changing room of the girls locker room in high school, in my  obsession with watching MTV's beach house where scantily clad girls with one type of body danced in front of the television. Then before I knew it, the issue of body image was like a shadow that followed me everywhere I went - pool parties, homecoming dances, the workout room during soccer training. And the truth is, I have never been considered "overweight" barring my freshman year of college when I packed on twenty-five extra pounds which I eventually shed. But back to camp, where I spent a lot of time with girls, and a lot of time figuring out the kind of "girl" I wanted to be. One of the most brilliant concepts of this camp, was that there were no mirrors larger than the size of your face. In other words, you could only use the mirror to wash your face and brush your teeth. There was also a no make-up rule, but even if you snuck a little mascara, eventually you felt silly because it became so obvious! Make-up became the abnormal. Also, no "beauty" magazines.

After three months in the woods with no mirrors to obsessively check my body in, a rejection of make-up, and distance from the constant bombardment of misogynistic images and ideas suggesting I'm not making the cut, I began to appreciate my body for what it's meant to do - be strong and carry me through this life. I began to get used to my face without the accents of cover-up and dark eyelashes and an inner glow from the confidence and physical strength I gained throughout the summer began to shine through. Eight year old girls who had come to camp saying they were on a diet, saying they wanted to be skinny, left camp with a renewed sense of self. They left camp saying they were "Strong of Heart" not "skinny." And whether they kept that sense of self when they returned home and back to school, the message somewhere had still been given a chance to internalize. And with each return to camp, the message got louder and clearer and more ingrained in their personalities.  If having three months out of the year where the conversation about body image was turned off could have the kinds of inspirational outcomes I was witnessing at that camp, it moves me to think what a different generation of women we could be raising if the conversation was muted or at least transformed entirely.

Now, it wasn't perfect. We still had a handful of girls that could not overcome issues with body image, girls that were sick with eating disorders on either end of the spectrum. And that is something I don't dare try to discuss because I am not on expert on the subject. But I know for myself, that the three summers I worked at that camp implanted in me the seed that I might just have the most beautiful body in the world simply because it's mine and there isn't another like it. I might be so much more than a little extra weight around my tummy, because, by the way, I can portage a canoe on my back and hike a mile and half with it through the Canadian wilderness. I might be more gorgeous than anything a mascara wand can wave and I might just be more strong than I can ever imagine because everyday I walk through this life past some sort of magazine, advertisement, or commercial telling me that "perfect" looks like something I am not and I still go about my day with a head held high, a smile I like to share, and the idea that somewhere in me shines a light that can never be put out.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why Ashley Judd Rocks

 After being criticized and accused of plastic surgery for appearing to have a "puffy face," Ashley Judd decided to take the opportunity to write on of the most compelling letters/articles on media and the attack on women in our society that I have ever read. Check the article (published by The Daily Beast) out here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

On Developing My Internal Report Card


Thank you, tea bag.

I have a confession. One I hate to admit. But...I kind of care what you think. I kind of live for some sort of approval, even though in the end it never really does anything for me. I know there are a few friends (especially in Colorado) reading this crying, Bullshit. I know, I know. It doesn't sound like me, but what can I say? I always loved an A+.

The last two weeks when I was obsessively shopping for my wedding dress, I realized that despite going to most of my appointments solo, I was showing pictures of the dress to anyone who asked about it. But not only that, I was asking people what they thought! What kind of insane bride welcomes comments and criticisms on the one thing that is totally ALL about the bride?!? Before I knew it, I was getting my feelings hurt by opinions that I asked for. But worse than that, I was getting influenced. So much so, I almost bought the wrong dress. A week ago, when I wrote And then I found my dress (I think!) that should have been my first clue that although I looked great in the dress (and it was a gorgeous Judd Waddell gown remarkably discounted) that it definitely was not the one because I wrote I think! And this is not a blog to my friend who helped me find that Waddell gown. D, thanks for being with me on that day and I really did believe it was the one after we left the store! But after sleeping on it, serious doubt crept in and something was telling me, Nope, nope, nope. 

But then I thought, Oh great, is this one of those things where I tell myself I don't want a big stupid wedding dress but really it's because somewhere I don't think I'm worthy of the dress. Like the same way I pretend I don't care about being all girly, when really there is a pair of heels inside me kicking to get out?  So then I talked myself back into the dress. I convinced myself that I did in fact want to go big and have a big long dramatic train! So what if I'm getting married in a bookstore, I'm going big, baby! But the truth was, deep down I knew I was a little disappointed because I DID have a vision of what I thought I would be wearing on my wedding day. I just hadn't found anything that I liked myself in besides this gown. 

When I called my Maid-of-Honor who had patiently been giving me feedback on a series of pictures and I told her what two other people thought of the dress, she yelled "LINDSEY! STOP SHOWING PEOPLE!!! What are you doing!?" It didn't matter what anyone thought of the dress. It didn't even matter what SHE thought of the dress. (And she was very honest!) "It only matters what YOU think of the dress!" she yelled. And how could I know what I thought when I had shown everyone around me? And on a deeper note, why the hell was it so important for me to get someone else's approval?

I know the answer to that question. And anyone else who has this same problem probably knows their answer, too. (And trust me, I'm working on it) The next appointment I had, I went with one friend and after trying on two dresses that were very beautiful and that a week before I would have been convinced to get, I slipped on another dress and thought I don't give a shit what anyone thinks! This is my dress! All this time when people were saying, you'll just know, they were kind of right and I'm also glad that all of "those people" were not in that dressing room with me on that day. And I don't mean physically, I mean mentally. Maybe I needed a week of indecision to get me to this place, maybe it was the shocking disapproval I got from my friend on how I was going about choosing my wedding dress. Regardless of why, I'm eternally grateful that I have a friend who always knows when to hold up a mirror to me. She always knows when to challenge me, when I just need an ear, and she respects me enough to always be honest with me. And today is her birthday! So, Tara, if you're reading, thank you (again and again and again) and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

As for this characteristic of mine, all I can say is that it is a work in progress but it is an everyday challenge. This blog is in fact a daily reminder to me to post what I feel proud of and not to hide my writing (which I did for years) because I'm afraid other people might not think it is good enough. But occasionally I slip up. It means so much to me when people comment or "like" my link on Facebook and when there is an absence in those digital little approvals, those made-up little grades that I got so used to in school, I have to catch myself from thinking, maybe it was a bad post. I have to ask myself, do I approve of this blog? Do I feel proud? Am I letting all my stars out?  

And for today, I can say, Yes!!! 

 


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wedding Bells

I bought my dress today AND tried on my wedding ring! And the whole day I've been just a little bit buzzing...


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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tramp Stamp Thursdays: The Dude Tramp Stamp - This is Serious Shit, Man

Jackson, Boston, MA

Tramp Stamp
Yesterday, the lovely artist and rewindrevise.com Tuesday Treat, Alex Goldberg, and I went for a stroll as we talked about how I still needed a tramp stamp for today. We walked into a favorite little shop of ours and after seeing parts of a sleeve tattoo on the man behind the register, I thought, he must know a tramp stampee. People with sleeve tattoos have friends with tattoos. It's just the way things are. I asked Jackson if he knew anyone who had a tramp stamp and he said, "Yeah...well, I have a tramp stamp." I was so excited! I begged him to let me profile his and then he added, "Sure...it's an hourglass." Could this tramp stamp from a gentleman get any better?!! I thought. He let me snap this tramp stamp which at first glance looks like a fallen hourglass with maybe some clouds above it. Poet, perhaps? Writer? Memorial tattoo? And then he revealed it was part of a larger piece, which as you can see, is pretty fucking epic. It's size alone makes it pretty bad ass.




Time of Tramp Stamp 
No better age than legal drinking age to get some permanent ink! Sweet 21!

Place of Tramp Stamp
Bushwick - Brooklyn, baby! At Morning Star Tattoo on Wyckoff Ave. (You can also email Wayne at morningstartattoo@gmail.com)

Tattoo Meaning
I asked him what the tattoo's meaning was and he said, "You know, life and death and time."  Yesssssss.......we love you, Jackson.

Bio
Jackson is an artist who also works at my favorite shop in Greenwich Village, Greenwich Letterpress on Christopher Street between 6th and7th Avenues. His art work is mainly print making and painting and it just so happens that he has a show coming up at Traffic Bar (986 2nd Ave and 52nd Street) on April 19th. Jackson is part of a Collective - Impulse Control Disorder - which is currently building their website.  When I asked Jackson if he had anything he wanted to say about his tattoo, especially considering he is the first male tramp stamp profile, he said, "I don't know...Check out my tramp stamp, bro."

Jackson also added that while he was getting this piece ( a whopping eight hours in the chair, mind you) the tattoo artist, (Wayne, we presume) was taunting him with, "Here comes your tramp stamp." Nice, Wayne. Nothing like sitting through seven and a half hours of skin engraving to then be taunted by your tattoo artist at the end. (We kind of love you, too, Wayne.)

When I told Jackson, we would also plug Greenwich Letterpress, he said, "Oh, yeah, please do!" Seconds later he bared his body for us taking tramp stamping to a whole new level.  To the owners of Greenwich Letterpress, give this man a raise!

Tattoo Goal
Jackson said he might get this piece touched up even though he kind of regrets it. But, I have to applaud Jackson for going big. This ain't no sissy tattoo! And as far as content, you don't get heavier than life and death...and time.  Both me and Alex left the store saying two things: That guy is awesome and That was actually a pretty cool tattoo. (But we forget to ask if he drew it! Hopefully, via the wonderful world of twitter, he will let us all know!) *This just in: the tattoo is from the work of Hans Holbein the Younger.

Jackson, we love you, baby! Thanks for being my first. Go see his show! And you can follow him on twitter @jkaers

If you are interested in having your tramp stamp profiled, leave a comment or tweet me @rewindrevise

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mental Health 101

A picture I snapped while stopping and smelling the flowers.
I heard an amazing little truth yesterday. Mental health is being able to live with uncertainty.  And yesterday, I nailed it. I was running late to an appointment and I didn't panic. I had this calm feeling and recognized there was nothing I could do to make the subway move faster or the mass of people at the 77th Street station move quicker. There was no sense in making myself crazy by pushing by people. In my head I just said, I'll get there when I get there. 

I'm so used to worry. To overload. To trying to figure out how to force a solution or make an outcome turn a certain way when the truth is, very little is in my control.   Yesterday, I did not rush to anything no matter how late it was going to make me and you know what, it made my day to just go at my pace, not New York's. And the other thought I had, was that I'm not perfect. And today I may be a few minutes late and that's okay. I sometimes think that if I can manage the uncertainty in life, it will temper my anxiety, that somehow I will be ready or more prepared no matter what is thrown at me. But, I can't ever remember a time when I thought, "Wow! I'm so glad I stressed about that for two weeks. Otherwise that challenge would have been a real bitch!"

If I really look at the patterns, I can see that most of the time, things work themselves out and never once has worry or stress aided in the outcome. And even if the outcome wasn't what I wanted, stress and worry would not have changed it. When I am really spiraling, it's when I'm worried, it's when I'm asking, But what if... And the other half of the time when I'm spiraling is when I'm beating myself up. Like this morning, I woke up so mad. Why? Because for the second day in a row (and many, many days over the past few months) I could not wake up and drag myself to the gym at 5:45 a.m. I was angry that I had not worked out because I know I need to. I was angry that I let myself sleep, even though it felt so good. And then I was stressed out about how and if I can get in a run today- a very long day I might add. But what does that boil down to? Uncertainty. I don't know if I will get to the gym today. But I also know that I can start my day over at any point. So just because I was super cranky this morning and upset with myself...I can let it go. And then what just happened? Literally, what just happened? I got an email from a co-worker asking if I would accompany her on a long errand/walk outside.

The more I embrace the uncertainty, the more free I become. The more I can loosen up the impossible standards I set for myself, the more I can enjoy the world around me. The more I let go, the more the chaos in my life seems to iron itself out, not to mention, I get to enjoy a lot more blooming tulips.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A piece of what?!?

Yesterday, I came home after a very long day and found such an amazing little treat! A piece of mail just because! And although I have not yet thanked this very special friend of mine for sending such a nice note for no particular reason, I felt I had to post it because of it's beautiful bright orange spring color and its hand drawn awesomeness. Sometimes it's nice to take a break from emails and facebook and blogging and tweeting and texting and do it the old fashioned way. And truly nothing does compare to the little gift of receiving a hand made card or note. It's part of the reason I would like to get more into letterpress. There's something to be said about a card you make from your own two hands. Speaking of which, an old Tuesday Treat, Jenny Ziomek, just launched her knew Etsy shop, Study Hall, where you can purchase some of her amazing illustrations and charcoal pieces and soon some of her cards! Check it out!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

And Then I Found The Dress...

As I wrote to my soon to be mother-in-law yesterday, writing helps me. And the great thing about blogging is that it gives you community. People who may resonate with something you write can then email you and write about and share their own experiences. Writing can be healing and exploratory and self-expression and satire and humor all at once. And yesterday was one of those days where it really worked like that for me. And then I found my dress ( I think!) and it looks damn good. Here's a little celebratory playlist...


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