Ink me beautiful

1 Apr

I have been considering a full sleeve tattoo for quite a while – years actually. After beginning the ASL interpreting program, I put the thought on hold because this is a job where I know I will have to keep them covered.

My current workplace doesn’t have a policy – we have hired people with neck, head and face tattoos. If you do your job well, how you adorn your body is your business (within reason). I sometimes have to go on TV for my job, which is something that only a handful of people do and I am the only person who is tattooed (visibly). I always cover them, and have never been told to do so, but I choose to. I want to make sure that I am not distracting people when the message is what I want them to focus on.

My dream job is to interpret for shows (theater, etc.). I already get crap from people about having tattoos, but I have yet to be in a situation where it could really impact my ability to have a job I really want and was concerned that this may be the case here.

After talking to the two people who could give advice about tattoos and work, I was thrilled that the response was positive. I feel like the stigma is starting to fade and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. I get told pretty often that I don’t “look like someone who has tattoos”, which always makes me ask what that person looks like…

Does your workplace have a tattoo policy? I have asked this question before, but am curious about whether or not things have changed or if you have noticed more acceptance.



More Love. Less Hate.

10 Dec

I have been having a rough week and was having a hard time pinpointing it, but it is clear to me tonight.

For the past month, I have never read more hate-filled, xenophobic, and racist posts on social media from people that I am friends/friendly with than ever before. My heart feels so heavy this week.

Last month when Paris was attacked, I left the morning of the attacks with my friends and BF. If we had stayed one more day, we would have been stuck there terrified and unsure when we would get home. If we had stayed one more night, we could have been in that neighborhood because the last time BF and I were there we loved it so much and were trying all week to get there with our friends.  I was feeling so guilty after hearing about the attacks because I had an amazing time right up until the day that other people lost their lives. My guilt was lifted when I watched a video of a father and son (you can see it here) about fighting bad guys with flowers and candles and it was so beautiful. If you have not watched it, please take a minute to do so. You can’t fight hate with hate. And, you certainly can’t fight hate by banning an entire group of HUMAN BEINGS running from exactly what I would be running from if I lived where they did. Try putting yourself in their shoes for a change. And, if you still don’t care, you really need to take a minute to reevaluate.

The reason you are living in the US and living the life you do, is because you got lucky. You are lucky that your parents/grandparents, etc. were born here, or hell, maybe they were immigrants themselves and that is why your family is here. Guess what? Other people lost the lottery of where they are born and are living in places where they fear for their lives every. single. day. When I wake up in the morning I don’t worry about walking out my front door to my street being bombed. I am more likely to get robbed by a random person, shot at school by a crazy person, or get hit by a bus. We don’t make it out of this life alive, however, if we live in fear every single day, that is not a life. You are just surviving.

I keep thinking about a photo I saw of a little girl in Syria. She has her hands up in the photo because she thought the camera was a gun. This is her life and she couldn’t have been older than 4 years old.

I can’t stop thinking about the Muslim community and what they must be feeling right now. I have volunteers at my work who are Muslim – wonderful sweet people who I enjoy working with all of the time. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be treated like shit because of what I am wearing, or the color of my skin.

We are all human beings. If you are afraid, you can be. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but think about what comes out of your mouth, what memes you share, what ideas you are following, and how you treat other people. What if it was you? What if you were born in Syria and wanted nothing more than to get your family to safety? WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS. Why aren’t we treating each other that way?

People are talking about religion and extremists. Sure, be afraid of extremists. They are terrifying, but they are from many different religions – and that doesn’t mean the entire religion is filled with horrible human beings. People are murdered every single day in this country and we now live in a place where we say “another mass shooting”. If everyone would stop being so selfish and treat one another as they want to be treated, maybe we would stop killing each other. Maybe we would want to help a person that was dealt a shitty hand in life.

When it comes down to it we all want the same things – love and happiness. Don’t you?

Thank you for reading. xo


I’m not great at being a friend

7 Sep

I have been thinking lately about how I am not so great at holding up my end of a friendship and I want to fix it. The thought occurred to me when I realized I hadn’t called back a friend of mine, who I adore, after she left me a message last week. It wasn’t urgent, but I totally forgot!

One crappy thing about being such a nice person is that a lot of people use me as a doormat. I am such a people-pleaser that when someone doesn’t like me I actually feel sick to my stomach. I can confidently say that I have gotten a lot better at not caring so much, but it is not easy.

I really love and value my friends because they return the same to me. I feel lucky to have many friends – really good, loyal, amazing friends. I see some multiple times a week and some a few times a year, but I love all of them the same. I know that if I need them – they will be there. And, I hope they know I will do the same.

I am just not good at calling and asking my friends for hangout times, even when I want them, or calling to catch up on what is happening in their lives.  I love my friends and care about what they are doing, so why is this the case?  Am I the only one?

I try to make excuses to myself – work is crazy, school is killing me, etc., but when it comes down to it, if they call and ask me to hang out – I am there. I am excited to see them and look forward to it very much. A part of me thinks that it is just a difference in people. Are some people just better at keeping in touch than others? I really don’t know.

Does anyone else do this? Have you found a way to be better at being a solid friend? I get to see my friends because they are great about keeping touch and I want to figure out a way to do the same. I can own that I am not great at it, but I am not sure where to start with getting better.

I love you friends!



Where did the past 7 months go? 

20 Aug

I really like writing here, but for some reason everything else always gets in the way. Here is the 100th promise that I am going to start writing more!

Pinky and M both had surgeries to remove cancer. M’s truly saved her life because she had a tumor on her liver and attached to her diaphragm. Pinky had surgery on her foot and although the cancer is gone the margins were small, so we are considering seeing an oncologist.

I keep worrying about this turning into just a bad cycle of crap, but I am trying to focus on good stuff. It has been a crazy few months. I finished my second summer session for American Sign Language and it learning it is awesome. It is a whole world that I am learning about (very slowly…) and It is fantastic. I have even talked with one friend about offering a sign language class at work for volunteers/staff. Signing feels like therapy. I feel energized while I am learning it and am getting more confident each time I am signing with someone.

Going to school and working full-time sucks, but it will be worth it when it is over. I will be so happy that work will have a full-time ASL interpreter on staff. I have to just remember that when I want to scream because I have 1359069 things to do!

I am going to try not to let 7 months pass again before I am back 🙂


Learning all of the signs!

14 Jan

Happy New Year!

I am calling this the “Year of Yes” – and it is not a push at BF to propose, so stop thinking that right now.

I am taking an American Sign Language class at my local community college on my path to becoming an ASL/English interpreter. A VERY LONG PATH is what it feels like right now, but also a really fun one. I have to be honest – it is really strange to be back in school, but equally as strange to be really excited for class.

I was placed into ASL 102 because of my previous ASL classes and I was nervous that the teacher would be signing really fast and I wouldn’t understand, but it has been the opposite. We have done review and my teacher signs very clearly and slowly. I am almost looking forward to the challenging classes.

I did notice the past few times I signed with a deaf person that I get incredibly nervous the second I start to sign. I am breaking it down to being afraid if “messing up”, but I think as I learn more signs, the nerves will be less and less. I have never been signing with someone who made me feel bad about it or insecure, so I just need to remember that every time. I am human and humans make mistakes!

I am very excited about this journey. I am very passionate about learning sign language and it feels awesome. Time in class goes by so quickly and I find myself wishing we had another hour! And, for the rest of the evening after class, or for the rest of the day after signing with someone, I am so happy that I feel like my body is vibrating!

I encourage you to find the same. Find something that you feel very passionately about and learn everything you can about it. Dive in head first!



I’m bringin’ booty baaaack

18 Nov

I have been thinking a lot about body image lately. In the past year, I have gained about 15 pounds, and noticed it, but I had been lucky in the past and my active lifestyle would just wipe pounds away. However, that didn’t seem to be working this time.

I realized that the weight came on right about when my Dad got sick and continued after his death. I had a shitty year and I ate a lot of crappy food. Depression is an asshole.

Do I think I am fat? No. Do I want to feel better in my skin? Yes. And, there really is a difference.

Pants size is a number. If you feel good and sexy and happy, then do you. Be you and be healthy. And, that is where I am now. I won’t be a size 2 and that is FINE. I have learned to be happy with my curvy body and really own it. I feel lucky to really love my body. I have things that I would like to change a bit, of course, but nothing drastic.

When I started getting tattooed MANY people questioned whether or not it was a good idea and whether or not I would still be “pretty”. Guess what? I have never felt more beautiful. It does not matter if other people think I am attractive. Of course, BF’s opinion is important to me, but really, his opinion is second to mine. We talk about the tattoos I get and I value his opinion, but at the end of the day, it is my body and the art on it makes me feel amazing.

I want more women to feel this way. Tall, short, tattoos, piercings, size 18 or size 2 – feel amazing in your skin. Photoshop is bullshit, but it is the world we live in and there is not much we can do except to realize it and continue with real life. Magazines are not real life.

The most important thing is to remember to be healthy. Treat your body well and she will return the favor. Underwear dance parties do count as cardio and I highly recommend them.



Hey, 32, you sexy bitch

4 Nov

I can’t believe I am 32. I had these ideas of where I would be at this age and I was totally wrong. My last year of life was the hardest I have ever experienced and I hope it was the hardest I will ever experience. I lost my Dad after months of battling and so many ups and downs, a friend who was cheated and passed away before reaching age 30, one of my pups had eye surgery, work was madness, etc. Just a fucking awful year.

However, in the midst of all that crap, I had friends get married and have babies, I was honored at the Flyers game, strengthened friendships and FINALLY started my half sleeve. I know 32 will be better.

Last week was really hard. BF is away, which was extra tough because we have the same birthday and I always look forward to our day together. And, I was missing my Dad a lot and could not stop thinking about how much I wanted him to be here for one more birthday.  I thought about canceling my birthday dinner, but decided that I need to start this new life, which is one without my dad.

I had an amazing weekend of celebrating with my girlfriends and family and it reinforced that I am an incredibly strong woman. I tested that strength this year in ways I did not know I could. I cried, kicked, screamed and came out on the other side standing tall and I am really proud of myself.

I have a really hard time patting myself on the back and I want this next year to help me get better at doing just that. I am going to pursue an ASL interpreting certification, which is really scary and exciting. I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for and this year I am going to challenge that so much. I want this year to help me remember to stop and take everything in and to stop rushing through life. Even though really shitty things happened this year, it is important to remember there were far more really great moments.

OK, 32, let’s do this you sexy bitch.birthday bulldog



Getting my happy back

15 Oct

It has been a while. I have had an insanely busy several months, especially the last one. Three major events at work in 30 days made life really tough, BUT I am still alive and the events were successful!

I have noticed in the past few months that I feel like I am “getting my happy back”. For so long I feel like my body couldn’t settle because I was waiting for the next awful thing to happen. I know that life isn’t perfect and shitty things will happen, but I think that I am starting to feel more like myself. I still cry pretty often, but I am owning it. I miss my Dad and that is okay. Crying feels really good sometimes. I also notice that I am able to talk about him a little more without bursting immediately into tears. My first thought after our last major event was to call him and tell him how much we raised. He would usually call me on my way home to ask how it went, who got adopted, and what I thought we raised.

He knows. I wish he sent us sunny weather, but I am not sure what he has control of right now 🙂 And, I think he is also trying to send me good things. I have had lots of ups recently. And, I have to say, it feels really good to be getting my happy back.




Dance parties and gay marriage – the happy things

20 May

I am having a tough week. My sister and I started to clean out my dad’s house, work is insane, BF is traveling, and I just dropped my damn phone in the dog’s water bowl.

All of that being said, I am trying to focus on the good that is happening in my life. I started walking every day with two of my friends at lunch time. It is perfect. It really does feel like I press a restart button when I go out and I realized that I work so much better once I am back. I feel refreshed and it is amazing.

I had a concert in my car on my drive home today. Singing in the car is instant stress relief for me. It feels so good to just sing and jam out. It helps to shake off the stress of the day and helps me focus on my evening.

Most importantly, today in Pennsylvania, the ban on same-sex marriage was rendered unconstitutional. I can’t quite put into words how happy this makes me. I want to live in a world where marriage is marriage regardless of sexual orientation. I think this is a step in that direction.  I take for granted that if BF and I wanted to get married tomorrow, we could walk right into City Hall and get a marriage certificate, or even fly to Vegas. I want all of my friends regardless of who they love to be able to do that.  I am in love with love. And, maybe if the world had more love in it we would live better lives.

So, for the rest of the week, I am going to focus on happy things. Right now, there are so many more happy things happening to me than sad. I have to be grateful for that and remember it when my world doesn’t feel like it is collapsing. I need to open my eyes and see all of the happy and the love. You should, too.


Warning: this may cause tears

7 Apr

Having someone die who is close to you is so difficult for so many more reasons than I expected.

I feel like I am doing alright and then I want to pick up my phone and call my dad. And, I can’t. And, it sucks. I want to tell him about ASL class, and the new PAWS building, and the mural. And, I can’t. And, it sucks.

I am writing thank you cards for support and I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to because it makes it feel more real, but it is real. It did happen and I need to grieve and understand life without my dad. Last week, I went to call him and it triggered crying like I have never had before in my life. I cried for four hours and it came in all different forms. Crying because I feel like life isn’t being fair, crying because I feel like I have pain in my heart and crying because I am so mad that it makes me throw a slipper.

I needed it. I needed to cry like that because I haven’t had a moment to really grieve. We are trying to do things to get his affairs in order that it was easy to stay so busy that I couldn’t stop and think.

A huge part of my personality is being cheerful and happy, but sometimes I want to just not talk to anyone. So, I am also making sure to own it and not apologize for it. Guess what? I am not sorry. I am not sorry I am crying and throwing things and getting it all out because I have to. I have to get it all out or I will collapse and that is not ok with me.

We have received an unbelievable amount of support and I could not be more grateful. I understand now that support is needed the most weeks after the death has happened. They are the days when everything hurts and you want to think about anything else. Luckily, I have the most amazing support system. My family, bf’s family and all of our friends have been so wonderful. You are the reason I am still standing ❤




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