Thursday, 7 December 2017

New Tattoo

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the new tattoo that sat through last Wednesday. If not here is a picture of the line work! I still have quite a bit left to go but it's a great start!
The before picture

The after picture

This post is not just about my tattoo, but rather a look into why I would want to get ink in the first place. Tattoos are still controversial, mainly amongst older generations. While tattoos are more common nowadays there is still some stigma placed on those who get tattoos. And while the world is more accepting of self of expression, there are still limitations set in our society.

So why then would I want a tattoo?

The simple answer is the art form.

The more complicated answer is to express myself. When I was 18-months years old, we had a faulty hot water tank in the basement which had been newly installed by the previous homeowner. While my parents had set the temperature to the appropriate temperature on the thermostat, the actual heater was wrong resulted in 2nd and 3rd degree burns on 20-30% of my body. While I am grateful to be alive and have had the opportunity to receive great treatment, the mental scars associated with the physical ones have left me in my teens and into my early 20's with an unhealthy perception of my body.

Many will say why would you want a tattoo then? Won't it make it worse?

But my answer to that, is when you go through a traumatic experience,  it doesn't matter what you may look like, the mental aspect will always play games unless you try to change your perception. You can go to therapy to deal with the problems, but when you are constantly reminded by looking n the mirror, the demons you repress keep coming back. So instead of hiding away, and suffering, I want to battle my insecurities and allow myself to heal.

While I don't believe that tattoo's need a particular meaning, my tattoo is an ode to a new future. In the past, my scars resembled a thorny past, something I couldn't control and let myself go as a result. I let my own body dysmorphia and PTSD control me. My tattoo is a garden to show that while nature is beautiful, it's not necessarily bad to not be able to control everything. I have peonies, which symbolize to me home and personal growth, but also a wealth of knowledge and healing. The rabbit grounds me as it brings me back to my childhood days and my mother's nickname for me.

I know that this post is heavy, and I will probably receive some hate, but I think its important for me to open up and talk about the reality that people with severe injuries feel. For myself, I have lived in fear and pain of how I look, and I have received hateful comments from people since I was young. This is not a by-product of hatred, it is a product of ignorance and the more people open up and try to share their stories hopefully there will be tolerance. As we as a society become more accepting of those with scars, disabilities, illness, etc. we open the doors for a beautiful future much like a garden.

This journey has been long won, and I only have the courage to do this because of my support system, the Shriner's and the doctors and nurses at the Shriner's Hospital in Boston. Because of them, I am a strong independent woman who has taken all that life has given me and risen to the challenge. I'd also to special thank Ashley, my lovely tattoo artist, who has helped me begin this road to a new life!

Thank you for reading!

P.S. I encourage anyone who has faced trauma, depressive or suicidal thoughts, or feel trapped, to seek the support of a family member, friend and/or a  medical professional, as we should not face our demons alone.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Summer Favourites 2017

Hey y'all! It's been awhile but I hope everyone's 2017 has been going well.
rather then try and justify why I don't post with any regularity I thought I might just post something light and fluffy!
This summer has been the summer of spending. I'll be honest, usually I have some restraint when it comes to buying, but lately between clothes shopping and buying a new laptop, my bank account has seen some damage. However, this provides me with this opportunity to share with you my favourite things for the past 3 months.

To start off my favourites I will start with electronics!
In the past month I caved and finally replaced my ancient laptop, which had become a glorified desk top. It has been 2 years since I've don research on which laptop would best suit my needs and I finally decided on the 13" MacBook Air. I know many people are divided between Apple and PC's but having owned a PC but also having other Apple products, due to ease of use I caved and bought the Air.
Here's what really sold it for me.
  1. The battery life was amazing. My previous computer even when new had a 7 hour battery life. The Mac Book Air has a 12 hour battery life. In theist couple years however my computer could barely last 10 minutes without having to plug it back in.
  2. It's portable. 13" is much easier to transport to and from school in comparison to the 17" behemoth I previously owned. I order to do any kind of writing, which I will note is my entire career path, required me to either stay at home or bring a massive laptop bag and a large bag for all of my school stuff. The struggle was real let me tell you.
  3. The ease of use. I'm not going to lie and say I'm good with computers because truthfully I am computer illiterate. There have been many a times when I have somehow hit a button that reorients my entire screen or activated the dreaded sticky keys function. These situations oftentimes led to panic and tears. 
  4. Doesn't over heat nearly as much. Again the panic and tears come into the equation. Due to over heating I have lost so much work. During one particular stressful incident I lost the same essay 6 times due to overheating. Even with auto save enabled within 5 minutes of restarting an essay, the computer would crash. I all honesty I'm surprised I actually manage to pass my classes.
Aso in my electronics section is the Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones. These just happened to be a lovely bonus that came with my laptop but I can see where all the hype over these is so real. I've never owned bluetooth headphones before and never thought I ever would, but I don't think I can ever go back. These headphones have up to 40+ hours of play time and also takes only an hour to gain a half charge. Truly a blessing!

Next on my list of goodies is accessories.
I'll be honest I haven't really been shopping for normal things this year.  A lot of the things I've had to buy have been for school, including a lap top sleeve, a new phone case as well as a new wallet.
Both the phone case and the laptop sleeve are from Society 6. This by all means is not a sponsored post, but because I genuinely believe in the product and the company's background.
So if you're new to Society 6, it is a community which promotes independent artists and allows there artwork to become either art prints for sale, or as I have demonstrated, Phone cases, etc. Its great for someone like myself because I hate to have everything basic. The ability to pick and choose provides me with the diversity that I crave without making it difficult, since its all in one place anyways. What I'm trying to say is that its the lazy art lover's dream.
These are the two cases, the headphones as well as my laptop in the sleeve. Was too lazy to take it out (lol).

The last thing (because I've really been trying to not spend too too much) is actually a book.
This summer I've been trying my best to reader enjoyment like I used to. One thing I came to realize really quick about getting an English major is that reading for fun and reading critically are COMPLETELY different things. After reading for a solid 6 months of things you'd normally not read makes you realize what other's must have felt early on.
The one book that really stood out to me though was Caraval by Stephanie Garber. It was a bit of a dark horse, I'll be honest. The hype around this novel was very high, with even comparisons to my personal favourite, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. While I can see where people made the connections, the novel was very much different to the world to the world of The Night Circus. Both were fantastical but the games are completely different. I refuse to say much about plot (because spoilers) but if you liked The Night Circus, but want something more akin to teen novel, Caraval is a happy medium.

Sorry guys that there wasn't more diversity, but this summer has been a summer of necessity buying and therefore a little sparse in the make up, skincare, etc. Let me know if you'd like more book, art, music,  or really any type of reviews, because I really love to do these kinds of posts but I'm unsure what y'all like.

Anyways that's all from this week, as always appreciate the support and patience.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Balancing Act

Hi everyone, long time no see!

First off I'd like to apologise for not posting at all this past year. It's been pretty difficult to balance all the stuff going on, especially when I am a full-time student, have a job and would also like to create posts on this blog. None of these things is an excuse but I feel as though the blog has been sacrificed in order to pass my courses, which I apologise for.
Now that is out of the way I'd like to share some ways that I try to organise myself and keep the machine running smoothly.
Let's get started!

1. Write down your upcoming projects in an agenda/day-timer or on your phone.

If you are anything like me I have to keep a notification on my phone as well as in an agenda. I find that if I have it in just one place I'm unlikely to check it regularly but having it twice increases the likeliness of it being seen. That may seem like overkill to some, but when you have 7 projects due in a 3 week period, it makes it a bit easier to manage.

2. When you finally sit down to do projects, make sure you have your listening playlist selected beforehand.

Again to some people, this may be an unnecessary step as they don't listen to music while working or you prefer to listen to everything on shuffle. This system works for me as I find that once I look away from what I'm doing I spend too much time shifting through until I find a song I like and then take a break. If I have my playlist set up in advance I can weed out taking 70 breaks and instead for every hour and half of writing I take a 15-minute break where  I will get coffee or tea and put on a new playlist. I find this takes up less of my time and also raises my efficiency.

3. Find a drink that will keep you both hydrated and motivated.

Some people like energy drinks. Others like hot chocolate. I'm more of a tea and coffee girl personally. The hot beverage keeps me warm and fuzzy, while the caffeine keeps me focused. I'd be lying if I said my working process doesn't require caffeine.

4. Don't be afraid to take breaks.

By taking a 15-minute break every 2 hours, I often feel more accomplished than when I sit down and force myself to concentrate for 8 hours. Even if my break is checking Instagram as I get tea or coffee, after that 15 minutes I feel more refreshed and willing to continue working.

5. Finally, when you get tired consider going to be bed.

This may seem hard when you have  70 different bings going on, but this is important as it gives you a new perspective when you come back to it and helps to lower anxiety levels. I find that my work patterns have changed a lot since I was in High School. I used to write all of my papers the night before it was due, and the stress of finishing it often times made the process much longer and frankly the quality of my work was affected by that. I learned to adjust my methods and it seems to help a lot more.

Stress can't be completely removed from your life but by finding ways to cope with it better, and developing ways to achieve your goals will make the process a whole lot easier!
Hopefully this helps someone struggling to balance a lot of things at once, and even if one thing resonates with you that's great!
Hope you are all having a great 2017 so far, and I will talk to you later!