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Let’s talk about beauty for a minute.

Your beauty or worth is not determined by anyone other than you. Yes, it’s nice to hear from someone that you are beautiful, but don’t wait for it, build yourself up. Self love is so important, its take practice, but do it! It’s hard, I know, but you’ll feel much better about yourself when you no longer rely on anyone else’s opinion of you. Don’t base your beauty on societies standards or on anyone else’s beauty. Yours is yours and theirs is theirs. You are both beautiful.

I’ve struggled throughout my life with seeing myself as beautiful, but I am. No one can take that from me. No one else’s beauty can steal from my own, as I cannot steal from theirs. I was made the way that I am for a purpose. I have faults, I have strengths, and each one is what makes me, me.

I’m sure we can all agree that beauty isn’t all about the outward shell, it’s what’s inside that makes the outside that much more appealing. With that being said, if you can’t think of anything that you like about yourself on the outside, start with the inside. That’s what I did. I made a list in my head (we all know how much I love lists) about the personality traits that I liked about myself. Once I had that down, I moved outward, calling out one feature that I liked at a time. There are still things I do not like about myself, but I’ve made progress and will continue to do so.

A conversation I had last night made me write this post. Recently, any time I have a negative thought about myself or anything, I follow it up with something positive. No rebuttals, no additions. I end the negative thought on a positive note. For example, one day I may look into the mirror and think: “my hair is such a mess”. My positive thought would be something like: “but my eyes are pretty”.  It’s been helping me to be much happier and I use this for a variety of reasons. I smile more than I used to, laugh more than I used to, and I’m getting back to the woman that’s silly, sassy, and loves living life. That is who I am, who I’ve always been, but that person that I know hasn’t been around all that much. I’m happy to say she’s making a comeback.

Anyway, this is a long post so I’ll wrap it up. The message here is to realize that you are beautiful, to embrace it, to believe it, and not to ever let anyone make you feel any different. I’ve included a selfie with the hopes that others would take selfies too, showcasing their own beauty, and share it here. If you share one (and I hope you do) please tag it with reinventingbeauty so that I can celebrate your beauty with you.

Stay rad.

S.

Can you write a poem about Mordecai from regular show getting Marceline from adventure time pregnant in a one night stand??

Can you write a poem about Mordecai from regular show getting Marceline from adventure time pregnant in a one night stand??

Vampbird

he saw her on the edge
of the mosh pit
singing along with the band on stage

he fell in love
when she joined them
to sing and play

her long black hair
and pale white skin
sent shivers down his wings

they flew away together
to Mordecai’s home,
poor Rigby banished from the room

they made love until dawn
but they knew
it wasn’t meant to last

Marceline never gave him her name,
and he didn’t ask
because he still loved Margaret

two months later Marceline
knocked on his door to tell him
about the bird in her oven.

_____

I wanted to add that I LOVE both of these shows, and I love silliness, so this was perfect. Thanks Sunglasses, you made my day!

A Dream Featuring: Glen from The Walking Dead, a Bathhouse, and a Guard Armed with a Bubble Gun Filled with Drugs

A Dream Featuring: Glen from The Walking Dead, a Bathhouse, and a Guard Armed with a Bubble Gun Filled with Drugs

I’m walking through an amusement park. I can see the Ferris Wheel, but it seems like it’s miles away. There’s a man and a woman standing on the top of a small wooden bridge. I recognize the man, it’s Glen from The Walking Dead. In my dream I used to work with Glen, I say hello and make small talk about how nice it is to see him. He introduces me to the woman he is with, they are getting married next spring. I ask Glen if he would take a picture with me to show to my boyfriend later. Glen agrees, tells his lady friend he’ll be right back, and leads me to a place where he thinks the lighting will be better.

Glen gets touchy, I push his hands away.

We stop walking, there’s big pine trees behind us, the sun warms our faces. I stand in front of him, he drapes his hand over my left shoulder. I feel pain instantly, but smile as I bring my phone up to take a picture. He pulls me backwards, pressing me into him, his hand brushes the top of my left breast, I feel his hard on rubbing against my ass. I take the picture, thank him as he winks at me, then run away as fast as I can.

I’m in a bathhouse. A group of women sit in the middle of the floor while an older woman walks around giving instructions of some sort. I squeeze past them, heading towards a stall where I can get five minutes alone to catch my breath. There isn’t a toilet behind the stall door, it’s a small room with a copper tub. In the copper tub are raised platforms, on each platform are flat stones.  I pick a couple of them to see what they feel like. They are smooth and warm. There are water stains along the bottom of the tub, I can see small puffs of steam rising. I put all but one stone back, the one I hold I press gently against my left wrist. The warmth helps ease the pain but only for a few seconds.

The woman who was instructing the group opens the door. She sees me with the stone and starts talking in a language I can’t understand. She hands me something sealed in plastic that has been shoved into a grocery store bag. I can read “Giant” in faded purple letters. She takes her hand and puts it to her mouth, chewing as she does so. It is food, I understand now. I put the package under my shirt, a lopsided pregnant belly, I cradle as I walk.

I leave the bathhouse which has turned into an old plantation. I walk down the steps of an enormous front porch with white columns supporting its roof, wicker rocking chairs rock back and forth in the breeze. I continue to walk and come to a red brick sidewalk. I pick the direction facing the sun and focus on that. A man is sitting in an old lawn chair beside the sidewalk. His hair is slicked back, he has big black sunglasses on, and a yellow Hawaiian t-shirt with coral colored hibiscus flowers. He has a small radio beside him on the lawn, it plays Salsa music. Beads of sweat gather on his forehead, they sit along his upper lip for a moment, then roll down into his mustache. I don’t know who this man is, but I don’t think he will hurt me. The package I’m carrying is suddenly so heavy. I feel a bulge under my pant leg as I take the package out from under my shirt. I remember that I’m also carrying drugs of some kind taped to my leg. I don’t know where I got them.

I hold the Giant grocery bag in my right hand, my left arm I hold against my side. Bracing myself for impact, hiding it from the wind. If I could get it close enough to my body it won’t ever hurt again. The pain I’ve had for almost twenty years will be gone, and I can do anything I want. I think about all of this in my dream. Ridiculous, I know.

The man stands up as I get closer. He is holding what looks like a bubble gun, he smiles as I approach him, asks me something, but I don’t speak whatever language he does. I smile and walk by him. He gets angry, yells something, I begin to run. He chases me, brings his bubble gun up, and fires. I hear a whistle, then feel a series of stings on my left thigh. I keep running, I can hear him laughing. In perfect English he says one word: hallucinogens.

I pull out several little darts from my thigh. I throw them on the ground as I run, then turn back to pick them up so that some little kid doesn’t get their hands on them.

That’s when I start tripping balls.

Everything is neon. Everything is spider legs and black suns. A voice breaks out of the clouds, shouting, it hurts my ears. I start to cry, thinking if I can find a trash can to throw these things away everything will be alright.

I wake up and I’m afraid.

____

Some context: I have a nerve disease in my left arm. Basically, the nerves in my left arm are broken, and send pain signals to my brain constantly. I don’t usually dream about it, and if I do it’s usually about my physical limitations, never about the pain itself. So it’s really odd to have that be part of my dream.

This is not beautifully written. It is ugly, sharp, and painful.

This is not beautifully written. It is ugly, sharp, and painful.

When I was five my mother gave herself stomach ulcers. My father was known to disappear for a few days, but this time he was gone for a week.

She had very little money because he didn’t want her to work, and two small mouths to feed not including her own. She drank Pepsi (hence the ulcers) and fed her children the best she could. We ate a lot of bread with mustard that week, but we never went hungry. My mother prayed he’d come back. He’d be hungover and in a rage because of it, but she loved him, and had no idea how she’d support her children without him.

She lost weight. Exactly how much I don’t know, but I know it must have been quite a bit. My mother was already thin, so losing anything would have been dramatic. When she told me this story years later she confessed that at the time she thought the weight loss was something good to come out of it. She thought that if she was thin enough my father wouldn’t leave. By the time she had had enough, ten years had gone by. Patience may be a virtue, but it should never be an excuse to tolerate abuse. (That rhymed).

My mother didn’t tell me this story so that I would hate my father, she told me so that I wouldn’t change who I am as a person. She’s awfully fond of the daughter she raised and I am too, most days.

I didn’t understand this lesson until about ten years later when I was miserable, in a failing marriage, but desperate to hold onto it. I dropped fifty pounds in a short amount of time (three months to be exact). I didn’t realize at the time that I was only trying to control something. My weight was the one thing I could change without needing anyone else. My marriage failed and it had nothing to do with my appearance.

Memories like this pop up every once in a while for no reason and I’m always unsure of what to do with them. I’m a little girl all over again, angry at her father, but too damn scared to say anything. There are very few people that I talk to about these things, that know other stories that I won’t tell here, and it’s always so exhausting to share them, but doing this will help me sort this out. At least I think it will.

Writing about this is kind of like shutting your hand in a drawer. It reminds you that you have hands and how important they are. Pain is often seen as a negative, but it doesn’t have to be. Without pain we wouldn’t grow as people. We’d stay exactly how we are because there would be no reason to be any different. I guess what I’m trying to say is although writing about this is hard doing so can help me grow as a person. Maybe I’ll figure out how all of the lessons I’ve been given fit together. Maybe someday putting those pieces together will make sense. Maybe they won’t. For now, I’ll focus on the pain in my throbbing hand while I put this in its place.

_______

Note: I originally wasn’t going to share this. I thought I’d write about it, then scrap it. After thinking about it and talking with people I love, I decided differently. Not posting it wouldn’t be fully letting it go in my opinion, so here it is. Hopefully it will help someone. I’m alright, there’s no need to worry or contact me about it. I know that sounds shitty, but it’s me being honest. Stay rad you cool cats.