Of doing the right thing and getting moving

They say the integrity is what you do when no one is looking.

I was at the parents’ house yesterday. There was nothing in the house for breakfast. There’s a Waffle House at the end of our neighborhood. It’s maybe a mile and a half away round trip from the house. I thought I could drive there and back with no one ever being the wiser. Then that little tiny voice in the back of my head said “Don’t do it. You’ll end up talking to a cop”. As I may have mentioned, I never got my license replaced after it was stolen in September. My driving restrictions have expired and I could be fully reinstated, I knew if I got my license back, I’d be tempted to drive. I got my DUI in a less than 2 mile trip. I don’t have a reasonable excuse for why I don’t have my license on me. If they looked up my license, they’d see a note that my driving privileges are still restricted. I checked on the DMV website a few days ago on what to do to get my license reinstated and there’s a giant red note saying I’m a restricted driver. So I walked. It was a little chilly, but no big deal. I threw on a sweatshirt, fuzzy boots, and hoofed my way down for a carb and fat laden breakfast. I felt very proud of myself for doing the right thing when no one was watching. And there’s nothing a waffle, some coffee, and scrambled eggs with cheese can’t fix.

It felt good to get out and walk around after a day of mindless eating on Thanksgiving. I made myself get up and do something during commercial breaks like using the foam roller to loosen up my legs, holding splits, and working on balancing my developpe in second (standing on one leg, holding my heel, my leg coming straight out to the side, turned out trying to get it as close to my ear as possible). Yesterday I walked a mile and a half, then went to 2 dance classes. My friend and her husband drove me around and took me to class and lunch. Her husband also brought his new puppy. I’m more of a cat person than a dog person, but I can’t resist a cute little fuzzy face. He sat happily in my lap gnawing at my scarf.

At that point, I was seriously craving a vegetable. It amuses me that too much crap food got to me over the course of a few days. There was a time when that wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. Today is a trip to the grocery store to get something fresh to get me through the rest of the weekend. I also haven’t had my usual love/hate relationship with food. None of my usual unhealthy coping mechanisms have popped up while Boy has been out of town. No shopping, no bingeing and restricting, and no drinking (not that I have a choice on that one, but we’re counting it). Boy is back tomorrow and the normal routine will be restored.

I’m sore as all get out today. Taking the day off to relax, rot my brain on football & cooking competition shows and generally give myself a break. I noticed signs of depression kicking in earlier in the week, so I pulled myself out of the hole. I made an appointment to get my hair cut and colored in 2 weeks. Having my hair looking good is really important to me. It’s been a long time since I got it done. I’m in the process of growing it out and it’s starting to be fairly obvious that it’s growing out strangely. It’s at that awkward stage where it’s hard to put up in a ponytail  without a ton of bobby pins keeping it out of my face. Looking forward to going back to my Snow White dark hair and a more even cut.

Time for more tea, tv, and relaxing before my grocery store trip.



Of family and taking them for granted

My grandfather was clinically dead for 5-10 minutes on Friday night. The final determination was his heart slowly stopped beating. Once they got him on the floor, he came to. Then refused to go to the hospital until my dad (almost literally) slapped some sense into him. My mom called while Boy & I were out at dinner as they were in transit to the hospital. I’ve heard about my grandparents’ issues after the fact, never while they’re unfolding. She sounded really upset. In turn, that upset me. Originally, I wasn’t planning on going with them to my grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving. I was going to hang around the house, read, knit, and watch football. After that incident, I decided to go with them. I know I’d feel like an ass if he dropped dead and hadn’t seen me in 4 years. He’s a misogynistic, racist, homophobic pain the ass. Most of that is probably just being a product of his generation. He was born in 1929 when all that stuff was standard beliefs. He’s rarely has a kind word to say to my sister or me, especially me. The tattoos have always been a bone of contention. I know it means a lot to my mom that I at least make an appearance. She was originally trying to talk me into going for the family Christmas party the weekend before Christmas. My sister lives in Minnesota and has sworn she’ll never come back for a holiday. My cousin, the only other grandchild on that side of the family, lives in Florida and has 3 small children. That leaves me as the sole representative for my generation. Just like my mom is the sole representative of hers. She has a sister, but last I heard she was living in a trailer in Kansas with a meth problem the size of a small country. Needless to say, I’m not thrilled with the idea of going. In the long run, it’s easier to suck it up for 48 hours than come up with excuses to not go. I’ll probably spend those 2 days holed up in one of the bedrooms with Hulu, a book, and my knitting, emerging only to eat and bathe.

The incident on Friday did make me consider the mortality of my grandparents. I’m pushing 30 and still have all 4 of them. Most of my friends have one, maybe 2 at the most still alive. They’re all in their 80s with problems of various degrees. Both grandfathers have had open heart surgery. My paternal grandmother has a brain tumor and has already beaten lung cancer once. My maternal grandmother is mostly bionic at this point. Whichever of my mom’s parents goes first, we’ll get stuck with the other one. They may all live another decade. One of them may drop dead tomorrow. Either way, when the inevitable happens, I’ll be upset because my parents are upset, not because I’m close to any of the grandparents. It makes me sound like a horrible person, but it’s true. The whole point of this blog is be authentic, good, bad, or indifferent.

On a less serious note, a little over 18 working hours until 4 days off. Is it Wednesday yet?


Of pretty little boxes and your lovely author

The game on Facebook about random facts has inspired me. Some are obvious, some are less obvious. Some are funny, some are just strange. Since I love lists, a bunch of random facts about yours truly.

*I have visible tattoos and dress like a vintage pin up or Audrey Hepburn which confuses the hell out of people.

*I drink green smoothies in the morning and finish off my day with brie and baguette.

*I’m just as comfortable at a shooting range as I am at a cocktail party.

*Sparkles are mandatory but mascara is negotiable. I’ll wear sparkly bunny ears with jeans and cowboy boots.

*I work in financial services but never had any interest in math or economics.

*I’ll use pet names, even if I’m not your biggest fan. Though I think that’s more Southern than anything. Ten seconds later, I’ll be swearing up a blue streak.

*I’m open minded about social issues, but have irrational dislikes for things like other states. If I have a say, I’ll never set foot in Ohio.

*If I’m listening to music with any regularity, I’m not reading as much. If I’m reading high brow non-fiction or fiction, I’m listening to trashy pop music. If I’m reading mindless beach books, I’m listening to esoteric indie bands I found off Butch Walker’s Twitter feed. It’s a closed system.

*If I like you, I’ll fall all over you with hugs and kisses. If I don’t like you, you try to touch me and you’ll draw back a bloody stump.

*I like the theory of travel, but the actual act is less fun. I hate long flights and car trips. If I could teleport, I’d be all over going to New Zealand. Taking 24 hours to get there in reality? No thanks.

*I love comic book movies, but I could count the number of comics I’ve actually read on one hand.

*I love college football and went to a school that didn’t have a football team (or men, for that matter).

*I can take or leave yoga and circus classes, but don’t take away my ballet classes.

*My wild phase never involved illegal drugs. I’ve never even tried marijuana.

*I’m afraid of heights, but only indoors.

*I have about 3 unfinished novels saved on my laptop.

Nobody fits into a pretty little box. Run with it.


Of sending off 2013 and guest posts

I realized today that in 6 weeks, 2013 will be over. It’s been a hell of a year. I’ve fallen down, gotten back up, learned a lot, lather, rinse, repeat. Even the two worst things that happened to me, in the grand scheme of things, taught me a lot in a very short period of time.

Given my drinking history, it wasn’t a matter of if but when I would get caught. Of all the places I could’ve gotten arrested for DUI, I happened to be in one of the best. The fines are some of the lowest in the state, checking in and paying them takes all of 5 minutes, the woman working the desk is very pleasant, and it’s about as painless as it can be given what it is. I learned I can navigate a really crappy situation like an adult. I learned who I could count on and who I could leave behind. I learned to let go of the last bastion of my unhealthy coping mechanisms. I haven’t had a drink since March 24. I haven’t even wanted one. That was well before I was told if I wanted to remain seizure free, I should stay away from it. I also learned I’m not cut out for prison. A useful thing to know. In a way, it prepared me for the next situation that would hit me.

On some level, I knew the seizures weren’t panic attacks. When I’d tried everything to minimize them and nothing changed, I knew something was up. I fought going to the doctor and getting a diagnosis. I didn’t want the stigma that came with having a chronic condition. Then I got the diagnosis. It was like being punched in the stomach. By a 300 pound boxer. In the end, my quality of life has gone up. I don’t live in fear of having multiple seizures in a day. I sleep better because I’m not having them in my sleep. As long as I take my meds, stick to getting enough sleep, and regular exercise, they won’t really intrude on my life. It could always be worse. At least this time, it wasn’t self inflicted.

With all that, I have 3 things to shoot for on a daily basis for the next 6 weeks.

1. Get a better emotional grasp on the fact I don’t control the universe. All I can do is react in a way I can stand behind. Of course, I’ll fuck it up from time to time. I’ll say something I can’t take back. My knee jerk reaction will kick in. The ideal is to take a second, think, then react. That cuts down significantly on the number of times I’ll have to apologize later.

2. Be kinder to myself when I falter. Translate this into those around me. This month is the third anniversary of when I started trauma therapy. I spent many, many years bottling up anger, frustration, tears, and tantrums. There are plenty of times I still punish myself for having feelings. I’m human. I have a vast array of emotions. They won’t all be fun or easy, but I’m not stuck with them. In the meantime, I can be easy on myself. Don’t be so quick to jump on someone when they make a mistake or show emotion. I recently brought up an incident from someone else’s past when I was ranting. Boy was careful to point out she made this decision almost 10 years ago. I know how I would feel if someone brought up a choice I made when I was 19 and waved it in my face. It’s not fair to do the same to someone else. I may get frustrated or angry with them, but in the end, I have no idea what burdens they’re carrying around.

3. Say “thank you” and “I love you” more often. Don’t assume that the people around me already know that. Even if they do, it never hurts to repeat it. I know I appreciate hearing expressions of gratitude or love. In turn, see other people’s expressions of thanks and love for what they are. Sometimes they do a total flyby. Sometimes they’re clunky and awkward. The heart of the message is the same. My mom and I express our love in very different ways, for example. I’m more like a puppy. I’ll tackle you and pronounce my undying love. My mom is more like a cat. She’ll sit on you for a bit, then move on. Love and gratitude are universal.

In other news, I’m going to start hosting guest posts once a month. These are from other rape and abuse survivors. The stories will vary as will identifying details (whatever the author is comfortable with telling). I thought it might be beneficial to have voices other than my own in here once in a while. The first one should go up sometime in December. Until then…


Of not being afraid of the inevitable fuck up and dislocated toes

I got to spend 2 hours in dance last night with my favorite teacher last night. The first hour was ballet and the second hour was lyrical (if ballet and modern had a baby, it would be lyrical). The second half of ballet class is across the floor work, jumps, turns, leaps, etc. You’ll be taught the combination, then go across the floor on both sides (dancers are all about being even). No one ever wants to go first thinking that everyone waiting to go will be watching them. It’s exactly the opposite. Everyone behind you is focused on the combination. We were just taught the combination 3 minutes ago. No one is going to be perfect. I’m going to screw up and possibly look like a giraffe on roller skates, but I don’t care. The only way to get better is practice. I know I suck at turns. I can’t spot to save my life. I’ve got petite and grand allegro down (thank you long legs). I can hop and leap all day. I jumped first in line for the turns. Why not? I already know I’m not going to be perfect, so I might as well get it out of the way.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s go for it. If I’m going to fuck up, it’s going to be with gusto. One of the many lessons I learned from my dad is embrace it. He loves to dance, but he’s not afraid to admit he looks like he’s been shot in the leg. He doesn’t let that slow him down. At my cousin’s wedding, he was out on the dance floor the entire time with a feather boa dancing like there was no tomorrow. He was dancing with my 9 year old cousin and spinning the older ones around. One of my cousins looked at me, horribly confused, and asked how much he’d had to drink. I laughed and said clearly he didn’t know my dad very well. My dad’s three younger sisters aren’t exactly known for cutting loose and embracing their crazy. I probably looked like a flailing mass of limbs going across the floor, but I’m okay with that. I enjoyed it.

Lyrical, like modern, is typically done without shoes. I had a hardcore modern teacher in high school who would never let us wear shoes in class. As an adult, the rules are a little more fast and loose. I have to be careful dancing without shoes, especially turning, because I’ve dislocated the pinky toe on my left foot more times than I can count. It’ll stick to the floor and the rest of me will keep moving. I was doing really well until the last time running the combination. I turned. The toe didn’t. On the up side, I’ve done it so many times and have so much scar tissue in there, it doesn’t take much to pop it back into place with minimal pain. Having a desk job allows me to stay off it for hours at a time. Next time we’ll wear shoes.


Of cooking, food, and other things that make me smile

I was reading one of my regular blogs earlier and the post set off a lightbulb in my head.

I love to cook. I learned how to bake when I was 11 or 12 starting with boxed mixes. Then I expanded to making desserts and pastries from scratch (frosting is stupidly easy). Then I expanded into cooking when I lived on my own. Since I’m currently splitting my time between my parents’ house and Boy’s apartment, cooking and eating have become a bit of a hot mess on toast. Lunch is either a frozen meal or bought from the cafeteria at work. I totally forget there are microwaves by the cafeteria and end up eating my lunch at my desk in a rush because I don’t want to look like I’m slacking off. Not the goal. My mother, God love her, is very territorial with her kitchen. The only opportunity I have to use it is when she’s either out of town or asleep. Otherwise, you enter her domain to be served or microwave something if you don’t like what’s on the menu for dinner. She shows her love by cooking for my dad and me every night. Rarely do we get take out or delivery. I appreciate that, but a lot of times I want to do my own thing. Which usually means microwaving something or picking up food. At the other end of the spectrum, Boy lets me have free rein in the kitchen. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, and he doesn’t care. I find that I tend to fall back into my old habits even when I’m with him. Something quick and easy, typically that can be microwaved or picking something up on our way back home.

In an effort to save money, we decided to only eat one meal out or get takeout between Friday night and Sunday night. That’s only been moderately successful. Frequently, we find ourselves at the grocery store as an afterthought. We went to Target for something else and rummaged through the grocery section. Trader Joe’s was on the way from Point A to Point B. It’s almost never a case of going to the grocery store with a list and the intention to get all the ingredients for several meals or one recipe that would provide enough for several meals. That’s the first step. The next step is actually taking the time to prepare things. I have several recipe apps on my phone and food blogs I enjoy reading. Trader Joe’s website even offers recipes for all kinds of meals with everything available to get in the store. Boy is a carnivore, I could live happily as a vegetarian. He likes sweet stuff, I can take it or leave it. However, he’s got a very short list of things he won’t eat and I’m the picky one. As the main cook, I have way more control over what’s on the menu. Cooking or otherwise preparing food with intention is the real crux. Lastly, sit our butts at the table, turn off the TV, ignore the smartphones, and have an actual meal with each other. Studies have shown that without those kinds of distractions, you eat more slowly and your body has time to register satiety with your brain. That can take up to 20 minutes. If you’re scarfing down a burrito in front of the TV, before you know it, you’ve overeaten and feel disgusting (totally scientific).

Most of my eating habits have become just that. Habits. I eat a lot in the morning, mostly just because I’m bored. I’ll have breakfast anywhere between 7a-830a on a work day because I’m actually hungry. I’ll have a snack around 10a out of habit. Then I’ll eat lunch around 1130a out of habit.  I’ll have a cookie with lunch out of habit. And I’ll go all afternoon without a snack. Some days, it’ll be 8 or 9p before I eat dinner. I ignore my body’s cues and eat even if I’m not hungry or to the point of feeling bloated and overly full (like right now). I know that’s crappy for my metabolism and general health. If I know I’m going to be doing some kind of physical activity after work, I’ll try to have a snack in enough time to digest before getting the heart rate up. Most of the time, I totally forget that. Then I’m starving after class and way overeat again. Thus the cycle continues. Like any other habit, it will take time to break them. When I’m at work, eat lunch in the cafeteria. Sit at a table while I eat breakfast. If my breakfast is a latte on the way to work, take my time drinking it. Set an alert on my computer to have a snack before I go to class, even a handful of trail mix. If I think I’m hungry, drink 16oz of water, wait 20 minutes, then determine if I’m actually hungry or just doing it out of habit. Time to embark on breaking those habits, experiments in cooking, and not relying so heavily on foods that can be cooked in a microwave or form a grease puddle in a bag.

In light of the news of my coworker’s cancer yesterday, I compiled a list of the things in my life I so often take for granted and should celebrate more often:

I live in a first world country with access to clean water, electricity, food, computers, and smartphones * My family and friends are healthy * Aside from the epilepsy, I’m healthy. All my vitals and bloodwork are excellent. * I have a crazy, weird, mismatched group of friends who I wouldn’t trade for the world * I have the ability to walk, jump, run, dance, and contort myself in unnatural directions * I make people laugh * I have a job with benefits and I boss I love * I can finance my expensive hobbies * My parents let me live with them without the expectation of rent * I have people who are willing and able to drive me around for 6 months so I can still work * My form of epilepsy is easily managed with medication and common sense about taking care of myself * I’m in a happy, loving, and mind blowingly awesome relationship with someone I would do anything for * I have people who are happy to help me and guide me when I find myself in situations I’m not sure how to handle * Kitten cuddles * Getting to watch my (surrogate) nieces and nephews grow up from day 1 * Lush body products * Paid holidays * Waking up next to Boy even at 630a * Ballet classes * Cosmically speaking, having the world by the tailfeathers


Of appreciating all I have and much needed reminders

Once again, the universe has a magical way of slapping you back to reality. I’ve been lamenting my medical bills, how they keep piling up on each other, and the effective pay cut I’ll take in January because my insurance costs per paycheck are going up 40%. The minute I feel like I’m getting ahead, I get slapped with another charge for an office visit, pills, what have you.

A coworker of mine apparently had a seizure sometime last week. Word was, he would be out until sometime in December. He was in the office today which surprised people. He said it was just for today to get some things in order. Turns out, he has inoperable brain cancer. He’ll be out at least 6 months, though it’s unlikely he’ll come back at all. The only option is chemo. He’s 32. For those keeping score at home, I’m 28. I felt like a complete and total ass for complaining about my bills and my condition. Thanks for the perspective, universe. Things can *always* be worse. Mine is easily manageable with medication and common sense in taking care of my body. It sucks to not be able to drive until March or feeling like I’m stuck under a pile of bills. At least I’m not going to have to go through months of chemo only to be told I’ll (probably) still die before I’m 40. Statistically, I’ll live a long and relatively normal life with my condition only being a minor inconvenience. Hell, I’ve already gone through over 5 years of it totally untreated with no idea epilepsy was the root cause. It’s not like I got a phone call telling me I have cancer.

I watched my dad go through cancer treatments 5 years ago. It was a horrible experience to watch, I can’t imagine being the one going through it. Through most of it, we laughed. As I like to say, I laugh to keep from crying. When my dad hit 5 years cancer free, he commented how well I took the whole ordeal. I never cried in front of him. I jumped in with both feet on the jokes. As is frequently the case, I kept it together in front of him and then had my meltdown later. He’s healthy. The rest of my family and friends are healthy. All four of my grandparents are alive when most people my age have lost at least one. We don’t get along that great, but they’re still family. Cosmically, my condition isn’t that bad. Annoying, yes, but not a death sentence. I won’t be physically incapable of getting out of bed, constantly feeling sick, and wondering not if, but when, the disease will kill me. I’ve got the world by the tail feathers and sometimes it takes hearing about a worse situation to remind me of that. On that note…

70 days seizure free. 110 more to go.


Of bullies and new and creative ways to deal with them

Since I get all my news from social media sites these days, it has once again come to my attention that NFL players bully each other. It would seem that Richie Incognito (which is apparently his legal name according to the Interwebz. What jackass in his family thought that was a good idea?!) is a very good example of how it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still be a dick. On Twitter. This does nothing to curb my opinion that most people never progress past middle school in maturity. Seriously dude, are you 12? What idiot posts offensive and illegal slurs (thank you “hate speech” clauses) on the Internet for everyone to see? Way to reinforce the belief that football players have the IQs of root vegetables. And that’s insulting root vegetables. I’m now in the same age group as most NFL players and I shake my head at the blatant stupidity of my generation (I will later yell at them to get off my lawn). I appreciate football as much as the next Southern gal, but professional players have a sense of entitlement that could stand to be knocked down a few pegs. Part of me, and I’m sure many others, would relish seeing them lose the one thing that has stood between them and having their asses handed to them all their lives. That’s the ability to play football. Then it would be a free for all and karma is a real bitch in that department. If you put out that kind of random, unprovoked hate, it’ll come back to you sooner or later. That immaturity and ignorance will find its way back into your life. Odds are, he’s not smart enough to see it. It’s not nearly as much fun when you’re the one getting back what you dished out. It may be in the form of a traumatic brain injury that results in suicide. It may be in the form of a lifetime ban from the game and termination of a multi-million dollar contract. Then what? Probably getting a job at the local Burger King and getting fired three months later for being incompetent. If you’re totally incompetent at least be nice. Don’t post your idiotic and ignorant comments for the world to see and as they come back and bite you.

I’ve detailed my experience with a half assed attempt at flirting that came across like bullying. Will cornered the market on bullying me. They call it coercion, but that’s just a PC name for bullying. He bullied me into drinking. He bullied me into making out (and beyond) with other girls. Of course, he bullied me into having sex. I have no tolerance for bullies after that. If someone tried to do that to me today, I’d tell them to go fuck themselves and walk away. I don’t care if you’re bigger than me, I don’t have to stand there and take it. Bullies are all talk and no follow through. Go ahead and try to get me to do something I don’t want to do. All you’re doing is wasting your time and mine. I had to learn that the hard way. I won’t tolerate being bullied or talked down to. I won’t willingly put myself in situations where someone will try to hurt me. I won’t just stand, or lay, there while you do or say whatever you want. As much as I would love to punch him in the face, if I ever hear from him again, I’ll just ignore him. I haven’t heard a peep from him for over 3 years. The odds of me hearing from him again are slim to none, but better to be prepared and not need it. Moral of the story-if someone is repeatedly bullying you, walk away. Engaging them will just make it worse. Then they look like the assholes they are and you sleep better at night.


Of the beautiful scars and what they’ve come to mean

I had a moment in ballet class recently. I usually wear a tank top to class and it exposes a lot of my tattoos. Over the years, they’ve become part of the scenery. I rarely notice them any more except when people ask me about them. My oldest one turned 7 in October (I wasn’t kidding when I said it was full of anniversaries). As I was focusing on myself in the mirror, I thought “wow, I really do have a lot of tattoos”. The name of this blog was inspired by them.

My relationship with my tattoos has changed wildly over the years. When I first started getting them, they were mostly covered by clothing so no one ever asked about them. As I started getting more visible ones, I would get really defensive when people asked me about them. My parents hated them and have only recently come around to accepting them as part of the scenery as well. They did make my professional life harder. When I worked at the bank, even though I never saw customers or anyone other than my coworkers, they made me cover them up. That meant long sleeves and tights year round. With my current employer, as long as I’m within dress code, they don’t care what’s showing. When I worked retail, they didn’t care as long as nothing was offensive. Banana’s dress code included layers, so very few of them showed on a regular basis. When I finally accepted them for the self injury scars they were, my relationship with them changed again. Just like any other person who self harms, I have the scars to show for it and the world can see them. Mine quite literally happen to have a little more color. I don’t get angry or defensive when people ask me about them unless they touch me without my permission. I may reply with my usual sarcastic comment when they ask a silly question like “Did that hurt?”. I considered having them removed as recently as this spring. I’d even made an appointment with a dermatologist for a consult on what having them removed would entail. I canceled it at the last minute. They’re part of who I’ve become, good, bad, or otherwise.

I haven’t been tattooed since January of 2011. Even then, it was just finishing out a piece I’d started a few months earlier. When I’d been tattooed previously, the pain was never that bad. It was annoying and a bit painful in some places, but nothing I couldn’t handle for several hours at a time. My record is 6.5 hours of sitting. Artists frequently commented on what a good sitter (industry lingo for how long I could be tattooed without needing a break) I was. When I went in to finish my last tattoo, it was after I’d started therapy and begun to let go of some of the old pain. Finishing that piece was one of the most physically painful experiences to date. I squirmed and bit back the pain because I didn’t want to ruin my perfect record. What I didn’t realize at the time was tattooing didn’t serve me any more. I wasn’t numbing my emotional pain through physical pain any more. I’d been forced to face it head on. Now I knew how normal people felt being tattooed. I walked out of that tattoo shop with my finished piece and never set foot in one again. For those curious, my final piece was a phoenix.

Here’s to accepting bad decisions we made when we were young. Here’s to learning to accept yourself and your scars. Here’s to not being ashamed of the world getting to see them. Here’s to letting go instead of hanging on.