Change, Confidence, Learning

Redefinition Revisited: #sorrynotsorry

Someone very close to me asked, in retort of a public apology, why I felt the need for said apology.

I said something about, not being able to give my all relationships, and that I felt it wasn’t fair to other people, which, in turn, made me “feel bad” (i.e. sorry and guilty).

She, then, asked, “Isn’t that for those ‘other people’ to decide?”

That got me thinking . . .

Recently, I realized, . . . she’s totally right. It’s presumptuous for me to assume potential friends, lovers, what have you, would NOT “be able to handle” change in me.

I typed, only a few months ago, “Getting to know me takes effort because I’m never satisfied and always evolving.” (, An Apology . . . , October 26th, 2015.

It’s not that “I’m never satisfied.” It’s that I’ll always strive for MORE. I’ll  “always evolv[e]” because I’ll always be looking for ways to improve myself. It’s, by no means, not because I’m “not good enough,” but because I thrive with change and get excited at new prospects.

However, I’ve always feared change. I’m afraid of a lot of things.

My “apology” was selfish. I was trying to protect MYSELF. That’s what’s not fair.

I think it took me, actually, failing hard at something to realize that (in a word: school).

One day, I was having a conversation about “perfection.” I WAS a self-proclaimed perfectionist (still working on that but that’s another story).

Anyway, the person I was conversing with asked, “How many mistakes have you made?”

I replied, “Actually, not many.”

Then, he listed off the many, huge mistakes he’s made to get to where he is. Behind success, lurk past failures.

There’s no shame in making mistakes. It’s part of the learning process. “Shame” is, only, a FEELING bred from doubt of the self.

“Nobody’s perfect. Everyone has flaws.” (, Understanding Is Reached Only after Confrontation, January 19th, 2015.) They are part of what it means to be human.

Again, mistakes are an inevitable part of the process of adaptation.

Once I get over that initial sense of impending doom and that need for “perfection,” I am in love with that change. It becomes natural.

Therefore, I need not be afraid or filled with self-doubt.

People are drawn to me so one of the other things that I’ve thought about is, “What makes me a ‘good friend?’ What am I physically, emotionally, or spiritually able to do now to show people that I care?” (, Redefinition, June 3rd, 2015.)

Punishing myself by making MYSELF feel guilty never proved to ANYONE how much “I care.” The only thing that does is make me unnecessarily feel like shit.

I don’t have to explain myself to anyone and nobody owes me an explanation either. And I don’t have to take what people do choose to share with me as gospel.

At the same time, I need to be honest with MYSELF about what I feel. Trust in others begins with trust within myself.

Now, I know that being a good listener, with integrity, honesty, loyalty, conviction, tact (most of the time), and respect, is GOOD ENOUGH.

I am trustworthy.

I can say what I mean, and mean what I say, but that doesn’t mean, who I’m saying it to, will truly understand, much less, believe it’s the truth. And it’s not that I’m not trustworthy. Again, I am trustworthy.

In fact, it has little to do with me. When you’ve been through the ringer, it’s hard to know who’s on the level. I’m just as skeptical as the next person. However, I know how to suss out red flags and warning signs pretty skillfully. I can become less skeptical, sooner.

My point is: these things take time. How much time, depends on the individual situation. Patience is key. Relationships don’t blossom overnight.

I am a good friend.

I need to stop comparing myself to others, including my-past-self. Each individual is different no matter how similar they seem. Comparison leads to madness. Live and let live, and do the best you can.

“The best you can, is good enough.” ~ Radiohead

Believe, Confidence, Identity

Chronicling and Inspiration

When I had a stroke on October 5, 2013, it affected my right side and my speech.

Over a year later, I still can’t tattoo, which is hard for me not to get angry about. I had to change my lifestyle drastically.

By making my recovery public knowledge, I’ve been able to get the support I need, while bringing awareness to others.

My dear friend, James Via, has been chronicling my recovery photographically, since the beginning.

staplesThe above picture is of me, in St. Mary’s Hospital, on October 14, 2013, after my stroke, before my staples were removed. The staples were an alternative to stitches, after I underwent a craniotomy as a result on my brain bleed.

identityIn March 2014, I went to James for help, reclaiming my identity, “normalcy,” and learning to love the things that were frustrating me but were necessary evils in order for me to recover. I did my hair and make-up that day, which was hard for me to do after my stroke, at first, as I lost the use of my right hand. In this picture I didn’t try to hide my right hand and I chose to wear my logo with pride because I still hold out hope that I’ll tattoo, again, eventually.

saeboThe Saebo device, pictured above, is to work on regaining muscle memory and strength in my right hand. It requires patience and perseverance. (

hot rod bettiesWe shot, in August ’14, for Hot Rod Betties’ “Betty of the Month.” This way we could market the store (located at 650 South Ave. in Rochester, NY) and James’ photography, killing two birds with one stone, as the dress was from the store.

On my right side, I have a subluxation in my shoulder and, again, I have little control over my hand. For the sake of the picture, whose main focus was the emulation of the dressed up pinup, I hid my right arm and gave no indication that my right leg and hip are troublesome.

I need to remember that, although I can’t get around as efficiently as I used to and I need help doing things that I used to be able to do on my own, I’m still beautiful. I, often, look for inspiration other people who, also, have had to face adversity in their lives. That way it’s easier for me to not give up and own what ails me and be proud of my body.

viktoriaOne of those people, for me, is Viktoria Modesta (image found on Google).

Viktoria, an amputee located in London, is being marketed as the “first bionic pop star” and is savvy when it comes to fashion and “power dressing.” She’s sexy and powerful. That makes me want to aim to feel that way and make me BELIEVE I could get there. ( ,