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

Loss, Love

Empathy in Heartache 

I haven’t been writing because I’m in school and that’s taking all of my time and energy but I still have things I need to get out.

I have many projects started but I won’t feel content posting them until I feel they’re finished.

This morning I’ve decided to post something short because, like clockwork, I’m always up around 4:30am. It doesn’t matter what I do the day before or when I “plan” on getting up the morning after.

I work a lot of things out in my sleep.

I avoid typing about romantic love because I haven’t got a clue but I felt compelled to share my thoughts this morning (albeit, vaguely).

Here it goes:

“I awoke with empathy.

I feel your pain.

Heartache is a special kind of hurt.

Suffering from a broken heart, leaves us feeling lost and like a piece of us is missing.

I hate it but it makes us who we are and let’s us figure out what we want and how to be better people.

It’s gonna be alright.

That little piece will never be completely filled but it’ll get better; more microscopic, easier to manage.

Don’t ignore it.

Feel it.




Above Pictured: “Bleeding Heart.” Acrylic paint on canvas. Circa 2008. (Right-handed, Pre-stroke.)

Art, Identity, Tattoos


I am Mariah Rose and I chose as my identity to be a tattoo artist.

What this meant for me was my clients always came first. Many of my life’s decisions came with that in mind or, at least, anticipating my future clients’ needs.

I think my first life altering decisions in regard to tattooing was leaving my fiancé and making a conscious effort not to bear children. I knew that tattooing would take all of my gumption because I’ve never wanted anything more in my life. I knew my fiancé would make a wonderful father someday and I didn’t know when I would be ready to be a mother and that wasn’t fair to him. When I chose to do something I put all of my eggs in one basket. Motherhood is no joke to me and tattooing isn’t either. So, for the first time, I chose tattooing.

The second decision was when I chose not to be full-time at my job. I turned down a promotion to assistant store manager to focus on what I needed to succeed in tattooing.

What I did do was finish school. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up when I started college in 2003. I started tattooing in 2006. I graduated from Monroe Community College with a degree in Visual Communications, in other words advertising, that year, ‘06. I graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2008 with a degree in Art History with concentrations on painting and drawing. Why did I bother, you ask? To cover my bases. Not only did I learn some valuable skills but I laid the groundwork for a career in case tattooing didn’t work out. In my studies, I learned to use Photoshop which created shortcuts with design. The art history provided the knowledge to seek out references. My drawing and painting classes helped my technique.

Anything I do or see I try to learn from. Whether it be a class, experiences, a lover, or an enemy. This way, I’ll always be evolving, forever changing.

So, I spent from 2006 on, learning to tattoo; taking little pieces from everywhere I worked and who I worked with. I learned the basics from a few people during my apprenticeship. Then, the floodgates opened. I attribute being able to pack in solid black into a piece and discovering the perfect colors for a harvest moon to one person. I’m grateful that another person took my machine out of my hand and showed me that it’s okay to go deeper. It was specific lessons like those and trial and error that kept me on my toes in the beginning. Then, I began honing my craft and making it my own; all the while, learning, growing and evolving.

Technique isn’t the only thing I’ve taken from tattooing. I’ve also had to learn lessons the hard way. Those who know me well, know that I’m gullible and too quick to trust people. Tattooing gave me a harsh dose of reality real quick and, as with everything, I adapted. For instance, I learned not to work for “free” because I can easily be taken advantage of. There are the people who do it on purpose and you might not even see it coming until it’s too late. And then, there are the people who don’t realize they’re doing it. Maybe you both catch on and correct it. Maybe you don’t. The point is, it’s up to me to lay some ground rules. Sometimes, they don’t need to be spoken and, sometimes, they need to be spelled out. It’s also up to me to have the tact to know the difference.

Another lesson is: don’t shit where you eat. That’s one that’s universal, though.

Tattooing is very drama filled if you aren’t careful. Some of the best advice I’ve gotten is: ‘’Concentrate on your art. The rest will follow.” It’s easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing. I’m still guilty of placating to everyone around me but it’s about finding a balance.

One of the things I’ve found with tattooing is I’m exposed to people from all walks of life. Now I’m no stranger to soccer moms, bikers, Marines, nurses, reformed drug addicts, pizza delivery dudes, and everyone in between. I know alcoholics, narcissists, sociopaths, models, and just your average Joes. And you know what? I love it. Not only do I learn something from the tattooers I work with but I learn something from every person who sits in my chair. I’ve become a student of the world. I’ve always said, if I feel like there’s nothing left to learn I should quit while I’m ahead.

Did I mention, I love my job? Not in so many words but I do. I love being able to make people happy. I love being able to memorialize a person or event and trying out new colors or techniques. I love being able to pick someone’s brain that I admire. I love to travel and the atmosphere at conventions. I love being in my own space and surrounded by my knick-knacks and my books and putting a piece of myself in everything I do. My clients can see that, and are so grateful because I’m grateful too. I’m grateful for everything.

I always said I would stop tattooing if I physically couldn’t do it anymore; like if I got arthritis or something. Imagine my surprise when I had a stroke at 28 years young.