blossom and bloom

bloom

A lot has been floating through my mind lately.  From seizures to medical procedures to just…a lot of weird stuff, it’s been a rough past year – but I’ve learned so much about myself already.  That I’m capable of becoming what I want, that I can chase and catch up to my dreams, and that putting positivity out in the universe means it will come back around to you.

My therapist said he can tell I’m so much more confident than I used to be.  I’m finally getting used to my body and loving that despite all my medical flaws, but I’m finally here.  Years of dysphoria from ballet have lessened, and I have a very healthy attitude of “This is me and I’m not apologizing for it anymore.”

The last 4-5 months have been a roller coaster.  Someone I never expected to come along did despite my strong desire to stay single/not even get into the dating scene.  Ever since, I’ve been on a roller coaster that seems like it never ends with him.  I’m about to rent a house, and getting utilities established in my name is a daunting task.  I’ve been through so much back-and-forth this week that I’m exhausted.  I need a nap daily.  But what gets me through is that the house is one I’ll be proud of, one I’m ready to come home to and to be happy, to be relaxed.  I’ll even have a craft room.

Speaking of crafts, I’m starting up my home crafting business again soon.  For a while back in 2009-2010, I created and sold crocheted goods at Kami-con (back then, held in Tuscaloosa).  I undercharged by a lot, according to the calculator websites I’ve been using, but it was a good learning experience.  When the festival up in Steele, AL – Cukorakko – starts, we’re hoping to rent out a booth or table to sell stuff.  Anything to help with rent and still being able to live life.  I love handcrafted goods.  Everything is unique, and everything has a piece of the maker’s heart in it.  (That’s why it’s so easy to want to keep things…)  I’m also getting back into painting.

So many times I’ve thought, “am I ready for this?” And the answer is: of course.  I’m 27.  I am grateful for my mother letting me stay in our house as long as I needed, but it’s time.  To walk into the living (ha) room and see the spot where my father died and his mother before him is painful.  In the back of my mind, I can never separate that from the way the room is now.  His final expression still haunts me.

He would be thrilled for me, for my future.  When I think about how he would have thought about my life path, I feel nothing but warmth.  His high school graduation card to me read something to the effect of, “keep being just the way you are and you’ll be able to accomplish anything in life.”

I’m not perfect by any means, but I have drive.  I have ambition and a tender heart and a pretty good sense of humor (unless I’m in a bad mood).

Every day I’m working on blooming from within.  I can only see myself blossoming more from here.  With every test life throws my way, I learn something new about myself.  And there’s nowhere to go but up.

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body art, and why jesus (probably) doesn’t care

Sometime during the spring semester, a friend, who is a devout Christian, mentioned her recent desire to get a tattoo after spotting my most visible one of my three tattoos (located on my right inner calf).  She told me she wanted to get a cross on her ankle, but she didn’t know if her “religion would allow it.”  I told her I’d ask my roommate, who’s the daughter of a pastor and knows more about the Bible than anyone I’ve met save for perhaps my father (who is no longer alive to be asked).  Friend and I quit talking, paid attention in class, and I travelled back to the dorm room to ask Charity’s opinion.

Charity said the predictable and true “every denomination interprets the Bible differently and some are more formal than others,” speech, but consulted the online Bible for confirmation of such a passage existing.  Of course, she looked up Leviticus first, because that’s where the majority of the “DON’T YOU DARE DO THIS” laws are, as well as extensive — and I do mean extensive — guidelines for preparing altar sacrifices and food consumption, at least ten chapters’ worth.  Of course, I assume these guidelines are what constitute kosher guidelines.  Anyway, to get back on topic, Charity did find a passage relating to body markings:

” ‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:28)

Okay, fair enough.  There is a line about that.  However, there is no mention of ‘tattoo’ in the New Testament, according to http://www.biblegateway.com, and so the general rule of thumb (according to Charity) is that it is still practiced or at least encouraged if not reinforced or debunked in the NT.

And then she brought up a good point: what about piercing?  And if tattoos and piercings are unacceptable, this law must still apply as well:

” ‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.” (Leviticus 19:27)

Of course, this is a practice few men follow in modern times.

Another point I thought up is the fact that this girl is a Christian, and I highly doubt Christ really cared about tattoos (and piercings).  For Christ’s sake, he touched lepers.  I think tattoos are fine.  There may  be a verse from the NT I’m missing for reinforcement of this thought, but Charity didn’t present any NT reinforcements/debunking.

Anyway, the point is that, spiritual leanings aside (spiritual leanings I can’t even settle on!), I think if you’re going to get a tattoo, especially one of a cross in the case of Christianity, or another symbol of your religion, it is only showing respect for such a thing and is no worse than wearing a rosary, or a crucifix necklace, or having cross earrings (or any symbol of your choice/beliefs).

Unless, of course, you’re getting the tattoo to strengthen your beliefs, in which case you may need to reexamine your sincerity.

For further reading from people who most likely have more gospel experience than I do, check out this–

http://www.gospel.com/blog/index.php/2009/11/05/do-old-testament-laws-and-restrictions-still-apply-to-us-today/

But think about it this way: instead of worrying about whether or not you’ll still get accepted into Heaven, all because of a tattoo, worry about doing what you read Jesus preached — like tending to the sick, helping the needy, or, you know, treating others as you’d want to be treated.

This is just a shot in the dark, but I bet Jesus doesn’t care about your tattoo one way or another.  On the other hand, I wonder if he ever laughs at some of the more ridiculous tattoos out there.

Inquiring minds…