Monsters under the bed…

I have plenty of monsters who have taken up residence beneath my bed. They aren’t the creatures of me childhood anymore though - rows and rows of jagged teeth and scaly skin, hundreds of eyes watching my every move and tentacly hands waiting to reach out and grab me when I’m at my most vulnerable - instead they are much more realistic creatures born from my very own subconscious. These monsters are scarier than the ones of my childhood; I would trade the monsters I have today for the ones created from scary movies and campfire stories any day. 

My monsters bring my fears to light, constantly nagging in my ear “Are you good enough for this?”, “Are they going to love you, or even like you?”, “Is he going to stay with you when all the others didn’t? What do you have that is going to make him want to stay?”. These creatures that lie in the abyss of my subconscious continuously remind me of my fears and use them to keep me from accomplishing new things in my life; “You couldn’t even complete college, how are you ever going to make something of yourself?”, “You went from a receptionist at a high end company back to working at a gas station. That’s all you’re ever going to be good at.”, “You call yourself a writer? How are you ever going to get published or see your work in a bookstore if you can’t even get past the first few chapters?”, “You couldn’t even keep your family in your life, they discarded you like yesterdays garbage, how are you ever going to start a family of your own?”. Etc. etc. etc…

My monsters can’t be chased away by a nightlight in the shape of my favorite cartoon character, they don’t disappear as the sun rises. They haunt me day and night, constantly at the back of my mind reminding me of these things. I can’t escape them, and I doubt I will ever grow out of them the way I grew out of my childhood monsters. I can’t face a single day, a single moment, without my monsters reaching out of the darkness of my subconscious to get a few licks in. I live with them, but nobody knows how many I actually battle day in and day out because I plaster on that smile, that mask that I am so familiar with, that tells everyone “I’m okay, I’m happy! Don’t worry about me”. And everyone believes it. Hell, even I believe it most of the time. Until I’m left alone with my thoughts, with my monsters under my bed…. 

Ink <3

Oh, ink! Two things come to mind when I think about the word “ink,” both of which are something I am obsessed with; writing and tattoos. 

Writing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I started writing when I was six, and it hasn’t stopped since then. Back then I wrote about mindless, unimportant things - my cat, the life my barbies lived - and the only thing that has changed since then is the subject of my writings and the technique in which I write them. From my poems to my short stories and books, they have shaped my life and led me to where I am today. I want to write books and see them in stores and on best sellers lists, and I want to teach the youth of today the magic of literature. All of this stems from my childhood love of putting ink to paper. 

The second is my most recent love and obsession. When I got my first tattoo back in May, it was an instant addiction. The smell of the ink, the sound of the gun, the feel of the needles on my skin, and the beautiful art work it produces. I may only have one, but I have many plans for many more that I will have. Each on has meaning, even if only to me. There is magic in having memories and special meanings forever branded on my skin. I won’t be one of those people who have mindless tattoos from head to toe, even though with the amount that I want it may seem like that, but I will be proud of every bit of ink I will have on my body, and I will display it as such. 

Here is a picture of my currently one and only tattoo. The first of soon to be many <3

Gods & Microscopes

This concept is an interesting one for me. I don’t follow any structured religion; when people ask me what religion I am and my answer is “I don’t have one” I get many weird looks. People tend to think that because I don’t have a religion I must be an atheist, that because I don’t go to church or follow some sort of rule book of Christianity or some other religion, that I must not believe in God. It gets really hard to explain sometimes, there never seems to be the right words when trying to tell someone that you believe in God, and there are things within some religions that you believe, but you don’t believe in religion itself. Even now I am finding it hard to explain, and I have all the time to type out a response and the magic of a backspace button when something isn’t coming out just right. I know in my heart there is a God, I just don’t believe everything that is written by man in the Bible is how God would have wanted things, or necessarily how things happened. 

Gods and Microscopes; it’s always a way I have thought about how things work in the world. In a way, it’s like God is watching over every person, every aspect, every thing in the world, taking his time to individually pull different things into focus under his microscope to see how and what we’re doing with the life he has given us. He has his hands on everything, simultaneously everywhere and nowhere in the world. When he feels it necessarily he intervenes, takes us down paths that we don’t really understand at the time, but in the end we grow stronger from.

Do you remember those play mats from when we were kids? The ones with the roads going through the town that we would drive our Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars on? That’s how I think God sees us and the world sometimes. We’re his toys, infinitely smaller than him and there for his enjoyment. It may seem like he abuses some of his toys sometimes; plays with them until they break and he just casts them aside. But, in his head he has a plan for each and everyone of his toys, and in the end they will each have had an intricate and significant part in God’s game of life. 

Unmasked Heroes

When you think of a hero, your first thought goes to the masked individuals like Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and all of the “superheroes” out there. For some, you think of a person in your life who means everything to you, is your role model, someone you can always turn to in your time of need. They save you in ways that nobody else can, and sometimes even when they can’t save you from something, it feels like they have just by them being there to be your sounding board. 

Once upon a time, I had heroes that were more important to me, and were more deserving of the title “superhero” than any Marvel or DC comic book character ever was. I had a list of men and women in my life who I admired and had bestowed the gracious title of hero upon. People like my mother, my stepfather, close friends who had always been there for me, and more. However, like most heroes, that power went to their heads and they eventually turned into the villains of my story. Even when they weren’t wearing masks I couldn’t see them clearly for who they were until they shed the title hero they had been given. 

Villains are far more common than heroes, in reality as much as our favorite comic book stories. 

A lesson on heroes that I would give to anyone would be this; don’t make anyone your hero. Not your family, not friends, not even the famous masked ones we have all come to love. Don’t give anyone that power over you, don’t give them a chance to use that power for forces of evil that may lie deep within them. Be your own savior. Count on yourself. Don’t wait for someone to save you - no prince charming, no heroes - save yourself. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone that you could possibly see as a hero will inevitably become the greatest force of evil that you may ever come to face. But, if you don’t give them that power, you will never have to find out. A very hard lesson that I have had to learn over the years.