Force Me Bold

abby tattoo

“You really don’t want to go any smaller than this,” she says as she looks at the tattoo print-out. “Any smaller and you’ll lose definition.”

She says something similar about the second printout: “At this size, some of these closer lines will start blending together in about 5 years’ time.”

“Neither of those are to scale,” I had warned in my ultra-cautious, nauseatingly-meek voice.  “I was actually thinking of something smaller?”

Two tattoo ideas — both meticulously researched, although one way more so than the other.  For one tattoo, I spent hours on a design website, agonizing over the perfect cursive font for the words.  The other tattoo had been mulled over for the last 8 years.  One is a line in a Spanish language poem.  The other is a variation of the Celtic trinity knot.  But both shared the same theme: small, subtle, unassuming.

And both were met with the same answer: that’s really not an option. Continue reading

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Model Me

It’s Day One of a three-day modeling job — my first paid gig in over a year and a half.  I’m working the floor of Harley Davidson’s annual trade show, wearing clothes that won’t even be in stores for an additional year.  No one from the public is allowed in.  We had to sign confidentiality agreements beforehand — no pictures, no sharing, no nothing.  We need laminated credentials on a lanyard just to get through the door.

The floor of the trade show is massive.  I understand intellectually that it’s a big name at a big venue, but I’m not ready for the scene when the coordinator brings us through the glass doors.  The landscape can’t be taken in with just one glance around.  The sites and the sounds, the lights and production and special effects.  Motorcycles and tables and aisles and rows and columns.  A gigantic Harley decal on the glass corridor suspended from the ceiling.  Beautiful and intriguing excess that makes it easy to go blind to the types of hardships that are going on in the world around us.

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I’m surrounded by strangers that I gladly go up to and shake hands with.  I’m full of smiles and a few jokes.  I’m Model Me: an aspect of myself that used to shine only in modeling situations.  It’s as close to an alternate persona as you can get.  The Sasha Fierce to the Beyonce.  Only I don’t believe in alternate personas — only situations where we feel freer to let certain sides of ourselves out. Continue reading

Through the Radio

I.

It’s a Tuesday afternoon in the heart of autumn.  I’m driving farther and farther north.  I just need away.

Away from what?  That’s a bit of a story.  And maybe someday I’ll tell that story in full.

It’s a Tuesday afternoon and I’ve finished teaching for the day.  Three yoga classes, and not a single student caught on to the fact that I was a burning ball of anxiety and dread.  Or, if they did, they were too kind to say anything.

I’m thinking of one of my regulars telling me that she comes as much for my positive, smiling face as she does for the yoga.  I’m thinking of the night before, teaching a Monday evening class, my mind so clearly not where it needed to be that I end up locking myself out of the studio with nothing but my yoga mat and cell phone in hand — and as I scramble to find someone with a key, I kept thinking to myself, “I can’t tell if this is rock bottom or if I’m just banging off one of the sides again.” Continue reading