Since I’m done with my Creative Writing class…

I’m going to be posting some of my work from the class on here. I have 7 pieces. 4 poems, a short story, and a play. I just finished the revisions on all of them last night. I have to print them all out with the original before revisions and make it into a portfolio. Stay tuned. I’ll post one tonight and schedule some more for the week.

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What I learned by my 27th Birthday

So today’s my 27th birthday. I’ve already learned a few things in 2018. Here they are.

1.) You’re never too old to go to college

Starting college this past fall at the age of 26 has been a wake up call to say the least. I thought I was so smart. Only to find out, all these kids are fresh out of high school and actually paid attention in hig school compared to me who blew it off 10 years ago. I have learned to be aware of your appearance , but don’t give a crap about what other people think of you. I’m in college to get my education, not to make friends. If I make a few friends along the way, that’s nice. Unfortunately when I’m done with college, I’m expected to pay my tuition; not my parents. So I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity and try my hardest to get good grades and learn.

2.) Do not let your life rotate around things

Material things are really nice, I think we all can agree. However, clutter is a different story. Clean out your closet and donate those clothes from 10 years ago that have memories attached. You can’t let an object (especially clothes) dictate how you live your life. Go through things. Throw stuff away. Donate things. Do not let an object control you.

3.) Be thankful for what you have

It’s taken me a long time to get to this point. As being a student and not having a job, in my life right now I have all that I need. A house. Food. Water. A husband. A dog and ferrets. We pay our bills. I really can’t say that I need anything right now. (Other than the birthday cake I’ll be eating Sunday.) My husband said he wished we could do something nice for my birthday. My response was “I have all I need”. I’m very fortunate to be where I’m at and I try to be thankful for it.

This was a short post, but I just wanted to share some of the thoughts I have on my golden birthday today!

My thoughts on the process of getting a tattoo

So obviously from my last few posts you can tell I have quite a few tattoos. But hey, why listen to me, right?

First thing I want to talk about is deciding what to get. My general rule is not to go sporadically; pick something out and sit on it for about 3-6 months. Think about what the tattoo means to you. Ask yourself “Why am I getting this?” After you know it’s something you’ve wanted for a while, go get it! This isn’t to say none of my tattoos were sporadic or all have a meaning. From my last post I explained I got my bats because I like bats. That’s it. There is no real meaning to it. I just don’t recommend getting something on a whim where you will regret it later. Spend a lot of time on google or tumblr or Pinterest (or even deviantArt like I do.) Try to find something original. If you have an idea in mind, talk to the artist. I’m sure they’d be glad to draw something up for you!

Next thing I want to talk about is where to get it. DO NOT get your first tattoo based off of what someone else said regarding pain. Everyone’s pain tolerance and bodies are different. Just because my elbow tattoo almost made me pass out doesn’t mean you can’t handle it. The pain scale pictures you see on Facebook aren’t always accurate. So think about the perfect place for your tattoo. Do you want it hidden or to show it off? Are you wanting to make it into a sleeve? There’s many questions you have to ask yourself in this process.

Now, about the pain. Like I said, it’s different for everyone, but I think all of us tattooed people can agree it’s like a burning sensation. Sometimes you have to grit your teeth through the pain, but it’s worth it. Another debated topic is which hurts more, the color or the outline? Personally, it’s always been the color or shading for me.

Now how do you find the perfect tattoo artist? I go by word of mouth. I’ve been through 4 tattoo artists and 2 of these did work out of their house. A lot of people won’t go to someone who does tattoos out of their house. So I encourage you to have a consultation and maybe watch the artist work in their space. Also talk to people they’ve tattooed if you can. They should have sterile needles just opened from the package. The chair should have some sort of sanitary changeable wrapping. The artist should be using gloves when sterilizing all the tools and everything, There’s lots of things to look for. I also have found Facebook and Instagram to be reliable in finding an artist as well. Looking at their work will help you decide if you want to go to them.

Another thing you need to think about is price. Just because the artist is charging you $100 for a tattoo doesn’t mean you walk in, get a tattoo and pay $100. To me it’s just common courtesy to tip your artist, EVEN IF they don’t work in a shop. I try to tip about 20% so 25% of $100 tattoo would mean a $25 tip. Your artist will appreciate it and if you’re lucky they won’t be so heavy handed when tattooing. Tattoos are not cheap. You shouldn’t think you’re getting something the size of a post it note for less than $60. The minimum is usually $50-$60. Some people may think tattoos are expensive, but you’re paying for quality and something you’re going to have on your body for the rest of your life.

I think that’s about everything you need to know. Please let me know if you have questions or there’s something I didn’t talk about!

Review: Octavia Teas

So I go through random bouts where I’m obsessed with tea. Not the kind you get at the grocery store and definitely not the tea that comes in bags. I have my go to local brand, Octavia Tea located in Batavia, IL, a suburb of Chicago. While I’m sure there are other local brands around, this is my favorite, hands down.

On the Octavia Tea website you can look through all different types of tea in 3 different sizes. They even have a section on learning different types of teas and how long each should steep.

When you click on a specific tea, it gives you a detailed description of the tea and if you’re lucky, you’ll see a review or two.

Back to those size options! My favorite thing about this company is you can buy a sample of all the teas. Samples are usually $3 and it’s enough for usually 2-3 cups of tea. Then the next size up is the tin which holds about 1.5 oz of loose leaf tea, about 16 tablespoons. This is usually between $13-15. You can also buy the tea in bulk if you really like it. The bulk size is 1 lb and costs around $30.

Now for my favorite flavors! My absolute fav is English Breakfast. It’s a black tea. (I generally only drink black, oolong, or white). If you steep it long enough but not too long you get a smooth taste. Another smooth blend is the Amber Dragon, an oolong. It has a natural honey like taste. I also like the black tea Afternoon Darjeeling. It’s a fruity natural taste.

I’m a fan of Chai but the only chai tea of theirs I like is the White Chai. The Chocolate Chai is a very different taste. Chocolate Earl Grey has a different taste as well.

Well I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite teas. Feel free to visit Octavia Teas here. Happy tea drinking from your favorite mad hatter. 😉

Wait, what religion are you?

So throughout my life, I’ve undergone many different religious “epiphanies”. Since I was very young, my Grandma raised me Christian in a Methodist church. I just kind of followed along with it. My Mom wasn’t really religious. Neither was my Dad. They didn’t go to church, pretty much ever. Grandma went to church EVERY. SUNDAY. 8AM Service. I went to my Grandma’s every weekend growing up.

When I was 13, I went through “confirmation” and joined the church and was baptized. I was very active in the church there for a while. I would volunteer to play piano for church and sing songs. It was a joke to me. I didn’t even know why I was doing it. I was religiously confused. As I got older, more and more I didn’t go to Grandma’s on the weekend because I didn’t want to have to go to church. While I was in High School, I considered myself an atheist. I didn’t believe in anything and quite honestly, I didn’t care. I literally did not care about anything, including my grades.

When I turned 18 I somehow found out about Paganism and Wicca. A year or so later I joined a coven. I felt like I was home. I loved my teachers, all the other members. It was perfect. I finally felt like I had found my religion. I did that for a few years. I was even married by a pagan High Priest from my coven and had the traditional handfasting ceremony. Everything was perfect.

I soon became bored with it and confused. “Is this really what I believe? Is this the right thing? Will I ever know what religion I’m supposed to me?” These were often thoughts I had to myself. All of a sudden, I stopped going to my coven’s meetings. I did solitary rituals and did a few spells here and there. I meditated a lot and had some short discussions with my Pagan God and Goddess. I would always question it. “Is it just my conscience talking to me or is it really the word of my deities?” Something in me just felt like what I was doing was betraying my Christian roots.

So I went back to that church in my early 20’s and started going to a non-denominational church which was led by the pastor of my old small church. He made the messages so relatable and I finally felt like I was in the right place. Then I got bored again. I went back to my coven. This cycle happened not once… but twice. I struggled to try to stay Christian knowing that so many (well, most) Christian’s are against gay marriage and the transgender community. I’m a huge supporter of the LGBT+ community and it’s one thing I really believe in as far as equality. I’m a very open-minded person.

This summer, the cycle started again. All of the last year I considered myself Christian and started finding myself posting bible verses on my facebook. I felt like that’s where I needed to be. I felt I was Christian. I went to a few church services between my home church and my other church I went to. Then starting this year, I felt I was Pagan again. So I started going back to my coven and I even went to their annual weekend camping trip, which I had so much fun at. However, I still just felt like I was doing something wrong.

Most recently, I decided to go back to church. The only problem was my home church is 20 minutes away and my other regular church that was in town disbanded due to lack of funds to keep it going. It was very disappointing. So I decided to try out my best friend’s church again. I was raised in a Methodist church, and I like the Methodist church. My best friend is Lutheran, which I consider very close to Catholic. While there is nothing wrong with being Lutheran or Catholic, I just don’t feel like those churches are for me.

As I was researching churches in town, I found so many of them on their websites saying that do not accept gay people. It really bugged me. How can you say you’re such a welcoming church and shun gay people? It’s stupid. After addressing this with my best friend, she suggested I try the Methodist church in our sister town. It’s about 15 minutes away from my house. That night I drove to the church and just sat in the parking lot and marveled at how huge the church was. I felt a spark in my soul. I talked to my Grandma about going there and come to find out, the co-pastor used to be a pastor at my home church and married my Mom and my biological father. So there was a connection.

I went to this church with my Mom the next Sunday. On the way there, I turned on some Christian music on Spotify on my phone and my Mom laughed at me. “What, are you, Grandma, now?” She asked. It bugged me a little, but I was trying to set the mood.

We were greeted by very friendly people at the door. It was a huge church, even bigger once you’re inside. The co-pastor who married my parents gave the sermon. There was something about her words that just resonated with me. The message was on kindness, something I need to be schooled on badly. After the service, I was happy, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to join just yet.

Today, Grandma drove to town and went to church with me. We talked with the co-pastor and she reminisced with Grandma a little. Grandma just spoke so highly of her. I could see why. She has an amazing personality and she is just one of the nicest people you will ever meet. So, today I decided I want to join the church. I’m also getting involved in the church. Next Sunday I have lunch with both Pastors to discuss joining the church. This coming Wednesday I’ll be packing meals with the church to support the community. Then next Tuesday I have a meeting to discuss starting a Young Adult group. I’m so excited. I finally feel like I’m a part of something big. Something that feels right.

At the end of the day, I feel like I’m always going to be Pagan deep down. Now I just consider myself ChristoPagan. A mix of Christian and Pagan. I believe in Jesus Christ, God, and my Goddess, Mary Magdalene. I may do spells here and there. I pray every night. But now I have a church to call home. I feel content and welcome.

I hope everyone found this insightful. Love is all around us.

Religiously Confused

So for whatever reason, I get into these weird obsessed manic episodes where all of a sudden I want to be religious. I somehow convince myself that I’m wrong by practicing witchcraft and being Wiccan. Even though my whole life, I’ve always been drawn to nature and felt a magical feeling about it that really resonated with me.

Here’s why I’m confused. When I feel like I’m practicing the correct religion, I feel a blissful, calming feeling. When I was younger I would walk around barefoot in nature and just feel the wind blow through my hair. That would give me the blissful feeling. However, when I was baptized in a church at age 12, I also got that blissful feeling. So am I Christian or am I Wiccan? I’m confused.

Then another part of me wonders why I can’t do both. Religion to me isn’t about the afterlife. One thing that resonated with me in Wicca was the concept of reincarnation. I never have believed your soul dies and goes to heaven. I feel like spirits are everlasting. You come back into the world as something else, the moment you die.

I started looking at churches last night. There’s this one church one of my friend’s goes to that I’ve heard so many great things about called Vale church. I watched the hour-long service from last Sunday on my phone and thought it was okay. The pastor kept talking about how everyone was welcome in their church and I liked that. Then… I looked on their website about “what we believe”. They believe homosexuality is a sin and so is being transgender or nonbinary. Personally, I can’t be in a church that doesn’t support those 2 things. So that church is out.

I grew up in a Methodist church so I looked up different Methodist churches in town. There’s one I’m somewhat interested in called Wesley United Methodist church that’s located not too far from me. Their website seemed a lot more welcoming as far as types of people. I may try that church. However, today I’m attending a Lutheran church with my best friend that she’s been going to since she was young. She said last time I went I had a bad experience. I don’t really remember, plus that was almost 4 or 5 years ago so things could have changed. I’m looking forward to going to Bible study with her as well. Even though I’ve never believed in the Bible and that it is a sacred text written by Jesus’ followers, I do believe there are lessons to be learned in it and I’m all about learning more.

I guess if it all comes down to it, I could be what is called a Christopagan or a Christian Witch. I don’t really want to give up on Wicca entirely, but for some reason, it just feels wrong lately. I go through periods where I’m in denial about being Wiccan. As I was raised Christian, I feel that’s what I’m supposed to be. It’s what I know. I don’t really know. I guess I’ll write about my experience.

Life Update

So I got my hair cut. Short. Again… [lol] I also colored it blue. I think it looks lovely. I loved my hair blue. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments so far. I believe it suits me.

I start school a week from this coming Monday. I’m so excited, anxious, and nervous. I’m interested to see how much homework I have for each class. I’m really excited for the Intro to Psychology and Literature in Film classes. I’m just worried Logan won’t have been switched to nights my first day of class. They still haven’t let him know much about when he’s being moved. You see, we only have one car…

It’s going to be so nice when he gets that extra pay per week. I have a credit card that is almost maxed out and another credit card that is maxed out. I’m just excited to get out of debt and be able to pay off my college tuitions.

However, I’m not looking forward to Logan not being beside me when I go to sleep at night. Ever since we moved in together I have always had the fear that someone is going to break into our house in the middle of the night and I’m not going to wake up for it. So now, he’s going to be working from 7PM-7AM and I’m scared to sleep by myself.

I thought about getting a gun. Then I remembered I have been suicidal in the past and it’s probably not a good idea for me to have a gun. I told Logan if he ever wanted to get one to keep it where I couldn’t access it. Since we will have the extra income I’m thinking about getting a security system. We’ll see.

Once we get most of everything paid off, we can finally get another car, start upgrading the house, get central air conditioning installed, and get both of us some well over due dental work. I know I have high hopes. I just hope it all works out and I don’t jinx it.

I posted my August reviews. I know it’s a bit early. I questioned if I should do a “CD” review since I don’t believe anyone buys CD’s anymore except me. I did include it with a link to the album on Amazon in case you want to sample it or buy it.

Not that much has been going on. I’ve been helping my Aunt with stuff for an upcoming court date. I’ve been spending too much money on my credit card online. I always buy so much clothing and makeup! That’s about all that’s going on here. I apologize for not writing recently. I’ve been out of ideas on what to write about. Hope you all are well!