As an artist I am always looking for ways to inspire others with my work. This venture is my way of bridging the gap between my photography and the fashion world. With digital art, I take my images to create daily wearable inspirations of faith, hope, love, peace and joy for young, fashionable women.
I have never wanted to cause harm to myself, but I know person’s who have. Young ladies with beautiful smiles, bright personalities and a long life ahead of them. They were cursed with a pain buried deep in side that steamed from the turmoils of life- a pain they couldn’t see past or understand. As a release, they drew blood, an outward manifestation of that hidden feeling. Their own little secret, masked by smiles. Yet underneath were bodily cuts made with everyday sharp objects, hidden by long sleeves. Self harm was a coping mechanism for the upcoming day.
This morning I awoke to a message:
Espero verte algun dia de nuevo. Sinceramente, tenia ganas de besarte, al menos jajaj. Pura vida..
Un abrazo y que tu estadía en Costa rica sea genial
The translation: “I hope to see you one day again. Honestly, I desired to kiss you at least, haha. Pure life.. A hug and a cool stay in Costa Rica.”
At 5:30 in the morning, my heart fluttered. Not because I shared the same sentiment as this guy, but because it felt so good to be desired!
A ring adorning my finger,
A necklace dangling from my neck
On my being everyday
A physical presence,
But a soul manifestation
With this vest I dress
Strutting out to the world scene
Remembering this theme
Singing this tune
And exuding this perfume
While sitting outside at a barbecue, an older gentleman turned to me and started talking about his life. He was telling me how his past relationship had gone wrong and he was at a place in his life where it seemed like nothing was working out. Then he said, “I had to change my latitude, my longitude, and more importantly my attitude!”
One lesson I have learned in life is to just sit back and listen. People have a lot of wisdom, if you are willing to just take the time to absorb it. An encounter today confirmed just that.
It’s my second day in San Jose, Costa Rica. That’s almost three weeks since I decided I was going to sell my stuff and move here for a year to do an internship in my field while becoming proficient in spanish at the same time.
I moved into a lovely hostel called Kap’s place this morning. I was attracted to it’s warm atmosphere, friendly owner, and cheap prices so decided to give it a go- at least for a month. Upon returning from work, I was introduced to a couple other guests. Three hours later I find myself sitting around a round table eating pizza and discussing life with a young man from California, a young woman from Ecuador, an older man retired from the Army, and an middle aged woman from Australia. Our accents were different, but our views all so similar.
The topic was brought up that two women were mugged at knifepoint while walking home at night, not too far from our place. Frightened, one tenant began expressing her concerns.
I remember my first interaction with Tom*. Our shadowing period had ended, and I was assigned to his class. He sat, not disrupting anyone, but not doing his work. I pulled my chair beside him and coerced him into completing his warm-up. As Tom wrote on the prompt for the day, he began to open up to me about his academic situation. “Miss,” he began, “I’ve already did this before. This is my second time in the 7th Grade, but they said if I pass all my classes, they will skip me up to the 8th.”
I listened intently. This was not an uncommon story. A lot of my students are overage, and profess the desire to buckle down, turn over a new leaf, and undo the stigma of them being unsuccessful. I went through my usual questions. Tom’s reasons for his lack of committal to his studies ranged from the work being hard and unrelated to life to the work being boring and undesirable to finish.
My mind fashioned an idea. I gave him a sheet of paper and told him to list everything that was holding him back. “Man that will take too much time and paper,” he exclaimed. “So be it,” I answered. “ Just try.” He wrote until he exhausted the topic. At this point, I took the paper, crumpled it up, and threw it in the trash. With a stern look, I gazed into his eyes and stated, “Now that all your excuses are gone, you can move forward.”
In track and field we referred to it as the wall or the monkey on our back. It was that moment during your race where it felt like you had smashed head first into a giant brick wall. That time when it felt like something heavy was on your back, your legs turn to lead and your head becomes burdened with thoughts of not finishing.
When you’ve gone as far as you can, you’ve only gone half as far as you’re capable of.” -Greenland Proverb
I was inspired by this in a training last week. As my mind floated back to those track days, I pondered the fact that although we often ran smack dab into that metaphorically wall, we always found the willpower, motivation and determination to endure. Us getting bogged down was just the sign that we needed to kick into a second gear. As we did, a gust of energy thrust from our bodies. Our speed picked up, and we persevered through the finish line.