June 27, 2011

If You Lived Here You'd be Home

So much to write about...so little time. I have real posts (as in, actual thought out posts with words!) that I'm working on, but until I get a chance to proof and make sense out of them, I will leave you with this. This is where I live (plus or minus a few miles in each direction). I honestly cannot get over the beauty that surrounds me, and all the recreation right in my backyard. THIS is why I moved to Utah. Well, that and oh...Center for Change. But wanting to redefine myself and experience the recreation was a huge part in my decision. However, I've lived here for close to three years now and have yet to actually take advantage of it. I'm determined to make this year different and really take it all in. I want to hike everything I can hike...explore everything I can explore. So here's what I've come across so far this summer (Disclaimer - These were taken with my phone, so not exactly the best quality)...

Salt Lake City Library - This is my new FAVORITE place, and where I expect to be spending a lot of time! Coffee shops on the bottom...four floors of books that I can check out for FREE...a rooftop garden overlooking the mountains...cool architecture...seating by a wall of windows. I am seriously in love. I've found my new happy place :)

Park City Silly Sunday

Bridal Veil Falls

Jordan River Parkway

Hike to the 'Living Room' with the hiking group I joined. That's me in the black on the left (Can I just tell you all how much of a debate it was to actually post a picture with myself in it!)

Sugarhouse Park

The patio between Whole Foods and Barnes & Noble...a couple of my favorite places!

June 14, 2011


June 01, 2011

True Life: I have a Tattoo

I have a tattoo. This comes as a surprise to most who know me. It’s hidden. Nobody would know it exists unless it comes up in conversation. People tend to think of me as being fairly conservative (which is funny because I’m actually quite liberal) so occasionally I like to throw it out there for pure shock value. The reactions are priceless, and never fail to entertain me. You??? What??? Where???

Of the select few who know about this little piece of ink, fewer have seen it, and even less have a clue as to what it means, outside of my standard answer, ‘It’s a symbol that has a significant meaning to me.’ Despite the occasional joy I get out of shocking people, my tattoo is for me, and personal to me, and that’s all that really matters.

The thing is, I was never one of those people who wanted a tattoo. I have nothing against them. I can appreciate them. It’s just nothing that ever crossed my mind as something I had any desire to do. I couldn’t imagine finding anything that I’d want to brand myself with forever. Lady bugs or flowers or birds or whatnot are fun and all, but are of absolutely no meaning to me, so why would I want to permanently engrave myself with it? That was always my personal take on the subject at hand.

But then…I saw it. I’m embarrassed as to where I got the idea, but the moment I saw it I knew. I want a tattoo. And I want THAT tattoo. Are you ready for it? I first saw this particular ink job on the controversial documentary THIN. Yes, I got the NEDA symbol tattooed on my hip. I say that slightly shamefully, while never for even a second regretting my decision. I can count on one hand the amount of people within the ‘eating disorder community’ who know of my little art piece. Mostly, because I expect judgment. I expect people to think I got it as a ‘status symbol’ or as a way to remain sick. I did not. Let me offer another viewpoint…

For me it's a way of moving on. Some people get tattoos of names, faces, dates or whatnot of loved ones who have passed on…a way to memorialize them…to move on but never forget them. My tattoo, in a sense, is a memorial to my eating disorder. Why, most would ask, would you want to memorialize something so destructive? Why would you want a reminder that you will carry with you forever? Because it’s where I’ve been. Good or bad, it’s shaped me, molded me, made me who I am today.

I’ve had my eating disorder since I was nine. I’m 32 now. Twenty-three years is a darn big chunk of my life. Most people I know (friends who haven’t experienced an eating disorder, family etc.) want me to recover, brush it under the rug, pretend it never happened, and move on. They assume that’s what I should want as well. Am I proud of my eating disorder? No. But I’m not willing to pretend it never happened. I’m not willing to dismiss it…to essentially erase over two-thirds of my life span. I DO NOT WANT TO BE ERASED! I WILL NOT BE ERASED! I wasn’t exactly in recovery when I got the tattoo, and I’m still not quite there, and yet I look at it every day and appreciate it. It’s a reminder that I CAN move on. And it’s easier for me to start a new chapter knowing that I never have to completely forget or ignore where I’ve been and the strength that’s come from it.

Why that symbol? Well, because I like it…simple as that. It probably could have been any number of symbols that jumped out at me, but for some reason that’s the one that did. Not only does it have meaning that doesn’t scream eating disorder (unless of course you’ve had one or are familiar with NEDA), but I’ve always found that particular symbol to be aesthetically pleasing…despite the fact that the tattoo artist told me it kinda looked like a vagina heart. Why you would say that to someone as you’re permanently placing it on their body is beyond me, but whatever! I’ve had my tattoo for three years. It’s part of me, and I don’t regret it. End of story.