Saturday, June 27, 2015

Prodigal Blogger

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It's been a crazy year since I stopped blogging.

I had no real reason to stop to be honest. A mixture of being caught up in the wake of a nasty Fibromyalgia flare up, mixed in with depression, and stress just does that to a person.

But all of that aside . . . I changed.

I changed a lot from the person who first started this blog. Certainly I'm still my awkward, occasionally offensive self, but I'm also a lot more reserved about my life and who I share that with. Everything from thoughts on social issues, political affiliations, to my personal relationship with God has changed so much in the almost ten years of blogging.

I really don't want to look at posts from years ago.

I almost don't want to look at posts from just one year ago.

I spent a lot of time blogging in the hopes that I could be something for someone else. A light. A friendly support system. A tale of caution or perhaps one where people would read and think, "I am not alone." I succeeded a lot at that.

And then I would be happy for a moment and then get caught up in numbers and statistics and ad affiliates and the ridiculous game of it all. It stopped being fun. And I stopped wanting to be someone that others could rely on, because often times I break and crumble because that's just how life is.

And then, taking a break from blogging, I found my love of reading and writing again. I got lost in worlds of fantasy and fiction and remembered how good it felt to tell a story that had nothing to do with my life. To create worlds and characters (or use worlds and characters already created — yep, fanfic, remember how I'm a huge geek?) and twist stories and words to evoke emotions.

Blogging often felt like a platform I stood on, trying to get my opinion heard while waiting for people to throw things at me. Waiting for something I wrote to maybe accidentally go viral . . . and I'm not okay for the attacks that would come.

Writing feels safer. More of my heart and less of my soul, if that makes sense.

So I doubt I'll return to blogging any time soon. I just ran out of things to say. I am who I am and I'm so comfortable in my skin right now that anything I talk about feels like I'm just reiterating words I've already spoken. Or words someone else has already spoken.

Blogging was too personal. Everyone knew that I did it and I stopped enjoying that.

Writing gave me back a bit of my anonymity.

Thank you all for reading for so many years.

Much Love,

Untypically Jia

PS: For those who actually enjoy fanfic, feel free to drop my a line (untypicallyjia@gmail.com) and I will be happy to direct you to my stories.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Tattoo for Sisters

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Matching tattoos. 

My sister and I have rarely shared the same taste in anything. Music, movies, boys (with a few rare - and awful - exceptions) and even clothes. It took hours digging through one anothers closets to find something to borrow simply because our styles often clashed growing up. We were - and often still are - complete opposites. So when we had the idea to get matching tattoos, we each scoured Pinterest for ideas, ultimately coming up with very little that would fit us both. But then I came across a little idea off of Buzzfeed and we put our own little twist on it.

It's been four years since our folks moved to Colorado, ultimately abandoning my sister and I to the lonely wilderness of suburban New Mexico, both of us living literally blocks away from the childhood home we spent our formative teenage years in. The home we became sisters in. The home we each fell in love with the men who we've share our adult lives with.

So it made perfect sense to honor that home (despite that it no longer belonged to our family, and the current occupants have completely fucked up the landscape) by permanently inking it's coordinates to remind us of where we came from. The home that taught us about love and family, and ultimately (though I doubt the parents planned it that way) God.



Tattooed by the awesome Samm Skywalker at Blue Jay Tattoo in Rio Rancho, NM.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Confidence Is . . .

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Confidence has always been a struggle for me.

The majority of my twenties was spent looking at pictures of my teenage self and melodramatically weeping over the fact that I never took pictures of my 18 year old boobs that I could longingly admire in my late twenties, recalling their perkiness. I had plenty of other pictures to feel sad over. Pictures of beautifully tan skin, an un-dimpled ass, long thick hair, and a waist that was miraculously smaller than my hips.

But I always forget that teenage Jia was filled with self pity and hatred. She picked at her skin in the mirror obsessively, weighed herself compulsively, and cried herself to sleep over the fact that her friends were all skinnier than she was. Aside from that, teenage Jia hid herself away behind others who stood out more.

Most of my friends that I've remained in touch with recall me as this wild, outgoing girl with brightly colored hair and a personality to match. A confidence that I borrowed from my friends who were wilder, more outgoing and more brightly colored than I was. I stood in their shadows because the warmth of their light came without the fear of standing out on my own.

I faked it trying to make it, but I still went home feeling sorry for myself.

"Confidence... We Got This" An amazing project by Brittany Herself that I am beyond proud to have participated in! 

Confidence can still be struggle some days, but now I have tools to work through it.

When I started being my authentic self online I discovered that I wasn't alone. I began taking risks. Wearing red lipstick and dressing to show instead of to hide. And then one day several years ago, I dyed my hair pink. Pink isn't something you can hide. Confidence or not, you walk out of the house with pink hair, you are forcing the world to draw their eyes to you. And I lucked out. Because my beautiful community here in New Mexico is filled with artists, bright individuals with souls that are yearning for equally bright hair - and many do! Pink became my confidence, and soon I was taking more and more challenges to face my fears of self doubt. Bare arms, short hair, and bikinis!

"I wish I could have your confidence." 

My sister said that to me a few weeks ago. We were headed to the pool and I was wearing the same tankini that I've had for way too many years. Cleavage spilling out of my top and my belly exposed, I strutted toward the pool beside my little sister who weighs almost 100 pounds less than me.

"Do I look like shit?" I asked her.

"What?! No, of course not!" She replied.

"Then why should I feel like shit?" Was my answer.

It's something that's taken me WAY too long to learn - and I still have to remind myself every single day. Sometimes I have her remind me. Sometimes it's my best friend, or my husband. Sometimes it's hundreds of like-minded women in the beautiful tribe of curvacious kindred spirits that I've found online.

I want to tell teenage Jia that she won't always have to force that smile when she looks in the mirror. One day she'll catch herself by surprise.

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So much thanks to Brittany and the girls at Curvy Girl Guide who daily inspire me to love myself. Please check out "Confidence... We Got This" and show support for everyone who chooses to step out of their comfort zone for this incredible project!
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