Phew, it’s been a hot minute since I last took some time to connect with you here. I have struggled with how much do I want to share with people.
The past year has been a heart breaking, goal achieving, career defining, and a life-changing whirlwind. Get ready for one hell of a story.
I have learned some of the most important lessons from two separate narcissists and a boy-man :
Nearly two years ago, I wholeheartedly dedicated myself to expanding my PMU/Paramedical knowledge and practice into the world of body art. I am forever grateful for the experience with my first mentor; she taught me very little about actual tattooing, and everything about what I NEVER want to be, and still continues to from a distance. I have found knowing what you DON'T want shines a guiding light to what you positively DO want. Finally in the past 6 months I have released the unhealthy habits, emotional trauma, and self-perception my first mentor gifted to me during her tutelage.
I am still healing from the experience of the 2nd, I dated this one. I met this one at a NYC Tattoo convention I attended with the a fore mentioned mentor. He came into my life like a fresh breath of air, he gave me a less judgmental glimpse into the tattoo world I was so wanting to be a part of. I dated him long-distance for a year, all the while giving me professional feedback and encouraging me to push my skillset. He believed in my ability more than I did.
My world came crashing down when I discovered he was carrying on two other long-term relationships at the same time, (and probably quite a few more casual flings.) Jerry Springer couldn’t even make this stuff up! The persona he showed to me, the stories he told me, the mentor and kind man I knew, was a downright facade and lie. Not only did I loose the person I thought would be my husband, but I lost a mentor figure and colleague.
*****(Go ahead and turn on Lizzo's "Truth Hurts" for me, it's my theme song this year. Lizzo and Cam are regularly blasting at Bluebird Ink.)*******
As life would have it, the tattoo piece I had a day later, after discovering his true nature, was of a Colorado landscape (his home state), with straight lines, on the ribs- a challenging piece that reminded me of him. After bandaging the beautiful new tattoo and saying goodby to my client, I realized how much art can heal and that I didn’t need him anymore, that I had had it in me all along.
From dealing with their negativity, I was able to understand exactly how much this profession and artistic practice means to me, and what I was willing to risk to be a part of it.
I now know that I am worthy and I am capable of having the HONOR of working as a tattoo artist. It’s through determination and consistent hard work to improve my skills, mindset, and artistic voice that I will define my career and tattoo journey. I also know in my core that I will be a better teacher, because of my experience with them…consider it my way of offsetting their bad karma.
The shop is finally getting to the point that I have dreamed about for the past few years!! Woohoo! I have trained and welcomed another artist to Bluebird Ink! Lyndsey Elliott has worked with me as a traditional makeup artist for several years now, and had just the personality and skills I want for my clients. It is SOOO nice having someone to share my work life with! I LOVE teaching and helping someone else achieve success.
If you follow me on Social Media, you will have seen repeated travels to Michigan! I am now working out of two locations! Some of my best friends live up there, and one of them was kind enough to bring me into her expanding wellness and beauty studio, LUX Beauty + Wellness in Frankenmuth. I couldn’t ask for a better team of varied beauty pros, and now friends, than at LUX.
Michigan is a doubled edged sword for me, over the past 5 years, a boy there, redefined my views on what I expect from life and the opposite sex. His repeated devastating entrees and swift exits from my life have taught me the importance of staying centered in myself, to find love from within myself, and that no matter how much you love someone, love MUST be a two way street. I have learned with him, If someone isn't showing up for you, keep going and show up for yourself instead.
Through all the heart break, tattooing at the bluebird has been a refuge and honor. This art requires one to simultaneously learn grit and grace, while making a daily practice of humor and humbleness. I still have so much to heal within myself, It’s a constant practice to love and choose myself flaws n’ all. But tattooing has brought a team of loving supporters into my life that keep me on-vision and focused.
I know one thing, at 33, I may have truly found my soulmate… in the art of tattooing, and it’s changed my life forever. I can’t wait to take you along for the ride. Next time, I'll tell you about a powerhouse of a woman who changed my career with love and a little ass kicking.