The Philly Girl inside me wants to come out. She’s pissed. It’s true.
Did you know I used to be punk rock? Street punk, in fact. Fishnets, plaid and converse. Half red, half black, sometimes blonde and sometimes pink. Elmer’s glue and lots of hairspray….do I need to continue?
Being a new person in a new town, you get the chance to reinvent yourself if you need to. That’s a welcoming thing for sure, but lately I’ve been thinking about what makes me, well, me. I started thinking about the moments, places and people that shaped me into who I am now. We’re constantly changing, but there are definitely things about you that will never change. Experiences that have imprinted upon us, moments where we’ve snapped into ourselves and into our authentic selves.
Being authentic (such an appropriate word) is something to be cultivated. It’s something that has occurred to me and those who are closest to me. It’s the idea that we live our lives and days as genuine beings unapologetic for who we are. We show people the nitty gritty, we accept our faults and embody our goodness. We’re in the moment, we say what we think, we want a quality of life that will let us succeed. I say we so much when I should probably say me, but really, we should do this thing together.
There was a moment a year or two ago when I was upset that people couldn’t see me; the things I had been through, the stories of my past, the essential things that have shaped my character and my soul. I was frustrated. They didn’t believe that I’ve ever done anything wrong, that I could never be anything other than nice and sweet and a little bit artistic. They saw my goodness, my wholesome appearance with little makeup and all smile. But I did have spiky hair and ripped jeans, I probably said the F word more than my mother would like me to mention, I pogoed like a champ and I was fearless.
Fast forward into my cosmopolitan self, the one I found in the piazzas of Milan, throwing frisbees in the park, gathering to drink, eat and be merry, exploring every inch of my fair city. I’ve kept a ticket, right in my wallet for convenience’s sake, that has the Duomo on it. This is the only duomo in the world that matters now, imprinted on my life with friendships made, people spotted and warm nights eating Burger King.
And then there’s the Aussie spirit that resides within me, connected to the little bits I left behind. I traveled alone, I built a life in a foreign country, and I attempted to find myself in The Outback (that’s a whole nother story.) Here I learned to be late and carefree, that everyone’s fair game to be made fun of, animals can be dangerous, living can be expensive, life can be exciting and always an adventure, and most of all, I have no control over the future and where it may lead.
Now you’ll find me here in Lancaster. I’m making the commitment to explore my self, love, respect and honor that self, and truly discovering what makes me happy. But the Philly girl wants to make an imprint on you all. She wants you to know she’s tough, she’s sarcastic, she’s fought and kicked and screamed. Then let’s not forget the Milan girl, the one who really imprinted travel in her heart, the one that will love you, feed you and show you the beauty of the world. Oh, oh, and the Aussie girl, lest we forget. She’s here to tell you that if it doesn’t get done today, it can be done tomorrow and that life, my friends, is always an adventure.
My Lancaster self, well she just wants you to know that it’s possible to be all these things wrapped into one. That you are perfect just the way you are and that the sooner you know that, the sooner you will bring happiness into your life and the people around you.
Until next time.
On July 11th, 2015 it all came full circle. Flesh and ink came together to reveal my punk rock, world travelin’ badass self. I made a commitment to myself, and my spirit, to always remember the woman I became while abroad in Milan.
Every morning as I start my day, I am reminded of the good, the bad and everything in between that has brought me here.
But most of all, that version of my self who has kept me safe, loved and moving forward since the day I first set eyes on the Duomo.
Big shout out to Malik at No Heroes for the beautiful ink.
A huge thank you to my kindred spirit, Diane, for making it all seem so easy.