I have done quite a bit of thinking in the last few weeks about the people around me. With the end of the year just around the corner, I've found myself reflecting back on Twenty Eleven, and the challenges I've faced this year based on my appearance alone. I had my chin completely tattooed early in the year, and it has been the topic of conversation with almost every person I encounter on a daily basis. I love my tattoo, but I'm a little burned out on the amount of asinine questions and ignorant remarks, day in and day out. It doesn't have to mean any one thing in particular. It doesn't matter what I will do with it when I have children, or when I'm old. I wanted it because it makes me feel strong, beautiful....free! It separates me from you. My skin, this reflection of my inner self.
Being accepted by others has proven to be quite a challenge after I had decided to take the step towards being a visibly modified individual and finding a career in body piercing. I never thought I would ever be judged in life based on my appearance or what I do. Especially in the recent years, I've begun to see the true colors of others, even those who are my family members. It's not always easy to explain when "because I like to" isn't a sufficient enough answer. With the invention of Facebook, it's has been increasingly more difficult to keep all aspects of my life hidden from my family and friends who do not fully comprehend or accept my drive for change. I've found that I have less friends and less respect from family than when I started out in life, solely because of the choices I've made in modification. I never thought it would be this hard. I've been shunned by family, friends, the general public. I don't regret my decisions, however. I continue to be kind to those around me, to those who may not understand or who may feel negatively towards it, and I still continue to change my appearance despite what others say and think. I may have less in life physically, but the experiences and challenges have formed me into the person I am today. I've realized that it's okay to be different, and that I am happy with myself! I have come through of all of this with unwavering perseverance and I still continue to thrive! I've found a new perception of understanding...a sweet clarity I cannot begin to explain. I cannot imagine who I would have become without modification in my life. Only in the last few years have I been able to fully grasp this new concept and it continues to shape itself as I move forward in life and continue to alter my physical appearance. I love life. I am free.