Back In Time

With my daughters teenage years upon us I look at her and can’t help but wish I could spare her the hurt that comes from being a teenage girl.  But I can’t, she has to be 13 and 14 and so on, she has to get through this awkward and difficult time just like everyone else.  I can however do my best to help her along the path.
In light of that I began to think of what I would have liked to have told my teenage self if I somehow got the opportunity to send a letter back in time to my 13 year old self at the beginning of high school.  This is the results.  
Dear younger me,
So you are now 13 almost 14 years old having just begun your first year of high school.  I remember that girl and so the first thing I’m going to say to you is take that cigarette out of your mouth and wipe that smart-ass tough-chick look off your face, this is the older and wiser you talking here.  I KNOW that this is just an act I am after all the one who perfected it. 
I know that you are going through a very hard time in your life right now and that it feels like everything is changing at once and that’s because it is.  You feel lost and lonely, scared, unsure of yourself and your abilities and desperately unhappy at times.
All I really want to tell you is that it does get better; I promise you that no other period in your life will ever be quite as hard in quite this way again.  As it turns out these years really are the hardest to survive.  Even becoming a parent was not as scary as what you are living through right now.  
And yes you have children, a little earlier then intended perhaps but it is the greatest joy in your life and you do have someone to share it with, you are not alone. Actually it’s not too long from now that you will first meet your husband.  When you do you won’t even give him a second thought and you will forget about him entirely as your lives head in different directions. That’s OK he’ll be back.
I think now of all the crazy things you will wear and try out over the next few years and all I have to say about that is have fun.  Eventually you will find what works and what doesn’t but getting there is an absolute blast.  It also teaches us a lot about ourselves and having to defend your decision to dye your hair green or blue ends up giving us a lot of self-confidence.       
I know I’m not offering you a lot of advice here or even telling you how to avoid the mistakes you eventually make but there is a reason for that.  I know now standing on the other side that you somehow get through these years relatively unscathed (although there was that one very close call that ended up being seated across from a very unhappy RCMP officer)and what I’ve come to realize is that each mistake you will make also ends up teaching you a valuable lesson.
So all that I really want to tell you is that while you won’t always make the best decisions, you will get in trouble, and you will live to regret some of those things everything turns out OK.  You will get through to the other side. All the years of bullying and the pain and hurt and feelings you are dealing with in these difficult years will not last forever.
I leave you with this last thought; be happy!
See you later,
You in about 20 years

Seperate Pieces - 100 word blurb

Having children is like taking a piece of your heart and allowing it to walk around separate from your own body.  Their heart is your heart.  It is by far both the scariest as well as the most rewarding experience that life can offer.   At times it presents a challenge while at others it gives you pure bliss and joy.  To watch that piece of your heart beating and growing outside of your own body into its own person with its own thoughts, ideas, and path which is separate from the heart that lies within your chest is beyond expression.  

Fairytales gone bad

I recently pulled out two old books of classic fairytales that have been stored on my oldest daughter’s bookshelf since she was an infant.  These books had originally been mine as a child and although I’m not sure I ever read much of them they have been always been a constant, always standing side by side the image of Hansel and Gretel forever approaching the witch’s cabin.
I loved that image brought together with half on each books spine and it somehow ingrained in me a special attachment to these books despite the fact they were rarely read.  Occasionally I would read my favorites; East of the sun and west of the moon, the Gingerbread man, The shoemaker and the elves, Three Billy goats gruff while the rest remained unread.   
Not something I would normally bother to mention but something about these fairytales has begun to bother me as I’ve cracked them open to read.
As I’ve delved into these “classics” I’ve realized just how bloody sexist and chauvinistic the vast majority of fairy tales are.  Of course we all know the clich├ęd idea of the prince saving the princess however some of the phrases found in these original tales gathered into these two books is absolutely appalling.
The favorites we all know and love stem from a tree with some rather black roots. While reading these tales aloud I’ve constantly found myself pausing mid-sentence or even skipping over sentences completely in an attempt to edit on the go. 
I’ve even given up on a few unable to continue reading in complete disgust.  There is just no way to make some of these stories less sexist and demeaning to women.   The only types of female characters found in these pages are; the haggard old witch or the subservient beautiful (they’re always beautiful) young girl desperate to please. 
I don’t like the notions put forth by these books and am glad that they have remained little more than decoration over the years. 
I think rather than reading another story about women who are as dumb as a post, unable to do anything for themselves I would rather have the haggard old witch find and kill off the beautiful maiden leaving the handsome prince to wash his own damn shorts.

My Teamates @ Flaregames Studios!


 My teammates @ Flaregames =) Literally took me less than minute to draw all of them.