The Things We Hang Onto

Emotions can’t be properly expressed over text or email. A picture can’t tell a story.


If I believed either of those for even a moment, I’d have given up a long time ago. Much like I gave up on myself before. It is so easy to listen to the negative things some people will say about us.

“You hang onto things too much.”; “Don’t be so sensitive.”; “It’s fine as a hobby but hardly anyone makes it.”

Hurtful words that leave a scar. But there are other voices in a different tenor.

“You’re amazing! Do you do commission?”; “I got so mad at that character that I threw your book across the room!”; “We’re going to get you there together. Don’t worry!”

Although both these lists are real comments people have said to me, and though they both bring me to tears, it’s the heartwarming tears from the second list that I’m going to choose to hold onto. I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. That is a fact which on paper is easy to note. Now, feeling the sting of hateful speech hit my ears, it’s much harder to lift my gaze.

I’m a real person with insecurities. Even though their words are not supposed to get to me, I’m at a loss for how to shut the tears off. I don’t know what the right thing is. There’s a chance I’ll make the wrong decision because I know that I’d hurt myself before I’d want to hurt someone else. I’m the only problem I can fix…

The answer isn’t clear to me yet. And I think that’s okay. We don’t have all the answers, right? So, we take our next steps with the best intentions and an open heart. And as I often do, I wish to focus on something good while going through the bad.

“You’re amazing! Do you do commission?” ~ This was said to me a few weeks ago, and it inspired the following images. This kind soul wanted a tattoo piece. This is my second commission piece, but my first tattoo image. I am in LOVE! Better yet, he loves them too! So, I’ve given him both pieces. Tattoos are personal, typically. I have several myself and each has a story. I hope I’ve captured his in these pieces. Thank you, Ethan. Thank you, Reen. Thank you, Amanda. And thank you to each of you who show me kindness, cheer me on, and help me through all the good and all the bad!

Selina oxo

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