Contest Winner: Sandra!!! <3

So, let me first say, that this was a difficult decision. I had several submissions to my little contest and I quickly settles on three different images. I can’t help but thank each and every one of you that participated in this and it made me think that someday I’ll run another little contest (Like, maybe someone find me a dress to wear or something…hehehehe) someday.  I really enjoyed doing this and everyone that submitted something really made me feel good about myself.  Thank you, all of you! ❤

I let the contest go on for a couple hours past the deadline I chose, but here were the runner ups, before I chose the winner:

  1. sonofabeach: His explanation for one of the images happened to be “…a covering that is weather beaten, a tad bit tarnished, and a somewhat confusing mishmash, yet that creates the shell which, again, reveals beauty and energy.”
  2. Sea Star: Her explanation on the image she sent me was “…it illustrates the chaos within sometimes… we all have it though I strive for calm and tranquility.”

I did not have express consent to post their pictures for anything other than my header, so I did not share them.  But they were great and I think came very close to encapsulating what I have been feeling for quite some time.

With that, being said, Sandra really found a way to bring out me in my design.  As you can now see on my header, I have already used her suggestion.  What really did me in, was her explanation as to why she chose this: “…I just thought the chaos of the piles of wood contrasted with the beauty of the pink flower. Sort of making it through the chaos to get to the peaceful beautiful flower.I chose pink because you’ve got a pink background on your site now. Plus it’s lovely… and Stephanie makes me think of pink… I have no idea why! I also thought it had to be something from nature because you always have those beautiful pictures from the mountains…”

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Now, that I have selected a winner, I did mention that the “prize” would be the opportunity to re-design my blog or do a guest post!  Of course, I won’t force Sandra to do it, but It would be fun, I think.

Feeling a little positive this morning.

This morning, I woke up in a good mood. I’m running late today, but I woke up in a good mood.  Honestly, I think I work myself into exhaustion – mentally and physically. I’ve said it before, but sleep does little ol’ me some amazing wonders. I’m not going to really go into how I was feeling yesterday, because I don’t want to rehash anything and cause myself to spiral down into an ugly spiral.

All I know, is that I feel like I have a really great support network here – all of you are so awesome and I love you all for listening to me whine and cry so much.  Gosh..it almost makes me cry thinking about it. Okay, breathe…  Anyways, I’m just thankful to be able to express myself, have all of you accept me the way I am and I feel really good because of a lot of you.

With that being said, I would like to encourage you all to make a submission to the little contest I proposed a couple of days ago.  I have some really good submissions, so far, and I have already a strong consideration on two of them, but I have not made a final decision and may extend the deadline to a little later today or tonight (I’m basing this totally on how I feel… 😛 ). And the grand prize is a chance to have your submission displayed as my banner and I’d love to invite the winner to guest blog for me (I still have to figure out how to set that up…)

This won’t be my only post today, because I want to post more in my Beautiful You Journal as I continue to be the most beautiful person I can be! 🙂 ❤

Contest Update

Yesterday, I posed a little contest among my followers and I ma beginning to receive some submissions.  Right now, I am leaning towards one, but I am open to see what other creativity any of you might have.  I’m hoping to get as many submissions as possible, before tomorrow (although, I might extend it another day).

Looking forward to seeing more submissions!

Contest Proposal: Help me create a new image!

As you might have noticed, I just changed how my blog looks.  While doing it, I realized that I am not the most creative person in the world, since I am using a random background picture from WordPress.  But it made me wonder if anyone would be interested in helping me on my blog – I’ll create a little contest where people submit images and I select my favorite to use.  As a “prize”, I would invite the winner to re-design my blog and possibly guest blog, as well.

If anyone is interested, please submit a picture that you think would be perfect as the header image on my blog. The picture has to encapsulate me – as complex as I imagine myself to be, embody all of me.  I’ll let the contest tentatively run for the next 48 hours (possibly longer, as I see fit) and then pick the lucky winner.

As I mentioned, I thought this might be a little fun and I encourage submissions to be made to my email: tarnishedsoul72@gmail.com

A couple of stipulations:

  1. It should be your own artistic design – photograph or other imagine
  2. Borrowed images that are photoshopped by you are acceptable (But if there are any copyright issues, I’ll have to remove it)

I’m looking forward to this little fun endeavor.

Chatty Cathy Has Left The Building!

Today, I woke up with a desire to write some jaw-dropping and intriguing post. The reality, however, is that I think I have run out of things to discuss.  Truthfully, I find myself pondering my own life and can’t help to think that I have been so utterly self-absorbed, that I have not noticed the world around me.  Granted, this blog has been focused on my mental health, my sexuality, my sobriety (more on this in a moment), and sometimes my relationship.  I feel like I spend a lot of time talking about these issues and I am thankful that so many of you offer your thoughts, encouragement and insight.

When I came to WordPress a few years ago (Yes, I realize this blog is only dated from June 2016 – I have had several blogs, before this one.), I intended to discuss my marriage and how horrible it was. That really didn’t happen, because I was experiencing the worst of my depression, the worst of my anxiety and the worst of my suicidal thoughts.  And my blog posts began tackling those things I had been experiencing and the emotions involved in them.  There were some major things that had occurred in my life that had led me to feeling the way I had been and at the time, I began loathing myself so much that it became unbearable.  But, over the past couple of years, I have discussed it so much it’s not having any effect other than maintaining my awareness of it all – and I can’t help to think that it is becoming BORING. Of course, one of the issues that began to surface, as a result of my depression, was the issue of my sexuality.

On some level, I feel like me coming to terms with my sexuality has a bit of a boring fad-esque feel to it.  I have had so much support here, but the reality is that I act like somehow my story needed to be told.  I’ll admit, for myself, I needed to work through it, but I’m quite sure my story is no more different than the next man or woman that has experienced the trials and tribulations of being an alternative sexuality.  And any search for blogs on WordPress will yield similar people feeling like their sexuality is a unique quality all on its own.  I’m beginning to think the only person who actually cares is me.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I think so many of you care about me as a person, but I don’t think my sexuality is near the issue to many of you that it has been to me.  And, in a sense, that’s kind of the point a lot of us non-straight people would like to push – our sexualities are merely a part of who we are and shouldn’t be the defining quality of our beings. But, my only point in bringing this up is that I’m somewhat bored with it today.  I don’t have anything else to say about it.  Unfortunately, my sexuality and mental health were being treated by me with some serious drinking.

I’ve discussed my drinking pretty extensively, as well, and I have even tried to push myself to sobriety.  I’m not going to lie, I have been having a beer or two here and there lately, but I’m not drinking to get drunk – in fact, I haven’t been drunk in almost 7 years.  I question my understanding of alcoholism and if there is truly a need for me to be “dry” and sober.  I ponder the realities of controlled drinking and I’m still not sure what I should be doing about any of it. I know I don’t like being drunk, so I don’t drink to get drunk.  I have always liked the taste of heavy beers like stouts, but I do know there was a time when I felt like I needed to hide how I felt. I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I was the most optimistic person and found myself in a place where I could not find positivity if it was sticking out of my ear. At the time, I felt like I needed to stop drinking to determine if my attitudes and feelings were because of drinking or if they were engrained in my thought process. I’ve proven to myself I can got weeks without a drink and be okay. I’ve experimented with the idea that I can stop after two beers, and I can. Alcoholism tends to be the one and only disease that is self-diagnosed, but there is no source to say if it is cured or not.  But, I find myself bored discussing that, as well.

I’ve also, though sparingly, discussed my relationship with my wife.  We have been separated for a few weeks now and there have been a few conversations between the two of us, but I’m not sure where it stands at this moment. By all reasonable accounts, we should have never been married and we should have never remained together – she and I literally have all of the statistics that shows divorce is in our future. We met, moved in together, began having kids, got married and I always had jobs with high divorce statistics. Without pointing fingers, there have been infidelities, abuse, emotional turmoil, monetary issues, etc., etc.  I’m not sure where we stand at the moment, but divorce has been the topic between us for quite some time. And yet, I find myself utterly bored thinking or talking about it.

I remember, growing up, my dad once said the best comic is the one that can laugh at him/herself. I’ve also felt that the most interesting people are those who focus on others and not themselves. I feel like I have become an uninteresting person. I feel like I have been so utterly focused on myself, that I have forgotten to serve and be available to others in the world, in my community, in my life, in my family, etc. I have mentioned so many times about the endless cycle of mental torture I put myself through, but I truly feel like I am on the precipice of change and I need that change to be outwardly focused. I have been focused on “fixing me” for so damned long that I have forgotten to live. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, I don’t know what struggles and problems I will have tomorrow, I don’t know if I will write in my blog tomorrow, I don’t know if I’ll reinvent myself, I just don’t know about anything other than today.  But I feel this urge to do something different. I feel this urge to write differently. I feel this urge to live differently. I feel this need to quit whining, bitching, complaining and bawling. I feel change MUST happen.

I feel like living.

(Side note: Pure irony is beginning a post claiming you have nothing to talk about and all of a sudden there is complete word vomit all over the place.)

AJ: Reminder

I saw this user’s post with Pink in the meme.  I absolutely love the quote, but there is something else a little ironic/coincidental about this post.  I sent the blogger a message informing her that I love Pink (I have a girl crush on her…) and mentioned that in my fantasies of being a girl, she is the image I have for myself!  This wonderful woman actually told me she posted it thinking of me!

How awesome is that?!?!?!

Maybe I really do like my inner Stephanie. 🙂

Flawed Pearls

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