Dear Hope: Will My New Tattoo Get Infected?

Dear Hope,

I turn 18 in 3 months and I’m getting a tattoo. I’m getting 3 butterflies on my shoulder. I have always wanted one, but my parents said I had to wait till I was 18, because they would not consent to it.  I’m so ready to get it except one thing.  I have heard horror stories about it getting infected.  How easy is it to get an infection and how can I avoid it? I really want to get my tattoo.

  • Butterfly girl

Dear Butterfly Girl

Getting a tattoo is a big and permanent decision so make sure you have really thought it through before you get one.

After your tattoo is finished, the tattoo artist will give you instructions on how to take care of it.  Make sure to follow all of their instructions to avoid getting an infection.

Leave your bandage on for 3-5 hours unless they tell you longer.  After the bandage is removed, wash the area with warm water and a mild anti-bacterial soap.  Use your hands to wash it, because anything else can be too harsh.  Gently pat dry with clean paper towel.  Allow skin to air dry and then apply the anti-bacterial ointment your tattoo artist recommended. They will probably tell you to do this 3-4 times a day for about 4 days.

Remember showering is fine, but do not go swimming or take baths for about 2-3 weeks.

Scabbing is normal so do not pick or scratch because this can lead to infection.

Until it heals, check it and see if there are any changes like a rash, swelling, or discharge coming out of the tattoo.  If you see anything like this it could be an infection, call your doctor to get it treated.

Before you jump in and get a tattoo, research different tattoo artists.  Make sure they do the style you want and talk to them.  Ask them all of your questions.   For example, ask about after care and how long they have been tattooing.  Ask them to show you pics of their work.  Make sure the studio is clean and that they sterilize everything.  Ask around and see if other people have used them.

Again, think this through. Remember it is a permanent decision!

 

#Loser

#Loser

I am so angry! I am so sad! I feel like a #loser. I am soooo disappointed! Do I just suck? UGH

#Loser

All of these thoughts rushed through my mind recently. They hit me hard and lived in my brain longer than they should have. They were there for a good reason, or so I thought….

It all started with a writing competition. I love to write, but not just here (although I love this too) but I like creative writing (poetry, short stories). Two years ago I found this writing competition for creative writing and decided to enter. Everything that I entered won! I was beyond excited, crazy person excited. So, I entered again this year.

I wrote a story! I spent a ton of time on it. I worked really hard getting every piece right and I was super excited about the way it turned out! It was my favorite story that I’ve written.

All that work and my favorite story won NOTHING! Nothing? NOTHING!?

I was heartbroken! Beyond disappointed. Remember the beginning of this blog? Well, when I found out I lost; I thought all of those things. Here’s a recap if you forgot: I am such a loser! I suck! UGHH! I literally threw myself a pity party for like a week. I blew up pathetic imaginary balloons and everything. I know, super dramatic, but it’s true.

It hurt me because it changed the way I saw myself. Before the big loss, I thought I was a pretty good writer, but after… I was convinced that I sucked.

I didn’t want to write any more. But I LOVE to write so of course I missed it. Then I started thinking about the life lesson I blogged about last week and I knew I had to decide what I really wanted and make a choice. So, I started writing again. I started facing the fact that things didn’t go the way I wanted and I began to realize that it was okay. It didn’t feel okay at first, but it actually was.
I put way too much importance on a competition. I wanted someone to judge me, but only if I got the answer I wanted.

I realized three important things.

  1. Competition can be fun if it is for the right reasons.

    What is the point? It started out as a way to have fun, to get feedback on my writing, and push myself. Win or lose, those reasons shouldn’t change. I actually had a lot of fun and I learned about my writing style.

  2. Losing shouldn’t change the fact that you love doing whatever it is you do.

    Losing shouldn’t change the fact that I love to write! I let the results of one competition take it away the simple fact that writing makes me happy.

  3. The most important thing I learned was the outcome doesn’t change ME.

    I let the loss seep into my mind and bully me. I let it convince me that I have no talent. But it isn’t the end of the world and it doesn’t mean I have no talent. Maybe I have things to work on, but I am still a writer.

Now that I have had some time to get over myself I can see that you will not always get the results you want, but it doesn’t matter. I put myself out there. I learned something. And I got to do the thing I love: write! Someone’s opinions do not change who I am and they should not change the way I see myself or my talents. They can give me things to work on and think about, but they do not mean I suck and they definitely don’t make me a loser!

I would definitely do it again! I’m not gonna lie, losing is hard….really hard, but it opened my eyes.

I have more confidence in who I am now. I guess I’m not a #Loser after all.

Has anyone out there lost something they put their heart into?
How did you deal with it and what did you learn?

- ttfn G -

Dear Hope: Fashionista

Dear Hope,
I really want to work in fashion, but I don’t know where to start. I love clothes, I read all the fashion magazines and I am constantly trying new looks. All my friends ask me to shop with them and to pick out their outfits. I’m 18 and I just graduated high school. I’m taking a year off before I go to college because I want to figure out exactly what I want. What should I do?

- Fashionista

Dear Fashionista,
There a so many different jobs in fashion. You need to see what you like and what you don’t like. A great way to do that is to intern. There are so many opportunities for internship in the fashion industry. It will give you a chance to see what it’s like and to soak up tons of information. You will have an opportunity to talk to different people and get some good advice. Although it will be exciting and fun, it’s still a lot of work. Interns have to do mostly grunt work and jobs they don’t love, but in a fascinating environment. Don’t be discouraged if this is not an area of fashion you love, at least you will find out what doesn’t interest you. You can then look for what you love.

To find an intern job, start by checking out fashion websites and fashion magazines. They always need interns.

Go ahead, take that first step.

First Step

A Life Lesson You Need to Read

Life Lesson

My mother and a weird TV show just taught me a serious life lesson.

The other day I was whining and complaining about something that was not going the way I wanted. I don’t even remember what it was now (obviously it was super important). It doesn’t even matter what it was.
Anyways, I was whining and my mom looked me in the eyes and said very seriously “Well, this is what you want.” Wait? What? How is this what I want? I am clearly annoyed that this is not going my way. If you are lost refer back to the whining….
She said “You are making a choice right now. You are making the choice to complain and feel crappy instead of choosing something better.”

Ugh! Why does she have to be right?

I guess you can find a life lesson hidden anywhere?

A lot of times as teens we feel like we don’t have control over things. But sometimes we actually do.

We actually have control over the way we react to things.  I chose to whine so I obviously wanted to feel cranky. When we have the opportunity to makes choices, we choose the things we want.

I think that’s a huge part of getting what you want in life. When you get the chance to choose, make sure you choose what you really want.

Then I just heard a guy on some weird TV show say something about how life is a gift so stop choosing to make it a burden.

A life lesson from my mother and a weird TV show.

- ttfn G -

You Don’t Have to Change a Single Thing.

Dear Hope: Fix My Little Sister

Dear Hope,

I need you to fix my little sister.  How do I stop her from being utterly annoying?  She apparently can’t tell whats mine or hers.  She is constantly in my room taking my stuff.  Seriously if she doesn’t stop I can’t live with her.  Help now

-       Only Child

Dear Only Child,

You may want to be an only child, but you’re stuck with your sister.  Have you asked her to stop coming into your room and taking your stuff?  When I say ask, I mean not yelled it.  Are you treating your sister with the respect that you want her to give you?  Do you knock before going into her room, or do you just walk in?

Have you tried just spending some time with her?  Maybe she just wants to hang out with you sometimes.  Being different ages you probably don’t have the same interests, but I’m sure you can find something you both like to do.  Play a game with her once in a while, talk to her and give her big sister advice.  Try not to let her bug you, the more she sees it bothers you, the more she will do it.  She will think it’s funny and it will become a joke to her. Try giving her some good sister attention sometimes and she should back off a little. If it continues ask your parents to step in and help.

Good luck- Drop us an email and tell us how it’s going.

How That Crazy Chick Goldilocks Got it All Wrong

Goldilocks

Do you remember Goldilocks and the three bears?

Yes, the child fairytale about the crazy blonde chick. The one that breaks into the house of three bears and eats all of their food and sleeps in their beds.

There is a lot I could say about that story, like the fact that she has some serious personal space issues…but that’s not what this blog is about. Nope! It’s about how that crazy chick Goldilocks got it all wrong.

Let’s play the three little bears game!

Not sure what that is? Well, let me tell you; you have all probably played it before. You know in the story how Goldilocks try’s the first bowl of porridge and it’s too hot? Then she tries the next bowl and it’s not hot enough? Well the game is something like that. It’s when you look at yourself and think you are too much one thing and not enough of another.

We say things like: I’m too fat, too skinny, too tall, and too short. Or maybe you don’t feel smart enough, pretty enough, cool enough or anything else that doesn’t seem good enough.

We pick ourselves apart like Goldilocks picked a bed. But guess what Baby Bear! You are just right!

She is way too picky.

Do you really want to be like that crazy chick Goldilocks?

Don’t judge yourself. Don’t ever believe that who you are is not enough! That’s right baby bear, you are just right!

Goldilocks

Dear Hope: How Do I Tell My Best Friend I’m In Love With Him?

Dear Hope,

How am I supposed to tell my best friend that I’m in love him with him if I’m about 95% positive that he doesn’t feel the same way? We’ve been friends for about 6-7 years now and I’ve likes him a lot before but I just kept falling for him. I don’t know what to do. Please help.

 Dear “I’m in love with him”

First things first: Do you really like him? You need to figure out if you truly like him or is it just convenient because you’re good friends.  Are you feeling lonely and he is there? Is he someone you could genuinely see yourself dating?

Once you decide that yes, without a doubt you are into him, then it’s time to be honest.  I know it is hard, but you need to tell him.  It can be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s necessary. Keeping something like that hidden is not fair to either one of you.

Why? Because if you keep it in, you will always wonder what if.  Plus, without having an answer or a place to put your feelings they will just keep growing for him.

You need to explain how you feel, while telling him you don’t expect anything in return.  That no matter what you want to continue to be friends.  Let him know that you are not trying to make it awkward, but it was hard holding your feelings in and it was important for you to share them.

Be prepared for his reaction:

  1. There is still that 5% chance he may feel the same way. (Then yay for you.  Take it slow and see where it goes.)
  2. He may not react at all and everything stays the same. (Sometimes it is easier for people to kind of just ignore things.)
  3. He may get freaked out and not want to talk to you for a while. (If this happens, let him know that you understand he needs some time but you still want to be friends.  Reassure him that you don’t expect anything other than his friendship.)

Be prepared for your reaction:  Once you tell him hopefully you will feel better knowing you got it out and knowing how he really feels.

  1. If he feels the same then you will be full of emotions, so again take it slow.
  2. It is possible that once you tell him, you might feel different or uncomfortable.  He might be ok with it, but it may be hard for you to be around him.  If that’s the case take some time to sort out your feelings.  Decide if you can handle a friendship with him even if he does not feel the same way about you.  For example if he starts dating someone new.

I know this can be awkward, but you can do it.  You need to get it out so you know what to do next.  Remember you have been friends for a long time and it’s worth figuring things out.

 

We would love to hear how things worked out.  Send us an email update.

What Does Freedom Look Like?

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