This is 35

Today I am 35 years old. At first this scared me. I am now closer to 40. I always round up so to me I’m in the 40’s category, but really that doesn’t matter right? Age is just a number they say. Beauty has no age. etc etc.

Well some days I do feel older, like when I have to google internet slang like smh or I have to explain to my son what a CD is. My knees pop when I walk up stairs or just move sometimes. 1999 doesn’t seem that long ago, but holy shit it was 20 years ago. I am happy when I get carded for alcohol. I’ve aged into a brand name snob for things like make up and shoes. (I’ll never give up my Aldi grocery shopping though don’t worry!) I remember I was in high school audio visual class when 9/11 happened. We watched the news all day not understanding what a catastrophic event just happened. I remember my teachers saying this will be in all the history books and we are witnessing it.

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You could say I’ve witnessed a lot in my 35 years. I’ve traveled to 8 different countries and all over the United States. I have birthed a son. I got a college degree. I stripped in Vegas. I went to European alone for 6 months. I’ve met countless wonderful people and tons of scumbags. I’ve slept with some in both category. I’ve put myself out into this fucked up world and have come out successful! That is hard to fucking do. I’ve been in love, I’ve been hurt and I’ve hurt others. I have crumbled and fell, but I have grown.

I always say my experiences in life have made me the confident person I am. I cant say it enough because I promise you I was a insecure shy closed off mess at 18 years old. A younger version of me would have never model, never be naked on the internet and certainly never think people would pay to see me naked.

So today turning 35 isn’t scary anymore. Being this age is fucking great because I am happy in the life I’ve built. I am independent yet also have a wonderful support system that I choose to bring into my life. I have made my life what it is today and its pretty fucking amazing. It is amazing because I have worked my ass off and got what I wanted. Success.

My age isn’t going to slow me down anytime soon. I am excited for many projects and trips coming up in 2019. I’ll meet more great people and some assholes along the road. I know now not to waste one moment on the assholes. I know not to sacrifice my happiness for anyone else’s. I know to put my family and myself first.

Thank you for being wonderful supporters of my wild ways! Let’s keep having naked adventures in 2019!

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How I Learned To Love Myself, Inside and Out

Loving myself has been an ongoing battle since I can remember. As a kid I was the chubby friend and the fat girl on the softball team that didn’t run very fast. I was every guys friend, but never a girlfriend. My older brother never had to chase guys off because no guys saw me as more than a buddy. This, plus being chubby from day one led to many insecurities.

As a teenager my self confidence was nonexistent. I hid behind my own fat jokes and baggy clothes. I used my humor to hide because inside I had no idea who I was. My family was a typical Midwest family that loved me and gave me all I needed, including lots of meat and potatoes. I had a great life, two great parents who supported anything I did. A spacious home and a car given to me at 16. Life was picture perfect to an outsider.

Around 16 is when I started to learn about depression and mental illness. I became aware that it ran in my family. I learned there is a difference between being a moody teen and being suicidal. Thankfully, my parents saw this and got me help. To this day I am on anti-depressants and am so thankful for them.

Around 18 I met my first real boyfriend. Before this time I never gave my body a good look because I was too busy staying covered and embarrassed.  I never saw my imperfections as beautiful. I only compared myself to women in magazines and on TV.  At a size 10/12 I felt like a blimp. I laugh now when looking back at size 12 me because I really wasn’t big at all.  I hated everything about my body and about my self. Now at a size 20/22 and 33 years old I wish I could tell every teenager that you don’t have to look a certain way! You don’t have to be what is considered good looking in our society! Just be you! And if fat is the worst thing you are, then you are doing pretty damn good in life!

In college I started to appreciate my curves while learning more about myself.  I started playing roller derby and loved that I could have sex appeal while still sweating and knocking girls down. This really exhilarated me and help me break out of my shell. A friend asked me to model for them for a school photography project around this time. From that first shoot I felt absolutely alive in front of the camera. I felt like I could shed all my insecurities and show my true self.  Back then, I was a size 16/18 and felt the best I ever had. I was embracing my body. I started indulging in self care like bubble baths and shopping for items that made feel great. I no longer wanted to wear big t-shirts to cover myself up.

Honestly, life’s ups and downs, mixed with so many new experiences have shaped me into who I am now. Taking risks like going to Scotland for 6 months during college and posing nude for a sculptor have helped me embrace my true self. Putting myself out there has made my confidence grow and that continues even today, at 33. Body Positivity, for me, is just as much about loving my body as it is about loving what’s inside too. Once I was able to treat my depression,  I had to learn to love my body and I realized that it wasn’t going to change. I believe we do inherit a lot of our size from our family and I am now proud of the booty my mom gave me and my freckled skin. It took me 20 years to realize it’s okay to be fat. It’s okay to show my skin and enjoy it. The human body can be art if you let yourself see the beauty.