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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Garner

Things I've learned from books...

Well, by now, you've seen me naked. I just realized this fun little fact the other day when I ran into someone in the grocery store and they mentioned that they were loving reading my blog. In my head, I was like "YAY!! I love that you're reading, and benefitting!", and then it quickly shifted into "OMG You've seen me naked!". So there's that. Now that you've seen it, you'll notice that I like tattoos. I have zero attachment to my skin, so I like to decorate it with things that make me happy, and things that remind me of important lessons I've learned or people I love. Actually, I would probably get just about anything tattooed on my body if it came with a cool story...which is why I have a half of a cupcake tattooed on my ass underlined by my husband's name, but we'll save that for another time. As much as I love tattoos, I also love books. At any given time, I have a stack of books on my nightstand that is so high, it borders on structurally un-sound. See photo evidence below. It's real.

I am actually reading all of these books right now. It's a bit much.

I start books, put them down, start new ones, forget where I was in a book, start over, but always at some stage of reading this giant pile of books. I also love to take things I learn from books and tattoo them on my body as gentle reminders of the lessons I've learned. Kind of like a really expensive notebook. Today, I want to talk about my whale. This whale comes from Wally Lamb's "She's Come Undone". Anything this man writes, I will read, I don't care if it's the back of a cereal box. I have read and reread this book, and each time it's a little different. There is a girl in this book that has it pretty freaking tough. She's been treated horribly by a whole lot of people in her life, but the story is about her making peace with this and growing into a woman that owns her own story with power. She inspires me. Her story forces me to make peace with my own story and own the shit out of it. This whale sits on my forearm as a reminder that being a human being is tough sometimes, but also beautiful, and that we are really all doing our very best. You know that person that you don't think is making the right choices? They're probably doing their best. You know that person that cut you off in traffic? Also doing their best. I've found when I look at people through this lens, it allows me some space to give them some credit. I've for sure cut someone off in traffic, probably because I was hauling ass to somewhere I viewed as really important. If I operate under this assumption, I see everyone a little differently. Less judgement, more understanding. This whale is that for me. She's there to remind me of that, and when I see her staring at me with her one judge-y eye, I check myself. Whatever it takes, right?

She's always watching...

Maybe you don't have to go to such drastic measures to remind yourself of others' beautiful imperfection, but find a way. I cannot stress to you enough the importance of viewing each other through this lens. The people we encounter behind the screen are real people, with real lives and beliefs and thoughts attached to them. What we say there also matters. Love one another. It's really that simple.

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