The Evolution of Erin: 10 Things I Learned This Weekend

1. Sharing laughter, tears & Cosmos with my bloggy besties Lee & Tracie over the weekend was the best medicine in the world. I love you girls!

me, Lee, & Tracie on the rooftop of some bar we don't remember the name of


2. Sometimes a complete stranger you've just met can manage to size you up in a matter of seconds.

3. I talk about letting go and apologizing, but these are issues I'm still wrestling with. I am too much in my own head. My brain is always on overdrive. I ruminate on the past and have a hard time freeing myself from the web.

4. My heart is big; maybe too big. Is that possible? I see the best in everyone. I trust, but at the same time, I'm not sure I should. I'm guarded. Does that make any kind of sense? No, I didn't think so either.

5. It is difficult to reconcile my memories of the distant past with what actually happened. Are those recesses of my brain biased? Do I make things up or tweak them so they're more palatable?

6. Despite the struggles, I'm growing by leaps and bounds, saying what's on my mind. So while I struggle with letting go of some things, I am simultaneously evolving, shifting  and making room for The New Erin. The Evolution of Erin, as it were.

7. I've written before about my love for New Orleans (the city of my birth) and the fleur de lis. Fleur de lis literally means "lily flower" & you can learn more about it here. I've wanted a fleur de lis tattoo for a LONG time, so this past weekend was the perfect opportunity. I even managed to incorporate my original tattoo I got when I was in college with my friend Heather (we got matching flowers to prove we were fun, daring and not lame). Sorry, Dad. Don't hate me.

BEFORE: my original tattoo I got in college circa 1997, on my right hip.

 8. I'm doing something new in early 2011, but I'm not going to call it a New Year's Resolution. Anne Lamott's Bird By Bird is an amazing read for writers. I'm going to put it into action, starting with my morning pages. I will set my alarm every morning (not sure of the exact time yet, but thinking 5:30-5:45 ish) so that I can write in the quiet early morning darkness.

"The very first thing I tell my new students on the first day of a workshop is
that good writing is about telling the truth." --Anne Lamott

9. There is nothing better than returning home after a weekend away and being greeted by hugs and sweet kisses from my husband and daughters. I missed them, but it was still a treat to get away.

10. Changes are a comin' for me & The Mother Load. Slowly but surely, I'm learning how to fly. My friend Megan Matthieson's post today inspires me soooo much and speaks to what I've been feeling. Go read it now: I Am a Bird.

AFTER: fleur de lis tattoo incorporating my original tattoo (thanks to lee & tracie for the idea)

close up: NO, IT IS NOT RED. the red is only irritation. The red will eventually be grey shading.


Elizabeth Newlin said...

Pretty tattoo! love it!

Babes Mami said...

I saw on facebook and said it was very you! So glad you had fun and got away for a bit!

JadeLD said...

Ouch that looks nippy, but I really like that it means something to you. I enjoyed your list, so many of your points apply to me too.

Good luck with the challenge and I'm looking forward to seeing the plans you have in place for your blog.

Have a lovely day,

tsonodablog said...

Glad you have fun Erin! Looking forward to the Erin and Mother Load changes in 2011. You're always interesting, that's for sure!

Thanks for sharing!


From Tracie said...

The tattoo came out great! I love that you incorporated the old one and didn't just cover it up. There is a lesson there somewhere.

Morning pages. I read The Artist's Way a couple of months ago and wanted to start doing morning pages, but "didn't have the time". You have just reminded me that in order to nurture creativity and soul, the time must be MADE. It won't just come easily. Thank you for that....also, I love that you aren't calling it a resolution.

6--you definitely are growing and I can see it in your writing....thanks for letting us watch parts and pieces of your evolution, it is inspiring.

I'm glad that y'all had a fun weekend!

DaisyGal said...

Erin, I LOVE it...it's perfect and so YOU!
I can't wait what you'll share with us in 2011..it's been such a good year of gettng to know you, that i am excited about what our friendship has in store.


foxy said...

I LOVE the reincarnation of your tattoo! Just perfect. :)

And I love that you girls got together for some holiday fun. Girl time is always good for the soul.

Kate said...

Aha, now the questions about tattoo parlors on Twitter make sense. I loves it.

Also, I wonder about #5 myself. Often. Interesting to think about. Also, panic-inducing. But.

One Cluttered Brain said...

Love the NEW tattoo!
it looks GORGEOUS!
Glad you and Lee and Tracy had fun.
Woo to the hoo!
Your next Snarkler better be near Angel...lol. I think she feels left out...heh-heh.
Love you Erin.
I look forward to seeing all your changes!

Mindy said...

So glad you had fun on your trip away! I'm looking forward (as always) to what's coming up on your blog, although I've enjoyed your blog since I first came across it, so I already think there's magic here. I've enjoyed this freedom lately of making my blog whatever and whenever I want it to be and it feels good. That's my goal for 2011: Not to think about it so much and just enjoy. *crossing my fingers*

Ash said...

I'm so excited for you!!! 2011 is going to be interesting, for both of us, I can feel it. Off to check out Anne. I'm thinking you, me and Nancy should have early morning Twitter check in?

Glad you got home safe and sound. Evolution is key for survival, my friend. Darwin was onto something.

Lee said...

It was a great weekend. Can't wait for the next one and I love you. More than you know.

The Random Blogette said...

Love the new tattoo! It is you. I look forward to following you on your new journey! One of these days I am going to join you 3 for Snarkler! Some day!

singedwingangel said...

I have enjoyed following you as you grow and change and I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon. I love the new tattoo. I think incorporating the old one says I am who I am combining the past with the now of who I am

Brian said...

Life is all about evolution. We are constantly growing and becoming what we hope are better versions of ourselves. The things which we want from life are, at their core, so very simple. Yet we often find unique ways to make them extremely complicated. Fortunately, we have friends to help us through the more challenging times in our lives and keep us on track when we get of course. Good post, especially #2. I look forward to reading more.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Ow. ;)

LOVE Anne Lamott, love Bird by Bird.

Love all that sort of reading, with respect to writing, just never seem to get the flow going for myself. Wishing you luck with it.

Happy almost 2011, Erin! :>

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

You can't be buried in a Jewish cemetery?! What are you going to do? Oy Vey.

Matty said...

You gals have that look in your eyes like you actually don't remember. LOL

That tat looks familiar. I think you're a New Orleans Saints fan now.

Snuggle Wasteland said...

I was wondering if this would go up today...Was thinking about your book while doing laundry today.


BigSis said...

LOVE the tat. I think it's a good sign of Erin the Great!

twelvedaysold said...

The tattoo turned out great! I love how they retouched your other flower and made it look so pretty inside the fleur de lis. Great job!

MiMi said...

Looks great! Did the other chica's get tats too??

Ami said...

Love the tattoo! (I even like it red, although I guess it's not staying that way. lol) So glad you've enjoyed Bird by Bird and are exploring your writing (and your life) in new and exciting ways. So proud of you!

Two Normal Moms said...

I LOVE the tattoo! And love that you incorporated the old one. I have one on my left hip of a fiery sun that I got last year and I love it and that it means something to me. Can't wait for 2011 - it's going to be a great year!

NYCPatty said...

Looks like you had a great girls weekend! I LOVE the tattoo! Awesome idea to work with your original one!

Cheryl said...

I'm so glad you did this for yourself! And Bird By Bird is one of my all-time favorite books.

p.s. Wish me luck for tomorrow! ;)

ExtraordinaryMommy said...

Love that you had a great trip! Tattoo looks fab!! YOU? are amazing. Truly. xoxo

Joyce Cherrier said...

Love love love the tat!! Hope to see you soon! :)

Charlotte said...

Your new tattoo is tres cool! It turned out great.
I really enjoyed this post, Erin. We are all of us evolviing daily but it's great that you've resolved to make it a mindful evolution. I love that.
And thanks for reminding me about Bird By Bird, a book I've been wanting to read that fell off my radar somehow.
My first time here but not my last.:)

Pamela Hutchins said...

Bird by Bird is a good one.
Love the tat.
See you Thursday. At 1. At Luke's. :)

The Empress said...


You are all so beautiful.
Happy and beautiful.

I like the way your life is going, and you encourage me to not be so nonparticipatory in mine.

You go fight win, cuz I'm right behind you, with my baby steps.

LB said...

Love the new tattoo. Really! I wonder if they can incorporate Mickey Mouse into a fleur de lis as well??? Hmmm... Or I may just be stuck with the hideous reminder of what NOT to do when you are really, really drunk and bored.

Much More Than Mommy said...

OW! But preeetty! <--- All 3 of you + the tattoo. :-) <3 Glad you had so much fun!

BTW, I pretty much immediately dislike a stranger that sizes me up in seconds. Now if they size me down, that's an entirely different story.

McGillicutty said...

You are so brave... and so wonderful... wish I was on a rooftop bar... hugs my dear... hugs.

gayle said...

Glad you girls had such a great time!!

Megan Matthieson said...

gorgeous! i love it erin! and love you, of course. thank you, sweetness, for linking to me! you are a dear. i'm lucky lucky to witness the transformation to even more you. i know it will all be amazing as the diamonds are already there. xxxxx

Morgan B. said...

I love it! Good for you for being such a daring girl! And I've got to say that your tummy is looking mighty fine too. :) Looks like you guys had a great time. I find your self-reflection to be quite refreshing.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Erin, I really like it! It is beautiful and you! I'm excited for the changes heading your way. I've learned this past year that change is not always scary but can be very good. Looking forward to all the good things heading your way in the new year!

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

I am so excited for you to fly my girl! :) Good for you!

Be brave!!!

Hope said...

I love the new tat! And it looks so lovely with your flower incorporated into it. :)

Kat Jaibur (@katjaib) said...

Love this. Especially #'s 6, 8 and 9. And the tattoo looks awesome. Maybe in 2011, you can get a tattoo on your hand that says, "I am a writer." :-) Because you are. And we love you.

KittyCat said...

LOve cosmos!

and tattoos
I having been thinking about getting one.

but my sportsman is not too into them.

Sounds and looks like you had a blast.

LBDDiaries said...

They did an amazing job on your tattoo! This was a great post - very thought-provoking. I used to live in Louisiana (Lafayette) and loved it. After 17 years away, I still miss it and the atmosphere!

Dana Reeves said...

LOVE the tatt Erin, and LOVE YOU!


Stacey @ Entropified said...

Hope you find your perfect time to write.

Rebecca said...

ha ha my sister and I share a similar story. I took her to a tattoo artist I use to know back in highschool. At the time she had a tat on her hip of three small flowers in a row. (we use to joke that it looked like a 'lick & stick'. We said we were going bold and going to get dramatic 'real' tats together.
When we were all done she ended up with a rather large sunflower head with stem beautifully inked down her hip. She asked me what I got.... um well lets just say it still remains to be seen LOL. She still loves her tat and I still have no regrets. Call me chicken, I just don't like needles and still can't bring myself to do it. Congrats on the bold move.
Hope you'll pop by my blog for a special Christmas Message and blog post. Cute video too.

Poconut said...

Love the tattoo! Glad you had a nice getaway!

mama-face said...

I've been in and out of the blog world lately; more out than end. I still can't get over how your words always resonate with me. These are things that I've been thinking over for quite some time-some for even my whole life I believe.

I'm trying to figure some stuff out and I'm fighting the direction I think I'm supposed to go. not sure. I'm very interested in seeing what's next for you. (And I've read "Bird by Bird" two times; actually it was next to my tub until a few days ago. I love her style).

Looks as though you had the greatest time with your girls.:)

Helene said...

OMG, I love it, Erin!!! You are so much braver than I am!!! Go figure...I can stab my own ass with 22-gauge needles repeatedly during our IVF cycles but the thought of a tatoo scares the crud outta me!

Lady Jennie said...

I love the fleur-de-lys - we're blogging twins in that regard.

I don't think I'd tattoo it though. I'll just live vicariously through you.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

What a gorgeous tattoo!! And such a thoughtful post. I spend a lot of time thinking about my memories too and my perceptions of past events. Or even current events. How much of what we percieve is real or just our own reality? Great topic to delve into in an essay or a story. I love how you think and how you write, Erin. Keep it coming!! Just spread those beautiful wings of yours and fly.

Jana@anattitudeadjustment said...

I have to check out Bird by Bird. I've seen it over the years, but never actually opened it!


Design by Bloggy Blog Designz Copyright © 2010