A Moment In Time

A Moment In Time

How does one describe a life story? How do you take a lifetime of experience and condense it into a few lines of loaded text, left open for interpretation through the filters of fellow humans? It is terrifying to attempt, but fear is growth.. so here we go.

I was born in North London, to an Italian mother, and a Malaysian father. Ultimately we immigrated to the North America Via a residency in Canada, where my father took any job he could to support my mom, brother, and I. We eventually moved to the United States, bouncing from place to place until finally settling in NC when I was about 5. We were very poor. I eventually got my United States Citizenship. I won’t get into my childhood, but I will say it was trying, dark, and painful. But it shaped me as a human. I knew I wasn’t meant to be trapped in this toxic environment, so when I was 16 years old I moved out.

I didn’t just leave and stay with friends. We had left the United States and were living in the Netherlands at the time, and on my birthday, which happened to also be Mother’s Day, I found a way to fly home to the United States. Where I lived alone on the streets with nothing for most of my teenage years. Surviving by scavenging for food and shelter, often sleeping outside in the unforgiving winters of upstate NY. I found a job and eventually worked my way to management and slowly got an apartment and started living my life in society for the first time. I was in a touring band for a while but eventually I got a job at a mental hospital as a mental health worker, and was going to school for psychology in hopes of a PHD. During one of my classes, 9-11 happened. It prompted a visceral change in every fiber of my being, the smoke from the towers reached us upstate.

I quit school, kept my job at he hospital and started a tattoo apprenticeship at age 25. I eventually took a leap of faith with my art, and quit my solid job with a definitive future, for an unknown path. A hard long unknown thankless path with little hope of success. I succeeded. It was not easy. 15 years later I am a professional tattoo artist in one of the best shops in the country. I did a season of Inkmaster where I made it to the top 6. I am studying to be an EMT/firefighter and consistently push myself physically by competing in boxing and MMA.

Every moment of my life and experience is a tool I use to elevate others. Any chance I get, I try to help people see and understand that they are holding the reins and power of their lives. No heartache, heart break, or adversity can stop them from accomplishing any dream. I wear my heart on my sleeve and although some might feel this is a liability or weakness, I embrace it. I wear it as a strength. I am who I am, and I will never let this world or my experience jade me into being a calloused cold person. I will always help those that want help, and I continue to strive to become the best version of myself in order to make my mark on this world and help others, so that others may make their mark on this world, and perpetuate the cycle. There are pages and pages of stories and experiences I can tell you about. And these words hardly encapsulate my life story, but it’s a start. If anyone wants to know more, I would love to be that open book, and maybe something I went through can be a piece of the puzzle to help someone else through a hard time. Thank you for taking a moment to read this.

This inspiring story was shared by a human named Lydia.