Thursday, August 14, 2008

The ink is soaking into my soul...

I have contemplated getting a tattoo for a long time, many years actually, as I happen to have the privilege of living in a location that affords me the eye candy of body art on thousands of people for a few weeks out of every year. I have seen the pretty and the utterly disgusting, the clothed and the naked, the angels and the devils. I have contemplated the good and the bad, the pluses and the minuses, and, of course, the what ifs. I have seen tattoos at their best and at their worst. I always knew I would get one eventually...I just never could decide on when, where and what I would have permanently inked onto my body.

About two and a half months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and was suddenly sure that I was ready to get a tattoo. I knew it in my heart and way down deep into my soul. And it's because of my Mother-in-Law. Losing her from my life taught me an amazing lesson, one I am sure she would have wanted me to learn. I learned to really live every day. I am coming to terms with being more spontaneous and not having everything planned out for tomorrow...because I may not get a tomorrow (although, I am still big on lists and planning). I want to enjoy the things that life has to offer right now, just in case there is no future for me to enjoy. My tattoo is a symbol of that mind-set. I decided to wait no longer because tomorrow may never come.

That's why I got a tattoo now but that isn't what my tattoo is about. My tattoo is about me, inside and out, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. My tattoo is a reflection of who I am without the veils and masks that I tend to don. Uncensored and real. If you really know me, you will look at it and understand. If you don't, it'll take you a while to understand because I am most definitely a complex creature...just like my little friend.

I have gotten a number of different responses to me getting a tattoo from a running commentary on how stupid I am to how awesome and sexy it is. I was even told that I was less respected because I choose to get a tattoo and didn't do it in a fit of drunken stupidity which the person believed to be preferable. I am also being envied for taking that step (hi sis!). One way or another, it is done and it can't be undone. I like it...and that's the bottom line.

In fact, it has been a few weeks now since I had this little guy permanently placed on my back to keep the harmful stuff at bay and he looks better now than he ever has. Do I feel more protected and cared for? Yeah, in a way I do. Is it a mental thing? Probably, but with me almost everything is mental. Do I feel more myself? Yes, definitely. I feel like I made a decision that was all about me and not in the least about anyone else. Not my kids, not my husband. I feel like for the first time in a long time, I did something that was specifically for my enjoyment and my mental health and it's freeing. It's liberating. It's...just great!

They say that getting tattooed is addicting and now I know why. The ink has sufficiently soaked into my soul. Wonder when I'll get the next one? What do you think it will be?

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