|Not my Tattoo!|
Here I am, approaching my 50s, many years-clear of any of the traditional institutions of my youth that would have considered a permanent marking of the body unacceptable (though happily, not the people) and a tattoo still feels . . . well . . . Taboo.
I honestly don’t know that I’ll ever commit, but in my head, I am someone with a tattoo. I am also someone who wears long, flowy, colorful skirts and big dangly earrings that catch and reflect the light and chime softly when I move. (And I move like a dancer, by the way, rather than a person who relies on roll-bar technology in her shoes to keep her upright.) In my head, I am a person who can tell you what phase the moon is in, I know the Sanskrit names for all the yoga poses, and when my life comes to a halt at random moments to leave myself post-it notes of inspiration, I do so in the most beautiful calligraphy.
The vanilla truth of me is that my standard apparel is blue jeans and a t-shirt, and I can go days and days without putting on earrings or bothering to look outside once it is dark out. For yoga, I do downward dog and variations of what comes before or after dog . . . and table and tree pose . . . shark, bent flipper shark, and lately I’ve added squirrel (not a typo – squirrel). I do spend an extraordinary amount of time with pen in hand (or keyboard at the finger tips), but most of what I scribble is illegible, or at least probably ought to have been left uncaptured.
But aside from the tattoo, and the definite lack of flowy in the apparel department, I find I am more or less living up to the person I envision in my mind’s eye these days, even if I have not managed to design that iconic tattoo that entirely encompasses who I am.
I am a writer; I have written; I continue to write. I am a foodie; I can both impress and please in the kitchen. I am a happy and fulfilled wife and mother; my kids are the best roommates I’ve ever had (next to their dad), as well as my favorite people to hang out with (also competing mainly with their dad). I am building a business from a model in my heart. It has to do with books and people who commit words to paper and, though I have no idea if I will ever achieve success according to anyone else’s standards, I know that I am both content with my life and also motivated in a way that I have always dreamed I would be.
Yesterday, my new friend shared her perspective on tattoos, that they are reminders of who she was at a point in time, not commitments to define the rest of her life. I really like that point of view. It suits me, and I am surprised I did not come up with it myself. I’ve spent 20 years looking for a symbol that encompasses everything I am, but should I ever get a tattoo, it will likely be something that only defines a snippet. It will serve as a reminder, not a sentence. And until I reach that moment in time when I raise my arm, my flowing apparel parting to reveal indelible calligraphy, likely in Sanskrit . . .
Hold on . . . I have to go look up “becoming” in Sanskrit . . . or maybe I should look up squirrel.