|Ooooo, pretty sock lines and leg hair!|
|sexy, sexy calf meat|
My second tattoo is of text. It reads "simply live" in a black, curvy, sort of elvish looking font up my right wrist. I got this one in Chicago at the Jade Dragon (and paid way too much for it) in 2009. At the time, my then-husband had just told me he had a crush on another woman (a crush that either already was, or, in any case later turned into, a full blown affair). I was devastated and my first instinct was to get as far away from him as I could. I wanted to get in my car and drive and not ever stop. Instead, I got in my car and drove to Chicago, to a dear friend who comforted me with food and drink and indulgently drove me to a tattoo parlor when I demanded it. "Simply live" meant to me at the time (and still does), to just keep going, no matter what. I knew I was headed for rough waters, and I knew there were going to be moments when I wanted to give up. I needed a reminder that all I really need to do is keep breathing, in and out. I thought of it as a tribute to my friend Molly, who had passed away unexpectedly in September of 2008. It was a way to keep her near me, to say that no matter what, I'm not giving up, because I know she'd do anything to will me the strength to keep going. "Simply live" also means to live in such a way that I pay attention to and enjoy the small things in life, the smell of the air just before a rain, the touch of my son's hand, the taste of ice cream. It's a reminder that I don't need more money, a bigger house, or a nicer car. Everything I need, I already have right here in front of me.
|so crisp and new!|
So my third, but likely not last, tattoo is also on my right arm. It is a dotted line that curves from underneath the "simply live" text to make several loops and end in a paper airplane farther up my forearm. I feel like each of my tattoos marks an important period of time in my life: the ankh, my adolescence, the beginning of discovery and experience, when everyday was full of possibility and so much stretched unknown before me; the "simply live" text, my young adulthood, the letting go of certain expectations, the loosening of ties, the acceptance that I cannot control my environment, only the way I choose to react to it; and the paper airplane, a new phase of adulthood, where I am learning to embrace fun as I see life through my son's eyes, where I am learning to accept myself and enjoy myself, where I am beginning to strive for my own happiness rather than the approval of others.
I love all three of my tats: they're like children in that I couldn't possibly name a favorite. As long as I keep living and growing, I'm going to keep getting inked. My tattoos are like ironic talismans against self-harm. They are permanent reminders of the impermanence of life, of the constant ebb and flow, the changing of seasons, the getting and the letting go. They provide me with perspective in times when I'm greatly in danger of losing my grip on it. They give me another medium through which to write my life and make it real.