Confession: Last night I got my first tattoo.
I’m reluctant to write about it, talk about, or really express it not because I do not love it (because I absolutely do) but because I’m slightly paranoid that people will think, “Dear God, Sara is clearly having a mental breakdown”.
It eats away at me so much because in fact, it is quite the opposite. I’m not losing my mind, I’ve found it again and I’m utilizing it to think, solely for me and me alone, for the first time in a very long time. I’m not rebelling or freaking out or screaming for attention. I’m living out loud the personality that I have always obtained and cherished as my own. Granted, I thought of the idea for my tattoo barely over six weeks ago, but I decided to seize the current status and situation that is my life.
I cannot tell you how liberating this experience has been. I told only three friends of my idea. They bubbled with excitement over the uniqueness and simple yet complex messaging. I did not have to ask anyone if I should, if I can. I didn’t have to worry about the effects of my actions because it only affects me. I didn’t care what a sole thought of it nor did I need to. Because I am me and me alone. Honestly, the whole experience has made me feel grateful.
Grateful for the means. Grateful for the opportunity, Grateful for the freedom. Grateful for the independence.
So, what did I get inked? I got the phrase “now I see” in braille across my wrist.
And here’s why:
- I am so thankful for my experience at my university the “University of Hipsterville”. Although I have moved a dozen or so times growing up, I was raised in a bubble until I was 18. In my bubble, I was protected from the reality of the world, I was oblivious to the issues of social justice, I was closed minded and hateful of difference. University was the first experience where I was truly challenged in my believes and it was here that my “bubble” was popped. Now I see.
- My recent break up is the most obvious reasoning and unfortunately, the most focused on by others when I describe the meaning of my tattoo. He cheated, mistreated me, put me down. I made excuses, I ignored what I did not want to know, I became someone that I was not proud of during the course of this relationship. I desperately clung to the withering threads of it as it unravelled and fell apart, trying anything to mend it and make it whole again. Now that it is over, I understand more about myself, my desires, my dislikes, and I’ve faced a good lesson in some serious fucking self respect. Now I see.
- Three years ago, my mother was diagnosed with early onset of Parkinson’s Disease. It was easy to ignore because it was isolated to her right hand and was hardly distinguishable. It didn’t mean a whole lot to me. I hardly thought of it. I barely considered it in my daily life. I ignored the future implications of what this disease would do to my mother and my family. Over my winter break, I saw my mother, who lives in Europe, for the first time in about four months. In four months alone the progression was clearly noticeable for the first time. Although not catastrophic, I could tell the tremors were spreading and my mother’s essence itself was shifting. Her tremor now existed in both hands, her speech slowly only the slightest bit. Although no one speaks of this in my family beyond the most simply spoken statements that sound disturbingly similar to a statement such as “the sky is blue”, I had to truly understand that Parkinson’s Disease will creep into my mother’s life little by little each year. I had to face that this is real and this is here to stay. Now I see.
- Obviously, it’s also pretty badass that it’s in braille because it is kind of freaking awesome that it fits along with the lyrics from Amazing Grace, “Was blind but now I see”.
Thankful, grateful, liberated, mournful, happy, and free. That my friends, is the power of ink.