Doing Shit For Me


I have no idea what stage this would be in the palette of grieving, but keeping in mind that I need to take steps to be who I want to be rather than marinating in what was and what could have been, I decided to go through with a tattoo that I had kicking around in my head for a while. It was a large back piece, and there are elements that the X would not have liked.

I spent a lot of time over the last two or so years trying to cook up another idea for a back tattoo that I would love having there for the rest of my life while reconciling it with her rules of what she would and would not like. In light of recent events however, I decided to go full throttle with the idea that I had kicking around in my head for years.

The difficult thing with this idea though, is that it evolves- elements change, placements change, sizes change. The one thing that has been a constant is the concept. I decided to take the idea to the artist, and true to form he came up with a piece that is truly amazing. He showed me the design and I was floored. The faster I could get that in my skin the better. And it’s going to be huge- the size that I always came back to when I considered various changes.

The tattoo session was shorter than I expected, and only the top half of the outline was completed. There are going to be a few more sessions in the coming weeks, and while I want this tattoo to be done, sitting through it is rough and not exciting. When he took that needle over my spine and I felt the shock go to my toes, I learned things about myself. Things like that I could never work for the CIA because the moment I was captured and tortured I would give up everything from government secrets to my Amazon password. I also got to update my list if times I would rather have jumper cables attached to my balls.

I am in love with the piece though, as it captured all of the meaning behind the concept also- a creature that thrives in the hot and dry desert. A climate where only Mother Nature’s toughest survive, and one of the few places on earth I believe one can truly find solace.

Sure, forests and tropical climates are pretty and foreign cities are ripe with culture and history, but when you are out in the desert with miles of nothing but dirt and sky in any direction, and the quiet wraps around you and reminds you that the universe doesn’t give a shit about your clothes or work pressure and neither should you.

The hot breeze will roll over skin and off to wherever wind stops and teach you about a lot of crap not mattering in a year or five years. Natures most resilient and poisonous creatures will scurry past and teach you about accepting the people you love for who they are and the need to see the red flags before finding someone else to ‘fix’. The Monolithic cliffs and rocks eroded by time and elements into beautiful formations and arches will teach you about strength and using your rough times to form you into something better. The relentless sun will beat down on you and teach you about finding water and shade when you need it, a kind of trial by fire for self-care. And when the sun falls behind the horizon and you stare at the vibrant twilight, you know that the universe and biology and geology and mind and spirit are all connected with that cosmic truth behind the stars that you know is there but can’t describe.


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