Tuesday, June 10

Part of your future self

I have a tattoo. On the back of my neck, where no one can see it unless I choose to let them. Just the way everyone comments when you dye your hair hot pink with green streaks, people will remark on your tattoo (though usually it is the newly inked who is overeager to share their addition), and it was precisely the repeated superficial comment over and over again from people who barely know me that I wanted to avoid. (especially as an introvert)

Well after catching the tiniest glimpse of it between my hair, a friend of mine got the show-and-tell. About half the people I've showed have said they'd like a tattoo or would be too scared to pain and/or needles. My friend then says he'd like to get a tattoo. Then he said something... baffling and odd.

"Pick a tattoo design for me", he said. My immdeiate response was a potato on his ankle. What an odd request! A tattoo is something you keep for life. Long after your clothes, hair, boss, or hobbies change, you'll still be wearing the same ink. In fact, the tattoo removal industry was more popular than the tattoo business about 8 years ago.

Part of the reason I got a tattoo was so that I could experience the same doubt as I do about what I am doing. But I suppose that's where I missed the point: it added to and changed who I was. And any person who cannot accept changes in self is like a body whose immune system rejects a donor organ; it's not well-suited for survival.

So I suppose when he saw my tattoo he decided I had good taste and just the fact that I actually had a tattoo convinced him that I was for real. But to me (the one with her design hidden) your tattoo is something personal and very important. Why would someone want to carry for a lifetime someone else's taste or thoughts?

On the other hand... why not take advantage of this opportunity to brand someone? Like planting the flag on a new continent.

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