“If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.”
For someone who has entitled her blog Happy Impermanence, I’ve dome something in a quite contrary spirit.
I got my first tattoo.
And, while now there’s the option of tattoo removal, it is symbolically one of the most permanent things a person can do. This idea has freaked me out.
Let me start by saying that I am a choice-lover; I have been known to deliberate over decisions from as small as nail polish color to as big as changing careers. I like that I can change my hair color, fonts on this screen, and even my wedding ring (I have 3).
I float around in impermanence.
Often, this is mostly in a physical sort of way rather than an existential manner. Like I’ve shared before, I cling onto moments, relationships, places. Letting go often causes me pain (not ink-laden-needle-pain, but pain just the same). Therefore, there are times when impermanence isn’t so happy for me. There’s a bitter sweetness to the word and what it means.
Ok, so why the tat?
There are several reasons:
- I’ve wanted one for a while.~I’ve admired art on people for years now.
- I found a design that means something to me.~My sister came up with something that symbolizes our roots and my family.
- The timing was right.~While my sister could not get one as well since she’s pregnant, she sat there with me receiving hand-crushing abuse for hours. It meant everything to have her there.
Confession: I don’t LOVE it.
Upon seeing the finished work, I thought it too big, not exactly what I envisioned, and a completely CRAZY move. I began to doubt my choice and judge my action. I began to regret.
Regret is a funny emotion. It’s a sadness that gets right under your skin. It’s a feeling of repentance or remorse of opportunity lost that feels sharp in the beginning and lingers on. Much like a tattoo.
So, why the regret? Because it was ugly? No, it’s actually a beautiful work of art. Because it was foolish? I have something on my body that conjures up the people I most love, so that’s not it. What comes up for me is that fact that I can’t wash it off, it won’t fade, or peel away.
This made me think: what would it mean to really live with a choice?
My sister said it best as she listened to my consistent whining for hours afterward. She said, “It’s part of you now. You need to choose to love it.” Wise girl.
As time passes, I am getting used to it. I’m regretting less, loving more because I choose to.
Novelist Victoria Holt said: “Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.”I think this tattoo trip has some good and bad mixed in…guess that makes it a wonderful experience.