“What made you do that?” asked a (so called) friend after I’d had my first – well second, er third – tattoo. I’m 62 and according to this acquaintance, I should know better at my age. “I didn’t think you’d be into that kind of thing, “she added. Thing I thought, slightly bewildered? Just goes to show, doesn’t it, how people you’ve known for years:
- Never do really know you, and
- Are happy and quick to judge you
I’ve had ‘get a tattoo’ on my ‘list of things to do before …’ for years but never dared to be vulnerable enough to flaunt convention and just – do it! Then I got fed up of being ‘the someone’ that other people expected me to be, or approved of. You know … the dutiful daughter, the loyal wife, the caring mother, a compassionate friend, an inspiring teacher, a conscientious social worker, a creative therapist? But just who am I really? I’ve never really known the answer to that question.
Once upon a time I was going to be an artist, a writer; lead a bohemian lifestyle (I always adored the Victorian poets and Pre-Raphaelites – I really feel I belong then) but … time, relationships, job commitment – well, they get in the way, don’t they.
Once upon a time I was a rebel – a hippy flower child, born in the 50s, spending my developing years growing within the creativity and emerging freedoms of the 60s. Where did all that courage, rebellion; all that energy, go? How did it all get so lost in time?
To be honest, I’m quite a young-looking, creative and visionary person who has inspired others to do all sorts of marvellous things but never really explored my own Self. I have flaws, I freely admit – laziness vies with ambition; my voluptuous curves belie an interest in healthy lifestyles and environmental responsibility; a love of beautiful things, including clothes, strains a fixed income. Being born within the sign of Gemini (the Twins) is so hard to live with; especially as it also results in an extrovert/introvert confliction.
Well no more. I will bare my soul for all to see – revel in my almost waist long, blond from a bottle, I won’t put up with grey, hair, dress how I want whether that be vintage, gothic or just a baggy old sweat shirt and jeans. I will do what I want – stay in bed reading till lunch time or practice kundalini yoga in the garden; run Goddess workshops for like-minded women; sit goggle-eyed at my laptop till time disappears writing my stories, poetry, the novel; paint all weekend long; or just sit and daydream to beautiful music; or eat cream scones in a countryside café with my friend. And to my critical friend, let me just say about my three (er four, no five, with one being a work in progress ) tattoos …
My body? Its mine! It belongs to me; and I am after all, an artist at heart … so, my body is just another kind of journal or blog, to decorate, and assist me in telling my story – in other words: it’s just another canvas! My body has become a metaphor for change. “Bring it on,” I say. What do you say?