To date I have five tattoos. Six if you count the one that I just got covered two hours and forty-nine minutes ago. Covering it is another part of my process of getting back to me. What is it? Wait for it…
My ex’s name. Yeah, I know. We live and we learn. I honestly can’t tell you what possessed me to tattoo the name of a woman that lied and cheated even after being caught on many occasions. Stockholm? Actually, I’m not going to make excuses. It was pure stupidity. I’ve had more than my share of stupid moments in my life. I’m sure, in time, I’ll laugh at this one like all the others.
I actually never understood the name tatting thing. I did convince myself that, ya know, we’d be together forever so, it was okay to permanently alter my body. NOT.
I don’t harbor much regret though because I did what I wanted at the time and now it has been corrected. My tattoo artist Corey was more than I could have bargained for during this process. I had no idea what I wanted to cover her name with because I never thought I would have to. I honestly wasn’t going to because to me it was just another part of my story, a reminder to never make the same mistake twice.
Unfortunately, that was selfish thinking because it was also a reminder to others, in particular, my ex. Just like I can call her on her bullshit, I can call myself on my own. She spent two years of her life with me with another woman’s name on my chest. It wasn’t until I laid on that table in the tattoo shop being painfully pleasured that I realized how this may have affected her. It was a constant reminder for her, too. A reminder that I once loved someone else and committed myself to them. It was the woman that came before her and got to have a life with me. A woman that I shared things with that I had not thought to do with her. Yeah, ouch. I owe her my deepest, most sincere, and most thoughtful apology for my selfishness and procrastination. I could have tried a lot harder to find an artist to get rid of it. So. Much. Harder.
To add insult to injury the name sat under a tattoo that I share--not on purpose-- with my current ex. An Asian love symbol that I got in 2010. She got hers in 2012. Blog for another day. Man, I have so many blogs to write.
So, yeah, I’m usually more careful with myself, my body. I mean, I do have my moments where I can be reckless and getting an ex’s name tattooed was one. I’m sure I said yolo (you only live once) like I do when I’m about to make a ridiculous decision and made used that one word to excuse my behavior. Now I feel that I have elevated and corrected a mistake. I’ve always wanted everything on my body to mean something. Her name was nothing more than the first woman I legally committed myself to. That wasn’t and isn't enough in comparison to the Asian symbols love and pain on my shoulders--you can’t have one without the other. It wasn’t enough in comparison to the custom infinity symbol on my wrist, the reminder that all real things are forever--love and friendship. It wasn’t enough in comparison to the butterfly on my back with my initial in the middle; an ugly thing that evolves into something beautiful with patience and time. Sometimes, even I forget that the way I want to live is drawn right here on my body for me to carry everywhere that I go.
I welcome this new addition wrapped around the love on my shoulder. The vines and the lotus flower. It may be my best one yet. Vines are not just decoration. They represent connection, friendship, strength, and determination. They wind their way through life growing in the most inhospitable places. It will wiggle its way through anything to get the things it needs in order to survive. It’s the will to live, to thrive. Vines are sun-seekers. They are security, because they cling to structures, anchoring themselves, committing. They are me.
And the Lotus? Where do I begin with it’s beauty: fertility, honesty, grace, prosperity, knowledge, preservation, and serenity. I swear every time I hear it’s name I start singing Wale’s Lotus Flower Bomb. Simple, catchy lyrics to most. The man is pure genius. Have a listen for yourself.
The Lotus grows from the bottom of streams and muddy ponds to rise above water and bloom. The petals bloom one-by-one. At night it closes and sinks below the water. It repeats this action of rising, basking, and sinking. Untouched, fully grounded in earth, yet aspiring toward the divine.
It lives in water, but remains unsoiled.