This was supposed to be a blog post about my new tattoo.
I had Florence and the Machine quotes and Rush quotes all picked out. I knew exactly which YouTube clips I wanted to embed.
And I was so excited about the design I’d come up with. I was going to get a teal, vintage-looking star — kind of like the Star of Bethlehem as pictured on Christmas cards — with light and medium blue lines radiating from it, like on a monstrance or a sunburst clock. It was going to be on my left forearm, slightly askew. It was going to represent my late grandmother. It was going to be the same color as the suit she wore to my wedding — the same suit they buried her in. And it was going to be done almost exactly a year after her death.
Then I got to the tattoo studio. And I looked at the beautiful drawing my artist had made. And I realized that, rather than representing the healing process, this image was just going to remind me every day of the pain I’ve felt over the last year.
This tattoo wouldn’t dissolve my grief.
This tattoo wouldn’t mend my broken relationships with my family.
This tattoo would not bring my grandmother back.
So I apologized, I tried not to cry, I thanked my tattoo artist profusely and paid her for her time, and I left.
I feel silly writing a blog post about not doing something. But when you want something so bad — when you’ve convinced yourself that it will make you stronger and better and prettier, when you’re sure it’s what you want — how strange, how humiliating, how humbling to realize at the last minute that you’re wrong.
But how important to admit that you’re wrong, and walk away from the situation. Surely that’s worth mentioning. How many times have all of us gone ahead with things even though we had doubts, powered on through even though we weren’t sure, and then regretted it and wished we’d trusted our instincts? Even though, ironically, those very same instincts got us into that situation in the first place.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get my beloved teal star tattoo after all. I don’t know if I’ll ever get a third tattoo. If I do, it’ll have to be something joyful, something that will make me smile when I look at it. Because anything on my left forearm is something I’m going to look at a lot. And any place other than my left forearm is out of the question. My back is out, because I don’t want to crowd the “Caravan” / “BU2B” clock. My right arm is out just because. My face, neck, chest, hands, and feet are all off limits. And I don’t think ink would look that great on any areas at or below my waist, or on my upper arms. Which leaves just my left forearm.
So…I don’t know.
It’s been a weird day.
Copyright 2013, Sarah Rodriguez Pratt. All rights reserved.