Thursday, June 27, 2013

Being A Bad Ass

A few years ago I went through quite a transition, at the end of which I think I came out stronger and a better person. Certainly better than I had been for a long time. I decided that I wanted to mark said transition with a honkin' big tattoo. After researching possibilities, I decided on a peacock. Peacocks symbolize royalty and strength, but resemble their cousin the Phoenix in that they signify new life and new beginnings. Because I knew it was going to be expensive and I wanted the right person to do it, it took a while to finally make the plan to get it done.

This month I spent two sessions getting the absolutely most perfect tattoo I could have ever dreamed of. Only it's not a peacock because I insist on the right to change my mind. Instead I got a lion but my incredibly talented artist (Holly from Mum's if you're inspired after this story) incorporated a peacock design in my lion's mane. He's beautiful, he's gorgeous, I couldn't love him more. And two sessions? Yeah, he's kinda big.

I know you're all going to ask and, yes, it hurt. It hurt like a mofo. When I got my two smaller tattoos there was no pain. Maybe a mild annoyance, but no pain. I have been living for the last 12 years under the false assumption that I am special and immune to pain. I am not. I wish I were one of those people that could just transform her mind to another place to avoid the pain. Instead, I get consumed by it. I practiced labor breathing, I hummed to the music playing in the room, I tensed every muscle that exists in my body.

But here's the thing. It was totally worth it. 100%. Enduring the seven hours of excruciating pain was totally worth the art I now sport on my skin.

Now for the dumb part. I love it. I love its placement. But it's not in an easy spot to show off. Especially in a dress. Which is what I wore to my friend's baby shower this past weekend. And, because it's so new and I'm so newly in love with it, I can't stop talking about it. Which just makes people want to see it. Duh.

At the end of the shower my friend kind of insisted on seeing it so a group of us trotted off to the restaurant bathroom for the Big Reveal. Her baby daddy happened to be there. Of course he wanted in on the viewing. Oh well, it's not like it's the first time I've exposed myself to a near stranger.

The funny part is that this baby daddy is a 6'6" tall black dude. (he claims that he and my friend are having a blaxican which amuses me endlessly.) When I turned around and lifted my dress up, he exclaimed, "Ouch! No way! You are a bad ass." There were other murmurs of approval before I returned to some modicum of modesty.

So apparently, that's how I do baby showers. Putting my tattooed ass on exhibit in the women's restroom.

I am kind of a bad ass though. And I know it sounds cheesy, but my lion is a reminder of how far I've come and that I have the strength to keep going. He's colorful, he's creative, he has a quiet dignity and a kindness about him. These are all things I hope to be at some point.

Although public restrooms probably don't offer the highest sense of dignity. Huh.


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