I’ve been wanting to get another tattoo for some time now. The one I got I love uncontrollably but I want to celebrate my new life. When people had asked me what I was getting, my answer was that I could FEEL it in the back of my mind but I couldn’t SEE it yet… Frustrating right? It’s so difficult to not be able to put words and descriptors to a feeling. Even when I tried, I felt tongue tied and like I wasn’t meant to be talking about it.
Jumping the gun as I am wont to do, I booked a consultation with an artist that came on a recommendation from a friend of a friend before I could ‘see’ the design I was feeling. I went down with my girlfriend and we chatted with him for an hour. The style of her tattoos appeals to me and so she showed him hers, we talked about what was driving the tattoo, what I was celebrating, why I was where I am today and what I’d come through. I really thought that he ‘got’ me. As it turns out, I was either right and he did ‘get me’ but then didn’t spend any time on the work whatsoever… or he didn’t actually get me at all, which is reflected in his design.
The design is absolute garbage. It has nothing to do with anything remotely meaningful to me at all. I still couldn’t see my design through the haze but I knew for sure that this wasn’t it. ‘I’ll know it when I see it’ was something I said to a friend about it. I’ll just know.
So I sent the garbage design to my friend… mostly for a laugh… mostly because we’d just been talking about the design and the odd feeling I was getting from this artist.
Well as I’m sure you can gather, the reaction to the picture I sent wasn’t good, but then the most amazing thing happened. The inspiration that I was searching for… the lens I needed to see what I could already feel.
“May I make a suggestion?” he said.
“Yes! Of course” was my reply.
“It’s simple. I’m lending you the hummingbird coin back. Use it to inspire you” he said.
And there it was. A rush of emotion washed over me and I could finally see it.
I know what the design is, I’m in love with the inspiration and the meaning behind it and it all shone forth from the back of my mind… it broke free of the haze.
Maybe this all seems overly dramatic for a tattoo. Maybe it IS overly dramatic for a tattoo. The thing is that this tattoo is a part of my journey… a journey which is so important to the rest of my life. I assured my friend many times that I wouldn’t get anything tattoo’d on me that I wasn’t in love with… that wasn’t the perfect thing. And that was true.
I want to say that I shouldn’t have jumped the gun on going for that first consultation (since I’m actually on a wait list for the guy I REALLY want to do the work), I shouldn’t have tried to explain something that wasn’t ready for public consumption and I shouldn’t have tried to force the issue of seeing what it was. But had I not had the awful design to show to my friend… to open the window to his simple suggestion, then I may not have gotten where I am now. It’s a metaphor for life if you think about it. Mistakes and decisions you make will inform the future. You might not see how at the time and you might not know when, but if you’re open to the idea then eventually the whole picture is layed out in front of you. Perfect and meant to be. I love that!