Secretly, I have always wanted a tattoo and it would be one of two things, a – or an &. I also know where I would put it-on my ankle because when I look down it would remind me to look up and think of what comes next.
I am participating in a writing challenge (it’s over on my other blog-which will soon go away) put out there by The Nester, Myquillyn Smith, of the lovely blog-The Nesting Place. I am also a fan of her book, The Nesting Place-its kinda like having a little hard copy of the blog to carry around and love wherever you happen to be. Mostly, I am grooving on her philosophy (last gush-I promise!)- “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”. I think this pretty much sums up a truth that should (I don’t usually like dropping the ‘s’ word but I think it works here) be applied to a broad spectrum of life.
Anyone ever heard of Atelophobia? I hadn’t until last week but if we had to walk around with tattoos that described personal traits I think this would be across my forehead-hopefully in cool script because I wouldn’t want anyone to judge me based on a bad font. Simply put, it is the fear of imperfection, of not being good enough. Um, yeah-totally relate to this-even at my age! I have spent a lifetime trying to be more of whatever it would be to make everything all right. Now, I find myself living in a sort of limbo (quote from a previous post)-
As a life long perfectionist, recovering perfectionist, relapsed perfectionist and ever hopeful that if I just got it right I would be ___(you fill in the blank here-I prolly thought it)___ I have found myself without a home (not as bad as it sounds) and the opportunity to take a long hard look at what I really want for the next phase of life. So far this has been a year-ish of letting go of a variety of things ranging from tangible ‘stuff’ to the less than easy to peg down realm of dreams, ideas, hopes and personal ‘stuff’. I quit blogging a year ago, ran off to Wyoming for the month of January for an artist residency (turned my practice upside down), sold my house, let relationships fall away and have been in waiting.
When I came across the challenge my first thought was to say no (I have become very good at saying no these days-not always a good thing) but took a deep breath and thought ‘why not?’-I also knew immediately what I was going to do and, well, AND!
So, back to the tattoo thing. If I ever have the cajones to get one it will be either a dash (-) or an ampersand (&). I like the idea of the dash because of what it represents. It’s that little mark in between the year you were born and the year you die and all of your experiences, loves, losses, highs, lows and everything in between are held in that little mark. There are two problems with it-it’s a little line, pretty boring for a tattoo and could look like a mistake PLUS it is finite. There is a beginning and an end and it is limited. On the other hand-the ampersand-apart from being more visually interesting than a dash-is a whole lot more. I had a professor that use to ask “and, what else?” to keep a discussion going-to force us to think about other possibilities. The and, the what else, the what comes next, the and then what happened-think of the possibilities!
I am also taking part in a challenge that I am convinced will change the trajectory of my ‘and, what else?’ 100 Rejection Letters is the brain child of the brilliant Tiffany Han. I took the 31 day challenge to dust off my
writing desire to write. It’s helped. I am part of 100 Rejection Letters because-and I am being totally honest here-I can ‘think’ of all the possibilities but break into a cold sweat when I consider actually doing something about it! I love to say YES! to new things but they tend to be the realistic, controlled kind of ops that cross my path. The shooting fish in a barrel kind of easy. The ‘thinks’ I have been having lately are the trying to catch salmon, bare handed and blindfolded, in a rapids filled, ice cold river kind of ‘thinks’. Scary? Uh-hell yeah! Did I mention there are bears at the river too? Yeah-that kind of scary.
Sooooo, I am standing on the banks of the river, blindfold in hand, and considering what may be coming. Can’t predict how many fish I might catch, can’t even predict if I will even make it to the other side of the river-but I’m never gonna get there if I don’t get my feet wet-aaaannnnd, after writing this it is clear that getting that tattoo may be one of those fish I need to catch……
Another one of those
fish goals is to be transparent about the process I am going through. You may have guessed that writing about rejection is one of those first steps. In fact, I can guarantee you will hear more about that all through the process. Another goal is to broaden my scope-to not think so small and really try to build something good. If I knew what that was I would tell you right now-but I don’t-I just feel it in my gut. I am also working on a few other goals but they aren’t completely formed yet. I’ll save the biggie goal for another time (I know what it is 😉 ) because I have some work to do before fishing for the mythical white whale.
Join me? I would love to share my journey with you AND I would love to hear from you along the way.