In Which I Haven’t Been Reading DM

That’s right. I’ve been slipping. I’m not even going to lie.  BUT…well, I have nothing to add behind that. I’m working on a project at the moment so my mind is elsewhere.  As a result of me not reading DM at the moment, I’m going to do a separate post. Yep. I’m stating the obvious.

My birthday was this past weekend and though I do not celebrate it, I do use it as an excuse to treat myself to something. “TREAT YO SELF!” I’m not even going to admit that I habitually treat myself regardless of the occasion. I am a recovering online shopping addict. Nope; let’s not admit it.  Since I was scheduled to work on my actual birthday I went last Friday and got my tattoo. Well, actually I just half of it done because I refused to pay $400 to have the whole thing done.  Like who would evaaaaaaaaaaa….The original idea was to have the design layered on my left wrist to resemble bangles. It would be black bars and floral vines alternating: three black lines and two vines equating to five total because five is symbolic for grace.  Anyway I ended up with two black lines and one vine because Jesus said, “nah son.” Well my frugality said that, but Jesus probably agreed.  So right now I’m just going to say it means the holy trinity. I plan to get the rest finished later this month though. I have one other tattoo on my inner forearm: a sword with wings. I’ve already told what that tattoo means so I’ll spare the details on it.  I remember when I first got my tattoo with two of my friends.  Everybody told me that anxiety before getting the tat would be worse than the actual pain which is absolutely true.  To say that getting a tattoo is not painful would be false. It does hurt, but depending on your tolerance for pain it will range from “wow this is so annoying. Please hurry up!” to “Lawd, I’m dying. Take me now, lawd. TAKE ME NOW!”  My friend Bianca was the latter. She got a cross on her ankle and we had to literally close her mouth to keep her from screaming out loud.  It was entertaining because she thought the process would be like someone drawing a stick cross with a pencil, but boy was she in for a shock.  On the other hand the pain registers to me as absolutely annoying.  So while Jeff the artist was digging into my poor flesh while trap music played in the background I was outdone. Like come on, Jeff. What are you doing? You need to be tattooing me with three needles at one time to hurry this shading along.  It took roughly around an hour for him to complete and I love it especially because it’s permanent (at this point, I have no choice but to love it) but I honestly love tattoos. I only have two right now because I’m not wealthy enough to spend my funds every time I get an idea for a new one, but if I did I would probably have my left arm sleeve complete by now.  I believe that tattoos, for me at least, are symbolic to healing after something.

I don’t like my brother in law to know that he’s right about something because he went to Ole Miss.  If he went to MSU I’d probably say he was right about everything but he wasted that opportunity now, didn’t he?  HAIL STATE! *clears throat* But my bro in law told me that he used to get tattoos as a form of therapy.  He specifically meant the process in which the tattoo heals because he felt that as it healed he did as well. When I told him that I wanted to get some new ink he immediately knew why. He asked, “What are you going through?” Probably because he’s nosy, but I’ll give him an A+ for his intuitiveness. Now, I don’t particularly look at the healing process as much as I do the initial pain and the final result. Everything in-between is just a necessary evil.  If you’ve got a tattoo then you’re familiar with the entire process; from the actual “needling” to the last day of the two week healing time so you’re aware of what I mean. Well, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself so let me backtrack a little.  I get tattoos as a substitute to self harm.  I’m the type of person who harms and wants to see a physical result of the harm so that I don’t forget. Forget what? I have no idea. I just like to see a mark of some sort.  I decided to translate my more creative thoughts into tattoos so that I can focus on something that would turn out beautiful and still have a story behind it. Maybe that’s why I like self harm to leave marks because then I have a visible remnant of that current moment in my story (HA! Still managed to sneak some story metaphors in. High fives myself).  Moving on.  When I get the strongest urges to self harm I think about tattoo ideas instead.  People ask me all the time why I get tattoos, but I don’t disclose this information to them.  If they choose to see me as a sacrilegious hipster then I let them have that assumption. I reveal myself as I see fit.  This time when I got my ink I bled quite a bit. And my wrist was swollen for three days. The swelling is just now letting up enough to where it doesn’t look like I’m wearing a compression garment on my forearm.  Now I’m in the healing stage in which the top layer of skin is peeling and itches like crazy. I mean like crazy. I forgot how much these things itch.  Thankfully, the time the week is up the damaged skin will have fully peeled away and all that will be left is the new layer of inked skin underneath.

Much of life of is like getting a tattoo. Its initially painful, then uncomfortable, and if you make it through these two phases then you’ll be completely healed and left with something amazing that you’ll keep forever.  There are short cuts to tattoos such a henna and temporary tattoos that wash off after a week or two, but you don’t have as great as a reward if you go the easy route.  I’m literally enjoying the fact that my wrist is rubbing against the side of my laptop because I’m not actually scratching it, but this is as close to scratching as I can get.  I’m fighting the urge to not claw my arm off right now.  But because I don’t want to possibly interfere with the finished product then I’m just bearing through it.  I wish I could skip the pain and the itch and just end up with the tattoo, but it’s not possible.  The same way that much of the goals that I want to attain require that I suffer a while to reach them.  And no one likes suffering.  When I’m suffering I like to sleep all day and give people the side eye when they speak to me. I don’t deal well with suffering even though I am quite used to suffering. It’s also important to remember to clean your tattoo and keep it moisturized to ensure that it heals properly.  In the same way that you need to take very good care of yourself to be sure that you come out on the other side with all your limbs intact.  Have you seen an infected tattoo? It’s beyond description. Google it. (I’m too much like my Sociology teacher. I’ll tell you something is gross and then force you to google it.)  If you don’t follow proper care procedures then you’ll only add to your trauma and risk your own demise.  If  you don’t eat properly when shit hits the fan or you’re not taking your meds then you’re only adding to your burden. It’s not what you want to hear, but it’s what you need to hear. (All notes to self because I’m guilty of both of those things….)

Our pastor likes to speak about holding out through trials and tribulations with the analogy of a pregnant woman. She told the congregation when she was pregnant that she was tired all of the time. Her back would hurt, she had heartburn, and her feet stayed swollen.  All she could think about was life prior to being pregnant. It’s like when your allergies or your sinuses start to wreak havoc in your life and you lose the ability to breathe through both nostrils. It’s only then that you think about life before being stopped up. “Why didn’t I breathe that air a little more happily? Why didn’t I smell the flowers more often???”   Then to make matters worse she was in labor for a long period of time.  And we’ve all seen a movie or television show scene of a woman in labor.  I was in the room with my sister when she was in labor with my nephew and she was high as a kite so she was doing A-okay BUT the lady who came in after her was yelling so loud that I’m sure her baby went deaf for a good two hours.  She sounded like someone was digging a knife into her side for twenty straight minutes.  But after all the pain that she went through she was holding a wrinkly little bundle of joy in her arms.  Even though all babies look like aliens when they’re first born. In the words of my mother: “Jamison came out looking like, ‘take me to your leader.'”  It took me ten minutes to understand what she meant. I can’t wait until Jamison is in his teens so that I can tell him about that. The analogy all boils down to the fact that you have to go through some hurtful situations before you can reap your blessings. Well, I hate to say it but I feel like I’ve been labor for a really really really really long time.  Like, my baby is literally overdue. A good ten years overdue. Like come on dude. Get a move on, kid.  Even with me saying that I know that most good things don’t come easy.  As I said no one like suffering. I’m not a masochist. I don’t get my kicks from being hurt.  But I’ve been sowing things I would like to reap and this growth process is garbage.  Life ain’t fair, but it is what it is.

Anyway I’m off to put some lotion on this thing because I feel like my wrist is not even mine any longer. Who do you belong to? Someone with poison ivy? Jesus be some Calamine lotion…..





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