Ever since I was a little girl I had been dreaming of wearing my grandmother’s golden earrings, the only memento I had left of her (I’ve since lost the earrings sadly), on my wedding day. This would’ve, of course, required me to get my ears pierced. Along with the earrings, I started fantasizing a lot about tattoos of different types to mark my achievements and passions. So what changed my mind?
A voice of reason
While I was, and still am, petrified of any sort of needle coming near my sorry hide, there was another voice that spoke louder than my fears and misplaced desires put together: My husband. We sat down one day before we married and had a talk about it on a more spiritual level.
I talked about the self-expression side of it, and the reasons why I wanted to do certain things. And he talked about the body being a temple. The more we talked, the more I started to appreciate the respect he had for what has been given to us, and his desire to not soil the pristine vessel of our life.
My husband’s passion for his health, and mine, as well as the will not to ruin the body with excess things such as poking holes in it, injecting it with ink, or even coloring the hair, resonated with me personally. I started wondering why I had been so adamant in wanting to get the piercings and to get those many tattoos I spoke of. Why had I wanted to be so… well dramatic.
Why did I want them?
There are many things about my past that I can now say were nowhere near who I really am. From learning to cater for three years all the way to now knowing way more about certain cars that I’d like to, I also put the tattoos and piercings into the box I named ‘’Not for me”. Not for me in the sense that I would’ve done it because someone else thought it cool and worthwhile.
As a Borderline Persona, I often tried to please people. I struggle with it on occasion even now, and this matter was no different. After all, in the past, I have done things such as color my hair red (because “Redheads are wicked in bed!”), and later on, I made it blue (because “My favorite color is blue!”). Following the trajectory of this line of thinking, I would’ve got massive tattoos to remind me of the past, of my dogs, and of my “One day, I’ll be a writer!”-mentality.
It turns out I didn’t need any of those reminders, and quite frankly, I am glad I did not do that kind of permanent damage to my already suffering body. Not to mention the implications tattoos could have medically! I’d rather not have any complications happen in the form of bad inking and having to go under a laser, the possibility of infections, and also the fear of having to get imaging done on me with it if it was ever needed. And, when I think about it now, my sorry hide is quite beautiful as is, scars and all.
So, How do I mark my achievements these days?
Well, first off, I did not need the earrings of my late grandmother to marry an amazing man. One might actually consider him to be the ultimate achievement and trophy in my resume! In all honesty, it turns out I didn’t need any of the things I thought I did for my big day either, but that’s fodder for another time and another post.
And when it comes to my other achievements. Such as these postings, writing other things (I even put together a website with all the contents for בלי!), and the more immediate stuff like getting rid of my old package – they all speak for themselves. I’m in the process of learning how not to depend on other people’s opinions when I look at my own journey, and with that comes the realization that I don’t really need to make it into a flashy show for others to see. Be it in tattoo form or anything else that isn’t really me.
The things that have made me proud in the past or these days have not been the ones where I sought validation from others, but instead things I’ve done of my own volition. Things that I would’ve done anyway, against all odds and even when nobody believed me or had any faith in me. The things that had to only resonate with my core.
The proudest moments of my life were about being approached by a big house publisher at an afterparty of a government-issue writing competition, and after one of the known writers of our country basically shat on the contestant’s efforts. Not when I placed in a swimming competition to please my father. The moments like finally following that nagging voice in my head and leaving a bad place, marrying the man that I didn’t even know I needed until he showed up, and now making it on our own without support. Those are the moments that I can look back at and smile because I was strong enough to do the right thing for me.
Ever since I’ve climbed enormous hurdles to become the person I want to be. Not what someone else would prefer I was, although I am sure I will never truly be rid of those that would like nothing more than to fit everything into their realm. It has been a shocker for the people in my life to learn of this new me, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit amused by it. I, the people pleaser, the yes-girl, have finally got a moderate grip on my own soul.
Right now, my achievements are mine, and I enjoy sharing them with my loved ones and the world through these amazing mediums of our era. Later on, as I grow more and seek less and less validation from outside myself, the reward at the end of the journey will be the fact that I have something I’ve created, that I am proud of, something I can share with the world as a part of who I am, in a way that is mine. The reward is that I get to use my writing to share My World with all the people reading and listening in. That I get to give my dear readers a peel into the mind of one Maria Vana.