I wish I had a tattoo. I wish I had a big crazy and magical tattoo on my face or on my entire arm or someplace completely impossible to hide.
I wish it was a tattoo that told everyone who meets me that I just may not be who they perceive me to be. I am so much more. I donʼt have this tattoo though, and I will likely never get one, mostly because my religion discourages it, um, strongly.
I wish I had done it back when I didn’t care. Well maybe I always cared or I would have actually done it.
Anyway, I wish I had one, but I donʼt.
I look somewhat normal. I donʼt look normal normal mainly because I donʼt know what that is or if it exists, but I do know that I look kind of regular. I donʼt have any piercings, or tattoos. I donʼt have a mohawk or blue hair. I dress somewhat subdued, maybe a little hippyish, but thatʼs about it. No one is ever surprised by me walking into the room. Itʼs a bit annoying, truth be told. Why do I have to look so blend-in-ish? I donʼt do it on purpose. I just like what is comfortable, easy to manage without major time investment and mostly simple.
The problem is that I feel a bit misrepresented by the way I look. Itʼs the way I imagine it feels to grow old and wonder who that old lady is with the walker. The old grandmother that everyone thinks canʼt handle to hear about the truth in their lives. Truth be told, she has some stories for us that would blow our socks off, quite often.
What I mean is that when I talk with new people about things that I have done and experienced and of paths I have followed in life, they are often surprised. They say things to me like, “Wow, I never would have guessed.” It feels kind of invalidating. I feel like a warrior, a survivor, and adventurist and then I realize that if someone were to look at me they would see a middle aged, little Jewish home-birth crunchy mom driving carpool with her minivan.
If they look a little closer they can see the look in my eye that shows a little bit more understanding than you would expect from someone who looks like me. They can see some surprising level of gratitude. There is more strength in my presence than one gathers along a simple and easy road. A good confessionary conversation will most likely reveal more compassion than one may expect from someone who has such a blessed and easy life as mine. It is a compassion that comes from having had the experience of being caught between a rock and a hard place and wondering to self, how the hell did I end up here like this?
So you see, I wish I had a tattoo.
I do have a small business making herbal salves and lip balms. I didn’t design my salves for use on tattoos but I recently discovered that my salve is a fabulous after-care tattoo treatment. I have reports that treatment with my All Purpose Salve yields the “fastest healing tattoo ever!”
So upon learning this I began to make a few calls to tattoo artists and supply stores and so on. It felt strange. I felt like I was somehow reaching to another side. I wanted to break the illusion and cross over. I wanted to cross into that statement that says I am more complex and unafraid than I seem! And then I realized, I am already there. You just have to look a little closer.
Update: I now make a Tattoo Salve!