07 May 2006

My Surreal Life

I keep thinking I'm going to wake up at any minute. This cannot be my life. I've always been so guarded and careful. The few bad decisions I've made have been able to be overcome. Not so anymore.

Horoscopes For Today: 5/7/2006

An enriching period of looking back and being reflective will continue throughout today. Gaining perspective on where you've come from and what you've done is a great way to gain confidence -- but be careful not to get too stuck in what used to be. The choices you've made cannot be undone, so why dwell? Regret is a useless emotion, and you've got exciting things to think about. The good news you've been waiting for is coming today, and it will give you the distraction you may need.


Interesting, huh?

On Friday I fulfilled a dream I've had since I was in college. While in NC with two very dear friends, I got a tattoo of a greyhound on my ankle. This picture was taken about three hours afterward.
My Newest Greyhound
I keep looking down at my ankle and being surprised that it's really there! My reason for this tattoo and it's placement and everything are a bit complicated. First, as I said I've wanted a tattoo for years, and have tried to soothe that need with temporary tattoos and even henna that I do myself. But those options would always go away, leaving me with nothing but the feeling that this was something I really wanted.

As I said above, I've lived a guarded and sheltered life. I am not a person who willingly takes risks. I am careful, I think of what everyone around me would think/feel before I worry about what I'm thinking/feeling, and I have never done something just because *I* wanted to do it. That's a good way to live, from the perspective of those around me I suppose. From my perspective though it has been a very tiring way to live. I don't relax. I don't let my guard down. Every move, every word, all of it is carefully calculated to make sure that I won't hurt anyone around me. Occasionally I might goof and say something that I shouldn't because I have the unfortunate inability to lie, but if I do I will bend over backwards to make it right. Just who I am.

This tattoo I did for me. I wanted it, so I got it. I'm 34 years old. I'm intelligent, I'm compassionate, I'm well educated. I do not live in a box on the street. I am not a drug addict. I do not believe that a tattoo is a symbol of what kind of person you are, unless it means you are a person that is brave enough to look something in the eye that scares you (needles for me) and back it down. I have no plans to continue decorating my body in this manner. I wanted this one tattoo, so I got it.

It is a greyhound because in the darkest times of my life in recent years, my dogs have kept me focused. They need me, when no one else does. They love me when no one else does. They sleep in my bed and keep me safe at night when no one else will. They keep me to a schedule. They make me a responsible person. When I was convinced that I was worthless and ruining Scott's life, my greyhounds were there to remind me that I am worth something...a lot in fact. The girl that was so lazy and spoiled and demanding, with the help of having these dogs, has grown into a responsible woman.

It is a running greyhound because when they run it literally takes my breath away. It is on my ankle because like giant cats these hounds wind their way around their person's legs and are constantly underfoot. Also, I choose to remember the two hounds I've lost, Lizzard and BoBo, running free and fast and strong, just like the dog on my ankle.

Why is all this surreal? Because my family does not agree with nor support my decision. Because someone very dear to me has told me that I've broken his heart by making my decision. Because I feel alone now...but I'm not afraid. I broke my hold on fear Friday night, and I'm not going back to being who I was.
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. -Rent

9 comments:

kimmysue said...

Nan, you are a strong, independent, intelligent, loving, caring, beautiful friend. I will love you always as a "sistah" and am here to support you in any way you might need. Like all other things, this to will pass, and live will go on. You did something for you, and over came you needle fear at the same time. Two BIG steps if you ask me, which you didn't but you got it anyway~

Leah said...

I am very proud of you for doing something just for you that has a special meaning.

You rock sista!

Nan said...

Thank you ladies, my "sistahs!" You two mean the world to me, and not just because you let me almost break your hand or kept fanning me with a magazine. *HUG*

AmyMB said...

It's a beautiful tattoo, and it suits you well.
You may actually give me the courage to get one myself! See how inspiring you are?

Nan said...

You can definitely handle it, Amy. No worries. And interestingly enough, the good news I was waiting for (re: Memorial Day) did come yesterday...dontcha love it when horoscopes turn out just spooky like that?

AmyMB said...

That's awesome about Memorial Day!

And if I do decide to get a tattoo, will you go with me and hold my hand?

Nan said...

Of course!

eBeth said...

you two are nuts! (but I like your tat, Nan) Me, I've just never been able to decide on something I'd want to look at for the rest of my life....

Nan said...

Ya know, Liz, that kept me from mine until now as well. But the meaning behind it will always be there, and since my hounds' lives are unfortunately so much shorter than mine will be, there will always be new meaning to thinking of them running free at the Bridge. Plus I'm done with my ink, at least for a long long time...

Dia duit ó GARF.

Almost TOO Irish, that. Go raibh míle maith agat  to Chris Heffron (of the Southern Travel Guide ) for this great shot from last Sund...