As one of the only people I know (in my generation, granted) who never went down the road of getting tattooed or pierced, I’ve often wondered what I would want said or shown if I were to get a tattoo. I feel much too old now to ever do such a thing, but I must admit that I admire people who have meaningful tattoos and still love themselves for them. It shows confidence, conviction and character to visually advertise your passions and beliefs.
There are some who regret their tattoos – indeed a few people I know were admittedly young, naive or intoxicated when they got theirs. Two of my core beliefs, however, are a) to live without regret, and b) that everything happens for a reason – therefore getting a tattoo ought to have represented a lot of thought, or at least accurately represented your character at the time, and thus you should not feel shame. For that is who you were, and if you are different now, perhaps that act and your guilt caused a paradigm shift in your self-belief. Therefore who you are now was critically informed by your earlier immature self.
Anyway, such a permanent decision for someone like me nowadays incites an imperative that it would have to be exceptionally meaningful. And it would also show a perceived immaturity which is not representative of myself now. As you get older, a tattoo’s permanence (whether new or old) weighs down even heavier.
Regardless, for fun I often give thought to what I would get. Something to do with sport? I’ve golfed all my life. I have found new passions in rowing and cycling. But who knows for how long? How silly would it feel to explain something in 10 years that was meaningful for one or two years of my life? What about wine? While yes, I am passionate about the industry and am neck-deep in it professionally, I am no wine geek compared to my peers and do not purport to be.
So how about core philosophies or matras? This angle might be more my style. My wife found this (I think) or came up with it herself, and has it on a post-it note on her bulletin board. Somehow this was instantly meaningful and representative and I still often gaze upon it in times of needing purpose or direction.
I’m not sure how you would appropriately graphically represent this flowing statement, however.
And not to worry, folks, I have zero percent chance of following through. I think it’s more of a mental exercise to propose such a commitment, rather than actually proceed with it. Because, as I said, it’s permanent.