Sassy picture taken by Nick.
I am a cautious person. This may surprise some people as I think my outwardly self can be outspoken, direct and focused. But I am also cautious. I see danger where there is actually danger and sometimes where there isn't. There is a driving force inside me letting me know, reminding me often, that this is all fleeting. That I have only so much time to do things, see things and love. Not to be melodramatic but this sense that time (everyone's time) is limited sometimes pushes me to take calculated risks and other times keeps me from wanting to leave the safety of my comfy bed. I always remember being this way, even as a small child. I think two qualities that I have and love about myself are awareness and empathy, but they can be a double edged sword at times.
Given my cautious side I have feared commitment, in any form. How could I commit to something, doesn't that mean I would miss out on another precious opportunity or experience? This fear of commitment kept me from really delving into relationships, jobs and places. My ideal life would have been one where I could take everything I own, put it in a car and escape if needed. Never mind I never really wanted to escape. But I wanted the freedom to do so. One day a few years ago it dawned on me that my partner was the exact opposite of what I had always feared. He would always help me have the experiences I crave and not hold me back. That was true then and it's true now. Nick's unconditional support and love has allowed me to experience things that scare the crap out of me such as buying a condo and getting married. (There are days when the condo still makes me cringe-but it's also the coziest place I've ever lived.) Freedom is what I've always craved. Feeling trapped, dominated and powerless are my fears. Nick and my other close loved ones have given me that freedom to be myself.
We know this post is about a tattoo, right? Well how does a cautious, commitment phobe finally bite the bullet and get a tattoo? With a lot of research. I spent days researching tattoo parlors and artists in the Chicago area. I knew I wanted a woman to do the tattoo. So I found a woman that had amazing art work, wonderful reviews and worked out of a place that also had amazing reviews (http://www.speakeasycustomtattoo.com/). We met and she was lovely. My tattoo is of the very simple variety, not exactly what the average custom tattoo artist would spend their time doing. But she indulged me. The experience was both painful and freeing. After 15 years of wanting a tattoo, I finally felt grounded enough to take the risk. It would be okay if I ultimately did not like the result. And for the first time I knew that to be true.
But I love the result. And I want to thank my friend Kristen (read about how much she rocks here) who distracted me during the most painful moments by telling stories about her funny son. And Nick for encouraging me to go for it when I started to have second (third, fourth and fifth) thoughts. My lesson is that commitment can also mean freedom. If done correctly.
Kisses from my bub, Asa.