Hello, awesome readers.
What I remember most about my teenage years was that I liked to do things for the sole purpose of shocking my parents. It’s the reason why I got my first tattoo. I wanted them to ask me “what’s new?” and I wanted to be able to say “I got a tattoo.”
I was 14 years old at the time. At least I think I was 14 years old. Clearly I only remember the important details. Or perhaps I only remember getting that tattoo because I’ve had to look at it ever since. It’s a tiny tattoo. A heart with wings and to me it represented – and still does – freedom. The freedom to do what one wants. The freedom to feel … express … say … be who we truly are.
Then I wanted to get a second tattoo. Something just as meaningful as my tiny heart with wings. But what could possibly be as meaningful as freedom? I could never think of anything “good” so I never got that second tattoo. The other reason I never got another one was because I didn’t want my parents to judge me. Yes, I’m just a walking-talking sack of budding contradictions.
I started off as a hormonal being, existing to shock my parents. Eventually I morphed into someone that wanted to fit in. Mostly because I’ve always admired my parents. Especially the way that they seem to know random things.
Me: How do you cook a chicken?
My parents: *looking at their spine as they roll their eyes*
Whether it’s to stand out or fit in, we all have our own reasons for doing things.
And then we get to a point in life – hopefully sooner rather than later – when we realize that standing out or fitting in means absolutely nothing if we aren’t doing whatever we’re doing for … wait for it … ourselves.
Are you with me so far?
If you’re my parents reading this right now, I know what you’re thinking:
Wait a minute. Back up there, sparky. What do you mean “your FIRST tattoo?”
Yes, I’m getting to that.
So as I mentioned, I’ve always wanted to get another tattoo; something just as meaningful as my first. Something that defines me but doesn’t limit me. But what?
I’m a writer, so a fountain pen?
No, I’m more than a writer.
I love to train, so a gym weight?
No, that’s just stupid.
A glass of wine?
A little cluster of trees to represent the woods or nature?
Now I’m looking at my spine.
And then several months ago it dawned on me. There’s this thing I like about myself. It’s something I do really well … that I do naturally. Yet sometimes I need a reminder to do it. (Yes, another one of my walking contradictions.)
That something … the thing I’m really good at and yet sometimes forget to do is devour the moment.
Whether I’m writing, training, enjoying a glass of wine, or out for a walk and appreciating the view – I devour the moment. I’m right there, either soaking it in or letting it consume me.
Then there are those other times when I get anxious about something that’s usually related to either the past or the future.
I should have said …
Why didn’t I …
What if …
That’s when I need to rein myself in. So I’m either right in the moment or need reminding to be in the moment. And when I’m in the moment – truly appreciating the here and now – I like to breathe it in and say, “right here, right now.”
It was during one of my devour-the-moment, right-here-right-nows that it dawned on me.
It’s both my motto in life and something I strive for. And so …
Dear my parents:
Aren’t you glad I didn’t get DEVOUR THE MOMENT tattooed across my arm?
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