02 May 2010

My 35th Year

I suppose I owe my faithful readers a recap of the thirty-fifth year of my life - what with my birthday being almost a week past now. I know I've stalled on composing this post, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps once I get to it, I'll realize it was a larger topic than previously thought.

I won't bore with the list of presents I received or activities I did. Instead, I'll regale you with the insights of a woman in her 35th year...because after all, I'm one year better and wiser; so the story goes.

First off, the month of April opened up with a new addition to my body.

I was first inked when I was eighteen. In the pre-cell phone and Internet era, what does a teenager do once she's left her parents' house and rules behind?

Besides have sex for the first time, I mean?

I get a tattoo! The only problem was that I'd put no thought into what I wanted; thus, I wound up with a design that was trendy and faddish at the time. I also did not consider where I would have it done; thus I ended up with the left shoulder. I don't regret getting the tattoo, but it occurs to me that 99% of the time, I forget I have it. And even if I did have it somewhere that I saw it often, it would have little significant meaning to me now.

But...I knew, deep down, I always wanted another tattoo. Finally, the germ of an idea came to fruition about a month ago. Right around my 30th birthday, the idea of having my astrological symbol tattooed appealed to me. But, I just quite never found the design I wanted...and ultimately, I never was quite compelled enough to get it done.

Then, the turmoil of the last year put the tattoo idea on the backburner. My husband and I separated and I was in the midst of a major job change. Getting a tattoo fell on the list of priorities. However, earlier this year, when things seem to set themselves right, the idea of a tattoo experienced a rebirth. I determined this year was going to be the year - but what? and where? The astrological symbol was still a possibility, but it had lost a bit of its luster. Even more of a vague notion was where to put it? All I knew was that I wanted it somewhere more visible.

Then, in what I can only explain as a total confluence of the planets, Providence, and/or other celestial forces unknown to me...the tattoo imprinted itself in my brain, as if it had been there along, waiting for me to remember it.

"Not all those who wander are lost."

One of my most favorite lines from one of my most favorite books. The rearranged blog title of a good friend here at the Stream (as well as IRL). The sentence engraved on a silver bracelet I'd long eyeballed in the Pyramid Collection catalog. And - a sentence that had more meaning for me than ever before, considering my journey of the last year.

The location? My foot. Yes, it was the trendy spot right now, but what better place, honestly, for THAT phrase?

So I went Easter weekend and got 'er done. After seven minutes of some pretty serious pain, I was done. And:

I love it. I see it everyday and I am reminded of my philosophy:

I really have no idea where I'm going. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. But, I'm not lost. I'm wandering, but it's okay.

So, that's the words of wisdom gleaned from my 35th year. As much as society stresses that we all "have a plan", it's okay that I don't. I don't always know what I want to do with my life, I don't really have all my "safety nets" in place, I can't always see the "big picture", and who I am now might be totally different tomorrow.

And I think that's the way it's supposed to be.

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