Tattoos and piercings

posted by Jeff | Sunday, March 11, 2007, 1:08 AM | comments: 8

Given the conversations I've had tonight, and recent experiences, I need to get a few things out on "paper" before I turn in tonight and "spring ahead" the clocks.

I remember when I first met Stephanie that she was one of the few people I knew at the time who had a tattoo. Actually, the first person I knew well was Nikki B., one of my radio/TV friends in college. She got I think a rose on her hip near her privates. I remember her showing it to me in the college radio station (which was about the closest I'd ever seen to real privates at the time). I had a lot of opinions about who had tattoos back then, most of them not really that good. Piercing was still a couple of years away in terms of more mainstream exposure.

Anyway, as time went on, Steph got the second one on her big toe, and Suicide Girls showed me skin art the likes of which I'd never seen. (Interesting side note, apparently SG is considered a "sell-out" medium among "tattoo enthusiasts," though I'd love for someone to tell the 50% female membership that.) I don't know if I'd consider it a totally mainstream phenomenon, but even a lot of my former kids have something they weren't born with now.

It was never much for me, even when I accepted it as something I really liked. The truth is, I could never commit to anything myself because my feeling is that anything permanently added to me has to be something incredibly relevant to me, at least at the time. And maybe that's what bothers me, that I can't think of anything that describes my life right now.

Cath was telling me last weekend how she found her future tattoo in the veterinarian symbol (it will make a sweet tattoo). A new friend has several that coincide with her life. Another friend has one that acts as a tribute to her father and brother. I don't have anything that I can feel I can draw from like that.

Piercing at least gave me an outlet at one point. My first too are still healthy and remind me all of the time to strive to live better. My industrial is kinda gross still, and I'm not sure if I should just give up on it or let it go. I'd like to pierce other things, but I keep having the bullshit feeling that I worry what other people might think, which is so not me.

The body modification thing is a really spiritual thing that I get more than ever, and yet am not committal enough to get involved in. It's a little frustrating because I feel like it would help me give my life definition, or at least a snapshot of what it is today. I gotta stop watching Miami Ink.


Catherine, March 11, 2007, 6:14 PM #

I feel that this is one of the big struggles left in your life, Jeff. No, not whether or not to get a tattoo, but rather the issue of a strong "passion", something defining who you are. This has been something tough for me to pinpoint when describing you to others because computers and roller coasters just don't cut it when describing you. I think you're conflicted because you have so much energy and desire for so many different things that you haven't gone down one definitive path like many of us have. You're "lucky" enough to dabble in many things and not have to be (for monetary reasons) comitted to any of them. It's a blessing and a curse I think. You've never been forced to take a huge risk in your whole life. Sometimes the greatest growth comes out of those experiences. Rather you've been "marinating" through your own insight and finding your own journey by taking baby steps instead of jumping off a cliff. Sometimes when we jump off the cliff, we figure out what we're going to get for our tattoo.... does that make any sense?

Jeff, March 12, 2007, 12:52 AM #

Actually, my biggest risk was leaving the broadcast world, knowing I could never really go back after that. Leaving something I loved that much in hopes of a better financial and satisfying future was not easy. But since then, obviously, I've done a lot of wandering.

And maybe that's why I'm working as hard as I am dating right now. A part of me really thinks that my greatest accomplishment in life might very well be having a family. I think about it more than I allow myself to believe.

Carrie, March 12, 2007, 2:00 AM #

I apologize in advance for jumping in here since I don't know you at all, Jeff. It may not be my place to participate in these discussions and you can feel free to tell me so.

But I'm wondering if what you have written above has any connection to your recurring dream? Since you have pegged your biggest risk in life thus far having been leaving the safety and love of your broadcasting career, perhaps what you are dreaming about in doing well or flubbing things up is really how you perceive yourself to be doing in life since having made that monumental decision. As if you are rating yourself on a regular basis?

And if I may be so bold (why not, I'm on a, I prefer the word explore to wander. And I don't think there is anything wrong with exploring. So many people settle on the first thing they can put their hands around that makes them comfortable and make that their definition of self. It really isn't that easy. It takes courage to keep exploring the opportunities. From what you have shared, you just keep finding the courage to continue your exploration... ain't nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

Jeff, March 12, 2007, 2:57 AM #

Being non-committal to some "thing" might be an issue for me, although it's weird because that doesn't apply to my personal life. It has been weird that I settled into my job this year, and that's unusual after years of contracting and job hopping.

Carrie, March 12, 2007, 3:04 AM #

I guess I just don't get it. You've got this and CoasterBuzz and PointBuzz, and the Podcasts and I'm sure some other things I'm not aware of.

How do you define being committed to some "thing"? If you were to draw it out, what would it look like?

Jeff, March 12, 2007, 3:45 AM #

The Web sites, oddly enough, are not a major part of my life. Maybe they are and I just don't realize it. I mean, CB has been around for seven years, PB (as GTTP) for nine.

Stephanie always accused me of not having a hobby, which bothered me because I always thought that what I did for a living was my hobby. :) Can't they be both?

It's a little alarming when you aren't sure what you'd put on your tombstone, other than "loyal friend."

Carrie, March 12, 2007, 3:57 AM #

Now that I understand. I have a similar "problem". When I meet someone new and they ask me what I like to do, I am often times stumped. ;-) And I don't know why, because there are a lot of things I like to do, but I guess I just don't "identify" with them.

For me, the interest lies in who I am doing things with and whether I am having fun. Then it makes no difference what I am doing from crosswords to travel.

I absolutely love going to amusement parks, for instance. But even that can suck if the people I am with are downers, or if I or someone I'm with gets sick, etc etc.

I just don't understand that need to categorize ourselves based on our interests or hobbies. The world is an open book of opportunity. You can do anything you want to. You could take up pottery tomorrow if you like. Would that make you anymore of a "whole" person? I'm thinking no, but that is just the way I think.

Catherine, March 12, 2007, 4:11 AM #

It's not about a hobby making you a whole person unless you already don't feel like a whole person. My suspicion is that there is a part of Jeff, deep down, that doesn't feel whole. Maybe he's right, maybe it is that he's always been destined to be a dad and husband. I can't say that he won't make a wonderful husband and father (he will), but it always scares me when people go looking for their fulfillment in others.

Of course your living can be your hobby, your life is what you define it to be. But when push comes to shove, that undertone of exploring means there are some pieces that still have not come together for you. Are you defining your biggest risk in life as a layoff which has imposed on you? (just looking for clarification here, cause I was talking about really going out on a limb FOR something you are passionate about, not leaving something)

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