Note to Self – Positive Reflections

So in dealing with the current situation we are all in (life), there are challenges, there are ups and downs, and there are people who help us and people who hinder us in our journey.

I believe, its all about attitude. There are no perfect situations. There will always be aches and pains, or a problem with money, or a relationship that is not what you had hoped for. What matters, is how we deal with the situations that are presented to us.

So I write a lot. Often times those writings are hand written call outs for the things I need to be more aware of, where I need to pay more attention, or what I need to let go of. Often these writings are accompanied by a flow chart, or a silly graph or some illustration that makes sense to me in a humorous or semi serious way. I’m guilty of chuckling to myself at my own wittiness. 

Sometimes those writings are shared with the people that are close to me. Sometimes those writings cause some upset or discomfort, because I may have been harsh, or made people closest to me aware of where I felt they had a shortcoming. I can be very direct and analytical and that can perhaps come out as a directive or shit-list of stuff that might be a bit too strong for the situation – which is often a reflection of my intense feelings about a subject.

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So recently I wrote some notes to myself. They are both affirmations of my intentions, and also blunt callouts of my failures or habits. I want to change, and I am determined to remain aware of those important intentions in my interactions with others. I read my notes each day. Perhaps some would see this as a little obsessive, but the reality is that my future is at stake, and I want to do better. So far, I’m happy to say that these notes to self feel like they are having a positive effect.

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Tattoo Stories 2 – Oni Mask, chest piece.

So anyone who has been reading my stuff would realise that I’m into tattoos. I’ve often said that if I had the time and the money, I’d be getting tattooed. So this story is about my oni mask that I had tattooed on my chest.

I have travelled quite a bit, and in times gone by it was not unusual for me to plan a trip, and to make sure that getting tattooed in some place was on the agenda. This time I was in Chicago. The windy city. I found a shop called Deluxe Tattoo. Often I would do a bit of research and have a look at artist profiles and book ahead to confirm my spot. It just happens, by coincidence that this is the shop that Hannah Atchison works out of – she was featured as one of the artists in LA Ink. She mentioned in the show that she was from Chi town. I used to watch this show when I was in Australia. I knew all the people on the show who were tattooing, but at the time I never imagined that I could end up in Chicago getting tattooed.

So she did not tattoo me, and that’s not why I was there, but it was a bit surreal to be getting tattoed and look over, and there she was, in the flesh only 15 ft from where I was getting inked. But this story isn’t about her.

I rode the El train from down town to the leafy northern suburb to where the shop is located. I think I had to change trains in there somewhere. The lines are all colour coded like the ‘red line’, and the ‘blue line’. i’m sure at some point I had to go from an underground subway to an elevated train line, so that was an interesting experience – just finding my way out of one and onto another.

But this story has a kind of a precursor. I had been tattooed some time before this and got two birds on my chest. If you look closely you can see the bird embedded in the tattoo. I have a sort of matching left one and a right one. These are some of my favourite tattoos, because one represents a kind of goodness (angelic?) and one is badness (devilish?), because I can be both! Ok, enough symbolic bullshit I know you really don’t care. Oni mask tattoo (2)

So the birds were done in Tucson AZ. It was eassssssy tattooing. I think maybe each one took an hour or something. Being kind of high up on the chest, they were not too painful, and the tattooist used a sort of noiseless tattoo gun. So in a way, that set me up for some over-confidence when it came to pain thresholds etc. Now, when it comes to tattooing, I’ve sat for a LOT of hours. Perhaps not like some of the ink-freaks out there but I’ve done many hours. It sucks. It hurts. I got a piece on my lower torso/hip (my first), and that was extreme pain.

So – now we come to the oni mask on my chest. I got it stenciled out, etc, all good. Lie down on the tattooist table, and ready, here we go. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST THIS IS PAINFULL. No, I mean like really, like we are talking the uppermost pain bracket there is. Within seconds of the first line going down, I almost quit. Yes, me who has done many  many hours, almost quit. I ALMOST picked up my handbag and heels, and sashayed out of there, like a big girl. But I didn’t. And while I’m at it, chicks are tough ok, they get tattooed too. No disrespect.

I gritted my teeth, made funny faces, tried not to freak out, and braced every damn time that needle was on the skin. I couldn’t believe it. Not sure if it was the time since being tattooed, the location (anywhere on the torso is worse), or that it was on the left side (there is a difference in sensation apparently). Either way it took a lot to stick with it.

After about an hour or more, I got a break. I remember going to the bathroom and needing to hold on to the rail, I was feeling rather seasick. The floor was no longer horizontal and flat, it seemed to roll like the deck of a large boat on a heavy swell.

Anyway, I got through it, and I’m glad I did. that’s the thing about tattooing, once its done, it doesn’t wash off. More to come, readers….