If you know me in real life, you may know that I tend to get obsessive thoughts that won’t leave me alone until I do something–anything!–and everything I can to put them to rest. It all started in grade school when I learned sign language. Instinctively, I would sign the letters to every last word that hung in the air. If a conversation ended on the word “elephant,” my tiny fingers would rhythmically move by my side, forming the “e,” the “l,” and so on. It was maddening.
Years later, I dragged my poor best friend from one festival, ren faire, and street vendor to another in search of the perfect tiger’s eye ring. Eventually we found it–at an Oktoberfest in Bear Mountain, New York. If I had to take an educated guess, I think we must have looked in more than 30 locations for close to 8 years. It’s amazing she’s still friends with me.
During the great Bed Bug Scare of 2010, I convinced myself (and those around me) that I had bed bugs in my apartment and at work. I couldn’t stop scratching and even convinced myself that I would be the girl to bring bed bugs on Phish tour that summer. I frantically called my landlord, realtor, and HR department to spray the area around my cubicle at work and to inspect every crevice in my apartment. Eventually I stopped itching, though I never did see a single bed bug.
Some obsessive thoughts have stuck over the years. I still let the water run for seven seconds before filling up a glass, I only step out of one side of the shower, and I have to put my socks and shoes on in the following order: sock/shoe, sock/shoe.
In college, it seemed all my friends were running out to get tattoos and I decided that I, too, wanted to find the perfect one to adorn my right wrist. In hindsight, I’m glad I waited the 10+ years or I may have ended up with Tinkerbelle (I always did have an obsession with fairies). Recently I’ve revisited the idea some more and wanted to choose something that represented my German heritage. I scoured the net for folk art (scherenschnitte in particular, which are too big for so small an area) and quotes by Hesse, Goethe, Rilke, and Einstein, that resonated with me (sadly, German words are entirely too long and a phrase would take up more real estate than I would like on my small wrist).
And then I joined Pinterest over the weekend (okay, so now I know what you all have been raving about for months. Talk about addicting!) and my tattoo search pulled up an image of a woman so beautiful and with a tattoo so meaningful to me that I couldn’t stop staring at it.
“To Thine Own Self Be True.”
It’s a quote by Shakespeare my father always said to me when the chips were down and I began to doubt myself. It’s also a phrase I had engraved on a new iPod just last week. And a phrase I kept considering when designing my perfect tattoo.
I just didn’t want it on my wrist.
I have plans for the wrist. For now, I want to get this tattoo in the same location as Christina Perri (photographed above), but all on one line, and in a feminine, cursive font. Something more like this:
My bestie will get a tat with me (we’ve discussed it for ages) and we’ll go to Bryan’s regular tattoo parlour (I’d say he’s something of a regular with a half sleeve, full leg, and assorted other beautiful tats. I always say it’s Christmas every time I discover a new one and learn its meaning).
So, what do you think? How painful do you think this part on the inner arm will be for tattooing? Bear in mind, I am a giant wuss and cringe at the sight of blood and needles.
Are you on Pinterest? If yes, find me and we can stalk, errr, pin each other. Or whatever it is we’re supposed to do on there. Find my icon to the top right of this page under the “Connect With Me” tab.