On Contemplating a Tattoo

As much as it will horrify my mother to read this, I’ve been giving a tattoo some thought. I’ve always said that I don’t have a desire to get a tattoo cuz I just don’t have anything that meaningful to put on my body. At least not permanently. I can’t think of any major life events that I want to symbolize with art across my shoulder blade, and I have that common girl thought of “What if I have a strapless wedding dress?” and the second most common girl thought of “What will this look like when I have stretch marks from having a baby?” and so on and so forth. However, since marriage and babies are the farthest thing possible from my mind, and since I am still young and immature and my frontal lobe isn’t 100% developed, I am thinking I can still get away with getting a tattoo. That way I can blame my stupidity on science and genetics when I am kicking myself at 45 for having a tattoo.

The only reason I am even contemplating this is because I finally read a quote that I feel is worthy of remembrance all day, every day. I’ll admit I stumbled upon it while cruising the lululemon website, but regardless of its origins, this quote has really changed my thinking recently. So much that I have made it my mantra for the year. And maybe my mantra for life. It’s already tattooed on my soul so maybe there isn’t a need to tattoo it on my body, but enough about the tattoo. This really is about the quote and not the tattoo.

“Wherever you are, be all there.”

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Wherever you are, be all there.

I’ve been to enough yoga classes now and read enough happy-go-lucky books to agree that the key (well…my key) to happiness is absolutely living in the moment. I’ve struggled with it my entire life. I’ve always wanted to be five years ahead of where I am. I remember being 11 and just wanting to be like Alisa, my best friend’s older sister who was in high school and drove a red Ford pick-up truck and had a blue tech vest from Old Navy (remember those bad boys?). I wanted to be in high school so badly and be just like her.

I remember finally being in high school and wanting to be in college so badly. Free from parents and cafeteria seating games and learning things the hard way. I was never excited about the process of growing up, I just wanted to be grown up already. I knew I was gonna make stupid mistakes so I just wanted to make them and get it over with.

And here I am about to graduate and I catch myself drifting off before I go to bed thinking about where I will be five years from now and if I will have a car and what kind of photos I’ll hang in my apartment and what my favorite coffee shop will be and how awesome things will be once I am a yoga teacher, or once I am this or that or blah blah blah blah blah.

There are those monumental thoughts that creep in – future goals and dreams that prevent me from seeing what is right in front of me. But there are little things, too. Like my cell phone. How many times am I at work, just waiting for the moment than I can steal away to the break room to check my phone to see who texted me. Or even worse, how many times am I at lunch with a friend and ACTUALLY enjoying myself and yet my phone is on the table next to me as if I am waiting for some super important life-changing email. Or I’ll just have to be taking photos to upload to Facebook immediately because how will I know how much fun I am having unless others can see it?!

I’ll be in class and I’m thinking about the next lecture I have to go to.

I’m in a yoga class and I start planning when I can go to my next yoga class while in Tree pose. Completely counter-productive to the whole point of yoga.

Wherever you are, be all there.

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I don’t want to miss out on everything happening right in front of my face because I can’t focus on the moment. How many meaningful conversations are lost and how many creative moments am I missing because I’m thinking too many years ahead? I usually pride myself on my ability to multi-task, but what if I just stopped, and really focused on the one thing that mattered most in that moment? I find so much to worry about all the time when in reality, there is nothing wrong. Ya, my toilet is no longer sealed to my bathroom floor. And ya, I haven’t cleaned my George Foreman grill since the last time I used it. And ya, I have no idea how I am going to pay to live in my apartment next year. But why am I thinking about all of that when I am out to lunch with my sister or folding pants at work? I want to apply that quote to my whole life – even mundane tasks like folding pants. I want to be the most present, creative, focused pants folder that ever lived!
I’ve only got one semester left of college, and I don’t want to take it for granted. But why even stop there? I’ve only got one life, and I don’t want to take that for granted either because I couldn’t sit still and enjoy all the beautiful people and places that surround me.

I realize that I just basically said YOLO, so why not tattoo that on my body, right?

Graduation brings up a lot of funny feelings and thoughts. Some good, some bad. Some scary, some exciting. So I apologize for the nature of this blog post – more serious than usual. And if you’re throwing up in your mouth a little bit, then I guess all I have to say is: Wherever you are, be all there.

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About Melissa Faulkner

1. If I blog, someone will eventually discover me. 2. If someone eventually discovers me, I will become rich and famous. 3. If I blog, I will become rich and famous. Follow me for shorter, daily doses! @melisslyss
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One Response to On Contemplating a Tattoo

  1. Laura says:

    Hmmm. Or you could have a stroke and give a ted talk:

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