Sunday, February 26, 2012

How my body maps my life.

Scars tell stories.  I have four little scars on my right shoulder from a surgery I got last year.  People have told me that I could easily get them lightened if I wanted to.  But I don't.  Those four little blemishes in my shoulder tell a story about a specific time in my life; a story that leads a number of other ones.  For example, why did I get surgery?  Well, I dislocated my shoulder a whole bunch of times...
You can't really see all of them here- but you get the idea.

I've got a scar on the knuckle of my middle finger that I got when I was spending a summer in Wyoming and I accidentally shut a jackknife on my hand.  Even though it's not a scar that anyone's aware of because it looks kind of like part of the wrinkles on my knuckle, it still means something to me.  I spent two summers in Wyoming and they were both very important to me.  I love and miss Wyoming very much, and it's nice of my body to remind me of it.

I've also got a scar on my calf from when I was hiking in Panamá (where I also spent a summer).  Panamá was equally important to me as Wyoming, so that's another fond memory that my body calls to my mind.
It's the little dark spot- try to ignore the goosebumps on my leg!

I've got plenty of other scars (my legs are covered in them) that tell other stories, but I don't think it's really necessary to discuss all of my body blemishes in my blog.  But, needless to say, I'm fond of my scars.  I like people to know who I am, and somehow I feel like my scars help me with that.

When people look at me, they don't really expect me to be the kind of person who's into things like body art.  They're all wrong (although I understand why they might have that perception because I look like I'm 12 years old).  I got my nose pierced the day after my 18th birthday.  It was a little bit impulsive, but I had been planning on getting some sort of new piercing when I turned 18 anyway.  I've never regretted my nose piercing.  It makes me seem older (at least, to me it does) and it looks good too!  About 8 months later, I got into tattoos.  Tattoos are scars too.  They're just scars that I get to choose what they say.

I mentioned in my Valentine's Day post that I got my first tattoo about a year ago.  That was the beginning of an obsession.  While I was actually getting the tattoo, I was practically breaking my friend's hand from squeezing it so hard because it hurt so badly (it's on my foot, which I'm told is one of the more painful places to get a tattoo).  I kept thinking, "Oh, my God.  I'm never doing this again."  Then of course, the very second the artist finished, I thought, "I want another one!"
This tattoo is a ribbon-esque design with a piano keyboard on one side and music notes on the other.  I wanted to have something that illustrated my passion for music, particularly the piano.  Piano is one of, if not the most important inanimate object in my life.  Actually, I think it's so amazing to me because I have the ability to make it into an animate object...

In September, I got two more tattoos.

The one on my wrist, first of all, probably hurt more than anything I've ever done in my life (yes, that includes dislocating my shoulder).  Just letting you know in case you were thinking about getting a tattoo there.  It HURTS.
I suppose it's pretty self-explanatory.  I love animals, specifically dogs.  I grew up with dogs.  In fact, until I went to college, I've never lived without a dog.  As soon as I have a real job and can afford it/have the space, I'm getting a dog.  Period.  No one will convince me not to, so don't even try.  Right now, I have three wonderful doggies (well, not me personally. They live at home in Maine): Clara, Kate, and Guster, in that order in the photo.

My other tattoo looks like this:
Sorry about the weird angle- it's REALLY hard to take a picture of the back of your own shoulder.

This is the symbol for Unitarian Universalism, which I was raised on.  The link I put there goes to the seven principles that UUism believes.  In reality, UUism is more of a philosophy, but technically it's a religion. I was never super into the religion or going to services.  But I got the tattoo because I had recently rediscovered those seven principles, and I realized how amazing they really are.  They're basically a guide for how to be a good person, and they make me proud to be part of something that has them as its core.

In retrospect, I wish I had switched the locations of the last two tattoos I just talked about (dog paws on my shoulder and UU symbol on my wrist), but in the end, they still express the same thing.

I'm planning on getting more tattoos, but I'm waiting until after my adventure at sea, because I don't want them to be at risk of healing badly, etc.  Unfortunately, tattoos are very addictive.  But I'm ok with it, because it's become my favorite way to express myself.  I don't like people to think I'm someone I'm not, so it's important that I express myself accurately to people.  Self-expression is really what this is all about.

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