I used to want a quarter-sleeve tattoo. Really. I wanted one really badly. I couldn’t ever quite come up with a design, though…I’m not visually imaginative like that. I knew that if I didn’t hurry up and get this tattoo, the window of opportunity (specifically, plenty of money and no responsibilities) would close and I might regret not getting it…also knowing that if I didn’t wait for the perfect design, I might also regret getting it. So I spent years dreaming of my perfect quarter-sleeve tattoo, and sure enough, the window closed. We moved to Indy, and my $9.58/hr job at Starbucks was paying the rent and buying our food, with sometimes a few bucks left for the savings account after all was said and done.
I don’t really want that quarter-sleeve anymore. At least, not as much as I want to be responsible with our money. But a part of me wishes I could have settled on a design and gotten it years ago when I wouldn’t have felt guilty for spending the money. It’s not strong enough to be called a regret. Just a wish. A sort of sentimental look back at the me of a few years ago. I don’t feel any different, really. It’s just that, when I see pictures, I’ve started being shocked at how skinny I was. I’ve started wishing I could remember how to pull off certain outfits…the great Goodwill skirts that nobody else would wear, or the granny shoes that are awesome. I’ve started missing the girl who took her guitar everywhere and sang every chance she got. The girl who twirled with friends at concerts. And I’m realizing that even though I haven’t changed that much, it seems that after a year of stress and anxiety and (the scary word) depression, I’ve lost sight of some of the things that make me quintessentially me.
This isn’t the beginning of some grand quest to go back in time and find myself. I love where I am. I love being a mom. I think I’ve always had that inside me and it feels great to finally be there. But I need to reawaken some of the other aspects of me and figure out how they fit in this new phase of my life. I owe to Matthew, to Eliza, to me, and to God. I want Eliza to have a singing mom…
And who knows? I think I’ll still probably get a tattoo. Eventually. Just, you know, a smaller one than originally planned. Because I haven’t changed that much. It’s just my circumstances that have.