Passion And Pain

Last week I voluntarily let someone stab me with an inked needle repeatedly.  In other words, I got a tattoo! I can honestly say, I never ever thought I would utter those words in my life. 

I always say go big or go home, and though my tattoo is not big, the reasoning and meaning behind it most certainly is.  As most of you know, whether you know me in person or simply follow along with my blogs, the word perspective holds a lot of weight in my personal vocabulary book.  As a reminder to myself to keep life in perspective, a lesson I learned through my grandfather’s battle with cancer, I got that word tattooed on my foot (right across the bone – I’m a champ).  You may be arching your eyebrows and thinking it’s odd, but for me, it makes sense.  It makes me happy to see it, and I take comfort in knowing that the idea behind that word is now permanently set on me.

The anxiety leading up to getting this tattoo was actually pretty ridiculous.  It didn’t seem real until I got to the shop and was sitting waiting while the artist sketched it up.  A mix of excitement and utter terror ran through me.  The thought of how I was going to tell my entourage I brought with me (my mom, sister, and best friend) that I was chickening out and just kidding kept circling around in my head.  I couldn’t do this.  I’ve heard too many horror stories.

“Your first tattoo on your foot? Are you nuts?”

“Kristina, that’s going to hurt so bad.”

“It’s painful, and once they start it, they can’t stop it.”

Well, though I can’t say it was a feeling that gave me images of sunshine and flowers, it was tolerable.  I did not cry.  I did not scream.  I did however make some crazy, slightly over the top facial expressions, which have been documented.  But, it wasn’t that bad. It was a little rough near the bone, but nowhere near the extreme pain I imagined. 

I realized that a person’s will is far more powerful than a person’s tolerance of pain or acceptance of limitations.  Whether it be a tattoo or a dream, if you want something bad enough, you will overcome the inevitable obstacles.  

I wanted my tattoo.  I wanted it done.  I wanted that permanent reminder for the rest of my life.  So, that pain – it was tolerable.  I want to be a sports journalist.  I want to report for the Yankees.  So all the hard work it’s going to take to get there – it will be worth it.

My point is, that everything you want to achieve in life, can be achieved.  If you are truly passionate about something, you’ll excel.  If you truly desire something, you’ll endure what it takes to obtain whatever that something is.  People will always find a way to discourage you.  Whether it be a tattoo or a dream, people are going to underestimate your ability to go after something and stick it out through tough times.  Instead of arguing your point, just prove them wrong. 

As the singer, P!nk says, “The passion and the pain are going to keep you alive.”



Define Yourself


“Cut off eight inches?” 

“Yeah, eight inches.”

“This is such a nice thing to do.  Recently I had to shave a woman’s head because she was diagnosed with cancer.  We both cried. It’s a hard thing to do because women are defined by their hair.”


This past Saturday I donated my hair for the second time.  Standing up to cancer in a small way, in honor of both of my grandfathers, I snipped off several inches for Pantene Beautiful Lengths.  It’s something I enjoy doing.  I don’t see it as a huge deal, or something to be praised about.  I do it as a way to hopefully help make a difference to someone.  I do it because I think if you can help someone, you should.  Point blank.   

When my hairdresser was cutting my hair though, she had commented on what a nice gesture donating your hair is because, “Women are defined by their hair.”  I was taken aback by that for a moment.  I thought, “Really? Women are defined by their hair?” As she continued to cut my now shoulder length hair, I pondered that statement.  I realized that not only women, but people as a whole are defined by not only their hair, but a million other meaningless “cover” attributes.   

Women are defined by their hair.  Is it in style?  Is it highlighted the right color?  

Men are defined by their hair.  Is there any hair?  If it’s too long does that mean he’s trying to be a hipster?  Too short, is he in the military?

Women are defined by their clothes.  Are they trendy?  Are they new?  Are they expensive?

Men are defined by their clothes.  Are they immature looking?  Are they “bumming it?”

These lists could go on for days….

 It’s things we are all guilty of thinking.  But, does it really matter?  We are so consumed with how people look in this world and that’s how we are defining people.  Have you ever stopped to wonder about a person’s background though?  

Let me paint you some perspective….

To the trendy, popular, high school girl who sees the shy girl in last season’s outfit and automatically assumes she’s low class… truth is, her single mother is trying to get a better job, and she told her to take the money to get new clothes for the interview.

To the buff, college athlete who sees a teammate in beat up cleats and assumes they can’t be serious and they’ll just be a benchwarmer… truth is, his father just passed away, and those were his father’s cleats.

To the young, newly employed worker who sees an older employee still working and assumes she’s power hungry and that’s why she hasn’t retired… truth is, her husband has cancer and she can’t afford the chemo if she’s not working.

To the older man commuting who sees a younger guy in a fitted hat tilted sideways and assumes he’s in a gang… truth is, he was jumped last year and wears that hat sideways to cover his scar.

Are you catching on to my point?  

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a world where I’m defined by artificial nothings.  I want to define myself.  


“Make it nine inches.” 





For further information on Pantene Beautiful Lengths, check out their website… 

Stand Up To Cancer.