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.”