Life is filled with low back tattoo opportunities, but are you taking them...
Recently I traveled with my mom and sister to visit our family up North. The drive is long and if you don’t mentally prep for the ten hours, it can feel never ending.
I’ve done this drive over 50 times with my family and yet, it never gets quicker. In fact, I would argue in the years since being drafted to help drive, it’s gotten longer.
Typically on this trip my father is present. With my dad going on a trip, the energy can be a bit different. My dad likes to take 45 minutes to position the suitcases and luggage in the most space efficient way. He especially loves when he can do this the night before we leave.
However, for this particular trip, my father was not in attendance. This meant the entire trip was left to us girls, including packing.
We took a different mindset this time and threw our luggage in the morning of haphazardly. There was little consideration for placement except for the snack bag – that was right beside me naturally.
We made some additional changes such as stopping at a 1950s car hop service drive-in diner called the Red Rabbit (iykyk). This is typically a giant “no ” for my father as it “wastes time” and takes longer than a Chick-fil-a or Wawa.
What changed on this trip wasn’t just our eta or packing efficiency, both were unimpressive. It was our entire mindset for the journey.
So much so that at the diner we convinced our mother to do the tattoo vending machine with us. She was surprisingly open and willing to hand over $1.50. To top it off, when we told our mom that the tattoo she received was known as a ‘tramp stamp’ and it traditionally went on the low back she shrugged and said “okay”. If you don’t know my mom, this might not seem like the biggest deal, but this is a woman who won’t wear jeans if they’re ‘too tight’.
Unabashedly she lifted up the back of her shirt and in the parking lot of the Red Rabbit we gave her a low back tattoo. I kept expecting her to back out or look embarrassed and scold us for talking her into her new body art. Instead, my mother was beaming and laughing with us.
I got a glimpse into a version of my mom I have rarely seen before. One that was joyful about her body and choices and who had zero thoughts of anyone else as she did it. When my sister and I joined her with our new ink she had never looked happier.
I could suddenly picture a version of my mom that I had heard stories about.
One that would ride a horse bareback at full speed, find herself trapped in a pen with a bull and show no fear, sled down a mountain with a motorcycle helmet on only to have to bail before hitting the electric fence, and go out line dancing with friends late into the early morning.
Those versions of my mom had only been stories. Far away tales about a woman who didn’t sound very much like my mom at all. In the parking lot, those two worlds briefly collided. I saw a woman who often would have said “yes” to life and showed no fear.
Maybe you’re reading this and thinking of who you used to be or who you are now. Maybe the old you was a bit more wild and adventurous. Or maybe you’re just now trying to muster the courage to try something new. These worlds don’t have to be one vs the other. We don’t have to live in a “who I used to be” kind of place or “who I want to be”. Instead,
we can make choices every day, even and especially small ones, that merge these words and versions of ourselves together.
In your life, there will always be low back tattoo opportunities. Can you say ‘screw it’ more often than not and do the things you’ve been secretly craving to do?
No one is looking at your life judging your life choices other than you. *Correction* No one is allowed to judge your life choices other than you.
Life is short.
Your body is temporary.
Say yes and shamelessly chase fun.
Fun is a sexy date and I want you to flirt like hell with it. The goal is not a one night stand. No, I want you to be in it for the long haul and take that relationship to the next level by going steady. Fun is husband/wife material, friends. It is ride or die, best friends for life, soul sisters energy.
So, take fun on a date, merge those versions of you and get that tattoo.