Tattoos. The word itself evokes a reaction but really, folks, it’s all a matter of perspective.
Hear me out now. Like most everything else on the planet, people land in one of three camps when it comes to tattoos. a) Love ’em. b) Hate ’em. c) Basically ambivalent. A simple categorization system that applies to more areas of life than you’d think.
Black olives? Love ’em. Novels? Love ’em. Heels or shoes that pinch? Hate ’em. Sports teams? Ambivalent.
I could go on and on and on, but you don’t have time for that and neither do I. So let’s roll back to today’s topic: tattoos.
While BS & I got our start in St. Louis, overall it turned out to be too landlocked/crowded/far from family to be permanent. It was a good running start, though. A way to get steady on our feet as a couple, because the brutal truth is when there’s no family around but the two of you it’s sink or swim, baby.
I spent the first eighteen months teaching special ed (what’s now called exceptional children), which is another post altogether. In short, by the time we moved to NC I’d burned out of (or was too scarred by) teaching and needed to find another way to earn a paycheck.
Cue my interview with a company we shall call The Corporation.
For those of you following the saga, our bathroom is still technically nonexistent. Sharing a bathroom with T-man has gone relatively smoothly and, frankly, it’s far neater in there than the other option available so I’ll take it and count my blessings. Still – and it’s not an insignificant “still” – juggling shower time with a 13-year-old (and BrightSide, too, ‘cuz fun times) is a delicate dance.
To say I’m looking forward to the day when I have both my own commode and shower is an understatement akin to “Gee, this water coming out of my kitchen faucet sure is handy.”
I’ve lost my funny, you guys.
It tiptoes around the edge of my consciousness like the wisp of a dream I can’t quite remember. Bits of ideas, a sentence or two, but nothing I can grab onto with two hands. Nothing that turns into a paragraph, let alone a blog post.
I got a big fat nothing.
I’ve been pretty sick for the last week or so – gotta love those sinus things that morph into full on ugly – but it’s more than going through a box of tissues every other day. It feels like the solemn has dug in deep and settled in the pit of my stomach.
It seems like day after day of disaster. Riots in our cities, terrorist attacks across the world. Flooding, hurricanes, people whose lives have been torn apart. A country where some people enjoy more equal rights than others, and then yesterday’s news that we had yet another mass shooting on our hands.
I stood on that street with my kids this summer. I pictured them and I pictured the mayhem, and I just checked out.
Time to work on righting my world again.
What? You think just because I have an English degree that I can’t do statistical analysis? Have you seen how smart I look in my glasses?
Wicked smart, man. I mean, that lady looks nothing like the ham who puts ridiculous posts out into the world every week. She looks like she sits behind a desk, hair in a bun, creating spreadsheets and drinking coffee.
Let’s crank out some numbers, baby.
We’re all born with a bit of superpower in us. Some hone it a little more finely than others, but we all have the skills. Otherwise surviving this traipse across the planet would require an unlikely amount of luck. Me? I’d say I have my fair share helping me along.
…I dig in?
What if I just tell my body to f*** off? That I’m not ready to feel weak. That I can be strong again if I work for it. That I want more.
What if I Just Said No? No to the aches and pains, no to the weariness. No to the idea that going downhill after forty is inevitable.
What if I dusted off that determination? The drive that pushed me through school, picked me up when I was down, and kicked me into blogging.
What if I used that drive to change my life? Diet, exercise, coping with stress – all of it. To find my best self.
What if I said I was ready?
What happens then?
I’m a middle child (thus the Riddle from the Middle blog name) who grew up experiencing both the joys and sorrows of following a sister and leading a brother. Apparently we even have a national “day” now – August 12th has been designated National Middle Child Day, an occasion for celebrating the child without a role.
Well, until they decide someone else needs it more.