Rhymes with Tattoo

A dose of mid-life clarity

When I was living my teens I had thoughts of getting a tattoo.  Equal to the desire of enhancing my body with visual artistry, I was intrigued to understand what it felt like.   What sensations it produced and why, as I had heard, it was something that could become somewhat addictive, were qualities I found to be most curious.  The reason I didn’t end up with one back then was never an issue of permission from my parents or the fear of any resulting temporary pain or discomfort.  No, the problem was that I could never decide on what I would want, knowing it would be a part of me for the rest of my life.

So why did I get one now,  at the ripe old age of forty?  Perhaps It was the realization that ‘the rest of my life’ no longer stretches the same span that it did when I was but three apples high, though that seems particularly grim and bleak, so let’s not go do any further down that route.  I think instead it is far more optimistic than that.  I think it’s because I’ve reached a time in my life where certain things have stabilized and clicked into place to such a degree that I am more comfortable and confident in making particular decision and taking certain actions.  The permanence of a tattoo, when compared to, say, being a parent, doesn’t hold a flame.  So, when it comes to the content of my tattoo, my worry and concerns around whether or not I will still like it or find its relevance in five, ten or  thirty years, doesn’t seem to matter anymore.  Regardless of how I feel about it then, it means something to me now, and being able to reflect back on this time in my life during those future years seems something of a rather romantic notion and certainly a time worthy of remembrance.  And so, at forty years old, it seemed the right time to make it finally happen and I put it on my list of goals for 2022.

As for the content I have designed and chosen, I am certain to be asked “why?” more than any other question.  Why that image?  Why those words?  Why Dr. Seuss?  I wish I had a more compelling and complex story to tell that addresses those questions but the truth is: I chose it because I like it.  But if you really want to peel back the layers of the “why?”, then sure, I’ll go on that journey with you and attempt to articulate it the best way I know how.

You see,

I love Dr. Seuss and the way that he writes
His stories have always brought wondrous delights
Perhaps in a way it’s the memories he brings
The way that his rhymes make my inner kid sing.

Whatever it is, pinning down the right quote
Was a hard thing to do with all that he wrote
With painstaking care through his words I did farm
But finally found what to stamp on my arm!

The nature of thought and creation and art
Are things I hold true in the core of my heart
The words that I chose, or perhaps that chose me
They speak to the person that I strive to be.

Failures will happen, in fact, they’re a given
But they should not drive our every decision
With each new attempt, with each evolution
My brain, I have found, is great for solutions!

For these reasons and more, it seemed a good choice:
Imprint upon me an inspiring voice!
To encourage myself, perhaps others too
I opted to get this most Seussy tattoo.

And there you have it; the raison d’être for the ink on my arm.  So, what’s next?  It’s the beginning of February and I’ve scratched off most of my goals for year.  Surely this ‘mid-life crisis’ thing hasn’t peaked and I’m likely to be making many more decisions and crossing things off of my bucket list for as long as I have granted my inner-self permission do so.  I’ve got the tattoo now so maybe a Harley and a leather jacket? A Porsche and some Cohibas? Meh, not sure those are really ‘me’.  A Vespa and a baguette, on the other hand…

4 Comments

  1. Alison

    Your talents and words would make Seuss proud to be upon your arm!

    Reply
    • Phil Bean

      Thank you! Maybe that’s an excuse to go back for another one…

      Reply
  2. James

    As someone on the brink of my 40th year I can say that I totally agree with you thought process here. It is verry similar to how I approach my latest tattoo. Just go for it, what do you have to loose right? Plus, the ladies love a bad ass dad with ink.

    Reply
    • Phil Bean

      Amen, James! Thanks for reading.

      Reply

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