(Go get a vodkatini, this one's long. Shut up, it's not that early.)
I've wanted to get a tattoo for several years. When I went to Atlantic City for what was probably the best bachelorette party in the history of ever (all male review? check. 9 girls dressed like streetwalkers? check. awful karaoke? check. penis-shaped jewelry? check. puking for 2 days afterwards? check.), I thought about doing it then. My girls wouldn't let me, which, in hindsight, I'm really happy about. I wouldn't want this associated with that.
Fast forward almost a year. My marriage is falling apart, I got injured two weeks before Shamrock - which I'd been training for all winter - and couldn't run it AND was in a giant clunky boot with crutches, and was working what was basically the worst job I've ever had - maybe that anyone has ever had. I decided to go to Albuquerque to visit one of my girls. I have three best girls, and they're all awesome. My friendship with each of them is different in a way that makes me whole, and there's no way I could've survived my marriage and subsequent divorce without them.
You know when you meet someone, and within 5 minutes of talking to them, you know you're friends for life? And sometimes you go three months without talking and then you call her and it's like no time has passed? That's Brynn. We met when I was living in Boston, and really only hung out a handful of times, but we're girls for life. She moved to Albuquerque and I moved back to DC, so I decided to go and visit.
We'd been casually talking about getting tattoos when we talked about the visit, and when I got there we decided to go for it. Her mom (how awesome is this?) recommended a place where we wouldn't get the clap/herp/drip/hep, we printed out what we wanted, and went. I'm so glad this is something we did together.
Now, I believe firmly that people should not get married, procreate, or get tattoos unless they feel very strongly about it. If I see one more guy at the beach with Homer Simpson pooping on his belly button, I'm going to slap him. I have beliefs that I won't force on you, and I've done some poetry writing which I also won't force on you, and e.e.cummings is one of my favorite poets. My favorite piece starts out like this:
i thank you God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
At this time, everything in my life, everything I could see, could touch, was bad. The unbearable sadness of my marriage, the frustrated fury at my injury, the cornered rage at my job, the isolation I felt around my happily-married-and-employed friends. And I decided this was the time. Because I needed to remember that, despite how painful everything was, I still need to find a way to be thankful for this day, the one I'm living now. Looking back, I can see the good things that grew out of this time - the relationships that cemented as I leaned on my friends, the swimming I never would have done if I was healthy, the new job I never would have discovered if I wasn't stumbled upon there. But at that time, I saw nothing but bleak sadness.
This is something I need to remember now. Yes, I'm struggling with injury, and yes, it's been a rough few weeks, but I have so much to be thankful for. This is a constant reminder.