I’ll go ahead and start this blog answering the questions that I’m pretty sure my friends and family would like to ask. Kim, what the hell is happening to you? Are you ok? The answer is a resounding YES. Middle age inspires people to do all sorts of things. We all have a story, and mine is now illustrated all over my body. Yes, I know they will be there forever. But, it’s my forever. I told my husband that he will be able to identify me if I go missing and my body is found months later. He wasn’t as relieved as I thought he would be.
I plan on telling my tatt stories here. That’s the INKED part. I had originally named the blog, Inked, Aging, and Educated. I’m a lit teacher; the lack of parallel structure would have plagued me. AGED sounds like cheese or a fine wine. I’ll go with the latter. But really, some of my memories are more like cheese than wine. It’s a stretch of a metaphor; I’ll pick it up later. I think I have some experiences worth sharing. Writing will force me to face some truths about myself. Maybe, it will inspire me to appreciate the choices I’ve made, even if they led me through some dark places. EDUCATED-I’ve been in school a LONG time. My undergraduate degree is in Italian. I don’t quite remember the exact reason for that choice except I got to go to Italy for a summer. Then I went to paralegal school for a year. I wanted to be an attorney..until I worked for one. I’ll leave it at that. Then I became an aerobic/yoga instructor and a personal trainer. I eventually earned my masters of early childhood education and my specialist degree in teacher leadership. Currently, I’m studying to renew my group fitness certification. I will always learn new things to get my brain synapses firing. I do know that I’m done with grad school.
I’m in a place where I’m tired of ignoring or putting off my dreams. I have to get off my rear and do something about them. Giving up is the easier option. Right? I mean, why can’t I just binge watch Netflix while playing Hidden City? Or, I can stare at my cat, Milo, and wonder what he’s thinking. I believe he’s an intellectual genius, by the way. I could continue to pretend I have Maltipoo named Lady Macbeth. (I will often refer to my fictitious dog, because she’s freaking awesome.)
I have two daughters, Serena and Violet. Serena is 25 and Violet is almost 17. Let me digress to write about Violet’s week. I can do this because she probably won’t ever read my blog. Violet is an amazing young lady; she’s smart, funny, and probably one of the most tenacious people I know. Remember the tenacious part. Anyway, Violet just started driving a few months ago. My ex-husband found a great deal on a car for her. (Yes, I am actually friends with my ex-husband, and we still parent together.) Violet also began working at Taco Bell at the end of her junior year during end of course tests, AP exams, and finals. Not the best time, but she’s all in. The other day, she came in the house upset because her car wouldn’t start. We find out that she put DIESEL FUEL in her 2004 Honda Accord. Yes, folks-DIESEL FUEL. I asked her if it was difficult getting the DIESEL pump into her gas hole thingy. She replied, “Yah it was kind of hard, but I got it to work.” NO SHIT. Tenacity can work for you or against you.
Why Tattoos? Why Now? By the time my 50th birthday came, I had a few moments of clarity and lucidity. I’ve lived my life hoping to have approval from others, and rarely ever myself. What will people think? My harsh reality is that I’ve not healed from life. The following are a few of my ugly truths, and I’m putting them out there.
BODY IMAGE ISSUES: I have body image issues because I chose to live in the land of fitness back in the 90s. The industry wasn’t kind, and I fell for all of it. I had to look a certain way to get clients, and I didn’t honor my body. In doing that, I set a horrible example for my daughters. My tattoos show my journey, and I am reminded to heal and to move through. I won’t say move on, I say MOVE THROUGH because in order to get over something, we need to move through it, stumble around, knock stuff over, and make our way out. I want a little barbell tatt to remind me to like-no LOVE what I see in the mirror. My truth: I realized that I was ashamed of how much I trained and dieted. Although it wasn’t healthy, I will stop shaming myself because that was freaking hard. I had a goal of winning a body building competition, and I did! I will stop shaming myself for the choices I made in the 90s. I’m still recovering from the thong leotards and matching bandanas. OMG! For the love, who wants to think about the 90s anyway?
ANXIETY DISORDER: This is a shout out to my husband, David. Holy hell, I can be a royal pain in the ass. He is black and white and I’m every different shade of every possible mood. Anxiety can be debilitating, not only for those who suffer from it, but for those who live with someone who has it. Navigating the labyrinth of my brain is difficult for me; I can’t imagine someone else trying to figure it out. I worry a lot. I worry about worrying too much. There will be blog to follow regarding my driving issues. My truth: My anxiety doesn’t control me. I control it. I am not a victim of my life; I am survivor of my life. I’ll devote a blog to my fairy tattoo, and why I have it, and what it means to me.
I NEED TO FINISH WHAT I START: I have an unfinished novel lying dormant in my computer. I began writing it SIXTEEN YEARS AGO. Is it good? I have no idea. Do I need to finish it? Absofreakinglutely. TRUTH: I stopped because I talked myself out of being able to finish writing a book. I wasn’t good enough. Who did I think I was? Writing a book? There’s the negative self talk that has gotten me absolutely no where. My voice of UNREASON sucks. She’s lived with me as long as I can remember, and I need her to move out. In her place, I’m thinking of a small book tattoo.
Those are just a few of my truths. My tattoos force me to stop hiding who I am. But, this is my canvas, and on it is my life art. Will people judge me? Of course they will. We all judge. But, will I judge myself? I’m trying not to. I’m sure there’s a tatt for that.