“You came back for me”

I can’t say I’ve served my purpose, because if I had, I feel like you would have gotten more from me; like we would have given more to each other.  Maybe even still now, had I been any good at it from the start, or at any point along the way.

I can’t say I’ve done my best, because I’m not sure that’s at all true.  But it is what it is, I guess.

I can say thank you; for the opportunity, and more.  For everything.  Though I doubt I’ll say anything, to be honest.  Saying has never really been my thing, after all.

Know that you are more than your labels.  We all are.  It’s just easier to forget, most of the time.

In other news, two people who barely know me, and on separate occasions, remarked about how much weight I seem to have lost.  Bless.  Summer is days away, guys.  What I’ve lost is 47 layers of bulky clothing.

But thanks.  Your attention is sometimes appreciated, even now.

 

Tattoo Talk

I think I’ve decided on my next tattoo. Possibly my next two, as both are on the smaller – and thus more affordable – side. Logic tells me to wait until at least the end of summer, so that I can worry less about preventing early fading in the sun, and put finances toward other things coming up in the meantime.

But I’m also not really the patient type.

The first one feels pretty perfect, and that makes it harder to wait for, too. All of my tattoos thus far have been pretty personal, and these next ones are no different. The second one is becoming more and more perfect the more I think about it, too; a combination of two things that actually go together in ways I only just considered this morning as it all fell into place. I’m even thinking of getting one of my favoUrite people to sketch it for me, since there’s already a part of her in it, as well. It’d be amazing to have that extra little personal touch added in. Trust me, guys – I won’t go into detail right now, but it’s a pretty amazing idea, and very me. It would be the tattoo that’s most from inside me, actually. Only slightly more personal than the wee Kate one I just got. I’m ridiculously excited for it.

Which makes it even harder to wait. I mean, seriously, I should probably get one now-ish, and then get the other at the end of the summer, right? Haha

So little patience. For some things, anyway. For others, I seem to have a lot. I remember when I was young I built a house of cards, and my mom said something about how it had taken a lot of patience for me to sit there and move slowly enough that I didn’t spill the whole thing over a bunch of times while trying to build it. I think that was more a zone-out scenario than a patience one, though. Sometimes I just like to empty my mind and perform some small task, usually involving my hands. I like doing dishes, for example. I like making things clean and shiny – especially knives (so shiny), but even more I like the process. It requires almost no thought, and is kind of comforting, in a way. It’s like a reset sometimes.

Not sure what it is about tattoos that keeps me coming back, my mind always turning on the next way to display another small part of myself to the world. Or, actually, not the world so much as my own self. So far all of my ink is easily visible, and the next two will be as well (I of course already know where they will each go). And I love being able to see them. I love going about my day and catching a glimpse unexpectedly, or purposefully looking at them just because it makes me feel so happy when I do. Like a little momentary break from the routine – some longer than others, naturally.

I once tried to describe them as being something I thought was beautiful, and that they are a part of me. So I think parts of me are beautiful now, where I never really did before. Each one is deeply personal, and all capture some part of my personality or identity or…some other word that I can’t quite think of… The ones I have so far honour relationships that changed me and caused me to grow in particular ways, and at the same time honour the qualities in me that I like, which also grew out of those relationships. In essence, they are little parts of myself that I actually like and wish to hold on to. They are things about me that I think are beautiful.

Besides, if my greatest concern when I am older is the appearance of my tattoos, then I’ll call that a huge win. I am okay with them lasting the rest of my life.

The next two – if I stick to that same order – will be just as personal, and honour just as much truth and growth and identity as the rest. Maybe even more, in the one case.

It seems, too, like every time I get one, I’m already planning the next in my mind. And so far the one I thought I’d get first, is still being shoved further back in line, in favour of the ones that are more expressive of who I am; the ones which serve to remind me of something I don’t wish to ever forget. I’m not even sure if I’ll ever actually get that first one, but if I do, it’ll be after the other ones. I’m still saving the spot for it, though, just in case.

My real first one ended up being Hudson the polar bear I love, because of how knowing him changed the way I look at non-humans and thus how I relate to the world around me. I always got a little rush – a quickening of the heart – whenever I looked at him, and I feel the exact same when I look at this piece on my shoulder. He watches my back, and stands guard over the xoAly tag of my friend, Alysia. She actually was helping me plan the Hudson tattoo before she passed away, and I feel like that happened right as our friendship took a turn toward being even closer than we already were. We’d just started to go from being work friends to actual friends, I think, and while I think all of us who knew her will always feel despairingly robbed, our brief friendship changed me for the better, and I’m honoured to carry her with me always.

My second one that I just got a few weeks ago is to honour my cat, Kate. She was the first pet I had as an adult; the first who was my responsibility alone. We went through a lot together, and I’ll always wish she could know what it’s like to have me as her person now, because I didn’t know anything then and we learned as we went. She’d be crazy spoiled now, even more than she was. There’s a lot I would have done differently if I could go back.

But regardless, Kate was the one who made me a mom, and she will always be my most special girl. A mini-Kate now sits on my forearm, one wee paw reaching up toward me, as she always did. My girl. ❤

The next two will both have a couple of different levels in their meanings, but the second one, especially. If I can get it to work out the way I want it to, a simple little design will hold SO MUCH of my story inside of it. Even the location I’ve chosen for it; it all just fits. I can’t wait.

Let’s see what happens!

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Ink Addiction

Totally running on fumes today, guys! Haha

However, it’s Friday, and while I have a ton to do over the weekend, it’s still the weekend, and on some level I have to believe that it’ll hold some sort of rejuvenation. I mean, time with critters alone is always time well spent.

I’ve been thinking about my next tattoo, which is ridiculous, because this most recent one is still healing. On the surface, it looks mostly healed, but still itches quite often, so I guess it’s still working on itself. Of the two that I now have, it’s definitely the more spontaneous. A conversation one night with a friend led to booking the appointment mere weeks later. My first tattoo is much bigger, and was a good year or more in the planning. I’d actually started off with a completely different idea that was on my mind for a couple of years, or so, and then made a joke one day that suddenly seemed like a perfect idea, and so changed the whole concept and waited until I knew for certain how I wanted it to look before booking the consultation.

Even at that point, talking to the artist, the flaws in my idea were pointed out to me and upon further discussion, we worked out the final piece together. I don’t think either of us expected it would turn out as beautifully as it did, either, so it was pretty much a perfect first experience for me!

After that, I still had my original concept on my mind, but also was struck by another idea, one which was again more personal. It was related in part to my first novel, and in part to Brody’s person/my close friend, who passed away. She is incorporated into my first piece a little bit, too, but the focal point is definitely the bear who changed me. For what I thought would be the second piece, she would again have a slight presence, but the focus would be on an image from my book.

That one, of course, has also not happened yet, so now I have two tattoos and two other designs in mind…and a vague notion floating around in my mind for another. This one would be small, too, I think, because I can afford those more easily. Sometimes I get impatient, after all! I don’t usually decide on a location for it until I have a fairly clear idea of what it’ll look like, and in my mind I am still reserving the spots I wanted to put the other two designs, but my other problem is really that I want to be able to look at my tattoos whenever I want. They end up being something I love, and because they are on me, then there’s a part of me that I love, which wasn’t the case before. So now I am more obsessed than ever, not only about getting more ink done, but also about thinking of things that will fit in places that I can see pretty much any time.

Which is ironic, because the first design idea I had was planned – and is still planned – to go on my shoulder blade. It’s an area I not only can’t see great, but would also require tricky aftercare for someone who lives alone. Still, though, it feels right there, so that’s where it will go if I ever get it done.

In the meantime, though, I’ve got this vague idea, and combined with a hankering for more, it’ll be interesting to see how things go over the next while. So ridiculous. Yet one of the prettiest addictions ever, really.

In unrelated news (I assume it’s unrelated, anyway), I keep getting this phantom burning sensation on my forearm, almost opposite where the newest tattoo is. I think it might be an MS thing…phantom burning. Will have to Google that and see if anyone else has similar sensations.

Oh MS, you do keep us on our toes, figuratively speaking, don’t you? Always an adventure.

Edit: Burning sensations is a completely common symptom of MS. Illnesses (like the cold I’m finally getting over), not getting enough rest (like me all the time lately), and overheating (which is coming up during the summer) can all cause such sensory symptoms to crop up.

So, no surprise at all, really!

On Making Friends

Guys, I don’t feel good!

My skin hurts, I can’t breathe, my sinuses itch (along with my ears and throat) and my body aches. Pretty sure I’m rocking a fever, though very low-grade, so it’s okay. So tired, and have another late night tonight.

BUT it’s Gala 2 of the Canadian Screen Awards, and I gotta say – I’m pretty excited for it! It’s always more fun than night 1, but also more low-key than the big broadcast gala, because that bad boy is televised, and so everyone gets away with much less than the non-televised event. I am definitely looking forward to tonight and Sunday, regardless of how sick I may or may not feel by then.

Also, today a friend I haven’t seen in years stopped in to pick up a mic for her new camera! She messaged me on Facebook to see if I even still worked here – that’s how long it’s been! I gave her my number and told me to text when she got here and I’d run up to say hi. She did, and I did, and I stayed to watch the transaction take place because I have very little idea of how to use the new system to create a new customer and process a credit card transaction, etc. So I actually learned something, AND got to catch up a bit with an old friend!

Turns out she’s getting into something similar to what Tim and I do, so I think I want to try and bring her into the studio sometimes when we need an op to monitor the sound and switch between cameras. We need more operators available than just our one poor go-to guy!

It’s kind of weird how, like – before the internet, I wrote letters – and sometimes even used the phone, though I don’t like the phone at all – to keep in touch with people. If we lived near one another, we’d even hang out in person on occasion (or daily, in University). Then came the internet and I found I was all about email. I loved being able to sit in the same room with someone and have secret conversations via email instead of out loud. I liked, too, being able to tell when they’d read it, based on their reactions!

I didn’t get my first cell phone until 2003, and that was largely because I was angry at my ex. It was a little thing, but bulky, and didn’t have camera functions or anything fancy. I used it to talk on sometimes, but that’s when I realized how much I prefer texting, and I have to say – I haven’t looked back! Pretty much all I do now is text or email or what-have-you. I mean, I have a smartphone now, so I can do way more than I could on that first little phone. But compared to what my current phone is actually capable of, and what I usually use it for…vast difference.

Lara, the friend who dropped in today, has been in my life for almost as long as I’ve been in Toronto, give or take a year or so. I had email when we met, but no cell phone. I even carried around a little mini phone/address book thingy to keep track of contact info so I wouldn’t lose anybody.

I carry around a lot of stuff, actually. In case I need it sometime.

Anyway, so Lara and I live in the same city, but we’ve both left for long-ish periods of time, so that’s likely contributed to why we lost touch. Also we don’t hang around in the same circles anymore. I don’t think it’s a case of “you make time for the people you want to see” things, because it’s not really an issue of being too busy. I think it’s because we both know we don’t have to. Our friendship is so easy and low-maintenance that we can go several years without even really talking to one another, and yet she can drop by my work and suddenly it’s like no time has passed. We’ve caught up in five minutes and are already making each other laugh!

I mean, we keep semi-track of one another on Facebook, of course, but not on a regular basis. We just will see something turn up in our feeds and like or comment and move along with our daily lives.

Not because we have to, not because we want to, but because we can. Because we both know that the other is there, no matter what.

Though, after Alysia died, I stopped seeing people as anything other than temporary. Not like in a mortality way, because I’m aware that we’re all going to go sometime. But more in a time is precious kind of way. I tell people I love them way more often now, for example.

I wonder sometimes if friendships formed largely online will last as long or be as stable as the ones we forged in more organic and personal ways. It’s much easier to maintain more friendships via online interactions and social media, but only time will tell if the setting and method of friendshipping will end up having made a difference.

Will we find we are more connected to one another? Or less?