One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot the last few months has been becoming comfortable in my own skin. As such I’ve decorated my skin in ways that are meaningful to me.
The first characters I learned in Mandarin, and also a reminder to always have a thankful heart. They also made up my first tattoo – 谢谢 (xie xie) – thank you. I suppose technically I should have used 感激 (gan ji) to say thankful instead, but there was something I loved about using words I had learned early on.
After that, I decided to finally get a tattoo I had long promised myself upon completeion of my first book Stolen Magic.
Last week, I added a bit of sparkly jewlery with a tiny nose stud. I have plans to replace it with something from India when I travel there next month, but for now it’s still healing.
And then today I added two new pieces. The first is something one of my favorite people in China and I designed together (she did all the artwork, I just picked the quote and talked about how much I love the mountains).
The last thing I added is one I questioned far more intensely than the others. 谢谢 had such clear meaning, and it’s placed where it only gets seen if I want you to see it. Lightning is something where I knew very clearly what I wanted because it’s a symbol from my book and I know how it will grow with further books. The compass my friend and I tweaked over the course of several months until it is perfect, and again, you’ll only ever see it if I want you to. The last one, however… it’s impossible to hide. And when I showed the original picture to a colleague he called me “edgy basic Barbie” and I facilitated about it for awhile. In the end, I seized my desire and did what I wanted without regard for being Pinterest punk or whatever silly names others might think of, and to me, that is one of the biggest signs of my growth these last few years: I did the thing that I wanted, regardless of what other people think, and that’s a great thing for me.
So over the course of a single year I’ve gone from nervous and overly concerned with what other people think, to being comfortable with decorating my permanent home the same way I decorate the temporary dwellings I make my own for the time I live there, and that is my way truly home.
I will continue to seek out the places that make my soul sing, to see the world, to do what I can to bring joy and happiness, but I’m doing it from the comfort of home.