Just before Christmas my hubby took me to NYC for a few days of biz meetings and lots of play time. It was incredible weather – cold and snowy!
Strangely enough – even tho it was the holiday season – it was eerily quiet out. Seems NYC-ers use snow as an opportunity to huddle up inside so it was rather magical for us… almost like having the city to ourselves in a winter wonderland. And we loved every moment!
We wanted to explore some new areas so, coupon queen that I am, I found a Groupon for this fun sounding restaurant down in the West Village – a place we hadn’t hung out much.
Stepping out of the taxi I read the first sign I see. “MoonSheen Tattoos.” To my total shock Marcus blurts, “Wanna get your tattoo?”
I’ve wanted a certain tat for about five years. Known exactly what and where – but hadn’t taken the plunge for several reasons – including that Marc isn’t the biggest fan. Now… I know you can say, “he doesn’t have to look at it!” and that is true! But see, I kinda love him (and want him to keep kissing me) so I have been patient… well, mostly patient.
Anyway – one look at his face and I knew he was up for it so we walked right in, ignored the fact that the guy didn’t speak much English, didn’t look for health certifications or anything (but I did watch him get out a sterilized needle), and pulled up the photo I’ve carried on my iPhone for years.
I choose a symbol that means ‘strength’ to match an incredibly sentimental tat Jordan has. And I knew I wanted it on my wrist – because I want to be able to see it. It’s more for “me” than for the world to admire.
I was so giddy and excited as the artist led me to a seat in the storefront window. I sat down facing the sidewalk, watching the snow drift down, loving every moment. My favorite city, my favorite season, snow even! “I’m really doing it – finally!!!”
All the people telling me how much this area would hurt started whispering in my head. The old school voices that it was trashy or ‘wrong’ somehow. The lie that it can never be undone resurfaced. I started getting that nasty knot in my stomach and uncertainty started sticking it’s nose out…
And my old nemesis’ fear and doubt and second guessing started screaming.
I’m not strong!
I barely hold it together so much of the time.
This is a lie. What am I doing?
I’m just not strong!
Who do I think I am? Some people won’t like this.
I’m gonna regret this…
and suddenly I feel like such a loser.
I watched intently as the needle makes the first pass and I wasn’t breathing very much and kept wondering “If I stop now will it be just a dot?” when I hear a knocking sound.
I look up and there are a crowd of women standing in front of the window – they were apparently leaving one of the nearby bars and were enjoying a night on the town. As I make eye contact with the first one, I realize they are yelling. I lean in to listen and they are actually cheering. Whistle blowing, clapping, jumping up and down, giving me thumbs up – the whole nine yards. For me!
After a stunned moment, I smiled. Then I started grinning, then laughing and realized how much fun I was having! This was a moment to be celebrating not second guessing. It was not an impulse decision, it was something that had been thought out and – was truly precious and important to me.
I grinned the rest of the night. And I still have this cheesy smile when I look at my wrist.
(And if you’re wondering, yes it hurt but not as much as other “beauty procedures” we girls do regularly!)
I know I didn’t cure cancer or climb a mountain or finish a triathlon ~ but that’s ok. It was/is a big deal for me. And the fact that strangers took a few moments to cheer me on?? wow. just wow.
When was the last time I stopped to cheer a stranger on?
Besides the Bronco’s of course, but they are practically family;)
Do I look for people who need a bit of encouraging – or do I walk right by, busy with my own ‘stuff’?
Do I articulate to my family & loved ones with words and actions what they mean to me?Acknowledge their achievements? Encourage them during struggles?
It was a pretty powerful moment to be the object of unwarranted applause.
The subject of undeserved praise.
It was strange… and funny… but mostly wonderful.
A gift I did nothing to earn, but one that I want to be sure I’m passing along…
How bout you?
Wanna join a cheer squad with me?!?
Short skirts and pom poms are optional
– but a willingness to love is what makes the whole thing work.
PS: my current fav song on “strength” Sorta says it all.