I had an interesting discussion with someone today.
Numbered cross tattoo designed as a tribute to the most influential man in my life, my father. As Toru came to realize in Norwegian Wood "death is not the opposite, but a part of life"; I have decided to permanently imprint a tribute to my father's memory on my back. I made a promise to myself that the only ink I'll get on my body are those that I designed myself, and this one is no different. The original design was a cross with my father's favourite numbers. The tattoo artist just helped me redesign the placement of the numbers so that they will look balanced. The numbers on the cross are 6, 13, 19, 25, 27 & 34 – each of which corresponds to a birthdate and a special memory. He used to use these numbers when betting on the lottery. Even if he didn't really win with those numbers, he kept betting on them anyway. He insisted that those six were his luckiest. Only the dead stay young forever. *Also, I'm wearing a tube top on this photo. Just so you no one gets any weird ideas
She asked me, “Why do you have tattoos? Don’t you know men will judge a girl based on her appearance and that tattoo will affect one of those judgments.”
I responded that I don’t care what other people think, much less about guys who would judge me for having a tattoo. I wanted to say, right then and there, that I know guys who hardly think a girl’s tattoo matters and I’m quite sure some guys find it hot. It’s all a matter of preference.
I don't really need to explain to anyone the meaning of my tattoos and why I have them. I chose to have them and they are all special to me. I simply believe that my father deserved more than a speech at the podium when he passed away, and he certainly deserves a lot more than occasional visits and faded pictures to be remembered by. He was a really good man, and though he often thought against it, he was a really great father. I guess I'm just feeling sentimental. On another note, who knew getting a back selfie would be so difficult? Angles could be real bitches sometimes.
I didn’t get my tattoo because I wanted to please or attract guys. I got this tattoo as a tribute to my dad so, no, it doesn’t matter.
She then said that having tattoos is unnecessary and it makes the skin look dirty. I wouldn’t argue with that one because some people do have terrible tattoos with no meaning. Still, even if people say my tattoo is “dirty”, I have attached a special meaning to it, so I don’t really care what other people think.
When she came up with the argument that people will judge harshly, especially the older, more conservative folks, I just answered that those people don’t know my story and I don’t subscribe my actions to the opinions of those people. If they spend so much time talking about how wrong other people’s actions are, then they clearly need to focus more on living their own lives instead of wasting time judging other people.
When she asked, “what about conservatives like us? We were raised to behave conservatively. Just because you live in the city now, you have these ideas about the world. But we were raised to believe women have to be conservative and prudent.”
I told her, if being conservative entails being narrow-minded and judgmental, then I’m not cut out for it.
Differences in opinion are normal. It makes for good debates and discussions because, well, right or wrong is relative. I guess, the problem here is if there’s no compromise to both sides. Both sides insist on being right and have their reasons for believing so.
Still, what is important here is respect. More people should respect the thoughts, opinions, and actions of other people and try to arrive at a compromise as much as possible. There’s not a lot that could be achieved if people just keep on judging others instead.
At the very least, people have reasons behind their actions and no one should be condemned simply because they approach life a bit differently from how they or others were taught to live.
Personally, I believe life is not a matter of subscribing to anyone’s opinions of you. I think that, maybe, life is about making the most of it…regardless what other people think.
If I live my life in fear of what other people will say about me – or in the fear of failing to please anyone – then there won’t be much space left for me to love my life and just enjoy the moment.
Maybe it’s all just a matter of living life as happily as possible.
After all, we only have one life to live. If I’m going to truly live it, shouldn’t it be according to the best life story I want it to be?