Last week something important and, in a way, life-changing happened. I’d been planning on this for quite a while. I’d always wanted to do it, but I never really had the guts. Or maybe I was just lacking inspiration to deal with it any further. Until Christmas, when the boyfriend surprised me with the most amazing and, for me, totally unexpected present of – a tattoo voucher. He knew how much I wanted to have one because I kept talking about it whenever I saw someone with permanent ink on their skin walking by. I was SO excited! I went to the website of the studio he’d picked to take a look at the works of their artists – and I immediately knew who I wanted to make my tattoo. There was a girl which had done really amazing work, not just the average tattoo you can find on so many other people, but something that looked unique and had a style that was exactly my taste. Check!
Next up I needed to find my design. I wanted to have a design that meand something to me. That reflects a piece of myself. I wanted a piece of art to stay with me forever, not just something I picked on a whim. For the longest time, I was thinking of getting a tiny tattoo on my wrist. Something along the lines of “Believe” or something. Because that’s what I am. A believer. But I could instantly name at least 3 people I know who have something like that. And I didn’t want to be one of them. Then, one day in March, I came across what I’d been looking for. A picture by Jason Byron Nelson that had always spoken to me whenever I saw it. A girl that’s holding a gun to her head and the blood that drips from her wound is morphing into butterflies flying away. I just wanted to have the blood (or something similar) and the butterflies. So badly. I found it reflected so many times I’ve gone through in my life. Which were tough. And painful. But in the end lead to something beautiful. In fact, I think it’s a great metaphor for life in general. There’s good times and there’s bad times. The latter leave their traces on us, but they can’t stop us from letting the former dominate.
So I found my piece of art and went to the studio to make an appointment. May 7th was the day I was supposed to get inked. And that day came quicker than I thought. Suddenly it was time to head to the studio. I was pretty nervous. Not so much about the pain, but about the way it was gonna turn out. Something that was going to stick with me forever. I think that’s definitely something to be a little nervous about. I was glad the boyfriend came with me. And even more glad that the tattoo artist turned out to be as amazing as I thought she would be. She really took the time to work out the design with me. After a while I had a tattoo drawn on my arm and was ready to get it inked. My dream of getting a small tattoo on my wrist turned out to be a colourful painting stretching from my lower arm to my upper arm in the end. It is also pretty different from the original. We just took it as an example and developed it into something really unique. And I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I always knew I wanted to have a tattoo to show a piece of myself. My view on life. I also wanted something to be noticed by people. But also something I could hide from those who shouldn’t see this side of me. And that’s exactly what I got. Just like the message of said painting, I had to go through 4,5 hours of pain which was sometimes more, sometimes less bearable. And in the end, something beautiful was born.
It took me quite a few days to realize that I’ve really done it. That this picture is now going to stick with me forever. I have to giggle everytime I look at it. I know some people think I’m crazy (either in a good or a bad way) because I picked a fairly big tattoo for a first-timer. But it’s perfect to me. It’s a dream come true and I couldn’t be happier about it. Just look at it!!!
I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. Especially when I was in London for work a few weeks ago. Almost exactly one year after I’d been there for a little holiday over Easter. It had just been a week or 2 after I’d been at home for a week because of all the stress at work and the pressure I’d put on myself. I was having a hard time enjoying my time in London back then. What had happened was still affecting me. I couldn’t believe something like that had happened to me, I didn’t understand it all in its enirety yet. And I still had to fight with the aftereffects. Months and months after that.
One year later I was back in London and the work situation was pretty similar to the one of the previous year. Lots of work, lots of responsibility and so little time. There were and are times where I feel under pressure. And it’s not the easiest thing to calm myself down when this happens. There’s always the fear that the panic attacks might come back. They have been flaring up here and there in extremely stressfuls situations. But I’ve learned how to breathe them away and it usually works. The difference this year is that I’m aware of all this. I know the triggers and I know how to handle them. And I do talk about it with the boyfriend and even my boss when I need to. After I came back from London, having worked almost 70 hours that week and only half a day off before the new work week started, I asked to work from home for a day. I knew I needed that rest. The old me would’ve dragged herself to work. So yeah, even though it might just be little things I’m very proud of the way I’m dealing with it.
I know this is a phase and less stressful times will come sooner or later. This situation at work right now is a challenge and one I want to take on. I know this will move me a lot further in my career, it’s a chance to learn and show what I’m capable of. I’m not a real career person, but when a challenge like this comes along I take it. And that’s another difference I’ve noticed compared to last year. Back then I didn’t want to be in that job anymore. Much later I realized this was basically just due to a superior and the way she was treating me. Ever since I stopped working with her, things have changed for the better. So attitude towards your jobs plays a huge role. I wasn’t really aware of that back then. At least not that much. But things have suddenly become so much easier since I’ve decided I wanted to be there. I wanted to identify myself with that job again. I don’t see myself doing this job for the rest of my life. And of course I wish it would leave me a little more time for my real dreams and passions right now. I’ve been neglecting music big time over the past few months and we’re just starting to get back into it. But in a way this job makes it possible for me to pursue these things. It gives me financial freedom. We’ve recently moved into our dream apartment which wouldn’t have been possible if we both didn’t have well paying jobs. We’re going on holiday in Japan this fall. And we’re able to finance a rehearsing room and music equipment (and every musician knows that you can spend a fortune on stuff like that). And we’re making plans for a future together.
A year ago I only saw my job as a burden and a hindrance to pursueing my dreams. When it actually does help me to get closer to them in a way. And it feels good to be aware of that. Especially during tough times like these.
As I promised a while ago, I wanted to make a special post for the final day of March’s photo challenge. I do realize it’s May already and to be honest I have no idea how we got there. But since I still wanted to share the pictures I (and to be precise, the boyfriend as well) took on that day, here you go!
The task of the day was to take 9 pictures throughout the day. I actually intended to document my day, but since it was a working day, there actually wouldn’t have been many interesting things to show. And to be honest, while working I just forgot about it. BUT! I had planned something special for that evening, so I decided to document that instead. And thanks to the boyfriend’s new DSLR we took some amazing pictures. We went to Luminale which is a “light festival” in Frankfurt meaning there are light installations all around the city. It’s a lot of fun to wander around and explore all the different sites, but there are far too many to see them all. This year, we went to Palmengarten, a botanical garden, and went for a stroll. It was a beautiful spring day which made it the perfect evening activity. I hope you enjoy the pictures. And make sure to visit Luminale if you’re ever in town when it’s on!