When I’m feeling overwhelmed or stuck by what I have no control over, I get very focused on a future project. Sometimes it is simply rearranging furniture. When I’m extremely lucky it’s about a vacation, but right now it’s about my body and what I can actually control. There’s not much that we can control about our bodies, really. When you have one like mine, especially lately, you begin to feel like it’s a whole other person who is poor at communicating and just sort of hates you.
In the past I’ve written about how tattooing is a way I try to take control and love my body. I knew as soon as I decided against reconstruction that another tattoo was in my future. Not too long ago I was looking at a video about some painted flowers in a village in Poland and I thought I might do something with that idea. Then I was kicking around the idea of a tattoo in Delft blue, an idea I still like, but today it happened. Today I saw exactly what I needed to see to make a decision.
If you’re a follower of my blog, you know that I have several tattoos. I love almost every one of them. The ones I love very much are the ones I needed and knew in my heart exactly what I wanted. There’s this feeling that I get when I know it’s right. It’s almost like falling in love. I get hit with a powerful feeling in my stomach and I am instantly certain. I’ve gotten two tattoos without that feeling. I still adore all of the others, from as long as 23 years ago.
Today I got the feeling.
I spent the rest of my morning thinking. Designing. Talking with my artist. Doing a little research. I became excited. I felt happy. There were feelings I hadn’t had in a few months. Most importantly, there was hope. Today I finally felt positive about something in my future again. I wasn’t dreading how I would dress for interviews or wondering if my friends would be able to look me in the eye after knowing what I’d been through and not seeing me. I wasn’t bogged down by my medication induced hot flashes and freezing spells, the nausea or the forgetfulness. I was giggling and joyful. I was me. Today, cancer didn’t have me, and I will ride this feeling as long as I can.