I didn't buy a Corvette, but I did get a tattoo

WARNING: This post is not suitable for family eyes. Read at your own risk. And I'll deny everything if you try to bring it up to me later.

Exact replica of my Celtic thistle pendant.

I am a marked woman.

I lost my shit completely while in San Francisco. My bubble burst and I realized just how unhappy I really am. For months I've been doing my best to keep the truth at bay, until one January day, while walking in the Musical Concorde in Golden Gate Park with sweet, rosy-cheeked Hollis surrounded by all the towering eucalyptus trees I love, I was hit in the gut by the truth I could no longer escape.

I'm seriously miserable.

Nothing in my life right now is going the way I want it to.

I feel trapped.

I fought tears and tried not to screw up my face as passersby ticked past one after another. Crying in public is just so dramatic and always pulls up memories of a really bad Danielle Steele novel for me except I doubt anyone would think I was the most beautiful woman in the world. I would just look like a woman pushing a stroller who was sad and defeated. And honestly, I guess that's ok. Life happens all around us and sometimes it goes outside the lines where everyone can see it. Fuck it, right?

On my way back to the apartment I resolved to talk to Anthony about it and as soon as we had a private moment we dove in. On and on into the night we talked. Red wine, a glowing TV screen, navy blue couch, tears, anger, buses roaring past, voices rising outside below the windows. Of course nothing was resolved, but I felt a thousand pounds lighter. I had finally admitted the truth of my feelings.

The next day I felt like commemorating this time in my life. It is one of great emotional upheaval, a reawakening of sorts to the strength inside of me: I have the right to pursue happiness. I have the right to be me. And I have the innate strength to pursue both.

Hence, the tattoo (a far better cry than buying a Corvette, if you ask me).

Every time I see it I am reminded of the promise to myself to be strong, be true, and to be happy. That I am lovable just the way I am, faults and ugliness and challenges included. I think I had forgotten that over the years.

I have a loving family and a sensitive, intelligent partner. I will get through this.

What are your reminders to be true? Did you get tattooed? Is it a photo you've framed? I'd like to know what others do.


  1. Sad to read that you are unhappy, but good that you've accepted that, and are doing something about it. As you say, at least you have your son and husband with you for support. I think you use your blog in a similar way to how I use mine - to get stuff out that you find hard to talk about in real life. It's good to have an outlet.

  2. Wow. What a cool way to remind yourself of those things. I like it.

  3. Oh wait. Now I see the pic. Very cool!

  4. You WILL get throught this! You are honest and open about your feelings, and that is SO SO important. Good for you Jessica. It's a step. In the right direction. And you have constant reminder now, in case you ever forget.

  5. This is really fucking hard sometimes (I can swear, right, because you did :-) Good for you for just keeping going. Whatever you have to do to remind yourself to think of your self and be present.

  6. Way to go on working toward happiness - just saying out loud and sharing all the frustration and concerns with your partner will hopefully be a good start. It is not easy being unhappy and so hard when you hold the misery close inside your chest. I think it makes it ten times worse. And cool tattoo - especially with the signficance of it!

  7. I don't think I have any physical reminders to be true. I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I've been going through some stuff too and funnily enough I've been thinking of getting another tattoo...but they're not related.

    I think it's cool that your tattoo is of something important to you. Mine is just a random pic that I thought was pretty. That's one of the reasons I've been wanting to get a second one. I'd like it to mean something this time.

  8. So sorry you're down; hope it's a temporary state.

  9. I don't think that I have any physical reminders. I do have some literal stones that are what my mother would call 'power stones'. They fit into my hand just so, and somehow holding them makes me feel better. That, and my husband, who in spite of his various inevitable faults is 15 kinds of awesome, and amazingly supportive.

    I love the tattoo, and I hope that you find your happiness.

  10. Oh sweetie pie, I am sorry you are going through this. Especially so because as you know, I have been going through something similar myself.

    I'm starting to come out of it, but the work is far but over.

    But as you said, just admitting our feelings, confronting them head on, and resolve to treat ourselves better and find out bliss is a the first step.

    Here's to both of us finding our way, our happiness and the life we deserve!

  11. I'm sorry I haven't been around to lend support. It seems many of us are in the midst of the winter of our discontent (mine seems to be going on year three, but I'm working on that).

    I love that your tattoo is in a place where you will see it every day and give you a daily dose of spiritual strength.

    I have one of Wilson from CastAway on my ankle -- for those times when I find myself lost and alone, it reminds me I am my own best company and that I can get myself off of any island.

  12. hmmm...3rd tattoo i've seen today in that location! definitely a place of strength.

    i have jewelry that does it for me. interestingly, one piece is an infinity heart that was given to me by my ex...but, hell, i told her to buy it for me, so i've reclaimed it! i've made it all gemmy and wire wrapped, and somehow it just helps me to rise above the crap. i think it means so much because it was given to me at time in my life that was similar to what you describe. a time in my life where i started making some big decisions, and quickly began creating a life that was more amazing than i ever thought possible.

  13. I think it must be comforting to have that symbol you can look at when you need a little boost on a bad day. You've inspired me to see if I can find something that can do the same for me.

  14. When I was offered a job I was not sure I wanted to accept (political and energy draining but paid well) I bought myself an overpriced necklace (could afford it when I took the job!) that is an obscure roman symbol of a bird flying out of a cage with latin on it that roughly translates... "Hurt me and I will fly away" Strange but that necklace helped with the job, strength to walk away from my marriage (a good thing), and walk down a different path. I can't say why a necklace could do this, a flimsy piece of silver, but it could. Probably because I believed it could.
    I am too old for a tattoo, but dang, that is a good idea.