To steal a phrase from John Mayer.
Today at work, I spent the afternoon looking at pictures of people’s tattoos online. I have a really cool one on my right foot — Psalm 46:10 in my grandmother’s handwriting — but I’ve been itching to get another one. As I saw some really beautiful tattoos, and some really terrible ones too of course (why would you tattoo your own name on yourself!?), I couldn’t help but want something totally badass. It was that moment that I felt like I’d settled into some kind of cookie cutter. I don’t really think that, but at that moment…I wasn’t sure.
Maybe I would be destined for mini-vans and always wearing shoes so the other moms at play-group wouldn’t see my tattoo. Deep inside, I know that’s not me at all. I am not destined for any kind of boring normality. But I can’t help but wonder what I’d look like at 40 covered (at least a little bit) in tattoos. Would I be excluded from any jobs I might want to pursue? What would my boyfriend’s parents think? Isn’t growing up and becoming normal what people do?
I just can’t own a mini-van. Ever.
I soon found myself looking back (from the ripe ol’ age of 22) on my earlier days of crazy hair colors and earrings spanning the entirety of both my ears. Not that I feel the need to be-jewel my ears again or dye my hair pink again. I think I’ve matured at least somewhat past the “I must look a certain way to be cool” stage.
But really, do any of us really get over that? I’m just saying. We all dress the way we do for a reason. Because we like it, cool or not. We choose to present ourselves the way we do to make whatever statement we want to make.
I digress. You can go back in time and un-read those last two paragraphs if you’d like.
It was this whole issue, or at least my tiny mention of it this afternoon, that prompted Elliot to diagnose me with a quarter-life crisis. And…I think he’s right. I am in this very unsettling stage where I feel like I should have more things figured out. I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t always know why I say or do the things I am saying or doing. I am lazy. I have an unreasonable desire to purchase a sportscar… No scratch that–that’s the mid-life crisis–but I am just itching for a new tattoo. And a path.
Recently some things fell into place in my brain. If I can get a job that will actually pay me enough to only work that one job, I can actually have time to practice and play music. Friends, this is big. I am falling so head over heels for the So and So’s (my church band), for that feeling of connection and art and music–not just the sound but the spirit–ugh, I want to do it more. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “Man, too bad I didn’t get a degree I can use for a job. Why don’t I like anything enough to do it for a job?” And then I have moments playing music, spontaneous “One clap…two claps” erupting from the congregation that I think “Yes. Yes, this is it. This is it.“
So, step one: Real job. Step two: BAND. Practicing, writing, honing, disciplining, playing.