Professionally speaking I must consider every action, my words are carefully calculated and my decisions are timed in general accordance with boosting the bottom line.
Personally however I live life on the edge. I make most of my decisions on the fly. I tornado into situations I probably shouldn’t, trapeze over pending doom without a blink and stumble into society with enough sarcasm sprinkled swear words to start a whole new language. That may be a slight exaggeration but you get the point.
While I look like a successfully employed woman, under my corporate skin is a delicately flawed masterpiece.
I love tattoos, I love the statement and sentiment and the art. I love how personal each is, how much goes into each and the emotion behind each story.
I love everything about them. Except the stigma in today’s professional environment.
This is an art form, in most cases well considered and powerfully meaningful.
Historically people from all walks of life have been adorned with permanent ink. Royalty, warriors, sportsmen and poets. Ancestors of all nationalities, ages, and trades.
I am working on some new large pieces right now which speak to my soul. I also have several smaller works on my body, all of which I can easily cover. I am ready to cover for any situation which it is socially expected for me to do so. However, the temptation is great to get “just a little one” where it is easily visible in daily life. More visible than the ones already outside of the confines of my basic wardrobe. Just a little larger than the tiny open heart behind my ear, a little more obvious than the roman numerals of my wedding date across my foot.
Something a little more daring, a little more bold.
A bit more of a middle finger to the corporate world. A little declaration of my independence, a tiny flag flying in the face of conformity.
The love of my life for instance made a choice, much earlier than the choice to love me, to get a tattoo in a highly visible area. An ink stain handicap if you will – which is all society cares to see. It sits there defiantly on her hand just waiting to tell her truth, her unique story.
She is kind and smart and strong. She is a hard worker and a team player. She is articulate and personable.
Regardless of all of these things – in a corporate world she is simply a highly visible tattoo.
A closed door.
A rejection notice.
A “no” for any career with appearance requirements.
My desire to be unique, to express myself as an individual is stifled. Should I chose to follow my urge to expand my tattoo canvas I am a rebel. Not in such a way to be recognized as an individual but lumped together with real hardened societal taboos. The kind of harmful, dark and immoral sort of rejects you are kept safe from in your daily life.
Regardless of my offerings, talents and contributions, to be permanently inked in visible space is to reduce my chances of professional growth. Reduced chances by immeasurable calculations over the lifetime of my career. Considering I am forever from retirement and have a half life yet to live I must tread a little more carefully.
I have to be very mindful not to make one of my impromptu life decisions which can not be easily reversed. My brain barely wraps around this rationalization and I must continually remind myself I would like to someday afford to retire to a beach. Painted toes in the sand and faded tattoos telling tales of my youth, the arrogance that comes with it and the love that compelled me to get them in the first place.
Until then I will wrap my art, continue on with my 9-5 and dream of the day when I can be free. I will display my inked skin without fear or rejection.
I will still be a rebel when I’m finished here, just on slightly different adventure with a few more tattoos and a way better tan.