I was recently asked about my lizard tattoo over on one of my Fetlife pictures, and then the other day FlaviusIulianus asked me about moving from a highly conventional, vanilla life and into the one I lead, in which I am fairly open about my poly lifestyle. His question had a different focus, but he had asked before about the change in general, and how I came to kink and poly. It seemed a perfect time to use one of the pics I have of my lizard tattoo for HNT and talk about something more substantial than how my day is. ;-)
A while ago I talked about my Kokopelli tattoo. That was actually the last tattoo I got (although perhaps not the last I will get, that is still being pondered.) My lizard is the first tattoo I ever got, and in some ways, he was the symbol of and the beginning of my entire life changing. While I think tattooing is as much about beauty (and what we perceive as beautiful), for me, my tattoos have always been about transformation as well. About owning my body, about declaring…something…to the world and to myself about who I am, about changing my self, my actual physical being, in an outside way that reflects some transformation inside of me.
A hybrid between a chameleon and a gecko, my lizard was not so much about what it was, a lizard (although that certainly played a huge part in choosing him instead of some other creature/object to adorn my body, as I have always loved lizards) but about me acknowledging my own power to do with and to use my body in any way I chose: to own myself and my body.
I had been married about 10 years at the time, and had been desperately trying to fit in to the roles I had assigned myself (and willingly accepted) when I entered the marriage. I did want to live up to my ex’s expectations, my family’s expectations, even my MIL’s. I wanted to be/want all those things that society says you are supposed to be/want.
The problem was, I didn’t. I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t all those things, and at some point I realized I never would be. I was just…me. And that “me” wasn’t the wife/mother/daughter-in-law/daughter/sister that everyone expected me to be. I was…a little off. Less than conservative, maybe even a little wild, not faithful, not dependable, and certainly not happy just being a wife and mother, having sex on Saturdays and dinner every other Sunday at the in-laws, accepting mediocre sex and ignoring what I felt for others, girls and boys. I had begun to see another way of life, had begun to talk to people who lived polyamorously and openly in their sexuality, to see that sex-and life in general-could be so much more than what I was experiencing, than what I had been convinced by my husband and society was the best it could be.
It really started the day my brother called me out of the blue, after 20 years of silence, two weeks before his sudden, unexpected death, and said to me, “I wasted all those years, now I have a second chance, and I am not going to waste another minute.” In the end, he only had two weeks. But in his death, he gave me something precious. He made me see that, in my own way, I had been doing what he done for five years: postponed living. Postponed being the person I really was while I tried to be the person I thought I should be, the person I thought I was supposed to be. I came home from Baltimore irrevocably changed, and later, maybe 6 months or a year later, when I was ready to acknowledge that change, ready to declare that change, I got my lizard tattoo.
For another kind of HNT, check out Pieces of Jade, I’ve got one up there too!
Now head on over to Osbasso’s to check out all the other HNTers!