I have now had my butterfly tattoo a little over a year. I spent many hours looking for the perfect butterfly for my body art. The colors had to be just right. I had a picture and a feeling in my mind for how it would be positioned. I was determined that it be visible to me easily. Not hidden away on my back or my leg. I needed to have it before me as a reminder of all it symbolized.
I realize that it is unusual for a grown woman of my age to get something inked into her skin. Especially me. I am not a rocker, a former hippy or an edgy trendsetter. I am just me. But I am MORE me than I have ever been and this beautiful, colorful tattoo is all about me being free.
The varied reactions from people in my life who were introduced to it are on my mind today. Most responses were joyful and congratulatory. Some people touched it because they were sure it was a sticker. (In my opinion, someone of my age wearing a colorful sticker is stranger than a tattoo! Ha!)
It was pretty fun to see the look of shock that appeared on a few faces. I have never wanted to shock people before. I have been more of an under the radar kind of lady. But this was great because it was real and honest and I did not do it for anyone else.
Today I was thinking about one of the semi-negative remarks that it brought me. The person’s first remark after my joyful presentation was that it sure will look bad when I am old and wrinkled. They asked if I was worried about that.
It is now one year later and even if I wrinkle the skin up around it, I know I will always smile when I see it. When I am in my 80’s or 90’s my butterfly tattoo will clearly not look like it does now. But it will be like an old friend that reminds me of our special secret past.
I once had a wonderful fluffy hotel-style white bathrobe that I adored. I loved it for so many years that I did not see that it was wearing out. It had ripped sleeves and random holes from so many bleach washings to keep it white. When I looked at my bathrobe I only saw it’s wonderful, cozy comfort. When I grabbed it in the early mornings of winter I only saw it’s beauty. My eyes told me it was as gorgeous as the Christmas it was given to me by my Husband.
Suddenly one morning I had to admit that it was done with it’s job and it became rags for the ragbag. (My good friend Joyce lovingly replaced it not long after because she heard me grieving for it. Ha!)
I do not think I will ever see this butterfly as old and ugly. But, like a loving couple that has been married for a lifetime, I will always see the beauty first. I will not see the wrinkles or age spots. In my eyes it will always bring me back to a wonderful season of learning how to fly.