The price of habit

When I started getting my tattoos I knew the judgement I would face by people still living in cardboard boxes. Why do you get them? You look like a criminal. You’re being stupid. Why would you ruin your body, etc etc etc. We’ve all established by now that I don’t really care about what other people think and continue to get tattoos whenever I can. Tattoos are my thing, those closest to me have learnt to deal with it.

The latest comment that has been made to me by various people is ‘How do I afford to go for tattoos?’. I feel criticized by others for choosing to spend my money on permanent body modification instead of what exactly?

While other people spend money on clothing, shoes, jewelry and other non valuable items, I am saving the money for my next tattoo. Do not judge me for spending money on myself. It is my money, my body and at no time do my decisions negatively impact anyone else. No tattoo has ever taken food out of the mouths of children, at no time has my ink gotten me evicted and never has a new piece costed my children the comfort and lifestyle that they are used to. Instead of splurging money on items that are worthless and eventually require replacing, I choose to spoil and reward myself with more ink. It’s just what I do…

If you are a fellow tattoo enthusiast who has undergone the same scrutiny, how do you choose to handle it?

If you are one of those judging my / our decisions for how we choose to spend our money and why, remember that when your Hugo Boss runs out, your diamond ring goes down the drain, you crash your BMW or your fur coat burns in a flash fire, I will still have my tattoos. I am not choosing to spend my money on a crack cocaine addiction or alcohol consumption or unnecessary extras, instead a healthy habit that makes me happy.

I pay for my tattoos to last a lifetime.

An author by blood

I remember changing my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up, thousands of times.

At a time I was convinced, like every other 7 year old girl, that I was going to be a teacher. Later, I decided that teaching wasn’t for me and instead I’d choose to spend 8 hours a day on my feet another way, as a hair dresser. In high school I had specifically chosen my Grade 10 subjects for the purpose of marine biology and by the time I got to matric, I considered Biology just another learning subject and instead focused my energy into Geography in preparation for my future as an air stewardess. Sometime in between, I knew I was going to be a singer with a penchant for fashion design while presenting my own tv show.

I never went into any of the above careers in the end. I studied Travel & Tourism after which I was employed as a receptionist and later went on to become a travel consultant where I have been ever since. Since working, I applied to the Institute of Sexology and was accepted and also considered a career as a tattoo shop manageress.

No matter the indecision, one truth has always remained constant. My words.

Ask any writer why they write… Some will answer you that they do so for reaction. Some writers write for fun. Sometimes a writer has to write for money. He may just write for laughs. I am certain however that every writer will tell you they write because they have to.

When I am not able to write I imagine myself as a pressure cooker… Only it isn’t steam screaming from the lid, it’s letters and words and sentences. I need to write for release. I need to write for you to better understand who I am. I need to write as an escapism. I just need to write. The beauty of writing is that no matter the career I chose, writing never left me. I have never professed to be an amazing writer, though so have told me that I am, they’re not the reason I write. The truth is that I write for me. Whether you like it, or you don’t. I know that I write for the right reasons, more so when I re read old pieces of writing and still give myself goose flesh.

This is the beauty of writing in the 21st century. Social networking allows everyone to be a writer. You can write to a 143 character restriction in a status update or type up a 1000 word blog if you can find anyone willing to read it. No matter where you are or what implements are at your disposal, you can write. You can write and whatever you choose to write can be read almost immediately. The possibilities are endless… The status updates plentiful… The blogs diverse.

I now say that my dream job is to write. To spend all day penning to paper (or the digital equivalent thereof) and have people want to read what I write, interested to hear what I have to say. Anxious to read more at every opportunity. I don’t write as a profession, I believe the pay isn’t too good… But then again, what brilliant author wasn’t a starving noob at some point? I do write wherever I can. Wherever I can. However I can. I write because I have to and will continue to do so until somebody notices… Maybe what I say is or isn’t relevant to you and maybe what I write isn’t worth a paycheck but I am ok with that, I keep on, because I must.

One day I hope to be writing articles for a magazine / newspaper. I hope to have thousands of followers on my blogs, hundreds of fans across social media and a book in every second hand book store.

I’m still that young girl who didn’t know what she wanted to be, who ended up being someone she never dreamed she’d be, writing about everything she never forgot she hoped to be.

Miss Understood.