(3 min read)
One week before leaving Brazil I was standing in front of the bathroom’s mirror after taking a shower.
“My clavicles are really cool. I could totally tattoo something on them.”
Out of this spontaneity, I wandered a bit and decided to tattoo a cobra. Not exactly on my clavicle, as it wouldn’t look so nice there.
I thought about 3 reasons to do it:
The Gadsden Flag doesn’t only represent my love for liberty in a philosophical, political, or economic sense. The motto “don’t tread on me” also applies to everything else – people, religion, and any bad situations life throws my way. Ultimately, I’m the creator of my future and I won’t let anyone or anything tread on me.
Besides the flag, I wanted to justify the decision of a snake, so I reflected on their shedding. They change a huge part of them (their skin), only keeping their essence (their species) from time to time. I wanted to feel free to do that too. Kill my last self and move on to a better one, keeping only my purpose. No regrets or bad feelings, only gratitude and joy for knowing that I’m evolving.
I’ve always liked tattoos. I also find mosaic/psychedelic visuals amazing, so when I found this type of images, I knew I wanted something similar. Also, cobras stand in a better position than rattlesnakes, so I changed the species.
It was very hard to synchronize my breath with the needle, so some of the triangles ended up not well aligned. Although I liked the end product, I’m planning on making it darker and fixing some of these triangles now that I’m here in SF.
When people asked me the reason, I’d answer with a mix of the reasons I mentioned, but I was never satisfied with it. It felt like I was missing something.
3 weeks later, I realized something: instead of being inspired and empowered by my decision, my tattoo had a subconscious negative connotation. It was reminding me of something I wasn’t doing. I didn’t like my past self, I just wanted to kill it and move on to a better version. But I wasn’t accomplishing that, what was arising a feeling of guilt.
After I moved to the US and started to live what I had been preparing for, this feeling and connotation disappeared.
But I think the underlying meaning is this: I made it to feel that I can be whoever I want to be. I often try to fit, to label myself into stereotypes. But I can be hardworking, nerd, introverted and all that (that sometimes I may not be very fond of), while I still can be socially intelligent/confident, and enjoy to party and chill.
I also realized that shedding isn’t instantaneous. If I change everything overnight, it’ll be unsustainable. I was pushing my willpower instead of structuring my incentives.
Now I’m shedding one step at a time.
Gym? In progress.
Diet? Right next.
How about you? What have you been delaying? What could you do to help you take action right now?
If I find myself stagnant or unhappy again, I won’t wait a second to make a change. Even if something is already going to happen (like my apprenticeship would start in June), I’ll find a way to accelerate my change process. After all, it’s always up to us to create the life we want to live.