I love the drive to work. It’s a peaceful 20 minutes alone which allows me to change gears between the world of family and the world of work.
My mind attends to all sorts of business throughout this journey, from composing a shopping list to dreaming about the fabulous career I’ll have after I (eventually) enrol to do my masters in communications part-time.
Side note: this also seems to be a very productive time for coming up with ideas for blog posts. These days I’m often found in the carpark at work madly jabbing at my iPhone to try and get these ideas down in Evernote before they fly off into the ether.
But today I had a bit of a mini-revelation.
I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to get a tattoo. Actually I’ve always been interested getting a tattoo but a combination of inertia and a vague sense that it might end up being more of a hassle than I was prepared to accept held me back.
Anyway this morning I was thinking about how I’d really like something pretty and decorative on my shoulder. Maybe a pattern, or maybe something like this which is my current favourite…
Almost immediately all my sensible thoughts woke up inside my brain and started sending messages like….
“Aren’t you too old to get a tattoo? Will people think you’re in the first stages of a mid-life crisis”
“I’ve heard people refer to tattoos as ‘tramp stamps’ recently. I definitely don’t want to look trampy – is this what people will think?”
Luckily the feisty Ms Bad-ass , leader of all the NON-sensible thoughts, woke up around then and shut down most of those sensible thoughts with a well-timed “Do you really give a fuck what anyone else thinks?”.
But the thought I couldn’t get away from was….
“You’ll have to make sure it doesn’t show for work”
This immediately brought up a mental image of one of the ladies I work with who has a large tattoo on her back which is clearly visible when she wears sleeveless dresses. She’s very conscious of keeping it covered up, although I haven’t worked there long enough to know don’t know whether this is her decision or whether it’s part of some dress-code that I don’t know about.
Either way the result is the same – having her tattoo on show will negatively affect people’s perception of her.
And suddenly it hit me…
The impact of this one thought was so profound that it felt like a mushroom cloud had exploded inside my brain. Thankfully I was pulling up to a red light when this happened because I otherwise I am certain I would have careened off into the guard rail.
So where does this road-side revelation leave me?
Well it’s made me realise firstly that about 10 years ago when I decided what my definition of success was I defined it very narrowly indeed. Corporate job, decent dollars, promotions and a tan leather Louis Vuitton briefcase (I don’t actually have the LV briefcase but it HAS always been on the list).
And it’s made me think about options – are their other kinds of success that might fit me better these days? So while I’m not rushing out to make any major changes to my job or my life at this stage, I do feel like I’m awake now after being asleep for quite a while.
So watch this space! In the meantime I’m going to give some more thought to getting that tattoo after all…