A story about friendship, poetry, tattoos and a panic attack.
We all have strong women* in our lives. Women* who inspire us, who support us, who teach us and who give us the opportunity to empower each other. Today I want to celebrate one of these women*.
A woman who doesn’t take shit and has been there for me no matter what.
Vicky and I have been mistaken for lesbian lovers equally as much as we’ve been asked if we are siblings.
Our combined hatred for stupid people and our love for straightforwardness has always been the foundation of our friendship. Another fundamental trait of ours is that we pretty much trust each other blindly.
So here comes a story that not only shows how much we trust each other, but also how Vicky gave me a panic attack over a tattoo.
It was around my birthday last year, when Vicky came up to me and asked if I could write a poem for her.
I have written many poems for a lot of my friends, some of which I’ve already published here (and here), some of which I turned into paintings and some who have yet to be read.
Therefore it wasn’t strange for me to come up with one for the wifey.
However it was the first time that someone planed on getting it tattooed - permanently - on their skin.
So listen. I am a perfectionist, but I am also a person who is riddled with anxiety at times. Knowing that some of my words will end up on my friend’s skin forever did put some pressure on me. I thought, what the heck, I am just gonna write it, show it to her and if she likes it - great.
If not, she doesn’t have to go through with it.
What could possibly go wrong? Right?
There was a twist.
To make things more interesting, Vicky decided not to read it before it was on her body. In Ink.
If you know someone who has anxiety, you know that facing their fears and leaving their comfort zone is not necessarily something that comes natural to them (us).
I came up with about 327 different versions, narrowed it down to two. Both of which I showed to everyone I could find, just to make sure it’s perfect.
The day came and we both walked into the tattoo studio.
To this day I am not 100% sure if Vicky was as content with the idea as she seemed to be at the time. Due to the length and the size, some adjustments had to be done to the poem. It took some time and me breathing into a paper bag, but finally Steve picked up the tattoo gun and off he went.
(props to him for the wonderful job, btw.)
You might not think this is a big deal. But. Having the strength and the trust to reassure someone who is clearly doubting themselves and their ability, while laying on a black plastic wrapped stretcher and getting tattooed sure takes a strong person.
In the end Vicky pushing me out of my comfort zone not only makes for a great story, but also helped me see that, just because I can see every little thing that could possibly go wrong, doesn’t mean it has to.
Thank your for your trust, your fierceness, your friendship.
Here’s to you, talking me off the ledge while I keep you out of jail <3
*All women. A L L women. including ALL women.