Brown skin, curly hair

Good Monday morning to you!

I trust everyone had a good weekend. I started writing today but couldn’t decide if I should write about my new tattoo or if I should write about the fact that I’m going to start giving less f**ks about things! Then I thought, “It’s my blog, I can pretty much write about whatever I want, so I’ll do both!”

I never thought I would be a tattoo person. Trust me. I have always walked the straight and narrow, but over the past few years, I realized that what I wanted shouldn’t really matter to anyone else but me. I wanted a tattoo, as long as I could afford it and I was happy with what it was, why the heck not?! So I got one, then another and now another.

This photo was taken by Vikera Hunte. Please do not copy without permission.

This photo was taken by Vikera Hunte. Please do not copy without permission.

This last tattoo is kinda personal to me. I’ve written before about how I feel about being black in Vancouver – isolated and different. Over the years though, it’s gotten better. I feel more comfortable. I’ve started getting more in touch with the woman that I am. Over the Christmas break, I watched instructional video after video about applying makeup on dark skin. I’ve gone through that exercise before where I look up how to put makeup on, but this time I tried to find women as dark as me. It made a difference hearing advice from women who looked like me. No longer was I trying to work with what was available, I wanted to validate my own existence. I wanted to validate my dark skin. I’m proud of it and I’m not going to try to marginalize it anymore. I’m trying to make a conscious effort to embrace who I am even if I don’t get that external validation.

My brown skin and curly hair are what make me me. It makes me feel different, yes, but I’m done apologizing for being me and I’m done pretending that I’m the same when I’m not. I saw Kidlet’s face when I showed him the tattoo. He had a smirk on his face. I think it might have been the moment when he realized that this tattoo applied to him as well and that I placed value on those things about myself and by extension those things about him too. I don’t know for sure. For me though, I wear it as a badge of pride.

A couple people have asked why I tattooed something so obvious. I think a tattoo is not like a sign I wear around my neck advertising something. For me, I will only put on my body the things in my life that mean something and will always mean something to me even 20 years from now. I’m not saying what I am, I’m saying what’s important to me. You can hear me talk and know I’m a Trinidadian, I don’t need a Trinidadian flag on my ankle to say that – but when you see it on my body, you know I’m not only a Trini, but I’m proud of it!

This last paragraph is a nice lead in to the other part of today’s post: I’m going to try to start giving less f*cks! My sister-friend sent me an article about how to give less f*cks about things. I’ve shared with you before about how anxious I get about things – either rationally or irrationally. I worry about so many things all the time. I plan, I obsess, I think, I worry. Understandably, she sent me the article in an attempt to get me to relax.

The writer of that post FINALLY got me to understand that I don’t have unlimited f*cks to give in a day. I should really be more selective about what I choose to worry about. If I’m disproportionately annoyed about forgetting to add a dryer sheet to the laundry or incensed about something that happened to a friend, I’m just squandering my annoyance.

I have to learn how to not get worked up over everything. The article really made me see in a straightforward way that living this way will only stress me out. Now, this is a work in progress, but I already see where I’m making a conscious effort not be annoyed. I am CHOOSING not to be annoyed even though I very well could be! Being in traffic this morning, for example: whether I’m annoyed or not, will not make the traffic dissipate. Whether I’m annoyed or not, instead of tailgating the people ahead of me and being grumbly, I chose to sing one of my favourite songs on repeat a few times instead at the top of my lungs. There is so much in my life right now that I can’t control, being upset and outraged about it without having any control over it just seems like a waste of my emotion.

Now this new frame of mind is a work in progress, but I’m going to give it a shot! I’ll let you know how this week goes.

Have a good week ahead!

V

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