I can’t explain why, but I’ve always wanted a tattoo. It’s something that was always in the back of my mind to do, but I was never sure when it was going to happen. Then in early June, I read about semicolon tattoos and their meaning, and thought, “Hmm, maybe that would be an idea one day.”
Shortly after, I made the mistake of telling my sister, who said she’d get one too. I thought about it for about 30 seconds, before shrugging my shoulders and saying, “Sure.” She decided that the perfect time to get it was when we were in San Francisco for a baseball game. We went. I got it. It didn’t hurt. So now I have a tattoo. That’s not really the big deal. That’s now why I’m writing this post. Getting a tattoo is a innocuous moment that doesn’t deserve a proceeding 560-word blog.
Rather, this is about what my tattoo means, because that’s more interesting. The semicolon is there because it’s mental illness awareness (The post explains it). But I wasn’t satisfied with just the idea of getting a simple semicolon on my wrist.
Nope. I needed a word.
I contemplated a few words, but opted to go with “Tranquilo (Spanish for “quiet” or in my usages “calm down”) for numerous reasons. One reason is dumb and I expect to be mocked for this, but it’s happens to be the catchphrase of my favorite pro wrestler at the moment. Yes, that reason is incredibly nerdy and silly, but hear me out. Tetsuya Naito uses “tranquilo” in his catchphrase, but it’s what the word means to him and how his character acts that is important. Naito is a rebel. He does things on his own terms and when he agitates others, all he says is “Tranquilo.” He stays calm. He knows himself well enough that all that matters is how he views himself and doesn’t care what others think of him or his actions. He’s not going to give his full effort on things that, in his mind and belief, are meaningless. Naito will take time for the things that matter to him – which are few and far between. That’s what I’m aiming for. I know what’s important to me and stay true to myself to the best of my ability To embody tranquilo is to be indifferent with others think of you and to not take things so seriously. I don’t want to sweat the small stuff. I’ll do it and get it over with, just like Naito on meaningless events. Having the word on my wrist reminds me: be yourself and live with what you actions do without care.
Additionally, the word is a reminder to myself. I am in a perpetual state of chaos. My mind will race whether it’s caused by anxiety or depression. I will bounce from idea to idea, feeling to feeling on a drop of a dime. Having tranquilo on my left wrist is my way of reminding myself to “calm down” or “quiet” my mind. While it doesn’t always work, it’s a nice reminder knowing that’s the goal and what I want to be – calm with no cares.
So yes, I have a tattoo of the word “tranquilo” with a semicolon on my wrist that translates to “Don’t care what others think; be calm; and write your story.”