My tattoo is imperfect
just like this poem.
My Bukowski/Buddhist/sugar-skull tattoo is imperfect
just like my brain.
My brain is and has always been imperfect.
It was imperfect the second I was born.
It became increasingly imperfect the older I became.
Now I’m filled with irrational fears
The tiniest details can be terrifying.
A small innocuous act can be interpreted as subconsciously malicious.
A small meaningless imperfection can be the end of the world.
A tattoo, with an imperfection, can make me want to cry and hide away in shame.
But then it dawned on me about the message of the tattoo:
What Matters Most is
how well you
walk through the
Sometimes when I walk through the fire, I stumble.
I carry with me an imperfect brain as I try to cope with existence and make it something worthwhile and meaningful.
One of my greatest struggles is my obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The mind that fixates on my every little deeds
and scrutinizes my every thought.
The monster I always carry with me,
the monster that makes me doubt the most beautiful aspects of my life.
The monster that makes me want to hate myself.
He will always be there,
he will never go away.
Just like this tattoo.
But like my imperfect brain
and like my imperfect tattoo
there are beautiful things to it too
if I look at the bigger picture
if I notice the shadow
and if I see clearly enough,
I began to realize that this imperfection doesn’t really matter.
It’s part of me,
part of who I am.
I have to accept it
there is no other way.
There is no you without your imperfect mind.
There is no you without this imperfect tattoo.
There is no you without the fire.
And it burns,
it can burn for quite a while.
There are scars
and there are bad memories
and there are tattoos:
self-inflicted wounds and works of art.
They are there to remind us of something,
to bring us closer to ourselves.
And as I’m looking down at it now,
noticing the shadows
that make the lotus flower on its head stand out
think it looks beautiful.
Don’t you think so too?