I recently got a new tattoo.  I didn’t expect to learn a life lesson while getting it but I did.

I had been looking for an orca tattoo for about 2 years.  I couldn’t find one that I liked.  I searched orca pictures and other people’s tattoos.  So I just stop looking.  I still wanted one.

When I went up to the San Juan Islands to whale watch last month, I had some time on my hands before the sea plane got back to the island.  I had just seen some killer whales on the whale watch tour.  I decided to go shopping.  In a little shop near the harbor, I came across a shirt.  I loved the design of the killer whale and it had, wild soul, written above the killer whale.  I immediately knew that that was the design that I had been looking for.  I knew that that was my tattoo.  I bought the shirt and then started to look for a tattoo shop that I wanted to have it done at.  There were so many tattoo shops in LA.  I didn’t know which one to choose.

I had wanted to get my tattoo done in Hawaii when I was in Hawaii two years ago.  I had liked the designs that I saw the tattoo artists doing in Hawaii.  I didn’t have a design that I liked at the time.  After my trip to the San Juan Islands, I was planning a trip to Maui.  I decided to get a tattoo in Maui.  I started to do some research on the tattoo shops on Maui.  I found one that I liked and booked an appointment.  I sent the tattoo artist a picture of the shirt that I had bought.

On my last full day in Maui, I went to the tattoo shop.  I was nervous but excited too.

When I got to the shop the artist said that he wanted to change the tattoo.  It would have the basic design that I sent him but with a few changes.  He wanted to switch the direction of the killer whale.  I agreed to that.  He also wanted to put some Polynesian style into it.  He wanted to put a turtle and a stingray inside of the killer whale.  I was so shocked that he would choose the turtle because turtles have a special meaning to me from my past life.  I agreed to the changes because he was making my tattoo idea even better.  He had said that he didn’t want me to have a tattoo design that anybody else had.  I looked up the meaning of turtles and stingrays while he finished the design.  These are the websites that I used:

The thing that stood out to me on the stingray website was the quote, “Have faith in your abilities and follow your inner guidance.”  That is something that I struggle with.

The thing that stood out to me on the turtle website was the quote, “Pay attention to details in your current project and take your time with it.  Don’t be tempted to skip steps or take short cuts.”  This is another thing that I struggle with.

When the design for the tattoo was done, he showed it to me and I said I loved it.  He had completely changed the killer whale.  He then asked me if I wanted some color on the words of the tattoo.  I told him that I hadn’t considered it.  I asked him what colors did he recommend.  He told me turquoise so that way it would go with the whole killer whale in the ocean theme.  I told him lets do it.  He was the tattoo artist so I trusted him.  I was a little worried because I didn’t know how the finished tattoo was going to look.

After he finished the killer whale, he comes up with another idea.  He wanted to have the words slanted and he wanted to change the colors.  He wanted to do three different colors.  He even told me sorry that he was throwing so many ideas at me.  I told him that he didn’t have to apologize.  He was making a unique tattoo for me.  For some reason I trusted him.  I agreed to the new changes and I’m so glad that I did.  The tattoo came out even better than I could have imagined.  I had envisioned a simple black tattoo just like the design of the shirt.

The lesson that I learned from this experience is to trust in God/Universe.  Sometimes what I envision for my life isn’t as beautiful as God’s plan.  Trust in the plan and my intuition.  God/Universe has always taken care of me.

I had seen myself in my dreams as a travel nurse, but I never saw all the adventures that I was going to have.

At times, it was very uncomfortable getting the tattoo.  Getting the letters was more painful than the killer whale.  I meditated and did some breathing exercises to keep my mind off the pain.

If I had just said no to the tattoo artist’s vision then I would have a simple tattoo that looked just like the shirt’s design.  There was nothing wrong with the original design but it doesn’t compare to the tattoo that I ended up getting.

Another lesson that I learned is everything comes when its the right time.  God/Universe will send what you need at the right time that you need it and not a minute sooner or a minute later.

I was getting frustrated at times when I couldn’t find a design that I liked for the tattoo.  For a while I just gave up looking for a tattoo design.  When the time was right, the design came to me.  I wasn’t even looking for a design when I saw the shirt.

If I had not chosen to take the sea plane to the island, then I wouldn’t have been able to go shopping after the whale watching tour.  I would have had to get on the ferry back to Seattle after the whale watching tour.  With the sea plane option, I had 3 hours after the whale watching tour to spend on the island until the sea plane got back.  That gave me the chance to see the shirt with the design on it.

Following is the picture of the original shirt design and then the tattoo.


I got a reminder this week.

My life coach was telling me that she used a part of my story in her workshop.  She told me that she told the group of women about the times that I would go to the grocery store and buy the doughnuts and buy fruits and vegetables too.  I would end up throwing all the fruits and vegetables away because I didn’t eat them.  Sometimes I would put the fruits and vegetables in the garbage right away and sometimes I would put them in the refrigerator to be thrown away later.

I bought them because I didn’t want anyone to think that I was just buying doughnuts, cakes, and lunchables to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I remember a cashier stating that she didn’t understand why I was buying doughnuts when I had all the other healthy foods.  I felt like I had to say something.  I lied to her and said that the doughnuts were for work.

I would only buy 2 boxes of doughnuts at a time.  That means that I would have to go to the grocery story about 2 or 3 times a week.  Those 2 boxes usually lasted about a day or two.  I would have at least 3 grocery stores that I would go to.  I kept a mental note of the grocery store that I last went to so that way I wouldn’t be going to the same grocery store more than once a week.  Sometimes I would forget and have to drive past that particular grocery store and drive to another one that was close by because I had already been to that one that week.  I didn’t want to be judged by any one for buying so many doughnuts and cakes.

Thinking back on that time, it makes me feel exhausted to think of some of the things that I put myself through.

When self check out came around, that became my best friend.  Doing self check out meant that the cashier couldn’t comment on me buying so many doughnuts.  I also didn’t have to buy so many fruits and vegetables.  I did feel bad for throwing those things away.  I could have fed so many people with the food that I threw away.

Now when I go to the grocery store, I only buy what I’m going to eat.  If I happen to want some muffins or cookies then I get them.  I don’t feel any shame or judgment any more.  I know that I am taking care of myself.  I don’t deny myself my cravings.

I’m also not afraid to tell my story now.  I’m finding that my story can inspire other people.  If I can change my life then so can any one else.

I went from staying home most of the time to traveling the US, jumping out of airplanes, and doing so many things by myself.  I never in a million years imagined that my life could be so good.  Its good that I got a reminder of where I started.  It showed me how far I’m come from that woman that I was just 3 years ago.