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Tattoo idea! (Our house caught on fire)

photo of a tattoo on an article about a tattoo idea about strength and resilience is that all there is

I have 9 tattoos. I got my first one when I was 18, then never stopped getting them.

Have you heard of the term Extremely Online?

Used as early as in 2014, the phrase Extremely Online—usually capitalized— refers to being closely engaged with Internet culture. Novelist Patricia Lockwood told The New Yorker that “if you’ve ever whispered to your cat to “show the feet, sweetie,” then you’re Extremely Online.”

Well, tattoos are Extremely Permanent. They’re the definition of forever.

Yes, I will be pretending tattoo removal does not exist in this realm for a number of reasons.

This perpetual bond is understandably scary for a lot of people… unless they have an insecure attachment style and being tied to something forever sounds like a dream.

Most common questions people with tattoos get

  1. Did it hurt?
  2. What does it mean?
  3. Do you regret it?
  4. Are you the girl with the dragon tattoo?

One of these things is not like the others.

Yes, only of them is an open-ended question. Great job, you’re paying attention.

That being said, I don’t regret any of my tattoos.

How not to regret getting a tattoo

  1. Get your first tattoo after you turn 18.
  2. Don’t get tattoos related to a specific person.
  3. If you’re not 101% happy with the design of your tattoo, speak up, no matter how intimidating or annoyed your tattoo artist seems.
  4. If there’s one thing I suggest splurging on, it’s tattoos. Good tattoos are expensive, but remember, tattoos are Extremely Permanent.

Sure, there are exceptions.

Getting your niece’s name tattooed is against rule #2, but you’ll probably never regret it.

Some people are very mature for their age and know themselves very well at 15… Actually, no, they don’t. I take it back. 18 is arbitrary, but it’s a good starting point to reduce the chances of regretting your tattoo.

Maybe you can’t afford to go to the best tattoo place in your city, but you don’t want to let that stop you from getting a tattoo. Very understandable.

That being said, look into getting tattooed in other countries with lower costs of living. Amazing tattoos cost less in Albania than in the US, but they’re just as amazing. “Cost less” is an understatement.

Now that we got that out of the way, I’d like to give you a free tattoo idea.

Tattoo idea

Life was very different for me when I started my first full-time job.

“Depersonalization-derealization disorder occurs when you persistently or repeatedly have the feeling that you’re observing yourself from outside your body or you have a sense that things around you aren’t real, or both.

Feelings of depersonalization and derealization can be very disturbing and may feel like you’re living in a dream.”

Depersonalization-derealization disorder

As long as these episodes don’t interfere with your ability to function, you don’t need to see a doctor.

It’s common for people to experience episodes of depersonalization or derealization throughout their lives, especially if they’ve had traumatic experiences.

I’ve struggled with these feelings at specific points in time:

  • my 16th birthday
  • starting university
  • before starting my first job and during the first month or two at it.

I was working for a creative digital agency and a fast-growing startup.

Have you seen Mad Men?

“A drama about one of New York’s most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm’s most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper.”

Well, I felt like I was in Mad Men. I’d listen to Mad Men playlists at work. Creativity saved the day. Things moved QUICK. I had to wear many hats. The pay was great. I loved it. I was going out and going all out.

At the time, I was also writing every single day. I wrote every day from May 14, 2018 until June 19. (Here’s why I stopped writing every day.) Ah, and I had recently removed a sociopath from my life. Oh, and his house was within view of my workplace.

Those feelings of depersonalization and derealization persisted.

I listened to the Mad Men playlist. This was one of my favorite songs in it.

I’ve never wanted wealth untold, my life has one design
A simple little band of gold, to prove that you are mine

I included it in an article I wrote back then about my favorite songs & sex appeal. Strangely, I captioned this song with: “Very fond of this song that I found in a Mad Men playlist during an important, lovely period of my life.”

Fucking perspectives, am I right?!

That Mad Men playlist introduced me to the song, the lyrics of which I wanted to get tattooed on me back then, but decided to share with you today.

I remember when I was a very little girl
Our house caught on fire
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face
As he gathered me up in his arms
And raced through the burning building onto the pavement
And I stood there shivering in my pajamas
And watched the whole world go up in flames
And when it was all over I said to myself
“Is that all there is to a fire?”

Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is


And then I fell in love
With the most wonderful boy in the world
We’d take long walks down by the river
Or just sit for hours gazing into each other’s eyes
We were so very much in love
Then one day he went away
And I thought I’d die, but I didn’t
And when I didn’t, I said to myself
“Is that all there is to love?”

I listened and listened and listened to this song, taking in every word. I listened to it at work, on my way to work, on my way to go out, on my way home.

Reviews aren’t my strongest suit, so let’s just say Peggy Lee’s voice and artistic journey have already received a well-deserved myriad of accolades. She was BRILLIANT.

Listen to the song, look at the comments.

During this strange period of my life, I found an even stranger comfort in her words. When you first listen to the song, the lyrics may seem fatalistic, apathetic, and negative. It may seem like Peggy is downplaying how beautiful life can be.

Art is subjective, so maybe that’s right. At the end of the day, I did just remove one of the verses from the lyrics because I didn’t like it. Oops.

But in the midst of chaos, the constancy and predictability of Is That All There Is? brought me peace.

Peggy was right.

is that all there is to a fire tattoo

Their house caught on fire when she was a little girl.

As her father gathered her up in his arms and raced through the burning building onto the pavement, she stood there shivering in her pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames. When it was all over, she said to herself, “Is that all there is to a fire?”

Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is

When I was a little girl, our house caught on fire too. I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames.

I wanted to get “Is that all there is?” or “Is that all there is to a fire?” tattooed on me.

Maybe I’m so fond of this string of words because I’ve also watched the whole world go up in flames. Literally and figuratively.

This applies to anything bad: eating disorders, panic attacks, natural disasters, heartbreak, addiction, abusive relationships, sickness.

The truth of the predictability of Is That All There Is? brought me peace. It’s true, no matter how much you feel like your life is ruined and nothing will be okay again, it eventually gets better. This is a constant truth in human nature. We’re resilient. We fall down and get back up.

And while we might not “make it through the jungle without a scratch,” we somehow always make it through.

Looking back, 1, 2, 3, years later, smiling, we say, “Is that all there is to a fire?”

I think that’s tattoo-worthy.

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