I just got my first tattoos. I wrote up a small blurb on why I got them.
A year out of college I was living by myself, working my first adult job, altogether a little sad lying in bed after working a long day at the dealership from 7:00AM to 10:30pm when I stumbled upon (thanks StumbleUpon) a song by Ben Howard. I instantly became a fan and bought his album Every Kingdom. I came across one particular song off of his album called “The Fear” and one line in particular hit home. “Oh I, will become what I deserve” It is repeated like a sort of mantra during this beautiful breakdown/bridge before an uplifting and gorgeous chorus. The song in particular connects to this idea of living outside of the confines of fear. Ultimately the lyric means that we determine the way our lives pan out. If we live within our fear then we will become what our fear allows us to be. If we live outside those confines than our lives will be what we want them to be.
I met Ben at his concert at The Varsity Theater when he performed in Minneapolis in 2012. He was wandering through the crowd while his opener played, I stopped him said “I absolutely love your music dude, I’m a huge fan” He smiled said “Cheers mate” then left to get a whisky at the bar while I threw up a triumphant double fist pump in the air.
Which brings me up to date. That particular lyric “Oh I, will become what I deserve” has always stayed with me and has become a sort of personal motto. I never really thought I would get a tattoo but if I did it would be that lyric. So then I had the idea of getting that particular lyric on my ribs on my right and left side. After discussing some design ideas with my good friend Liping. She suggested that I have my parents handwrite the lyric. Family has always been very important to me and the lesson of living outside of your fears has been a lesson that my parents have instilled in me growing up.
So I told my parents the idea and asked if they could help. I said that I would only get the tattoo if I could have it done in their handwriting, one side in English by my Dad and the other in French by my Mom. She spoke/taught French to my brothers and I growing up. All of her boys took French and still speak it to this day. They both agreed, and after speaking with my French professor from Cornell College I picked out a french translation from her suggestions that matched the lyric poetically. The french text is a quote from Ronsard that translates to: “The future belongs to those who deserve it”.
I love the tattoo, it will serve as a powerful reminder throughout my life and a lasting memory to my amazing, loving and supportive parents.