Living in a society that doesn’t let you be who you are or judges you for what you do or like is something every single person on planet Earth has to deal with. Some more often than others.
Considering we cannot live without societies because humans are per se loners in nature- we need to be part of something, even people that like me like to spent time alone, we need to adapt to what is considered to be ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable.’
When I decided to start teaching, it was something that I hadn’t planned; I was in a phase of my life where I wanted something more. I wanted do to something useful. Something more than just seeing my name at the end of an article. So I started teaching at a preschool and became aware of the choices I made in life and on how they could affect this new journey.
I have a total of 7 tattoos, all pretty much hidden except for two on my fingers, the most visible a seashell on my middle finger. I don’t regret any of my tattoos but on my first day as a preschool teacher (and whenever I start job hunting) I think about that little seashell meant to reassure me that the sea is always there next to me whenever things go wrong. That inside that seashell there is something beautiful.
Then I think of how it looks like in the eyes of my supervisor, the parents and the children so I hide it with a ring most of the time but I’ve been doing this job for three years now, changed schools twice and right on the first days, the children see through the metal band with eyes filled with curiosity.
“What is it?” They ask. I show them smiling a little removing the ring.
“Ah a seashell, why do you hide it?”
Children don’t care. Children rarely judge. And it’s a beautiful environment they, not the teachers or the parents, but they create. So yea, why do I keep hiding it? Because I’m too aware of society. Too aware of its rules and it’s not easy too simply ignore it like when you were younger and rebellious and thought more about the present and less about the future.
I have a few tattoos that I still would want to do and while I feel I’m old enough not to give a shit about what people think, I still struggle going with that final teenage-rebellious step where I fearlessly assert my identity to society and to anyone questioning it.