I recently got a simple piece on my wrist: raise the bar.
A lot of people ask me for tattoo artist recommendations and I always give them a few names and a few samples off my own body so that they can see the work. However, my most recent piece was simple and I went to a friend I’ve known for a long time but who’s never done work on me.
It started simply enough. I’d sent a picture of what I wanted to the artist, Tom Butts at Anchor Steam Tattoo in Newport, RI, and also printed it out to bring with me so that I knew the font and size for just how I had seen it in my mind. I think one of the biggest things is placement, and as an artist, Tom was right on board with me. We joked, although there’s a lot of truth in it, that the placement actually took longer than the tattoo itself.
The reason for this piece, the raise the bar, isn’t just all the iron I’ve been lifting. It’s raising my expectations of myself, of my girls and my husband, of my friends, of the men and women who surround me. Raising the bar on my expectations of everyone. Of everything.
Yes, if you know me, I’ve always had high expectations- I’ve always imagined more. I’m the one generally let down by myself, by others. I usually take the blame for it- the guilt. I know I have high expectations… but with #metoo, with people who I thought were good people, actors, celebrities, politicians that I thought used their power for good… They have come into the light recently as being nothing more than the dark. Another predator. Another person shaming woman, pawing at pussy… because she let them.
And it’s not just women, of course. There are men that have been harassed. My G-d, there are children.
So that’s why this piece meant so much to me.
That’s why when I chose my artist. Someone who would get it. Who would spend 20 minutes on the placement of a tattoo knowing I wanted people to see it. To ask me questions. Take a look at it and ponder their goals themselves.
Did they spend today raising the bar. Did they decide to just phone their day in. Did they make each second of that 24 hours count.
We don’t get do-overs
We just get more days. So raise the bar. Raise your expectations. Push harder, longer. Be stronger.
It’s not about your muscle, it’s about your tenacity doing what you can everyday. So if I had to answer your favorite question: which tattoo artist in Rhode Island would you recommend? Undoubtedly: Tom Butts at Anchor Steam in Newport, Rhode Island. He cares about his art, cares about his clients- and more so, he cares about their message and how he portrays it.
I hope you spend today raising the bar, friends – whatever that means to you.