July 25, 2006

Several nights ago I had a very vivid dream about getting a tattoo. So vivid that I am still remembering it even now. The gist of the dream was that someone else (I don’t remember who), and I, decided to get full-lenght tattoos of pastel flames up our arms. The ink started at our wrists and ended at our shoulders. After the tattooing was completed I went home and went to sleep and in the morning woke up wondering what the hell I’d done to myself. And moreover, how was I going to get rid of the things now on my arms.

I think the symbolism here, since I know everything in the dream is me, is that I am making changes in my life right now that I can’t take back. Every day moves me farther and farther away from who I was, and who I thought I was going to be for the rest of my life. I can’t pinpoint any one event or decision that is as drastic as getting a two-foot long pastel flame design on my arms, so I am thinking that the dream was more a warning than a regret.

I want to move forward with my life, but I am scared of screwing things up. At times it feels like I’ve already screwed things up. How do I know that the decisions and choices I’m making now won’t make things worse? There’s no way to know without getting out of the abstract what-if world of my fears and actually moving forward with my life in the real world. in a very real sense this is what I am doing with the kendo club and by joining eHarmony. I don’t know where all of this is going, but I do know that the only way to get there is by taking the first step.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.