All the Right Moves in all the Right Faces
Updated: Oct 20, 2021
They say it’s impossible for humans to create a new face in their minds. Everyone we imagine or dream of, is someone we’ve seen before. And so, infinite versions of you exist from your every encounter. Even if you are no longer who you used to be, that version of you still exists somewhere in someone’s mind.
You have been the cashier checking people out. You have been the idiot that just cut someone off. You may have even been the toxic person once in your life. Even if you were only that person for a moment, that you still exists. To deny any of your past selves is to deny yourself.
Faces is my tribute to all the infinite versions of myself. I wish them thanks and respect for the role they played in Current Me’s journey. I had to be each of you in order to be where I am now. I show you all the respect and glory you are due.
Past Self is illustrated as happy with her eyes closed (pictured far left); which represents that she is not yet fully aware of herself and the world around her. She represents my childhood self. I thank you for the memories of giggles, running freely and adventure.
Current Self has her eyes closed with tears streaming down her face (pictured middle). She is much more familiar with the sadness of this world. I thank you for teaching me the difference between the depths of love and despair. I needed to experience both extremes in order to grow. If suffering builds character, then you have taught me the most.
Future Self is alert and expressionless (pictured far right). She was left as an empty canvas to decide her own fate. Her eyes are open to illustrate that she is conscious of what’s happening. She is no longer a slave to her emotions. She has a moment of silence to decide her next path. As the days go on, I find I am becoming closer and closer to this version of myself.
Throughout my grief journey, I’ve learned this lesson time and time again; you can’t control the way you exist in other people’s minds. I have been both the best and worst versions of myself. I have lived both extremes and acknowledge each stage of my painful journey. The depths in which I feel loss is only a mirror reflection of how I feel love. Being remembered as the worst version of yourself is the final lesson my once thought to be best friend taught me in the way she chose to say goodbye.
People can choose to remember the worst parts of you and completely dismiss all the good parts. All parts of you exist somewhere, whether you like it or not. I wonder:
What is the most dominant memory people associate with you? How do you exist in their minds? What feeling do you leave behind as a trace that you were once there?
My tattoo placement is intentionally on the outer part of my arm. There are many cases when people won’t have the opportunity to “steal your face,” as I used to call it. If people can only create a version of you in their minds once they see you, then my game used to be: never let them see you. Wear a hat. Wear glasses. I would conceal myself to limit the infinite versions of me that exist without my control.
Now when people walk behind me and they never see my face, they will see Faces. That is a much more complete, multidimensional and intricate composite of who I am. If you’re going to see me, I want you to see my soul. I want you to see my character.
Not just my face.
Always with love,
ᵈᶦˢᶜˡᵃᶦᵐᵉʳ: ᴵᶠ ʸᵒᵘ ʷᵃⁿᵗ ᵗᵒ ᵘⁿᵈᵉʳˢᵗᵃⁿᵈ ᵐᵉ ᵇᵉᵗᵗᵉʳ ᵃˢ ᵃ ᵖᵉʳˢᵒⁿ ᴬᵛᵃᵗᵃʳ: ᵀʰᵉ ᴸᵃˢᵗ ᴬᶦʳᵇᵉⁿᵈᵉʳ ˢ¹ ᴱ²⁰ ʷᶦˡˡ ᶠᵘʳᵗʰᵉʳ ᵉˣᵖˡᵃᶦⁿ ᵐʸ ᶜᵒⁿᶜᵉᵖᵗ ᵒᶠ "ˢᵗᵉᵃˡᶦⁿᵍ ᵖᵉᵒᵖˡᵉ'ˢ ᶠᵃᶜᵉˢ"
#stagesofgrief #tattoos #whoami #conscience #existence #mourning