Growing Into A New Skin

Photo by Anderson Martins on

Today is tattoo day for me. I’m getting my second tattoo and I’m nervous and excited. You might find it unexpected that a retired person should start getting tattoos. You might criticize me for getting one. Avoiding such criticism has often caused me to choose not to do something that I might otherwise have enjoyed. You’ve probably made “safer” choices too, to avoid having others pass judgement on your clothing or your hairstyle or your home. Listening to your critics (even if they are only in your head) is an easy way to avoid conflict but it severely limits your life experiences and your self-expression.

It’s Liberating

Now, I look at my choices from a different perspective. If it’s not hurting anyone and I like it, I’ll try it. I’m gradually branching out from my safe place. Along with tattoos, I may choose clothes that are colourful and full of patterns. I’m suddenly drawn to wearing some yellow. Yes, yellow! Once I realized that I don’t care as much about what others say, it was liberating. In this article in The Atlantic, they note that most people care a lot less about our decisions than we think they do.*

Photo by Daniel Reche on

But how did I get to this point?

I hope most people have a friend or two that they would invite into their home even if it was a complete mess. It is the ultimate seal of friendship to know that your friend doesn’t feel compelled to tidy up before letting you see their home. They know that you will not judge them. (No criticism, said or implied, from them.) Because of this, you enjoy more spontaneous visits in their home. I feel like I’m building on that idea and taking it to the next level. Now, I’m letting others, who are not my besties, see the real me even if they do criticize.

Photo by cottonbro studio on

Change and Confidence Are Stronger

I’m at the stage of my life where this is me. If you don’t like it, it’s not my problem. I still get nervous when I think about their reactions but it’s not stopping me anymore. The drive to explore and change is stronger. I have more confidence in being me. Retirement is quite a journey: growing into a new skin.

Click to read similar posts on this journey to confidence:

I Named My Inner Critic 

Loving This Version Of Me 

Shaking Up What You Think You Know About Yourself



    1. I don’t think it’s something with an age limit. I enjoy fine line tattoos. They are not as painful as thicker lines and I like the look of them on my skin. It can be helpful to take a friend with you who has tattoos, the first time you go.

      Liked by 1 person

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