Vivir- “to live” in Spanish

I was terrified. This is my first ever tattoo (probably won’t be my last) and I was so nervous.

In the past year there have been so many really painful medical procedures (a ton of blood draws, MRI contrast injections, copaxone injections every day, the glorious PICC line from when they thought I had Lyme disease, and, of course, the spinal tap), so I guess what I was thinking is that if I could make myself go to the hospital and willingly sit down and let them put a giant needle in my spine or a 34cm tube through my vein, I can probably go get the tattoo that I’ve been wanting since high school.

For once, logic worked out for me. Often, my brain doesn’t listen to logic. This happens a lot on airplanes, where my logic is saying reasonable things like “people fly this route every day” or “air travel is the safest form of travel” but my brain is saying “what is that noise? does that mean we’re going to die? we’re going to die. DIE.” But today my brain stopped saying ridiculous things and let me get my tattoo.

Senior year, as we were all preparing to leave Barcelona, a lot of the girls started talking about getting tattoos to sort of commemorate our time there or our high school years. Ada got a feather behind her ear that looks fantastic, I don’t know if any of the others went through with it. I think “vivir” appealed to me because living in Spain was one of the first times that I really felt like I was living. Unconjugated, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I kind of like that it’s just “to live.” When we were learning the “acabar de” construct in Spanish and we had to take turns formulating sentences, I said “acabo de vivir, pero siempre tengo alma.” Google translate doesn’t see that the same way I do, and it was naive and teenager-y and cliched and not as poetic as I thought it was.

As my dad pointed out, very few teenage girls bring their fathers along to get their first tattoo. As I pointed out, I’m kind of terrible at being a rebel.


2 Replies to “Vivir”

  1. I love this tattoo! I have always wanted to get a tattoo, but I thought, “I am old and what could I pick that would serve all the years of my life?:” That problem was solved last spring in San Diego where I braved my first tattoo which is purely utilitarian. I got eyeliner tattooed on my eyelids.

    But now that my longevity seems constrained it’s not so daunting a pick text or an image. Inspired by your choice I remembered three phrases that came to me while meditaiing. i was 24-years-old. Your language choice is Spanish while mine is Italian so it looks like thiis:

    Sono | Posso | Do

    Maybe we could go together? Your second and mine.

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