June 12, 2020

What will people think?

Our beloved cat, Apollo, has been missing for several weeks. 

We have knocked on every door. Called every neighbor. Plastered the town with missing pet flyers. Consulted with not one, but two pet psychics to see if they have any intuitive inklings about his whereabouts. We’ve left no stone unturned. But still, no Apollo.

My daughter Cora (who’s home from college for the summer) is absolutely devastated.While it’s hard to confront the truth, we’re steeling ourselves for the reality that he might be gone forever. 

Cora has decided to get a tattoo in honor of Apollo. She mapped out the design: a beautiful black cat with green eyes inside a red heart. It will go on the back of her arm.

She described this tribute tattoo to a friend. Her friend balked, asking, “But what are people gonna think when they see that on your arm?”

Cora was stunned by her friend’s reaction. She sternly clapped back: “Why are you assuming that I’m dressing or decorating myself to gain acceptance from other people? I really don’t care what other people think about it. This tattoo isn’t for other people. This is for me.”

I couldn’t be prouder of my daughter. At 19, she has already learned a major life lesson—one that took me decades longer to learn. 

That lesson? Your life belongs to you. And so does your body. 

You get one body. It’s your home for your entire lifetime, from birth until death, and you get to dress it, adorn it, and celebrate it however you want. 

Glance at your outfit. Whatever you’re wearing right now. Consider why you decided to wear these particular garments today. Because they make you feel gorgeous, confident, and joyful? Or because society has told you that these clothes are “appropriate” for a woman of your age and size? 

You can apply this same line of questioning to everything in your life, not just clothes. Consider the food in your fridge. The appointments on your schedule. Look around your world. Assess what’s in your life right now, and why it’s there. 

Is it there because you want it to be there, because it helps you feel strong, powerful, and confident? 

Or, is it there because you’re worried about what other people might think if you dare to do things differently?

You were not born to be a meek little doll, mild and unoffensive, never expressing your opinions, never making a scene, and always prioritizing other people’s comfort over your own desires. 

That’s not who you are, or why you’re here on this planet. Hell no.

So, please. Get the tattoo. Or your personal equivalent of a tattoo. 

Do it for you.

Susan Hyatt



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