Has it really been that long? It has, I know. and right until this moment when I decided to actually write something here, it didn’t completely hit me. Not that it was another year, or that it was another decade. It could have been ten years or twelve or five. We like to cut things up, time especially, into little segments, which I’ll admit, makes it a lot easier to queue up an event from the messy bedroom of a memory that I have. But, ten years ago, is pretty significant for me.
It was the last half of a two year sentence doing my time down in Phoenix AZ. No, I wasn’t in prison, but, Arizona kind of makes you feel like you’re in prison, except, with really angry drivers and inescapable heat. 1999 was the year that set change in motion for me. I had decided to move form Norther Nevada to Phoenix Arizona completely on a whim, chose to live vegan and got my first job at a “real” tattoo shop called The Blue Dragon. 2000 was the year that set these changes and my new path in stone. And now, sitting here, looking back on myself, twenty five years old, and just dipping my toe into the shallows, I realize for maybe the first time, where I’ve been and how far along I’ve come.
New Years Eve 1999/2000, I sat in my home with my brother and roommates, drinking coke and playing the ,then new, Playstation 2. Outside, gunshots. No one was being shot, although some were preparing for Y2K and the end of civilization, this was the way everyone else were celebrating their New Years Eve. In a state that is 90% kindling, you don’t play with fireworks. Next best thing? Guns, I guess. New Years Eve 2010/2011, at the Bye&Bye, still feeling disconnected in a room full of people. Ten years later, the end hasn’t come, but, it still feels like it’s around the corner. Looking at you to get it right 2012.
Usually, I’m only looking at where I need to go. Always feeling like I’m not doing enough, not good enough and that I need to just be generally “better”. Not just at tattooing, but everything. Today, I still have this feeling, but I’m taking a little time to reflect. This day, 1/1/11, I’m saying to myself, “You’ve done okay”. Since Arizona, or rather, because of Arizona, I’ve moved to Portland Oregon. I remember the night, 101°, 2am. I said, ” I’m going to move to someplace that’s the exact opposite of Phoenix”. Still vegan (I’m sure most of you are aware of that) and have had Scapegoat for a solid five years now. And even though I’m no more sure of myself than I was when I was twenty five and testing those waters, I can see that I have moved further in and have just begun to swim.
Take care 2011.
I couldn’t find any photos of the tattoos I was making in 2000, but I did come across these negatives. 2011, I’m glad to be here.