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I never thought about getting a tattoo. It wasn’t part of any plan I ever had for my life. Why paying someone to hurt me? Still, there I was yesterday getting a tattoo from a very friendly artist at a local place in Amsterdam.

Bucket List? Not really.

Mid-Life Crisis? Sure, cheaper than a Porsche.

In reality, it’s marking the realization that everything changes constantly. I live a life now I never envisioned 20 years ago. I have opinions and thoughts I never had 20 years ago. Today’s essence of my life is not the essence of my life in 1994. We change constantly until we can only change physically. Life is change.

I thought about the tattoo for a few months. It had to be  a quote/motto, not an image. My life has been guided more by words than images. It had to be something that incorporates my life before the tattoo and provides an outlook for my life post-tattoo. It didn’t take me too long to find this quote:

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“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

It’s from the poem “Ulysses” by Alfred, Lory Tennyson. The line itself reads like pure determination. Nobody can stop us. That’s just part of the story.

“Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
Just like Ulysses and his mariners, I’m not as strong and durable as I was when I was 20. I’m getting awfully close getting beaten in sprints by my 10-year old. Going to a club until 3am sounds more like a chore than something to look forward to. And there are weird aches and pains that come and go just to remind me of my age. But the will remains stronger than ever and it it sustained by the resolve to push forward relentlessly. Now. Tomorrow. Forever.
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And, never take yourself too seriously.