When I was 18 my mother took me to a tattoo shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota to hold my hand while I got repeatedly stabbed by needles. At the time, with one semester of college under my belt and the whole world laid out fresh and new ahead of me, I found comfort and kinship in the lyrics of the Beatles. Many are surprised to learn that I hadn’t been much of a fan while I was growing up – but in a time of tumult and transition where I faced a new city, new friends, new responsibilities and ohmygodwhatamIdoingwithmylife their music grounded me. I found pieces of my future in their words, whispers of my disposition in their melodies. I wanted to be someone who was open and positive, someone who rolled with the punches and let life unfold without fear or trepidation. (I’m sure you see where I’m going with this…)
Many people think it’s the most overrated Beatles lyric, that it’s one of the whitest white girl tattoos you could get or that it’s cheesy/tacky/whatever.
Guess what… I don’t care! haHAAAA joke’s on you sucker! My loopy handwriting is still there behind my ear – I’ve checked (which is a feat that involves no fewer than two mirrors, a hair tie and excellent lighting) and I’m still absolutely 100% in love with what it reminds me to strive for every day.
If you follow me on instagram you know that I recently visited the Lennon Wall here in Prague and that I saw Sir Paul McCartney live in concert this week. Both of these experiences have had a profound impact on me. I walked the Lennon Wall at 6am with my friends and no one else beside me. I read messages to loved ones and hopes for peace. We listened to the Beatles and sang and danced. In an unexpected twist of fate I saw Paul McCartney on my own. I got to feel his rhythms in my bones and taste his lyrics and dance alongside strangers. Blissful experiences that I won’t soon forget.
What you probably don’t know is that I had kind of a rough week. I’ve been missing my family and friends a lot. It has been rainy and chilly here in Prague and that makes me miss Chicago. I’ve been spending more time on my own. I miss random kitchen gadgets and home cooked meals and puppies. I miss my bike and the lake and IPAs.
It feels selfish to miss home so soon after I’ve left, but I’m entitled to my bad days, goddamn it! Not everything is rainbows and sunshine and happiness! In those moments of uncertainty and wavering confidence I try to hum to myself…
I found the Beatles when I was in a time of transition. I was pushed out of my comfort zone, in a new city, surrounded by new people, a new self and blah blah blah. If you’ve looked at the cover photo for this post you’ve probably put two and two together here. My first 2 and a half weeks in Prague have presented a strikingly similar situation. The world is shiny and new and an open book in front of me, there is room to grow and learn and become a better person. I miss my friends, but I’m pushing through the hard times is because on the other side is peace and kindness and beauty – things I’ll bring home with me and hope to carry forever.