Thursday, May 16, 2013

Piercings & Doin' It

(Fear not, Mom, I have no new piercings.)
(Fear not, the rest of you, this is a G-rated post.)

Two and a half years ago, I got a body modification. In Ayurvedic medicine, the modification is made to a part of the body that represents the female reproductive organ, and the procedure is intended to enhance childbirthing abilities. In contemporary western medicine, the modification is made to the "protuberance that houses...the nares" (thank you, Wiki), and the procedure is performed purely for cosmetic reasons, typically resulting in infection and regret.

You see, I got my minor alar cartilage pierced. And into the hole was inserted an "L-shaped pin" (as it is called in piercing-speak) with a cute little diamond head. It's not entirely huge, nor entirely obvious. Truth be told, I sent a photo of my profile to my Mother right after I got the piercing, and my Mom needed some prompting to notice "the change." Subtle? Score!

Profile photo sent to my mom on 11/30/2010.

As it turns out, I got the piercing at about the same time that every other citizen of The Emerald City was getting his/her nostril pierced. While I'm guessing the piercing was a fashion statement or a fad for most of them, I can confirm that this was not the case for my piercing.

You see, ever since college I wanted to get my nose pierced. (Back in the college days, the piercing was indeed intended as a statement of fashion, because I was very cool back then.) I put the piercing off for more than a decade--creating excuses all the while. It will hurt. It will get infected. Employers won't hire me. Clients won't be able to take a tax accountant with facial jewelry seriously. When I take the piercing out, it will leave a big, gaping third hole in my schnozzola, from which liquid snot will pour freely.

I finally worked up the cojones to do it. I headed over to the tattoo and piercing parlor on a Tuesday evening. (All by myself!) And less than twenty minutes later, I walked out with a new hole in my nose, an additional sparkle on my face, and an extra bounce in my step. And guess what? The whole ordeal hurt way less than the seven ear piercings I've endured over the years. (Or perhaps it's just that time and wisdom have expanded my pain tolerance threshold.)

Every time I look in the mirror and see my piercing, I am reminded to "just do it." As is the case with many things, I spent way too much energy and time worrying about the piercing. It's something that is ingrained in the DNA of our species--we suffer way more from our thoughts about things than we do from just doing the things.

It's this "just do it" attitude that has helped me make some drastic changes in my life over the last few months. For example, I finally made the leap to semi-retirement and left the work world last November. At the end of March, I made the final downsizing push. And moved to a new town. On to a sailboat. With a guy I'd known for less than two months. And in less than two weeks, I'll be setting out on a multi-month bike trip, where all but three weeks of the trip will be just me and my bicycle.

I'll tell ya something...all this doin' is workin' for me. I couldn't be happier. Just doin' it makes life so much more fulfilling. It is the moments I'm experiencing within these "carpe diem" life choices that will bring a smile to my face when I'm on my deathbed; I don't anticipate I'll dedicate even a sliver of life-reflection to all the time and energy I spent on my career and "conventional lifestyle," and all the opportunities I passed up to live such a life.

Whatever it is that is causing you second thoughts and that is consuming your time and energy in the form of worry, just do it. Get that piercing. Leave your job. Take that important journey. Whatever "it" is for you. Just friggin' do it.

Oh, and for the record, I haven't been able to confirm whether the piercing has enhanced my childbearing abilities. As is the case for women from Afghanistan and various countries in the Himalayas, you're welcome to use the precious jewels (cubic zirconia) and metals (nickel-free solid white gold) from my piercing to help pay for my funeral.

Just. Do. It.



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