“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on and individual level. It’s got to happen inside first. You can take away a man’s political freedom and you won’t hurt him- unless you take away his freedom to feel. That can destroy him. That kind of freedom can’t be granted. Nobody can win it for you.” – Jim Morrison
I got a visible tattoo. In a true sexy thinker fashion, we flipped it so you could watch and so that those of you who thought I might cry could see how tough I was.
Afterward I had a few conversations that went something like this:
“Hey what did you do today?” – them
“I got a tattoo.” – me
“Where?” – them
“On my forearm” – me
“Wow, you’re brave.” – them
“Why do you say that?” – me
“What will your clients think?” – them
“What if you decide to go back into the corporate world?” – them
“How are you going to hide it?” – them
“It looks like you drew it on with a marker.” – Bill Campion
It’s not about a tattoo.
It’s 2010, it’s about being able to be who you are.
The people you work for should judge you according to your results, your ideas and your talent. Nothing else.
If I’m not accepted in the workplace for a tattoo, I’m pretty certain there will be other more important parts of who I am that would not be accepted.
Look, sometimes we have to work a job we don’t entirely like, but in this day in age, should we still have to work in places where we can’t express ourselves and be who we are?
I’ve learned that only when you embrace your own authenticity, unapologetically, can you really explore your talents’ potential. By being true to yourself you attract the kind of people in your life who share your values. Including employers and clients.
You do have a choice.
A special thank you to @kwoodpartners for helping me figure this out and to @nwalls for being my sidekick on this experience.