Ep. 60: The Journey, Not The Destination

Don't forget to stop and smell the puppies. 

Just a little ramble on the topic of appreciating the journey, not just the destination. 

Slower, my friend. 

episode transcript

Micah Riot: 

Music. Hello darlings Micah Riot , host of Ink Medicine podcast. Here we are in the first week of February and January has already felt so so long. I'm really not one to hurry time along. I do like the process, the journey, and I'm not rushed to get to the destination. But it has felt particularly long, in part because my partner just had her knee replaced. I'm happy to say that she's in good health and was going into the surgery in a strong body and so her recovery, I think, comparatively, has been pretty alright. And still it's been a lot of energy, of worrying and kind of running back and forth helping care for her, because I'm sure most of you already know Maybe you don't that my partner has two partners. So I'm her partner and then she has another partner of close to 20 years and she splits her time between the two households. So she is a week with him and a week with me. Every other week she switches households and she's recovering at the other house because of the dog, lulu, the pit bull, who is jumpy and excited and adores her and is always on top of her when she is here at the house we share together. It is better and I'm glad that we have the option to have her recover at the other house. It's only 15 minute drive from the house I live in and I've been spending all of my free time over there and then working intermittently, so I've had little time, I've had little energy from much, and also this is the reason the podcast is late, has been late for a couple weeks, but I am committed to keeping it going. Keeping it happening, making it for you guys, and I'm hoping that you are enjoying listening to it. This weekend I'm going to be recording two episodes with two tattoo artists, one of which is local here in NorCal, in Oakland, and the other one is up in Washington state. They're both named Caitlin and I'll be dropping those episodes in the next couple of months, perhaps the next month, and I'm excited for that. I love an interview, I love talking to other tattoo artists, I love talking shop. I like finding out how they do their work and why they do their work and how they see it and if it's different from the way that I see my work and creating more community and more connection. It can be a strangely lonely job if you work in a private studio or a smaller shop, and I think there's a lot of ideas about each other's intimidating nature. I think we're all a little bit intimidated by each other, and perhaps not I don't know about the dudes, but the people who were raised female. I think there's a lot of imposter syndrome among us and a lot of feelings of, well, that person is really cool and how do we connect? Is it really possible to connect? Do they want to connect? Are they just too cool for me? So there's a lot of that in the tattoo artists scene and I work to dispel all of that by interviewing tattoo artists and making everybody familiar and down to earth and human and the same. We're all human, we're all equally important and we're all equally cool and we have equal value. So I'm here to bring that message home. Another type of episode you can expect from me in the next few months is hopefully finally an interview with my partner, who I thought I could kind of trap, since she's not really able to get away right now since she's laid out with her knee and healing. Now that she's laying down a lot. She's kind of wily, so she's wandering around a lot on her crutches. But I was hoping I could pin her down not literally, figuratively and do an interview about how we got together, because it had a little bit to do with tattoos. So I'm hoping to get that to you guys soon, because that will be a fun episode to make. But today I wanted to speak to something that I don't think people think enough about, and it came up in a conversation with a client of mine earlier this week, and it's about the process, the road, the journey over the destination, and how it relates to tattoos. Think about it when you decide that you want to get a new tattoo, of course you think about the final product. You think about the tattoo, how it's going to look on your body. You imagine what it will look like because you know what you like. You see a lot of tattoos out there. You know that you like it to be heavy black work or you like a lot of color. You like something that looks really delicate and small. You get really excited about this future product that you're gonna go through a process in order to get. But do you think about how you're gonna get there? Do you think about how long it will take to find the right tattoo artist and then how long it will take to get into their books and the process of waiting and the process of perhaps designing the piece together with the artist or letting them design it on their own. And then do you think about the time you're gonna spend with this person and the literal mark they're going to leave on your skin for the rest of your life, and most likely for the rest of your life you can get it removed or changed. It is very likely that the process that you're going to undertake in order to get to the final product of having the tattoo on your body is going to have just as much effect on your life as the end result or the event that led you to getting the tattoo. Your tattoo artist is a whole ass person, whether or not they show you that of themselves. During this process, some of us give more of ourselves and some of us give less, and for some clients that is what they want or not. Some clients want to come in, get the tattoo, put earbuds in their ears, tune out, get the tattoo and leave. What is important to them is actually the tattoo, and for other people, the connection part of the process is also extremely important. They want to be tattooed by somebody they feel really comfortable with, someone. They feel like they can talk to somebody they feel seen by, and it's possible that this will be the very first time you're seen exactly in the way that this person is seeing you. It's possible that they're going to give you a life changing recommendation. It's possible they will set you up with a love of your life. It's possible they're going to send you to the most amazing therapist that's going to change your mental health completely for the better. It's possible that they're going to become your best friend or your partner or part of your community, or someone that your kids will look up to and then will come to when they get older, and somebody who is going to take your child and apprentice them and give them a career. And, of course, it's possible that none of that will happen. Even if you want it to happen, even if you want every person you come across to have an effect on your life, it's possible they're not going to. What I'm really trying to say is that you can't look past the journey to the end of the result. I mean you can, but you're going to miss out on a lot of life. So care about the journey. Take the time to find the right person to tell to you. Take the time to appreciate the roses on the way. Sniff the roses, pet the puppy. Look at the penny, the shiny penny that you found on the ground as you're walking. The journey is really worthy, joy is For sure. There's big joys in the destination too. But if you're only ever looking at the destination, at the end point, the end result, the product, that's a really small, small chunk of life. So sniff the roses and relax in the tattoo chair and talk to me, because it's part, a big part, a beautiful part of life.