This weekend I got my first tattoo and I absolutely love how it turned out. I fully realize that a tattoo is not for everyone and there is sure to be a group of people that question my choice. However, I am determined not to let other people decide what I will do with my life. To help remind myself of this approach, I have started using the phrase “more cowbell” to push me to embrace new experiences (and to laugh in tough situations). I am not sure how I got stuck on the phrase, but have found it really fits with how I want to live my life.
For those not familiar with the phrase, it comes from a 2000 Saturday Night Live skit (worth 5 minutes if you have not seen it). The scene is a spoof of the Blue Oyster Cult recording “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” with Will Ferrell (playing the role of Gene Frenkle) playing the cowbell with enthusiasm. Throughout the skit Christoper Walken is pleading for even more cowbell. I have seen the skit dozens of times, and laugh through each one. At one point, Will makes the statement “we don’t have a whole lot of songs that feature the cowbell”. This got me to thinking that this applies to a lot of the goals and dreams I have. While people may love a good cowbell, most people would not be comfortable putting it into their song. Often our dreams or goals are not understood by everyone else, but that does not mean you should shy away from pursuing.
So, when I decided to follow Betsy’s lead and get my own tattoo, the words “more cowbell” ran through my head as I decided to get something large and visible. As I mentioned in my last post many of my fears about our trip arise from within. In selecting what piece of art I wanted on my body for the rest of my life I decided on an image that would remind me to always look inside myself for answers. (see more photos of the experience here)
Follow your own voice:
- Find people that will support your dream. They will be screaming “more cowbell” when you need it. (The photo here is of Betsy’s parents sporting temporary tattoos in their version of “more cowbell” for her new art).
- Don’t be afraid to “explore the space” of your goals. Make the goal your own and be fearless in how you attack it. I wanted a tattoo that I could look at to remind me to slow down and experience both our trip and my life.
- Have fun. After all, life is short so why not have a great time on the ride. Our wonderful friends Pat and Debb joined us at the tattoo parlor for a few hours of laughs and fun to celebrate the moment.
In November of 2006, Betsy and I visited Barcelona for a week. During our time touring the city we spent a couple hours visiting the Salvador Dali museum. Dali was an amazing and prolific artist, and if you have the opportunity I encourage you to spend some time walking through a set of works that inspires, confuses, and simply baffles the mind. While there I was mesmerized by his work on “The Anthropomorphic Cabinet” and “The Fallen Angel“. I love the images and self-reflection they inspire. I added the globe to reflect both the trip that we are going on, but also to remind me what I want to learn about myself while we are on this adventure.