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This is my new tattoo from last week. I know people will ask what the words mean to me, so I thought I’d explain that here.

I clearly remember the first time these lyrics jumped out at me. I was coming home after a writing conference in Sioux Falls in 2014. I was driving our car that I didn’t usually drive…it was the car we used for longer trips and generally my husband always drove. But I was alone, so I was driving the Honda Element. Since that wasn’t the car I usually used, I didn’t have any of my CDs in it. There were a few CDs lying around, but mostly bands I don’t care for (the musical tastes of my husband and me differ quite a bit!). However, sometimes our tastes converge and I found this under the seat:


Oasis: Stop the Clocks

I had listened to this CD collection several times on and off over the years. I like Oasis, quite a lot, actually. You can’t go wrong with a Manchester band! I put in Disc 2 and when “Half A World Away” came on, I felt dumbstruck. For some reason, I heard the song in an entirely new way. And the line: “You can’t give me the dreams that are mine anyway” stood out to me like no other. In fact, I’m pretty sure I pressed rewind a few times.

Music that we may have heard before can strike us in new ways depending where we are in our lives. The same goes for books, movies, really any piece of pop culture. You can watch a movie once and not think much of it, but then you watch it again and suddenly it’s the best movie ever. We’re continuously re-engaging with art. At the same time it’s both familiar and unfamiliar.

I can’t say what made that line stand out to me on that ride. I was about to turn 40. I guess with that came a new sense of confidence and security: My dreams are mine and I’m going to own them. And there’s also those times when you let other people affect your mood or affect your sense of self-worth. When I get drawn down into that, the words from the song remind me that I’m in charge. I have my own dreams and hopes and goals, and no one can give them to me and no one can take them away.

I knew almost right away that the line would make a great tattoo, but like with all of my other tattoos, I mulled this one over for a while. I thought if I’m still thinking about it after two years, if I still think it would make a great tattoo, then I’m pretty certain I will not mind having it be a part of my body for the rest of my life. I now have five tattoos. I got my first one in 1996 (I think!). I do not regret a one.