At some point I will write about the business side of branding and building a business from scratch. I have been meaning to do this for a long time— covering topics like the fallacy of “if you build it, they will come”, and entrepreneurial depression—something that hit me like a ton of bricks long before I understood what it was.
Today I am writing about a different kind of branding—my new tattoo.
My twelfth wedding anniversary just came and went and I commemorated the event by branding the initials of my wife and children onto my upper left arm.
I entered into the compact of marriage kicking and screaming. As much as I loved my wife I had reasons for not wanting to get married and have children.
My childhood was pretty good but I went off the rails in my teens and can’t say for sure that I have ever truly righted the train. I am a piece of work and even though I know I am a very good dad in most ways, I fear for the emotional legacy that I will leave my children.
Surrendering to the love of a good woman, while carrying all the weight of a pathetic cliché, is really why I am married today with the two stunning children who, no matter how much they drive me crazy, make my days very sweet.
My wife has taught me so much about kindness and caring and sacrifice and the lessons are never ending. And every time I do the right thing when I would much prefer not to, I deposit another thank you in an overflowing bucket of appreciation.
My wife inspires me to behave better. And I am mostly talking about banal things like doing the dishes when it is the last thing I am interested in doing at the end of a long day. Choosing to do something for my wife rather than myself is ridiculously meaningful for a selfish soul.
Branding myself in this way doesn’t solidify my commitment any more as I never doubt that we are in the game of life together for the long haul.
But it feels great.
Though it is only a few weeks old the new tattoo makes me smile every time I see the flash of black while putting a shirt on or taking one off; or catching sight of the letters in a mirror even though they are backwards.
The only other tattoo I have came to me in a vision while in the throes of rock n roll ecstasy (at a Julian Cope concert) twenty years ago.
There was never a plan or inkling to get a second one but I am very glad that I did.