Sunday, January 29

Matryoshka doll

Just four more days with a plain, pasty white right lower leg. After that it's going to be pretty colourful for the rest of my life.

Getting a tattoo does bear some resemblance to marriage, no? Okay, it's a pretty poor comparison considering the only similarity is permanence. I am really looking forward to getting my second tattoo, but my mind does do little loop de loops every time I try to evaulate what sixty year old Stef might one day think about twenty-nine year old me's more permanent choices.
See, if fourteen year old Stef met with my current self I know she'd be outraged at what she's turned into. I was a Little-Miss-Know-It-All back then (some might argue there is no change there, but I sure got rid of the inconveniently placed stick).

Isn't it intriguing how swiftly we feel estranged from our own past ideals, goals, reasoning and decisions? When I think back to my school days all I can do is shake my head and console myself that it led me where I am now. My early twenties on the other hand I am pretty pleased with (they were fun at the time and hold up well on internal replay too). Even so, these recollections feel just as distant as glimpses of that persnickety, prudish teen I once was. Like watching highlights from an old movie with the volume turned down.

Well, I guess I'll just have to wait and see where life takes me from here ;)

This whole sentiment that our selfs are variable is what inspired this tattoo I am getting on Thursday in the first place.

If you ask me personality is not singular, unchanging, set in stone. I am not only thinking of personal growth over time but also different aspects/parts/ego-states of yourself that co-exist and when combined make up all that is You.

I am a home body who wants to explore the world. I am an introverted extrovert. I am laid back and confrontational. It just depends on the situation and the frame I am in.

You can catch hints of what I am getting at by thinking about what defines you as a daughter, a mother, a professional or a friend. The situations we find ourselves in bring out different sides to us and sometimes you might find that you're not merely adapting to a particular role but that these different aspects of yourself even extend to seperate hopes and dreams, wants and needs. Well, I am over simplifying a little but it gives you a rough idea of what I mean.

Subpersonality theory is a straight forward enough concept but it can be hard to feel your way around, not least because it just seems silly to think of yourself in the plural.

As odd as it appeared at first glance, this framework has really helped me to feel more at home in myself. It's a big enough deal for me to inspire a tattoo, even.

*Linking the subpersonality theory article on wiki just gave me a right giggle. There is a picture of nesting dolls on the page. It took me months to feel my way towards a non-creepy, pleasing visual representation of the concept and there it was right in front of my nose all along. In wiki we trust.

hat: primark
jacket: tulle (modcloth)
brooches: etsy
violent pink crop sweater: h&m
dress: tara starlet
orchid pink tights
boots: present


  1. Rebecca KummerfeldJanuary 29, 2012

    Woo!! Good luck! Can't wait to see it.

  2. helgavontrollopJanuary 29, 2012

    Excellent,thought provoking post!
    I'm excited to see your new tattoo!

  3. I like the comparison of a tattoo to marriage.  My youngest daughter married a tattoo artist this past September.  He had covered all of one arm with his art before the mother in me got the better of me.  I flat out told him he needed to put a ring on her before there was any more of his art.  I am multiple personalities, but most of the time they are fairly integrated.

  4. Emily, Resplendent TranquilityJanuary 29, 2012

    Violent pink - haha! Before I read your outfit details I was thinking of how pretty your sweater is and how nice that shade looks on you. Then, as per usual, I was left chuckling at your perfectly worded quips.

    I rather like the nesting doll analogy regarding subpersonality theory and how well it represents the co-existence of personality layers (and, yes, without being creepy). It's funny, and maybe it's just me, but I always feel the concept of subpersonality, but have never tried putting it into words (at least not as eloquently as you have).

    P.S. Backtracking a bit with this, but I am sorry to hear that your visas didn't go through. Have you and your husband considered trying again sometime in the future?

  5. i love seeing your hesitance in getting a tattoo, leading to you getting another one! i can't wait to see how it turns out. 
    and i love what you wrote. i don't think i've changed as much. i'm kind of the same. which i think is another issue. 

  6. hello stef how beautiful you are and I just love your style, I love how you compose your clothes, I could not dress well but I think you beautiful in...I loved his sweater, his beautiful brooches, his coat and his boots ... all very beautiful
     kisses rose jp

  7. Thanks :) We may well try again but at the moment we are looking at moving house within the Cambridge area and want to plan in lots of weekend trips and holidays this year. Travel was one of the major reasons for applying for the visa so now we're getting our fill in other ways :D