I have been quite vocal and open, on twitter in particular, about my new tattoo.

Those of you who have known me for any time know that I am not exactly the “tattoo type.” Or at least I wasn’t previously the “tattoo type.”

When this year started, I identified three big things that, for me, were “Must-Dos” for 2009. There were many more business and personal goals I had and have….but these three were separate from all of that. These were the “Three Things To Separate the Old Allison from the New Allison” kind of things:

1. Get a tattoo of a ladybug (I did on 10/15/2009 and that’s what this blog post is about).

2. Do karaoke (never did it before, just did it first time this past Friday, 11/6/2009 — more in a future blog on this). (Update: Karaoke Video)

3. Skydiving – still not sure about this one….hoping to have the guts before year-end.

While the tattoo was on the Must-Do list, I didn’t have definite plans for when and how. In fact, as October rolled around, I started to wonder if any of the three were going to happen.

Enter Vegas. And enter my go-with-the-flow-full-of-amazingness-and-living-a-life-parallel-to-mine BFF Elizabeth Potts Weinstein.

Sparing you the details of how I made it to Huntington Ink on Thursday afternoon with EPW and the fantastic and already-super-tattooed Jason Rubacky, let’s just say that within minutes, like less than 10, I had paid for the tattoo, met Tyler my tattoo artist and picked from some printouts what my tiny ladybug would look like. (Left hipbone, by the way, in answer to another question I keep answering.)

No wasting time, totally going with the flow. A mere 10 minutes after that, I was done. (I get asked all the time — “Did it hurt?” Answer is — mine is super-small and thus took a super-short amount of time. But yes, it hurts. A LOT. And I have a high tolerance for pain. And have given birth twice. It hurts A LOT.)

So why the ladybug? is the question I always get. And here is my answer:

“Under The Tuscan Sun” was one of my favorite books and is a favorite movie. In fact, Tuscany is on the 2010 list for sure.

In the movie, the main character Frances (played by Diane Lane) encounters many wonderful people, each with amazing lessons for her in her new life, including Katherine, an American woman with an attitude and a zest for life and living and love that Frances has not ever (yet) accessed in her own life.

Katherine gives Frances all sorts of bite-sized lessons on life (it is a movie, after all) like this one: “Regrets are a waste of time. They’re the past crippling you in the present.”

As an ever-practical and “good” girl like Frances, I can relate to the amazement — and attraction — she felt about and to Katherine’s wonderful way of looking at life. When Frances first sees the villa in Tuscany that she eventually — impractically and against every ounce of reason she has — buys, they have this discussion:

Katherine: It’s a nice little villa. Are you going to buy it?
Frances: The way my life is currently going, that would be a terrible idea.
Katherine: Terrible idea… Don’t you just love those?

So terrible ideas….whims…grabbing opportunities…..not saying “no”….these are the things that prickle the sensibilities of safe and practical people like Frances and many of us.

As they get to know one another better, Katherine tells Frances about ladybugs: “When I was a little girl, I used to run around in the fields all day, trying unsuccessfully to catch ladybugs. I’d get tired and lay down for a nap. When I awoke, I’d find the ladybugs walking all over me.”

Yes, the lesson here is clear: Slow down. Stop trying to be in control (it won’t ever work anyway). Stop trying to always win or be right. Be patient. Trust. Exercise that faith muscle. Let it unfold and happen, don’t force it. Let the ladybugs come to you…they ARE on their way.

And did I say trust? I’ll say it again: Trust. In yourself, in your intuition, in the way things are supposed to happen, in your greatness.

I wrote this blog mostly to have a permalink to send people to next time they ask me “Why a ladybug?” 🙂 And now you know too. (I promise, pics and videos in the next blog entry.) Thanks for caring about me. Thanks for helping me see my greatness. I see yours too…

OK update….here is the video!