Chapter Three: What Never Conform Means to Me.
I almost feel sorry for everyone who doesn't have tattoos because they to me don't believe as strongly in the things I believe in. - CM Punk
After years of waiting, it was finally made official - I put ink to skin and marked it for life.
And yes, I don't regret it, in fact I don't believe in regrets, EVERYTHING we do is an experience that teaches us a lesson, regrets keep us stuck in the past.
Back to the tat, which had been a goal of mine for a long time. Now I'm not going to bore you with the logistics and answer the generic - "Did it hurt?" question. My Dad, my Brother, my Uncle and friends have had tattoos, its not a crazy thing.
Though the artist assigned with making it official halfway through the procedure, whilst I was looking up at the lights asked - "It's conform right? Not comform, an N, not an M?" in an unconvincing tone, which caused a few drips of sweat to leave my forehead.
It's become a bit of a personal joke between my closest mates, and in truth can seem a little silly, the idea of having a motto you believe in. However, when deciphering what phrase I would have carved into my skin, it had to be something significant, a phrase that encompassed everything I believed in, something that in times of trouble I could look down at for clarity and confidence in who I am.
As a shy introverted kid, and still a quite introverted adult I found a lot of myself in the entertainment I consumed in my formative years. The films I watched, the video games I played, the books I read, or the music I listened to. I became quite attached to things, falling in love with them, thinking about them whilst a teacher babbled on about algebra at the front of a class which felt like an inescapable torture cell for my creative brain.
I would write fiction containing all my favourite characters - a proper crossover before crossovers were the done thing. I'd fantasise about when I get the chance to make a film, how would it begin - taking my mundane surroundings and turning them into locations for my very own blockbuster.
I found out quickly that to find my way, it was about accepting my flaws, embracing my strengths and not caring what others thought - (A battle I'm still fighting today, aren't we all? The Vader to my Skywalker, The Voldermort to my Potter, The Zurg to my Lightyear.)
Relating to my last blog in which I expressed how shutting yourself away completely can be a toxic endeavour that only leads you down a path of isolation and depression, it doesn't mean you can't be different, stand out, or believe in your principles.
Never Conform to me is all about embracing and accepting the body I've been given, the brain I've been gifted, the soul (If that's not too religious for some of ya) I've been bestowed.
I like spending time by myself. I get a few raised eyebrows when I tell people I want to wake up before 7, just to go for a walk and listen to a playlist containing the dulcet tones of Watsky, Maroon 5, Sinatra and the Scissor Sisters, fuck yeah!
I'm the guy that's watched the trailers for Avengers: Endgame a ridiculously high amount (500 at last count), scanning for new details, theorising about how the hell this juggernaut comes to a satisfying conclusion and being baffled about how many times Natasha's hair colour changes in reference to the timeline, fuck yeah!
I spent so long boring my friends and family about talking about my love for Chelsea, I started a YouTube channel, opened a blog, wrote for multiple websites about them, hosted a Podcast, and more. Up The Chels!
To the average gazing person, Never Conform might sound like that edgy, difficult 15-year-old who yells at his Dad for being uncool, listens to indy music and is that dick in the cinema who corpses at inappropriate times, commenting about how stupid everything is to feel cooler than everyone else wants just to enjoy the film. Though for me, it's not about any of those things.
I love collaborating, teamwork - understanding other people's methods, the things that make them tick. Learning from mentors, being self reflective and evaluative - always wanting to push to the next goal and improve. I'm humble to the fact I'm only 21 and there's still soo much to learn, and I'm happy about that.
At its core, what the motto means is not fitting in to someone else's vision of the world, to make them happy. I see so many people wasting hours, days, weeks of their lives chasing after other people's approval, trying to fit in to what they want, and hey - for a small time - maybe I was guilty of that crime too; I'm sure we've all stumbled into that trap.
Though it's not worth it. My self worth isn't down to someone else's approval. Or worse, exchanging your happiness for a few likes, or acceptance from people who are only interested in the exterior in everything.
In one of my favourite films Harry Hart, whilst quoting Ernest Hemingway in the first Kingsman said -
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."
That is a code I think we all should all strive for, and one I do.
Never Conform is about believing in who are you, being proud of what you love, and trying everyday to improve - even if that's a small amount.
Have a great Easter!
End of Chapter Three.