on power and limitations | Chantilly

on power and limitations

another story about another ring...

once upon a time, i had some piercings, including a navel ring. (yes, i know.) i originally got it when i was 15 (!!), and i took it out some years ago. though i came across it recently while looking through some old junk.

when i saw again, i felt electric. things like piercings and tattoos can be very personal, and mine was. navel rings went out of style years ago, but that wasn't the reason i took it out. i actually wore mine way past the point of fashionability. it was because i decided that it had no meaning for me anymore. but there was a time when it had a lot of meaning.

another life.

chantilly ring
it's even still bent, just like it always was. imperfect. just like me.

there was a time when i used to do things simply on gut instincts. it might sound cheesy, but when i found out i could do things simply because i wanted to, i tapped into a great source of power. i loved doing things like dyeing my hair. piercing parts of myself. sleeping with strangers. having TOTAL control of my body and mind, and there wasn't a damn thing anybody could do to stop me.

my biggest wish was for independence. my biggest fear was dependency, and compromising my freedom and choices. i have never been perfectly happy. never perfectly stable. but there was a time when i felt a power within myself to move mountains.

nowadays, i feel like i do a lot of compromising, and most of my thoughts revolve around responsibilities. i notice that most of my time is comprised of doing a LOT of things i don't want to do. even as i'm "freelance" and working for myself. i've felt limited by a lot: past traumas. lack of finances, lack of connections, lack of know-how. even limits i put on myself that aren't even real.

and i can barely remember... but i'm fairly certain... there was a time when i used to scoff in the face of any kind of limitation.

where did that badass go?? what the hell happened to her? maybe it's just part of the natural progression of life, and everyone comes to terms with the fact that they do not, in fact, have limitless power. they never get everything they want. they can't have their cake and eat it too. of course people need limits.

but i can't help but feeling like i need some of this power infused back into my life. sometimes, i can only find solace in letting go of control. right now, i am feeling and craving that power running through my veins. a life force all its own.

when i saw the ring, it reminded me that existed once within me. and i can have it again. if i want it.

if i can be brave enough to find it.


♥ listen to my new record on bandcamp


  1. Great post. This made me sad. I have been feeling the same way lately. Reading back on old journals. Seeing how free, for lack of a better term, I was. I feel old and I'm only 24. This age has been weird for me. I feel like I'm in the middle of my youth-ness and adult-ness and I don't quite know how I like it. I'm going to be thinking about this post all day.

  2. It's definitely a progression of life, but it doesn't have to keep going. As we get older we definitely re-prioritize and become overwhelmed with things we *have* to do (responsibilities, work, whatever) and we don't do the things we want to do as much. Sometimes our interests change, sometimes we don't have time, and sometimes we give up. I think the important thing is to remember that fire you have inside of you that's been shushed by monotonous paperwork, chores, and duties. To decide that we want that fire to keep burning, because it's never fully out. "and i can have it again. if i want it." <--- And you do. We're always going to have these limitations and responsibilities and that's something we're probably not going to be able to change, but we can make time (not find it) for these things.
    I think I've learned that I don't need to piece my skin to feel alive anymore.. I can find it in the wind.

  3. This is truly a beautiful post and I can so relate! Thanks for sharing such personal thoughts! xxx

  4. I've actually been tapping into some of that attitude of "Oh right, I want to do that and I CAN and it won't hurt anybody, so I will!" in the last few years. It's weird how cutting and dying your hair and updating your style of dress can be so freeing and empowering. I have a couple things on the backburner that are a bit more risky (a tattoo, for example) that I'm still working myself up to.

  5. Anonymous5/24/2012

    It's not that you don't have that power anymore. I'm positive that you do. I think that as you get older, the more you realize how much you don't know. When you're 15, you think you know it all. I did. But when I went to college and got my first "real" job and I realized I knew so little. It was a very humbling but wonderful experience

  6. Chantilly! This post is great, I have also been having these kind of thoughts. I keep telling myself if I can just remember that fearlessness and forget the worrying about responsibilities, I could achieve anything! It's so hard to change brain gears!

    Occasionally I have an experience that reminds me how it is possible, you just have to achieve the right mind-set!

    Good luck with the fearlessness!
    Kitty & Buck.

  7. Hey Chantilly! Thanks for this post...I've definitely been feeling what seems to be a weird shift in power too and a constant battle with my head. I'm turning 25 next week... blah sounds horrible. I've actually been kind of wanted to get another tattoo (my first and only one is from when I was 16) just because I almost feel like I can't or something. I guess I just want to feel like I can do whatever I want whenever I want again. Like you said, on gut instinct, without over-thinking every single possible consequence.

    Forever Fashionably Late

  8. let's all dig out that inner bad ass. i think it's time she makes an appearance again.

  9. OH I love the honesty!! Its so nice and I am seeing it around on a lot of blogs. I think this is a real big movement for bloggers!!!
    Britney @ Lemonwood and Honey!!

  10. great post, i miss that sometimes.
    I realise now i crave the stability to be safe and how at that time i needed the freedom and now something else.

    Maybe we dont need a piercing to be wild we can do something smaller :)

    being responsible sucks abit. Hope you got my email, another one on the way :)


  11. This is beautiful, Chantilly. A family friend told me recently that it seemed like I 'toned down'...because I no longer have crazy haircuts/colors. I guess the toning down represents that you develop power without those things. You don't need those things to stand out anymore, you're stronger. You express yourself in different ways as you get older...something like that.

  12. I have been wondering a lot lately, where did my inner badass go? I'm embarrassed to admit, I still have my navel ring in with the SAME ring I got pierced with 16 years ago!! I'm mostly afraid of the weird scar and hole that will be left behind, but I think part of me isn't ready to give up on that teenager that thought she could take on the world :) You'll be happy to know that I did take the tongue bar out years ago...


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