by Cannon Outlaw 15 days ago in coping

The Tattoo That Started It All



"An abnormal and persistent fear of public places or open areas, especially those from which escape could be difficult or in which help might not be immediately accessible."

This tattoo is an acknowledgment, a testimony.

Ever since I could remember, growing up on a farm in small rural North Carolina, I found my peace in solitude. The farm life cultivated this atmosphere for me. The animals were my friends, the people were my family. The games we played as children were obscure to the outsider looking in. Conversation was only held with those who understood the rugged slang of our language. It was a very small world, to say the least.

As I got older, my parents decided to put me in a private school thirty minutes outside of the only world I knew. The shock of entering into a world so different urged my mind and body to adjust quickly. I absolutely went to the opposite extremity of the solitude I knew all of my life. I was the most outspoken, most known, for better or worse.

Out of school and in my twenties, I was experiencing so many things. My friend groups were changing along with my life style. The world around me seemed to be spinning and I was the only thing standing still. The people I surrounded myself with at the time fed into the vices that allowed me to cope with the ever present angst that filled my soul.

The greatest of outlets was my music. Music is my passion. Every hour I wasn't working a soul draining job, I was dedicating to the music. The 9-5 job that immersed me into a place of ultimate discomfort drove my music to it's fullest potential. It didn't matter what circumstance life put me in, I was always able to make a song out of it. That is what life was, and will always be, about to me.

As years passed, the job I was working became robotic and the relationship I was in, empty. All I had was my music and my dog Macchi; my only true commitments.

I was done living this life I kept telling myself I wanted, I decided to take the risk.

I am leaving NC and driving to CA to chase my dreams to their fullest. There was no stopping me now.

Months passed,

I planned, I pondered, but something was missing and I was never the one to ignore my instinct, so I waited.

My relationship at the time came to a staggering low, we were basically roommates nearing the final end of our journey together.

Again, I felt the pressure of moving, taking the risk, deciding.

So I Did.

I left behind the old relationship, quit my job, and that same day I got this tattoo. (3 steps to success!)

Tattoo Shop Scene:


*walked in with Agoraphobia written on a piece of paper*

"I want this put on the middle of my neck"

(holding out the small piece of sticky note paper, I just took off the desk of the job I quit only moments before)


"Did you quit your job?"

(without the knowledge that this is precisely what I did)


"I just put my two week notice in today"


"Did you tell your mother"


*with hesitation*

"I Did"

(I didn't ;))

The conversation continued with the artists curiosity in my reasoning for putting 'AGORAPHOBIA' on my neck. (only doing what a responsible tattoo artist should do when tattooing a neck) I knew where I was and where I wanted to be. The situation I had been in for years allowed me to be sucked into a bubble of rotting comfort, stifling me with my weaknesses.

"Why on your neck?" he asks curiously

No more excuses...

"He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

AGORAPHOBIA was only the beginning,

This same day, a good friend of mine found a month to month lease on a studio in town and it was in that same studio on that same day (September 9, 2019) that I invited a girl I knew many years ago in high school over to check it out with me.

Fast forward: exactly one year later on September 9th 2020 me, that same girl, and my dog Macchi are in LA, California working towards new goals and dreams that will eventually take us to even more.

We are shooting for the stars and it all started with AGORAPHOBIA.

*the photo above was taken in Venice beach by photographer: @aaron_alexiss*

Cannon Outlaw
Cannon Outlaw
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Cannon Outlaw

I’m a singer/song-writer, and engineer as well. Here are some of my thoughts/poems/songs.. enjoy :)

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