I am drawn to tattoos. I have 2 and have plans for 3 more. When I was a kid the only person I knew with a tattoo was my uncle. He had a teddy bear right over his heart. It was small, probably 2 inches high and I remember thinking it was cool.
I am nosy and always ask people what their tattoos mean, where they got them, the artist’s name, how long they’ve had them.
Of course growing up we were told NO WAY whenever we asked to get a tattoo. But on my 18th birthday I walked into a tattoo shop with my best friend at the time and got a $40.00 piece of flash on my left shoulder-blade. I didn’t put thought into it; it didn’t have any special meaning other than it was a symbol of my “independence” and my bestie got a matching one. It was a halo with wings in flight, super small and you can’t really tell what it is. So I spent my youth showing people my tat, and then having to explain it.
My 2nd tattoo I got for my 29th birthday. My grandfather died that year, and I wanted to do something to remember who I was, and where I came from. I got this one on my foot, a bumblebee with the words always in front of it. Because he will always be with me, and my maiden name begins with a B. My little sister went with me for that, and I have been trying to convince her we need to get matching tattoos since then, she’s not buying it. I have had to explain this tattoo but I don’t mind, because it means so much to me.
My parents/family doesn’t get why I want tattoos, I have tried to explain but there is something about it, something deep and meaningful to permanently mark your skin with what is important to your life. It’s a living time line, and it’s very symbolic. If I am willing to mark myself I must really believe in what I am putting on my body. I won’t think in the terms of “what will it look like in the future” or “how will you get a job”, it’s not as taboo as it used to be. Besides if you don’t like it, that’s cool, it’s on my body. And I try to be discreet when the occasion calls for it.
My next tattoo will be one of my two personal mantras, I want them on me so I can look down and repeat the words, feel them fill me up and calm me down. One will be on my left forearm, haven’t decided on the exact position yet. But I think that one will happen soon, within the next few months. I need to complete the design, then take it in to be priced and sketched by the artist. I am also doing research on the right artist to do these. I am not loyal to any one artist, I just want to feel comfortable.
The feeling I get when I see my foot, which is often since its summer time and I am wearing a lot of flats with no socks and flip-flops, I think of my family, I think of my Puppa and his smiling face. He probably wouldn’t like my tattoos, but he would understand my desire for them. Actually several of my cousins have also gotten tattoos to symbolize him, memorialize him.
So the long, well very long of it is I love tattoos, I love my tattoos, I will be getting more at some point in my life, and when my kids ask me if they can have one, I will say no, not without putting major thought into it, oh yeah and you have to be 18.