To start, let me say that I wrote this original post on a personal blog a few weeks ago, and liked it enough to share here, so here’s this… 😛
The anticipation that builds with getting a new tattoo is almost unbearable. I’m still two weeks out and I’m already planning on what I’ll get once I finish this one, even though this one will never be finished in one session, and I have an entire sleeve planned for after this…. You can never be caught unawares when it comes to these things! There must always be a billion options for a new tattoo. Anyways, whenever I scroll through Pinterest, I always see the cutest little dainty tattoos, and articles with titles that read, “Best tattoos for women.” And aside from the inherent sexism in said title, I kind of wonder why people even get those small tattoos at all. Some of them are crazes, some from fandoms, some are legitimately too cute to pass up, but some I wonder if it’s just too hard to commit to something for your whole life. Either way, I tend to be judgmental (even though I hate when people judge my tattoos) and I think of who I was, and my first tattoo.
First, let’s discuss who I wasn’t. I was never that girl to ‘happen’ into a tattoo shop with a giggly friend, asking for something small, something easily hidden, something I could take back if I changed my mind. I was never the girl who walked out of said tattoo shop after hearing the price was just too high and the artist wouldn’t do what I wanted anyways. I was the girl who went big. Go big or go home. Oh, and always trust the professionals. They know what’s going to last, and get this… people can tell when you’re insincere.
I was anything but insincere. I was so sure of myself when I got my first tattoo at the ripe legal age of eighteen. I knew who I was, I knew what I stood for and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I had listened to my parents try to dissuade me from permanently marking my body for years, this was my chance. I think my mom was mostly against it because my dad is so adamantly against them, in truth, I think she would get one if her body wasn’t a constant circus that is autoimmune disease and pain. That’s besides the point. The point is, I thought I knew who I was, I thought I knew how life would be. I thought it would be a lot easier than it was. I was naive, I was reckless, and I was so wanting to prove I knew what was best for me. Turns out, I did not know what was best for me….
My first tattoo was on the top of my foot. It’s a Bible verse and to be honest, I’m quite embarrassed to admit that over the years, I’ve forgotten what that verse was, I’ve mixed up the reason why I got it – trying to justify why a so not christian had a so very christian tattoo (if that’s even a thing). I’ve even gone to show it off, or at least how bad foot tattoos can fade, and totally whipped off the wrong sock. Oops! Originally I read the verse off a journal, to this day I cannot find the exact translation it comes from, and it’s almost certainly not used in the right context. More than likely it was one of those feel good verses extricated from a darker, much more bleak part of the Bible, but to be honest, I don’t know because all I remember is the verse. It’s Exodus 33:14 and my version is, “My presence will go with you, I will see the journey to the end.”
When I got this tattoo, I didn’t know exactly where life would take me. I had some dreams, some thoughts on where I might end up, or what I might end up doing, but no real clue as to where I was going. I was done with high school, not working, and my family was soon moving across the states to the middle of… well, the arctic nowhere. But somehow I felt comforted by this verse; like everything would be okay because I had tattooed a promise given to someone else, hundreds if not thousands of years ago, on the very top of my foot in very pretty script.
And true to her natures, after that fateful day with a tattoo artist named Monkey Bones, life tilted her head back and laughed. Then she sprinkled a little disaster in my path and here I am, five tattoos inkier and none the wiser. Okay, maybe a little wiser…
My second tattoo spurns from the harsh reality of believing you know the ways of the world by eighteen. On the morning of my nineteenth birthday I ran away with my “true love.” He was an asshole, to put it nicely. Eventually we parted ways but not after a roller coaster of abuse and the typical alienation that comes from such. The hardest part of that entire not-quite-a-year was a miscarriage, after which I watched Taylor Swift perform for New Years completely alone, bawling my eyes out. Exit asshole boyfriend, enter music as a therapy and best friends who showed me true love and therein my second tattoo. It’s a fairly painful rib piece with script that simply states, “You would’ve been loved” and the date my little angel should have been born. To this day, it is my favorite.
My third tattoo has no more of a happy story. I successfully moved on from the aforementioned relationship by reestablishing who I was. I had a big girl job, finally, and I was trying to rebuild relationships with my family. It was all going really well. I even got a dog, and she became the baby I never had. She was my world, and I can’t remember loving a living thing more, excluding the human living things of course. Enter more bad decisions, another mistake of a boy and a house fire. That gorgeous girl Luna saved my life, in more way than one, but my recklessness cost her hers. And for that I will never forgive myself, but her heroics and sacrifice earned her some script on my arm.
Tattoo number four is actually tattoo number six as well… It was originally designed by a friend, and a whole gang of cousins made and entire day out of getting tattoos together. Mine took the longest. It’s a giant thigh piece in memory of my Grandfather, he was and still is one of my heroes. The main outline was being worked on, to be shaded in and finished later. However, the jerkwad doing that tattoo got about halfway through before grabbing my butt. I let him finish the outline, because lawd knows I did not need a half finished outline on my thigh, but there was no way I was going back to him… and so it has sat, sad and unfinished for years! (But only for a few more weeks!)
Tattoo number five is my fun one with a serious twist. Most people see the watercolors and the funky anime character and kind of just laugh it off. I think the quote mostly just goes over their heads, or maybe I’m the only one that thinks it truly applies to life. Hayao Miyazaki is a man of many talents, and he’s an incredible story teller. Deep down in my soul, I know what I want, and I want to tell stories, through my music, through all the half written books sitting around my house, and so this quote applies, not only to my stories, but also to my life….
The creation of a single world comes from a huge number of fragments and chaos.
And so it does Mr Miyazaki, and so it does. My life, my carefully constructed, curated world has indeed come to being from a monumental number of fragments – fragments of who I used to be, who I used to love, who I’ve lost, who I’ve gained. Fragments of pain, joy, freedom, peace, hatred, heartache, depression and grief. And the chaos? Well, the chaos is all me.
Here are the Tattoos I have pictures of 😉
ANYWAYS: As far as a life update on this post, here’s what’s going on in our lives right now!
The kitties are lazy as ever. They like to go straight outside with dad when he leaves in the morning, and come in to sleep half the day while mom sleeps after her overnights. This means mom gets up anywhere between noon and 2pm to kick them back outside for being annoying. Both Millie and Alyss appear to have gotten into fights, and Millie is turning into quite the hunter.
Ryan is working ALL. THE. TIME. It’s especially hard now that I’m on set shifts because we rarely get days off together, though sometimes we get lucky. He and his dad have been landscaping at the farm, and he’s also been doing his best to keep up with and take care of me. Lord knows I need it! He’s been enjoying weird shows like Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad and keeps pestering me to finish reading 1984. Mostly when he’s not at work he’s out working with his dad on a vehicle or doing something on the farm. He has gotten to play with his tractor a couple of times this year, and has, so far, not had any accidents with the heavy equipment.
I’ve been dealing with the whole, eye issue and it really just comes and goes. I am getting nervous for my next injection but I’m sure it’ll be as uncomfortable as the last on! I’ve started pursuing my dreams with music, well, really Ryan was the one that talked me into recording a song at a studio. He came with and sat in the studio the whole time, it was a neat experience. After recording my original and waiting to hear it produced, I got an email from the studio asking if I would be willing to come in and sing some demo songs for a fellow songwriter who needed a female vocalist on his music. It was my first paid gig and it was such a cool learning experience! Ryan also, miraculously, had that day off and was able to come experience the whole thing with me! He sat for three hours straight just listening to me do take after take, I’m jealous he got to hear how it was sounding! It was really nice having him there though, because there were parts of the last two songs where I would start to get frustrated, I didn’t feel like I was singing it right, and because of where the music stand was, there were parts of the lyrics that were hard to see due to my vision issues. The guys at the studio were really good at keeping things light and it was ever so calming and reassuring to hear Ryan laughing in the control room with them. Having him with was a definite blessing.
So that’s what’s been going on in our lives! Sorry for the double posting today, just a little bored at work and these were just ready to be written!