I got my first tattoo at the age of 19.
Get ready to roll your eyes now.
Are you ready?
My first tattoo was a butterfly on the small of my back. Yup, I have a tramp stamp. Not only a tramp stamp, but the most typically placed tramp stamp in all the land.
I don’t care though. When I choose my tattoo and designed it with the artist, a butterfly tramp stamp wasn’t a THING yet. I picked the design because the very first story I ever wrote was about a prankster Adonis butterfly. To me, my tattoo symbolized the happiness that writing gave me. I chose my lower back because I figured that when I was older, I probably wouldn’t be wearing bikinis anymore. I would know it was there, but it wasn’t necessarily out there for others to see.
Even after 18 years, I still love it.
I got my second tattoo about 6 years ago. It’s a tiny black star (about the size of your thumbnail) on my foot. I’m not even kidding when I say that it probably took longer to prepare the equipment than it did to actually tattoo the star. I love this one too and it symbolizes my family and how important they are to me.
When Travis and I got married, he put in a request that I would not get any more tattoos. He’s not really a fan of ink and doesn’t have any himself. While he didn’t dislike my tattoos, he said that he’d prefer me not add to the collection.
This was kind of difficult for me because for a long time I flirted with the idea of getting a partial sleeve of tattoos on my arm. For those not familiar with the terminology – it would be large tattoo (or group of tattoos) that would go from my shoulder cap to halfway down my upper arm, similar to wearing a short-sleeved shirt out of a tattoo.
A partial sleeve is a HUGE commitment of money, time and skin space. I don’t know when I first had the idea that I’d want one… but it’s been living in the back of my head for probably 10 years now. When imagining my design, I purposefully had it stopping at an exact point that could be covered by a short-sleeved sweater for work. For the art, I love old botanical illustrations and would want to include a flower symbolizing each member of my family. Narcissus (mom’s birthday in December), Lily of the Valley (dad’s birthday in May), Peony (I have three April birthdays – my 2 sisters and my husband), Chrysanthemum (brother’s birthday in November), and Primrose (son’s birthday in February).
After years of talking about it, my husband made me an offer. If I supported him in buying the diesel truck that he had been wanting, he would support me in getting my tattoo. Yup, he’s such a dude. However, when I showed him images of what I would like, he actually said that it was pretty.
So there you go, I have “permission.”
Actually, I’ve had permission for about a year now. I keep holding off though because I want to make sure that I’m making the right decision. This is something that will be with me for the rest of my life. Part of what is making me want to move forward is the thought that we don’t know how much life we have.
I’ve found a local artist that I admire and want to meet with him to work on a design. Before I pull the trigger, I really want/need to get my weight down to where it should be since that will affect the size of my arm when it’s tattooed. Lastly, I’d want to start the process in the fall to minimize the amount of sun my arm will get until it is fully healed.
Part of me thinks that I should have outgrown the urge to be tattooed though. The perception is that tattoos are for rebellious teenagers, right? It’s never really been that way for me though. Ever since I was little and would wear my stick-on tattoos with pride, I’ve thought that they were beautiful. I do understand that many people hate them though – including my parents.
How about you, as a blog reader, would you have assumed that I had any tattoos? Do you have any tattoos? If yes, what do they symbolize to you? Do you still love them or wish you could get them removed?