The Mind Behind A Tattoo
Now more than ever, young and old people alike are venturing out to their local tattoo artist to get inked up. Those of you without tattoos are probably wondering why they want tattoos? They are with you forever! As someone with tattoo's, I'm here to try to help explain the reasoning behind people's tattoo craze, and why they really are ok to get!
In high school, I was a very active athlete who got good grades and had tons of friends. I was also into getting different piercings in my ears (I now have 4 in one ear, 5 in the other, one in the belly button, and used to have one in my tongue until I started teaching.) I thought it was a great way to express myself non-permanently. You know, I could always take them out! When it came to tattoo's though, I wasn't as quick to jump on that. My mindset was much different; "No way! That's permanent and it'll hurt and OMG i'll look ridiculous as an old lady and...no way!" I also thought tattoo's were more of a guy thing (on the arm, shoulder, the occassional back tattoo), because they could handle it and, well, it's just a guy thing! My best friend since we were 3, and still today, when we were 20, got a tattoo on her foot. After some thought and consideration, I decided I was going to get one myself.
As I was thinking about this, I told myself that whatever tattoo I got had to mean something. I wasn't going to just go out and get a butterfly tattooed on me because I wanted a tattoo. Soon, my best friend and I went and got tattoos together. We got best friends ones, because obviously, we are best friends! I got mine on my foot because I have to watch where I put them. I teach at at a very conservative school and having tattoos exposed probably wouldn't go over well. It hurt! I'm not going to lie about that! I noticed that I felt the same way I did about getting piercings; I wanted more! It was like an addiction to them. I wanted another tattoo in the worst way! The thing was, I didn't have an idea or a reason to get one, so I didn't.
It wasn't until about a year and a half later when I got one. I just graduated college, and my cousin knew I wanted another one. She told me when I was ready, she'd pay for it. I came up with a design consisting of stars and a hibiscus flower at the top. It was going to be a 2-part tattoo. I got the design drawn up and went to get the ink. My cousin paying for it as my present meant something, but the bigger meaning will come (hopefully a long time from now) in the future. The reason for the stars is because I'm very close to my 4 grandparents. When the day comes that I have them no more, I will tattoo their initials either in or around the stars. Unfortunately I am halfway there as I just lost 2 of my grandparents in 2 months.
Tattoos are becoming more and more popular everyday. There are even TV shows dedicated to the creation and execution of tattoos (NY Ink, Miami INK). As I thought back on how I used to look at them, I now know that they can be a good thing. When thought through and have specific meaning to the individual, tattoos can hold a story all in their own. Yes they are with you forever, but the meaning and memory will stay with you forever then as well. Next time you see what you may think is an ugly tattoo, hold your thoughts and realize that that tattoo may be a part of someones past and memories and really mean a good thing. This is the mind behind a tattoo.