I used to swear up and down I would never get a tattoo. I thought it was silly to get something permanent put on your body. Well, one thing life has taught me, “Never say never.”
One of the things people are usually surprised to learn about me is that I love tattoos and even more surprising that I have several of them. I didn’t get my first one until well into my 30′s – so this wasn’t the result of some wild college spring break. I love all of my tattoos, especially now that I had one of my old ones covered up today with this beautiful interpretation of a mandala on my inner arm, along with two new ones.
I’m a pretty straitlaced person in general, and many would be surprised how many “normal” people have tattoos. For me, it is just a very personal expression of ideas, concepts and beliefs that I want to keep close to me in a more tangible, creative way.
Someone asked me once “What do you want people to think or say when they see your tattoos?” My immediate response was that my tattoos are for me – I don’t particularly care if anyone sees them at all, let alone what they think about them. That’s partially why most of my tattoos are in very inconspicuous places easily covered with clothing, and even the ones that are more visible, I would usually have to make some effort for someone to see them. My tattoos symbolize things that are important to me: love, wisdom, patience, grace, infinity, completeness. Sometimes I will catch a glimpse of one of them, reminding me of its meaning, and it shifts my focus from some things that may not be serving me well in the moment (stress, pettiness, etc.). It is more than having ink on my body. Seeing the artistic expression of important symbols almost grounds me and brings me back to myself.
Everyone has their own personal style. It just so happens that part of mine includes my tattoos. So the next time you see your friendly dentist, the super sweet mom from your playgroup or your workaholic neighbor, don’t be surprised if there isn’t some ink under there somewhere.