I was recently involved in a conversation about tattoos. I am a tattooed mother/woman. I chose to start tattooing when I became 30 (which was far too long ago). I started with a simple band with my 3 kids names and a heart. It’s mid forearm and it’s not a fancy font or cutesy design. It’s simple and not at all impressive. Actually, I got the tattoo at about 1 a.m. on my 30th birthday and I wasn’t completely sober when writing out the kids names so I’m honestly just glad they are all spelled right. I won’t ever have it redone or covered up because it’s a part of my history and it represents a time in my life that made me who I am today, even though that time was a struggle.
For me, my tattoos don’t have any fancy meanings or symbolism to my life. I just like them. I look at tattoos as if they are a photo album into my life. Each one represents a moment in my past. If I for some reason no longer love the design in 10 years, that’s OK. Because I once did, and I like to remember where I’ve been in this life that has helped me become who I am today.
Never once have I had a hard time getting a job because of my tattoos (and I’ve worked in healthcare for years). I know when they need to be covered but generally I forget they’re even there. I’ve heard all the lectures about women and tattoos and let me tell you, I’ve never taken them to heart. I know who I am so I don’t really need to know who you think some ink will turn me into. I understand tattoos are a trend to some but not to me.
A lot of people ask me why I’d get such visible and/or large tattoos. Don’t I know it makes me look like ‘less’ of a responsible adult? No. I get them because I love them. I love being able to have any design, any colors on my body and being unique to myself. I’m girly, I’m in no way a punk or less of an adult than others, I’ve never used a drug in my life, I pay my bills, love my kids & have been married 20 years, I curse like a sailor and racy jokes/talk makes me blush. In my own experience I have found that people with visible tattoos are more vocal, bold and accepting of those not just like them. I love that and I love being a part of that crowd. I’d never tell someone else how they should live their life or present themselves, what fun is that? I only worry about me.
Yes, that’s me and a great photo of my favorite tattoo thus far is the one across my chest. I didn’t plan for it to be as big as it was but when my tattoos artist drew it out, I fell in love. Today, 7 years later, I wish I’d have gone bigger and more elaborate and one day I may do just that. But for now, I love it as it is. I get a lot of compliments on it, I also get a lot of ‘stares’ and that’s OK. It’s expected when you have a giant tattoo just under your face. I expected that. Sometimes I forget it’s there (I can’t really see it like others can) and I wonder if I’ve got eyeliner in places it shouldn’t be or if a chunk of my hair has fallen out. But then I remember, oh yeah, the tattoo is not normal for some. Thank God… I don’t ever want to be ‘normal’. I should add, that yes, I lived in Portland Oregon for many years and I ‘put a bird on it’ BEFORE Portlandia made it cool… lol
I have 3/4 of a sleeve on my left arm completed. One day it will be beautiful, chrysanthemums, water and wind. I can’t wait for it to be complete. Right now it is 3 giant outlined chrysanthemums. You can see a bit of one of the chrysanthemums on my photo above. Next, I’ll add the color to those then add a few small flowers and last the wind and water in the blank spots. The flowers will be blues and purples, maybe a pink, the water (waves) will be blues and the air design will be much like my inspiration photo to the left (not me) in grays and blacks.
I love the design of this and I love that it will cover my entire arm. It’s girly and beautiful. There is nothing offensive about it and I feel it’s a great representation of myself and the ‘look’ I’m going for.
There are a few tattoos I’d like to add in the future as well. I do have a rule of nothing below the belt so I won’t be totally covered and scare the children I cross paths with (not that it would matter). On my right forearm I plan to a tattoo similar to the photo on the left. The flowers will go on the top of my right forearm and on the inside going up my arm, from wrist to elbow, in a script font will be a quote by Margaret Atwood – ‘in the end, we will all become stories‘. I LOVE the quote, I can’t wait to do this one as it will represent me, flowers & stories (writing). This photo is not me, I’m just using it as an example for the tattoo. I will do the roses in a purplish color as opposed to red (I hate red).
On my upper right arm I have a water color design I love (to the left-not mine) but I’d like the quote to be – ‘strength is what we gain from the madness we survive‘. Isn’t that the truth? Everyone in life has such unique experiences and stories that have sculpted them into who they are. I love that and even though the stories are not always good ones, we become stronger because of them.
I just love this design, to me it screams madness and mess which fits the quote I want. It would be much bigger than that and who knows what colors until I get there.
And, last but not least. My left arm is practically full but I would like the image to the left on my inner wrist. I’ve spent years of my life writing so I want to honor that. It won’t be more than a couple inches big at most but I just love the elegant look of this.
I imagine once I’ve completed these tattoos I’ll be finished (and likely pushing 50). I don’t feel you need to be a certain age to do anything you love. Fulfilling dreams can be done while you’re a child or a grandparent. Sometimes dreams take a lifetime and that is OK. No one is there to tell you no except yourself.
Do you have tattoos? Tell me about them below.