Growing up, my parents always warned me to never get a tattoo. They were completely against them. They still are, really. And for years, I didn’t even consider getting a tattoo.
But then something changed and I decided I really wanted one. Just a small one, to see what it was like. And it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. After that first one, I got four more tattoos. Because it does get easier once you’ve had the first one. No, I don’t do it because I like the feeling (absolutely hate it). But I’m no longer afraid of getting it done, which is quite freeing and makes it so much easier.
When people tell me I will regret it when I’m older, I just think of all the reasons I had for getting these tattoos. Even when I’m old and wrinkly and they don’t look as good, those reasons will still exist. I’ll still be able to look at the tattoos and get that feeling that I get when I look at them now, knowing I have lived a good life.
So, here we go. The meaning behind all of my tattoos (With pictures!).
My first tattoo – and quite possibly my favourite. On my left shoulder, I have a tattoo of a crescent moon. I chose this one partly because I knew it would take less than five minutes (in case the pain was really bad), but I mainly got it because of what a crescent moon stands for; femininity, creativity and personal growth. This tattoo was at the start of my second year as an au pair and it symbolises how much I’ve changed as a person since moving out of my parents’ house and to a new country.
Like you’re running out of time
Next, I got this line on my upper leg. It’s from the musical Hamilton (one of my all-time favourites) but it’s also a reminder to not always overthink things (as I have a tendency to do). Most of the best things in my life happened because I stopped thinking and just went for it.
This flower on my hip is my only tattoo that doesn’t really have a meaning behind it. I purely got this one because I think it looks pretty. It was also the most painful one. It took about four hours to get this one done (which still isn’t that much compared to some tattoos) and it HURT. Not just because of the placement, but also because they had to do shading with this one, instead of just drawing a line.
On my ribs, next to my heart, I have an arrow with five feathers, one for each member of my immediate family. The meaning behind this one is; follow your heart and take your people with you.
My most recent tattoo is this semi-colon on my wrist. Let me just say that it’s not because of 13 Reasons Why. I know that there’s a whole movement behind this symbol and that people with mental health issues sometimes get it as a reminder that we are the ones that decide whether we continue our story.
I love that idea – of us being the author of our own story. I also got it as a reminder that we’re the only ones that get to decide what happens in our lives, what relationships end, which ones we want to keep going, etc.
That’s it. Those are all my tattoos. For now – I already have some vague plans to get a flower tattooed just above my elbow…
Do you have any tattoos? What do they mean? How do you feel about tattoos in general?