To start my tattoo story I have to begin with where I got the inspiration for my first tattoo that I got when I turned eighteen, the legal age you have to be in order to get a tattoo without parental consent. When I was in eighth grade I went on a mission trip to New Orleans, which was several years but still shortly after Hurricane Katrina. While I was there helping to run a summer camp for kids in the area, one of the counselors had a faith/hope tattoo on her wrist. And I fell in love with it even drawing my own version for years until I finally got one of my own. Though it wasn’t the one I drew, but one that the tattoo parlor I went to for about half of my tattoos had. Though my body hates literally any kind of needle if I’m watching it, I got my first tattoo. It was not painful in by means. Though I did faint halfway through because like an idiot I watched the needle as it tattooed my wrist.
After that I was hooked, and got two more two months later. The first being a cross behind one of my ears that I honestly did not even feel and thought they were still doing the outline when he finished. And then a similar wrist tattoo to the faith/hope, which says trust/love. I was going to get strength/courage originally but my wrist is too small so they would have to make a mass one on my forearm so I resigned to trust/love as I love that combination as well. This was supposed to be a tattoo my mom would get me as a reward for not committing self-harm but I ended up just getting it myself after reframing myself from cutting for three weeks.
Then I went away to college where after two months of being there I went with a dorm-mate to get rose tattoos as they were having a special for free rose tattoos. However, I did not like the design of the free rose so I got one that I liked more behind my other ear. This was slightly also for my sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, as their symbol which we have instead of a crest is a rose.
Several months have that, I finally got a family tattoo similar to one my cousins got for my grandpa. Only instead of a massive tattoo on my ribcage I designed to the military patch my grandpa had on my ankle with the initials for: my mom’s maiden name/Grandpa’s last name, my last name, and my godmother’s last name.
I took a break from getting tattoos for a few years though I by no means saw myself as being done with getting tattoos. And this was mainly due to not having money to go get a tattoo. But I finally saved up enough and got a feather on my shoulder blade with the lyrics “Learn to Fly” from Blackbird by the Beatles. This is a tattoo I’m planning on expanding in the future to have two more feathers and have it go from black and white to colorful. The other two songs that I want to include in this are “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato and “Fight Song” by Rachel Platen. The reason I really want these songs are because they symbolize my journey with Bipolar Disorder type II. When Skyscraper came out, this song/story behind the song made me realize that I might be bipolar. Blackbird symbolizes learning to get back on my feet and deal with the Bipolar disorder. And Fight Song is finally accepting the disorder and not letting it control me any longer. Now most people might not agree to song lyrics as tattoos, but these songs all signify milestones in my journey with bipolar disorder and I could never see myself regretting them. It’s my journey and I really want to express that in the form of a tattoo. Somewhere in there I also want to include a semi-colon for the semi-colon project. As at one point I almost committed suicide but for one reason or another decided not to; much like a writer deciding not to finish a sentence when they could have.
And the most recent tattoo I got was shortly after my grandma passed away in December 2014, I got three hummingbirds on my collar bone in memory of her. She was my role model, and she taught me a lot about art and writing. I had been debating on getting several crows on my collar bone but after Divergent became very popular I decided against that as the main character has crows on her collar bone. But my grandma loved hummingbirds, so after a lot of searching for the perfect design and I decided to revisit that idea of birds of the collar bone but instead of the crows I replaced it with three colorful hummingbirds.
As for the future of tattoos, I do want to get more. As I stated earlier, I really want to extend the feather tattoo to include the other two songs and the bleeding color. I also want to get a decorative yet minimalist arrow tattoo on my forearm. A watercolor paw print with the letters: S for my childhood dog Sadie, P for Pixie, and W for Winnie. This I would want on my non-tattooed ankle, and leave room for expansion in the future to encompass any other dogs I might have in the future. And I’ll probably come up with others in the future but these are the current list.