You cannot mention the word “tattoo” without immediately being emerged into the age old controversy surrounding it. Some believe it is just a sign of rebellion. A way to tarnish the godly temple that you were bestowed at birth in order to “get even”. Others view it as a way to express their individualism. A way to show off things that make them proud to be who they are.
My initial thoughts were pain, permanence, and regret. I spent a lot of years listening to horror stories about people who later regretted their symbols of expression. The agonizing pain that came with the permanent mark was not motivating either. A permanent mark, mind you, that would not be disappearing any time soon.
I had the friends that loved their self-expression. I heard the ongoing theme, “Once you get one, you won’t stop there!” There have been several personal storms that I have had to chase to get to the other side. Each time my friend, Shannon, would talk about the freedom of expressing oneself after such massive storms. The idea became fascinating quickly. The bravery to follow through seemed to refuse to come at all. I loved my flighty friend. She encouraged me to start stepping outside of my comfort zone early on in our relationship. She also amazingly respected me even if I wasn’t ready.
We had the tattoo conversation more and more as I got older. As a dancer, it was too much of a pain to always try to hide the symbol of self-expression according to my co-workers. I wasn’t a fan of pain regardless, but it was the permanence of picking the wrong symbol to represent your personal awesomeness that I could never seem to get past. And then Chasing Stormi arrived.
Recently, I have had the strong desire to set her free now that all of my finals were done. She hasn’t been able to play much during school, which I guess is why I felt I needed to go extreme. The desire to get that symbol of self-expression grew quickly once more. However, the actual symbol continued to escape me.
One day the vision came as clear as day. Now all I had to do was to suck it up and actually follow through.
On a random afternoon after seeing my mama bear I thought, “Heck. I guess I should at least find out how much it would cost.” However, when I arrived and explained what I wanted the price was good, they were eager to do it then and there, and if I just said the word “yes” I wouldn’t even be able to stop myself. The word fell out of my mouth before I realized it.
The panic attack quickly set in. “What the heck was I thinking?!” Then I thought about all of my tattooed friends. Shame on them for being signs of inspiration dang it! My body shook. I kept forgetting to breathe. “Stop being a wuss and step outside of your comfort zone like you were meant to!” she scolded me. So I laid on the table and sang while the polite young man did his thing. He laughed often as my singing grew louder to get through the pain. When finished he informed me that I did excellent for my first one. I corrected him by stating it would be my ONLY one.
I did it. I faced my fear and I was able to find something that I would NEVER regret being my symbol of self-expression. All of the people that said it wouldn’t hurt obviously were drunk, ha! However, I survived all the same. Some people will judge. Others congratulate. I am actually quite fond of it. So I will stand proudly on the ink side of the controversy. What about you?...
A girl just trying to find her way, stepping outside of her comfort zone, trying new things, and making new friends along the way!