I remember like it was yesterday, the night I got my very first tattoo. I had been contemplating it for a few weeks, even went down to Miami with my friend Fred because we both decided we’d get one together. He went first. I saw the look on his face as the artist inked him, and chickened out.
Fast forward two weeks from then – I was at work and decided that tonight’s the night! I called my friend Jamie for moral support and we met at Mr. Happy’s Tattoos (now the extension of Pickle Barrel for you locals). I picked out the design I wanted, laid on my belly and thirty minutes later walked away with the craziest rush of adrenalin, a tribal moon on my lower left back, and a sweatshirt around my waist because I knew my parents would kill me if they ever found out.
They did find out, eventually.
Two kids and many years later, my once super cool moon tattoo turned into a fuzzy (literally) memory. Once at the utmost left portion of my lower back, it was now comfortably on it’s side more toward my spine. I made the commitment decades ago to get a tattoo and now I needed to cover it up. I asked around and was referred to a local tattoo artist that owns a shop not too far from where Mr. Happy’s once was.
After a consultation and some laughs at how my tattoo morphed into I don’t even know what, I took the plunge and scheduled the coverup. Mind you, this tattoo is on my back, a place little to no one really see so when I told people I had a tattoo (and then showed them the new and improved version) I think I may have surprised them a bit.
But why the surprise?
I have since collected a few more, in more apparent locations – all with meaning. My coverup is a combination of a sunflower, with one of the leaves expertly covering up my younger memories – the sunflower being my favorite flower as well as my birth month flower. The stem of the sunflower wraps down to a new moon coupled with a sun. The moon represents my oldest son – calm, serene. The sun represents my youngest – a bright, energetic spitfire of a human being.
My next tattoo is a sister tattoo of my and my sister’s zodiac astrological signs (also coincidentally my boys’ signs!).
Tattoo #3 which you may have seen in previous photos is a saying that I believe in wholeheartedly – It is What it is. The typewriter font symbolizes my love of writing. I have it situated so I can see it all the time.
Tattoo #4 is of a dragonfly – something my mom loves dearly. Dragonflies symbolize self-actualization, new beginnings, and creativity (to name a few).
Tattoo #5 is my honey bee. She symbolizes creativity, resourcefulness, hard work, manifestation, new beginnings, and collective consciousness. Bees are nature’s alchemists, architects, and matriarchs.
Tattoo #6 is my monarch butterfly. Due to their lifecycle that involves being born as a caterpillar, going into a chrysalis for metamorphosis and then finally emerging as a beautiful adult, all butterflies symbolize change and transformation. Sometimes change can be difficult, and it can often take courage and patience to see it through to the end, but when the change is complete, you will see that it was worth the effort.
The latest addition brings together my butterfly and bee beautifully. This half sleeve of peonies symbolize healing, attraction and love.
I feel that at one point, and maybe even now a bit, there was a stigma against tattoos – that if someone was tatted they were possibly “unsavory”. To me, tattoos are a form of expression, almost like a hieroglyphic telling a story.
Will I get more? Maybe – I do have a secret Pinterest board filled with inspiration😉.