I was 19 the first time I realized I wanted a tattoo. I was visiting my friend, Alana, at University of Michigan. Her friend came to hang out with us and she had just gotten the most beautiful snake tattooed around her ankle. I was immediately fascinated. At that point in my life, I hadn’t personally met anyone (that I was aware of) that had gotten a tattoo. This girl broke every single stereotype I had about people with tattoos. She wasn’t a hoodlum, druggie or a motorcycle momma (what? I grew up sheltered). She was a normal (ish) college girl from the suburbs who decided to get a tattoo.
And, I wanted to be her. I wanted to be that free of a spirit who could get a tattoo and not worry about what other people though. Except, I knew my parents would kill me if I ever got a tattoo. And, as much of a rebel that I was back in the day, I still didn’t want my parents to go to jail for murdering me. So, I chose to bury the thought instead of being buried, myself.
The problem was, the thought wasn’t buried deep enough. I considered getting a tattoo numerous times over the past 10 years (seeing as I’m only 29). If I mentioned it, the fact that I wanted a tattoo to some of my friends…they would tell me that I was being silly, it was permanent and I shouldn’t do it. But, then my other groups of friends whom I’d mention this thought to, they would proudly show off their tattoos and tell me the stories associated with them.
Anyway, years passed. Quite a few, actually. And I found myself at that point I wish I had been when I was 19. Free spirited. Not really caring what others would think if I actually did go out and get myself a tattoo. Because, at this stage in my life, you aren’t judging me on a tattoo anymore. You’re going to judge me on what’s inside, how I treat you and my fellow human beings and not based on whether or not a 45 year old woman in the midst of a midlife crisis is sporting a brand new tattoo. Am I right?
So, this one warm summer afternoon, I turned to my husband and announced that I was positively sure that I wanted to FINALLY get a tattoo. He sort of rolled his eyeballs at me but he told me to go ahead. I’m not sure he believed I’d actually do it. I’m sort of stubborn, though. And, a lot determined. I did some research. I found the perfect place, which is called Chroma Tattoo, right here by my house. I met with one of the tattoo artists, Kadee, who drew up one design which I completely rejected. And then, she drew up the perfect design which…well..I didn’t reject.
I got my tattoo. It’s the image at the top of this post. I can’t help but think it’s one of the most beautiful tattoos I’ve ever seen. And, it’s all mine! I wanted a Hamsa. And I wanted a butterfly. The Hamsa is for protection and the butterfly is for my mom.
I’ll admit, it hurt a little more than I thought it would. But, it was tolerable. I didn’t cry, if that’s what you’re wondering. I felt like throwing up for a couple minutes, though. I didn’t. That would have been horrifying.
When it was done and my body was permanently modified with a gorgeous piece of art positioned directly between the top of my shoulder blades, I showed it proudly to my husband. He was uncertain what to think, I think. I wondered, out loud, if he was concerned about the reaction his family would have. He shrugged and asked what my mom would have thought. I knew, without a doubt, that my mom would have been sitting right there with me, holding my hand, watching and analyzing the entire process. You see, my mom always wanted a butterfly tattoo but she was always afraid to get one. She was worried about the pain and she was also worried that she’d eventually get sick of it. Considering the fact that this tattoo is in a place where I’ll never see it unless I look in the mirror, chance are I won’t get sick of it. And if I do, I won’t even know it’s there. It can be completely hidden beneath my hair. So mom, the butterfly is for you. Yes, it hurt. And no, we won’t ever get sick of it.
The funny and most shocking thing to me about getting this tattoo is..it makes me feel a little sexier. Like, I’m wearing a naughty piece of lingerie under my clothing. You know it’s there and the only way anyone else would ever be aware of it is if you showed them.
Getting a tattoo was way high up on my bucket list. It was something I always wanted to do. Now that I have one, I’m not in a hurry to get another one but that option will always be there. To me, the location of my tattoo is perfect. I don’t even know where I’d put another one because I’m so in love with everything about this one. Although, I’m sort of considering getting a Bride of Frankenstein head to commemorate my blog. Oh, and I’m sort of thinking about getting one of Duran Duran’s logos as a tattoo because of how much they’ve meant to me in my life. Don’t judge.
Yeah, I can’t believe I actually did it. But, I did. And there isn’t one little bit of me that has any regret. I mean, just look at it.
It’s my very own tattoo.