In the three years since I've turned 18, I've gotten three tattoos... much to the dismay of my mother. While I respect her opinion of tattoos, I believe they're a form of expression (very permanent expression, that is) and for me, they tell a story of my life. I know this seems like a random post compared to all the other content here, but I wanted to share my story for each of my tattoos today... and maybe share some upcoming ideas (sorry, mom).
Tat No. 1
Ah, my first tattoo. I can remember the date I got this one because it was my 18th birthday. I had been waiting two years to get this tattoo after I happened upon this bible verse: "Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win." 1 Corinthians 9:24
I'm sure that this is the tattoo my mom was happiest about me getting permanently put on my body. Plus it's on my foot so it's easily hidden by a shoe if necessary.
Everybody told me beforehand that getting a tattoo on my foot was going to be incredibly painful, but honestly, it was the most painless out of the three. I actually laughed so much throughout the process that the tattoo artist had to tell me to stop or she was going to mess up. It was also my shortest tattooing session. It lasted all of 10 minutes.
The one thing with foot tattoos, though, is that they tend to fade the fastest, especially being a runner and endlessly changing shoes, socks and scrubbing the post-meet sweat off of you. I'll probably need a touch-up within the next few years.
Since seventh grade, I've been running track, and I was also a cross country runner during high school. Crazy, right? How did I ever run three miles as a race? I can't even bear to run a mile now. Track had become my whole life in high school—I even gave up two summers to compete in AAU. It was everything to me, so when I found this verse, I knew that this was going to be the one thing that I would happily have on my body for the rest of my life.
Tat No. 2
This was the beginning of the secret tattoos (AKA I didn't tell my mother I was getting them).
My second tattoo was a little more spontaneous than the first... and by a little, I mean a lot. One day I just decided to head to a local tattoo shop and get some random X's tattooed on my shoulder.
But they're actually not random at all even though plenty of people think they are. It's actually a Norwegian symbol that means "Where there's a will, there's a way." I think it's actually fitting, especially at this time of my life when I'm hustling to make my dreams come true. I have the will and I'm going to find a way.
Now this tattoo was much more painful than the first. Getting a tattoo on your bone is not at all pleasant. It actually hurts a lot, and if you look close enough, you can see a small jagged line from where I winced while getting this tattoo. This tattoo took around half an hour to do, and it was a very painful half an hour.
I managed to hide this one from my mom for a couple of months. I got in December of 2014 (I was still 18 at the time), and it wasn't revealed to her until February of 2015 at my first track meet. Seeing as it's on my shoulder and our uniforms are halter tops, there was no hiding this tattoo. It was supposed to be a (shocking) surprise once she saw me running, but my sister had to go and ruin it the day before by telling my mom I had a surprise for her. Thanks, Paige.
Tat No. 4
Grandpa, if you're reading this, I'm only a little bit sorry about revealing this to you via the Internet.
Tattoo number three was a doozy, that's for sure. This was by far my most painful of the three tattoos I have. A hour-long session of someone going over your ribs and nearing your spine with a bundle of tiny needles? Not. Fun. Did I mention I hate needles? Ironic, right?
Anyways, this tattoo was also a sudden decision, but I had the words picked out since December of 2014 when I went to France:
"There will come a time you'll see with no more tears and love will not break your heart but dismiss your fears. Get over your hill and see what you find there with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair." After the Storm, Mumford & Sons
I didn't get this tattoo until December of 2015 and didn't reveal it to my mother until April of 2016. I was able to hold out longer on that one because my sister didn't spill my secret.
Out of all my tattoos, I think this has the most meaning to me. Not to go into a sob story, but for a long time I didn't feel like anything was going right in life. I had family issues as well as problems loving myself. The lyrics, to me, meant that everything was going to be okay eventually even if it wasn't in the moment. While I love the entire song, I could only get one part tattooed on my body, so I chose the chorus. But it's still pretty long as you can see.
As for more tattoos, I'm content at the moment, although my sister (and hopefully my brother) and I have made plans to get sibling tattoos when they turn 18 in June. If I were to get a matching tattoo with anyone, it would be them. They're my only full-blood siblings out of all seven (technically) that I have. While this seems a strange reason to some, I think I'm linked to them in a way that I can't be to my other siblings. They're my two.
One other tattoo that I'm considering (after I graduate college, mom. Please calm down) is another Mumford & Sons song:
"So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light." Ghosts That We Knew, Mumford & Sons
This is still only a thought, no concrete plans yet. But if you have ideas on placement, feel free to share!
Hopefully you enjoyed hearing the backstory on each of my tattoos, even if it was a little different. Let me know down in the comments if you have any tattoos!
Photos: Stella Fanega, www.stylewithstella.com