I took the decision years ago to really think about a tattoo and get one at some point. In 2015 I made 5-6 attempts to get into a shop over the span of 9 months, until I finally did it in December.
It’s not because of the pain, but randomly ended up doing different things or being too late and not in the mind frame to undergo the process. I had the picture in mind since November 2014, so I’ve had ample time to think about it.
Over the years I’ve asked important people in my life about it, I’ve asked my parents (in a asking permission sort of tone), I’ve read about it and watched some videos. I’m a Christian and there’s a lot of woo haa about the Leviticus scripture. But when I did it, I did it for me- the point when I was furthest from my Faith but knew I needed it more than ever. If you were to ask it’s significance I have a few stories as to why I chose “fe” (Faith in Spanish). It started from going to Camp America, my grandma dying, my mother’s faith, my moves abroad and so much more. It meant the most to me and I wanted a reminder as I sometimes forgot (especially in 2015). I forgot who I was, what I wanted and who I’ve been shaping to be.
I think after finally just picking myself up and doing it, in my head it was that I needed it done so that it could be healed before I left for China in January 2016. I didn’t ask permission to do “art” on my body. Yes tattoos can be art but that was not my purpose, it’s my reminder. Hiding it from others wasn’t the point, it was for me. Asking if I can get a tattoo from my parents didn’t make sense at 23, I live with them and respect them but I am my own person. They’re against it as many Christian parents would be too.
My first meant everything as my second, which was months later, was changed hours before because the price was extortionately high for the simplicity. But throughout the week the meaning for the new idea was confirmed as I kept seeing it. I have a cross on my side to remember God’s love. When I’m unloveable and reek of sin, He still loves me. I cry when I think about how great He is to love my unworthy self and how sad He must feel that I see myself so low. No matter what, He chose to love me and He still chooses me.
There’s so much more to it but it’s under my clothes and only seen in bikini weather.
I do suggest you read about theories as to get or not to get tattoos- if it’s something you’re deliberating. Definitely speak to your church leaders. Research and visit the venue you choose and speak to a few friends who have them about the design, placement and future problems that could occur. Pain is relative, I almost slept through my second one.
-Originally written, October 2016