As a child, I had always wanted tattoos. I always wanted a few in fact, but back then I really REALLY cared what people thought of me and what people would think of me if i had tattoos. Maybe it is because of my upbringing, the older generations including my parents always frowned upon body ink and never thought of it as an art, means of expression and a way to remind yourself of certain important times or lessons in your life.
But I am different from that generation. I have gone through A LOT in the past year, and by that I really mean a lot. I suffered from depression and anxiety and although I have recovered a lot from the depression the anxiety still affects me quite a bit. Because of this I have become metaphorically thick skinned. I don't really care what people think of me and I don't really care whether they like my hobbies, likes or morals because I have realised something that many people only learn too late in life: You have one body, and it is yours and no one else so you get to decide what to do with it and you have one life, and it is yours and no one else gets to decide what you do with it.
About two or three months after the depression hit hard, I decided that I definitely wanted a tattoo, but I didn't want it when I felt bad. I wanted to get it when I was on a willing road to recovery so that I would associate the ink with something positive and good. I decided on an aeroplane. It symbolises rising up and moving on and it is also inspired by my love for travel. It also reminds me of my dreams one day to go and move to Amsterdam after I have studied law in my home country at university. I decided to get the little black plane on my hip, so I could easily hide it if I wanted to (not if others wanted me to), but the placement also has a personal meaning for me).
I got the tattoo almost two months ago now and it was a really special and emotional experience. The actual act of getting it meant that I was recovering and that eventually things would be okay. My best friend was there to hold my hand through it all. My artist said something really awesome which I think will stick with me: "We were born naked for a reason, and that just doesn't satisfy some of us".
The process was really not that painful, and that's coming from someone with a REALLY low pain threshold. The hip and the skin around that area is really sensitive and thin and the bone is also in the way and despite this it wasn't so bad. The only way I can describe it is like someone is poking you with a sharp pencil repeatedly, so it's unpleasant but not unbearable. There were moments when I flinched but they didn't last for more than a second. If you are thinking of getting inked I would recommend really checking out your salon and their hygiene practices as well as there old work so you know how good they are medically and aesthetically, because you do get what you pay for (so don't go to your mate who offers them for free!!!). Know what you want to get WAY in advance so you have no regrets and LISTEN TO THE AFTERCARE, it is so important.
I don't think I'll ever be someone with sleeves and big colourful roses and tigers. It doesn't personally appeal to me on my body. I'm not a fan of colour, so my ink will always be black or white with no traditional shading or that kind of stuff. I prefer simple and clean and small tattoos that will be of significance to me, and I will never get anything on my neck and legs, purely because I like those parts the way they are. I certainly won't be getting one for a few years to come *family cheers*. If you have tattoos, please be proud of them! show them off, they're yours, you paid good money for them and it's your body and you should never be ashamed of it, ESPECIALLY if the ink has a significance.
Until next time
-The Traveling Oyster
P.S. special shoutout to all my inked up followers and your canvases :)