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On Tattoos.

March 27, 2013

Do you have a tattoo?

A few weeks ago, one of my college professors blogged about tattoos and how if you want one, you should always wait one more day to get it. This post was actually a follow-up to an earlier post that received a lot of attention from both sides of this heated debate. Artie recommends: don’t get a tattoo.

I’m not here to fully debate him. I’m simply here to state that I don’t regret it.

Yes, I have a tattoo.

And if you have met me, this may be an utter shock to you. In fact, people who know me very well are surprised when the topic comes up.

For my sixteenth birthday, I asked my parents if I could get a tattoo. I believe their reactions were the same, a smirk, a giggle and a “let’s think about that for a few more years.” (Much to Artie’s point.) So instead, I was able to get my nose pierced because that was not permanent. But the tattoo lingered in the back of my mind. The want never dissipated.

Redeemed

Flash forward 5 years to me as a junior in college. I still wanted that tattoo. When speaking to a close friend and co-worker about it, she blurted out, “Let’s do it. I want one to.” Before I knew it, we had made a consult appointment and I was sitting in a showroom full of tattoo art and pierced, friendly people. When our artist came out to meet us, he was wearing nice jeans, a button up shirt and a beanie. He did not seem like someone who was going to take a needle to himself, let alone anyone else. And he was honest. When I told him what I wanted, and had wanted since I was 16, he listened carefully.

I wanted a white cross on my wrist.

Then he explained to me, “You want white, I’m assuming, because you don’t want people to see it right away. This is for you. So with that, I will not put it on your wrist.”

Just like that, my dreams were gone. He then explained that white tattoos were thicker than any other ink so the chances of making a mistake are much higher. Plus, I had interviews to succumb to and just because it is white, does not mean it is invisible. Smart man.

I still stuck with the white cross but placed it instead on the left side of my ribs. When I came in a few short days before Easter, everything felt right. And when I saw my artist, in skinny jeans, gauges and a v-neck that showed sleeves of tattoos, it felt even more perfect. And I don’t regret this at all. I see my tattoo every day; I love my tattoo every day. It is a constant reminder to me who I am and what I stand for.

Artie makes a point to say that there are many who have a tattoo of LIVESTRONG and, while the message has not changed, most people would not get this tattoo today. Do I fear that one day I will lose my faith in God and regret this cross on me? No. I feel that if I begin to lose my faith, I can look at this cross and remember exactly why I got it.

Now, I will not disagree with any of Artie’s points in the original post. Number 7 is the one that directly correlates with my tattoo — so on that issue: yes, this tattoo should not speak for me. I have a mouth and most people already know everything about me that this cross represents. But every time I see it, I get my few breaths in the morning to think, “My God is so great.”

(Special thanks to Alyssa who became my partner in crime during this experience. Happy 3 year tattoo anniversary.)

{Top photo via Fashion is Forever. Bottom photo via Lauren and Isaiah 43:1}

 

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Miken Leah permalink
    March 27, 2013 11:33 am

    dont get a tat of a bird on your ankle!

  2. March 27, 2013 11:41 am

    have been thinking about getting a tattoo. Only turning 16 in a few months, though. I’m more curious than dead set. Lot’s of cool pictures on the internet but then the ones I see in real life don’t look as good. Don’t know why. Cool idea of white cross.

    • April 1, 2013 8:43 pm

      I’m still happy my parents talked me out of it when I was 16; the fact that it was still on my mind 5 years later simply solidified the fact that it was important to me. Find something you love!

  3. Lauren permalink
    March 27, 2013 12:16 pm

    I don’t regret it for a second. I thought mine over for 4 years when I finally got it and it means the world to me. Whenever I get caught up in my failures and shame I have a visible reminder that I was redeemed. That God executed His Son so I could be with Him. I’ve been given grace to rise above….

  4. alyssahurt permalink
    March 27, 2013 3:02 pm

    I have never, for a second regretted my tattoo. I don’t see myself ever regretting it in the future either. It reminds me of a wonderful time in my life and an even better friendship 🙂

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