I got my first tattoo a couple weeks ago, at the ripe old age of 34.
I've gone back and forth on getting a tattoo since I was... I don't know, somewhere in my teens, whenever everyone started talking about getting tattoos. In theory I wanted one, but never knew what to get, and was too chicken to commit to anything that permanent. I was tempted when I was 20, but instead opted to get my belly button pierced with my friend Danyelle, figuring I could always take it back out one day if I got tired of it (which I did, about 6 years later).
I've spent the past couple years debating off and on about getting something on my wrist (I fell in love with that placement years ago, after Danyelle came back from a visit to Hawaii with a turtle on her wrist), and then debating what to get. The process reminded me of when I was 17 and thinking of chopping all my hair off for the first time, and I agonized about the decision for months, growing ever more tired of my own indecisiveness, and finally one day just said, "To hell with it" and went for the pixie.
And so, similarly, I finally got fed up with my own indecisiveness, and decided to get the damn tattoo once and for all.
I went by myself-- Zach stayed at home with the boys. And that felt fitting. I got this for me, one of the few things I get to do purely for and by myself these days, and I liked that. It's a small heart, which is cliche, I suppose, but I like it. I suppose that's the simplest answer for why I got what I got. I can give a deeper meaning to it-- a reminder to be compassionate and kind with myself and with others, to live my life wearing my heart on my sleeve. But mainly, I just like it. It's simple and cute and stays there, and as the kind of person who wear the same simple jewelry every day for years on end it just kinda feels right. Maybe one day I'll get tired of it, but probably not before I get tired of other permanent marks on my body that I didn't really have a choice over.
Our scars tell stories. I have a scar on my knee from the time that Zach convinced me it would be a good idea to go trail riding with him whenI had hardly been on a bike in years. There's the scar on my stomach, from having surgery a couple years ago. I have two small burn marks, one on my hip and one on my arm, that are cautionary reminders of what a clumsy idiot I can be in the kitchen. A tattoo is another scar, but one where the bearer gets to choose its shape, placement, and the story it tells, and I think there's something beautiful in that.