And now, the remainder of my tattoos.
First up is my Perrin tattoo. I got this when my son was still a baby, and I knew that I wanted his name tattooed on me before he was even born. To me, it was just inevitable. He is part of me, and I wanted to honor him and commemorate the immense joy that being a mom had brought into my life.
It’s on my right arm just above the inside of my elbow. I had originally wanted it in the location where I eventually got my dharma wheel, but I remember the artist telling me that that was considered “prime real estate” and that I should save that areas for a larger piece. I’m so glad I took her advice because my dharma wheel is one of my favorite pieces. I’m anxiously awaiting the day that I fill up the blank canvas that is my left arm. Soon…
This next tattoo was the most spontaneous tattoo I have. I went with my friend, Sara, to get a very large fairy tattooed on her rib cage. Yeah, she’s kind of a badass. It was a 7 1/2 hour session, and she was such a beast that she nearly fell asleep. I got kinda bored, and one of the other artists had an opening, so he asked if I wanted something done. So I perused the flash (I only have two flash pieces; the rest are designs I came in with), and I really liked the idea of having a hummingbird. Plus, I had this really shitty red lotus tattoo on the inside of my wrist that I had done by a dude in Austin who didn’t understand what I asked him for and botched it. So what I got was the outline of a lotus done in red with no coloring. It was only my second tattoo, and the shop was on the snooty side, so I didn’t want to make a fuss and sound like an idiot, so I didn’t say anything. I hated the damn thing, so I wanted it covered up.
It is not a great cover up, and I need to get it touched up. I eventually want to get the hummingbird done in a darker green, and the background needs some work so that you can’t see the petals from the original tattoo, but I get a lot of compliments on it, and most people don’t realize it’s a cover-up until I point it out.
My other flash/spur of the moment tattoo was done on a very fun road trip to Lubbock to see my high school bestie, Kelly. Our friend, Amanda, and I drove up there one weekend to party less than a year before we moved to Illinois, and she and I wanted to get tattoos done in celebration of being awesome. And I got the first (and so far, only)tattoo that hurt. And when I say it hurt, I mean I wanted to cry and had to ask the girl doing it to stop twice because my foot was twitching so bad I could barely stand it. But it’s crazy adorable, and it will be a reminder of a wonderful weekend with friends where I dressed and acted like a pirate at a douchebro college bar, heard some great live music, and got to take a break from my hectic life as a mother to a toddler.
(Just look at the supreme cuteness of these shoes. Sigh. I miss them.)
Next up is a ridiculously awful tattoo that I regretted the second it was done. I don’t regret that it’s a knitting related tattoo; I regret that it’s a really bad tattoo and is taking up space that will eventually be filled with yet another cover-up. It was, however, an awesome experience. Right before I left Austin, my very tight-knit (see what I did there?) knitting circle all went to get tattooed together at a shop that was doing $35 tattoos. Even typing this, six years later, I can hear the red flags going up. Two of my friends got these lovely tattoos that our artist friend had drawn for them, and I got this.
Look at those shaky lines on the needles. Look at the yarn ball that doesn’t even really resemble an actual ball of yarn. Look at how it’s not remotely symmetrical. It’s just bad. I don’t know what happened. We all had the same guy tattoo us, but perhaps by the time he got to me, he was tired of hearing our mommy stories and checked out.
And last up is the tattoo I got with my friend, Debbie. She got her first tattoo touched up, and I got this.
This picture was taken right after it was done, so it looks all slimy and wonky. It means “dhairya,” which is the Sanskrit word for “patience” and, according to a friend of mine who speaks Hindi, it also means “fortitude.” The message that I wanted it to convey was having mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, and this is my reminder to stay strong and persevere through any obstacles that come my way. I got it during a time of great struggle in my life, primarily in dealing with the public school. I wanted it in a place where I could just glance down, breathe deep, and heed the word. It has often been a comfort to me when the earth threatens to swallow me whole.
And that is all. My tattoos tell my story, or at least bits and pieces of it. What I love the most about them is that I shared the experiences with some of my best friends, my beautiful sisters, and my beloved husband. When you get a tattoo with me, you become part of my story. Part of my memories that I will carry with me always. And that story continues.