To Tattoo Or Not To Tattoo?

When I was younger I never wanted a tattoo. It never crossed my mind and I didn’t particularly idolise anybody with tattoos. For a long time I couldn’t understand why people would want to get a tattoo.

I didn’t expect to get the reaction that I did when I posted this question to Facebook. I half expected nobody to reply or nobody to even care. As it turns out it was one of my most popular Facebook posts to date with a lot of people commenting. The majority of people said tattoo which wasn’t entirely surprising as I know a lot of people with tattoos and a lot of people who like tattoos.

What did surprise me though was the people that said otherwise. Nobody outright told me not to get a tattoo, it was more of a concern of whether I have thought it through. It was a surprising reaction given that nobody I know is explicitly against tattoos (that I know of). One of the more thought provoking comments was “What do you wanna get done is probably the better question… if you know what and where you want it and think you can live with it… get it..” This raises some interesting points but troubles me considerably because I’ve never considered my mind very trustworthy a lot of the time.

So here’s some backstory to this idea;

The idea of a tattoo isn’t new to me. It has always crossed my mind as a way to symbolise my devotion to something. At one point, I will admit, I considered having a musical note with “Backstreet Boys” tattooed somewhere around it. I was young and naive and I will admit I am glad that I didn’t have it done. Not saying that the Backstreet Boys haven’t played a huge part in my life, just that my devotion to them has cooled down over the years (not gone completely, I’m not that crazy). So I’ll admit I’m also glad I didn’t get an O-Town or Nsync tattoo for very much the same reasons.

My fear is that I have to justify everything to everybody, I can never do something just because I want to do it. I always end up hating myself if I do that. So I needed to think of a reason to justify getting a tattoo. For me I never had a reason. My brother has three tattoos; one that represents a once-in-a-lifetime trip, one that he believes represents his personality and another that he got for his children. I don’t have any milestones like that in my life, my life has been controlled by depression, anger and hate for the most part.

But this was something I had to take into account when considering a tattoo. I didn’t want an angry/angsty tattoo that I would regret later in life. I needed something that spoke to who I was. I actually didn’t have to search too hard before I found the design I wanted.

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This is the design that if I were to get a tattoo that I would get. This is a Rune from the book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. This is important to me because those were the first books where I actually read about a place I wanted to be, about people I wanted to be with and worlds I wanted to live in. It was my perfect escape from the crazy going on inside my head. This Rune in particular stands for Angelic Power and I didn’t give it much thought till I had a depressive few days a couple of months ago and needed a reminder that I was special, that I had something special inside of me that made my life worth living. This, to me, is what that symbol represents. It represents the power inside of me to continue on living, to carry on regardless of what other people think of me and know that I do have something to offer the world and that I do have something special.

So there it is. That would be the design (although I’m unsure if I’d get it in colour or just all black) and I would get it tattooed on my wrist or forearm as a place I could look at when times got tough and I needed that reminder. Do I think I can live with it? I don’t know. I don’t know what that feeling is supposed to feel like. Does anybody know what that feeling is when they get a tattoo? I wouldn’t know if I felt it because I’ve never had to make a decision that permanently affects the rest of my life. If worse comes to worse I could find solace in the idea that at least mine means something, people get tattoos for considerably worse reasons than mine.

So I’m still up in the air. I’m still undecided about a tattoo which will come as a disappointment to some but a relief to others. But rest assured this is not a decision I am making because of peer pressure or because of fear, it is a decision I make based on who I am as a person and whether I can justify getting a tattoo or not.