Hello world, I have a tattoo.
I got it a month ago in Cambridge’s best tattoo parlor (is that still a thing–tattoo parlors? It sounds infinitely 1874), Tattoos by Fabio. Yes, the shop is called that. No, sadly, Fabio was not the guy who made my tattoo. I was just as disappointed as you probably are.
When I’m super nervous, I talk…and talk…and talk. I don’t shut up, honestly. As Johnny, my lackluster named tattoo artist (tattoo guy? I really don’t know the lingo, obviously), took me to a back little room, I kept asking him pretty much everything I could think of in an effort to calm down. What’s the best tattoo he’s done? What’s the weirdest? Where are his tattoos, as he didn’t seem to have any?…And then he took off his shirt…The answer was pretty clear after that. (His tattoo was GIANT and covered his entire torso, which is extra insane because he did it himself!) I even suggested Johnny & I getting matching tattoos (kiddingly, Mom), because we were basically best friends by this point.
And then just as quickly as the process began, it was over! As much as I’d love to share a picture, because it’s on my ribs, it’s kind of hard to take a picture without it looking like I’m half-heartedly sexting somebody. (It’s also hard to show it off in public without practically undressing.)
So, what is it? Pretty simple: see above! I really have always struggled with working to be smart/funny/pretty/skinny/cool/whatever enough to prove I’m worth it. But you know what? The idea of becoming “enough” is an unachievable mirage that leaves you dying of thirst for affirmation in a desert of insecurity. (Whew, I just surpassed my metaphor quota for the month!)
Isaiah 41:9 has always been a comfort to me, as God tells us “For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.” The struggle with being enough is slowly losing power in my life, as I’m realizing daily that I am enough, right here & now. “Enough” is not to be achieved, but to be understood. So, I like having the visual reminder.
Skeptics of tattoos, to answer your questions: yes, it’s meaningful to me (see above, y’all); yes, I’ve been thinking about it for a year and a half; the stigma behind tattoos is changing; nobody is going to care when I’m old; it’s covered up for my future job, unless I work at a place that requires crop tops, in which case, I’m doomed.
And I love it! I don’t regret it at all and am kind of already planning on a second tattoo for the near future. But more on that another time!