Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tattoo Journey - Part 1 - The horse shoe

Ok. So I’ve decided that to tattoo or not to tattoo is no longer the question.

The real question is: What to tattoo.

I’ve wanted a tattoo for at least 5-6 years. Wait, let me rephrase that. I've been seriously considering a tattoo for about 5-6 years. I've probably wanted one even longer than that.In fact, I've probably wanted it for even longer than that.

I've always loved looking at tattoos on people. I remember once as a kid, I saw this man with a boat tattooed on his arm. I believe it was a schooner, with a huge sails and everything. I told my mother I thought his tattoo looked really nice but she frowned upon the tattoo, so naturally I discarded the idea of ever getting one myself. She told me all the reasons why a tattoo was a bad idea, and sure, I saw her points, but I was still fascinated with them. I’m glad she told me all the reasons why she didn’t like tattoos, because it has kept me real about them. I know it’s permanent, I’ve figured out which places on my body wouldn’t be a great choice for a tattoo… all because I’ve taken her opinion into consideration. I’m also glad I didn’t run out and get a tattoo in rebellion, first chance I got.

A tattoo to me is a big deal. I realize that I will be branded for life with whatever design I choose.

Once I went with a friend to a tattoo parlor and I almost got one. At that time however I was uncertain of what I wanted for a tattoo so I changed my mind about doing it that day. I wanted more time. I’m really happy that I’ve taken my time because what I had in mind for a tattoo back then is not what I have in mind today. I once considered tattooing a tiger on my shoulder because I really love tigers. But now, it seems like such a cliché to choose a tiger. In the past I also considered tattooing something in reference to favorite artists or favorite sports teams (I will definitely be a faithful Anaheim Angels fan till the end, so the Angels logo wouldn’t be too bad…), but it somehow seems too simple for my personal tattoo.

Believe it or not, I’ve actually learned a lot by taking so long to decide. I’ve learned a lot about myself in that course of time and I’ve learned a lot about tattoos. I’ve learned what I want a tattoo to mean to me, since I’m the one who is stuck with it for life.

I even put the thought of a tattoo to rest for awhile, but when my grandmother passed away in January, it reawakened the urge for a tattoo. Even though I will always remember her, I felt an urge to revisit my thoughts on a tattoo and have something done that will physically make her a part of me. I realized then that a tattoo wouldn’t just represent me on a superficial level, but it should mean something more than that.And please be aware that I’m not bagging on anybody who chooses their favorite artist, band or sports team for a tattoo. I know that a tattoo is a personal experience and such a personal decision and that a tattoo means something different to each and every individual who goes under the needle.

Me, I’m a writer. That means I’m a thinker and I probably think too much, so a tattoo to me, personally, has to have a deeper meaning than the color of the ink or the shape of the design on my back. (By the way, I have decided on a shoulder tattoo, I’ve gotten that far…).

The death of my grandmother brought back every memory about everything I loved about her and how much me and my brother loved spending our vacations with her and my grandfather, on their farm, helping them out or causing them head aches…. (not sure which one we did more…) Because of her, I’m looking back to my roots for a tattoo. And I don’t mean my roots as a Norwegian or as an American or anything like that. I mean I’m looking back to my roots… as me.

I have made progress. I want a horse shoe. I want a rusty colored horse shoe, a worn horse shoe. I don’t want the horse shoe for good luck, I want it because it resembles me and says a lot about me and my past. Once I decide for sure, I’ll let you all know the significance of the horse shoe, but so far I’m still thinking about what I can pair with the horse shoe to make it truly mine.

I will be blogging my decisions and everything regarding my future tattoo for everyone to read.

This blog could possibly go on for another 10-20 years without me going under the needle, but I am not in a rush. More likely though, it’ll be a year or two. Who knows, maybe it will be sooner? There are a lot of cool tattoo expos going on in my area from time to time, so maybe I’ll visit one of those & get it done by one of the artists there.

Finally, anybody who has any kind of tattoo experience, feel free to chime in here and leave me comments. I’d love to hear from people who have been under the needle, people who are thinking about going under the needle but haven’t yet….people who thought about it but decided not to in the end… I want to know all your thoughts!

For now, I’m going back to my thinking cap…

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