My Tattoos, What They Mean, And Why It's Not Your Job To Care

My Tattoos, What They Mean, And Why It's Not Your Job To Care

"You're going to regret getting that tattoo, you know."
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When I show people my tattoos, their very first question is always, “What do they mean?” My tattoos are so important to me, which is why I love telling people about why I got them. So here's the story.

My first tattoo is a cursive text, located on my left lower rib cage, which says, “March On”. I got this tattoo a few days after New Year’s Day in 2015. In the fall of 2014, Nick Kraus, a teacher in the performing arts department at my high school had passed away. I have many fond memories with him in marching band, and I will never forget the time he tried to help me learn how to play the marimba. I failed miserably, but he was so patient with me, I just remember us laughing the whole time.

There was a football game that our school dedicated to Nick Kraus in which everyone wore white, and many band alumni came to support the band. There is a chant that we would do before marching onto the field to perform our show, which ends in us yelling “March On” repeatedly. We had alumni come and join in on the chant, and I remember it being the most emotional March On we’ve ever had.

Up to that point, I had already planned on getting a tattoo but was unsure of what to get. It wasn’t until New Year’s morning, when I watched the Rose Parade that I figured out what I wanted. Watching the marching bands in the parade made me remember how important marching band was for me and how we came together as a family to support one another in that time of sorrow. There was no way I was going to get anything else other than “March On” as my first tattoo, and I’m so happy that I did.


My second tattoo was from back in fall of 2016. It is located on my right forearm, and is a tattoo of the Curvy Tree. The Curvy Tree is from a book series called "The Land of Stories," by Chris Colfer. In the book, a father tells his daughter a story of how there once was a tree in the shape of a spiral in the midst of trees that stood straight and tall. One day when people came to cut down the trees, they did not cut down the Curvy Tree because they would not have been able to make anything out of it. Its uniqueness is what saved the Curvy Tree.

To be unique is to be different, and to be different can be both a blessing and a curse. Most of the time it feels like a curse when it leaves you feeling isolated and weird. But it is your uniqueness that will keep you standing tall and can one day lead you to the things that are best for you.

In case you were wondering,- I’m a f***ing weirdo. I spent the majority of my life feeling like I never fit in and that I was too different for people to like me. Being able to finally get through my head that being unique isn’t a bad thing has truly changed my life for the better. I have the most amazing people in my life because I embrace who I am, rather than trying to be anyone else. It is always nice to have a quick reminder of that, which is exactly what happens when I look down at my arm and see my Curvy Tree.

Now that you know what they are all about, there is something I want you to know. You shouldn’t care that I have tattoos. I love knowing how much you appreciate the meaning and thinking that they look good, but you should not care whether or not they have a meaning. I can’t tell you how many times I get people looking at my arm and immediately saying, “That better have a meaning behind it.” Um. But why? Why is it so important to you that it has a meaning? The answer is that it isn’t.

The tattoo is on my body, not yours, so why do you care so much? Even though mine do have meanings, what if I get a tattoo of a bird because, hell, I want a tattoo of a bird. That would be f***ing awesome. If I want one, then I want one. It’s not up to you to decide whether a tattoo is a good idea or not when it is not on your body. Granted, there are still tattoos out there that aren’t the best idea, but it isn’t your job to tell the people who have them that. You can think it, though. You are allowed to have your opinions, but just don’t let your opinions make someone feel bad about something that they love that is a part of their body.

Also, please don’t ask me, “Well, how are you going to get a job?” First of all, what century are you living in? Tattoos have become increasingly more accepted as time goes on. Secondly, if someone doesn’t want to hire me because they don’t like that I have tattoos, then quite frankly, I don’t think I want to work there. My future and my career is my problem. I assure you that I was and am well aware of the consequences of getting a tattoo. I did not go into this without having a plan. I know where I want to go in life, and where I’m going does not involve my tattoos holding me back, I assure you.

All I am trying to say is that people aren’t getting tattoos to please the public. They get tattoos to please themselves. It’s OK if you don’t like someone’s tattoo or if you’re upset that a tattoo doesn’t have meaning. It is on our body, so don’t worry, it won’t ever be a problem for you. To conclude, I leave you with these words of wisdom:

Don’t be a judger, be a lover!

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Rabatin

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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How To Amp Up Your Thrifting Game

Consider this Thrifting 101.

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If you're a big thrifting fan like me, you know that you don't always have to go to the mall to get a cute new sweater or a belt to match your outfit. However, while basically anyone can thrift, there are definitely some tips and tricks to step up your thrift game and help you score some great finds, as well as other things you should definitely know.

1. Goodwill doesn't wash their clothes.

While Goodwill is definitely one of the biggest thrift stores out there, they don't wash their clothes before putting them out on the floor (but people who donate are encouraged to wash all their donations before dropping them off). Don't let this discourage you though-- I've found some really great things at Goodwill. Just remember to wash everything you get there before you wear it!

2. Find out when stores put out new items.

This is literally as easy as calling and asking, or asking a staff member while you're at the store. This way, you'll know when there's more variety to choose from.

3. Don't be afraid to branch out into different categories.

Me and all of my friends who thrift can tell you that some of the best (and coziest) sweaters can be found in the men's section, and besides, clothes are for everybody, and don't have a gender.

4. Be mindful of the season.

If you want winter clothes, go when everyone is getting rid of their old jackets and sweaters. If you want a sundress of a pair of shorts, go when summer is beginning or over and people are purging their closets.

5. If something is damaged, make sure you can repair it (or know someone else who can).

There's no point in getting a pair of jeans that are ripped off the seam or a shirt with multiple moth holes no matter how cute they are unless they're mendable.

6. Know that the older the clothing item, the more "off" the sizes may be.

Older items of clothing can run anywhere from 2 to 6 sizes smaller.

7. Don't buy swimsuits or undergarments.

Just don't.

8. Learn when your local thrift shop has deals and sales.

That way, you'll know when is the best time to go in price wise-- but remember that doesn't necessarily mean that there will be a good variety.

9. Don't get something just because it's "unique".

Sure, you might see something that catches your eye, but don't just get something because it's unique and cheap. If you don't really like something, or if you know that you'll never wear it, don't get it.

10. Don't give up.

If you don't find something amazing the first time you go thrifting, don't worry! When you go thrifting you won't always find a standout piece every single time. Keep going, and branch out to different thrift stores, and you'll be sure to find the thrifted piece of your dreams.

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