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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

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The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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