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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Ladies, Nike Shorts And Leggings Are For The Gym, Nowhere Else

If you are becoming a grown woman, you need to dress like one.
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Every night, I spend one hour preparing myself for the following day.

I start with a shower, usually after I workout (I like to shower up to three times a day). I, then, massage my face with an exfoliate or cleansing brush, followed by a mask, usually a sheet or charcoal, or occasionally a hair mask. While my mask is drying, I pick out my outfit, usually a balance of comfy and trendy for the morning (and usually two others backup outfits). After I was my mask off and end the night with yoga, I slump into an 8-hour slumber until I wake up and work out again.

Yes, I know I have a problem. You couldn’t find a more vain or egotistical person in this world that could trump my inflated head. I may have a slight vanity problem, but I feel that my vanity outweighs the laziness of just not caring.

Ladies, it’s time to grow up.

It’s time to take off those leggings, ratty high school football T-shirts, and neon orange Nike shorts, and put on some big girl panties (not just the frilly hot pink VS kind). Having attended a private school for most of my life, I was shocked when I saw how people dressed to school, as if they were about to run laps in between periods. High school can’t even compare to the fashion monstrosities I see at school: the formals shirts, Nike Shorts, White Converse that look like they have seen one too many frat parties, yet with faces stilled caked with chunky mascara and sloppy brows. These outfits were not only sported in classes and social events but also philanthropy events and job shifts!

Ladies, I understand life is uncomfortable. Period weeks leave you feeling five months pregnant and on the verge of crying because your jeans are pinching your bloated stomach. I understand that it’s hard to juggle gym, class, sports, and a healthy sex and social life. But you can try harder. You can do so much better than what you have going on right now. Jeans need to be worn instead of leggings. Nike shorts and ratty T-shirts belong at the gym. End of story.

SEE ALSO: Actually, Ladies, Wear Whatever You Want, Whenever You Want

My mother would coo to me, as she put barrettes in my hair before school, that “in order to feel successful, you must look successful”. Every final exam, presentation, discussion, speech, class president election, swim team banquet, I would be dressed in my business suit and men’s oxfords. I dress for the success I wanted to have. If you want to be treated like a grown ass woman, you have to act (and dress) like one too. My life example is a little radical; I do not think you should pour yourself into how you look, because you will just exhaust yourself. Throw on a pair of jeans or an easy dress to class. Wear that sweet polyester suit. Dress up just to feel confident and successful in your day to come, not just your coming career.

Feel beautiful every day, just save the leggings for lazy days (or better yet, wear nothing at all).

Cover Image Credit: essihelppi / Instagram

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Don't Be Afraid To Accessorize — It Can Be Your New Best Friend

Just a few extra moments of attention to detail can truly elevate your look.

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Your alarm just went off, you put it on snooze one too many times, and now you are going to be late. You throw on the nearest T-shirt and jeans you can find in your room and you are out the door. This look is simple, easy, fast but it would be more personalized and charming if there were a few accessories added to the look. To accessorize means to add to the overall output and to add a little spice where there is dullness.

I believe it is important to always accessorize and one can do this by wearing statement jewelry daily. It is necessary to have your own take on an outfit by wearing jewelry that tells a story, is interesting to look at, and overall makes you different from everyone else.

The first step in accomplishing everyday jewelry is by wearing rings. Rings are always visible as your hands set the stage for you. It is important however to not overdo it, each ring should be cohesive with one another and each finger should have its own flare. I personally wear 6 rings, 3 on each hand and they are a mixture of gold with silver tones. Even if your nails aren't polished, wearing rings still makes you look put together and looks as though you put effort into a look even though you wear them every day.

Belts are the second most important accessory. Yes, they serve a functional purpose but I think it is important to wear a belt that extenuates the outfit you are wearing. Black is easy to start with but when you feel more comfortable I think a colorful belt or a chain belt really can uplift a look.

Necklaces and earrings are the third most important accessories and I think they go together because if you are wearing a statement earring then the necklace you wear should not be also a statement piece. It is important to have balance with your accessories and understand that less is more but also more is more. Accessorizing truly depends on your personal style and the look you are going for. For everyday necklaces and earrings, it is important to invest in real materials that are simple can go with everything. For instance, I wear three thin gold chains every day and I have my ears pierced and I wear small earrings in my lobes and I have my cartilages pierced.

Overall, accessorizing isn't going to make or break your outfit but I think it is important to have jewelry and pieces that elevate your outfit into a personalized and look as though you went the extra step. Another easy way to do this is with your phone case, having a phone case that has a detailed print or is a fun color is another easy no thought way to accessorize.

My favorite companies to get fashionable phone cases are wildflower and casely. In the end, it is important to invest in the accessories that you wear daily as these pieces become a part of you.

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