The Story Behind My First Tattoo
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Health and Wellness

The Story Behind My First Tattoo

It runs skin deep.

The Story Behind My First Tattoo
Zachary Nelson

Something that I've wanted for the longest time was a tattoo.

Most of the people in my life had tattoos and I always thought they were artistic expressions. Most of my friends were to afraid to even think about getting tattoos because they were permanent. Beauty marks are permanent. Freckles are permanent. The color of your hair you can change but at the end of the day it is there. So I always saw tattoos as just another part of a person.

When I was 13 was when I really started pondering the idea of a tattoo.

I didn't know what I wanted but eventually I began scribbling little music notes on my wrist. It started out as doodles that had little meaning (I was likely in a music class and filling up my time). Eventually I really started to like how they looked on me and the music notes transformed into something really personal to me. For years I have had depression and anxiety be something that has shaped me, and while at times it has been an extremely heavy weight on my shoulders, I haven't allowed it to break me. As a reminder for the strength that I had, I wanted to have my tattoos be a way of showing how I needed to get through even the toughest of things.

At around 16, I started coming up with a tattoo design.

It was also around this age that my mother told me I would be able to get it. I wanted to have a bass clef on my left wrist and a treble clef on my right wrist. These were pretty simple designs that symbolized something I had always loved and I knew would fit as a part permanently etched into my body. The only thing was that I wasn't sure about how they would represent my depression and anxiety. So I did some research. I learned about the semicolon project. This was a movement where people got a semicolon tattooed on their body (usually their wrist) as a sign of strength against suicide or in support of those who have committed suicide: the semicolon represents where a sentence could have ended but continued. This was perfect because it fit into the design of my bass clef. Now all I needed was to find something that I could work into my treble clef. Eventually I noticed that the loop of the clef reminded me of a ribbon and I began investigating and found out that the symbol for anxiety is a teal ribbon. Anxiety has always plagued me and being able to incorporate this into my design was really important.

It took me three years to finally muster up the courage to get my tattoos because I was TERRIFIED of the pain.

I had always heard that the wrist was one of the most painful places to be tattooed, and I was going to get both of them done. But the truth is, the pain wasn't any harder than what I have been through and it was worth the beautiful art and reminder I look at every day now.

If you are thinking about getting a tattoo, get one. Do things that are bold and don't be afraid to take chances.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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