Every person has a story.
So does every tattoo, whether it be a drunken mistake or a meaningful tribute to a lost loved one.
I constantly find myself met with curious glances at my wrist, as if people try to read what my tattoo means. Some scratch their heads trying to unravel the mystery that is permanently marked into my skin. Others roll their eyes, as if my tattoo is just another cliché fad. Some even scoff at it, making remarks of how I’ve ruined my skin, how I’ve marked my body with sin.
I am an education major, and before I got my tattoos, I knew that I could be putting my career at risk, but I also knew that I wanted to have constant reminders that everything will be okay, and everything will work out in the end. At the end of the day, I got my tattoos: one on my wrist and one on my thigh.
My thigh tattoo is an image of an anchor with purple roses. I had seen many tattoos with infinity signs and anchors with the words “I refuse to sink,” but I didn’t want that. Those tattoos became something that everyone else had, and I wanted something that I could call my own. I’ve always loved the ocean. I am obsessed with the water, and I’ve always dreamed of being a mermaid. The roses represent beauty and are a tribute to my mom. This was my first tattoo, and when I look at it, I think of my mom and the happiness she brings me; I think of the ocean and how free I feel with the salty winds in my hair. This tattoo brings me memories of happiness and adventure, while encouraging my imagination to blossom.
My other tattoo that is on my wrist is my favorite of both tattoos. This tattoo has kept me going through a lot of difficult times. It is an infinity sign with hearts, crosses, and a semicolon. When those four elements are put together, it becomes a butterfly. My personal meaning behind this tattoo is “Always love. Always have faith. Always fight on. Always be beautiful”.
I suffer from anxiety and depression, and looking down at my tattoo during those times of pain, fear, and isolation makes me feel so much more in control. I find myself tracing the lines of my tattoo with my finger when I am feeling upset. I was always afraid that I might make a mistake and hurt myself in one of my fits. I was afraid because I didn’t want to make anyone else suffer, so I knew I needed to put the tattoo on my wrist. It is a constant reminder that I am in control, and that I can fight back.
It can be really frustrating explaining the meaning of a tattoo to people because you never know if they’ll truly understand it, but at the end of the day, it is only important that you understand it.