(pinterest)Tattoo: Number 1
I had wanted a tattoo ever since I was probably 16 years old or so. My first one took me about a year to plan out. I saw the Chinese symbol for love when I was at the Navy Pier in Chicago and I loved how symmetrical and simple it was. So that was the first spark for my first tattoo. I also wanted to incorporate a butterfly into the tattoo as well, as ever since sixth grade butterflies have been my favorite animal.
Why a butterfly? Well when I was in sixth grade, one of my classmate's little sister had a skin disease in which she would break out in sores any time someone touched her. It was also called "the butterfly disease". She passed away when she was only six weeks old. That was the first funeral I had ever been to, and at the burial we let off butterfly balloons in honor of her little soul. The moment I looked up at the sky and saw the butterflies, I was inspired; and that is why they are now my favorite animal. They're so beautiful and fragile, and represent how great change can be- since they come and transform from a caterpillar.
So when I turned 18, I had been a paraprofessional for Special Education summer school in Cottage Grove. My friend/ co-worker and I sat and planned out this tattoo every single day of school when we had free time; to ensure that it was perfect. Once I perfected it, I went and got it done! It didn't even hurt. It felt like scratches kind of. Luckily, it was just on my ankle, so it's not a sensitive spot to begin with. :)
Tattoo: Number 2
In case you didn't know already, I love love. I love friends, and I love family. My life revolves around love! My best friend Kayla and I had talked about getting a "friendship" tattoo for a while. We wanted to get something simple and symbolic of friendship and love. Trevor Hall (our favorite singer/ man EVER) has two tattoos kind of by the collar bone, on the best, by the shoulder (it's a hard placement to explain), and we fell in love with that placement. Visible with a strapless or tank top, but easily hidden with a t-shirt/ regular shirt.
So that was how we decided the placement for that one. We kept it a secret at first, because we wanted it to be a surprise kind of thing. But K let the word slip to our friend Jenna about it, and we also couldn't keep it from our other friend Jaymee. Alas, we decided all four of us should get it. And we just so happened to be planning a trip to KC, MO to visit Kayla one weekend... Perfect timing for the tattoo! It took use FOREVER to plan out the specifics of the tattoo though. Even though it's a simple design, the color, size, placement, style, etc. was a really difficult thing for us all to agree on. Did we want it fancy? Big? Colored? Left side? Right side? Since Jen had heart surgery, we couldn't get it on the left side. So the right side was decided, and since we couldn't think of a color we'd all like, we chose to get it black. We all went in, got them done, and they turned out wonderfully. Each of them are just a tad different than the others too, which is nice.
Tattoo: Number 3
I have always loved foot tattoos. But I never thought I'd be able to handle the pain (that I heard) that came along with it. Since my family is my entire life, and I wouldn't be here without them and their support, I knew that I'd want a tattoo to represent them. I came up with the idea of incorporating all of our birthstones into a tattoo, since we were all born in different months it could be a cool idea. So I toyed with idea of having some simple shape filled with our birthstone colors: a star would be the perfect one. So I knew I wanted five stars, all with each of my parents', my sisters', and my birthstone colors. (Dad: aquamarine, Mom: peridot, Me: ruby, Emilie: emerald, Lex: amethyst).
Jaymee and I went to LaCrosse to visit our friends, and get the tattoo done! I told the artist all I wanted was those starts and some type of swirls or something to separate them. So I just put it in his hands and had him be creative, since I clearly wasn't doing very well at that part. And MAN, am I glad I let him play with the idea. He did an awesome job of designing the swirls. The best part is he made the stars in order, from biggest to smallest. And he even put the birthstone colors birth order too- which I totally didn't even plan! So it goes biggest to smallest, Dad - Lexi. So amazing. It's definitely one of my favorite tattoos. :) Aaaand I didn't even cry! (I literally told myself it was going to be one of the most painful things ever, so I wouldn't be shocked when it actually would be that painful. It didn't even hurt as bad as I'd heard it would!)
[The only problem with this time was that I had to be alone in the tattoo area; so Jaymee couldn't even hold my hand or anything. Which was dumb.]
For the past ~3 years or so, I've always loved the phrase "paz. amor. igualdad.": which means peace, love, equality. And even though I'm artistically challenged, I would always doodle the phrase with each word's coordination symbols. On EVERYTHING I could, I would write "paz. amor. igualdad." with the peace sign, heart, and equal sign under each word. They are three things I like to promote as much as I can. Peace: being at peace with yourself, I'm also a huge pacifist, and just spreading peace among others. Love: this is obvious, as I've said about my other tattoos, that I love love. Equality: treating people the same, accepting people for who they are, etc. Obviously I'm not perfect, no one is, but these are things are try my hardest to spread and encourage as much as possible.
There is tattoo shop here, Tatu Royale, and my friend Casey has worked there for a while. So I met all the workers there, and they're all awesome people. I never got anything pierced or tattooed there though, I just met everyone. But at the beginning of this year, I decided I wanted to get this phrase tattooed before I leave Winona. So I saved up money throughout the year just for the tattoo. I wanted Amado, one of the artists there, to do it for me since he speaks Spanish and I figured we could bond over that ;)
I wanted it to be fancy, but not too busy. But I also still wanted it to be simple. So after months of trying to choose a font, I decided on a cursive font. And for the heart, Kayla suggested doing a heart with a design in it. So I picked one that suited me most: it's leaves/ tree like. This is perfect since I love nature and the Earth. And it's still simple, but also intricate and a dash of fancy to even out the simplicity of the other two symbols. I had decided to get it on my side, because it needed to be vertical. I was planning on just dying and crying from the pain, since I knew the ribs are some of the most painful places to get tattooed.
But I did it. Amado perfected the size, design, and placement. And I DID IT! Eek! It hurt. A lot. But I didn't even cry. My friend Mako came and took pictures for us and she held my hand towards the end in the most painful part. But it is just great. So perfect. I love it. I've received countless compliments on it too, even from people who don't like tattoos! ;) So here it is, tattoo number 4. (Which I just got on May 8th!)
Will I get more? Well I'm planning on it... I have a few more planned still. That I've thought about for at least a couple years now. Once I'm rich (HA!) or something, then I'll eventually get more. If they were cheaper, I'd get lots more for sure. But I have to save up lots o' money for the future ones. And ya know, pay off the school debt that I'm up to my ears. But that's a whole other story...
Do you have tattoos? Do they have special meanings? :)