Wednesday, December 29, 2004


I have three of them. They are all awesome. Not because they're a good design or a great coloring, but because they all mean something very special to me. My tattoos are Confidence, Friendship, and Trying New Things.

The first time I went to get a tattoo I didn't do nearly enough research and went somewhere with a tattooist that didn't do a very good job. BUT I did walk away with, not one, but two tattoos. The first one was easy. I wanted an Airwalk "A" on my left shoulder. This tattoo is Confidence.
When I was growing up, around the 7th grade, I ran with a group of friends that all wore Airwalks. We didn't put anything else on our feet. We used to say that we could do anything in our Airwalks. Young as we were, we chose our shoes to draw confidence from for whatever reason. We could walk up walls, or over water. We could do whatever we wanted to as long as we were in our Airwalks. It became a source of absolute confidence. As I grew older I realized that it was not the shoes, but simply the belief in myself that should be bringing me confidence. I wanted a reminder of this, however, so I decided that I should mark myself permanently with an Airwalk "A" so that I always remember the confidence that I carried - not from the shoes, but from myself. The tattooist took the shoe off of my foot, scanned it and printed out the A on the side and marked me for life. I couldn't have been happier.

One of my best friends, Cesar, accompanied me on my trip to the shady tattoo shop to get my first tattoo. Cesar was a sweet, caring, and wonderful friend - one of the best I've ever had. He was searching thru the flash on the walls and found a great sun that he would have tattooed on himself if he had been old enough at the time (he was only 17). That day I decided that in addition to my own tattoo, I would get one for Cesar too, since he couldn't. I had the sun tattooed on me to remind me about the importance of Friendship.
Cesar and I have since lost touch and I miss him horribly. But it doesn't matter how much time or distance separates us (the last I heard from him he was leaving to spend a year in Paris) I will always have a sun tattooed on my right arm for him. My friends are hands-down my most valuable resource. Without friendship, life would simply not be tolerable. I owe so much to so many of my dear friends throughout the years - I never want to forget how important they are to me. Now it's awfully hard with a constant reminder blazed onto my arm. Friendship is the reason I can't wear sleeveless shirts to work!

Sadly, both of these tattoos healed terribly. The work was not great, the lines were not clean, and the ink did not take. I ended up going back to another tattoo artist almost two years later to have them redone. I simply had a little extra work done to my "A", but covered up the sun on my arm completely with another sun - one that I was sure Cesar would have loved. I know the original ink still hides underneath the fresh work - and that's what matters most.

My third tattoo came from 6th street in Austin. Somewhere along the road of my youth I got a terrible taste in my mouth about Austin. I had never really visited there and knew nearly nothing about it - but for some reason I was sure I would hate it. I got dragged there on a weekend roadtrip and dreaded it the whole way. However, upon arriving I really fell in love with the town and the people. It was such a wonderful and ecclectic place! I gave in, dropped grudges, and had a great time. Walking down 6th street in the heat of a summer afternoon we decided to get tattoos. I picked a very simple tribal bead from the flash on the wall and had it put on the back of my neck. Everytime I think of this tattoo, I'm reminded that trying new things is rarely as terrible as you think it will be. Give life a shot - just a chance for fun. You never know, you might like it!

Three tattoos...three important life lessons.

This is what I think permanently marking your body should be all about. Don't do it because it's "cool". Don't do it because all of your friends did it. Do it because it means something to you. Do it for yourself.


At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I waited nearly 32 years to get my first tattoo. I waited because my Ex did not believe in permanantly marking your body. Hell, I waited to put color in my hair, to get fake nails, to be who I am (my freeform), the real me...........

I got my tattoo the week I left my Ex and I took someone with me who I hope will continue my life path and someday I hope to be there when he gets his first tattoo.

My tattoo was symbolic of many events. It represents re-birth, my spirit, my life path, my love. It's placed on my back over my heart (but you know this). It's a tribal representation of the Cherokee Seven Pointed Star. Symbolizing East, South, West, North, Up, Down, and Within. I'm on the East path of my journey and hope to reach the within path before I leave this world. But, if I don't I'll finish it on the other side.

I've been getting the itch for another tattoo and hope I make the right decision with my next one. But, I think what I got from your post was no matter what the tattoo is, it is representative of that time and space in your life and you should be proud of it and always remember the real reasons behind the ink.


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