I feel much better today. Phew! SO much gratitude for drugs that are legit there to make you feel better. All hail penicillin!
Yesterday I read this post – Broken by fellow blogger Mark Goodson. It has inspired me to write a little post of my own.
I had my first tattoo when I was 19. It was a spur of the moment thing. A friend and I caught a bus to the next big town, something we often did as teenagers. There was sod all to do in Builth. We had one high street of shops where we grew up. None of these shops catered for teenagers. There was a newsagent, a shoe shop, a greengrocer, a toy shop and several clothes shops for pensioners. Oh, and 10 pubs on that 500m stretch alone. (Another 4 very close by!)
Skipping town for a day with your mates, smoking at the back of bus and spending all your pocket money on cassettes, clothes and make up was a Saturday rite of passage. It was all very tame stuff. We were all good kids. By the time I was 19 I didn’t feel like a kid anymore. I had lived in London briefly. I was working a couple of jobs and living in my own flat. In a few months time I would discover I was 17 weeks pregnant by the married man I was desperately in love with but at this point, he was a secret. Not even my best friends knew.
Back then a small tattoo cost £10. I had a card in my bag from my secret guy with a red, star shaped sticker. I thought that was a cool idea for a tattoo. It meant something to me but more importantly I felt it would impress him. It would symbolise our love. Oi.
I found it excruciating. I had it on my belly and later found out that is one of the more tender places. It was tiny though, so over pretty quickly. We didn’t have many options for artists back in the sticks and this place was the only parlour available to us. I went back there for several more tattoos in the following years which is baffling to me now because he was TERRIBLE. The red star kinda looked like an asshole but I found the whole process thrilling. It made me feel happy and excited in that moment. Tattoos are far more fashionable now but at the time I felt it made me stand out. Along with my multi-coloured hair and piercings, I found something that gave me a buzz. It gave me an identity and I felt cool.
If I could, I would erase all of my tattoos. Even the memorial ones I have had done for my brother. Even the ones that are well done. I would give anything to be bare skinned again. Every tattoo I have subsequently had done, I was searching for that original buzz. Most of my tattoos were done when I was high. The same with crazy hair cuts or body piercings. I had my nipples done a few times, the Christina, my navel, my nose, my lip done several times in different places and the Anti-eyebrow. I actually loved my lip piercing. I like the look of it on most girls. I loved having pink hair and blue hair. I wish Rob was more into it because I would definitely go pink again. I know I should do what I want but I also want to be attractive to him so it’s a tricky one. I have always wanted long hair but would hack it and bleach it to death when I was high or depressed. I hate having short hair but I frequently cut it all off in turbulent times, making myself feel more ugly. Knowing that Rob has a preference has encouraged me to not to grab for the scissors or bleach.
Good tattoos these days are INSANE. I am so jealous of the quality of some of the work I see online. When I say I would like to erase all of my tattoos, it’s not because I hate the look. It’s because I hate the quality of most of mine. I’m sad that they weren’t properly thought through. Most of them were cheaply done on a whim to try to replicate a certain feeling. Like a drug.
I have spent many months of my life wishing I could turn back the clock. Been miserable that it was me who did this to myself. I have felt the art on my body doesn’t truly reflect who I am.
I have felt judged by certain people for having tattoos – that I don’t give a flying fuck about. Anyone who judges me for being a middle-aged woman, mother, human with body art makes me laugh. What I care about is being judged for the shitty quality by cooler people than me, haha!
But as we get older, we come to accept ourselves more, don’t we? Or we are supposed to at least. I have stopped hating my wobbly belly. My large forehead is not going anywhere. I wish my teeth were whiter and straighter but I know they don’t make me less loveable. My tattoos are here to stay so I am going to stop hating on them. I wasn’t forced into having any of them. I paid for them with my own money. And I do feel fondly about each of them for different reasons.
The wrongly written quote
The wonky key
The covered up asshole (red star!)
The song lyrics and initials
They all make me feel something. The all have a memory attached. They are all part of me.
You know, looking at these photos, I don’t hate what I see. 🙂
I doubt I will ever get another tattoo but I like to look at incredible ones on the internet and drool. I always wanted a Frida Kahlo inspired one and a Twin Peaks one too.