On temporary pain….

Tattoos are kind of hilarious to me. I’m often perplexed at how emotionally violent people can get about either their love of or hatred of them. I’ve seen people get oddly judgemental toward people who have them; but I’ve seen the flip-side, too. I’ve seen people with tattoos get oddly preachy about the reasons they have theirs…as if one group could convince the other to change their minds. As if it matters.

I have a few tattoos of my own. Four, to be exact. And I love them all. Well, I love three of them. The ugly stepsister tattoo (which was my first) is embarrassing, at best. I need to get it fixed. It was the product of a slightly intoxicated rebellious streak and, because I knew nothing of how to research artists or questions I should ask, I essentially wound up with a paint-by-numbers drawing on my back. Lesson learned, Universe. Lesson learned. [It should also be noted that I credit Miami Ink with teaching me the questions to ask and skills to expect with something so permanent].

So that was my first tattoo. A naked fairy sitting on a rose on my lower back. It’s hideous. Borderline white trash. Sigh. It’s going to take a lot to fix it.

Despite that catastrophe of a tattoo, I’ve become addicted, as so many people do. I now have four tattoos with room for nine more and ideas for at least four of them. Each of them mean (or will mean) something special to me. One is my life’s mission. Another is my family. The most recent is my strength. The next is how I feel about myself (or should feel, because I don’t always feel this way). Another is my past and there will be a matching future. I have a plan for one to display my pride in myself (and my body). I’d like one to display my zen, my peace…but that one will take some time to design.

It’s about the most permanent way I can think of to display the things that make me, me. I see some of my tattoos daily and am reminded of so much of the good and magical in my life. It forces me to remember that for all the good and beautiful in my life, it’s come with some signficant pain. But more than that, it reminds me that pain is temporary and beauty really can feel like forever.

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