I come from the most typical family you can ever imagine. Living in a middle-class neighbourhood in the suburbs, adults around me usually followed the dictated path, as we might say. They clearly did not get tattoo sleeves at 30, 35 or 40. Man, these things last forever you know? What about when you will be a grandpa? Aren’t you gonna look like a fool?
Back then, I found it much more fun (and riskless) to watch people getting tattoos on television. My mom, my sister and I were particularly fond of Kat Von D of LA Ink. What I love the most I think was the story behind every tattoo, and how the artists are really well…artists.
I never thought I would one day get a tattoo myself. Like never. Then I decided to become badass, and all of a sudden, a world of possibilities opened up to me, which included getting tattoos all over my body. Being surrounded by yoga teachers, friends and strangers who proudly wear their heart on their (tattoo) sleeve must have had some impact over the years.
Therefore I jumped in, and asked one of my yoga teachers who’s beautifully inked who she recommended. I contacted the artist, who’s quite famous and is known to refuse projects she isn’t interested in, with a long email telling her about my story and what I would like to get as my first tattoo. She shortly replied it wasn’t the kind of work she did, telling me to go see someone else. Like a desperate and neophyte fan, I told her I really wanted to work with her and I was ready to change what I had in mind to match her style. Reluctantly, she said she’d put me on her waiting list.
So here I am. On the waiting list to get my first tattoo. The kind of tattoo I never thought I would get. An ornemental one, henna style. So here I am, wondering if I am going to really do it or find some excuse not to once it gets to my turn.
The thing is I’m an INFJ. I’m driven by my values. I need to find some meaning in anything and everything. I clearly cannot get a tattoo simply because it’d look cute.
No worry guys. I am also in PR. My job is to create stories around things that often don’t make any sense. I am a pro at finding links and giving meaning.
So of course, after a few meditations on that, I found the meaning I was looking for for my ornemental tattoo. Here’s what I came up with: as I will probably get my appointment around my birthday, and since I will be turning 28 and entering the heart chakra life period, I thought it would be nice to find some way to acknowledge my journey up to now.
My tattoo will be the proof that I made it for an another year. Every day, it will make sure I don’t forget to be grateful for having the joy and privilege of living in this body. Every year around my birthday, I am planning on adding another ornemental circle to my arm, just like a tree that grows one more layer every time it makes a complete circle around the sun, until I get a full sleeve, then start another arm, leg, back, until I am completely covered (that should happen when I get to a 100 year-old, can’t wait!).
But what about the fact that it’s permanent? Well that’s kind of the whole point here. The medium is the message. This reflection about tattoos made me realize that we really do only have one life to live, at least in this body we say is ours. Even if our soul keeps rolling, we will have to say goodbye one day to the life we’ve known. A tattoo therefore can act as a powerful reminder that what we believe is permanent is not, that we are human beings with a definite amount of time given on this earth. We better learn along the way to let go of any attachment that might hurt us. This body is not really mine, it is only a vehicle I have the privilege to be using to travel through this journey and to which must not get too attached. However, my soul was never born, does never die. As beautiful as my tattoo will be, it will act as a reminder of the importance of cherishing the true beauty that can only be found within.