Saturday I went to a tattoo party. At my aunt’s house… o_O
*sigh* Yeah, I know…
Let’s move past that first sentence, shall we? Last weekend while everyone was getting inked, the old craving for more body art resurfaced. I currently have three tattoos and want more. I feel like my body is unbalanced because I have one on my left wrist, one on my right calf/ankle area, and one on the back of my neck. I often forget about the third one as I’ve never actually seen since it’s been done. No Exorcist-esque neck swiveling happening over here. Nevertheless, I keep telling myself that I need at least two more to balance things out. Y’all know about my unhealthy fear of odd numbers that aren’t multiples of five, right?
Anyway. I resisted the urge and did not get inked on Saturday. YAY me! But then…
I logged onto Twitter the next day and one of the people I follow was twitpicing her way through her tattoo journey. A couple days after that another person I follow twitpiced her dope tattoo. Immediately upon viewing, my eye started twitching and I felt that old familiar feeling of regret creep back in. I could have just gotten inked on Saturday and that would have held me over for a while. Why did I resist?! Then I remembered that I didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to get inked on me. I’ll be damned if I pick some random flash that looked neat-o in the tattoo man’s book.
**pause for the cause** One of my pet peeves is when people get stupid shiz tattooed on them. Like random Chinese characters & things of that nature. The only boy who ever broke my heart had his name tattooed on him in Chinese. Allegedly. That mess coulda said “I like cock…as in PENIS” for all he knew. ANYWAY.
All of my tattoo rants got my friend Colleen & I discussing tattoos and how mine have meaning. She suggested that I blog about them and since I hadn’t touched this place in a while, I said “sure, why not!”
I got my first tattoo about 7 years ago when I was 21. My cousin was having a tattoo party (haha!) & I’d been debating for a few years about whether or not I would finally get a tattoo. I had a few designs in mind, but I wasn’t quite sold on the idea. After hemming and hawing for the better part of three weeks, I decided to take the plunge and just do it, as Nike says. I vascilated between about six different designs as well as where I wanted to place it. At the time, I was still in undergrad, but would soon be entering the workforce and didn’t want to put it somewhere that could be deemed unprofessional. I ended up deciding on my calf, near my ankle. I’m most likely wearing pants at any job I would get, so it would be easily hidden. For the actual design…ok y’all don’t laugh. I totally played eeny meeny miny mo. I loved all of the designs equally and knew that they would be inked upon me eventually, so that was the easiest way to make a decision, haha! As fate would have it, this ended up being my first tattoo:
It’s an Adinkra symbol which originated in West Africa, Ghana (I think) specifically. I had done quite a bit of research on the Adinkra symbols after viewing them on my African American history book in high school and then seeing one of my favorite artists with one tattooed on her (please don’t judge). I liked that they were simplistic, yet powerful images with meaning. This one means unity & democracy. It’s intertwined crocodiles sharing one stomach. For me personally, it’s a reminder that I can’t do it all alone.
My second tattoo came about hella randomly. I was vacationing with some girlfriends in Wisconsin Dells and the idea of getting tattoos came up. I was halfway on board, but hesitant because I knew I didn’t have my trusty printout of previously designated tattoos with me and would have to pick from one of the flash books at the parlour. Oy vey. On a high after winning nearly $1000 at the casino, those hesitations went right out of the window.
Tattoo Deux: electric boogaloo. This isn’t a direct representation of what it looks like because I barely remember the name of the shop where it gone done, but it’s close enough. It’s a gothic cross. Some would say it’s sacrilage to get a religion symbol tattooed upon your person with that whole body being your temple thing, BUT I disagree. I chose to get it on the back of my neck because it serves as a reminder that as I walk to through life daily, the Lord has my back. I’m not an OVERTLY religious person, but I do have respect and reverence for God. This was my way of paying tribute. It also is in one of those places where it’s not noticeable unless you’re looking for it. BONUS!
My last tattoo is probably the one I put the most thought into. I got it at a time where my life was in a sort of emotional turmoil. I was going through some things with who I thought was the love of my life. My career was non existant. My weight gain was the only consistent thing in my life. Everything seemed like it was imploding and I needed a release. The Veep had been bugging me to get a tattoo, so she and I went to this parlour that wasn’t too far from her house one night. Unfortunately for us, it was JUMPIN’ and we couldn’t get them done right then and there. We made appointments to come back the next day though.
Numero tres! It’s another Adinkra symbol (one of the ones in the running during the time of tat #1). This one means God’s protection and presence. I chose to have the word ‘Faith’ put right below it as a reminder. Again, I was in turmoil and denial. I didn’t want to own up to my part in my messes. I needed a VISUAL reminder to help me recenter my focus when I started losing my faith in God. Everytime I look at this tattoo, a wave of calmness settles over me. I find myself rubbing it when I’m stressed or idly as I pray. As if it is a direct conduit to Him or sorts. 🙂
In contemplating my next tattoo(s), I only know this much to be true. It will be an Adinkra symbol & mirror image to my current tattoos. Well…minus the one on my neck. I dunno about having someone tattoo my trachea, hahaha! It will somehow go along with the theme I’ve started with my body art, universal meaning with a personal tinge. These are some that are in the running:
This one is debatable. It may look slightly familiar to you. Remember I talked about my favorite artist having an Adinkra symbol? Welp, it happens to be one Miss Janet Jackson & this is the symbol. She has it tattooed on her wrist. It was also splayed ALL OVAH her Velvet Rope album. It literally means “go back and fetch it” which metaphorically translates into looking into the past in order to get to the future. Kinda weird concept, but it speaks to me. I’m hesitant to get it though because of the ties to JJ. I remember when TVR came out I was PISSED because she took my symbol, haha. I’d seen it on the cover of my African American history book and drew it on everything I had. I kept saying I was gonna get it as a tattoo. She beat me to the punch! *shakes fist*
I should start carrying a printout of all of these designs on me at all times like I used to back in the day. That way, if the mood strikes me, I’ll be prepared to get tatted up at any time, haha! Since I apparently like to decide to get tattoos at the spur of the moment. I’m set to go on vacation to Nashville later next month & I may get the urge to get some new ink when I’m there. Better to be prepared!