Four months ago, I promised myself I wouldn't get another tattoo until I was twenty-five. Over the past three years, I've collected five tiny tattoos on my body. There's a social stigma with tattoos, I'm aware - and I don't even have ones that are distracting, let alone extremely visible. But they've always intrigued me. It's not just the aesthetic appeal (although, they do look really cool), but more the fact that people have been ballsy enough to enter a lifelong commitment between ink and skin, sometimes for the most frivolous of reasons. I like to believe all of my tattoos have meaning (and they do), but I think ultimately, for me it comes down to the fact that I want to decorate my body with beautiful things, including symbols and markings to remind me of who I am and what I hold dear to myself.
Delta symbol / The first tattoo I ever got was when I was fifteen, and was mostly for experimental purposes. I’ve never been a math or science buff, but I always admired the frequent use of symbols and the way they could come to represent deeper meanings when looked at in a different perspective. The delta symbol represents “change in,” and it’s something that’s always stuck with me. I think that, in life, we are so used to trying to form habits and find situations in which we’re comfortable - so much so that we’ve truly become fearful of change. But, like most adversity in life, change is inevitable. This small yet meaningful tattoo is a reminder to myself to roll with the punches, embrace change, and to never get too comfortable.
Infinite strength / About six or so months later after my first tattoo, I decided to get a second. The tattoo is an infinity sign with the word “strength” connected to it, symbolizing infinite strength. In the beginning of high school, I had a couple of years that were significantly more challenging than others. They tested me and changed me into a different person, which ultimately helped me in the long run. But there were definitely times when I felt like there was nothing I could do, and my dad was always the one there to tell me to be strong and soldier on. This tattoo was a way to embody that mentality and mark the end of some pretty dark times. Admittedly, the sizing of the tattoo was probably too small for text and since I was underage, I didn’t have an artist who would tell me that it simply wasn’t possible. Over the years, it’s become blown out and blurred. Strangely, I kind of like the fact that it’s imperfect. It’s another example of why you have to be strong enough to embrace all of yourself - even the permanent mistakes on your skin.
Anchor / I love this tiny little tattoo, mostly because my best friend and I did it the best way - spontaneously. The anchor, for me, represents the relationship between my best friend and I. We’ve known each other since we were two years old and have been there for each other every step of the way. I’m a firm believer in soul mates and purpose for every relationship in your life - and for me, she’s been the sister I’ve never had, but always needed. It’s rare to have connections like that, and the anchor is a great reminder of how fortunate I am to have a best friend like that in my life.
XI X LXIII XCV / In November of 2013, I went with my dad to get my favorite (and first legal) tattoo. Unlike most of my other tattoos, I had this one planned out for a while. Throughout my entire life, my dad has been my mentor, my rock, my support system, and my inspiration. Not only do we share the same astrology sign (Scorpio), but we even share the same birthday, something that I contribute to our intense similarities in our personalities. No one understands me like my father, and I’m so fortunate that I have that in my life. This year, it was my eighteenth birthday and his fiftieth, so we agreed we’d get tattoos together. The tattoo is the roman numerals of our shared birthday, 11/10/63 and 11/10/95. I decided to get it on my left ribcage because it's the close to my heart. He came along with me to get this one and even got a yin and yang symbol for himself. This is my favorite tattoo to date, both aesthetically and symbolically.
Horseshoe / My most recent addition to my collection is my horseshoe tattoo. My cousin (also one of my best friends) and I wrung in the new year by getting horseshoe tattoos for good luck. We decided to get something that would have meaning for the both of us: a horseshoe, to remind us that luck is not something born out of chance; it is created. The spontaneity of this tattoo was another bold reminder as to how much power and control I have over my own life. One day it might three in the afternoon, and you’ll find yourself in Kensington Market, and all of a sudden someone might say, “let’s get tattoos!” and in that moment you will realize that it’s your life and you are able to do what you want to. So I did just that.