I did it. I got a tattoo.
Some of y’all may read this and think “Wow that was so random and spontaneous!” but others know that this is something I’ve been think of for a while- 6 1/2 years to be exact.
I have wanted to get a tattoo centered around the word “love” since I was 18. I knew many people who ran out on their 18th birthday and got their first tattoo. It was tempting. Somehow though, I had patience to wait. I made a deal with myself saying “If I still want this tattoo in 5 years, I’ll get it.” To me, 5 years was not that long of a time to wait for something I would have for the rest of my life.
There were a few moments of weakness throughout the years where I almost impulsively got it, but I am so glad I waited as the tattoo has transformed over time. But the one thing that has remained the same is that “love” would be the center, just as I want love to be the center of my life.
Love is and always will be the most important thing. There is a reason Jesus says “But the GREATEST of these is love.” Love is the one thing out there that has the power to change people. Love is something that can be done in traditional or non traditional ways. It can be given, it can be shown, it can be seen, it can be felt, it brings people together, and it is a choice we make. What is better than to love and truly be loved? I challenge you to tell me.
What I love about this tattoo is that I decided to draw and design it myself. I took my design to David (my incredible tattoo artist), and he made it better. But I have never seen anything out there like it, and it is unique and meaningful to me. I wanted to be able to incorporate the two extremes of the mountains and the ocean, two things I love. I heard a song called You Have My Heart, with a verse that goes: As deep as oceans dive, As high as mountains climb, So is my love for You, This is my love for You.
This definitely inspired my design of how I could bring it all together. Initially, I wanted the words around the circle, but my tattoo artist explained that over time the words wouldn’t be legible or I would have to make the tattoo a lot bigger than it already was.
Now for what each piece means.
In my life, mountains have always been a symbol of strength and unshakable faith. My time in the mountains of Colorado has been such a refreshing and rebuilding of both of these things. My favorite part of the mountains in my tattoo is where I snuck in the M-dot! Do you see it? With the sun and the shading? The M-dot is the symbol for the Ironman, a 140.6 mile triathlon, which I did a couple years back (you can read about that here). It was the ultimate test of strength and perseverance. It showed me that we are capable of pushing ourselves to do so much more than we ever imagined. It seemed very fitting to me to put it amongst the sun and the mountains.
The water is twofold. It is a reminder that life is going to have it’s ups and downs. It’s going to have it’s challenges and it’s storms, but there is always a calm after the storm. It also represents my family. Growing up, we spent every summer on a boat, skiing, sailing, and sunning. The water is my happy place and always a reminder of those nostalgic times. There are 5 waves, one for each of my family members.
Did it hurt? I was surprised to find that it didn’t hurt as much as I had expected to. It was more of an uncomfortable and annoying feeling than really painful. My neck hurt more from keeping it in that downward position for almost two hours than the tattooing itself.
Would I do it again? Absolutely! As you can see this tattoo has a lot of meaning to me and I’m so happy I finally got it.
Would I get another one? Yes, if I found something else that meant a lot to me, but I’m certainly not in any rush. Maybe in another 5 years I’ll be ready again.
Do you have any tattoos? Why did you get it? What does it mean to you? Would you do it again?