09 September, 2010

First Ink

I have had a tattoo idea in my head for nearly five years. I have always known exactly what I wanted, but it never felt like the right time to get it. I asked a friend to type out the word I desired on her vintage typewriter, and I carried around the image in my wallet for years, knowing I wanted it to look a little worn and weathered.

When I moved to London I knew I would get my first ink here. But the tattoo had to mark a moment in my life, and my first year in the UK was rife with stress and unhappiness. I didnt want it to be a reminder of a horrible time, so I waited. I thought I might get it done when I moved into the flat and began life afresh, but again, my life was in flux, and I didn't want to mark that in my skin.

But I believe I am beginning an upward trend. Although I am sad to leave London, I am starting something new, and embracing some big changes in my future. I am once again feeling optimistic about life. I knew it was time.

And today was the day I got inked.

I was terrified. Not of the pain, but of not liking the outcome. Before we began my tattooist asked if I wanted the word to face me or face outward. The question took me by surprise- I had never considered having it face outward. This tattoo is for me, and me alone. That's why I went to have it done alone.

So why "change."? If there is word that defines me, it is "change". I feel that I am always striving to change for the better, and to not get stuck in a rut. In English it is also a command and a reminder that if I don't like the way things are, I have the power to change them. I also enjoy the irony that the first permanent marking on my body is about impermanence.

I was terrified this morning, but now I love it! I'm going to be very good to it, follow all the instructions my tattooist gave me, and in two weeks it will feel as though it's always been there.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

A sacred rite of permanent significance. You renew my interest in getting my words done. Someday. Just need the right time.

This wasn't a desperate cry for attention or an attempt to shock people or be trendy. Many reasons I like you Rae and this is definitely one of them.

It's beautiful.