Blog Challenge Day 9: Tattoos and Piercings

Body modifications? 

Oh yes. A few. Or six.

I got my first tattoo at the rebellious age of 18 because it was legal. And because I was 18, I got a butterfly on my ankle. Cliché? Yes, but not completely meaningless. I was a freshman in college and feeling very free. Very adult and aware of myself. One of my favorite sayings at the time was, “Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she became a butterfly.” It resonated with me then and still does today, so it’s not a tattoo regret by any means. (More on that below.)

Aside from the butterfly, the rest of my tattoos are either exact hand drawings of my own or modified from photographs I took.

On my left thigh, about the size of a half-dollar, are two hearts and two J’s for the boys. From afar, it resembles a butterfly. This photo is a bit prickly because the artist had just finished it:

thigh tattoo

In 2008, I ran a marathon. It was ink-worthy, so I drew a small banner to put on the inside left ankle, just above the curve of my running shoe:

marathon tattoo

Then came the writing quill on my right forearm:


The same day I got the quill I had the artist add extra wings to the butterfly on my ankle. Even though tattoos are snapshots of a particular time and place in my life and I was fine with having the cliché tattoo of an 18-year-old girl, it bothered me that the butterfly wasn’t my own sketch. So the artist and I free-handed bigger wings to signify a girl who’d grown into a woman, someone who was more specific and unique than a plain drawing. The faded gray wings were the additions.

butterfly tattoo

Then came the magnolia bloom for Leona on my backside (wish I had a better photo of it!):

magnolia tattoo

Finally, I sketched a hot air balloon in flight and had it permanently drawn on my left forearm in July. Everything forward:

hot air balloon tattoo

There is a plan for a seventh tattoo and I’m going to try really hard to stop after that.

As for piercings, I’m a traditional girl. Only the ears.

Throwback to last week’s tattoo

I’m just now able to sit comfortably and wear regular clothes. I’ve felt like a Duggar girl all week wearing dresses, but pants and shorts don’t wear well with an open wound on my backside. The magnolia bloom is situated on my lower left back/upper left cheek (ahem) and runs perfectly along my waistline. So yeah, no tight clothing in that area this past week.

Tattoo Day May 2015

Every time I see it I feel a rush of delight. It’s beautiful on its own but what it represents makes it even more special. I’ll take a proper picture once it’s healed. I’m that itchy, scabby phase, so we’re nearly there.

And then I’ll do it all over again in August. 

Throwback to my last tattoo

It’s been three years since my last tattoo, so that tells me it’s time for another. (Tomorrow!)

Integrity Tattoo

The quill was an obvious choice – a nod to my passion, imprinted on my writing arm. In hindsight, I wish it was bigger, but that means I have space for other things.