Decorate the Body; Enhance the Soul

Hello All,

Some changes have taken place in the past few weeks since I have written, and most of them are things I’m very happy about. For example, R&R is approaching quickly, in less than a month. The prospect of actually seeing Green Lantern’s face again, as well as being able to actually touch his skin is enough to send me to a cloud of euphoria. However, slightly less important, is that fact that I finally achieved a life goal I had been working on for almost 4 years.

I am in love with beautiful art. That is something that I can say with ease, and if you have been following my blogs from the beginning, you already know this. I have always loved art, and that has never changed. However, around the time I was getting ready to graduate high school, somewhere around 17, I decided I wanted at tattoo. However, I was squeamish. I was worried about the pain levels, considering my body’s reaction to pain 9 times out of 10 is to knock me unconscious and make me pass out.

In 2008, after the death of a very dear friend, I started working on a design. It encompassed the idea of forget-me-not flowers, which of course have the connotation of remembrance, but also of the state flower of a place where I had once lived: Alaska. However, I kept messing with it and redesigning, wanting to make sure it would be perfect, but also encompass the memory of the people who had a major influence on my life.

I got  my first tattoo the day I turned 23. Green Lantern took me to do it. It was my Batgirl Symbol. I wanted to start with something small so could test my pain levels, and see how my body would react to the stress of it. I have been known to get myself a little worked up in the past, and I wanted to ensure that it would not happen this time. As a result, I tried really hard to keep my nerves at bay. It took about 30 minutes and halfway through, I got a little clammy and light-headed. I was discouraged a little, thinking that I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain. Then again, the portion of my leg that I put the symbol on was very close to bone, so in retrospect it actually kind of made sense. However, when it passed, which was rather quickly, I continued. My result: a cute, little symbol that brought together the Batman theme my father and I loved, and my mother’s favorite color.

Now, at this level, most people questioned my choice of tattoo. My kids at school loved it; it gave them something identifiable to see and cling to. But to most people, it is just a nerd symbol that I’ll regret someday when I’m old and grey. Here’s the thing though: I won’t, and I know it. This symbol has meant a lot more to me for many years. Batman taught me that I need to face every challenge, keep my head up, and work for what I want. He taught me to be brave. In fact, when I used to go and do something that scared me, I used to wear a batman shirt to remind me to not let my fear control me. In a way, that made it my perfect first tattoo… a way to conquer the fear.

After Green Lantern left, and  I started working on my weight loss goals, I set my highest mark at something I knew I would really work for: a new tattoo. Specifically, this design I had been carrying with me through years and years. Well… months of hard work later, there I was taking a train to my tattoo parlor, design in hand, slightly nervous, but so excited. It was an interesting sensation, going forth with this, and doing so with Green Lantern there to watch over me. It was important to me to have it before midtour though; I wanted him to see it in person when I got there.  I was proud of what I accomplished, I wanted him to see that I could do it myself.

To be honest, looking back, getting this tattoo, which is about 4 times the size of my bat symbol, was actually much easier. There is definitely something to be said about being able to lay down during the experience. I didn’t get sick at all, which was my biggest fear. Even more amazing, the final result was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Even now, I can’t thank my artist enough. Every detail, every stroke of color he created brought my vision to life in a way that I couldn’t even draw.

I think this is one of the things I really love about tattoos: It’s artwork. I am a designer and artist by nature, and it gives me such inspiration and joy to watch people work in the mediums they are destined to work in. Tattooing is definitely a calling, and watching these people work is mind-boggling. It’s a window to the soul; it’s personal on a level that most people cannot express any other way.

I feel like mine are a form of expression for me, a way to reveal things that are important to me in my life. It’s a visual representation of what has shaped me in the past, and the woman I am becoming every day. To be honest, I think that they are some of the most beautiful things about me. I can also say that I have felt better about myself since I got them done, and that’s why I don’t understand the people who judge others based on them. There is a certain amount of bravery that goes into wearing your emotions or feelings or life experiences literally on your skin. It’s kind of like scars; they tell a story that is specialized specifically to you. Scars are just involuntary. Choosing what you want is so much more rewarding.

In the end, it’s not gonna matter what they look like when I am an old woman. Green Lantern is going to be sitting beside me, loving me the same way he loves me now regardless of how they look. All it says about me is that I lived my life exactly the way I wanted to, and didn’t let other people or my own fears influence how I did it.

See you next time,

BG

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