Monday, January 12, 2015

Tat, Tat, Tatted Up

I adventured with my friend over the weekend for my 2nd tattoo of life! I know, pause for shock and awe, as most of you didn't know I have a 1st tattoo. I was referred to as the, "Didn't look like a tattoo kind." My first tat is not heavily advertised because it's 10 years old at this point and on my back where no one regularly sees. My pink hibiscus flower tattoo is more about the experience than the meaning. I was with my best friend; we thought we were such rebels getting tattooed without our parent’s permission or knowledge. Obviously, our parents found out a few months later. The tat is such a representation of my life at the time I got it. I was obsessed with the color pink and anything Hawaiian/surfer/Roxy/etc. even though I’ve never even been surfing. Idiot.  However, I love that it links my PIC, Kate, and I together for life.

My friend, Heidi, approached me about wanting to get a new tattoo and I decided it was time for my next one.The issue, and #1 reason it took me so long to get another tat, is that I couldn't decide what I wanted! There are too many things I would like permanently ink on my body so it's hard to narrow it down to something with such importance that I won't hate it in 20 years. I have greatly wanted a "Choose Happy" tattoo but have envisioned it on my rib cage and really wanted to be slimmer and cut before inking. I was determined to wait on that idea and I poured over quotes and symbols to find an alternative. I've also always wanted a foot tattoo but the aftercare process for one is NOT in line with my new life. You can't wear socks or shoes (that cover it) for 2 weeks. That's not gonna work for this gym rat! I couldn't find any tattoo idea that I loved as much as my mantra and blog inspiration. Suddenly, it's Saturday night, I'm half naked in front of strangers and needles buzz in the background. Old Sarah would never have done this tattoo. I was in my bra and jeans in front of total strangers. This was the biggest shock of the whole experience to my mom who knows my aversion to even removing my shirt for the doctor. I'm up on the table and regretting eating a big dinner and wearing extremely tight skinny jeans. I decided that "choose happy" would have to be my next tattoo because it truly defines me. The plan was to just go to the shop to get our tattoos drawn and make appointments for ink. While there, there was no wait and the artist who does great script work was available! We picked our fonts and I added an arrow. The arrow addition is pretty obvious as my choosing happiness is a journey.

I’m so glad that I decided to go with my gut and ink my slogan. I LOVE this tattoo!  Good thing, right? This tat sits among my bountiful stretch marks (inevitable!!) as a permanent reminder of where I've been and where I'm going. I will never forget the girl I once was. I know I get wrapped up in the excitement of a transformation photo and relish how great life is now. Friends and family are always quick to point out that I was beautiful then and am beautiful now. I know that, too. I love the girl I used to be as she's the one who made the incredibly brave step toward a happier life. She's the one who believed she could and she's the one that did. I'm just here carrying on life for her.

Thank you, Heidi, for photographing this moment and for sitting with me as I made funny faces of pain!  Also, thank you for this experience so I could work it into a blog post.  Love you! :)

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