At least one in five adults in the U. S. has a tattoo, with women holding a slight advantage compared to men (source). Inspired by this statistic, I asked you on Instagram and Facebook to tell me the stories behind your tattoos. I thought I would receive a few emails to write this post, but I was so wrong. You RESPONDED. So many messages, so many great stories. You were so open, raw, honest, and willing to share, that it became necessary to turn this into a series. And so, September will mark Series ONE of inked.
This is the one that kicked off the series. I have six tattoos, some that mean something, others that were impulses. This one, a 30th birthday present to myself, was the first one that actually meant something. These are the coordinates for Mumbai and Cleveland — my two homes. It also represents where I came from, and where my husband Nick came from — a tiny tribute to him and our relationship.
Christy C. also has multiple tattoos. The paw-prints on her forearm represent each of her fur-kids. The one with the heart is a tribute to her first pup, Shug, who passed away some years ago. Shug was with her through some tough times, and lives in her heart forever.
Jennifer K.‘s tattoos represent her journey, particularly over the past two years. It is a journey of self-acceptance, learning to be vulnerable, and to learning to surrender to where the Universe wants you to be. An advocate of LGBT equality, Jennifer had “Love is Love” tattooed to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.
On the eve of her 30th birthday, Katie K. had her mother write out the word “Joy” and had it tattooed on her forearm. Katie wants to be chasing goals, experiences and connections that bring joy to her life. The tattoo has been Katie’s reminder that joy is her journey, one that has been particularly meaningful during her mother’s recent illness and subsequent recovery.
Dana’s mom, Grace, battled ovarian cancer brilliantly, and lived past the time the doctors said she would. She used to say “Yep, I’m amazing.” After she died, Dana would hear the song “Amazing Grace” at the most unexpected times. Grace had told Dana that she would let her know that she was ok, and she did. Dana’s tattoo, with the note of Grace in purple, commemorates her mother and her courageous battle.
Thank you to Christy, Jenn, Katie, and Dana for sending in their stories. If you would like to be featured in a subsequent series of inked, please email me a pic of your tattoo with the story/inspiration behind it at firstname.lastname@example.org. inked: series TWO coming in October!