Every day I rub ointment on my new tattoo. I keep it moist to help it heal well. I wait for the day that I run my hand across and it is smooth. Each day I see a little bit more of pink of my skin fade away and the true color that was applied come through and I love it.
I am not usually one for introspection but I have been wondering lately what made me want to get this tattoo. This is my third. I have one on the back of my left shoulder, one on the inside of my left ankle and now this one on my left forearm. I don’t know why they all need to be on the left, but they did.
The difference between the first two and this one is hide-ability. My other two are not seen unless I choose to wear clothing to show them. This one is more in your face. it’s 3×3 and just below the crook of my arm. No one who I spend a lot of time with has tattoo’s or appreciates mine. This is not one of those things where we all sit around and show each other our ink. It’s just me. I decided on this tattoo after my cancer treatment. Those last two sentences are really the explanation for this tattoo and it’s visibility.
It’s mine. It can never be moved to a new location, or given away because someone else needs it. It’s mine and it’s me. It suits my way of looking at things. It is not about anyone else. It is a purely selfish possession. That’s the reason for the tattoo.
The reason for it’s location is because I no longer care what anyone else thinks. I do not need to hide. I have given every piece of myself up for examinations and poking and picture taking (yes they do take pictures, horrible pictures of you during your treatments that you just try to pretend they’re not taking) and cutting and burning and conversations about like I’m not in the room. I have scars that you can’t see, some of them hurt a lot. I have scars that you can see, and I am proud of them. This is a scar I give myself. It’s one more visible thing that shows you who I am. The scar on my abdomen shows you that I no longer have a whole bunch of pieces of me. The scar on my chest shows you that I had chemo. This scar shows you that I still have faith, and that I still have hope. That I believe that I am lucky, and that I believe that I am filled with love and that I am loved.
Here is why middle aged women should not get tattoos. One, because it’s mine. Two because it’s so empowering that once you have one, you will want another, and maybe another, and another! Once you find out that you are strong enough to do what you want regardless of the potential disapproval you just may find that you can do other things. Next thing you know you’ll be wearing inappropriate clothing, and getting your hair dyed in never in nature colors. You may get a piercing in an unexpected place, or decide you were meant to be a vegan and suddenly stop eating animal products. You may quit your job and start doing things you love and just hope you find a way to make money at it. You may suddenly walk up to people you’ve known for years and unexpectedly hug them, just to let them know you are really there.
So now you know the risks, don’t say I didn’t warn you.