I do a lot of things for a lot of reasons. One of the most common questions, or judgments, I get is “why?” Why did I choose that field to study in? Why am I friends with that person? Why did I do that to my hair? WHY did I get that piercing? (You know the one)
Why did I get the tattoo?
I promise you, I have reasons. And more than half the time, they aren’t the reasons people think they are. (At least from what I’ve heard. I’m not in everybody’s minds, so I’ll never know for sure) but for the most part, I probably haven’t explicitly told you why I did something, so you don’t know.
Now’s the time for your curiosity to be satisfied.
The “why” I’m going to tackle now is one of the bigger ones: The Tattoo Why.
I have four tattoos. They are all in places where they can be hidden if needed. I’ve gotten all of them this year (2015) and there’s been a reason behind each and every one. They are works of art that I’m happy to have painted on my walls. They say something to me every time I see them.
My first tattoo is this:
I got this at Freaks on Broadway in Kansas City. It’s a typography glyph that means explore. I got it with one of my best friends, Alicia, during one of the best summers and adventures of my life. It was the beginning of my canvas and it has a special place in my heart. I have a heart filled with desire to travel, to explore. I want to see everything, meet everyone, hear every story and never stop placing pins on my map. I’m filled with wanderlust. My feet carry me forward, and the tattoo on my foot reminds me not to give up on this passion. Explore. See new things. I will never be done.
Alicia said it best on her own blog, “There is unimaginable adventure awaiting, but one misses it if she is afraid to explore, possibly get lost, or encounter the unknown. It is easy to take the comfortable path and go with what is known, but I want to explore further. Be scared. Be uncertain. But know God will take me places and teach me lessons that are only obtained way beyond what’s comfortable.”
I never want to grow complacent. I never want to give up on chasing dreams or growing. This small tattoo reminds me of that.
It also reminds me of one of the greatest chapters of my life, YWAM. “Know God and make him known.” Christians have a call to go to the ends of the earth, something I learned over and over in my time with this school. And I never want to loose that call or desire. I want to always go further with good news.
And finally, explore within, as corny as that sounds. I have to put in so much effort to figure myself out, to explore my emotions and thoughts, and sometimes I need a reminder to do this. I also want to explore knowledge of the world and the word itself. I want to explore God and his thoughts and desires.
I want to explore.
Tattoo number two I got with my wonderful father in Greenville, Texas.
I’m not sure where this quote came from, to be honest. It’s been with me for YEARS. It’s one of my favorites and yet I have to be reminded of it every second.
Your words make worlds. Your words have so much power. We forget how much strength is in our words. What we say matters. That’s why we need to speak truth over our lives and others.
When I don’t feel in my heart that my God is a good God, I still say he is, because it’s true. Those words have power.
When I feel a horrible demonic presence, I speak OUT LOUD, no matter where I am, because my words have power.
When I’m feeling incredibly insecure about something, the people who love me say aloud the truth. They tell me with their words that I am beautiful, kind, talented. Because their words mean something to me.
Our words make worlds.
And my words make worlds for a much more obvious reason. I’m a writer. I literally spend days putting together words to create a whole other world. And I never want to let that passion go.
Tattoo number three. Done at Zodiac Tattoo in Fayetteville, AR.
I love all of my tattoos, but I think this one is my favorite. First of all, it’s gorgeous. Seriously, the artists over at Zodiac are SUPERB. (Thanks, Buzz)
But mainly, this tattoo has so much emotion behind it.
I have a journal that is dedicated solely to prophetic words. Some are words I’ve gotten for others, but mostly it’s filled with what God has said to or for me through other people. People who love me and the Lord enough to speak into my life.
A significant portion of these are extremely similar.
Whenever diamonds are being photographed, they are put against a black backdrop so their edges and shine are seen more prominently. Because of the black background, the diamond is even clearer and brighter.
So many have told me I am/will be a diamond in this way. I will be put against a black backdrop. I will be surrounded by darkness. But through this I will shine. God will be seen. My edges will be known as beautiful.
And this is something I will never forget.
Last but not least, Phoenix. Also done at Zodiac by the wonderful, Phoenix.
This one was less thought out than the others. It’s on the bottom of my foot, so it won’t be around forever, but I still love it a lot.
It’s random. It’s cool. It’s stunning.
I want to live a life that’s unpredictable. I want to have fun. I don’t want to take things too seriously. I want to love and be loved. This spontaneous, fun tattoo, reflects that. I want to be approachable.
I could make up other reasons. “I want to rise from my ashes”, “strength, renewal, rebirth”, or “I just really love Harry Potter” and to an extent, these are all true. But mainly I just loved the idea and was having fun.
People will be quick to disagree on this tattoo, and that’s okay. I apologize if somehow this offends you, but it is my body. And this one means something to me, as well.
Even if you don’t see the meanings, they are there. Even when I’m doing something spontaneously with no huge deeper meaning, there’s still a reason or I wouldn’t have done it. And no, it wasn’t to make a point or to offend or shock a specific individual.
And even if the reason is lacking, who cares? Art is fun. Life is fun. Express yourself.