Friday, 28 August 2015

midlife tattoos - if not now then when?

midlife tattoos - if not now then when?

I've wanted to do a post on tattoos for ages - it's such a well covered subject but I still thought I'd throw my few thoughts into the ring......starting with the fact that I love this picture - it makes me smile when I see it because she's so out there and proud. A sassy woman with tattoos.

I wrote a post a while ago about being confident in who I am and not letting the opinions of others impact on that (you can read that here if you're interested.) It seems now days everyone has an opinion on tattoos and, given half a chance, they are quick to share it. I don't know how many times I heard some well meaning person tell me that people with tattoos will regret their decision later in life, how tattoo removal clinics will be making a fortune, how tattoos will turn grey with age etc etc. I think they say all this because I look like the "type" of person who will agree with them.

I'd only been in my new job for a couple of weeks when the other receptionist (who's a bit older than me) commented to me on a patient's tattoos, saying "I don't know why people do that to themselves". It's Winter here, so I'm in full length clothes and shoes. I didn't have the heart (or at that stage the courage) to tell her that I totally "get" why people do that to themselves and "look here is the one I have......" and if you are really interested, "here's the one that isn't on display". So, I'm waiting til I've been working there for a little longer and the layers of clothes reduce as Summer arrives and then we will have that  conversation and see how it goes!

Tattoos (for me) are a personal thing - you either like them or you don't, but if you don't it's probably a good idea to keep your opinion to yourself because there is a very good chance that someone within earshot has a tattoo that they love and have gone through the pain of getting because it means something special to them. I have two - one on my back that I got just before I turned 40 - it was on my bucket list and I thought long and hard about getting it - my husband hates tattoos but in the end I just thought "stuff it" and took a friend along for moral support and did the deed. (That friend ended up going back and getting one of her own!) There is a photo of mine below - she is a daughter of the air - from the original Little Mermaid tale taken from a picture book I'd owned since I was a child she's a bit blurry because back pictures are tricky to take!)

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

Then, about 10 years or so later I had a second tattoo done on my foot - I thought it was time for another and I wanted to be more open about it this time. My poor husband was resigned to the fact that it was going to happen and graciously kept quiet. This tattoo was an affirmation of how I feel about my life and it may be the last one.......but then again I would never say "never" and who knows what will happen in another 10 years? It'll also be interesting to see how long it takes them to notice when I'm wearing sandals to work in a few months time! I was worried about how it would impact on what people thought of me at church too, and you know what? Barely anyone has noticed - two Summers of sandals and not a single negative comment - I think we worry about the opinion of others way too much. We forget that people are too busy thinking about themselves most of the time and if they care about us then our choices are fine, and if they don't then we can ignore what they think. 

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

These tattoos have been very liberating for me - freeing me up to be a little bit more "me" and I know that there are dozens of women out there in midlife sporting their own mementos - I'd love to hear about them!


25 comments:

  1. Your tattoos are lovely, Leanne. I don't know whether I'll ever work up the courage to have one. However, I believe that tattoos are very personal symbols for the person who has them!

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  2. Thanks Corinne - I totally agree that tattoos are personal and often have a story behind them. Let me know if you ever take the plunge :)

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  3. I'm dying to get one. I will eventually when it isn't a budget buster.

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    1. they are an expensive pastime now days - I'm amazed when people get tiny little ones because they are still a lot of money. I'll look forward to your tattoo post in years to come :)

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  4. i just wrote a post about the meaning behind all 10 of mine. very personal. sort of my life biography. and yes, my husband just kinda shakes his head. but when they express something meaningful to you...that's all that matters :)

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    1. It's funny Lisa - I just read your post on depression and then read your tattoo one and thought it was a coincidence that I'd just written this one. I definitely think some people just don't "get" the whole tattoo thing and that's okay (especially when it includes husbands!)

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  5. I have one as well that I love dearly. I would show you a picture, but it's just a little further south of Forever 18 and off to the side more. I love it and I've been wanting to get another for a long time just haven't managed to take the time to do it yet. My husband has three that he got when he was younger that he hates, but I love mine. My daughter has one on her foot as well that is the Japanese symbol for "best friend" that she got with her BFF when they were 18. She took me with them so I could be sure it was safe and clean. It's just another form of art.

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    1. it is another form of art Rena - and I love that it is so personal and everyone has a story or a reason behind theirs - I'll wait til you get brave enough to put up a picture of yours :)

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  6. haha, that pic is awesome
    #midlifeluv :)

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    1. I know Laura - she's my hero! :) I don't care that it's probably photoshopped - I love it anyway :)

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  7. Girlfriend and I are coming back to her place in Maui next year, just the 2 of us and we both want tattoos...my hubby will sort of freak, but ....
    Carol
    http://carolcassara.com/1950s-entertaining/

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    1. My husband nearly fainted when he saw mine - because I just did it one day without asking him. He recovered and now he never even notices it so go for it girl!

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  8. It took me 44 years to get my first tattoo. I don't think it will take as long to get the second.

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    1. It took me 38 years for my first but only 12 for my second so I still have time for a couple more before I fall off my perch :)

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  9. Lovely! Not my thing, but I admire beautiful art that has such personal meaning.

    Alicia
    spashionista.com

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    1. Hi Alicia - I totally get that it's not everyone's cup of tea but acceptance of other people choosing or not choosing to is what it's all about - thanks for your kind words :)

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  10. I am with Alicia on this one. I love the graceful look in your back one, very nice choice. LOL I am glad your hubby got over it so well.
    Thanks for showing us on Fridays Blog Booster Party #21
    Kathleen

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    1. Thanks Kathleen - he managed to survive it and come to terms with it being about me instead of him (for a change?)

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  11. I wanted to get a tattoo celebrating my final chemo pill, but for a couple of reasons, the trip never took place. I still want that tattoo, though, to remind myself of how fortunate I am to have survived breast cancer.

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    1. I think you should definitely go for it Theresa - it even has a great story to go with it! So glad you are one of the survivors!

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    2. Thank you, Leanne. So am I! :)

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  12. I've always wanted a tattoo, but don't have anything I'm really attached to to make it happen. I really admire that body art, though... especially on men. ;) #midlifeluv

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    1. One day the right picture or group of words will hit you and then you might take the plunge :)

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  13. I have one tattoo, Leanne. It is on my back and not many people can see it.
    It is exactly like you say: it is personal. It is something you choose for yourself. In life, I think we have to be careful not to start thinking that we are better than others for our choices.
    Love your tattoos.

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  14. I was 42 when I had my tattoo done! Mine is on my lower back. I love it. ��

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