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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.
EVERYONE IS AN EXPERTI 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!
LEAST SAID SOONEST MENDED
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!)
TEN YEARS LATER
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.
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!