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Why now?

I grew up with very, very liberal parents. While most teens my age were hiding their tattoos from their family members, my parents said on my 18th birthday I could get whatever I wanted and they would pay for it. HA! What a dichotomy! But what did I want? I didn't know, so thankfully I waited.

The thing was, I liked tattoos on other people but didn't know what I wanted for myself and I certainly didn't want the typical "tramp stamp" or trendy tattoo that I have seen so many get and then regret. I guess you could say I was still discovering who I was so the thought of something permanent was daunting.

Over the years I would go through phases of really wanting one and then I would forget about it. I remember going with a friend in college to get hers and the whole experience felt trashy so I didn't want to go back. I also knew of several artists who had terrible drug problems and although they were crazy talented artists, the thought of them drawing a permanent image on my body while they were potentially high scared the s*%# out of me. So I waited.

It wasn't until decades, yes decades, later that I started feeling a stronger urge to get one again. I met a student who has an unbelievably beautiful sleeve so I got her artist's name, Lucas.  I stalked him on social for a bit because well, I wanted to see who this guy was. I needed to find the right fit. It was him! He was a family guy and into fitness and had a great portfolio of fine-line and delicate work that I loved!

Now what was it I wanted?  I honestly didn't know. I knew what I liked and what I didn't like. I guess you could say I've discovered more of who I am and what I stand for since those younger years of my teens so the process felt more soul-searching and liberating rather than daunting. Now, I just needed Lucas to put my fragmented thoughts and ideas from screenshots to my skin...FOREVER, well as long as I reside in this body at least.

I remember reading a line in one of my favorite books by Elizabeth Gilbert where a well-progressed woman was covered in tattoos. She was met with some resistance and a person asked her "Why on earth would you have all of that on your skin?"  She replied something like "My body is a canvas and this is my art." That was it!  YES! I was enrolled!

Each time I go in to see Lucas my original plan gets thrown out the window. I trust that he's the expert and I'm the naive consumer that has an idea but doesn't know how to execute it effectively. He does.

I have many ideas in the works and as my mom said "well it's a good thing you have a lot more body".  All of it feels fun and self-expressing with a touch of vulnerability and excitement.  There's always that chance I could regret all the ink I'm embedding into my skin forever (well you know what I mean), but I like to think of it as creative expression and even spiritual at times. After all, my body is a canvas, and with the help of an uber-talented artist named Lucas, I get to transcribe my journey onto my skin for the duration of this earthly ride.  

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