leave your mark on me

All of my tattoos mean something.

I never got why people would mark their body for life with a simple decoration that has no deeper meaning to them. Don’t get me wrong… I think a lot of body art is really beautiful. I much prefer them to misc. piercings (I never really got the appeal of body and facial piercings… It always struck me as just a way to show you can stick stuff in you.). But tattoos can be real works of art. They tell a story. Or at least they can.

My first tattoo I got when I was 18. I had just moved out of my mother’s house, the day before my 18th birthday, the day before I became a legal adult. The previous 5 years or so had been the worst of my life, and not for the normal angsty teen reasons. I choose not to go into them here, because, as open as I can sometimes be on this page, it is still deeply personal to me.

Anyways, for 4 years, I knew I wanted a star with flames behind it. I had a design I had perfected over years of drawing it over and over again.

But when the time came to get the tattoo, it had an entirely new meaning:

I chose to not color in the flames. The flames represented all the pain I felt, all the hurdles I crossed, all the suffering, but there I was, this “red star”, and I was leaving them behind. They are burned into my flesh, they are a part of me. But they have no color, I do not acknowledge them anymore.

It was an unfortunate decision to put this tattoo on the small of my back, as 6 months later, the term “tramp stamp” went into heavy circulation. I take solace in knowing that it’s not right above the crack of my ass, but still… it gets frustrating.

Then, about a couple years after that, I got a heart on my hip. I’ll admit, it was a spur of the moment thing. It had little resemblance to my years of planning that I did for the last one. I was out of my grandmother’s house, I had cut off connection from a family member that had caused me nothing but hurt, I was working, making a living. I felt my heart opening up a bit, and starting to trust people again. For the first time in my life, I felt free.

So, I added wings:

I always thought a neat idea would be to duplicate that onto my left hip, but with a broken heart. I’m a fan of symmetry, but I didn’t want bookends.

I knew it would be emo and stupid to just get a broken heart on my body for no reason. So I told myself that I would not get it until I knew what that felt like.

My heart was broken 2 years ago. And then once again, a year after that.

I know what having your heart broken feels like. I know the pain, the sense of loss. The helplessness and the sorrow. If and when it happens again, I will know what to expect. When it happened for the 2nd time, though it was just as painful, it held no surprise for me. And I decided to get the tattoo.

I finally did last night:

Owie.  It had been a few years since I’d gotten one.  I think I forgot the pain.  Luckily, my tattoo guy has a really gentle touch, and has only gotten better in the past few years.

I felt that I needed to clear this up, because I didn’t want people to think that I am just now getting a broken heart embedded on my body, because I said goodbye to my first love less than a month ago. I was planning on this for awhile, but money and timing would not allow it until now. I also wanted to have the same tattoo artist who did the first one to do the 2nd one. Everything just happened to line up now. The timing is, believe it or not, a coincidence. My heart does not feel broken right now. I am devastated, of course, but maybe my heart never healed completely from the last time.

So this is a reminder to myself that I can survive that kind of pain. I can move past it. I can rise above it, with the help of a set of wings.



I wish I could give him wings, so he could stop hurting as well.


~ by Alli on Wednesday, July 16, 2008.

2 Responses to “leave your mark on me”

  1. Heart break is the absolute worse. My heart broke so unbelievably bad in January 2007. Like, I didn’t leave my house for 6 months and had a nasty drinking problem bad.

    It was also one of the most amazing experiences I have ever gone through – the after effects of course. That I could stand alone. Be alone. Be happy alone. And, be free.

    He immediately went straight into a rebound relationship and while they’re still together . . . he confided in me that he would take me back in a second if I gave him the chance.

    So, remember. Keep strong!!! Be alone! Stand on your own two feet! <3<3<3

  2. You put more thought in yours than I did! I basically got my ex fiance tattooed on my arm. I won’t admit to it – I just say I “really, really, really liked rockabilly at the time.” LOLZ.

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