The sleeve of my life

The date of my upcoming tattoo appointment is closing in – in less than a month I’ll be in that chair, getting pierced by a needle for many hours…. I am so excited I can hardly wait!!

When I made the appointment I wasn’t sure what I wanted to put on my arm, I just knew I needed to do it, because it’s been a dream for so long and I can finally afford it. I was pretty happy that the girl who is making the tattoo didn’t have any slots open until September, because that gave me time to think about it. It is a pretty permanent thing to do, after all. I’ve spent days thinking about what is important to me.

Some people don’t understand why anyone would want to get a tattoo, let alone ink your whole arm. I tried to think of the reason why I want to decorate my body, but couldn’t quite explain it. Then my colleague, who is dead against ever getting a tattoo and has a hard time seeing my vision for my sleeve, but who has listened to me trying to explain, she was in the room when another colleague asked me why. And she nailed it. She said “I think sometimes it’s hard to show people who you are on the inside. They judge you on what you look like on the outside, and perhaps getting a tattoo is just a way of showing some of your inside to people.” It might not be true about everybody, but for me this is exactly it. And it’s beautifully put. I get chills thinking about the opportunity I will have to show people my inside – that I am not what they assume I am.

So, as you can see, this sleeve is important to me. I want it to represent ME. And this is what will be permanently inked into the skin of my arm: magnolias – because they represent the city I grew up (and live) in, and I love it to pieces. I’m thinking a lot of deep colors and light pink. Pretty! A (fantasy multi-colored) stag beetle will be on my shoulder, because stag beetles are the county-animal of the place where I was born and where I spent all my summers when I was little. And they look fierce! Nobody should be surprised that I am also adding at least a few books on my arm. I love books. Books have helped me through a lot, and still sometimes are the main reason why I make it through the (week-)day. (I needed to add the “week” in there, because it’s mostly when I have to work that I also feel the need to escape…) Hydrangeas will be scattered over my arm too. Some dark blue, almost purple ones. Because I love flowers and these are one of my favorites. In the mix of all the flowers and such, I want me some sugar snaps. At first I thought they’d fit well because they are green, which also happens to be my favorite color, and they would also represent my allotment, that I love so dearly. I love to learn how to grow things, and sugar snaps never let you down, they make you feel like you’re actually good at growing things, when really it’s just so difficult to fail with these lovely peas. But then I started to think about their characteristics, and I want to add them to my sleeve also because I want them to remind me that no matter what is given to you, just keep grabbing for things, keep growing, keep giving, and all should be alright. Yeah, I know, a lot of meaning in a sugar snap! Another vegetable representing my allotment are beetroots. Man are they heavenly! Of course I need one or two of those on my arm! Especially since the color palette is exactly right too. Lastly, somewhere in all this, where there will also be a giraffe and a set of headphones from earlier (representing my two kids), there will be a quote. I’m usually not into “written” tattoos, but I like this one because it’s a reminder to be strong and not let anyone but me decide how my life is going to be. “I am the hero of this story”

I am the hero of this story, and that is what I want you to know, when you look at my sleeve.


About thereseastrom

A wife, mother of two, teacher and new, but firm, believer in minimalism. Trying to get all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
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8 Responses to The sleeve of my life

  1. Florida Life Minimalist says:

    Good for you! It’s your body you do what you want. People have opinions about everything. They don’t really mean anything unless you want them to. I gradually add to my sleeve when the urge hits me, all of my tattoos and Earth, Sun and Moon-based and I love every one of them. That is a very great explanation of why a lot of people get tattoos. It doesn’t really matter why someone wants a tattoo, some people just want one for their bucket list or just think they look cool! Sounds like your artist is going to be very busy! Congrats!!

    • She sure is, we’ve planned for three or four whole days for this arm, and hopefully it’ll be finished by next spring. I do wish I could do my own tattoos, that’d been so great 🙂

  2. projectpatrol says:

    Woohoo! I’m so excited for you! I love hearing what you’re getting and why. I cannot wait to see it. You’ll be showing it, right? 😉

  3. I can’t wait to see your tattoo as you move along having it made.. I love all the items you will put into it.. and I especially like your written statement (oh yeah and the flowers as some are my favourite as well 😉 )

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